The Racist Underside of Guptagate

The City Press made an astonishing error of judgement in deciding to publish Phumlani Mfeka's more or less fascist rant on Sunday. Presenting this extraordinarily crass form of ethnic chauvinism under-girded by a clear threat of violence as if it were a legitimate contribution to the national debate only compounded the newspaper's disgraceful editorial decision. But while Mfeka's anti-Indian diatribe is certainly the most extreme instance of an increasingly dubious set of responses to Guptagate it is not uniquely problematic.

Young Voices: Do you think media freedom is important?

Most of the 82 primary schoolchildren in the Western Cape and Gauteng have said that media freedom is one thing that should not be touched.

Research suggests increasingly militarised protest regulation in South Africa

In a seminar hosted by the Faculty of Humanities yesterday (Tuesday 7 May) the Chair of the Media and Information Society at Rhodes University, Professor Jane Duncan, highlighted indicators that the regulation of protests under the President Jacob Zuma’s administration is becoming increasingly militarised.

SA is missing from the African growth party

Africa’s climb to near the top of the global economic growth tables has attracted much attention. Some commentators have suggested that Africa could become the next China or India as the driver of global growth. Global investors are looking for new ways to participate in Africa’s growth success.

Spare a thought for the rich and powerful

South African newspapers endlessly lament the travails of the poor. But the burdens under which productive members of society labour merits few column inches. Take the present clamour for self-defeating tax increases.

Lessons for SA in Venezuela and Latin America

The death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez unleashed a tidal wave of economic and political commentary.

Knowing who funds politics

Are we inching nearer to knowing where political parties get their money? If so, will we be expected to pay for the privilege? A resolution passed at the ANC's Mangaung conference suggests that laws that control money's impact on politics may be on the way.

NDP: ‘Common vision’ to do more than reshuffling revenue and spending

Commentators who believed substantial structural changes in government spending and revenue would be needed for the 2013-14 budget to provide evidence of the government’s commitment to achieving the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP) will be disappointed.

Ramphele’s party unlikely to be a game-changer

LAUNCHING a political party is fairly easy — getting people to vote for it is the difficult bit. Particularly since a great deal more is needed than good ideas and the respect of the people who drive the national debate.

Bling, Bling You're Dead

Not so long ago the middle classes in the world created by British colonialism used to cloak their claim to privilege in the stifling rituals of bourgeois respectability.

What’s an everyday campaign on GBV?

South Africa, 18 February 13: This year's State of the Nation address occurred amid a national outcry and introspection on gender-based violence (GBV).

Time to bring Dr Karabus home

Seventy-seven-year-old Cape Town doctor Cyril Karabus remains under house arrest in the United Arab Emirates, almost six months after being detained at the Dubai airport on charges of manslaughter relating to his treatment of a patient over a decade ago.

Wave of rape weaved into our social fabric

We need to resist idea this travesty comes from 'outside' AST December Jyoti Singh Pandey, a student on the cusp of her adult life, stepped on to a bus in Delhi. She was with a friend.

The Criminal Injustice System

At the end of January, an all too familiar pattern of events played itself out in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court in Durban. Four member of the shack dwellers’ movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, were arrested after a protest against problematic practices in a housing development in KwaNdengezi.

Tropika Island of Treasure: Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash

SABC1 opted to go ahead with Saturday’s airing of the first episode of reality show Tropika Island of Treasure, despite the tragic death of star Reeva Steenkamp just three days previously.

On different pages in the differentiation debate

Research in South Africa over the past eight years has clustered universities into groups based on performance indicators.

He was a steady hand at the helm

When I first joined the Sunday Times in the early 1980s, I soon became known as the "young Old Dalian".

Painful economic readjustment may lie ahead

‘At some point, global interest rates will return to more normal levels, reducing the attraction of our higher rates’

Analysis: After the murder that shocked the country, a time for introspection

Reeva Steenkamp, a lively, well-liked young woman with a promising career, was allegedly killed by Oscar Pistorius on Valentine’s Day. It is a horrible, surreal story. The discovery that a national hero and global poster-boy for inspiration may also be a murderer is devastating.

Mixed signals in post-school system

Colleges are vital in the attempt to unscramble the confusion at the doors of higher learning that leave thousands in limbo.

Blade’s new committee risks undermining university councils

In “Higher Education must be transformed” (February 1), the director general of the department of higher education and training, Gwebs Qonde, makes a range of statements that are worth responding to.

Don't settle for ordinary

The beginning of this year Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced last year's matric results. In her address to the nation she mentioned that "we're encouraged by notable improvements in the education of children and society.

The car guard singing his way off the Cape Town streets

A car guard in Cape Town who used to sing to himself as he helped motorists into parking bays has suddenly found himself a viral hit.

From Delhi to Bredasdorp

In December last year Jyoti Singh Pandey, a student on the cusp of her adult life, stepped into a bus in Delhi. She was with a friend.

Investors will trick us

Was born in Springs at the tail end of the mining boom. The problem with my story is that it is a worm’s eye view of that boom, and parts of it are based on titbits I got from my grandmother, who experienced it only as a maid.

In Bredasdorp, a community searching for its soul

It’s been a dark weekend in Bredasdorp, where the battered body of Anene Booysen was laid to rest on Saturday. As locals struggle to come to terms with the gruesome crime which thrust their quiet town into the global spotlight, difficult questions are being asked.

Higher education unaffordable for poor in South Africa

Kirti Menon, Registrar, Wits University, Johannesburg, and a great-granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, on Wednesday highlighted the problems of access to higher education in South Africa for a majority of population even 19 years after the end of apartheid.

Nzimande and the universities: A reply to Ihron Rensburg

Alex Mashilo says there'll be no turning back in advancing transformation in higher education.

Mining Indaba: Industry on the defensive over sustainable development

The final day of Mining Indaba 2013 was devoted to the discussion of two of mining’s current buzzwords: “sustainable development”.

South Africa: Village thinking at a national level

We can cherish our cultural identities, but we can't let politicians exploit small-scale cultural values, writes Chris Mann.

Transformation reduced to numbers

It was wise of Gwebs Qonde, director general of higher education and training, not to try in his “Right to Reply” last week to defend the appointment of University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) vice-chancellor MW Makgoba as head of the new higher education transformation oversight committee (“Higher education must be transformed”, Mail & Guardian, February 1).

State of Higher Education in South Africa

On the 8 December 2012, the British Council hosted the Higher Education Roundtable meeting at the Townhouse Hotel, Cape Town. Professor Nazir Carrim, a Senior Lecturer in the Witwatersrand University School of Education, was commissioned by the British Council to complete a report on Higher Education in South Africa.

Once upon a starry night: The story (so far) of the Square Kilometre Array

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will eventually become the most sensitive radio telescope ever built, able to survey the heavens more than 10 000 times faster than current technologies.

What role should academics play in public life?

AS THE academic year begins at universities around the country, it is opportune to question what type of role academics can play in public life. The first and most obvious task is that academics have a huge responsibility to the "public" body of students (and their supporting families).

Bring back the springboks

Recent controversial suggestions by two Rhodes University researchers that ranching with springbok is economically and ecologically more sustainable than wool farming in the Karoo not only had farmers quickly listing several reasons why

Mining Indaba: Ramphele, the big ideas woman

With reports that Mamphela Ramphele is to start a political party, she can expect a high level of interest in her public pronouncements from now on.

Five minutes of fame in the spotlight of victimhood is all some people need

If we want to defend freedom, we should be able to tell the difference between the real threats which face it and those which some of us invent.

An iPad a day keeps school absenteeism at bay

An iPad app with 600 textbooks in six South African languages has been launched and the classes featuring it have proved to be a hit with pupils.

Five minutes of fame in the spotlight of victimhood is all some people need

If we want to defend freedom, we should be able to tell the difference between the real threats which face it and those which some of us invent.

Nomadic no longer, the Karretjie mense are going nowhere

IN AND around Colesberg, a small historical town on the Ni midway between Cape Town and Johannesburg, I met a group of sheep shearers living in abject poverty, surviving in tiny tin shacks on the verges of public roads. Only in the last 15 years, have they become a settled, sedentary people.

What’s Mine isn’t yours: Mining Indaba 2013

It’s Mining Indaba time: the week where the mining industry – the well-heeled parts, at least – gather in Cape Town’s swanky convention centre to see and be seen.

Nigerians don’t probe their Nkandlas

In November 2012, the South African public sphere was awash with tales of the upgrade to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence.

Freedom on the Internet: Free, partly free, unfree

Watchdog organisation Freedom House last month released its 2012 report Freedom on the Net and its report is more alarming for its dearth of data on African countries than for its actual rankings.

R105 a day: Farmworkers, farmers and an uneasy compromise

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant’s announcement on Monday that she had accepted the Employment Conditions Commission’s recommendation of a new sectoral minimum wage for farmworkers has been greeted with mixed responses.

Is The New Age’s coverage really pro-ANC?

The DA says that The New Age is “openly favourable to the government”. The newspaper denies this claim, though it is certainly a widely-held perception of the Gupta-owned national broadsheet.

Solution to unemployment starts at our schools

FEW issues are more divisive when debating economic policy options in SA than the relationship between wage levels and job creation. There is no disagreement about the imperative for job creation. But what kind of jobs can be created when businesses, to survive, must compete with low labour costs in countries such as China and India?

Old Rhodian turns Jo'burg ambassador

Matthew Krouse Tweet Fed up with people not knowing how incredible the City of Gold is, a keen resident decided to show them.

Another school in court over admissions

Hoerskool Fochville and the education department clash over pupils who can't be taught in Afrikaans.

Corruption Watch turns one and prepares for school

There was no birthday cake and no champagne as Corruption Watch briefed media on its first birthday on Thursday.

Armed Response: Local comedy with a bite

It’s been a helluva week in South African news. More evidence on Nkandla, Helen Zille going nuclear on The New Age, the SABC’s failure to secure live broadcast rights to the Proteas’ Test series against Pakistan – it’s enough to bring you down.

Varsity ‘rules’ that stymie students

Nomusa Mthethwa’s incredulous questioning of her experiences at a South African university (“How could I have failed varsity?”, Mail & Guardian, January 11-17) calls into question the commonplace assumption that the quality of schooling is all-important in predicting success in higher education.

Profit Fetishism: no place in the triple bottom line?

The thought that maximising profit is the ultimate aim of business, popularised most famously by Milton Friedman in the 1970s, is not merely perverse, but it is also founded on triumphalist simple-mindedness informed by a deeply naive psychology of greed.

Helen Zille v The New Age: Money, Threats & Lies

Where will the spat between Helen Zille and The New Age go next?

The future is in open and online tertiary education

THE World Economic Forum (WEF) says the global economy will need to create about 600-million new jobs in the next decade to preserve social cohesion and ensure sustainable growth. This poses a big challenge and was a key topic at the WEF’s meeting in Davos last week.

Regulatory overkill threatens academic autonomy in South Africa

ARE ALL South African universities in systemic crisis? One would imagine so, given the recent legislative and policy actions of Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande.

The Riotous Underbelly of the New Normal

Here we are, almost twenty years after apartheid and from the prisons, to the shack settlements and the farms, the riotous underbelly of our society is on television most nights.

Corruption Watch and SA's crusade against graft

South Africa appears to be facing a tsunami of corruption. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are crusaders taking out the bad guys at the knees.

Meet SA's new motivational speaker: Dr Death

This week the world’s eyes have been fixed on ‘Dr Shock’ – Aubrey Levin, the Apartheid psychiatrist on trial for sexual assault in Canada. But back home, ‘Dr Death’ – Wouter Basson, the former head of the Apartheid chemical and biological warfare programme – seems to have found a new calling.

Double standards are the new cool

Whatever happened to admitting you were wrong, asks Verashni Pillay, as she tracks the double standards of Moeletsi Mbeki, FNB, the ANC and more.

The problem with the power of one

I feel honoured to be speaking on the 18th anniversary of Joe Slovo’s death and at this first public event of the Chris Hani Institute since Eddie Webster was appointed as director. As I understand it, Eddie’s vision is to build the institute as “an independent think-tank of the left”, and I have been thinking about what “left” means.

Sky really is the limit: the lowdown on Alex Crawford's reporting

Earlier this month, Alex Crawford of Sky News ran a report claiming that Eastern Cape women were deliberately drinking alcohol during pregnancy in order to subsequently claim a disability grant for the child.

Matrics given boost before big university leap

The SA Education and Environment Project's bridging year programme has given a few matrics the chance to succeed in their first year of varsity.

The Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez

Searching for Sugarman, Malik Bendjelloul's film about the reception of Sixto Rodriguez in South Africa, continues to accumulate awards, critical acclaim and commercial success as its momentum gathers in the lead up to the Academy Awards at the end of next month.

The rules are not there for your convenience

Attempting to prosecute for behaviour that bothers us is not going to work ALMOST 20 years into democracy, many of us still believe we can use the law to control behaviour we don't like.

Media probes miss the mark

IN THE past few years, the media, especially the press, have attracted high praise for taking investigative journalism so seriously. Recognising the fact that this form of journalism provides them with the distinctive content needed to hold onto audiences, given the explosion of media options, the major press groups have re-established investigative journalism capacity.

Farmworkers strike may be over - but everyones a loser

Cosatu says the Western Cape farmworkers’ strike is over. The consistently more militant union Bawusa appears to agree – albeit seemingly more reluctantly. Cosatu trumpets that the protest action has changed SA farming forever. But has anyone really won?

Bargaining starts with the truth, not platitudes

If negotiation was about people agreeing with each other, there would be no need for it. And so, the more negotiators say things most of their listeners would prefer not to hear, the more the bargaining is real.

Pass-rate scepticism belies real, steady improvements

THE national and provincial education departments are in a double bind. If the matric pass rate declines, it is seen as evidence of the crisis in the sector. On the other hand, if the pass rate improves, there is universal scepticism.

FNB's role in Nkandla undermines their campaign

FNB has been celebrated for their latest ad campaign but, as Verashni Pillay points out, they have their own sins to deal with.

Only sober realism can save platinum industry

The recent announcement that Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) is to close and mothball shafts seems to have caught some role-players unawares. But it has been obvious for some time that the platinum industry is in serious financial trouble.

Angie's draft school infrastructure norms flout Constitution

The draft norms and standards for school infrastructure that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga recently gazetted could well be illegal.

Education department's legal woes far from over

Storm clouds loom over basic education's 'inadequate' standards and unmet deadlines, writes Victoria John.

Spies, newshounds and watchdogs

Journalists are increasing falling prey to hacking attacks and there is little to protect them. As media watchdog organisations flag a growing trend towards state internet censorship and surveillance, journalists around the globe are urged to heighten their information security.

Solving the problem of maths

Our expensive testing and research still do not tell us enough about how children learn the subject.

Winelands strike: The farmers' perspective

On Thursday reports indicated that most Western Cape farmworkers were back at work for the time being, with the exception of De Doorns, where thousands of people took to the streets in the afternoon.

Black Consciousness: Time to breach the white hole of oppression

White people themselves have to debunk the myth of their supremacy. It can't come from blacks, writes Malaika wa Azania.

De Doorns: Strike continues, in spite of Cosatu

Uncomfortably hot temperatures in the Hex River Valley on Wednesday seemed to match a generally fractious mood. Cosatu’s claim on Tuesday that they had reached a deal in Clanwilliam that could be rolled out to other farming communities now seems shaky without the buy-in of Agri SA – or indeed all Clanwilliam farmers.

Workers' power thrives on unity

The Durban strikes of 1973 empowered workers and helped destroy apartheid.

Partners in cautious optimism

The formal invitation extended to South Africa by China late in 2010 to join the BRIC formation of emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) is a confirmation of the growing economic ties between China and South Africa.

Farmworkers' strike: Clanwilliam example may provide way out of the tight, ugly corner

There was a glimmer of progress in the Western Cape farmworkers’ labour dispute on Tuesday, in the form of a reported breakthrough in negotiations between farmers and unions in Clanwilliam which may set the model for the rest of the province.

The destruction of Kennedy Road: A precursor to Marikana

Kenneth Good on how the temerity of the organised poor was met with a ferocious counter-attack from the state.

Five reasons for South Africans to celebrate Mangaung

Did you miss the nitty-gritties of the ANC's Mangaung conference while you were on holiday? Verashni Pillay tells you what's worth celebrating.

Khayelitsha policing inquiry: Zille and civil society 1, Mthethwa 0

Monday saw the Western Cape High Court dismiss an attempt by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to stop a proposed commission of inquiry into Khayelitsha policing.

Conversations: Jane Duncan on race, identity and racism

Eighteen years after the end of white rule, South Africa is more polarised than ever before. Emboldened in the aftermath of Mangaung, the ANC’s new theme is unity, but this isn’t about addressing social cohesion - it is all about healing schisms that would undermine the ruling party’s power base.

Could this be watershed year of negotiation and compromise?

It is just possible that this year will be a year of talking, not yelling.

The Stuff of Investigative Journalism

In the past few years, the media, especially the press, have attracted high praise for taking investigative journalism so seriously. Recognising the fact that this form of journalism provides them with the distinctive content needed to hold onto audiences given the explosion of media options, the major press groups have re-established investigative journalism capacity.

Runaway numbers squeeze universities

Either fees must go up, or the National Student Financial Aid Scheme allocations will have to.

SA’s science must be much more ‘in your face’

SA needs to start branding its science and research. While SA’s development budget is very small, with little money to spare, it is becoming increasingly important to advertise what higher education and research councils are doing.

Angie's new school norms a slap in the face

Long-awaited draft school infrastructure standards are a shocking disappointment, educationists say.

Talk is crucial, but we must learn how

If state, labour and business ever meet, they must learn to compromise.

Two young men prove nothing is impossible

In April last year I attended a graduation ceremony at Rhodes University to ululate for a very close friend of mine.

Ordered into banishment: the forgotten people of apartheid South Africa

In 2001, Dumisa Ntsebeza and Terry Bell complained in Unfinished Business: South Africa, Apartheid and Truth, that "like so much of South Africa's recent brutal history we shall probably never know exactly how many people were banished and what happened to all of them".

Finding the business value behind the big data buzz

Big data is without a doubt the latest industry buzzword, and like all buzzwords it is the subject of much debate, misunderstanding and hype.

Old Fourlegs - a fishy tale

Had it not been for the passion of a self-trained South African naturalist, the discovery of a living specimen of the rare coelacanth around this time in 1938 may never have happened.

Heterosexuals: Should we let them raise children?

Veteran journalist Stephen Mulholland was kind enough to publish a helpful piece in the Sunday Times last weekend interpreting the mysterious world of the homosexual for outsiders, while noting that same-sex parenting was “neither the norm nor ultimately desirable”.

Where is South Africa's Jantar Mantar moment?

The brutal gang rape and murder of a New Delhi 23-year-old has sparked global condemnation and top-level political talks in India about urgently amending rape laws.

Not ideal way to elect party leaders

The ANC may need not a change of attitude, but a change of voting system.

ANC wins time to face challenges

The more comfortable the ANC’s leaders feel about the outcome of its Mangaung conference, the more difficult is life likely to become for them and for the governing party.

Viva to the SA pencil-pushing angels who simply do their jobs

I have a confession to make: I love good administrators. It's true – I love modest, orderly and efficient fellow human beings who sit at desks in front of computers and telephones doing their job properly from eight to five until they retire.

Better data for varsity success

PhD thesis shows state’s university profiles are not detailed enough to help poorer students.

Researchers unite for SA policy push

Education research doesn’t inform policy enough, but a new umbrella body has plans to change that

Mentors are changing pupils’ lives

‘I really enjoy giving a little of my time to try and encourage a youngster to succeed,” says electrical engineer Yvonne Motsoko.

Making life easier in the first year

In the autumn of 2004 a young woman came to my office, clearly very distraught. I recognised Gloria* from a session with struggling students earlier that week. The session focused on preparing students for their mid-year exams.

No plan yet for education reform

If the state really believes education is an ‘apex priority’ it needs to act, not just talk about it.

2013 budget: The social services spend

A whopping chunk of the government’s expenditure for 2013/14 will go on social services. But ahead of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech on Wednesday, civil society groups indicated that they would be watching closely to see if political outrage expressed about violence against women in particular would find reflection in this year’s financial provisions.

Knowing who funds politics

There are certain pros and cons on the issue of understanding where the money comes from ARE we inching nearer to knowing where political parties get their money?

'Common vision' will do more than reshuffling revenue and spending

COMMENTATORS who believed substantial structural changes in government spending and revenue would be needed for the 2013-14 budget to provide evidence of the government's commitment to achieving the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP) will be disappointed.

Violence against women: Can outrage translate into action?

For the optimistic, there are signs that South Africa may be at a watershed moment when it comes to responses against violence against women.

South Africa’s fisheries credentials are in jeopardy

South Africa is fast losing its status as one of the world leaders in sustainable fisheries management, with considerable consequences for an industry that, according to Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries figures, has an annual turnover of about R80bn and contributes 0.5% to the gross domestic product.

ANC can’t control its campaigning

Competition is inevitable and forbidding it does not make it go away FOR the next five years, ANC members will, no doubt, continue to compete with each other for posts. Whether the ANC will admit that this is happening is unclear.

Oscar Pistorius's online spin

As the media scrutinise every detail of the Oscar Pistorius trial, his publicity team has tried to salvage a portion of the online conversation.

Lost in Oscar Pistorius frenzy, the horrific violence against women and children continues

While the media (including the Daily Maverick) fed the public appetite for Pistorius-related news over the past two weeks, life continued as normal for many.

Beyond the tired stereotypes

Media outlets, part of the flow of capital between africa and china, helping to present a new picture

Pretorius saga shows up the folly of our obssession with celebrities and status

Not so long ago the middle classes in the world created by British colonialism used to cloak their claim to privilege in the stifling rituals of bourgeois respectability.

Upping the ante at SA’S universities

New Wits University vice-chancellor Adam Habib emphasises the need for balance in running SA’S universities, writes Sarah Wild.

A ‘monster of racism’ at Potch

Tensions are simmering at the North-West University since the dismissal two weeks ago of its executive adviser on transformation, Ingrid Tufvesson — coincidentally just after Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande announced an already controversial permanent committee to oversee transformation at all 23 universities.

Making way for a new view of reality

It was a sight that demanded interpretation. Athi-Patra Ruga, wearing stilettos and stockings, his upper body and head hidden under a cloud of balloons, was stuck outside a revolving door.

Pistorius bail hearing: Defence emerges on top after roller-coaster day

If you had been in a deep sleep for the last week, and had awoken to immediately dip into the action of Courtroom C at the Pretoria Magistrates Court on Wednesday, it’s likely that you would have assumed that what was going on was a full-scale criminal trial.

Success of drive to end violence against women hinges on attitude change

THE STATE of the Nation address occurred amid a national outcry and introspection on gender-based violence (GBV). Public debate around the murder of Anene Booysen had not yet abated, when South Africa awoke to news of the killing of another woman, Reeva Steenkamp, allegedly shot dead by her sports celebrity boyfriend Oscar Pistorius.

Sponsors flee Oscar Pistorius

Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was estimated to receive endorsements totaling more than $2 million a year.

Come up with plans, not pleas

Should a movement which has been in government for almost 20 years react to business in the same way as one fighting for freedom?

‘In Whom Can I Still Trust’: The Holocaust’s pink triangle

An important new exhibition at Cape Town’s Holocaust Centre reminds us of the sometimes under-acknowledged persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany.

Tonight will tell if the hard bargaining is about to begin

How do you turn a broad, longterm vision into a government programme? A few bits at a time.

Tonight will tell if the hard bargaining is about to begin

‘The ANC has decided the NDP is a useful vehicle for addressing the twin pressures on it and the government’

Money makes the McUniversity

Academics are worth more than profits and can't be lumped into corporate 'staff development' groups.

Scandal highlights sexual abuse at universities

It is rare for students to speak out about sexual harassment at South African universities and so the problem often goes unrecognised. But investigation into a sex scandal that has rocked the University of the Witwatersrand has brought the subject under the spotlight.

ANC may want to play apartheid card in 2014 election

This week, both President Jacob Zuma and African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Gwede Mantashe appeared to rebuke Planning Minister Trevor Manuel in public for his comments that the government "should no longer say it’s apartheid’s fault" when addressing service delivery problems.

My betrayer, my friend

Hugh Lewin and Adrian Leftwich, the 1960s student leader who died recently of lung cancer, were close friends. That friendship was shattered by Leftwich turning state witness in the African Resistance Movement trials of 1964.

South Africa helps to understand life, the universe and everything

South Africa’s prolific evidence of the origins of life on earth has shed significant new light on how life on our planet has evolved over millions of years.

Teachers with heart see pupils soar

Schools need managing to survive, but with principles and passion they thrive.

Happy thoughts of ‘cruellest’ month

Writing in 1922 on the burial of the dead, TS Elliot, in The Waste Land, eruditely remarked that “April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain”.

Study debunks out of work graduate myth

The number of graduates in the workforce has more than doubled since 1995, and black graduate numbers have grown impressively, according to a study by the Centre for Development Enterprise which was published on Thursday.

Thoughtful Tutu takes Templeton

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has won this year’s Templeton Prize, awarded annually to “a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension”.

Reporter's notebook: Decoding the Democratic Alliance

Cutting through the fog of political posturing is tough, but it’s what we have to do to report fairly and accurately. I also do it because when I’m not reporting, I am an ordinary citizen trying his best to make informed decisions. In the youth wage subsidy dispute, I might have found a way to understand the DA better.

Judge Willis’ take on property rights

Nearly three years ago, STEPHEN GROOTES wrote this analysis, breaking down Judge Nigel Willis’ views on property rights in South Africa. At the time, saying the words nobody wanted to hear seemed like career suicide. Now, Willis has been appointed to the Supreme Court of Appeal – even as opinions of him still come in a mixed bag.

The ANC wants YOU to help/win the Western Cape

The ANC’s bid to capture the hearts and minds of the Western Cape is off with a bang. On the 20th anniversary of Chris Hani’s death, the ANC’s Western Cape leader Marius Fransman unveiled the Chris Hani 5,000 Volunteer Detachment.

Parties should not run themselves like businesses

‘We make it harder to solve problems because we ignore the politics that decides whether solutions will work’

Western Cape farm strikes: A new project may reveal the full picture

A new research project kicked off this week which aims to establish, over the course of nine months of interviews and study, exactly why and how the Western Cape farm strikes happened.

The People Shall Obey

In his speech at the memorial service for the soldiers who were killed in the Central African Republic Jacob Zuma presented us, and not for the first time, with the idea that we should receive another accumulation of bodies – of black bodies – as a tragedy, as a cruel consequence of the random movement of the wheel of fortune.

Why Obama wasn’t sexist after all

Verashni Pillay thinks telling a woman she’s good-looking should not be called sexist, and here’s why.

Mandelia is the name to unite South Africans

SOUTH Africans always find ways to divide themselves along racial lines. Take a simple case of white-on-white violence.

Getting away with murder

Many were shocked by the judgement in the case of Andries Tatane , who was killed by police rubber bullets in a service delivery protest in Ficksburg, and are even more shocked that the National Prosecuting Authority has decided against appealing the judgement.

Bangui falls off national key points wish list

The state prefers the intelligence of its people to remain at the level of children in a kindergarten," wrote Yan Lianke in an article headlined, On China's StateSponsored Amnesia, published in last Monday's International Herald Tribune. "It hopes people will follow instructions, just as children follow their teacher's instructions - they eat when they are told to eat, they sleep when they are told to sleep. When they are asked to perform, these innocent children enthusiastically recite the script prepared by adults.

Karabus family facing massive financial toll

South African paediatric oncologist Cyril Karabus has been held in the United Arab Emirates for 234 days. Acquitted of manslaughter a fortnight ago, he was subsequently informed that the prosecution will appeal.

Scared out of their Wits: Sex predator scandal stalks university

Following an expose about a professorial sex pest published in Wits’ Vuvuzela last year, and Sunday Times’ front page lead at the beginning of March 2013 about alleged abuse at the drama school, the institution has reeled.

Pope Francis and the war on sex abuse

Because Pope Francis is new in the role, this is the time at which his every gesture and statement comes under scrutiny for what it might tell us about the direction in which the Catholic Church may travel under his leadership.

Rasta: ‘I have a right to be at school’

Activists cite dreadlock case as the latest example of government’s lack of clear direction to schools.

Defence Minister's theatre of CAR absurd: We were protecting our military equipment

In a wholly unsatisfactory Thursday meeting of the parliamentary joint standing committee on defence, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was adamant that the only “assets” South African troops were in the CAR to protect were some military equipment.

Decolonising the humanities

Scholars should not plead ‘academic freedom’ to avoid critiquing their discipline’s apartheid legacies.

In this week’s ‘no surprise’ news: White men still the top earners

This week, the SA Institute of Race Relations distributed a press release detailing the results of Statistics SA figures on national income, which had been analysed by the institute.

The woman who said ‘no’ to Madiba

Before he got married to Graça Machel on his 80th birthday on 18 July 1998, former president Nelson Mandela proposed to a fellow struggle stalwart and an old friend, Amina Cachalia — but she turned him down.

Wasp could help to whet SA’S appetite for a new political menu

THE Workers and Socialist Party (Wasp), launched last week, is expected to register with the Independent Electoral Commission. The party is planning to contest next year’s elections, but building an organisation from scratch is always difficult.

Reflections of an ex-Christian at Easter

MY journey with Christianity has been a robust one. I was born and raised in a fairly ordinary Christian home. By this I mean that we went to a little parish church within walking distance of our house.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and the ghosts of crimes past

Kenneth Good examines the TRC's hearings and findings on the Mandela United Football Club's reign of terror.

The great NGO funding crisis, Part III: Adapt or die

Respected political think-tank Idasa, the Institute for Democracy in Africa, has become the latest casualty of the funding problems hitting South African civil society.

Achebe's life a living sermon on opposing autocracy

THE DEATH of Chinua Achebe has closed one of the most interesting chapters in the literary world and African politics. His meteoric rise as an African intellectual was not a coincidence, but a deliberate result necessitated and dictated by the dynamics of the times.

Luck is knocking on your door

“DO not despise your own place and hour,” wrote naturalist John Burroughs. “Every place is under the stars, every place is the centre of the world.”

Social entrepreneurship – The new community engagement

Social entrepreneurship should be the new engagement for individuals and the public and private sectors, with implications for university training – especially in Africa – according to Goos Minderman, public governance professor at Vrije Universiteit in The Netherlands.

The problem with whiteness: Ferial Haffajee

White people still accrue benefits from their whiteness, even if they claim victimhood.

Sim’s City: Standard Bank’s co-CEO on Brics, business and banking

Although most of the focus at the Brics summit naturally fell on whatever the leaders of China, Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa had been saying about that Brics bank of the future, there were other opportunities to learn interesting things that were not part of those group photo opps and the leaders’ anodyne joint statements.

DA to Zuma: Get the troops out of the Central African Republic

The DA cannily chose a slow news day on which to announce its intention to compel President Jacob Zuma to withdraw South African troops from the Central African Republic.

True leaders will put people first

It has been my privilege to spend time with many national and international leaders from many walks of life and a range of sectors of business and civil society. Each has shared something that has assisted us, through this column, to improve and grow as leaders.

Universities were conspicuously absent from the truth commission

TEN years ago on Human Rights Day, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) handed its report to then-president Thabo Mbeki. Much has been written about the shortcomings and achievements of the TRC, which tried to fill the gap between Nuremberg-style hearings and blanket amnesty.

Give and take needed if poverty is to be tackled

If we want a sense of why we need negotiation across our divisions, the shape of our cities provides it. An ideal example of the issues about which our interest groups need to bargain, if we are to make a serious effort to tackle poverty, is city land and housing.

Amanda Knox to stand trial once more

The faces of American Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito dominated newsstands around the world between 2007 and 2011, as they were convicted and then sensationally acquitted of the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher.

Policing the Neo-colony

All societies are managed with a mixture of force and consent. But in South Africa like, say, India or Mexico, violence, or the threat of violence, is woven so tightly into the banalities and intimacies of day to day life that it is part of the deep structure of things.

Summit to shed light on SA's place in Brics

THERE is little doubt that South Africa, as host country of the Brics summit in Durban today and tomorrow, will grasp the opportunity to project itself as an emerging economy and take pride in its association with this prestigious club.

Sharpeville’s history not the PAC’s sole heritage

Cape Town has been my home for nine years. A few weeks ago, when I took the dog to the vet, the stand-in doctor kept asking where I was from. Cape Town, I said.

Brics through the media's eyes

THERE is little doubt that South Africa, as host country of the Brics summit in Durban today and tomorrow, will grasp the opportunity to project itself as an emerging economy and take pride in its association with this prestigious club.

Sun sets on Nigeria’s literary giant

Chinua Achebe’s death at 82 is an enormous loss to African literature. REBECCA DAVIS explores the significant debt we owe him for his work challenging offensive Western portrayals of Africa and helping generations of African writers find their voice.

SABC crises serve the interests of power elite

Once again, another SABC board has been dissolved, the second in five years. What explains the broadcaster’s ongoing instability?

Surviving the varsity avalanche

A revolution is urgently needed to transform higher education in a rapidly changing world.

A man of principle: The life and death of Imam Haron

Human Rights Day seems an apt moment to reflect on the life of Imam Abdullah Haron, murdered by Apartheid police in 1969.

Unisa attracts luminaries of African scholarship

It was a diverse group of luminaries in African scholarship who congregated in Unisa’s ZK Matthews Hall on 14 March for an open session of the Thabo Mbeki@70 Colloquium, engaging in crucial discourse on 50 years of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and key concepts for Africa’s future.

Nearly 40% of municipal water lost en route to customers

Almost 40% (36.8%) of the total municipal water supplied in South Africa is lost before it reaches municipal customers, from industry to households, according to research released by the Water Research Commission (WRC) on Wednesday.

SA's national water week & dry reality

As South Africa marks National Water Week, news stories and studies show that our country’s water affairs is in a deep crisis... and things won't be getting better any time soon.

UN women’s session: Xingwana's excellent adventure and the real issues of rights vs culture

The 2013 UN Commission on the Status of Women ended last Friday, with a declaration on the matter of gender-based violence finally being agreed upon after two weeks of tense wrangling between liberal democracies and conservative governments.

Oh Bensim

Standard Bank's new management structure works for the tightly knit management team — but investors are wondering whether it will work for anyone else.

SABC shambles: And then there were none

In an utterly farcical day’s proceedings, the board of the SABC was dissolved and the process to appoint an interim board begun.

From Lusaka to Marikana

On Friday night Thembinkosi Qumbelo was gunned down in a local bar where he was watching a football game on television.

Time to make the high seas our business — for our future

When the world you inhabit is beset by economic ills, the last thing a sensible society should do is ignore a valuable resource.

Corruption not as simple as we make it out to be

‘All these causes ensure there are networks that gain from corruption and will fight hard to protect their turf’ IF WE really want to get serious about corruption, we will have to accept that it runs much deeper — and that taming it will take much longer — than many of us believe.

Hero of education’ shines a light for Alex schoolchildren

The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Teaching Awards, Bilkes Vawda, tells the M&G what it takes to be a good leader.

Analysis: Zille sees politicians, not farmers, as villains in Western Cape farm strikes

Helen Zilles latest DA Today newsletter, released on Sunday, is devoted to Zilles analysis of the Western Cape farm strikes. And the provincial premier hasnt packed any punches, seemingly seeking to shift responsibility for the labour unrest from Western Cape farmers to unionists and the ruling party.

Lessons for SA in Venezuela and Latin America

THE death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez unleashed a tidal wave of economic and political commentary. To his supporters, Chavez performed an economic miracle and championed the cause of the developing world in global forums.

Trouble of finding new voting system

There's good and bad in electing members of parliament in constituencies. Another View CHANGING the way we elect parliament won't magically change our politics. But it could create openings which will make democracy work better.

Pupils demand better norms and standards for schools

A number of Gauteng pupils have demanded that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga rewrite her recently published draft norms and standards.

Policy think-tank set up ahead of annual BRICS summit

Academics from the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – this week established a policy think-tank ahead of the fifth BRICS summit to be held in Durban.

The education MEC, children's heads, and a knobkerrie

Under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma the patriarchs are, once again, on the rise. Over the weekend MEC for education in the Eastern Cape, Mandla Makupula, reportedly said that no children under the age of 21 who are still dependent on their parents for food and shelter have any rights.

Hear ye! Hear ye! Print is not dead, long live digital

The delivery of news has moved on since town criers rang their bells and cried “hear ye, hear ye” to the mostly illiterate masses. But never before in the shifting media landscape has there been so much choice in the way in which the masses receive their news.


I’m driving in the car, listening to Five FM. Yeah, to 2 Chainz and his boyz Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky rap that song F***in’ Problem, the lyrics in the background while I’m thinking things, what we gonna have for dinner, hope the kid isn’t late, that sort of thing.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, now at a university near you

Khadija peddles words on street corners, in polite company she's known as a journalist. Words are her only defence against impending doom, old age and iniquity - spurring her interest in what language tells us about where we are from, what we are doing and where we are headed. Don't mind the headscarf, she don't need no liberation.

E Cape education minister says children have no rights

The Eastern Cape minister of education has said that children who are dependent on their parents do not have any rights, a newspaper has reported.

In black and white: the truth about ‘unconstitutional’ race quotas in universities

It is understandable (if not ethically acceptable) that some (but not all) white South Africans (who all continue to benefit from the effects of past unfair racial discrimination) would try to protect their unearned privileges by fighting to retain the status quo.

Retrenchments, recession and rape

The struggle against gender violence must not focus only on changing male attitudes. It must focus on the conditions that allow these attitudes to flourish MANY South Africans have decried the recent, terrible cases of rape.

BEE season in the sun must end some time

I am watching two bulls in the same kraal. If these were animals, I would accuse the BBC of cruelty to animals, but the men I am observing are the literary equivalent of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. One is a prolific Israeli writer, AB Yehoshua, and the other a go-anywhere journalist, Tim Franks.

Forgotten schools of the Eastern Cape left to rot

Overcrowding, too few teachers, not enough furniture or appalling toilets seem to have become the norm at some of the Eastern Cape's schools.

Wanted: university vice-chancellors

Best candidate is not one with many degrees, but one with insight, good judgement and courage FOUR of the country's universities will soon begin the arduous task of finding new vice-chancellors.

Death by a thousand pinpricks - South Africa’s ever-vanishing right to protest

A great deal of media coverage has been given to ‘violent’ protests. But it’s a narrow view just to assume that the protestors are being violent; abuse is a two-way street – especially if bureaucracy is being used to quash dissent.

Towards a Political Economy of Rape

Many South Africans have decried the recent, terrible cases of rape. South Africa’s pervasive culture of hyper-masculinity has been blamed for the problem, as has the patriarchal nature of its society, where men remain the central figures around which society is organised in spite of the country’s constitutionally enshrined commitment to gender equality.

Wealth tax mooted to help disadvantaged students

Cape Town — Residency fees are still unaffordable for many South African university students, hence a “wealth tax” mechanism has to be explored to increase disadvantaged students’ access to such facilities, Parliament was told yesterday.

‘A cappella moments’ in Katlehong

There are welcome surprises to be found in schools in Katlehong. For the project Schools That Work, my brief is to visit institutions to document the academic success of schools serving disadvantaged communities.

Absentee teachers are a thorn in our side

Teacher absenteeism is a problem, and seems to be the latest target for both President Jacob Zuma and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

Inside Rustenberg's banned protests

Labour and social conflict forced its way into the public consciousness last year when scores of people, mainly miners, were killed and injured in Marikana.

Doctor proves art is good medicine

In the tiny hamlet of Hamburg in the Eastern Cape on the Keiskamma River, a small community ravaged by poverty and HIV offers living proof that art is good medicine. Healthcare and hope became intertwined when doctor/artist Dr Carol Baker (Hofmeyr) moved from Johannesburg to the Eastern Cape in 2000.

Tackling the challenges of righting the past fairly

THERE is a simplistic logic to race-based affirmative action that remains attractive to many South Africans 20 years after the official scrapping of race-based discrimination.

Students debt weighs heavy on universities

Universities are owed millions of rand by students, with some of the debt dating back to the early 1980s. Even though some institutions feel the pinch more than others, the debt mountain takes a heavy toll because tuition fees form a significant part of the income of universities.

Why consumer inflation feels higher than it is

NO ECONOMIC statistic attracts as much interest as the monthly consumer price index (CPI). This is partly because many other important economic measures are understandable only to economists.

Erasing the question of justice

Achieving a truer sense of the past requires us to heed all that is obscured by the silence imposed by the powerful, writes IN HER novel Middlemarch , published in 1874, George Elliot wrote: "If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence."

It’s not a democracy if our children aren’t equal

As citizens of a free country, South Africans should rightly demand much from fellow citizens, from powerful private institutions, from big business and from government. It appears deceptively modest, but citizens have a right to demand (and deserve to demand) the supreme and most difficult thing: to have their inherent human dignity respected by all and protected and promoted by those chosen to do so. Judging by what I saw on a recent visit to rural schools in the Eastern Cape, this seemingly modest demand is not always being met.

SA is missing from the African growth party

Africa’s climb to near the top of the global economic growth tables has attracted much attention. Some commentators have suggested that Africa could become the next China or India as the driver of global growth. Global investors are looking for new ways to participate in Africa’s growth success.

Raymond Buys: 15 years old, dead for not being manly

A truly shocking story is currently unfolding in the Vereeniging District Court. The owner of a game-ranger training camp with links to far-right groups stands trial for the torture and murder of a 15-year-old boy in his care in 2011.

Survey shows failure to reach R&D target of 1% of GDP

South Africa needs to escalate its expenditure on research and development and increase its international competitiveness in science and innovation, according to Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom. Disappointingly, the lofty goal of raising R&D spending to 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010 has not been achieved.

Pule may have reason to fear Zuma’s next press conference

Communications Minister Dina Pule’s position in the Cabinet appears to be growing more precarious, after consistent claims of corruption have been made against her.

It really is time to talk about sex

Teachers struggle to educate their pupils about sexual matters that they can’t even negotiate in their own lives - like using condoms.

Hello Secrets, our old friend

On 25 April 2013, the day that civil society, religious groups and opposition parties had feared for three years came to pass. The controversial Protection of State Information Bill dubbed the Secrecy Bill by opponents passed easily after a vote in Parliaments National Assembly.

Gender violence, our society’s insidious superbug

On the surface, it looks as though things have improved for women in South Africa, particularly those skirting around university campuses and more privileged circles. But there’s still a huge problem if sexual violence interventions are only aimed at women, not men, who – after all – are the ones who most need to hear the message.

Rape in South Africa: Desperately seeking a political champion

Without the government's will to curb gender violence, our rape statistics will continue to be the worst in the world.

Race and the residences of Stellenbosch

The proposed policy of the University of Stellenbosch regarding the admission of students to university residences raises questions not only about the future of Afrikaans at Stellenbosch but also about the future of South Africa as a multilingual and multicultural society.

Zuma may repeat history with NPA boss choice

At the weekend the City Press newspaper reported that Magistrate Stanley Gumede and Adv Guido Penzhorn are going to be appointed by President Jacob Zuma to the posts of national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) and head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) respectively.

Sadtus march, Cape Town: Full-blown strike on the horizon

On Wednesday, Sadtu members across the country took to the streets to call for the resignation of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and director general Bobby Soobrayan.

Vavi caught in proxy war over criticism of ANC

Sometimes, communists are driven out of trade unions by conservatives. Here, the communists are the conservatives and it is they who want the left out of the labour movement.

The Other Side of Silence

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.” - George Elliot, Middlemarch, 1874

SA's shifting language landscape

“Afrikaans and English no longer ‘white languages’,” read a press release from the SA Institute of Race Relations this week. The analysis of data from the 2011 census indicates that only 40% of South Africans who speak Afrikaans at home are white, while less than 34% of those who speak English at home are white. While isiZulu remains the most commonly-spoken language by quite a wide margin, it is English which is leading the way as the most preferred teaching language.

In defence of Bizos as avarice stalks the land

Being a Mandela must come with a host of complications. But it can also bring money, fame and status — more so if you have mastered the concept of brand value. Two of Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren appear to comprehend the value of harnessing star power. Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Swati Dlamini feature in their own "reality" TV show, Being Mandela. The two told Destiny magazine that Mandela had advised them: "The Mandela name is your name too and if you do things with integrity and respect, I will be happy."

Is moralising helpful to the gender agenda?

On Monday, a multi-party parliamentary discussion was held to hear submissions on gender-based violence from civil society and decide on a “decisive” way forward. It was a reassuring sign that gender-based violence is being taking seriously by Parliament, but there were still a few concerning aspects to the discussion – not least Women’s Minister Lulu Xingwana fingering Satanism as a root cause, and the repeated mention of “family values” without clarifying exactly what’s meant by that term.

Unions attack NDP in battle to set SA’s economic agenda

It has taken the trade unions several years to define a new enemy, but now they have one. Incredibly, they have chosen the National Development Plan (NDP), caricaturing it as a "right-wing" assault on workers. The objections aired so far are of the vague, populist type. Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was reported as saying that the NDP, which he described as replacing the Freedom Charter, was "a serious assault on workers".

Nothing but the best

Adam Habib has ambitious plans to turn Wits university into the leading academic institution on the African continent, writes Nechama Brodie

Adrian Leftwich, The Unforgiven

Adrian Leftwich, who died earlier this month, ended his life as a respected politics professor at the University of York, in England. But as a young man in his native South Africa, Leftwich was an anti-Apartheid activist who sold out some of his closest friends and comrades in exchange for his own freedom. Even after almost 50 years, some would never forgive him. REBECCA DAVIS looks back on a haunting South African story.

Beaten by the black syndrome

The selection of judges is always a contentious issue around the world but, typically, South Africans will simplify the issue to be merit versus transformation. Merit means white and transformation means black or woman.

The education gap – Practical solutions to key barriers

In spite of substantial government economic support for education reform, glaring gaps left by 40 years of apartheid education still riddle South Africa’s education system at every level.

Constitutional Court justice highlights need for judicial transformation.

Newly appointed Constitutional Court Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga has warned that groups who are not represented on the Bench may be “at the receiving end of injustice”.

Limpopo toilets are still the pits

It is breaktime and the playground is full at Baropodi Primary School in the rural Limpopo area of Jane Furse. About 20 young schoolgirls sift through paper thrown on a half-burnt pile of rubbish.

It’s Only Getting Hotter

If college and university administrators feel like someone’s turning up the heat, they’re probably right.

Gerwel: ‘Class progress or class war?’

In August last year, John Higgins interviewed public intellectual and academic Jakes Gerwel, who was also chief aide to the country’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela.

Israel vs Palestine, SA-style

Monday, 15 April was Israeli Independence Day, commemorating the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. A concert held at Joburg’s Gold Reef City to mark the occasion turned ugly, however, when members of the pro-Palestine Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign (BDS) staged a protest at the event and clashed with private security forces.

Water, wastewater infrastructure crucial to sustaining ecosystems

The most crucial infrastructure for managing South Africa’s environment is water and wastewater infrastructure. The dire need to improve wastewater-treatment plants and water management skills in South Africa can also develop significant, sustainable employment, says Rhodes University Unilever Centre for Environmental Water Quality director Professor Tally Palmer.

Hani not one to turn a blind eye to graft in ANC

Twenty years ago, we interred the mortal remains of Martin Thembisile Hani, known by his nom de guerre, Chris, after his assassination. Hani was a card-carrying communist all his adult life and actively engaged in its underground from 1962.

School kids betrayed

Eastern Cape remains short of thousands of teachers, arguing it does not have money to pay them, yet 9 000 teachers have not shown up for work in three years but have continued drawing salaries.

Britain bids farewell to the Iron Lady

The pomp-laden, taxpayer-funded funeral of one of the most divisive political figures in modern history might well have been a day of high drama. In the end, though, the laying to rest of Margaret Thatcher was the most quintessentially British of affairs. The protesters were polite.

A corner of ‘Mfumalanga’ that is forever Pyongyang

It’s no secret that the South African Communist Party is a supporter of the North Korean state. What you may not know, however, is that there’s a special South African organisation tasked with celebrating the good works of the Kim dynasty. In Mpumalanga, more than 1,600 people meet up regularly under the auspices of the South African Association of Friendship and Solidarity with Korean People.

Apartheid still shapes us — but is not an excuse

‘Our past is a reason to work harder and to take public service seriously — not to keep it alive by doing neither’

Cable ties: Wikileaks and South Africa

When Wikileaks released its latest batch of diplomatic documents earlier this month, it brought its holdings up to a total of 2 million records. What Wikileaks calls the ‘Public Library of US Diplomacy’ now consists of the original 250,000 US diplomatic cables – known as ‘Cablegate’ – and the 1,7 million new ‘Kissinger Cables’.

Madlanga hailed as new judge for highest court

Closing the chapter on a long and controversial race, President Jacob Zuma yesterday announced the appointment of Mbuyiseli Madlanga SC to the Constitutional Court.

Court action looms over Judicial Service Commission

AN advocacy group is threatening to take legal action against the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for bringing South Africa’s judiciary into disrepute.

Stellenbosch University votes for racial change

Stellenbosch University has finally been given the green light to accommodate more black students in its residences.

Young Voices: What do you think needs to be done to better education?

The common response among 82 primary school children in the Western Cape and Gauteng has been that more schools needed to be built in rural areas.

Orania: The place where time stood still

The Northern Cape Afrikaner enclave of Orania is a topic much beloved by documentary-makers and journalists. This is for one good reason: however much you might deplore the principle of cultural self-determination, Orania is fascinating.

Credible politics need credible ideas

There are two dominant spheres in contemporary South African youth politics. The first is a largely middle-class sphere whose points of political engagement are informed by the mainstream media and online platforms.

Where did it all go wrong for the young people of SA

The positive changes brought in after liberation in1994 now seem to be overshadowed by the bad and ugly, writes Joy Nonzukiso Peter.

Calm down, the poor are not about to revolt

Worrying that the poor are about to rise up in anger is a product of not thinking straight — or not paying attention. Last week, an International Monetary Fund representative beat a now familiar drum when he warned that failure to achieve more inclusive growth here would threaten social stability.

What does the right to education entail?

Helen Zille’s latest DA Today newsletter puts the blame for SA’s parlous education system squarely at the feet of teachers, based on a report released just over a week ago. But education activists continue to insist that the conditions under which teachers work are equally important. The latest organization to try to lend a hand to setting educational standards in the country is the SA Human Rights Commission, whose Charter of Children’s Basic Education Rights aims to flesh out what we mean when we talk about someone having the “right” to education.

The Guptas and racism among Indian people

Claims of racism at the Gupta wedding has reminded us of our racial baggage, but we’re ahead in dealing with our division, writes Verashni Pillay.

Set on changing the political landscape

Like her peers, she's giggly, fashionable, likes to date as much as possible, is on the lookout for that special someone and would like a family when she's older. But Mbali Ntuli from Durban is not your typical 25-year-old.

Never a dull moment in SA' s fossil nirvana

A new centre at the University of the Witwatersrand that focuses on South Africa's vast fossil wealth underlines our position as world champs in palaeoscience.

Whites should be silent on SA’s future, debate told

White South Africans should not speak out about the county's politics, because it was black people's turn to rule, controversial Rhodes University philosopher Samantha Vice said last night.

SA art back in global showcase

South Africa returns to the contemporary art exhibition, the Venice Biennale, with something of a reintroduction this year, with 17 artists, a long-term commitment from government and an actual curatorial vision, writes Theresa Smith

Negotiating season: AMCU’s headache, Mathunjwa’s migraine

The NUM has lost thousands of its members, mining bosses are under the profit cosh and the mining minster is under the job loss whip. However, it is Joseph Mathunjwa, the leader of AMCU, a union that has had only one leadership conference in its 12 year existence, who is the focal point of this year’s wage negotiating season. And he is the guy who has to deliver – despite AMCU’s non-existent track record.

Know Your DA (A Tale Of Two Helens)

The Democratic Alliance’s “Know Your DA” campaign, launched a month ago, has attracted criticism from those who accuse the opposition of airbrushing its history and attempting to co-opt ownership of the struggle against Apartheid from the ANC. But the DA is unbowed. On Monday, the party launched a video to accompany the campaign which it intends to show to one million South Africans, and leaders insisted that the campaign is working exactly as they had hoped.

Medium-term funding boost for post-school education

South Africa’s post-school education budget has been increased to R34.3 billion (US$3.8 billion) – growth of 8.6% over last year – Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande said last week. A priority is to provide opportunities for 3.5 million youths not absorbed into employment, education or training this year.

Even all the liquidity cannot make SA attractive

In September 2010 Brazil’s finance minister, Guido Mantega, accused developed countries of waging "a currency war" against developing countries. The backdrop to this claim was the strength of the Brazilian exchange rate which, Mantega alleged, was caused by aggressive monetary policy in the developed nations. In particular, the policy of "quantitative easing" in the US was causing large capital inflows into developing countries.

Kofi Annan at WEF: Africa wants a better deal on minerals

A point frequently returned to throughout the World Economic Forum on Africa has been the inescapability of the fact that Africa’s economy will be shaped by its reserves of natural resources for the foreseeable future. Introducing the 2013 Africa Progress Report on Friday, Kofi Annan and his colleagues said that Africa’s mineral wealth has the potential to transform the continent, but resource-rich countries are leaving their poor behind. He also hit out at “shady deals” between mining houses and countries.

King Mswati to WEF: Swazi people don’t want change

Exactly why the World Economic Forum on Africa invited King Mswati III of Swaziland to sit on a panel is a slight mystery. Throughout the WEF, the values of transparency, accountability, good governance and anti-corruption have been highlighted over and over again as essential to Africa’s growth.

Joyce Banda at WEF: Sisters, stick together

At a small discussion at Thursday’s World Economic Forum on Africa, the issue of gender equality in African politics took centre stage. While all panelists agreed on the need for more women in positions of leadership, Malawian President Joyce Banda was on hand to remind the audience that sometimes getting to the top is just the beginning of the struggle.

WEF Africa Competitiveness Report 2013: SA leads the continent

The Africa Competitiveness Report, released annually by the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Denmark Foreign Affairs Ministry, reflects both good and bad news. For South Africa, things are looking relatively peachy: we’re one of only two African countries sitting in the top half of the Global Competitiveness Index.

Anne Hirsch and the future of comedy

Bloemfontein-born Anne Hirsch is one of a growing number of global comedians and entertainers who aren’t sitting around waiting for a TV broadcaster or record label to pull it together to offer them exposure.

Connected and excluded in a perpetual standoff

Our problem is not that the government ignores business, but that it listens to some in business more than it should. Which is why there is a connection between wedding parties that land at air force bases and the Licensing of Businesses Bill.

Nigeria and South Africa: No tension to see here

It’s common knowledge that South Africa and Nigeria haven’t always had the smoothest relationship; sometimes seen to be jockeying for position as Africa’s top dog. But when Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was welcomed to South Africa on Tuesday for his first state visit, there was only sweetness and light in evidence between the two powers. Oh, and a whole lot of memorandum signing – but we don’t know what’s in them yet.

The ANC and the Guptas: Money for nothing and your Indians for free

Forget the Guptas - at the heart of the story that stoked the country’s outrage is a problematic relationship between government and big business.

Connected and excluded in a perpetual standoff

‘Networks between private wealth and public office are fine for those inside them but not for those left out’

Secrecy bill may be aimed at controlling ANC factions

Two events in the past fortnight highlight how state intelligence agencies have critically shaped government in South Africa, now and in the past. The first was the death of Mervyn Rees, the Rand Daily Mail investigative reporter credited with revealing how state resources were misused to finance a secret propaganda campaign known as Muldergate.

Not quite the Big Fat Bollywood Wedding

In mainstream Bollywood cinema, the big wedding extravaganza usually signals the end of conflict and the attainment of resolution via the coming together of two families in a celebration of singing, dancing, spectacular outfits and, to borrow a phrase from Derek Zoolander, ridiculously good-looking people.

US gays' ultimate choice: For love or your country

Unlike heterosexual Americans, gays in the USA have no right to bring a partner to live with them in the country. For gay Americans in relationships with foreigners, this can force an often agonising choice between one’s country and one’s partner. As a result, little colonies of ‘love exiles’ have set up all over the world in gay-friendly countries, and South Africa is no exception. REBECCA DAVIS spoke to some of the couples living in Cape Town and beyond who are affected by the USA’s marriage and immigration laws.

Snouts caught in the trough at Waterkloof

Over the past week, every crocodile in South Africa has wept. The Waterkloof fiasco has elicited solemn pronouncements from the Presidency, the Cabinet and much of the African National Congress (ANC) alliance. Shock! Horror! Security breaches must never happen again!

Uphill battle to fill teaching niche

A young teacher’s school desperately needs him but he’s working without pay while an official sits on the paperwork for the job.

The return of Nikola Tesla, the man who lit up the planet

Late last week, it was announced that plans are finally properly underway to turn an old Long Island laboratory into a permanent memorial and museum to the late Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla. For Tesla’s supporters, it’s the culmination of a 70-year battle – since Tesla’s death – to see the appropriate commemoration of the man largely responsible for our modern electricity system, and a host of other scientific advancements for which he never received sufficient credit.

It will take a strong media to navigate treacherous secrecy bill waters

As South Africa commemorated another World Press Freedom Day - May 3 - minds were no doubt focused on Parliament's decision to pass the controversial Protection of State Information Bill, or the secrecy bill.

Rehumanising the colonialities

Universities in South Africa still support the ‘othering’ promoted by the West’s world-view.

Symbols trailing tyrannies of the past

The story of an apartheid-era statue suggests one way universities have used artworks to negotiate between troubled histories and uncertain futures.

Humanities row displays bad ‘form’

Mouse-clicking on “decolonising the humanities” is not the same as “hitting the panic button of academic freedom” — this much we can grant Suren Pillay’s argument in last month’s Getting Ahead (“Decolonising the humanities”, April 5). These two pursuits have in fact become alarmingly divergent, with the former being “mainstreamed” in generalised “transformation”-speak and the latter rendered a toothless old white wolf cry.

African studies reach out across the pond

The Andrew W Mellon Foundation recently granted the African Studies Centre at the University of Michigan in the United States and Wiser, the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, $1.5-million to support a programme of collaboration between the two. Our object in this project is to strengthen the international theoretical significance of academic writing on the humanities that is produced in Africa.

Recolonising the humanities?

Academic debates can often be confusing for the general reader, and this is the case with some the arguments around academic freedom taken up in Suren Pillay’s recent Mail & Guardian article: “Decolonising the humanities” (Getting Ahead, April 5).

At Kharkams, they learn by heart

Community conquers all at the school in Namaqualand where no one gets left behind.

The Future of Information Leaks

As South Africa commemorates another World Press Freedom Day, this day will no doubt focus minds on Parliament’s decision to pass the controversial Protection of State Information Bill, or the Secrecy Bill. It will now be forwarded to the President for signing.

UK’s aid cut – no shock, not even a surprise

At its peak in 2003, the UK’s aid programme to South Africa was worth £40 million. By 2013, this amount had dwindled to a relatively modest £19 million. Nonetheless, the UK government’s decision to cut direct aid to South Africa has been greeted with thinly-veiled outrage by the South African government.

Looking back to where it started

The founder of the M&G Investing in the Future Awards, reports on how they have kept pace with the changes in corporate social responsibility.

‘Champions’ of the war against economic apartheid

THE real reason the Black Business Council (BBC) exists is because its members are “economic apartheid fighters”, says general secretary Sandile Zungu.

Children - the media's forgotten voices

Children may constitute 39% of our population, but how often do we see or hear their voices in the news?

No gays please, we’re South African

In the past week, we’ve seen two cases of gays turned away from businesses in South Africa on the basis of their sexual orientation. A private school couple in Mpumalanga told a married lesbian couple that they should either get divorced or remove their child from the school.

May Day’s meaning lost on SA’s leaders

The deep roots of May Day lie in the ancient forests of Europe. Long before the idea of one God, one stern God, had made its way across the Mediterranean, spring was marked by planting trees, adorning people and homes with sprigs, blossoms and garlands, the erection of Maypoles, lighting bonfires on hilltops, dancing, drinking and revelry.

The Sterile Spirit of the Overseer

The deep roots of May Day lie in the ancient forests of Europe. Long before the idea of one God, one stern God, had made its way across the Mediterranean Spring was marked by planting trees, adorning people and homes with sprigs, blossoms and garlands, the erection of Maypoles, lighting bonfires on hilltops, dancing, drinking and general revelry.

SACP deserves a political dissing

Rapper Eminem famously mocked pop culture’s manufactured output sold to us as authentic art by tauntingly asking, “Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?” He was interested in that kind of dissing, of course, in part because a white boy didn’t fit the template for an American hip-hop star.

A school journey into Eastern Cape's darkest heart

While children in former Model C schools enjoy the privilege of excellent facilities, there are places of learning in rural areas without access to water, where pupils share grossly overcrowded classrooms, and where conditions essentially violate basic human rights. During a recent tour of these schools in the Eastern Cape, rights activists, academics and authors were completely shocked by what they saw.

Mars Attracts!

Mars One, a private Dutch spaceflight endeavour which aims to launch a colony on Mars by 2023, opened for applications from would-be colonists last week. The not-for-profit foundation is offering you a ticket to Mars in 10 years’ time, and the chance to star in what it says would be the most audacious reality TV show ever dreamed of. The catch? There’s no coming back from Mars. But this apparently is no deterrent to the more than 30,000 people who have applied over the past week – including six South Africans so far.

A Hundred Years after the 1913 Land Act

In 1652, the year that Jan van Riebeeck first stepped on to these shores, Gerrad Winstanley, an English radical, published a pamphlet called The Law of Freedom in a Platform.

R&D in SA: No rhythm, only blues

Unless we invest in scientific research, we will continue to lag behind other developing economies.

Eusebius McKaiser: Presenter pumps up the power

Eusebius McKaiser was in fine form on his first day as a presenter at a new Gauteng radio station.

Unravelling myriad secrets of the brain

Researchers make significant strides in understanding the power of the mind.

Independent schools score victory

Constitutional Court judgment clarifies the state’s obligations and role in providing subsidies.

Schooling alone won’t fix illiteracy

A recent report ignores preschool and home environments that are crucial to language skills In South Africa, when a thoughtful report is published about how to improve child literacy it is generally welcomed as “a good thing”.

The Mangaung losers' club: Where to from here?

In politics you have moments when events happen, when processes climax, and the change comes.

Draft Lotteries Amendment Bill: Gambling with the future of SA civil society?

The Draft Lotteries Amendment Bill, currently being aired for public comment, is presented as a way for the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure a more efficient disbursement of funds to South African charities.

Enter the election bogeyman, Julius Malema

Julius Malema’s announcement last week that he’s going to have “consultative discussions” around forming a new party has prompted the expected reaction from the ANC.

Hundred years on, the Natives Land Act’s legacy is with us still

“Awakening on Friday morning, June 20, 1913, the South African Native found himself, not actually a slave, but a pariah in the land of his birth,” wrote Sol Plaatje.

Hard for Shuttleworth to win if he sounds like a whingeing whitey

No matter how logical an argument, it can fail to persuade because of who is presenting it. The ancient Greeks, who invented the art of rhetoric, knew this well.

Malema hype is a symptom of middle-class fear

If winning elections depended on impressing journalists and commentators, Julius Malema would be president next year. Since it requires gaining the support of voters, he will be lucky if he makes it into Parliament.

Equal Education to SA government: Lay down basic standards for schools

It has been increasingly common in recent years for South African civil society organisations to approach the courts to compel government departments to take action on social issues.

Parliamentary memo: don’t forget to send in the clowns

The Guardian released the world’s "Top 10 sexist moments in politics" on its website at the weekend. The list includes former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and right-wing US radio host Rush Limbaugh.

A Hundred Years after the 1913 Land Act

In 1652, the year that Jan van Riebeck first stepped on to these shores, Gerrad Winstanley, an English radical, published a pamphlet called The Law of Freedom in a Platform. Three years earlier he had led a land occupation on St. George's Hill in Surrey

How a small factory in Port Elizabeth conquered the world

Across the lake from the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth’s North End stands a factory that proves the conventional wisdom about South African manufacturing wrong.

Class of 76 protested against parents

This June, we will once again commemorate the student uprising of 1976. In our public discussions, we will try to extrapolate lessons to tell a new generation how to follow the students’ example in their fight for freedom.

Revising the global intellectual map

Five years ago a group of students at Wits University launched an independent intellectual platform to develop critical thought.

The kids are not alright

Oh, the kids these days. They get a bad reputation and a lot of "eishes". Where are the leaders, people ask. Where are the politically conscious intellectual activists of the variety that was so common during the Struggle?

Wits all the Wiser for its vital lterary couple

With personal histories spanning Cameroon, South Africa and a number of countries in between, they are well placed to expand the institution’s horizons.

Varsities buckle under cash crunch

The erosion of salaries and work conditions for junior academics undermines education quality.

Cape Town: ANC's attempt at poolitics ends with a whimper

Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman called on “all our people” to join a march to the DA-controlled provincial legislature on Thursday. Poor turnout and a refusal by any DA bigwigs to collect a memorandum of demands rendered the march a bit of a damp squib.

SA’s exchange controls: put a stop to this perpetual own goal

In the late 1990s, my digs mate at Rhodes University started an international business. Using a US credit card, obtained during a brief time living in Colorado, he opened an account on eBay.

The spooks, the worms and the net

The increase in cybercrime could mean the beginning of the end for internet freedom, says Jane Duncan.

What education did Mr Khohlokoane get for the money he didn’t pay?

He has the misfortune of being Xhosa, and carrying a name with a click in Cape Town. Xhanti enjoys jazz music, and displays anti revolutionary tendencies in drinking copious amounts of good red wine.

Radical shake-up plan to fix WSU

A plan has been developed to turn around the Eastern Cape’s biggest tertiary institution. Walter Sisulu University (WSU), with a student body of 21 800 across four campuses, has been plagued by student riots, staff strikes and creditors and even salaries going unpaid.

Right2Know's urgent call on cellphone costs

South Africans pay some of the most expensive rates in the world for cellphone and data charges.

Bogus Boys of Parkhurst make First Contact

Recent weeks have seen a new form of poster take to some of Joburg's walls. They look like advertising posters... They quack like advertising posters... But they sure ain't advertising posters.

Mandela in hospital: Let the media do their job

As the nation awaits news of its Madiba, an inevitable debate has sprung up around the coverage of his stay in hospital. It's being claimed that it's ghoulish to sit outside an institution, waiting for someone to die.

Kissing your social or after-hours TV life goodbye requires absolute commitment

I can think of a few good reasons for registering for a postgraduate degree — and quite a few reasons not to. Not least among them is because it's hard work, takes a long time and successful completion relies primarily on your own efforts.

What on earth is going on downstairs?

That's the question everyone should be asking about China's ties with Africa.

Analysis: Can Basic Education’s new language policy work?

“A new policy will come into effect in 2014 mandating the learning of an African language in all schools,” announced Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga just over three weeks ago, upon delivering her department’s budget speech. Since then, details of what this might look like have been scant.

The poor have been left out of the e-toll debate

What is not said on a policy issue can be more revealing than what is. The campaign against e-tolling is a remarkable example of how citizens can form alliances across barriers in support of a common cause.

Why state intervention is needed in our universities

Minister says for some institutions 'autonomy' more important than right of students and staff to be protected from unfair discrimination.

The cargo ship researching the pollution of its own industry

Shipping is one of the fastest growing sources of pollution in the world. But some research units and companies are waking up to the fact that the ships which plough the world’s oceans every day, carrying goods between continents, may also be ideally placed to carry out research into the planet’s changing climate.

E-tolls: A perfect wedge issue for a troubled Alliance

On Friday, the DA announced it was giving a million rands to the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance, to ensure that it now has enough money to go ahead with its legal bid to stop the tolling of Gauteng's highways.

SA needs wages accord to avert more jobs cuts

Thanks to our strong banking sector, South Africa’s financial system was largely unaffected by the 2008 global financial crisis.

Fihla's credentials rule him unfit for mayoral job

Bay ratepayers and residents need leaders with a firm grasp of good governance stopped a filling station at Five Ways, Cape Road, sometime in March.

Challenging myths about Zimbabwe's land reform

Perceptions about'fast-track' policies need to be changed, but new research needs to be more thorough,writes Kirk Helliker.

Health activism: The struggle continues

The Ministry of Health is often cited as one of the government departments where effective leadership in recent years has made a real, positive impact.

SA needs wages accord to avert more jobs cuts

Thanks to our strong banking sector, South Africa’s financial system was largely unaffected by the 2008 global financial crisis. Yet the crisis severely battered our economic growth performance and employment levels.

Institutional autonomy a myth?

The time has come to debate the assumption of academic freedom that universities hold dear.

Humanities ready to weigh anchor

The team charged with gleaning what afflicts the social sciences is all set to forge ahead on its newly charted course.

Rethinking Maties’ apartheid past

The retro arrangement of Stellenbosch’s Sasol Museum’s artifacts is a gem for cultural study.

Analysis: Poolitics should be beneath the ANC

As a political instrument, what my toddler commonly refers to as poo has a certain quality to it. It's easy to manipulate, readily available, slightly pongy, and really, really hard to throw back.

The Strongest of the Strange (For Bradley Manning)

Just before midnight on the 5th of September 1877 an American soldier ran his bayonet into Thasunke Witko's back in Fort Robinson, Nebraska.

Encounters Film Festival: Shorter, still sweet

This year’s Encounters Documentary Film Festival, which kicks off today, has been whittled down from its previous 17 days to 10.

Analysis: The long, hard NDP of discontent

The National Development Plan is supposed to lead us all to the brighter, sunnier, somehow better scrubbed future, right? That's what we've all been told, by Number One, no less.

Can the ANC end its ‘winner takes all’ politics?

Is learning half a lesson enough to keep the African National Congress (ANC) together for the next few years?

First they came for my rape metaphors…

Ivo Vegter argues in his latest column that comparisons between gang rape and the Businesses Licensing Bill are perfectly acceptable.

A face that sold a thousand Tretchikoff prints

Vladimir Tretchikoff loved women, and he painted many. His biographer Boris Gorelik was able to track down the identity of two of the real-life

Equal Education's battle with Motshekga - what we know for now

We track NGO Equal Education's two-year fight to get Angie Motshekga to hand over a schools norms and standards paper. A fight that still isn't over.

A face that sold a thousand Tretchikoff prints

Vladimir Tretchikoff loved women, and he painted many. His biographer Boris Gorelik was able to track down the identity of two of the real-life muses for iconic Tretchikoff artworks, but one remained elusive: the beautiful woman depicted in the painting The Hindu Dancer.

Can the ANC end its ‘winner takes all’ politics?

Is learning half a lesson enough to keep the African National Congress (ANC) together for the next few years? The answer may tell us whether 2019’s election will be the first national poll whose result is in doubt.

Teach your children well and avoid silly laws

SPARE a thought for the judges of the Constitutional Court. Sometimes I think we don’t pay them enough, especially when they are often expected to mediate over matters of common sense.

Why Dali Tambo's Robert Mugabe interview was just PR

Dali Tambo's mistake is to insist upon a mythical neutrality that gives him permission to avoid the hard questions, writes Verashni Pillay.

Enduring legacies

Artist Sue Williamson celebrates the women who helped to usher in South Africa’s liberation.

Emotional blackmail of chequebook journalism

CHEQUEBOOK journalism, the practice of securing exclusive rights to information from a news subject by paying them handsomely for it, is increasingly widely practised in some media quarters, despite ethical concerns about it.

Aviation industry: Economy may have wings again

It’s said that the health of the aviation industry serves as a barometer for wider economic conditions. If this is the case, the World Air Transport Summit – currently being held in Cape Town – suggests that things are tentatively on the rise.

Equal Education prepares to go back to court

Equal Education has been preparing papers to go back to court over norms and standards for school infrastructure, says the NGO.

South Africa: The making of our myths and heroes

All countries have their own conventions, their own ways of doing things, their own ways of treating the living and the dead. And we, of course, have plenty of our own, proudly South African ways of doings things.

The Securitisation of Everything

The images of 22 year old Londoner Michael Abedowale, hands dripping with blood from his fatal attack on soldier Lee Rigby, created shock waves around the world, including in South Africa.

Rise of 'Altmetrics' Revives Questions About How to Measure Impact of Research

Steven Roberts, an assistant professor at the U. of Washington who studies how environmental change affects shellfish, tracks social-media metrics to see how his research is used online.

Just say no to impact factors

Scientists, funders and journal editors have thrown their weight behind the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment.

Zuma, the king of ‘acting’

The National Prosecuting Authority has increasingly come under fire this year, primarily because of a slew of high-profile failures. There have been the usual accusations levelled against President Jacob Zuma, and the usual people have shouted the usual things back.

Karabus: No more beard, same fighting spirit

Some dramatically stormy Cape Town weather was not enough to deter a sizeable crowd from turning out to hear a newly beardless Cyril Karabus answer questions from the public on Sunday night.

Lessons in leadership by someone who was in the driving seat

I was delighted to be asked to write a review of a book entitled “In the Driving Seat Lessons in Leadership” authored by a business hero of mine ever since I was student at Rhodes University in the 1980s.

'Homophobia' posters spark outrage at Rhodes

Graphic posters, apparently intended to expose Muslim homophobia, have provoked the anger of Rhodes University staff members, students and alumni.

Debate rages over merits of GM food

Proponents say it's the only way to feed the world, but opponents claim genetically modified crops make people ill. Sarah Wild reports.

Jozi's tech revolution goes to town

Wits University has launched a software outreach programme that will redefine the heart of the city.

City Press stands by its 'anti-Indian' column

City Press says it stands by its decision to publish a controversial column described by some as "dripping with anti-Indian hatred".

Rhodes students and staff are livid after “racist, xenophobic” posters were displayed on campus

Graphic posters apparently intended to expose Muslim homophobia have provoked the anger of Rhodes University staff members, students and alumni, who say they are racist and xenophobic.

ConCourt: Second wife only with first wife’s say-so

The Constitutional Court handed down its ruling on Thursday in an interesting case: considering the question of whether the first wife in a Tsonga customary marriage should have to consent to her husband’s subsequent marriages in order for them to be valid. It’s not the first time a customary law issue has been brought before this court to determine its adherence to the precepts of the Bill of Rights. Often, however, the problem is determining what exactly customary law dictates.

Why we must teach in local languages

It was shocking to hear someone on Xolani Gwala’s SAfm early morning news programme this month referring to the use of African languages in the schooling system as

Jeff Radebe: NPA, the bold and beautiful

The National Prosecuting Authority has come in for a pasting lately, with a string of controversial outcomes to high-profile cases.

How The New Age acquired the rights to host Pravin’s post-Budget breakfast

Don’t expect to turn down a Gupta-owned business and get away with it.

Into the rabbit hole, or, ridiculous and ridiculouser: The NPA wants another showdown with Breytenbach

On Monday, in case you missed it, a disciplinary inquiry by the National Prosecuting Authority found prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach not guilty on all counts. On Tuesday, the NPA hit back with a statement of its own. Fasten your seatbelts, because this may hurt your senses.

Social media a far cry from the ‘voice of the people’

When some people decide that their world is the world, reality is sure to suffer. Which is why claims that social media are the pulse of the nation should make us wary.

Guptagate: Crossing the line, setting the precedent

As the radioactive dust settles on the twisted toxic mess that is the Gupta Waterkloof Scandal, it's time to consider what we've learnt as a country over the few weeks of May 2013.

Higher education and training laws amendment act failing the test

In a recent lecture at the University of Johannesburg, Jeremy Gauntlett argued that certain provisions of the Higher Education and Training Laws Amendment Act 23 of 2012 (the Act) are almost certainly unconstitutional. According to him, the Act is open to constitutional challenge as its provisions are impermissibly vague; it unjustifiably infringes the constitutional right to academic independence; and it violates the right to a fair procedure.

Analysis: Is the Department of Women worth the money?

The budget vote speech for the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities seems to have escaped much media scrutiny – perhaps a sign of the low importance accorded to the department. But there are some rather extraordinary aspects to the department’s budgeting. For instance, it appears that one third of all staff in the department earn on average R1 million a year. This would represent a greater ratio of millionaire staff members than the departments of Health, Education and Treasury, to name a few.

The man turning copy shops into publishers

Shuttleworth Fellow Arthur Attwell is on a mission to supply South Africa with cheaper, more convenient access to books – and he doesn’t believe that e-books are a solution for the time being. His social enterprise, Paperight, enables regular photocopy shops to print perfectly legal copies of books for customers, at a far lower price than they’d pay in a traditional bookshop. REBECCA DAVIS finds out how.

Lack of leadership threatens growth prospects

NEWS that the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee considered cutting interest rates at its latest meeting is confirmation of the growing weakness of the South African economy. The weakening outlook is highlighted by the downward revision of the Bank’s growth forecast for this year from 2.7% to 2.4%. This is barely sufficient to sustain present employment levels. It is nothing like the 6%-7% annual growth needed for longer than a decade to reduce poverty and unemployment meaningfully.

Young Voices: Do you think media freedom is important?

Most of the 82 primary schoolchildren in the Western Cape and Gauteng have said that media freedom is one thing that should not be touched.

African languages key

We recently read about the Eastern Cape’s forgotten schools where teaching and learning is simply not happening.

Synchrotron cabal brings SA into the light

South Africa has become a full member of the European ¬Synchrotron Radiation Facility, a -massive light source that can "see" into any material.

The teenager

I hate being associated with people born after 1990. I was born in the late 1980s but people often think I am part of the “born-free” generation — the most misunderstood group of young people.

What’s the point of National Key Points

The release of the Guptagate report by the task team charged with investigating it clearly states that the Waterkloof Air Force Base, contrary to widespread public belief, is not a National Key Point.

Troubled satellite-maker may still find space

Beleaguered micro-satellite manufacturer SunSpace may be absorbed into Denel Dynamics, part of defence and arms manufacturer Denel.

Schools strain at state’s long leash

More transparent guidance will mean less conflict centred on the governance of public schools

Schools hit by sick bureaucracy

For 10 years the Eastern Cape has failed to deal adequately with sick teachers and vacant posts.

Crossing the language barrier

It’s been a long time coming, but learning an African language will soon be compulsory in schools. Brent Meersman tries to keep ahead of the kids

Suddenly Africa is looking up

While the HartRAO dish was undergoing repairs, radio atronomer Mike Gaylard started to search for redundant telescopes in Africa. (Mike Gaylard, M&G)

Corruption by any other name

Guptas dropped name, now we’re dropping any mention of our anti-corruption laws?

Analysis: Zuma didn't invent political manipulation, he just perfected it

The National Prosecuting Authority is in crisis. Crisis is, in fact, the wrong word. The right word may well be tatters. No capacity. No political will. No credibility. The failures can sear one's retina: J. Arthur Brown. Andries Tatane. Anene Booysen. A list of damning mistakes, disasters and possibly deliberate missteps.

Oh, what a circus: Guptagate comes to Parliament

On Wednesday, the government team tasked with investigating the circumstances under which the Gupta's were able to land an aircraft at the Waterkloof air force base released their report.

Wee problems need not be big ones in life's long journey

I'VE tackled this head-on before, but a recent debate on "whiteness" has reminded me again that of all the emotions people are forced to deal with on a daily basis, the most pointless and useless is shame.

Master one language before tackling another

I applaud the University of KwaZulu-Natal for introducing isiZulu as a course for first-year students. But I wonder why this otherwise progressive move was made compulsory.

Multilingualism is a resource

Apartheid used our languages to divide and rule. Today we want to use them to increase social cohesion and economic participation.

Whale watchers must watch for minister

The most glaring oddity of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson's proposed changes to SA's marine resources legislation is that it appears to make whale watching an offence - unless the watcher has her permission.

Tinkering with labour law no solution to conflict

THE real problem with bargaining between employers and unions here is not the rules that govern it but the society in which it happens, which is why changing the bargaining rules will solve nothing.

Bold plan faces challenges

Durban - The decision of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) to make Zulu compulsory for all undergraduate students enrolling at the university from next year, and to implement bilingual education, has sparked different reactions.

Quest for a new engaged intellectualism

It struck me the other day that black South Africans use the term ukuzabalaza and the word Umzabalazo almost exclusively in relation to the fight against apartheid and colonialism.

For whom the church bell e-tolls?

Just when you thought the e-tolling argument was over, another new major player has entered the ring. It's big, it wears robes, and it's got God on its side.

Language is a job for school

On the face of it, a determination by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal to compel its students to learn isiZulu in their first year is a perfectly reasonably goal.

Prodigal daughters meet in Franschhoek

This past weekend was the annual meeting for lovers of fiction, history, politics, poetry, humour, wine and food. The Franschhoek Literary Festival is growing as a meeting place to contemplate the history and future of the written word in South Africa. World-renowned historian and the author of Stalingrad and The Fall of Berlin, Antony Beevor, provided a welcome antidote to the all-too-common South African tendency to navel-gaze. His account of the battle for Stalingrad during the Second World War makes the fight against apartheid seem like a walk in the park.

The disgraced Fidentia boss and his unlikely friends

J Arthur Brown has been one of the most unpopular men in South Africa for a long time now. As the former CEO of Fidentia, he was at the wheel while R1,4 billion went missing from funds administered by the firm, including a fund meant to support widows and orphans of mine workers. It remains one of the biggest corporate scandals in South Africa’s history. Last week, to the shock and disgust of many, the Western Cape High Court ended six years of legal proceedings by handing Brown only a R150,000 fine and a suspended jail sentence. But Brown is receiving loyal support from an unexpected quarter: some of the very people whose money disappeared under his watch, and who most need it back.

Serious about corruption

This week the Executive Director of Corruption Watch, David Lewis, paid a visit to Grahamstown in an effort to reinforce the campaign against corruption.

Racism Guptas’ uninvited guest

The prejudice allegedly displayed at the wedding was more a reflection of India’s divisions than our own.

Rare Africana brought to book

In the first in a series of features on sellers of rare books, Victoria John explores the treasure trove that is Thorold’s Bookshop.

'Shamed' whites cannot be silent in the face of change

Let me begin with an informative snippet before engaging, ever so warily, with a lady whose name could be a pole dancer's sobriquet but who is in fact one of the brighter luminaries in the Rhodes University firmament.

DA, the agenda-setter

I'm not one to give credit easily. But sometimes one has to stop, and tip your cap to a good political operation. You know, Gwede Mantashe's taking hold of the Gupta story as it was breaking by releasing that statement when he did, or President Jacob Zuma's stop Malema Operation, or even, to an extent, Mangaung in general. But it's time to stop and tip the cap again. To the DA. Yes, really. The DA.

Managing global conflicts and democratic space at Wits

There is a global conflict playing out in the corridors of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). On the one hand, there are the advocates of the Palestinian struggle calling for the academic and cultural isolation of Israel. On the other, members of the Zionist lobby oppose any such attempt to isolate Israel. In between there are multiple shades of opinion, most of which are crowded out in the acrimonious public discourse over the issue.

Karabus case: Totalling up the bill

When Cyril Karabus left South Africa in August 2012, he was a well-respected paediatric oncologist. By the time he returned in May 2013, Karabus had become a household name: a 78- year-old poster-boy for the risks medics face when working in the Emirates. His arrival at Cape Town International on Friday, 17 May after nine months of detention in Abu Dhabi marked a happy ending to a distressing case. REBECCA DAVIS reflects on some of the lessons learned.

Is the future of Cape Town 25km from Cape Town

South Africa is rapidly urbanising, and in many cases infrastructure and municipal services are struggling to keep up. In the Western Cape, a private group of urban designers and developers think they have a solution.

Minister given a blue light to ride roughshod over academic rights

The amended education Act echoes what apartheid’s architects had in mind for universities.

Want food security? Stop the rot

Malnutrition is killing South Africa's children, yet half of the country's fresh produce is wasted.

Now the beauty of stem cells is only skin deep

A new stem cell technique could regrow organs that the body will not reject and is an important step towards a cure for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and injuries such as spinal cord trauma. (AFP)

Dropout rate points to lack of support

Dismal course completion figures suggest that our universities have learned little in seven years

Triple helix’ city-campus plan can galvanise CBD

THE announcement earlier this week that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is prepared to back a new city-campus plan for the regeneration of the East London inner city region is good news for the city and the province.

Dispatches from the Ivy League

A chronicle of privilege and difference from a US centre of academic excellence, as seen through the lens of the well-appointed pool.

Cops and robbers... and fraudsters, and rapists, and murderers: We have your number, kinda

The mood in Parliament’s police committee on Wednesday was one of shock and disbelief, even for a group of MPs accustomed to hearing of the failures of the South African Police Service.

Why is Mzwandile Petros leaving? A conspiracy theory.

It’s rare in South Africa to come across a police chief who is held in high esteem. So when one of them leaves office, it’s time to reflect on what made him good, and to ask why that person is leaving.

ANC splits hold the key to SA’s political shake-up

What happens inside the African National Congress (ANC) is still more likely to change our politics than the efforts of its opponents.

Women’s month: empowering banality

This seems an auspicious moment to remember Helen of Troy. If Helen was the face that launched 1,000 ships, then August is the month that launched a thousand careers, held aloft by the winds of mind-numbingly empty phraseology.

Mogoeng, Hoffman and the coming judicial race war

It emerged over the weekend that the Higher Education Transformation Network (HETN) has now lodged a complaint against Advocate Paul Hoffman, over what it says is a series of "cowardly politically motivated attacks" on Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

What are we afraid of?

Our city is born of conquest: divided, broken, brutally unjust - and beautiful in the eyes of some of its inhabitants. But most in our town are not in a position to see much beauty.

When journalists become criminals

At the end of June, a magistrates’ court in Gauteng convicted a former Sowetan journalist of criminal defamation, with a sentence of R10,000 or 10 months in prison, suspended for four years.

This is not the way to Kafka’s ‘doubly illuminated’ truth

The Arms Procurement Commission has a logo. It consists of a laurel wreath composed in part of crossed sabres and fighter jets.

Women keep protests burning

Today we celebrate Women’s Day by commemorating the 20 000 women of August 9, 1956.

Women left out in the wilderness

Little has changed for women since1994: worse, they face a backlash from their supposed equals.

NHI a tonic for extreme inequality

Experts say scheme could benefit rich and poor, with positive broader outcomes ational Health Insurance (NHI) is seen by some as a gift from the middle class to the country's poorest.

Dishonourable Dina: Down, but not out

On Wednesday morning, news that axed communications minister Dina Pule had been appointed to the parliamentary portfolio committee on transport seemed to be a sign that Pule would escape lightly from the parliament’s ethics watchdog investigation.

Civil society is our best way to check misrule

How is South Africa to develop political accountability? Pressure must be put on the political elites, writes Adam Habib.

Sweet nothings add up to nought

Helen Zille’s defence of Angie Motshekga relies on straw targets and dodgy logic.

Tough lessons in leadership

A school in the Eastern Cape shows that firm management produces excellent results.

Analysis: The African Union stays in character for Zim election whitewash

Former president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo has never seen a perfect election. At this rate, he’s not going to come close.

SA corners radioactive market

The world is snapping up cancer-detecting isotopes from laboratories in South Africa.

Sexual offences courts are back. If only they’d never gone away…

The Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that Sexual Offences Courts are to be reintroduced to South Africa, eight years after the idea was largely discarded.

MDC’s tactical ineptitude aided a sham election

The Zimbabwean people may be doubly victimised — let down by the opposition, which was meant to fight for them, and the neighbours meant to support them.

Getting the youth into media

Most media don’t really give a hoot about young people. Coverage for youth is centred on two events per year: matric results and Youth Day. In between? Not much. And the feeling is mutual. But this is not good for the future of our country or the media.

SA moving to secure its share of world aquaculture growth

South Africa's aquaculture industry, though still in its infancy, has been identified by government as a key priority sector because of its potential to supplement dwindling wild-caught fish stocks with cultured fish products.

The eternal frustration of living next door to Robert

As the results of Zimbabwe’s elections trickled and then rather suspiciously poured in, the frustration mounted. By now it has been replaced by the familiar shrugged shoulders of resignation, despair and hopelessness.

Rising household debt limits growth possibilities

Economies grow over time when more people are employed or there is an increase in the number of machines, factories and supporting infrastructure used by workers.

After Mugabe: the infighting begins now

With the presidency in the bag and parliament in their pocket, Zanu-PF can relax in the certainty that they will dictate Zimbabwe’s foreseeable future.

Absa wants to be Africa’s go-to bank, shareholders looking elsewhere

What, in five years’ time, will shareholders think of Absa? There are two major themes that guide the answer.

Opinion: Women's Month and the department of woe

From bloated salaries to floods of statements once a year, Verashni Pillay despairs of the department of women, children and people with disabilities.

Muzi’s Tonic: Living in the age of stupidity

Australian journalist John Pilger argued that president Nelson Mandela’s greatness ??may be assured, but not his legacy. Pilger, who is a war reporter, is bitter that Mandela avoided a racial war and even made friends with Western capitalists.

Analysis: Zille continues to bat for Motshekga against education activists

DA leader Helen Zille this week devoted her newsletter, SA Today, to a further defence of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s resistance to implementing norms and standards for school infrastructure, a campaign which NGO Equal Education (EE) has framed as imperative to the improvement of South Africa’s education system.

Cosatu: A perfect storm approaching

Late on Monday night it emerged, through "sources", as is tradition, that Cosatu's top leaders have decided to call a special meeting of its Central Executive Committee for the end of next week.

Telkom's apology: Too little, too late

The winds of change are sweeping through Telkom, or at least that's what its leadership would like us to believe. But it might already be too late.

Is SABC’s new channel any good?

It’s been a little over three days since the SABC introduced its 24-hour news channel, creatively named “SABC News”.

Is SABC’s new channel any good?

It’s been a little over three days since the SABC introduced its 24-hour news channel, creatively named “SABC News”.

From the closet to the clapper

On Tuesday June 4th, Britain’s House of Lords—a bunch of reactionary old codgers, for the most part—passed a bill that would legalise same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom.

Khanyi Dhlomo: More heat than luminance

The Mail & Guardian caught up with Luminance owner Khanyi Dhlomo at her store, which has caused a media storm.

More heat than luminance

The opening of Khanyi Dhlomo’s luxury boutique has created a media storm

Electricity theft places special-needs school in peril

Illegal connections are sucking a special-needs school dry and endangering staff and pupils.

Plenty of room at the bottom

Postgraduate study is as much about changing the system from below as about learning new skills.

Electricity theft places school in peril

Illegal connections are sucking a special-needs institution dry and endangering staff and pupils.

Hidden levers of science are set to become more accessible to all

South Africa’s Academy of Science is helping to usher in the new by joining global open access.

The Bugging of South Africa

Recent revelations by former National Security Agency (NSA) computer analyst Edwin Snowden that the NSA was undertaking unwarranted mass surveillance of Americans has thrown the communications surveillance activities of governments into sharp relief.

High school pupils lost for words

Copy-and-paste plagiarism substitutes for real understanding in school projects, study finds.

Puzzling over the teaching of teachers

Varsities are rethinking how to produce clued-up professionals ready for the classroom.

Game of Thrones, SABC edition

Many, many years ago, back when Coke Light was still Diet Coke, a news editor asked me to please take what we call the “SABC beat”.

Vavi's lesson: Don’t screw the intern?

The rape allegation that Zwelinzima Vavi has faced throws into sharp relief SA's muddled conceptions of rape and morality, writes Verashni Pillay.

NPA’s Fidentia appeal is welcome, but other white-collar cases stall

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) seems determined to obtain a tougher punishment for former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown.

Fog lifts as the party of liberation begins to fade

Many people are depressed about the state of South African politics. We are living through an inevitable shattering of illusions, which is a positive development, although it’s likely to get worse before it gets better.

The battle for Cape Town’s farmland

The City of Cape Town, not for the first time, wants to re-draw the “urban edge” – a hypothetical designation of where urban development must stop, in order to protect the agricultural land beyond it.

‘Of Good Report’, Sugar Daddies and Vavi

Now that you can finally watch the most talked-about film in South Africa without breaking the law, the previously-banned ‘Of Good Report’ was screened to media in Johannesburg and Cape Town on Tuesday.

Scrabbling to the top

There is a subculture for whom Scrabble is a great deal more than a family board-game you pull down at Christmas when everyone’s tired of conversation.

An impeccable sense of fairness

Justice Personified | Pius Langa’s grace and wisdom made him a founding father of our rights-based constitutional democracy, writes Albie Sachs.

Machiavelli and the tannie who seized power in Tlokwe

Putsch in Potch. Annette Combrink wrote her doctorate on comedy in English literature. Now she is playing the lead role in a dark political comedy, writes Ray Hartley.

Analysis: Why Tutu’s support for gay rights matters

“I cannot worship a homophobic God.” These were the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town on Friday, declaring his support for the launch of an unprecedented UN campaign to protect gay rights.

Battle over cellphone masts in posh suburb

From the Northcliff water tower, you have a 360-degree view of Johannesburg. On a clear day, you can see all the way out to the Magaliesberg mountains.

Dewani: The story that still grips a nation

A gorgeous young woman’s life ended by a bullet. A wealthy, handsome young man who says he is innocent of murder.

By word and deed ANC is not democratic body

Last week Inigo Gilmore's documentary, South Africa's Dirty Cops", was screened on British television.

SA research now free online

As an academic or an ordinary person, you cannot read the best research in the world without paying for it.

How SA can find safety in numbers

Reflections of a United States mathematics educator in South Africa for the first time.

Sisulu aims to stop civil servants doing business with state

Public service & administration minister Lindiwe Sisulu has published a draft law that aims to make it illegal for civil servants to be involved in companies that benefit from state tenders.

Langa was a public servant ‘in the highest sense’

Pius Nkonzo Langa died on Wednesday in a Johannesburg hospital after a long illness. He was 74. Langa was South Africa’s fourth post-apartheid chief justice (after Michael Corbett, Ismail Mahomed and Arthur Chaskalson).

Pius Langa: A man who knew the meaning of change

Former Chief Justice Pius Langa passed away earlier this week at the age of 74.

Pius Langa: the man may be gone, but his spirit will remain with us

The death of Pius Langa has taken away perhaps one of the greatest South Africans, ever.

Thuli Madonsela: Uncowed, unbowed

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela will appear before Parliament’s justice portfolio committee next Friday to give her account of a number of complaints against her.

Analysis: ANC’s ‘broad church’ can lead to uncomfortable pews

COSAS – the Congress of SA Students – was where a 21-year old Julius Malema first cut his political teeth.

Focus on personalities distracts us from problems

When the leader of the opposition feels the need to defend a beleaguered African National Congress (ANC) minister from journalistic attack, you know the national debate has lost the plot.

Collusion is corruption

The past week has been a ¬watershed in two related perceptions of corruption in South Africa.

Hip-hip Heir-ray!

The wait for Kate ended on Monday, July 22 2013, when the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Poolitics cannot be bigger than law

It's hard to properly judge whether throwing shit at someone is a legitimate form of political protest. It is certainly extreme. And smelly, and disgusting.

No time to waste in South Africa’s shale-gas exploration

The US Energy Information Administration says South Africa has the eighth-largest technically recoverable shale-gas resources in the world.

ANC struggle stalwarts not afraid to speak their mind

THE critics have spoken and the African National Congress ( ANC) is on a slide, rudderless, drifting away from the people, and riven by factionalism.

Science tries to overtake dopers

Science is becoming the front-runner in discovering how far the human body can be pushed.

Technology alone cannot solve toilet trouble

The Western Cape has become a battleground over open toilets.

‘Enough is as good as a feast’

A three-day conference focused on the themes expressed through the work of Neville Alexander.

School maths failing varsity entrants

The new matric syllabus first examined in 2008 provides an even worse preparation for first-year university physics than the old curriculum did, a new study has found.

Teachers still waiting for their salaries

The Eastern Cape education department might have to forfeit assets if it does not pay them soon.

The rebel with a cause

Nelson Mandela was anti-establishment from a young age, writes Ray Hartley.

The Whiffenpoofs: A whiff of a cappella

What do Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush’s grandfather have in common? They were allegedly both in a cappella groups in their youth.

Our 67 minutes of helping Zuma and his lawyers

Today, the entire caring South Africa is looking for an opportunity to help, to be meaningful, to reach out to the ones in real difficulty.

Gordhan sets a standard for all to uphold

Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan has shown that it is possible to hold those in public office to the highest standards of accountability and protect the integrity of public office and institutions.

Cabinet appointments are always about politics

Trying to keep politics out of government makes little sense — particularly in a democracy.

SA healthcare: Some are still more equal than others

On Tuesday, Stats SA released a report on the health of the nation, based on data from 2011’s General Household Survey.

ASA: Upholding standards or stifling expression?

The Advertising Standards Authority is in the news again, this time for its ruling that an ad for the City of Johannesburg must be withdrawn for making misleading claims about the city’s financial and environmental health.

Waiting for a house that never comes

Fifty-eight houses built by government in Nyanga, Cape Town, to be given to those who needed them. It should have been a happy ending – but it hasn’t turned out that way at all.

Analysis: SA’s political losses are sometimes the world’s gains

Female ministers who left government following Mbeki’s resignation in 2008 seem to be doing pretty nicely elsewhere.

Youths are impatient Mr Ramaphosa

What an opportunity. Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president of the ANC, was holding a dialogue with the youth of Polokwane.

Less dazzle than frazzle

Press junkets are no holiday. Sarah Wild shares the dirty truth.

The road to a ‘Hunger Games’ state

An estimated 1.5-million pupils in South Africa are not at school — and it is not difficult to see why.

‘Pupils must avoid the soft option’

That is the motto of a successful Eastern Cape school with mainly township learners.

While His Guitar Gently Weeps

The story of Lunga Goodman Nono, the blind busker whose guitar was smashed by police during an assault on Monday, was greeted with shock and outrage around the country.

Circumcision: A sharp twist of the knife and all is lost

More people continue to be killed and mutilated in initiation schools in South Africa each year than died in the Sharpeville massacre.

The Antinomies of Democracy in Durban

In the last days of June, Nkululeko Gwala was assassinated in Cato Crest - a shack settlement in Durban that is in the process of being upgraded with formal housing.

Award to two EC theatre icons richly deserved

With more than 30 years of performing at the National Arts Festival, South African theatre legend Andrew Buckland has developed a signature style of performance.

Zuma makes a move. The absolute minimum of a move.

The wonderful thing about reshuffles is that reshuffles are wonderful things. They involve choices, decisions and actions. They reveal, just for a moment, the deck, which way it is stacked, and who is hot and who is not.

ON THE STAGE: National Arts Festival highlights

Another National Arts Festival has breezed in and out of Grahamstown for an 11-day shindig in frontier country, leaving some enriched — either by way of monetary or creative fulfilment — and others disappointed.

Open letter to Queen Nompumelelo MaMchiza (fifth wife of King Goodwill Zwelithini)

Queen Nompumelelo MaMchiza seems under the impression that polygamy is the only way, because no man can stay with one woman. STEPHEN GROOTES couldn’t resist.

Green advocates and National Arts Festival introduce Bokashi style

Green advocates have joined forces with the National Arts Festival to take recycling to the next level by repurposing food waste much of it as nosh for worms.

Global media's other circus

While preparations for a death continue to take media centre stage, preparations for a birth may yet upstage them.

Working together will help beat crisis in schools

South Africans are numbed to headlines about the crisis in education. At the recent African Education Week, Dr Mamphela Ramphele repeated oft-voiced concerns that the government is mismanaging the education

We will not uphold the status quo

It is mainly liberal and elite groups that oppose state intervention in universities.

Eight-step plan for postgrad future

Postgraduate study can be daunting, so choose carefully to avoid making serious errors.

Our maths mindset doesn’t add up

Schools keep pass rates up by limiting subject choices – sacrificing our poorest pupils’ futures.

SADC and transformative politics in Zimbabwe: From paper tigers to fierce guard dogs

The imminence of Zimbabwe’s general elections, recently seasoned by SADC’s recommendation in its June 15 Communique that called for the Zimbabwean government to approach the Constitutional Court

The increasing loneliness and frustration of Winnie

To be in the presence of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is to literally sit with history. With someone who goes back through the worst years of our history, who knows both the good and the bad that our people are capable of.

Only some are free to speak their minds in South Africa

The past few days have reminded us vividly that there are two South Africa’s, one much more democratic than the other.

Nelson Mandela in hospital: Let the media do their job

As the nation awaits news of its Madiba, an inevitable debate has sprung up around the coverage of his stay in hospital.

Fracking report inflames gas feud

A new study in the United States that links hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to high concentrations of methane in drinking wells has reignited the South African debate about the controversial technique for extracting natural gas.

Something world-class from sleepy East London

German luxury car-maker thanks local initiative, spontaneity and intelligence for its R2.5bn investment in plant and local workers paying off in terms of productivity and high quality output, writes Ray Hartley.

Missing Madiba: Get on the couch, South Africa

One of the most striking images of public loss was taken just a few minutes after the public announcement of the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It shows a musician reacting to the news, tears streaming down his face, torn with grief.

Obama, Mandela and actions versus words

Eloquent words can never speak as loud as actions, writes Verashni Pillay after watching Barack Obama speak in SA in Nelson Mandela’s shadow.

South Africans must move beyond bumper-sticker science

It is children and young people in South Africa who are encouraged to learn about science.

Nkandla – a typical SA scandal

Different countries with different political cultures and systems tend to throw up different types of scandals.

Secrecy laws protect the spies, not the citizenry

Who will protect us from those who claim to be our protectors? Leaks claiming that British intelligence spied on delegations, including ours, at an international meeting have been met largely with a yawn.

Study reveals fracking can cause water pollution

A new study released on Monday has shown that "fracking", can pollute drinking water, although it is uncertain the impact this has on human health.

Dear Mr Zuma, it's all about credibility

As the nation, and the world, await news of Nelson Mandela’s condition, and what could be the final outcome of his stay in hospital, it is slightly inevitable, being the divided country that we are, that our political and chattering classes would have a fight about the communication around Madiba.

Mandela can leave us in peace, his work is done

The notion that SA will dissolve into race riots at the news of Nelson Mandela’s death is so unlikely as to be ridiculous, writes Verashni Pillay.

Ingenuity needed to survive commodities crisis

GLOBAL commodity prices have fallen more than 30% over the past year.

Stock exchange provides barometer of economy’s health and prospects

Have you ever paused to think about how miraculous a stock exchange is?

ANC's opening of Kunene front raises more questions

In politics, we're told reputation is everything.

Ingenuity needed to survive commodities crisis

Global commodity prices have fallen more than 30% over the past year. The extent of the decline has taken most producers, governments and investors by surprise. Profits have fallen sharply.

Up in alms: Malema finds Jesus in Lagos

Uncharitable wags are suggesting that behind his epistemological conversion lies the lure of lucre.

Analysis: Divisions could signal the end for Nigeria’s ruling party

The People’s Democratic Party is no stranger to dissent and factionalism. In fact, its tight grip on power in Nigeria is all the more remarkable given the number of divisive voices it keeps under one tent.

How the NSA sabotaged the internet

Alistair Fairweather thinks the US government needs to condemn the NSA's attack on one of the world's most important resources - the internet.

The Vavi files: It’s going to get messier and messier

On Tuesday a judge in the South Gauteng High Court will face various factions that for the moment make up Cosatu, and be asked to make a decision about whether Zwelinzima Vavi was suspended legally or not. Lucky judge.

Into a new interdisciplinary space

Wits takes first steps in framing a much-needed conversation between the sciences and the arts.

Academics must draw together

A consortium of tertiary associations is needed if the humanities are to be strengthened.

Transformation by numbers skims the surface of tertiary realities

Changing South Africa’s universities entails more than racial and gender equity.

A chronicle of Apartheid's propaganda war on black America

New York Times correspondent Ron Nixon has written a remarkable account of how the Apartheid government repeatedly attempted to win the hearts and minds of African Americans.

Can you hear the drums, Al-Assad? The postmodern morality tale of Syria

As the war drums beat around Syria and the rumble of missile tests drifts across the Mediterranean, there’s a global argument raging.

The importance of giving the poor some choice

Our elites may disagree on much. But they seem united on one issue — a belief that the poor must be told what to do.

Is SA’s water too precious to frack with?

This week, Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa confirmed that a notice of intention to declare hydraulic fracturing – fracking – a controlled activity, had been gazetted for public comment.

Analysis: Whatever happened to excellence?

The appointments by President Jacob Zuma of Mxolisi Nxasana to head the National Prosecuting Authority, and Vas Soni to run the Special Investigating Unit, come at a time when it seems the nation has started to grow weary of presidential appointments.

Analysis: Is good news no news?

SABC executives reportedly want to see 70% positive news stories in every bulletin. ANN7 also wants to give the public “sunshine journalism”, and both feel the media should have a role to play in nation building.

‘Only hungry for education’: Bitter cost for students at Walter Sisulu University

Walter Sisulu University’s nine-months-and-counting salary dispute, and six-week strike, culminated in the closure of the university last week.

On the Money: Rhodes gets street cred

Dramatic pictures of our professors in full academic regalia protesting about recent water outages propelled Grahamstown into the national news for the wrong reasons.

Disabled pupils’ hostel of horror

It’s literally a case of the blind leading the blind at the crumbling Setotolwane special-needs school.

In defiance of schooling stereotypes

So-called ‘struggling’ schools that nevertheless succeed convey lessons we need to understand.

Cry, beloved alma mater

THE mergers and incorporations of higher education institutions was fundamentally projected to herald transformation so these institutions could better serve society.

As Qwelane challenges Equality Act, government gets serious on hate crimes

Jon Qwelane is going to challenge the Equality Act. Well, if anyone was going to, it would probably be Jon, our honourable ambassador to Uganda.

Twelve bullets in a man’s body, twelve more in a collective fantasy

Cities have emerged as a key site of popular struggle in post-apartheid South Africa. But with the ANC responding to independent organisation in an increasingly violent and repressive manner the future of these struggles is deeply uncertain.

Paranoia Stalks the Halls of Power

(T)he paranoid construction is … an attempt to heal ourselves, to pull ourselves out of the real "illness", the "end of the world", the breakdown of the symbolic universe. ? Slavoj Zizek, Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture, 1991.

Analysis: Government's alcohol play, a dangerous over-reach

On Monday it was confirmed that the inter-ministerial committee examining changing laws around alcohol had sent a proposed bill through to Cabinet proper.

A warren of chaos and deceit, aka the West's coming intervention in Syria

On Thursday, UK parliamentarians will vote on the question of military intervention in Syria.

The Sex Regulators

Any sensible person who has seen the film ‘Of Good Report’ will be scoffing at the Film and Publications Board's effective banning of the film on the grounds of child pornography.

Rich lawyers not the only voice for poor victims

THERE must be a way to discover the truth and give victims a voice that does not channel large sums of money to lawyers.

What's wrong with our universities?

Rhoda Kadalie says poor schooling is not solely to blame for poor performance of black students in higher education.

Council’s plan for tertiary success

THIS year, 22% of the national budget, or R232.5bn, will go to education. That’s an awful lot of money, the lion’s share in fact.

Who could be more deserving of these awards?

News item: President Jacob Zuma receives honorary doctorate of leadership from Limkokwing University during an official visit to Malaysia.

Citizens4Marikana: Crowdfunding for miners' legal fees

The representation at the Farlam Commission of more than 200 miners who were arrested and charged with the murder of their colleagues after the Marikana massacre still hangs in the balance.

Khanyi Dhlomo's Luminance is a little murky

The rural women who Khanyi Dhlomo says are part owners of her luxury store are reportedly in the dark about the deal, writes Verashni Pillay.

Who heads the Fed matters for our economy too

The chairmanship of the US Federal Reserve has been described as the most powerful financial position in the world, so it is not surprising that whenever the position is to be filled, considerable attention is paid to possible candidates and their likely approaches to monetary policy in the world’s largest economy.

EDITORIAL: Testing times for Habib at Wits

Life is not easy for South African universities. They are struggling to deal with starving students and overcrowded residences, not to mention the fact that only a minority of students complete their courses within the allotted number of years.

Pansy, say it ain’t so

Ever calm and thoughtful, Pansy Tlakula was a palate cleanser in South Africa’s often foul tasting political banquet. The possibility of her suspension from the Electoral Commission over a failure to disclose conflict of interest in a lease agreement would have enormous repercussions on the political landscape: the loss of a steadfast hand on the tiller of next year’s elections.

The obstructionism of shale gas activists

The minister of trade and industry has injected some urgency into the process to permit shale gas exploration. In response, the activists ranged against this industry have threatened legal obstructionism to delay the process.

Zwelethu Mthethwa: The artist accused of murder

When internationally celebrated artist Zwelethu Mthethwa appeared in court on Monday, charged with the murder of 23-year-old Nokuphila Kumalo, there were no jostling reporters or ANC Women’s League delegations.

What banks know — and don’t know — is vital to financial stability

Imagine a bank could tell, at the time of lending you money, exactly what the chances were of your paying it back. It is the banking equivalent of insurers trying to determine the chances of your making a claim.

Friends & Friction: Africa is lucky to have you

Every moment you breathe is a special occasion.

ANN7: Car-crash viewing, but no laughing matter

What do you get when you combine Gupta money, supposedly cutting-edge technology, and a bunch of beautiful young models acting as news anchors? What you get is the omnishambles that is ANN7.

Chasm has ANC in crisis

THE ANC, as an actually existing organisation, collapsed into serious crisis in exile. Since Jacob Zuma’s ascent to the Presidency, its crisis in government has been spiralling into ever tighter circles.

Facing up to who we are in this post-meltdown nation

In 2008, the going got tough and we defaulted to our fractious tribes, writes Ray Hartley.

It's the teachers' lack of subject knowledge, stupid

The fact that there is a crisis in South African education is not new. An objective outsider would agree that the weight of available evidence favours the judgment that our education system is in dire straits.

US Corporations can’t be sued for Apartheid, court rules

After more than 10 years, a quest to sue multi-national corporations for their role in supporting Apartheid seems to have met with failure.

A safe space to talk about race

Universities must become places where people can address their differences.

Adam Habib on Higher Education's Role in South Africa's Racial and Economic Transformation

Noting the structural problems inherent in the South African economy and high levels of graduate unemployment, SACSIS’ Fazila Farouk interviews the Vice Chancellor of WITS University, Prof. Adam Habib about higher education’s contribution to South Africa’s racial and economic transformation.

‘Israel is not apartheid SA’

A revered journalist to some and an Israeli apologist to others, Benjamin Pogrund is here from Israel to receive a human rights award from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies for his efforts in exposing injustices under apartheid.

Promise & Peril at the Turn of the Tide

Writing after the French Revolution Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher, noted that “while the drama of great political changes is taking place” people “openly express universal yet disinterested sympathy for one set of protagonists against their adversaries”.

Visions of African urban futures yet to come

“African cities don’t work”, writes AbdouMaliq Simone at the beginning of his book For the City Yet to Come.

Who's afraid of an Economic Freedom Fighter?

Fear plays a big part in South African politics. Don’t vote for him, he’s corrupt and will steal your money. Don’t vote for her, she’ll bring back Apartheid.

Analysis: Gender-based violence and the SA women's other problems

Wednesday was no ordinary day in the country’s legislative powerhouse; it was Women’s Parliament. These days, women don’t just get their very own government department, but almost an entire parliamentary day named for them.

All struggles are connected: The intersections of the political

During the Rape Crisis Teach-in held by the Rhodes University Politics Department in Grahamstown this July, South African historian and researcher Dr Catherine Burns, brought up a little known event that happened in Soweto in February 1990.

Egypt: Goodbye revolution, hello Saudi-sponsored military state

It’s taken just two years for the revolution to come full circle. Elections failed and democracy was a bust, so Egypt is reverting to the only government it really knows: repressive military-backed authoritarianism, fuelled this time round by an influx of Saudi petrodollars.

SADC dances the Mugabe victory jig

It’s been a good few weeks for SADC, at least as far as the region’s leaders are concerned.

Imagine Joburg on steroids

The city will be unrecognisable in 20 years, writes Ray Hartley.

Ideological rebels offer ideas but it is commitment we lack

They’re funny things, titles. When you work in an academic environment, you get used to navigating the sensitivities around "Dr" and "Prof" (although the most accomplished scholars are usually the ones who care least about how you address them).

A tame Cosatu would be of little use to the ANC

THE African National Congress (ANC) is far better off with a Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) which gives it a hard time than one which doesn’t.

Dishonourable Dina says she's sorry, sort of

And so it came to pass that on 20 August 2013 a former minister stood up in front of a room filled with her peers and received a sound dressing down for wrongdoing.

Some retail bank charges are down, but consumers are left no better off

Before the Great Recession, there was a brouhaha in SA about bank charges. In 2008, the Jali Commission, appointed by the competition regulators, said that the oligopoly banking market was bad for consumers.

Coming soon to a political theatre near you: Jacob Zuma's Perfect Legal Storm

In just nine days time, President Jacob Zuma will have to either make good on his promise in a signed legal affidavit to the Constitutional Court to appoint a new National Director of Public Prosecutions, or find a really good excuse why he cannot do so.

The demonisation of Oscar Pistorius and Cezanne Visser

Oscar Pistorius's shooting of Reeva Steenkamp and Cezanne Visser's parole turns us into denialists, writes Verashni Pillay.

Name: Vanessa Lynch. Project: CSI:SA

When Vanessa Lynch’s father was brutally murdered in Johannesburg in 2004, she made it her mission to help educate South Africa about the vital role that DNA evidence can play in helping to convict criminals.

Tshwane, the wired city

If a new project is rolled out as widely as planned, Tshwane residents may find themselves able to get online while strolling down public roads.

South Africa: critical but stable

Rhodes University complained last week that it was "on the brink of having to close" after a water pump broke, leaving 11 residences and about 1,000 people without water for 10 days.

The DA’s ‘superstar’ long shot

Listening to its hot shot young candidate, Mmusi Maimane, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the party has little chance of wresting Gauteng from the ANC.

Bird’s-eye view offers inside track

Mapping South Africa’s capacity for farming is getting easier thanks to Earth observation.

Bridging the gaping digital divide

Internet penetration in South Africa remains sluggish due to the high cost of connectivity.

Bringing astronomy to Africa

South Africa is training the continent’s budding skywatchers to work on the SKA telescope project.

Don’t rely on courts: fix the policy

Schools are using the ambiguity of current directives to cast out their pregnant pupils.

No gays please, we’re Russian. Or Qatari.

The Winter Olympics will go ahead in Russia despite growing protests against the country’s increasingly homophobic policies, and individual athletes are finding novel ways of using their moment on the world’s stage to express their opposition to Putin’s laws.

The battle at UCT: Race-based admissions policy issue flares up again

An argument about whether the University of Cape Town should scrap its race-based admissions policy has been raging for the last few years.

Forked tongues: will mother tongue education lead to racial division?

How and when languages should be used is hot news in South Africa again. This is primarily because the Basic Education Department is looking at introducing compulsory African languages at schools, but it's also because we haven't settled on how to teach our children.

African artists set out to grow continent’s creative economy

Africa’s share of the global creative economy is less than one percent. This means that Africans were consigned largely to being consumers of creative products – films, television, music – from more dominant economies, said Mike van Graan, executive director of the African Arts Institute.

Not so great expectations, but the NYDA wants some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The government’s National Youth Development Agency is only four years old, but became synonymous with wasteful expenditure after its 2010 splurge of R106 million on the World Festival of Youth and Students.

Ignoring the fact that our labour relations work

Not for the first time, a vast gulf has opened up between the country in which we live and the one in many people’s heads.

Ibrahim Index: A time for Afro-realism

Forget the opinion pieces, the name-calling and the twitter-storms.

Is there an African alternative to the International Criminal Court?

Last June, the African Union moved its summit to Ethiopia. Malawi, the planned host, had refused entry to Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Nigeria prison deaths: what happens when the checks and balances fail

According to a new Amnesty International report, nearly a thousand prisoners died this year in just two prisons administered by Nigeria’s notoriously brutal armed forces.

Where is Grahamstown?

On 10 October 2013, a certain segment of white South Africans left their children with the “girl” for a couple of hours as they marched through the streets demanding acknowledgement of the “genocide” (sic) being perpetrated against them as an “oppressed” (sic) minority.

Traditional Courts Bill: Rural people won't give away their rights to seal pre-election deals

We haven’t heard anything about the controversial Traditional Courts Bill for almost a year. Yet suddenly, there it was again: scheduled to be discussed clause by clause by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday.

Investors get cold feet about putting cash into new coal-mining projects

The seeds of South Africa’s next power crisis are now being sown. We are facing a "coal cliff" in 2018 when many of the large coal mines will exhaust their resources.

Excellence at risk of being sacrificed for political expediency

Excellence is a rare commodity in South Africa, both as an ideal and practical outcome. Mediocrity, its counterpoint, rules the roost. So much so, there is a strong case to be made South Africa is, in fact, a "mediocracy" not a meritocracy.

Julius Malema & Bantu Holomisa: little foxes out to spoil the ANC vineyard?

On Sunday Julius Malema had what must now be the third or fourth launch of his Economic Freedom Fighters.

The state vs. the people vs. the police: Finally, court victory for Marikana survivors

On Monday, the North Gauteng High Court ruled that the approximately 300 mineworkers who were injured and arrested at Marikana last year should have their legal costs covered by Legal Aid SA.

The difficulty of a return to the Zimbabwe dollar

South Africans often ask how Zimbabwe was able to adopt the dollar as its official currency and, conversely, how it could re-establish its own currency. The answers begin with an understanding of what money actually is.

Under a terrible spell

Noluthando was allegedly possessed by izizwe (spirits). Her boyfriend from Katlegong, it seems, put them inside her.

Mogoeng Mogoeng: Still no evidence Zuma is his puppet master

It was over two years ago that President Jacob Zuma nominated Mogoeng Mogoeng as Chief Justice. It was one of those historic moments that only Zuma can create.

The perfect storm of populism and competition

Union, BMW are at odds, but they share a common interest — a successful operation, writes Ray Hartley.

Government has a right to be stupid

Opponents of e-tolls don’t seem to accept that the government has the right to pass stupid laws, says Eusebius McKaiser.

Digital key to SA media transformation but let’s first find out what’s happening and where

A task team set up by South Africa’s print and digital owners has rejected calls for a transformation charter – which has been opposed by newspaper editors as a back door to regulate the press inappropriately – and instead demanded more rigorous implementation of existing Black Economic Empowerment codes.

ANC trips on social media bandwagon

Though the party is upping its technology game, the marketing behind it remains weak, experts say.

Mo Ibrahim President’s prize: with another barren year looming, it might be time for a rethink

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is set to announce the winner of its annual prize for exceptional African leadership on Monday.

When culture and policing collide: circumcision deaths and ukuthwala – unpunished crimes

Girls as young as 13, kidnapped and forced into marriages with older men. Boys as young as 14, dead as a result of botched circumcisions.

Welcome to the cabaret of art

Artists are dressing up - or undressing - to make a point about who they really are. But is the spectacle more than just cheap drag?

Protests unlikely to dent ANC support at polls

When Rhodes University staff and students took to the streets to protest about being without water for more than nine days, President Jacob Zuma responded and promised to take action.

Analysis: E-tolls and the matter of governing without consent

As news spread of the latest legal ruling concerning Gauteng’s e-tolls, discussion about paying for roads became, in just one jump, a discussion about civil disobedience.

Another bloody nose for America in Somalia

When will they learn? It wasn’t quite Black Hawk Down, but America’s latest military intervention in Somalia was another unmitigated failure.

Our dreams must not become our nightmares

April 1994 saw an enormous continental contradiction: as one nation was being born, another was killing about 10% of its population. "Rwanda is our nightmare, SA is our dream," wrote Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka.

In search of Cape Town’s own Great Gatsby

One of Cape Town’s most beloved fast-foods is also one of its least healthy. The Gatsby: traditionally a French loaf halved and filled with slap chips, meat and variables ranging from egg to fried calamari.

Give the youth a real voice to get them interested

IF POLITICAL parties wonder why many young people don’t bother about party politics, they should look at the way they treat those who do.

A response to Jonathan Jansen’s Percy Baneshik Memorial Lecture to The English Academy of South Africa

Professor Jonathan Jansen is rector of the University of the Free State. On 18 September 2013 he delivered the English Academy of South Africa’s Percy Baneshik Memorial Lecture.

Cursed if we criticise Zuma? Think again

President Jacob Zuma's reading of the Bible misses an important point: we are allowed to criticise his decisions whether he likes it or not.

NUMSA: Is Irvin Jim using BMW to make a hard left entry into national politics?

On Sunday NUMSA general secretary, Irvin Jim, decided to ratchet things up a bit in his little spat with BMW.

Spin City: DA vs. ANC

The DA took the e-tolls battle to the streets of Gauteng last week, erecting mysterious anonymous billboards criticizing the ANC for e-tolling.

Shame on those two Concourt judges

The very legitimacy of the judiciary is at stake if we do not get an evidence-based assessment of the complaint against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, says the writer.

Bone marrow transplant: a donation that saves a life

A bone marrow transplant can be the only way of saving the life of an adult or child with a terminal bone marrow disorder like leukemia.

Rivonia Primary ruling: government schools, last bastions of social cohesion

The Rivonia Primary Case, which saw the Constitutional Court rule that government, through the Basic Education Department, has the final say in determining class sizes in government schools, is a story of nuance.

Everything’s coming up geraniums

A small farm near Uitenhage is a shining example of how partnerships can work.

Wrest power from English tyranny

If our children are to stand tall, they must master the language used to exclude them.

Politics muddy IEC’s integrity

Opposing parties put the elections first, uniting to try to stabilise a floundering electoral commission.

No replacement for ageing brains

As older academics retire, there seems to be little deliberate action to bring new blood on board.

Kneejerk liberal opposition tries to limit the powers of the state

The government has a duty to ensure that universities are publicly accountable.

Real barrier is academic inertia

The Council on Higher Education’s damning report provides ample evidence of the need for urgently reforming the undergraduate curriculum — but are its proposals workable?

Children are lost without translation

Too few stories have been translated into African languages: let’s do something about it.

For one polla night the Cape Flats sparkles with hope

The guns are silent as the community of Manenberg comes together to celebrate 12 years of learning.

Physics needn’t be Greek to isiZulu

But students are concerned that technical words don’t translate well.

How to make a quick billion bucks: Guptas vs. Sunday Times and M&G

After a brief respite after the launch of ANN7, the Guptas are back into the news.

Bok for the bioscope: South Africa's movie boom

If you look out into the veld at the intersection of the N2 highway and Baden Powell Drive, which takes you to Stellenbosch, you will notice something out of place.

SA’s investors should show outrage over pathetic financial crime policing

Last week’s high court judgment rejecting the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) decision to drop charges against former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli (he was at one point investigated for fraud, murder and other things) is something investors should pay attention to.

Hlophe saga: The (mi)stakes are too high

As always with matters Hlophe, it's important to provide some context.

Polls will test our ability to campaign in peace

Next year’s election will be about more than the result — it will also test one of the achievements of the past two decades, our ability to hold trouble-free elections.

The economy: between the IMF, the NDP and a hard place

On Tuesday the International Monetary Fund, that old capitalist Bretton Woods, US-dominated, structural adjustment programme imposer, told South Africa that our unions are too strong, demand too much, and stand in the way of economic growth.

Why Kenya should be furious with SA

Jacob Zuma's good-news philosophy is costing us lives, writes Verashni Pillay, in the wake of the Kenya attack and the release of the crime stats.

THE BIG ISSUE: Do we need more state, less state, or a better state?

Inequality is among our greatest problems. More than 52% of South Africans live below the poverty line of R577 a month and about 13% live in inordinate poverty.

Everything’s coming up geraniums

A small farm near Uitenhage is a shining example of how partnerships can work.

Chinese economists to play in Shanghai sandbox

A sluggish economy is not a disaster for China, but it is a worry. Never ones to act in haste, China’s leadership is setting up a special free trade zone in Shanghai designed to test out various solutions to the looming economic malaise (all of them distinctly un-Communist, it should be noted).

Why plans to legalise rhino-horn trade will fail

A recent study in Vietnam, sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), reveals that demand for rhino horn may be much larger than previously thought. It shows that, in addition to consumers of rhino horn, there is a large group of "intenders" — people who intend to buy rhino horn when they can afford it.

Shafted: Has the Dept of Mineral Resources cuckolded an Australian mining investor?

Mining is supposed to be South Africa’s mainstay, a part of the economy that underpins everything else. Even though its importance has diminished over the years, it still matters enormously when something goes wrong.

SA will have a price to pay for its ambivalent stand on terror

As Kenya weeps, the ANC drags its feet on creating a policy on extremism, writes Ray Hartley The only people smiling are the members of al-Shabab wandering around the malls of South Africa with impunity.

The unwavering persistence of entrepreneurs

The following is a transcription of a keynote speech made by Memeburn publisher and Creative Spark founder Matthew Buckland at the Youth Entrepreneurs Connect Conference at the Cape Town ICC on 28 September.

Choosing bad reasons to damn Zuma

President Zuma singing at a Cosatu event in Midrand. In his column, McKaiser takes a look at the attacks on the presidents intellectual abilities and questions whether these stand or fall by the books he might or might not have read.

Abortion in South Africa: a conspiracy of silence

Saturday, September 28, was the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. South Africa has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world - on paper.

A luta continua: defending Malema and Mabulu’s right to express themselves

South Africa, and South Africans, value freedom. Some might be skeptical of this claim and believe that the water in this particular pot is heating up without us noticing. But scratch deeper, and you are bound to discover that things don’t happen in this country if citizens get angry enough.

Analysis: Don’t touch me on my statistics - Pali Lehohla pulls the plug on UNECA speaker

When South Africa’s statistician-general pulled the plug on a keynote speaker at a recent conference,

Student politics: Democracy's under threat on our campuses

DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko delivered a powerful message to students at Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi

Weakened ANCYL poses election trouble for ANC

Factional battles and Jacob Zuma’s fight for survival within the ANC were responsible in part for the ANC not thinking ahead to the 2014 elections.

There Will be Blood

Nkosinathi Mngomezulu was shot in the stomach on Saturday morning. He was shot at the Marikana land occupation at Stop 1, Cato Crest in Durban during an eviction.

Kenyan soul sadly robbed from healing voices

Creative Spirit THIS week's attack during a siege of a shopping mall in Kenya by the al Shabaab militant group was not only a fight for ideology but it will also be remembered

Kenya siege aftermath: A grim to-do list

The siege may be over and the terrorists in custody, but the Westgate is still a smouldering ruin and there are bodies trapped in the wreckage.

Waterkloof two back behind bars – where they should have been all along

In a week where one high-profile South African criminal – Rashied Staggie – was released from prison, two others have returned to prison.

Seeds of apartheid still in bloom

It breaks Eusebius McKaiser’s heart that a six-year-old black girl wishes to be a white woman when she grows up.

Nairobi attack: Why Kenya and why now?

When Kenya sent thousands of soldiers across the border to hunt down Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Islamist militant group warned they would get their revenge.

Rashied Staggie release: Leader of the pack is back on the streets

The mid-90s in Cape Town should have been a time to rejoice in the transition to a hard-fought democracy, but for many Cape Flats residents it was a period of fear and turmoil.

Where cops do the work for drug lords

Crime may be down, but Hillbrow’s illegal economy is too lucrative to eliminate corruption.

Spin can’t hide murder spike

Poor detective work and weak police intelligence are behind worrying crime trends.

Wikipedia: The Empire writes back

Less than 10% of Wikipedia entries are created by people outside Europe and North America. What this means is the available information on countries like South Africa is often incomplete, inadequate or inaccurate, but a new initiative aims to change that.

IEC credibility: Endangered, must save from extinction

Elections are about credibility. Without it, they are nothing: a useless waste of time, speech, and money. With it, they determine a nation's future, how we're feeling about things, whether we have hope, and if we have a future.

All aboard the Addis-Djibouti Express!

Once upon a time, there was a railway line linking Addis Ababa with Djibouti. Haphazard and unmaintained, the route fell out of service and land-locked Ethiopia lost one of its most important lifelines to the sea. But it’s nothing a little bit of Chinese money can’t fix.

Department of Women: Love Me Tender

The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities is currently inviting the public to bid for a tender to “conduct a market research on the DWCPD Brand”. Yes, really.

The media make mountains of ANC molehills

NEWS practitioners should take serious note of Herman Wasserman’s comment that "trust and credibility" underline the relationship between the media and society (Call for media to maintain public trust, September 9).

Saving Somalia, one Belgian waffle at a time

Donors, diplomats and supplicating Somali politicians met in Brussels on Monday to raise money for Somalia, which needs it desperately.

Analysis: Bedroom politics, marriage and work, social development ANC and DA-style

Tuesday morning saw the Department of Social Development present its White Paper on Families, and Tuesday afternoon saw the DA present its Green Paper on Social Protection.

The politics of polling contradicts common sense

You have opinions and prejudices that you want everyone to take seriously? Put a number on them. That way, you too can get loads of publicity while you mislead people on politics and labour.

Malema and the DA: Marikana politicking ahead of 2014 elections?

The opposition's fervent support of the Marikana miners has been read as political opportunism, but civilians behind the campaign seem okay with it.

The BEE in our bonnet

That there is something wrong with the way we currently run Black Economic Empowerment isn't a novel statement. We all know that somehow it's immoral and very hard to justify.

Hlaudi weather: the problem with the SABC’s 'good news' journalism

Over the past few weeks it's become evident that we are in the middle of one of those perennial discussions about whether our media is bad, mad or just plain evil. It started this time when Hlaudi Motsoeneng said he wanted “70% good news” in SABC bulletins.

Banks’ focus on unsecured lending crimps growth of home ownership

THE tremendous growth in unsecured lending is partly a result of a shift in lending from home loans into personal loans by the big four banks.

Africa’s new colonists: rabid, anti-gay, American evangelical Christians

Opponents of gay rights in Africa often suggest that homosexuality is “un-African”. But over the past few years, scholars and activists have warned with growing urgency that it is the increasing pitch of homophobia on the continent that is really un-African, because it is literally being imported in some cases.

Dubul’ ijuda/Shoot the Jew’ and the local architecture of anti-Semitism

On 28 August a protest on Wits campus saw among the worst instances of public anti-Semitism in the post-Apartheid era. The incident has attracted little substantive analysis in the South African media, despite what it reveals about the architecture of local anti-Semitism.

Jim’s fervour is lost on the alliance

The union comes from a worker-centred tradition that puts it on a collision course with the ANC.

Love of rugby trumps racial stereotypes

Black players at a Lowveld school answer racist taunts on the field with points on the board.

Rural school gets A+ for pass rates

A principled principal has enjoyed tremendous success by instilling self-confidence in his pupils.

South Africa, a nation transformed (sort of)

Some good-ish news for a Friday: the South African Institute of Race Relations says that despite all the naysayers, transformation has not failed in South Africa.

Holding us hostage: How little Napoleons are ruining SA sport

As a nation, we’ve grown accustomed to a staple of political scandal, claims of corruption, howls of outrage and innocence as well as the usual “innocent until proven guilty” side-dish.

To BEE or not to BEE? The DA's dilemma

The Democratic Alliance is taking flak for struggling to reconcile its non-racial philosophy with its newly trumpeted commitment to BEE.

Africa’s mobile phone e-learning transformation

Mobile phone ownership across the continent is rocketing, but can it expand higher education’s reach and quality?

Open Book Festival: Better and Better

Last year we said that Cape Town’s Open Book Festival, though only in its second year of existence, was establishing itself as South Africa’s pre-eminent literary festival. This year’s incarnation of the festival has supported that assertion.

The government’s guide to using the Internet in China (hint: with caution)

Already a censor’s paradise, new regulations are making the Internet in China even more fraught for users who risk being slapped with a three-year prison term if they say the wrong thing online. SIMON ALLISON ducks behind the Great Firewall to explain the changes.

Hey, that was our idea! Valli Moosa adjusts the ANC’s view on land rights

In a political playing field as contested and filled with as many agendas and subtexts as our own, there is very little we agree on. So, the things we do agree on need to be protected.

Education needs active citizenry to end its crisis

I was going to write about war and rank hypocrisy. US President Barack Obama told the world last week that he has decided to launch military attacks on Syria because "we are the United States of America, and we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to what happened in Damascus.

Moneyweb to sue Fin24 in groundbreaking plagiarism case

Financial website Moneyweb announced late last week that they are taking the Media24-owned website Fin24 to court for what they term “systematic plagiarism on an industrial scale”, for Fin24’s habit of repurposing stories first published on Moneyweb.

Credit information amnesty drive is electioneering before 2014 poll

The Cabinet’s efforts to push through the proposed credit information amnesty has no possible explanation other than being a cheap attempt to attract votes in a core African National Congress (ANC) constituency in the run-up to next year’s elections.

The tangled tale of Flippie Engelbrecht

A farmworker’s teenage son, beaten by the farmer and his manager so badly that he developed epilepsy and subsequently fell into a fire, ending up blind and without any hands.

Blood in the Streets of Santiago: Forty Years Since the Coup in Chile

Pablo Neruda, the great Chilean poet, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 for “a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams".

When peacekeepers attack: Why SA troops are in harm’s way in the DRC

South African soldiers are again coming under fire in a messy conflict in central Africa. This time, the setting is the Democratic Republic of Congo. What are we doing there, and why are we on the attack?

Fragile Somalia loses two lifelines in quick succession

Already reeling like a boxer on the ropes, Somalia’s so-called recovery is about to be derailed by a brutal one-two punch as Médecins Sans Frontières withdraws its medical services and Barclays cuts off the main remittance pipeline. It’s a devastating double blow for a country that still needs all the help it can get.

Five years on: politics could have been so very different

Five years ago, in September 2008, then president Thabo Mbeki was removed from office by the African National Congress (ANC). The event shook the foundations of the new South African order, raising questions about the constitution and altering the country’s destiny.

South Africa’s online trolls: to feed or not to feed?

Don’t feed the trolls. That’s the general advice when confronted with these online pests.

SA needs ‘radical reconciliation’

In the wake of the release of this year’s Reconciliation Barometer, an annual survey of South African attitudes now in its tenth year, you’re likely to see a number of headlines proclaiming that class, rather than race, is now the most divisive social issue in South Africa. But don’t misunderstand: the Barometer’s findings clearly state that race and class are still intimately interlinked. The other headline finding of the survey is a significant drop over the past year in confidence in government institutions and politicians. But guess who’s top of the pops in the public opinion? Why, it’s Thuli Madonsela. By REBECCA DAVIS.

The man behind Cape Town’s poo protests - but who does Andile Lili represent?

Expelled ANC councillor Andile Lili was at the helm of the October protests in Cape Town

Eastern Cape editor arrested after exposing alleged municipal corruption

The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has raised concerns over what they call “an attempt to harass and intimidate”

2019 and the young guns - MMUSI MAIMANE

Mmusi Maimane has found himself in a party in which, as one Democratic Alliance insider put it

Analysis: The outrage over exam ‘baby rape’ question is justified

“Will South Africans ever be shocked by rape?” a BBC op-ed asked in January this year, shortly before the rape and murder of Anene Booysen. In certain circumstances: yes. This week saw an outpouring of indignation over a question in the Matric Dramatic Art theory exam, which required pupils to describe how they would direct actors in the simulation of a rape using props to “maximise the horror”. The Department of Basic Education remains unapologetic. REBECCA DAVIS took a look at the furore.

DA: We’re not over race, but united we stand - Rebecca Davis

The DA’s position on race-based affirmative action has been painted as inconsistent and confused this month, after the party changed its mind on supporting the Employment Equity Amendment Bill.

EFF supporters fervent but still not registered to vote

Despite nearly 2 000 EFF supporters turning out for Julius Malema's night vigil, many of these youthful backers have not registered to vote.

Analysis: The new Alliance Gospel according to Mantashe

While our political commentariat has been focused on what now looks like the slow

New study again proves worth of social grants in South Africa

Doubters of social grants, hear ye, hear ye: an extensive three-year study by academics from Oxford

Analysis: EFF is still light years away from being a real political power - STEPHEN GROOTES

As we live through a phony war ahead of real election time next year, Julius Malema is getting more and more attention. Sometimes it's claimed he's the Chosen One who will actually give the ANC the shock it needs.

Information: the first step towards active citizenry

South Africa needs an active citizenry. The first step is information. This is because there is a clear link between information and power and, as highlighted by the R2K campaign,....

Cosatu turmoil: Numsa's president quits, raising questions over union's unity

On Monday evening, the President of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), Cedric Gina, confirmed that he had "given his resignation to the structures and members of the union". He also hinted that his fate now rests in the hands of Numsa members. This is a clear sign that Gina is more than unhappy at the direction Numsa is taking, as it prepares to leave the Alliance, and probably Cosatu itself. But it's also an indication of the very real tensions within Numsa, over what is probably the biggest, and most risky, decision it will ever make.

State simply cannot do everything on its own

SOUTH Africa last week experienced electricity load shedding.

SA's reality: absence of ethics at leadership level

OUR reality is that too many who occupy positions of power, and are entrusted with the leadership are sorely wanting in the core values

DA: We’re not over race, but united we stand

The DA’s position on race-based affirmative action has been painted as inconsistent and confused this month, after the party changed its mind on supporting the Employment Equity Amendment Bill. They’ve also been presented as a party riven by internal conflict. On Sunday, after a weekend of policy conferencing, DA leaders were presenting a united front as they told journalists that their position on the matter is now clarified - and consistent with everything they’ve previously said. Internal tensions? What internal tensions? By REBECCA DAVIS.

The truth about ‘jobless growth’

The government has pointed out the need for greater labour market flexibility to create work but it has never enacted any amendments or laws to introduce it, writes Ray Hartley.The first and most obvious cause of joblessness has been the Labour Relations Act The proposed ban on liquor advertising would also cost tens of thousands of jobs.

Using apartheid’s vile tools to try to redress its legacy

Moves to ensure fair university admissions create several dilemmas, writes Max Price.To gain admission, some students wilfully misclassify themselves in relation to the old categories — particularly whites and Indians claiming to be coloured.

SKA: Promise still lies in the stars

The wind picks up, blowing whorls of dust down the street. The men sitting on the side of the road avert their eyes and retreat further into the shade of the colonial-style building they are leaning against.

Mmusi Maimane: Obama of Soweto?

The Democratic Alliance's rising star, Mmusi Maimane is irked by his comparison with US President Barack Obama, which he tries to shrug off.

Service delivery protest the rebellion of poor

MOST people have been shocked by the land invasion, Zimbabwe style, by protesters in Uitenhage. Some are even outraged.

E-tolls: Happy Christmas, now shut up and pay, losers!

On Wednesday the Transport Minister Dipuo Peters confirmed that those massive structures

Is Botswana quietly getting fracked?

This week it emerged that Botswana has granted concessions to drill for natural gas over large tracts of land

Mxit reboots with #mxit7… Now what?

Mxit 7 on iOS is gorgeous. Its reimagined J2ME client is perhaps even more impressive.

Get ready for a Parliament featuring Julius Malema

A delayed court bid effectively means Julius Malema's EFF may well find its way into a very interesting Parliament next year, writes Verashni Pillay.

Theory of ‘born frees’ rests on many falsehoods

A FREQUENT theme as we prepare for the election is the "born free" factor: it is the first in which the generation born after 1994 is eligible to register and some of us insist that this will change how people vote. Registration figures are watched closely to see how many newly eligible voters sign up because it is assumed the African National Congress (ANC) may battle to attract their support.

How the internet is invading the real world (and why we should welcome it)

There are still untapped opportunities for software to completely revolutionise virtually every industry on the planet.

The day in 1993 when there was no turning back for SA

It was exactly 20 years ago on Monday that negotiators signed off on South Africa’s "interim" constitution, a document that would guide the transition from apartheid to democracy.

The unwavering persistence of entrepreneurs

We have all the resources we need to create entrepreneurs. Believe in your idea, but most importantly believe in yourself.

Analysis: Melissa Bachman and online misogyny

You may well find canned lion hunting morally repugnant. But responses to US hunter Melissa Bachman

Quality, ranking and the changing face of PhD training

African universities need to rethink how they understand success factors, according to Professor Cheryl de la Ray, vice-chancellor and principal of the University of Pretoria and former chief executive of South Africa’s Council on Higher Education.

Anene Booysen: Why India and SA responded differently to two brutal rapes

The brutal gang rapes and murders of a 23-year-old Indian student and South Africa’s Anene Booysen

AG Report: one step forward, three steps back as R30.8 billion is blown irregularly

Your approach to the 2012/2013 audit outcomes of government departments and public entities

Nkandla report: Thuli Madonsela strikes back with force

In the court of public opinion, legal papers and affidavits with their Latin and their length are often, thankfully neglected.

Voter registration can work against democracy

WHY does no one seem to have a problem with being forced to apply for a democratic citizen’s most basic right?

Art that pushes boundaries

TAKING the untrodden road and challenging the dance creative status quo has paid off richly for a former Rhodes University student.

Better ways to gauge university transformation

THE equity index (EI) study conducted by University of KwaZulu-Natal researchers is rightfully

Carnage on SA roads: What can be done?

Tuesday morning brought the news that another 29 people had died in a road accident on Monday night,

If the 'boers' do come back, it’s the ANC’s fault

The ANC looks bad whichever way Cyril Ramaphosa meant his nonsensical statement about the boers coming back if we don’t vote, writes Verashni Pillay.

The Thin Blue Line vs. the Fourth Estate - REBECCA DAVIS

It’s a week when secrecy – broadly construed – is in the news.

Analysis: Did climate change cause Super Typhoon Haiyan?

No single event can prove or disprove climate change – and anyways, we don’t have enough

The Boers at the end of the world

In a remote corner of Patagonia, a community exists to whom Sarie Marais is a familiar ditty and melktert is sold in the local café.

Why Zille should ignore Tony Leon

The DA faces interesting pressures as it grows in size. From some, there is pressure on the party to be more inclusive in its identity. It has to be attractive to people whose fundamental principles, values and lifestyles are not liberal.

Political 'hits' concerning

LAST month, forensic auditor Lawrence Moepi was killed in a suspected hit, as he arrived at his Johannesburg office.

Burning envy

This is a collaborative piece between learners from Ntsika Secondary School and Pedro Tabensky. The learners have been having conversations with him for a few months and wish through this article to reflect their thoughts and feelings about growing up in Grahamstown East.The result is a reconstruction of these conversations.

Is the glass half full or half empty?

ALMOST exactly 20 years ago, in November 1993, the results of a survey of South African attitudes to democracy was released.

Talking 'bout South African ethics - Rebecca Davis

What do footballer Lucas Radebe, activist Rhoda Kadalie, ‘Paleo diet’-advocate Tim Noakes and Business Day editor Peter Bruce – to name a few – have to teach the South African public about ethics?

Remembering Thomas Sankara, the EFF's muse - REBECCA DAVIS

Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters have invoked the legacy of former Burkina Faso president Thomas Sankara as a model of governance they apparently wish to emulate.

Be sure, the art of spying is alive and well in SA

RECENT revelations about the extent of US government spying have put secrecy and privacy at the centre of that country’s national debate. South Africa should be having a similar conversation. Only the credulous would believe this government isn’t spying on many of its citizens. After all, sections of the state have turned spying on government officials into an art form

Youth League: RIP, or just a Deep Freeze?

In the same way that a businessman who once ruled the JSE with pomp and flair is finally brought down to earth with a sequestration hearing in a shabby courtroom, so the political boom that was the ANC Youth League during the Malema years has come to a staggering bust in the South Gauteng High Court.

Political TV debates: Can we have some more?

A debate between the DA and ANC hosted on SABC on Sunday night didn’t offer much more than the opportunity to see Western Cape Public Works MEC, Robin Carlisle, and ANC Western Cape chair, Marius Fransman, yelling over each other in front of a baying audience.

Dali Mpofu joins EFF: Quo Vadis, Winnie?

On Sunday, in what could have been a carefully placed exclusive, Advocate Dali Mpofu confirmed to the City Press

The fracking fantasy falters

TWO weeks before he died in March, the economist Tony Twine made public the results of his research into “economic considerations surrounding potential shale gas resources in the southern Karoo of South Africa”.

More than skin deep

There is a very disturbing document making its way into universities in South Africa.

‘We overcompensated for apartheid’

The post-1994 government’s moves to redress the apartheid inequalities teachers and black people had suffered amounted to “overcompensation”, AgangSA leader Mamphela Ramphele told an overseas conference this week.

Towards a new, just world of work

Official rationales for increasing education enrolment are highly questionable.

What Winnie’s prison memoir reminds us about the Mandelas

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is now 77 years old, and a record kept by her while in detention in 1969 has recently been published.

China goes silent on mysterious Tiananmen Square crash

Chinese media has gone suspiciously silent about what exactly happened in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on Monday.

Maharaj vs. Grootes: Unspun by a spin-doctor

On Tuesday night STEPHEN GROOTES, who likes to think he can put people in a tight spot, found himself on the wrong side of the conversation.

Let nothing stand in the way of economic growth

The medium-term budget policy statement released last week makes for sombre reading. Its key message is that five consecutive years of subpar economic growth have left fiscal policy with no room for manoeuvre.

Don't call me, I won't call you

People making fewer phone calls is fast becoming a worldwide trend. And there's not much network operators can do about it, says Alistair Fairweather.

Cape Town looting: small stall-holders, foreigners bear the brunt of local politics

In Cape Town, marches to Parliament or the provincial legislature are so common that sometimes they barely make the news.

How our Equity Index can be used to track University transformation

PMG minutes of UKZN VC and Professor's presentation to portfolio committee on higher education (Oct 23)

What is happening about community telly?

With digital television imminent, broadcast media are anxious for the opportunities inherent in multichannel. In Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT), the use of digital signals allows a large amount of spectrum to be released for other purposes.

Justice, of a sort, for Anene

Anene Booysen would have been 18 years old today. Instead of celebrating her birthday, Booysen’s family and friends will hear what sentence the man ruled responsible for her gruesome rape and murder will receive.

Analysis: As SA soldiers subdue DRC rebels, Zuma goes shopping for power in Kinshasa

Sometimes, diplomacy is all about timing. This week, a fortunate Jacob Zuma got his timing exactly right, turning up in Kinshasa just as South African troops helped the Congolese army to a major victory over rebels in the east.

Better to have backbone when it counts

Real moral courage means putting your career at risk for the greater good, writes Eusebius McKaiser.

State officials not the only conspicuous consumers

If we think that flashy and wasteful spending is the invention and sole property of the government, we have not been paying attention.

Bruce Springsteen Returns to Southern Africa

When Bruce Springsteen steps on to the stage in Cape Town on the 28th of January next year it will be his first performance in South Africa, but it won’t be his first connection to South Africa.

SA cops: too fast, too furious

Award-winning South African hip-hop star Khuli Chana was recovering at home yesterday after having been shot by police in an apparent case of mistaken identity during the hunt for a kidnapper.

Phone tapping scandals pandemic: Big Brother’s watching and nobody seems to care

It's been a tough couple of months for those of us who believe that our communications should be private.

Western Cape farm strikes: one year on, still a political football

This week marks the one year anniversary of the strikes by Western Cape farmworkers which left three workers dead, saw R160 million claimed for in insurance, and resulted in a 52% increase in the minimum wage for the sector.

For the sins of the fathers: Caribbean countries sue for slavery, but what could it mean for SA?

Fourteen Caribbean nations are to sue European governments for reparations for slavery. The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is bringing lawsuits to the International Court of Justice in the Hague against Britain, France and the Netherlands for their roles in the Atlantic slave trade.

Too little, too late condemns pupils

Research reveals that poor language and maths education in SA is failing hundreds of thousands.

Maths teaching in SA adds up to multiplying class divisions

Poor performance in public schools is likely to accelerate the growth of private education.

Good mini-budget politics: the amazing Gordhan/Zuma double act

The art of politics is essentially the art of allocating resources in a fashion that keeps everyone happy while still voting for the ruling party. The art of politics is essentially the art of allocating resources in a fashion that keeps everyone happy while still voting for the ruling party.

A ghost in the machine: do the Zuma Spy Tapes actually exist?

If South African politics has an original sin (apart from, you know, Apartheid, four hundreds years of racial violence etc) it is probably the Arms Deal.

DA leaks make it clear party is at a crossroads

The racial origin of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) leader is much less important than the message it sends to voters.

'SA Politics Unspun': Making sense out of that Great Blooming, Buzzing Confusion

Back during South Africa’s “ancien régime”, included in their diplomatic staff, the bigger foreign embassies in this country almost always had political observers and analysts who specialized in either white politics, or black politics.

Employment equity: not a black and white issue

Last week’s ruling in the Cape Town Labour Court that the Department of Correctional Services should make appointments in line with regional as well as national racial demographics amounts to a victory for the Western Cape’s coloured community.

I can’t use the ‘I didn’t know excuse’ for the second time

Although the Hewitt’s experience Mamelodi for a Month has been written and talked about (and hit the front pages of newspapers around the world),

Mother-tongue classrooms give a better boost to English study later

What language should South African children be taught in?

Love: addiction with no rehab

Why do we crave love? Why do we choose one ¬person over another? What do cocaine and love have in common?

SA must not forget Latin America

IN the rush to build relationships with rising industrial powers China and India, South Africa

Africa for optimists: 2013 in review

If you think Africa’s only about coups, civil wars and crazy dictators…well, we do have a few of those.

Daily Maverick’s SA Person(s) of the year 2013: Anene Booysen and Reeva Steenkamp

It was a horrifying start to 2013. Two deaths, less than two months apart, which drew attention

Booing Zuma: Is this the turning point?

If there was one thing that could not have been predicted before Nelson Mandela Memorial

The firing of Cape Times editor: A sign of things to come?

As most of the country and the world have stopped business as usual to remember Nelson Mandela

Madonsela's response: A new hope

On Tuesday, at what the ANC called an “urgent press conference”, it spat fire at the Public Protectors, claiming Thuli Madonsela had admitted her office was responsible for the leak of her provisional Nkandla report, and saying that she was “playing political games” with the document.

Numsa v SACP

As Numsa head towards their special congress in Boksburg next week the tensions within Cosatu

Cosatu standoff revives battle of 30 years ago

EITHER trade union history is about to repeat itself or the African National Congress (ANC)

28UP: Compelling documentary, compulsory viewing for politicians

The British TV series Up, which selected a group of children and filmed an update on their lives

Zuma fallout and Numsa's future party: A long-term dance

To a political alien from another system, President Jacob Zuma must look like a boxer on the ropes.

E-tolls: to pay up or join the ranks of the ungovernable?

In case you haven't heard, those white ornaments above the Gauteng highways go live today.

Academic freedom in a democratic South Africa

In the Students’ Union Foyer, at the base of the University of Cape Town’s Jagger Library, hang a series of paintings by the South African artist Richard Baholo.

Malema courts love and acceptance

The EFF leader’s muted appearance in court was a prelude to an unusual rally outside

EFF: Two senior party officials accused of involvement in 2008 gang rape - Rebecca Davis

Addressing his supporters outside court in Polokwane on Monday last week, Julius Malema warned EFF members to keep their zips closed so that the party is not dragged into a rape case.

Battle for DA a contest between two liberalisms

EVERY now and then, we are reminded that South African liberalism, like its counterparts elsewhere,