TB Joshua, a 'false prophet', must come clean

Matthew 24:24: "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

Rhetoric aside, what we had was compromise

The economic and social policy framework in SA since the advent of democracy has been described as a "class compromise".

No quick solution to the problem of inequality

South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. We are not, as is often claimed, the most unequal.

Outlook for mining is about the future of jobs

THE platinum strike is in its fifth month. We learned last week that it has already caused a 0.6% annualised contraction of SA’s gross domestic product

Hosting mega-events not as valuable as thought

THE run-up to this year’s Fifa World Cup in Brazil was marred by widespread popular protests. Underlying these demonstrations are numerous social

Mining pay should reflect rise and fall of profits

THE five-month platinum strike is thankfully at an end. Producers and workers must now focus on recovering as best they can.

Sleeping through a revolution

Martin Luther King Junior eloquently adapted the story in the context of America sleeping through the rise of the black consciousness movement.

Revenue shortfalls just part of Eskom’s troubles

Commentary about Eskom’s financial woes usually focuses on the refusal by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to grant the utility its requested large annual tariff increases over the next five years.

If users are to pay, they must also have a say on big projects

THE recent decision by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to grant Eskom an additional tariff hike next year to compensate

Matthew Lester: Save our teachers. F$@k the cruising Abil executive

I quote from Prof Lawrence Wright lecture at Rhodes University 16 November, 2011. (Yes, that’s now nearly 4 years ago!).

SA’s mining address no longer in a prime area

THE president of the Chamber of Mines describes South Africa as "the world’s best mining address".

SA must cut exposure to fickle global investors

TWO developments dominated the economic news in recent days. The first was the unexpectedly large increase in SA's current account deficit to 6.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) — in money terms, a deficit of R222bn a year.

Matthew Lester: Judge Masipa got Oscar judgement spot on. Here’s why.

For the past two years even the National Budget Speech has been chased out of the media spotlight by Oscar Pistorius.

Matthew Lester: Bravo Tim Noakes – stuff those empty suits and their dusty tomes

My favorite book ever, even beyond JD Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye’, is Apsley Cherie-Garrard’s ‘the worst journey in the world.

Matthew Lester: Whose Heritage Day is it anyway?

Wednesday 24 September is Heritage Day. It is a pity that our country, so rich in heritage, seems to have reduced this important day to a bring-and-braai pissup.

Matthew Lester: Goodbye Great SA Summer Holiday – and coastal fun spots

Matthew Lester has a light pen. And a way of teaching us about his speciality – tax – by working lessons through seemingly unrelated stories.

Job disparities according to race are alarming

A Recent report by Statistics SA provides interesting insights on employment and unemployment in SA.

Matthew Lester: Rising food prices, a spark that ignites unrest

“Cry havoc – and let loose the Dogs of War.” Frederick Forsyth didn’t pen the line.

Who's Heritage Day is it anyway?

It is not difficult to come to the conclusion that we are steeped in a deep heritage of assassinating each other WEDNESDAY, September 24, was Heritage Day.

Matthew Lester: Investing local is still lekker

There are many disturbing images of our beautiful country.

Our economic weakness is of our own making

AFTER decades of poor economic performance, sub-Saharan Africa’s growth is taking off.

Matthew Lester: Tax alert – big news coming in next week’s Mini Budget

Some say the news event of October will again be Oscar Pistorius.

Matthew Lester: Preview of the maxi Important Mini Budget (video)

This year’s Mini Budget, to be presented to Parliament tomorrow.

Matthew Lester: My assessment of the 2014 Mini-Budget

New Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene this afternoon delivered his first major speech to Parliament in his new role.

Rapid growth only real option to fight inequality

A RECENT World Bank Report highlights the effectiveness of SA’s fiscal policies in reducing inequality and poverty.

Matthew Lester: Will stamping out tax evasion solve the world’s tax problems?

A director of a listed company, exhausted by multiple SARS audits, recently complained to me that big companies are overly targeted by SARS. So here is an explanation.

Matthew Lester: The thing that keeps me awake at night

It must be damn tough to be South Africa’s minister of finance. Personally I would rather gut fish.

Matthew Lester: How f***ed are the poor in RSA?

Sorry to ABIL’s ex director Tami Sokutu, I just cannot leave this theme alone.

Investor exit behind fall in commodity prices

THE rapid fall in the oil price to below $80 a barrel will provide welcome relief to cash-strapped South Africans.

New rouble crisis unlikely, but we cannot relax

THE Russian rouble has plummeted against the dollar since the middle of the year.

On Not Reducing Racism to Apartheid

We would be more effective at dealing with the endemic racism in our society if we didn’t relentlessly speak in a manner that

South Africa 2014: Let’s have the good news

In a year which has sometimes seemed to be wall-to-wall murder trials, parliamentary chaos and blackouts, it’s been easy to lose track of the good stuff. REBECCA DAVIS rounds up some of the non-political ‘good news’ happenings in South Africa, or achievements by South Africans, in 2014.

Op-Ed: Rebuilding democracy - time to use our own power!

What was unthinkable 20 years ago has happened in 2014.

Pistorius trial: Athlete could yet be convicted of murder

While the National Prosecuting Authority might not be calling it a victory outright, there must have been sighs of relief in the NPA corridors on Wednesday.

Malema's greatest test so far

South Africa has a pretty difficult history when it comes to the formation of new political parties.

2014 South African Person of the Year: 2nd Runners-up, Oscar Pistorius and Shrien Dewani

The Daily Maverick’s Person of the Year, decided on annually by Daily Maverick staff, does not constitute an endorsement of the individuals in question.

Betrayal chronicles: The agonising case of Apartheid’s black collaborators

Perhaps it’s a sign of our growing historical distance from Apartheid’s formal structures – though not from its legacies

SA Reconciliation Barometer 2014: The struggle against Apartheid amnesia

Every year the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation brings out its Reconciliation Barometer, and often its findings make for uncomfortable reading.

National Key Points: ‘Transparency necessary to repair the rot’

In the long-running game between the government and the media, the key is really the ability of reporters to get government to cough up information.

Some Are Soldiers, Others ‘Straatmeide”

Reports that Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), called Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, “a straatmeid” following a verbal exchange that came close to a physical altercation between Zulu and EFF Member of Parliament, Godrich Gardee, is a crude reminder of the sexist double-standards faced by female guerillas in the aftermath of war where they are expected to conform to dominant ideas of feminine respectability.

ANC trying to fix democracy by suspending it

YOU don’t make democracy work by putting it on hold. This is why the African National Congress (ANC) won’t have a functioning youth wing until

Death stats SA: It’s disease, not crime, killing us softly

Some days our national narrative seems to be so dominated by fears for our safety that it can be easy to forget that most South Africans do not die in a hail of bullets, at the point of a knife, at the hands of a lover or in an unroadworthy vehicle.

SA must see its talents in midst of its dysfunction

ABOUT a decade ago, one of my childhood friends, Michael, called me to tell me he had made it into the SA-Cuba medical training programme.

Pam Yako's response to criticism of her remuneration

Makana administrator responds to criticism of her R27 000 per day "salary" to fix up Grahamstown

Gap between leaders and members at heart of Cosatu’s troubles

THE Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) seems willing to try to put itself back together again.

Analysis: Government’s 16 Days of Activism could do with less prayer and more money.

This is the 15th year in which South Africa has taken part in the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

Op-Ed: Let there be peace… in Parliament?

As the dust finally begins to settle on the chaos and mess that has been the National Assembly over the last two weeks, a broader picture is finally beginning to emerge of the very real dynamics and problems the leaderships of the various parties are facing.

Op-Ed: Defending socioeconomic rights, the frontline of democracy

Below the surface of the Nkandla scandal currently paralysing parliament is the fact that the monies misused were intended to meet basic needs of impoverished citizens.

Parliament diary: A dishonourable farce

What blessed relief to hear MPs in the National Assembly on Thursday finally get down to discussing the Medium Term Budget. What a shame that the debate came over six hours after the start of the Parliamentary sitting, when many South Africans would likely have given up following events.

Ten minutes with the Iron Lady of South Africa

The storm that is raging in the National Assembly shows no signs of abating. Hot on the heels of last Thursday night’s filibuster/police drama came Wednesday’s filibuster 2.0, including personal insults, racial subtext, and even the odd substantive idea.

By ignoring historical context in Parliament the ANC has blurred the line between rule and practice.

here is nothing obvious about the fracas that members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are causing in Parliament. Anybody who argues the contrary is lying — regardless of whether they agree with the EFF that it is about freedom of speech and dress, or with the ANC, which maintains it is about basic parliamentary civility, or with the Democratic Alliance, that always manages to take that crucial political selfie with the most visible underdog at the right time.

Saartjie Baartman is not 'the original booty queen'.

Danielle Bowler says comparing Saartjie Baartman with Kim K and Nicki Minaj is historically reckless.

Parliament diary: Peace no more.

It took little more than 24 hours for the truce between parties negotiated by Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday to fall apart.

Moves to empower chiefs bad for democracy

DOES the African National Congress (ANC) now feel more comfortable with chiefs and princes than with the people?

Riot Police in Parliament

When the ANC raised Jacob Zuma above the rule of law and the scrutiny of parliament they repeated, on live television, an aspect of the logic with which the subaltern classes are routinely governed.

EFF MPs embody local-level ANC culture

THERE’s an African idiom that warns that if you let your child be a menace to the community, one day that same child will chase you around the house with your own sjambok.

Writing on the wall for state of siege.

ISRAEL, at the best of times, is a scary place.

Words from the wise: Moseneke on the (legal) state of the nation.

On Tuesday Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke was widely quoted as suggesting that the President has too much power in the making of appointments to some of the top jobs of state.

Parliament diary: While wounds are licked, questions remain.

After last week’s discomfiting events in Parliament, culminating in police entering the National Assembly to forcibly remove a female EFF MP who had insulted President Jacob Zuma, many are wondering what the way forward is to restore Parliamentary relations.

SACP helped push Numsa’s expulsion from Cosatu

THERE was a time when the South African Communist Party (SACP) terrified supporters of a market economy. Today, it is more likely to frighten the left.

Parliament diary: It wasn’t Zuma’s fault, says Nkandla committee

The Parliamentary committee set up to consider the issue of security upgrades on President Zuma’s Nkandla home has completed its final report.

The New JSC in a Man’s World.

The October 2014 round of Judicial Service Commission (JSC) interviews had been greatly anticipated, particularly because of the composition of the new JSC.

Murder trial of Zwelethu Mthethwa: Justice delayed.

Zwelethu Mthethwa will not face his day in court just yet.

Op-Ed: 16 days of no violence against women and children - Women’s ministry colludes with patriarchy.

It has been reported in a media release from various feminist organisations that the ministry of women in the presidency invited organisations to a meeting about plans for 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children.

Op-Ed: Give Dan and Steve their own homeland. Please.

You might find the thought of a separatist white Afrikaner state repugnant. But, when you consider the possibility of permanently getting rid of everyone who actually wants to live in it, the idea might not be so bad.

When the split hits the fan: Vavi’s future at a crossroads

The expulsion of metalworkers’ union NUMSA is a seismic event.

Five ingredients for a sensational South African story.

From Oscar Pistorius and Shrien Dewani to the murder of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa: A ready formula has been worked out to catch the public’s interest, writes Verashni Pillay.

On being mis-recognised: Julian Hewitt and the angry black woman.

People think I’m an angry black woman.

Making a Sow’s Ear from Palestinian Protest

The recent decision by the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) to place a pig’s head in what was assumed to be the kosher section of Woolworths, and then, in fact, turned out to be the halal section, could be written off as a mere “fail of the week.”

Beyond 'Rebels' and 'Terrorists': On the Chibok Girls and Post 9/11 Militarism.

“What a stupid idea to announce a ceasefire with Boko Haram, who came up with that? Is it that these people don’t think? ...They are eager to announce good news. Elections are coming fast. Announce good news and then make a fool of yourself. Haba. The most stupid part was suggesting a day for the release of the girls.”

The commodification of Reeva Steenkamp’s life

Season two of Aaron Sorkin’s series The Newsroom tracks journalists in an American television news show agonising over a ground-breaking story.

If Cosatu splits, labour relations may get boost it needs

IF THE Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) splits, labour relations may become more difficult in the short term.

Must we sacrifice Kelly Khumalo as well?

In a democratic South Africa, the level of judgement and vitriol levelled at Kelly Khumalo – Senzo Meyiwa’s girlfriend – is deeply distressing.

The Pistorius Appeal: Bring it on

Some sagas in our life, it seems, are just not meant to end.

Sisulu: Minister of Human Unsettlements?

One of the achievements that the ANC often boasts about is the provision of housing to the homeless.

The twin scourge of promise and legacy.

Suggesting that only older people need help in redressing the problems created by apartheid is wrong, says Eusebius McKaiser.

Divided City: Breaking the pact of silence

I want to love my brother as one should love a brother.


Danielle Bowler says that our experiences of the world are acutely linked to the colour of our skin.

What would a COSATU fracture mean for the ANC?

In the brand-spanking new building that is Cosatu House in Braamfontein, the federation’s Central Executive Committee is considering the federation’s future.

Op-Ed: The erosion of trust and paralysis in crucial institutions

For leadership to be respected there must be trust. Quite clearly across a wide spectrum of government, that trust has disappeared.

Jenna’s story: Every breath counts

Jenna Lowe is one of 4,300 South Africans awaiting an organ transplant (excluding those who are unaware that they are experiencing end stage organ failure, or realise too late).

SABC chair sets her lawyers on Parliament

Ellen Tshabalala’s lawyers have launched a bid to stop an inquiry that had resolved to have her suspended for lying about her qualifications.

Our democracy needs free flow

MY SAY When the new editor of the Business Day visited the Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies in September, he surprisingly talked less about doing business journalism and quite a lot about the precarious state of the freedom to know and use information in South Africa.

Online anonymity: Free to be someone else.

Internet use has come full circle, with anonymity becoming prized after years of personal info being shared online, writes Alistair Fairweather

Refugees: Out of the frying pan and into the fire of South Africa’s healthcare system

Signatory to the UN refugee convention, and boasting arguably the most progressive Constitution in the world, South Africa is often perceived to be a safe-haven for refugees fleeing conflict and persecution in their own countries.

Black consciousness: Time to breach the white hole of oppression

Many arguments have arisen out of the article by Gillian Schutte titled "Dear white people" (M&G Thought Leader, January 2) .

The ANC’s internal politics: Is Zuma's gravity field waning?

There is a tendency, when considering our politics, to presume that what Number One wants, Number One gets.

Choose your own path, young intellectual

At a seminar on black thought held at Wits last week, Afro-Jewish philosopher and political thinker Lewis Gordon gave an illuminating talk on “black thought”.

Cosatu: Approaching Armageddon

With so many different dynamics, claims, and finger gestures in our politics, it can be hard to concentrate on the really important trends - the ones that are going to have a major impact in the longer term

Whites not in right head-space

White South Africans don’t just have an unexamined sense of entitlement, but also an embedded sense of superiority, writes Eusebius McKaiser.

Judging the judges: Professionalism, transformation and an active citizenry

Despite the predominance of political appointments, on being appointed many judges acted according to a conception of professionalism that made them unsympathetic to arbitrary and unfettered apartheid government discretion.

Heather Dugmore: When R200 is your make or break – green solutions save the day

When you are living on an income of R1 500 per month and you are able to cut your electricity bill by R200 per month, it is a significant saving.

Education: What’s the point of it all?

A few weeks ago, I read an article to my Grade 11 students with the headline “Youth unemployment in South Africa.

Lesetja Kganyago of the Reserve Bank: Right man for the job, wrong man for the Left

On Monday President Jacob Zuma appointed Lesetja Kganyago as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank.

Heather Dugmore: Stem cell transplants are saving lives in SA

Stem cells are either a miracle of modern medicine or the work of Satan – depending on whom you ask.

Chris Hani and the Arms Deal bombshell: A death that still hangs over us

On Wednesday the arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne went before the Arms Deal Commission and dropped a bombshell.

Mozambique: The little opposition party that could

Mozambique’s political duopoly is being shattered by the upstarts of the Movimento Democrático de Moçambique, who reckon they could cause an upset – if not in these presidential elections (coming up next week) then in the next.

The Banting diet reimagined for politicians

Carbs are the devil. Just ask Professor Tim Noakes. I’m not so sure about his Banting diet. At first I thought that it was called that because presumably all you could eat were triangular-shaped scraps hanging from a string, a sort of foodie take on bunting. But I was wrong. Apparently you can eat that AND chunks of meat, preferably stewed in fat, with some fat on the side.

Julius Malema and the better capitalists

Julius Malema appeared in court last week and with him, a Louis Vuitton belt.

Competition for schools has parents at wits’ ends

THERE is a joke going around in the human rights legal fraternity that much of its litigation against the Department of Basic Education is akin to taking the Post Office to court to get stamps. That is how pedantic the struggle for improving education for the majority children in SA has become.

Heather Dugmore: The White Slaves of Africa

We are keenly aware of the atrocities of the black slave trade in Africa, but not many know that there was also an active white slave trade on the continent between the 1600s and 1800s.

Behind the Icon – Tebello Nyokong: The compassionate scientist

This week, 21 Icons focuses its lens on the 10th icon of its second season: Tebello Nyokong

Bulelani Ngcuka strikes back: Too little, too late

In a story as long and as complicated as that of the Zuma Spy Tapes, it takes quite a lot to surprise anyone.

The assassination surge on those fighting corruption

On Monday evening, not long after the sun went down, a man with a gun stepped out of the dark and into the everyday domestic routine in Thuli Ndlovu’s home in KwaNdengezi, Durban.

'Fight back!' Universities must put teaching at their front and centre

It is fashionable these days to suggest that the university has reached the end of one of its lives. What do you think underlies this thinking and, if it is correct, how do you see the next life of the university?

Baleka Mbete: She coulda been a contender - STEPHEN GROOTES

As President Jacob Zuma continues to hog the headlines with scandals past and present, the speculation around who will take over from him has begun.

The 2014 Ibrahim Index: Cause for concern as Africa's governance role models slip up

Another year, another Ibrahim Index of African Governance. The continent’s governance barometer was released on Monday, and its results make for some disturbing reading. If Africa Rising is your thing, look away now. By SIMON ALLISON.

Op-Ed: Minister Motsoaledi, we need more medical doctors

The attitude of government towards private investment, the private sector, and capitalism in general can sometimes be a little more than schizophrenic.

Op-ed: Will Zuma go down and will he go alone?

It has become commonplace for analysts to speculate on President Jacob Zuma's future.

In democracies, law is important but politics is decisive

THE constitution and the law are there to ensure that democratic politics happens within agreed rules — not to make politics go away.

Op-Ed: Patriarchy is part of our heritage, but not to be celebrated

When we engage patriarchy as heritage we need to engage with resistance to oppression of women as well.

Cultivating a reading culture is key to the country's future

Tomorrow is International Translation Day, and so it is an appropriate day on which to ask: Why is literacy important?

Tim Noakes to critics: Let’s take off our shirts and compare

As we all know by now Professor Tim Noakes believes that it is not proteins and fats but rather carbohydrates and sugars that are the culprits of ill health and obesity.

Fringe Festival: Crazy in Love captures our hearts, even as it loses its mind

The Conspiracy of Clowns is back, united once again in Cape Town, and boy, are they announcing their Mother City entrance with a bang. By CARLA LEVER.

Dear ANC, stop apologising for winning freedom

Since coming into power in 1994, the ANC under Mandela learnt the art of being a party full of apologies.

Tall Thales: Sunday Times Arms Deal exposé drills holes in Zuma's version

On Sunday the Sunday Times splashed with a front-page story that spoke for itself: “Exposed! How Arms Dealer Bankrolled Zuma”, shouted the headline.

South Africa: After the End of Our Innocence

From our increasingly riotous streets to our ever more fractious parliament, it is undeniably clear that South Africa is not a country at ease with itself.

EFF's rise: When and how will the Empire strike back?

If you had to pose the question who has benefitted the most politically since the results of our elections in May were announced, there could really only be one answer.

Heather Dugmore: Are superbugs like Ebola winning the war?

Well researched, well argued. well concluded. At a 55% fatality rate, we need to be worried about Ebola. All of us. But what’s scary about this Heather Dugmore piece is that Ebola is only one of many threats to humanity’s health. Superbugs are mushrooming. – AH

RIP Mangaung's corruption resolution, RIP

Saying corruption is a problem in our society is like saying Floyd Shivambu isn’t afraid of using gestures when he can’t find his words.

Analysis: Russia and South Africa, together for decades

The massive nuclear deal signed with Rosatom is not just about energy.

Divorce by Facebook - why online affairs rarely end happily ever after

Reading Heather Dugmore’s piece reminded me of a friend who joined the mushrooming statistics of Divorce by Facebook.

False divide posed between legislature, executive and PP

WHILE many eyes have been glued to the drama that played out in parliament during the debate of no confidence in the speaker, it is possible to miss the structural implications, the erosion of the standing of parliament and other public institutions, potentially crippling democratic rule.

Frenzy of Oscar books kicks off: Ex-girlfriend’s mother first to the finish line

The Oscar Pistorius publishing industry is already in gear. One of the first titles out of the blocks is ‘Oscar:

Pistorius less a source of shame than Griekwastad - Nomalanga Mkhize

I am afraid I have succumbed to the lure of "oscar" commentary and wish to offer a somewhat different view from Jonny Steinberg's "racial shame" explanation, on this page last week, of many white South Africans' antagonistic responses to the athlete's murder acquittal.

Gwedeism rises again

It’s a crying shame when you have to defend your party’s position against the mind-blowingly bizarre and embarrassing utterances of one of its leaders – a leader who does not speak for you or the actual policies.

The SA highway to democracy: Potholes and bumps, but still there

While listening to the discourse that dominates South Africa - the tales of crime and corruption, the middle-fingers in Parliament and the fights around democracy and our rights - it is easy to become rather depressed. There can be a sense that it should not have come to this, that we deserved better.

Why God’s not a moral imperative

God plays no necessary role in moral reasoning, writes Eusebius McKaiser.

Op-Ed: Youth unemployment in SA – Apartheid is alive and well

There are a number of white South Africans who complain that the local job market excludes white recruits. This narrative, when it arises, often comes with fears that “our children won’t get jobs” and that there is “no future” for them in the country. But are these fears valid?

Smiles and prayers as Nigerians U-turn on co-operation

TB Joshua's church has turned from attacking potential rescuers to helping them.

An integrated varsity system is the way forward

Institutions that have different mandates and duties - and co-operate with one another - will best serve South Africa, write Adam Habib, Peter Mbati and Mahlo Mokgalong

Heather Dugmore: Destruction of Brand Oscar – lessons for business and life

Reading this superb contribution by Heather Dugmore reminded me of two bits of business advice kept closest to my heart.

The sudden dwindling of Thabo Mbeki

Six years ago SA's president was ousted by his enemies in the ANC. An ex-editor looks back

MPs’ financial interests revealed: Some cats are fatter than others

What do you give the member of parliament who has everything?

SA compass: Pointing South for the foreseeable future

On Wednesday afternoon, the chair of Corruption Watch, former Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, wrote to President Jacob Zuma to ask him again to fire the Deputy Minister of Defence, Kebby Maphatsoe.

Deja-hullaballoo: Another EFFing walk-out as Parliament’s Mr Rich gets grilled

Parliament’s torrid week continues.

Op-Ed: Legality, constitutionalism and transformation

While many eyes have been glued to the drama played out in Parliament during the debate of no confidence in the Speaker, it is possible to miss the structural implications, the erosion of the standing of Parliament and other public institutions, potentially crippling democratic rule. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.

Earth to Vavi: There are worse labour issues than Generations

Why is Zwelinzima Vavi spending his precious political capital on a boycott of Generations in support of highly-paid actors, asks Verashni Pillay.

Preference for insult over argument will damage SA’s democracy

WHY do many of our politicians believe that an old idea becomes new if you add an insult to it — and that you win an argument when you call your opponent names? Because they know that this is what the national debate expects from them.

If Zuma goes what do we do about leftover situation

THERE is much speculation over the future of President Jacob Zuma as a number of critical issues come simultaneously to a head.

The Islamic State: Why Africa should be worried

The emergence of the Islamic State is the most significant development in Islamist extremism since the 9/11 attacks.

True leadership is grounded in humility, service and ethics

Over the weekend, I was honoured to receive the Distinguished Old Rhodian Award from my alma mater, Rhodes University, from which I graduated in 1988.

Everywhere is war

Danielle Bowler says that multiple identities have multiple, concomitant sites of oppression.

Tales of a Divided City: In Praise of Potholes - Pedro Tabensky

This article was originally published in Grocott's Mail and has been republished with the permission of its author.

The life-or-death case you'd have missed on #OscarDay: Human rights, the law and Home Affairs

Our Home Affairs department has recently been in the news for its valiant attempts to keep people out of South Africa.

Analysis: Panicky Ebola rhetoric is a smart fundraising tool

Pity the international community, whoever that may be

Breaking the pact of silence

My mother was raped by a church elder, something that would affect the rest of her life. This made what happened after, something even worse.

Analysis: On journalism in a post-Oscar trial world

The Oscar Pistorius trial may be over, but there’s a high likelihood of an appeal coming.

How the US and South Africa became friends again

SA's reaction to Kebby Maphatsoe's CIA comments is a far cry from the tense relationship with the US under Thabo Mbeki, writes Verashni Pillay.

Op-Ed: Building unity to end civic powerlessness

Beneath the headline-grabbing clamour about Nkandla, "spy tapes", the role of the Public Protector and many other issues that jostle for our attention, there is a deeper malaise - the threat to constitutional democracy and the nation-building process.


His ideas touched the elements of identity and pride WE HAVE never fully recovered from the loss and emptiness that the death of Steve Biko caused us. We have buried many of our loved ones after Biko.

Humanities bedevilled by affinity to dated ideas

IN THE wake of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, a small contingent of health workers and scientists has been on the front lines of fighting the disease in laboratories, hospitals and makeshift World Health Organisation care centres in under-resourced villages and towns.

Judge Masipa got it wrong

Eusebius McKaiser says Oscar Pistorius could have foreseen that shooting through a door four times could have killed somebody.

Foundations are laid to tackle the mud schools debacle

The Eastern Cape education department must make public its schedule of repairs

Women in the 1980s and 1990s

It was the reign of the Madonna of the Townships. It was the heyday of the South African alternative music revolution.

Fest has huge impact on EC

At a recent arts conference in the Eastern Cape, echoing what he has said on various online platforms, policy activist and playwright Mike van Graan hit out at the National Arts Festival.

Eradicating poor gender and race habits in universities

The patriarchal and racist institutional culture at local institutions ofhigher learning must be challenged, an education conference has heard.

Mbalula: A champion of social cohesion

Sport is a powerful tool that we have so far failed to use effectively to bring people closer together in South Africa.

Right2Know: South Africa, State of Secrets

For the last few years, advocacy group Right2Know has been warning of a growing climate of secrecy within the South African government.

Obituary: Mafika Pascal Gwala's poetry 'a powerful force' With the passing of one of South Africa's finest poets, we pay tribute to his life and works.

Kwela-Ride Dompas! I looked back Dompas! I went through my pockets Not there.

Speaking in tongues: Mixed messages on the Public Protector hurt the movement

This week saw yet another storm involving the Public Protector, and frankly, the subject matter is now becoming exhausting.

Analysis: Toll roads vs. the ANC's internal dynamics

In the continuing war over e-tolls, it has been a simple scenario: we, the people, against them, the oppressive government regime.

How can courts help combat social ills?

THE more the courts do to fix poverty and inequality directly, the more likely is it that people will remain poor and unequal.

Can we say democracy has been consolidated in SA?

Much argument over South African democracy revolves around the electoral dominance of the ANC, its repeated re-election as ruling party.

Op-Ed: Will he stay or will he go now? The great Jacob Zuma question of our time

There is much speculation over the future of President Jacob Zuma as a number of critical issues come simultaneously to a head.

'CIA operative' Madonsela will be replaced by an ANC lackey

We may be in line for more ANC acolytes not just criticising the public protector, but possibly taking her place, writes Verashni Pillay.

Analysis: Opposition jostles for position in fifth Parliament

While the DA basked in Spy Tape triumph in Pretoria, the EFF had a muted time of it in Parliament, with their first motion thoroughly defeated and mention of Julius Malema's tax bill trailing him.

Boys' clubs need a culture overhaul

Wider concerns with racial representation in academia conceal a significant gender imbalance

Unrepentant Tlakula throws in the towel

Having exhausted every legal avenue to clear her name, the IEC chair resigned before the axe fell.

Lacklustre DA alienating its young guns

The emergence of the audacious EFF shows how stale Helen Zille and Co have become

US case with Oscar parallels: Sentence reached, and it’s tough

As murder-accused athlete Oscar Pistorius prepares to learn his fate from Judge Thokozile Masipa on Thursday, sentencing was announced last week in the case of a US man who shot dead a 19-year-old woman on his porch last November.

IEC chair Pansy Tlakula resigns

Pansy Tlakula has handed in her resignation to President Jacob Zuma as chair of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), after over a year of fighting to clear her name over a botched leasing deal.

Not in our name: A letter to Thami Ka Plaatjie - LEBO KESWA

Lebo Keswa is CEO of her holding company, Leboswa Investments.

Parliament diary: Revolutionaries and rhinos

Rebecca Davis studied at Rhodes University and Oxford before working in lexicography at the Oxford English Dictionary.

Why Malema belongs in Parliament

Emily Corke looks at Julius Malema’s political game playing.

'House negro'? Your prejudice betrays your ignorance

Why is it okay to call a black DA member a ‘house negro’? How is it any different to the racism you’re supposedly decrying, asks Verashni Pillay.

Can South Africa's Courts Help the Fight for Social Justice?

The more the courts do to fix poverty and inequality directly, the more likely is it that people will remain poor and unequal.

Op-Ed: Has democracy been consolidated in South Africa?

Much argument over South African democracy revolves around the electoral dominance of the ANC and its repeated re-election as ruling party.

Madiba, unlike JZ, lived out Constitution’s values

IN MODERN democracies most people accept that there must be leadership.

Reflections on Gaza: How should my people be?

As the son of a Holocaust survivor and a refugee of mid-20th century turmoil, knowledge of the precariousness of existence has always been part of the fabric of my life, and has motivated me permanently to ask: How should I be in a way that pays respect to the suffering of my forbearers? Or, to put the point more generally, how should my people be?

Marikana, Gaza, Ferguson: 'You should think of them always as armed'

In colonial wars the occupying power invariably reaches a point where it has to acknowledge that its true enemy is not a minority - devil worshipers, communists, fanatics or terrorists - subject to external and evil manipulation, but the people as a whole.

Pansy Tlakula: A lost chance for redemption

Forget the botched lease deal. This is the story of the botched career of a woman who could have been great, writes Verashni Pillay.

Legacy of the racial subsidy has yet to be overcome

What dire household financial situation drove rock drillers to wage low-intensity war on their employers in Marikana in 2012?

Universities remain a bastion of gender discrimination

Of the 4?000 professors in SA, only 34 are women. The cards are stacked in men’s favour, says Professor Esther Ramani, and that has to change.

In defence of sweary women

Why is there a special taboo against women who swear?

Op-Ed: Citizens need to claim ethical leadership

In modern democracies most people accept that there must be leadership. However, in this era, meanings of leadership and the quality of leaders is an issue with which most societies grapple. For many people there remains a desire for leadership to be more driven by its people.

No easy stroll to freedom for SA poetry’s restless howler

'Knock & lock-down phoney miracle politic-crony-oracles/ *most beloved for ‘suicide on the rail tracks’/ trains run through the flesh here/ travel not far for head-slices and skin-pieces,” writes Lesego Rampolokeng

The birds, the BEEs and the social butterflies of Joburg’s north

The arena of “love” among the rich black kids of northern Joburg is thrilling and tumultuous, pompous and poetic.

Showing solidarity heals

AS THE organiser of this year’s Silent Protest at Rhodes University, I read Dave Rankin’s letter to the editor (“Pointless protest”, DD August 7) with interest and empathy.

No arms sales, please, we’re South African

South Africa could often be described, perhaps euphemistically, as a fickle nation. We have wildly different views on everything.

World Elephant Day: A chance to renew efforts to save Africa’s great grey beasts

12 August is World Elephant Day.

Michelle Bachelet: It’s still Chile out there for women

Chilean president Michelle Bachelet has been in town on a whirlwind tour.

Analysis: The frightening implications of a web of Spies, Lies and Politics

On Sunday, the Sunday Times and City Press newspapers appeared to be competing for the best angle on a story that could suggest, again, that the very foundation of our nation state is about to be rocked.

Reboot Makana Municipality

LIVED in the tranquil village-like university town of Grahamstown for five years. Like with all things to be remembered, it was supposed to have been for just one year pursuant of my studies as a senior student at Rhodes University's journalism school.

Op-Ed: Understanding 20 years of ‘unity in diversity’

Today, wherever we are, we hear discussion about “the failure of post-Apartheid South Africa”.

Pallo Jordan: A great life's painful question mark

This weekend the Sunday Times ran a story suggesting that Dr Pallo Jordan should drop the “Dr”. In essence, despite extensive checks, no proof could be found of his university qualifications, and Jordan suggested in an SMS that he had made some kind of Faustian pact with himself – furthermore allegedly trying to make a deal with the journalist to drop the story.

Vinny Lingham’s Gyft keeps on giving

South African tech entrepreneur Vinny Lingham continues to be a man to watch.

Business meets politics… meets evil? Not quite

There is no evil in the link between business and politics. The real issue is in how these links are managed. If we are honest with ourselves, and each other, greater transparency can be achieved in highlighting the links – which can be beneficial to all.

Some judges hate our children

The writer argues that sexual predators groom children to trust them and then assault them. He laments that our courts appear not always to realise this.

Africa’s complicated, so get it right

IN his famous essay, called “How to write about Africa”, Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina satirically advised pundits

Do newspapers hate black people?

Pallo Jordan. Phumzile van Damme. It’s tempting to think newspapers are out to make black South Africans look bad, writes Verashni Pillay.

Being radical includes defending rule of law

ARECENT contribution considered the importance of dress as a form of language, a way of communicating meanings ("Politics of dress and the Economic Freedom Fighters", DD July 29) ).

Johannesburg – the Empire City strikes back

Kassahun Gebrehana is sitting at a pavement table at an Ethiopian restaurant in a former industrial area in downtown Johannesburg. It is a crisp autumn afternoon.

Unique version of resources curse is not helpful

We often speak of "striking oil" or being a "mine" of information, analogies from the world of minerals exploitation that suggest huge value to be realised.

Letter from Stockholm: Inside Europe’s first gay old-age home

In November last year, Europe’s first retirement project exclusively for elderly members of the gay and lesbian community was launched.

EFF must avoid tactical blunders

The EFF is in danger of staying in the news, while forgetting the political aims that are the reasons for its very existence, writes Eusebius McKaiser.

More to arts and money debate than a pity party

This year marked 40 years of the Grahamstown-based National Arts Festival, which is not only the biggest festival in SA, but also in Africa.

Showing how hatred can be turned to love

Former UCT academic, TRC member and author Pumla GobodoMadikizela is helping foster all-important reconciliation by confronting our past

The freedom fairytale

In the wake of Mandela Day, Milisithando Bongela questions what the pervasive image of Madiba and the narrative of ‘reconciliation’ really means

‘The Mandela of white people’

The struggle legend does not equate with the people who spend 67 minutes painting schools, writes Malaika wa Azania.

Gaza is Everyone's Concern

The ruthless assault on Gaza has sometimes been presented in our media, and on occasion in some solidarity efforts too, as an issue that is solely of concern to Muslim people.

Mail & Guardian: Long may it last

I don’t know what it was about working for the Mail & Guardian.

Land, firebrands and grandstands: just another day in Parliament

Is there any political issue thornier in South Africa than “the Land Question”?

A few gentle pointers for the National Communications Task Team

It’s probably going to take at least a year for the reputation of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to recover.

Op-Ed: Economic Freedom Fighters’ politics of dress

In a barren political environment, the EFF has understood the power of symbolism, using dress to dramatise their entry into Parliament.

Adapt or die: Malema vs. the Establishment

Julius Malema is once again in a place from which he cannot lose. Once again, he is in a situation where it looks as if his back is against the wall, where he is being condemned by all “right-thinking” people.

Unions want to join club, not change the rules

IS THE problem with the trade union movement that it is too radical — or not radical enough? As the metal strike drags on

Op-Ed: ‘Searching for Samantha’ and the bits terrorism narratives leave out

On Sunday night, Carte Blanche broadcast the BBC documentary ‘Searching for Samantha’, about the so-called ‘White Widow’ Samantha Lewthwaite and her connections to terrorism.

Gaza: Silence is not golden

Being silent or neutral is a moral cop-out for those too afraid to choose sides, says Eusebius McKaiser.

Op-Ed: Does parliament represent the people?

Protests are an everyday feature of life in the new South Africa. This practical, lived experience raises questions that need examination. Does voting realise its promise, and does the system work for the electorate?

Human life has relative value in more places than Gaza

AS THE Israeli state rains death on the people of Gaza we are confronted with a stark demonstration of the ways

Human life has relative value in more places than Gaza

As the Israeli state rains death on the people of Gaza we are confronted with a stark demonstration of the ways in which there is, in so many quarters, official sanction for according radically different values to human lives.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu did us a favour when he came out in support of assisted dying, writes Eusebius McKaiser.

Put my dignity first, kindly

Festival of standoffs airs some used linen

The 40th annual National Arts Festival has come and gone, and with it the usual clutch of minor controversies.

Budget vote debates: The bits you need to know

Due to Parliament’s inexplicable decision to rush through multiple budget vote debates on the same day, we saw ministerial press briefings and debates stretch from early on Tuesday morning to late into the night. Given this state of affairs, we’re left with little choice but to summarise proceedings. Heavily. (Don’t worry – we’re not turning into Buzzfeed.) But Rebecca Davis takes you through the interesting bits from yesterday’s bumper Parliamentary session.

Hey Hlaudi, let's license lying SABC executives instead?

SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has a delightful proposal for journalists: we should all be licensed. Apparently he thinks we should be treated like doctors and lawyers: proper professionals with a licence to practice, framed certificates on the wall and everything.

The SABC crisis: Just another building block in a greater humiliation

After a week in which it seemed the chaos at the SABC had reached its climax, Sunday brought news that matters were even worse than they first seemed. Not only is the COO someone who doesn’t have a matric, and lied about it. Now, according to the City Press, the chair also lied about her qualifications.

Madiba and the FBI: Spies, threats and Commies

We know that the ANC was not removed from the US State Department’s list of designated terrorist organisations until 2008.

Comet Motsoeneng

Hlaudi Motsoeneng is the new, permanent Chief Operating Officer of the SABC.

Op-Ed: Does building non-racialism mean being colour-blind?

Building non-racialism is one of the values of South Africa’s democratic constitution.

Freedom deferred: Eugene De Kock stays under lock – for now

Prime Evil is staying in jail. Justice Minister Michael Masutha, faced with making a thorny decision that his predecessor fudged, has said that Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock’s parole will not be granted due to a procedural error: the families of his victims have not been consulted.

Analysis: What can South Africa learn from India’s response to sexual violence?

South Africa and its fellow-BRICS member India may share many positive traits, including economic growth potential and regional leadership status, but also some more negative characteristics: high levels of inequality and high levels of violence against women, to name two (not unconnected).

Discriminatory immigration rules are absurd

The nightclub bouncer approach to immigration is doing us more harm than good.

Need or greed? The ethical component in our politics

EVERY day we read about corruption or misappropriation of funds. Consequently, in our imagination as well as lived reality, holding office is associated with enrichment. Discussion tends to focus on illegal acts.

Out of the armchair, into the world

The contemporary South African academic community has a rare opportunity. Unlike many other places around the globe

Marikana a turning point for SA

Marikana a turning point for SA

Less costly independent schools now a necessity

There was a bit of a media brouhaha recently, when Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said he would be sending his child to a private school.

Middle finger

Our real ticking time bomb may be not poverty, but what it always has been – race. Our angriest people may not be those forced to survive on much less than they need, but the black middle class.

The Bloemhof incident: Affirmative action on death row

A controversial report by a South African think tank calls for the abolition of affirmative action

Who has the last word on our past?

History is written by all those who have the resources to tell their version, writes Gary Baines.

Post-apartheid SA: ripe for evictions

When the images of forceful evictions (a word that has become the trigger to a familiar loaded gun) in the Nomzamo informal settlement in Strand emerged, shock and outrage trended on social networks.

Engaging South African politics today presents ethical dilemmas

My politicisation and later involvement in the African National Congress (ANC) and South African Communist Party (SACP) did not begin with an understanding of power as a theoretical concept, nor was I conversant with high-powered analyses.

Minister Bathabile Dlamini: Reproductive justice’s newly vocal champion

On Tuesday night, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini gave a speech which may not get the attention it deserves.

Hamba Kahle MaMbeki: farewell to an independent thinker and fearless activist

Being an independent woman and thinker in a patriarchal society often meant that MamoTseki, Nomaka Epainette Mbeki (nee Moerane), MaMbeki was read through the lens of her husband, Govan and her son, Thabo.

NPA leadership fiasco: President Jacob Zuma’s not-so-hidden hand

In the short, troubled and tumultuous history of the National Prosecuting Authority, chaos has reigned. Formed only in 1998, it has seen one head resign after being cleared of being an Apartheid spy, the next being fired after trying to charge the National Police Commissioner, a third suffering the humiliation of being declared not “fit and proper” by the Constitutional Court and the fourth being denied security clearance.

What net do we want

One year ago, The Guardian newspaper published National Security Agency (NSA) spy Edward Snowden's revelations about mass surveillance in the US.

Cartoons part of free speech

Johannesburg - Some South Africans seem to be puzzled by how best to respond to a cartoon they don’t like.

Analysis: Judging the judges

Judges matter. This is, of course, the reason why many people have been getting so anxious about Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s utterances

2014: Encounters with documentary filmmaking

“In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director,” Alfred Hitchcock once intoned.

Mogoeng debate: Let’s just all calm down to a panic

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng wants more religion in our law. He wants religious groups to get more involved in the law-making process.

South Africa's Real Ticking Time Bomb: The Black Middle Class

Our real ‘ticking time bomb’ may be not poverty, but what it always has been – race.

Behind the scenes with Ms Mazibuko

There’s been no shortage of discussion of Lindiwe Mazibuko in recent weeks – particularly the controversy

The country should not waste a good crisis

IF THE public debate is a guide, we are again wasting a “crisis” — this time, the fact that the economy shrank by 0.6% in the first quarter

Who is an African?

What we call one another and how we identify ourselves in South Africa is an expression of a complex relationship of sameness and difference

Analysis: NPA head and Zuma, part five

Over the course of the last few days it’s emerged that there are serious claims as to the probity and past behaviour of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mxolisi Nxasana.

Zuma’s last big power push – and what happens next

The last week has seen a large volume of analysis on the various decisions made by President Jacob Zuma around his Cabinet.

Queer in Africa: Confronting the crisis

It’s been five months since Uganda passed its anti-homosexuality law, and a recent report states that since then, one suspected gay person has been killed, 17 arrested, and many more driven to seek asylum outside Uganda.

DA: Maimane girds his loins for Parliamentary leadership

Mmusi Maimane will officially be the DA’s leader in Parliament, after an election in which the former Gauteng Premier hopeful ended up standing unopposed.

Op-Ed: Reinvigorating democracy

When we evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of our democracy we need to move beyond criticising our experience of parliamentarism

Clive Derby-Lewis and ‘Prime Evil’: Will the cells be unlocked?

Spare a thought for the new Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha. In addition to the already weighty portfolio he has just been handed

A roadshow like no other: Striking Marikana miners, looking to win hearts and minds

While former mining magnate Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to take up his post as deputy president, striking platinum miners have taken to the road

Analysis: The ongoing myth of true gender parity in SA politics

Most South Africans are women. You sure as hell wouldn’t think so, though, when looking at the ANC’s list of Premiers or the DA-run Western Cape

The Fifth Parliament: New red overalls, same old president

“Habemus Papam!” is the Latin announcement made by the Vatican when they present the new Pope to the world: We have a Pope! Habemus President

Take trust deficit seriously if you want to talk

BUSINESS and the government will not find out what they have in common unless they look harder at what divides them.

The delusional world of EFF

IF THE social justice agenda here depends on inflating the popular support and the commitment to equality of a loud group of racial nationalists, it is in more trouble than we thought.

ANC tensions cannot lead to emancipatory politics

STEVEN Friedman correctly concludes that the ANC may not face electoral defeat for the foreseeable future

Analysis: Zuma vs. the media

The Post-Count Recriminations: it sounds like a made-for-TV movie, but actually, it’s a good title for South Africa’s post-election week.

Op-Ed: How do we move towards an emancipatory politics in South Africa?

The news is bad, it seems. We need to recognise that, if where our politics is headed depends on tensions within the ANC, it cannot lead to an emancipatory politics.

In Durban, the struggle is continuing

Durban, the city where Jacob Zuma has his firmest urban base, is a hard place to do politics.

Elections may herald better city governance

THOSE who claim that elections do nothing to change lives may care to look at the way in which the government will now begin to operate in some of our major cities.

Hyping Up the EFF's Performance at the Polls

If the social justice agenda here depends on inflating the popular support and the commitment to equality of a loud group of racial nationalists, it is in more trouble than we thought.

Rape and power

We need to understand why it is the case that gang rape is happening so often in our township if we wish to address its destructive force.

History in the dock over land

The Land Claims Court in the Grahamstown high court ruled on Friday 2 May that the claim of indigenous Salem residents to the remaining 33 farms and properties in the old Salem Commonage was valid.

Another five years of Jacob Zuma

ANC scores a major electoral victory despite hopes for change on the political scene of South Africa.

My first vote signalled a new journey

I confess that as I stood alone in that voting station, I became apoplectic with fear, says Malaika Wa Azania.

Even a slight change in tomorrow’s outcome will be significant

WHY should we care about an election whose result won’t differ much from the last four?

Passing of a transcender

TEN days before his untimely death in Durban on April 15, Brian Sandberg spoke eloquently at the launch of the Neil Aggett labour studies unit at Rhodes University'

People's protest is being criminalised

Because of a conflict of interest, municipalities are responsible for a rise in 'unlawful' protests he South African Constitution guarantees the right to assemble, demonstrate and picket. But to what extent are South Africans able to practise this right?

Vote 'no' to the nightmare of Zuma's ANC

SA deserves better than to be ruled by a party that flirts with totalitarianism, writes Barney Pityana.

The Dangers of Transactional Elections

In a disappointing but not altogether unsurprising move, the communications regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has leapt to the defence of the censorious state broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and confirmed the de-facto ban of two opposition political advertisements for the national elections.

Analysis: Invoking Nelson Mandela’s legacies as we celebrate democracy

Nelson Mandela, generally viewed as the embodiment of South Africa’s democracy, was not always the genial, open-minded fatherly figure whose smiling face is associated with the hopes that many cherished for the new South Africa.

Leaders must be accountable, not superhuman

Superman is not returning to save us. If we can all come to terms with this, our chances of moving forward will grow.

Walk-on part for women in SA’s liberation epic

Most high-profile females in media reports are murder victims or beauty queens — in spite of strides in gender equality, writes Rebecca Davis.

We might be free, but when will the black born-frees be born?

I have followed with great intrigue the endless debates posed by academics, analysts, commentators and political parties about what they term "born-frees".

Silence on patriarchy is loud

For anyone concerned about gender equality it is significant that patriarchy is not raised by any political party in their election campaign.

Education round here is not yet uhuru

Our journey to freedom continues: those who can’t read or write are locked in a sinister struggle, Athambile Masola.

Soapbox: Time to earn respect

The youth wage subsidy is a shameless populist attempt at grabbing the youth vote, writes Agang SA's Philip Machanick.

Nkandla ad hoc committee: Mission Impossible, Day One

We always suspected it, but Thursday’s events seemed to confirm it.

Building a better, deeper story by understanding the humdrum of SA protests

The Mail & Guardian carried a very interesting story in its most recent edition.

Vociferous Wednesdays: Nkandla is here to stay

Today the Parliamentary ad-hoc committee set up to look into the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla will meet for the first time.

Op-ed: The telling electoral silence on patriarchy

For anyone who is concerned about gender equality, it is significant that patriarchy is not raised by any political party in their election campaign.

Election predictions do not stand up to scrutiny

If numbers can’t bring realism to election predictions, perhaps common sense might.

Vote No

In recent days Ronnie Kasrils has been referred to as ‘a rebel, a Judas, a scoundrel’, as ‘Satan’, and as a ‘disruptive, reckless and counter-revolutionary’ figure spitting on ‘the long struggles and the sacrifices of our people’.

The politics of counting protests

Reports on municipal unrest miss the wider picture of peaceful protest in South Africa violent service delivery protests have dominated the news recently.

Op-ed: Why I won’t tell you how to vote

The 2014 elections are held on the 20th anniversary of the advent of democracy. Instead of celebration, the atmosphere is suffused with anger and mistrust.

Spoilt votes are blunt instrument of democracy

Spoiling your vote is a valid democratic option, but it just doesn’t do enough to make your voice heard.

The life cycle of a literary vanguard

A new edition of Sello K Duiker's Quiet Violence of Dreams prompts Siphiwo Mahala to reflect on how the 'poster boy for black writing' outlived that label WAS BORN at Baragwanath Hospital and my parents are Judah and Meikie Duiker.

The UDF was not simply a creature of the ANC

At the end of his critique of the Democratic Alliance (April 1), RW Johnson offered some observations on the United Democratic Front: that it was ‘a pawn of the ANC', as was supposedly ‘demonstrated by the way in which the movement simply folded itself into the ANC without a murmur after 1990.'

Election’s credibility lies in being seen to be fair

ELECTIONS are often not about what is fair, but about what is seen to be fair. Demands that Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC)

Politics without politics

What is depicted as politics today sees the predominant areas of contestation being in relation to positions of power and wealth.

The Urban Land Question

Urban land is acutely contested in contemporary South Africa. There are regular land occupations, some taking the form of quiet encroachment

Cellphone Pricing Wars: Regulation Matters, but Ownership Matters More

Most South Africans are aware of the public spat between South Africa’s largest cellphone operators, MTN and Vodacom

Zuma’s Nkandla deadline: Feel it, it is here

Wednesday is the 14-day deadline for President Jacob Zuma to respond to the National Assembly on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report

Building unity to restore democratic rule

There is a sense of crisis that pervades South African politics in the aftermath of the Public Protector’s Nkandla report.

The Indian Election: Real Politics vs. Reel Politics

India is no stranger to spectacle, and contemporary Indian politics is deeply entwined in the politics of spectacle.

The poor should also have a voice on corruption

IF THE fight for honest and accountable government is the sole preserve of some of us, it will be lost by all of us.

Analysis: Nkandla signifies our disenfranchisement

The public is justifiably outraged at the expenditure on the private home of president Jacob Zuma.

Analysis: Why Oscar Pistorius has no other choice but to testify

There are only two people who know for certain the circumstances under which Reeva Steenkamp was shot

How the good life took Cosatu's eye off the ball.

He is referring to the seven months he has spent in the purgatory of suspension from his official duties as general secretary of Cosatu.

Entrenching the principle of non-violence

What is happening to South Africa? We need to return to the principles of peaceful resistance that guided the ANC of Mandela, Tambo, Luthuli and Sisulu

Story of the past 20 years is the story of all of us

AS STRANGE as this may seem, the story of the past 20 years is not purely that of the African National Congress (ANC).

The Oscar Pistorius trial – and the language Apartheid it reveals

South Africa is a country that likes to reveal itself to the world all in one go. There are no half-measures with us.

Analysis: Where’s our debate on gun control?

For over a year, we’ve been told by the media that the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp by Oscar Pistorius

Homophobia on the March

Some people love and desire people of the same sex. This is true everywhere and it has always been true.

The ANC, 2014 edition: From Number One to Number 200

For many political parties around the world, drawing up candidate lists for Parliament is a tricky business.

Pistorius: Public interest or just good prime time TV?

The Oscar Pistorius trial has presented a conundrum for the country's best journalists, as they've been sucked into the hype, writes Verashni Pillay.

Problem is a lack of caring, not a lack of experts

OUR problem is not that the government does not have enough people who know how to get things done

Analysis: Pistorius trial meets a Twilight Zone of privacy and privilege

Judge Thokozile Masipa’s decision not to allow any live media coverage of Reeva Steenkamp’s postmortem coverage was doubtless undertaken for the noblest possible reasons.

Trevor, the man who put SA into Gear

South African politics can move so quickly that some people may be forgiven for forgetting how important Trevor Manuel once was.

Tales of a Divided City: Not a place for peasants

I came to study at Rhodes in 2013 after spending a year at Gadra Matric school, working to improve my matric results.

Eskom’s sunny PR reveals more than it intended

ESKOM issues a “tariffs and charges” booklet every year, explaining increases in the electricity price.

The persistence of the past in the present

There’s undoubtedly been some improvement in the quality of life since 1994, but it can’t be denied that there’s a certain sense of déjà vu.

Requiem for Cosatu

On Friday the National Union of Metalworkers of SA is expected to provide a full answer to a request by Cosatu for reasons why it should not be “suspended or expelled”

EFF frenzy a case of media hype over substance

IF THE Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were half as good at impressing voters as they are at enthralling journalists and commentators, they would form the next government.

Analysis: So what if Pistorius screams like a woman?

In dissecting the character of Oscar Pistorius, much has been written about a certain culture of South African hyper-masculinity within which Pistorius

Oscarnado: Feel it, it’s here

If ever there was doubt that the Oscar Pistorius murder trial was a truly global story, a drive past the North Gauteng High Court this weekend might have put paid to it.

Analysis: Fortress Zille, still standing

The last few weeks have seen the blue tide turn slightly against its leader, Helen Zille.

Analysis: A critical conversation - race denialism nurtures racism

As with most transitions, South Africa’s hard work of rebuilding our society really began after the formal institution of democratic rule.

SA is on a crimson path to tragedy

Glitzy opening of Parliament belied reality of mounting tension, writes the public discussion around the pageantry at the annual opening of Parliament often treats the event more like the Oscars than a serious attempt to take some measure of where we are as a country.

Racial bias not just among a crazy, violent fringe

Denying uncomfortable realities is a South African habit. And the most common and damaging form of denial happens when some of us wish away our most important divide — race.

Oscarnado: The madness begins

If you have no interest in the Oscar Pistorius trial, now might be the time to take an extended sabbatical from work and move to a farm in the Karoo.

Analysis: Politicians vs. journalists in the age of public Twiticism

You know it’s election season when political parties and governments start getting extra testy in their dealings with journalists.

Nigeria: Investors nervous after central banker suspension – and they’re right

For those nervous about Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi was a comforting, reassuring presence at the helm of the central bank.

IEC leasing deal unlikely to be resolved before elections

The public protector's damning report into the IEC leasing deal has proven to be a legal nightmare, and is unlikely to be resolved before elections.

Tested tools to hold state accountable

Despite the many moves to hold the government accountable, ours remains a deeply divided society, says Eusebius McKaiser.

The coming Cosatu quake: What will the political Richter scale register?

While most of the country is poring over recently published election manifestos, and pondering the different visions for the future of us all that they spell out

Analysis: Battle of the Manifestos

Politics is not exactly about manifestos. So when the DA, the EFF, Agang and the ACDP all launch their manifestos on the same weekend

Analysis: As it launches its Manifesto, DA hopes blue is the new black

On Sunday Polokwane turned blue for the DA Manifesto day. Thousands of DA supporters filled the Polokwane Showgrounds to watch the party’s leadership

Zuma leading us down a crimson path to tragedy

The glitzy opening of Parliament belied the reality of mounting tensions and popular protests, writes Richard Pithouse.

Why Robert Sobukwe is not dead

It is through the people taking part in service delivery protests, and those who refuse systematic dehumanisation that the founder of the PAC lives, writes Malaika Wa Azania.

Post-apartheid activism united by a desire for change

Service delivery protests have brought activists to the centre of politics again. But it is not only those who are making their voices heard.

The political roundabout: Turok exits, but what next for Mboweni?

As we creep, rush and shout our way towards those elections in May, the speculation about how parties will do is going to increase.

The symbolic hypocrisy of the EU’s Mugabe sanctions

The European Union has lifted almost all its sanctions against Zimbabwe’s political and business elite.

ANC may just be getting serious about economics

AS THE election hype gathers pace, something more important may be afoot — the African National Congress (ANC)

Fight corruption in business or be tarred with same brush

CORRUPTION is "literally killing us". This was the view of a panellist at a recent Corruption Watch colloquium on business’s role in combating corruption

Have the politics of ‘no-go areas’ returned?

Nomalanga Mkhize remembers the days when the ANC used to take marches and election campaigns into no-go areas.

Celebrating a Murderous State

The public discussion around the pageantry at the annual opening of Parliament often treats the event more like the Oscars than a serious attempt to take some measure of where we are.

Uganda’s gays are just the latest victims of Museveni’s lust for power

Bowing to popular pressure, Uganda’s president has said he will sign into law a bill that specifies harsh new punishments for the “abnormality” of homosexuality

Women are revolutionaries

We take a look at the role South African women have played in our history.

Will this election offer real choices to most South Africans?

ON one level, the question seems ridiculous. All elections offer choices and all of us are allowed to vote.

Analysis: The meaning of Julius Malema and the long-term realignment of the left

Ahead of an election in South Africa you would expect that the question dominating discussion among the chattering classes

Zuma takes long shot with fishy water supply figures

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma wanted to make a point during his state of the nation address.

EFF and DA a tough sell on campus

In the run-up to this year’s general elections, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (Daso) in Johannesburg

Will This Election Offer Real Choices to Most South Africans?

On one level, the question seems ridiculous. All elections offer choices and all of us are allowed to vote.

Sticks and stones: The DA’s march to remember

In the end, the DA hordes didn’t get anywhere near Luthuli House. Their much-hyped march on the ANC headquarters was stopped in its tracks by a sea of yellow shirts and bricks

Analysis: The language of marching - will we ever be fluent?

As the dust slowly clears from the area around Luthuli House after the brief fracas between the ANC and the DA on the streets of Jo’burg

Your daily diet of ‘white supremacy’

Grahamstown - The road from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown winds past one luxury game farm after another.

The SABC and the Problem of Political Control

And another one bites the dust. Yet another Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Lulama Makhoba, has left the beleaguered South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)

Conflict in Southern Africa: so far, yet so close

FIVE countries in Southern Africa will hold elections this year. Voters in Malawi and South Africa will go to the polls in May

Loss of trust and legitimacy result in ungovernability

The scale of protest currently under way in large parts of South Africa is comparable to the period of ungovernability under apartheid.

What to expect from SONA: Not much.

On Thursday night, President Jacob Zuma is going to address the nation. It will be his annual set-piece State of the Nation Address

The limits of the literary

Defending universities against power elites needs an armoury that’s better stocked.

EFF is stuck in a racial mould

The party's use of categories defined by apartheid planners blinds it to the realities of class politics.

Lectures alone are not enough

Higher education in South Africa urgently needs to save one of its most endangered species — deans of student affairs.

There’s a sharp edge to Blade’s plans

Responding to the recently released white paper on post-school education and training, David Macfarlane and Victoria John

Can varsities meet Manuel’s aims?

And we must also ask how well the National Development Plan articulates higher education’s role.

The ANC’s epic democracy failure: The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill

When President Jacob Zuma announced the formation of a Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities in 2009, it was immediately christened the ‘Ministry of Everyone but Men’. Ever since then, it’s not a ministry that I have felt included me.

Full Marx at the Numsa school

‘Comrades, comrades, thank you. We will now hear a presentation about protests called … ‘South Africa’s rebellion of the poor’.”

NUMSA developments: Moving towards an emancipatory project?

NUMSA’s withdrawal of electoral support for the ANC will have a dramatic effect not only on NUMSA and COSATU, but also for the future of the ANC-led alliance.

Mining Indaba 2014: Brave faces in uncertain times

Any way you look at it, this isn’t the brightest or most beautiful time for South African mining – if there’s ever been one.

Party unions will not reinforce opposition

UNITY may be a strength for some people sometimes — but not for opposition parties in our electoral system.

Enduring Racism in Small Town South Africa

The road from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown winds past one luxury game farm after another.

Analysis: The DA After

It was always going to be interesting to see how the DA would deal with the fall-out from the aborted DA-Agang merger

My head may say DA, but tell that to my heart

The party’s rational, ahistoric approach fails to ’get’ South Africa, writes Eusebius McKaiser in this edited extract from his book.

True lessons of the Ramphele fiasco

The last week has been dominated by news, this time not of ructions within the ANC or Cosatu or Numsa, but by developments within the DA.

Zille, Ramphele, Mazibuko, Ntuli: The trouble with being female in politics

At time of writing, there is no longer any doubt that Mamphela Ramphele and Helen Zille

Ramphele rankles rising DA stars

Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele may have landed a top spot in the Democratic Alliance (DA) as its presidential candidate, but it is essentially meaningless.

Analysis: So, has the game changed? It may very well have.

In most democracies, you have to be careful when the leader of the main opposition party claims that a certain announcement is a "game-changer" for that state's politics.

Analysis: Realignments in South African politics

Many South Africans long for something new and refreshing in the South African political landscape as a counter to the decadence and violence of the Zuma-led ANC government.

IPID leadership: ANC won’t jilt its McBride

The Parliamentary portfolio committee on police on Tuesday voted in favour of the nomination of former Ekurhuleni Metro police chief Robert McBride

BEE Certificates: Fake it till you make it

On Monday the latest report emerged of a South African company having faked its empowerment credentials.

Let's talk about SA's reality: Hand-outs vs. a hand up

Last week, I came under fire for writing, essentially, that hand-outs were not the answer to our country’s problems.

Candy(dates) everybody wants: The politics of party lists

In politics, some things are hard, and some are even harder.

DA-Agang: Dial M for Merger

Depending on which political analyst you listen to over the next few days, you’ll be told that the news that Agang leader Mamphela Ramphele will be the DA’s presidential

Davos 2014: In search of food, warmth and mind expansion

One of the reasons the World Economic Forum exists is to try to generate discussions between people who wouldn’t normally communicate.

Davos 2014: Selling South Africa

Being a South African abroad is a complicated thing. You don’t necessarily have the confidence of an upper-class Brit, or the sheer swank that comes from being American.

Parties trot out the same old jobs fantasy

It is election time again — the season to turn up the volume on that popular South African fantasy, the job-creation debate.

Analysis: Reporting Nkandla – anatomy of a scandal, and how the media responded

Are the media hostile to the ANC? Do they attack the dignity of ANC politicians? Do they operate to the detriment of the public interest? Is responsible and ethical reporting treated as less important than the protection and promotion of media freedom? By JEANNE PRINSLOO.

Class action serves as a lesson

Eastern Cape teachers may finally be paid and posts filled now that the government is being sued.

More than just sport: Why you should use CHAN to protest Nigerian homophobia

South Africa plays Nigeria on Sunday in the African Nations Championship. It’s the perfect opportunity for South Africans to express concern about the raft of hateful anti-gay legislation signed into law by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

North West protests: The politics of failure

The demonstrations known as “service delivery protests” have become so commonplace in our fair republic that many news organisations don’t even bother covering them anymore.

Initiate deaths elephant in room of Xhosa custom

Why do we sustain a ritual that slaughters boys in their prime or physically and mentally scars many others for life?" This is the question asked by Dr Dingeman Rijken (DD, 11 January 2013). It's a question that the Xhosa nation can no longer avoid.

A homeless bazaar: Cape Town's 'Street Store', where everything's for free

On Tuesday, an initiative billed as 'the world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free pop-up clothing store for the poor' arrived on Cape Town’s streets for one day only.

Analysis: Nkandla’s roads belong to people of South Africa

As a nation we like to discuss our rights, and how they all devolve from the Constitution.

Hands off our constitution!

The president must tackle corruption and other woes instead of aiming to change the constitution, says Eusebius McKaiser.

The Enduring Appeal of Socialist Ideas

At its special national congress last month, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) took a significant decision not to support the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in the next elections.

ANC election manifesto - balancing words and reality

On Saturday, the ANC will unveil its manifesto for elections that are claimed to be the party's toughest ever.

Another Annus Horribilis for the ANC?

For a long time the ANC was able to sacralise its authority by invoking the key events, ideas and personalities of the struggle like Catholics recite the Stations of the Cross.

Basketball diplomacy: Dennis Rodman and King Jong Un’s mad bromance

Maybe you’d like to take a moment to consider the fact that an apparently unhinged former basketball pro who briefly dated Madonna is currently representing your interests in North Korea.

Rhodes and the Jews: a university debacle underscores the value of dissent

On 1 January this year, an article entitled ‘Jews Unwelcome At Rhodes University’ was published on the website of the South African Jewish Report.

Cope Congress: Big on dreams, short on prospects

“ANC Set To Win, But Cope Could Be Opposition”, ran a local headline less than two weeks before the 2009 elections.

ANC's 2014 manifesto: promises, dreams, realities

Election manifestos are promises; in many elections, the party with the best promises wins.

DA likely to be prime beneficiary of votes far from home

South Africans living abroad will be able to register to vote in this year’s general elections for the first time – nationally, not provincially. Aside from logistical issues, there’s a good reason why the ANC would have been opposed to allowing expats a provincial vote: in the 2009 elections, when only already registered South Africans were allowed to vote