Recent Posts

Bert Olivier

Max Weber on capitalism and religion

What must surely count as one of the shrewdest, albeit debatable, accounts of the distinctive traits of capitalism was penned by the justly famous German sociologist Max Weber in his controversial book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism of 1930 (London: Routledge Classics, 2001). The reasons for its controversial status are summarised as…

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Athambile Masola

#Bringbackourgirls, Lwandle, Gaza and detaching from this world

It started with the #Bringbackourgirls campaign. I hadn’t followed the story closely, but when I read articles to make sense of what had happened, I couldn’t make sense of it. I tried to imagine people coming into my school and taking away the students and there being no sense of security or outcry. I tried…

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Gcobani Qambela

David Saks and the naturalness of white contempt

In Ubuntu: Curating the Archive (edited by Leonhard Praeg and Siphokazi Magadla), Ama Biney notes in the chapter “The Historical Discourse on Humanism: Interrogating the Paradoxes” that Aimé Cesaire notably made the case that Hitler’s crime was mainly that “he applied to Europe colonialist procedures, which until then had been reserved exclusively for the Arabs…

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William Saunderson-Meyer

Don’t become just another statistic on September 5

Numbers never tell the whole story. They rarely reveal the nuance of cause and effect and are vulnerable to massaging by vested interests. Sometimes, however, they are as startling and eye popping as a punch to the nose. Take the astounding violence of this society. South African Police Service (SAPS) statistics show that between April…

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Reader Blog

Rethinking ‘townships’

By Lucille Dawkshas What are “townships”? I’ve often thought of them in terms of the visual meaning of outlying “ships” to the central harbour of a CBD, but what makes suburban areas any different? Wikipedia’s contributors tell me “townships” are: “the (often underdeveloped) urban living areas that, from the late 19th century until the end…

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David Saks

‘Hitler got it right’ goes multiracial

A posting by Rene Smit, an obscure ANC party worker in the Western Cape, quickly went viral when it emerged that it sang the praises of Adolf Hitler for killing off the Jews and intimated that had been retro-actively justified by the behaviour to date of those Jews who survived. The post featured a picture…

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Rod MacKenzie

Why ‘freedom’ sells

Having lived in China for seven years I have my own kind of sorrow, mixed with the tenderness of memory when I see a small Christian community deep inside China harassed for their faith. The leader, pastor Zhang, was imprisoned for 12 years and his family was in danger of losing their lives before making…

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Featured Multimedia

Pimples: 'Old Sis Thandi had a farm'

Hey kids! Welcome to Mzansi Sing-along, where you get a chance to revel in some of our country's most memorable nursery rhymes.

The Middle East's children of war

As the conflict in the Gaza Strip continues to spiral, these images highlight what life is like for children on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide.

Voices of Africa

West Africa Ebola outbreak grabs attention of UK

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses a “very serious threat” to Britain, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Wednesday, as England’s public health authority warned that the virus was out of control. Hammond was to chair a meeting of Cobra, the government’s crisis response committee, to assess Britain’s preparations to cope with any possible […]

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Rape: A weapon on the battlefields and in the suburbs

American actress Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague hosted a War Zone Rape Summit in London last month. Officially named ‘the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict’, it sought to highlight and combat the use of sexual violence against women and children within war zones. The event was the biggest of its kind […]

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French winemaker Castel bottles its first Ethiopian wine

The grape names – merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay – are distinctly French, but the label on the Rift Valley wines is surprising: made in Ethiopia. The French beverage giant Castel, one of the world’s biggest producers of wines and beers, is raising a glass to its first production of 1.2-million bottles of Ethiopian Rift Valley wine. […]

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Open letter to the anti-TV brigade and my Nollywood people

A black 4 x4 rolls down a driveway to the sound of D’banj’s Oliver Twist and stops outside the palatial triple storey residence. The cast’s names unfold: Desmond Eliott. Rita Dominic. Mike Ezuruonye. The driver turns off the engine. As he opens the car door, D’banj declares: I have a confession See, I like Beyonce! […]

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