Tag Archives: South Africa

Spoiling your vote is a rotten choice

While I can understand, even appreciate, the disillusionment of the main figures behind the “Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote No” campaign, I cannot agree with their method or the logic behind it. This campaign by a few former disillusioned ANC heavyweights encourage equally disillusioned South Africans to spoil their ballots on 7 May to punish the ANC….

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Leering glances: The silence on sexual harassment is untenable

Sexual harassment on the streets is a pervasive phenomenon that women from a range of racial and cultural backgrounds as well as social circumstances experience in daily life. Most men, even educated men from so-called respectable backgrounds belittle women’s experiences of sexual harassment. Internationally, this has led to a spate of new films and campaigns…

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‘There is something inhuman about stealing from the poor’

Theft is a debilitating thing, whether it is petty theft or “grand larceny”; whether it is theft during a burglary, as we recently experienced, or the kind of GRAND theft perpetrated by politicians who have access to public money, or corporations that do so via dubious legislation, which allows them to pay minimal corporate taxes…

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Over the rainbow – voices from the margins of South Africa

Why poverty? In a country where only 8% of the total national income is shared by 50% of the population the problem of inequality persists 20 years into our new democracy. While a quarter of all South Africans live on $1.82 a day the top 20% (10 million people) enjoy 75% of the national income….

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Parliament @20: Shrinking the accountability deficit

This year South Africans celebrate the 20-year anniversary of our democratic parliament. With national and provincial elections approaching, political parties are finalising the lists of candidates selected to represent South Africans. It is an opportune moment to reflect on the efficacy of public representation and how civil society can assist in enhancing it. Much has…

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Let’s talk about the protests. Where is the empathy and outrage?

“The country is burning”. “Burning frustration”. “Hot-headed in South Africa”. These are the headlines that abound about the many protests that are currently erupting around South Africa. On television we witness mobs of black people apparently running amok, building barricades and burning tyres. We hear of the disenfranchised masses dancing, picking up rocks and supposedly…

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I’ve had enough of Bullard. And so should you

In 2008, proud racist David Bullard was fired from the Sunday Times for a column wherein he denigrated black South Africans. In seems that, after the failure of his many legal matters against the Sunday Times and its owning company Avusa, Bullard found a new hobby. And that hobby is harassing and bullying rape survivors – and I get the special honour of being his target of choice.

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Has the legalisation of cannabis finally become a reality?

The festive season has indeed been a happy one for supporters of the legalisation of cannabis. Uruguay has become the first state to make the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis entirely legal. In the US, home to the “war on drugs”, the states of Colorado and Washington State have followed suit, putting in place…

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Living in present-day South Africa

I don’t believe in generalisations when it comes to experience, except in the natural sciences. In fact, philosopher Hans Reichenbach, in The Rise of Scientific Philosophy, goes so far as to claim that “generalisation” is what is distinctive about science – in the language of the philosophy of science, it is science’s “demarcation criterion”. Because…

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A reply to those that doubt South Africa’s future

I recently had a conversation/argument with someone who, I am only just discovering, shares the belief with many South Africans that now that Nelson Mandela has died the future of the country is in jeopardy. They believe that the metaphorical “night of the long knives” will come to pass, that the spirit of reconciliation will…

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