Posts Tagged South African Politics

Demanding meaningful engagement: A tribute to Irene Grootboom

By Gavin Silber Over two years ago, in a small poverty stricken community just 40 kilometres from Cape Town, a 41 year old woman died in her shack.  Such an untimely death in Wallacedene – not unlike most informal settlements scattered around South Africa’s urban heartlands – would in most cases hardly be newsworthy. This [...]

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In Defence of Science: Seven points about traditional and scientific medicine

In a couple of days, I will complete my first six years on antiretroviral treatment — I started taking HIV medicines on 05 September 2003. I am still on my first regimen zidovudine (AZT), lamivudine (3TC) and nevirapine (NVP). I am alive because of science and activism. To remember those who have given their lives [...]

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Karl Marx on press Freedom Support the Right to Know Campaign

Simon Spoor alerted me to this excellent article by Karl Marx on press freedom. The Right to Know campaign is mobilising local and global public opinion against the government’s Secrecy Bill. What Marx says about press freedom is also true for the right to access information. The Marx article is difficult but worth working through [...]

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Remember Ruth First: journalist, academic and political activist assassinated by the apartheid state

Ruth First came into my consciousness as an an activist scholar and Marxist in 1977. She had collaborated with Govan Mbeki, Oginga Odinga (Kenyan freedom fighter – later banned) and Ronald Segal. She was assassinated by the apartheid state by the spy and murderer Craig Williamson on 17 August 1982 by a letter-bomb. First was [...]

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Let the truth be told — Stop the Secrecy Bill! South Africa and Israel Join Mugabe

The Secrecy Bill in South Africa threatens our freedom just as secrecy the amendment to the Israeli Penal Law (see below) threatens freedom in that country. South Africa is a constitutional democracy while Israel is a repressive state with democracy for those who agree or acquiesce to its oppressive policies. The contexts are different but [...]

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The Women’s Charter, Women’s Day and Yom Kippur

Adopted more than a year before the Freedom Charter, the Women’s Charter (copied below) was never popularised in our movement for freedom and equality in the same way as the Freedom Charter. Apart from some of its language, the Women’s Charter remains as relevant as a document of struggle today as the day of its [...]

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Social Justice Organisations Condemn Mzilikazi wa Afrika’s Arrest

Social Justice Organisations denounce the arrest of Sunday Times journalist, Mzilikazi wa Afrika A free press is essential to democracy, transparency and the attainment of equality 6 August 2010 We are organisations that campaign for social justice. The success of our work is dependent on respect for the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights. The [...]

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The ANC Turns on the Press (Again) — Richard Pithouse

ANC members must take this critique seriously. Zackie Achmat The ANC Turns on the Press (Again) By Richard Pithouse The African National Congress, perhaps buoyed by a renewed sense of public confidence in the wake of the World Cup, is, again, moving against one of our fundamental democratic freedoms. Amidst a new flurry of indignation, [...]

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Breaking news: Journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika arrested – Resist this onslaught against our freedom

Mzilikazi wa Afrika, the Sunday Times reporter who wrote the article on police chief General Bheki Cele’s irregular contract of R500 million last Sunday has been arrested. (See reports below) This arrest is an assault on the Constitution and every person in South Africa including those who arrested him, for they too can suffer the [...]

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Corruption and the different faces of the ANC

Deputy-President Kgalema Motlanthe made a clarion call to ANC branch leaders in Gauteng saying that “the fight against crime and corruption must first start within the ANC”. It is the duty of every decent ANC member to take up this call. The ANC National Executive Committee has to set the example. Two major corruption scandals [...]

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