Category Archives: Uncategorized

Change needed in public broadcasting

If, like me, you don’t like to be lulled into excessive states of comfort, then South Africa is a great place to be. This country, unless you’ve insulated yourself behind physical and cognitive barriers, is an unrelenting assault to the senses and one’s sensibility, and you don’t even need to leave your seat for the pleasure.

Just the other day I was assailed by Jenny from Amanzimtoti while I was driving to Stellenbosch on a cool, clear morning. I’d invited her into the car thanks to the wonder of FM waves and the good folks at the SABC, who were gracious enough to take a break from playing hokey pokey with their acting COO—you put your acting COO in, you take your acting COO out and you shake your board about—to fill the airwaves with my fellow countrymen and women’s thoughts on health and the state of South African families. Continue reading

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No miracle arose in South Africa’s transition from apartheid

We can’t ask him, because he’s six-months dead today, but I’d be surprised if Mgcineni Noki thought South Africa’s transition from apartheid was a miracle.

I didn’t know him at all, so wrapping my thoughts around his shoulders, as I do now, as he did the blanket that earned him the nickname in the press “the man in the green blanket”, gives me pause. He was around my age and he’s dead, for R12,500 per month, which was said would spell disaster for Lonmin Plc’s value to shareholders if the company acceded to the miners’ demands.

At almost 370 GBP per share at the close of trade on Friday, the company’s value has more than recovered from the Marikana “tragedy”, as it’s become euphemistically known. It was a mistake, a senseless aberration, divorced from the predictable man-made arrangements that led to the massacre. Continue reading

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On how black anger and white obliviousness are used to foreground race in post-apartheid South Africa

My essay on how black anger, white obliviousness and the expedience of politics have foregrounded race in public dialogue in South Africa has just been published on Mampoer Shorts. It’s a 10,000-word “short”, so snazzy book-like cover aside, you should be able to read it in under two hours. It builds on an opinion piece I wrote earlier this year for the Daily Maverick at the height of debacle over Brett Murray’s ‘The Spear’. Read it, give me your thoughts, and if I haven’t died of shame from the self-promotion I’ll be engaging in during the coming weeks, consider me immortal. Also, in that instance, let me know if you’d like to be involved in a follow-on project I’ll be doing along the same theme next year. But for now, here’s an excerpt. The full essay is available on Mampoer for $2.99. Continue reading

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