LitNet contributors voice their opinions about current affairs.

In response to Marlene van Niekerk’s poem, “Fallist art”

Helen Moffett Opinion 2018-08-15

"Words hurt, and Bongani Mayosi paid the ultimate price for this kind of hurt. Let us be critical, by all means, but let us give more thought to how our words might affect one another."

Press release: Women’s Day and the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

LitNet Opinion 2018-08-08

Iziko Museums of South Africa and the Supusupu Khoe Language Project will commemorate Women’s Day, as well as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, on 9 August 2018. 

The changing global higher education landscape: an interview

Hans Pienaar, Meng-Hsuan Chou Universiteitseminaar | University Seminar 2018-07-26

 "As much as commentators like to argue that many education systems around the world have become more 'anglicised' or 'Americanised', it is important to remember that local actors – and here, I am referring to students – are not passive. Students today are more plugged into the news of the world, and demand that their professors explain the relevance of what is happening 'there', to 'here'."

Personal reflections on the 16th Nelson Mandela Lecture, delivered by Barack Obama

Karabo Kgoleng Opinion 2018-07-19

"I sat hundreds of metres away from Obama, but I wasn’t moved the way Pieter W Grobbelaar’s books moved me as a child. I wasn’t moved the way I was when my nanny told me about Tselane and the Giant."

Hermann Giliomee speaks about his latest book, Die Afrikaners

Paul Murray Books and writers 2018-07-04

"There was a hard-hitting question about the future of Afrikaans."

The decision to declare English as the only language of record in court in South Africa: a reaction

Ernst Kotzé Seminare en essays 2018-07-03

"The question inevitably arises whether the obligation to convert all legal communication to English would have any influence on the ability of many citizens to express themselves efficiently and understand the language of the court (particularly as regards vocabulary), given the fact that English is arguably the third or fourth language of the majority of the population."

Binding the nation through language diversity: A challenge to a new president

Hermann Giliomee Seminare en essays 2018-06-20

"Mr Ramaphosa’s call, 'Send me', has made us perk up our ears. Nothing will ensure the wholehearted co-operation of the Afrikaans-speaking community with his presidency more than offering a fixed, secure and sustainable place for Afrikaans at both school and university level."

The school’s dress code

Dawid van der Vyver Skole 2018-06-11

"I forecast that it will take just one steadfast learner, backed by a half-decent legal team, to expose the dress and conduct code for what it is: a discriminatory house of cards that will tumble once subjected to serious scrutiny."

In memoriam: JC (Kay) de Villiers, 7 March 1928 – 5 June 2018

Paul Murray In memoriam 2018-06-11

"Out of all the great accomplishments in De Villiers’s career that reached universal proportions, the historical medical aspects of the South African Anglo-Boer War stand out as some of the supreme achievements of this genius and intellectual giant."

The classification of Afrikaans

Ernst Kotzé Opinion 2018-05-29

"Following a geographical point of departure, Afrikaans is an African language that originated here and reflects the name of the continent (the only language in Africa having this characteristic)."

DocuFest Africa 2018: a celebration of documentary photography

Naomi Meyer, Reney Warrington Onderhoude 2018-05-16

"To me, they [the images] are a portal to a world I can never visit. They are also a recording of our history, a barometer of the time. In some ways, I hoped the show would take the viewers out of their current lives, away from the current political climate, and perhaps remind them of what we overcame as a people."

Water reuse to deal with urban water scarcity – lessons from afar and the Southern African neighbourhood

Chris Heymans Opinion 2018-05-10

"Encouragingly, we can learn from some successful experiences in this field right here on Cape Town’s doorstep. The first is Windhoek, which has been making use of recycled water for some 50 years now, and has become a world leader in this practice."

Love in a time of burning: Remembering Winnie Mandela

zp dala In memoriam 2018-04-03

"Perhaps, this mettle was her undoing. This fierce and abiding spirit to 'play equal with the boys' was the reason why the one Winnie inside her would suffer at the hands of the other."

Nationalisation of land by the state and the expropriation of land without compensation: A few thoughts on win-win partnerships

Christo van der Rheede Opinion 2018-03-06

"We do have the agricultural plans jointly developed by role players in the agricultural sector, which are based on chapter six of the NDP! The government forked out millions to get all role players around the table to devise workable and implementable plans."

Cities and water: some lessons from very water-scarce places

Chris Heymans Opinion 2018-03-05

"One lesson is that no amount of investment in water infrastructure, by itself, can root out water shortage. The dramatic growth in Las Vegas’s population and tourism industry over recent decades has stretched the city’s allocation from the Colorado River – which it shares with several states and other cities – as well as its available groundwater reserves. It remains vulnerable, but drastic changes in its approach to water management have helped the city avoid running out of water."

!Xun Bible translation: an interview with Masenyani Baloyi

Menán van Heerden, Masenyani Baloyi Opinion 2018-02-28

"My opinion about the general development of indigenous languages in South Africa is that each and every one of us – and every organisation – must promote, and create conditions for, the development and use of all official languages: the Khoi, Nama and San languages; sign language; and all other languages commonly used by communities (see section/article 6(5)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa)."

On the unlawful banning of Inxeba (The wound) by the Films and Publications Board (FPB)

Niq Mhlongo Opinion 2018-02-27

"It’s apparent that the appeal board has missed out on the other important aspects of the film, which include same-sex relationships, safe sex, love, the challenges of patriarchal societies, finding the balance between modernity and tradition, negotiating the rural and urban landscapes, as well as the beauty that is embedded within the isiXhosa culture and the traditional rite of passage into manhood."

Indigenous “Khoisan” languages: an interview with Menán du Plessis

Menán van Heerden, Menán du Plessis Opinion 2018-02-15

"In fact, Nama is, for all practical purposes, the only extant Khoekhoe variety (and, indeed, the only Khoisan language of any kind) still spoken in South Africa today. Most of the remaining Nama speakers in South Africa (perhaps around 2 000 of them) are aged at least 50 or upwards, however, although attempts are now being made to reintroduce the language as an additional subject at schools in the Northern Cape." 

Water crisis: a country at war

Naomi Meyer, Karen Jayes Opinion 2018-02-15

"In the end, like in the book, it boils down to helping one another. There is great blessing in giving a glass of water to a poor and thirsty person. It is a form of healing."

Eulogy to Raymond Danowski – in sacred memory

Paul Murray In memoriam 2018-02-13

"[I]n the mid-70s as he [Raymond] was putting together his collection of 20th-century English poetry ... From this initial stage, today the final product amounts to what is now known as the Danowski Poetry Library – a 75 000-volume collection of rare and first editions of modern and contemporary poetry at Emory University. It includes every poetry volume in English published world-wide in the 20th century."