LitNet contributors voice their opinions about current affairs.

Eurovision Song Contest 2022: the politics of music

David Willers Opinion 2022-05-19

"Shakespeare always moved with the times; he would certainly have added that music is the food of politics, not only love, judging from contemporary events."

Ukraine: Artillery – Stalin’s “god of war”

David Willers Opinion 2022-05-05

"On the same day Moscow’s chief propagandist warned that Russia had the capacity to ignite a 'Poseidon' underwater nuke capable of submerging Britain with a giant radioactive tsunami, I listened to Freek Robinson on LitNet interviewing Theo Venter on the likelihood of President Putin actually using an atomic bomb."

Ramadaan on Dorp Street

Zubayr Charles Opinion 2022-04-28

"So, as I stand on my stoep, looking up at the two rows of houses, I make the niyyah to pop around to each home and ask my neighbours what makes Ramadaan so special here on our street."

Having lost control of the escalatory ladder

Tristen Taylor Opinion 2022-04-21

"Putin fears NATO expansion and the loss of his throne. EU countries are scared that Russia will invade them again. Ukraine understandably fears dismemberment. America fears the end of its hegemony. And China is afraid that its rise to great power status will be thwarted. Fear underlies all the guns, bombs and sanctions. It is what lies behind the bellicose statements and absurd propaganda."

"Do you remember still?"– some unknown juvenilia of Vincent Swart

Jean Meiring Books and writers 2022-04-13

"Piqued by his anonymity, by how well his poetry survived the passage of years, and by an error – which I learned only later was an error – I started looking for whatever I could lay my hands on concerning Vincent Swart, perhaps South Africa’s best forgotten poet."

Ukraine’s nightmare: The Russian Bear and its history

Bill Nasson Opinion 2022-04-06

"Can a Russia without Ukraine be the Russia it thinks it should be?"

1922 Rand Rebellion

Rodney Warwick Opinion 2022-03-29

"Within this country’s contemporary political discussion any mention of insurrection would likely refer to last July’s still unsatisfactorily understood KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng events. Besides historical enthusiasts, comparatively few South Africans will be aware that March marks the centenary of another local insurrection: the 1922 Rand Revolt/Revolution/Uprising or Miners’ Strike ..."

Colonel Hunger and Major Sickness

David Willers Opinion 2022-03-17

"But meanwhile, when Viktor was pressed to describe the essential difference between the bilingual Ukrainians and Russians, essentially speaking one another's language, he said the nearest analogy was that of Ireland and England."

Of Slavic Souls, continued

Klara Ana Rosa (Wojtkowska) Opinion 2022-03-06

"Am I waxing poetic about Russian culture? No, I don’t think so. I am not saying that Putin is good, or doing good things. But I have seen and experienced and read and been born into a life that sees, very well, that to heal the cycles of violence we are used to, we need to think differently to how we have been feeling thus far."

The West’s economic war

Tristen Taylor Opinion 2022-03-04

"What wasn’t surprising about the vote on Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly on 2 March 2022 was that South Africa abstained ... For South Africa’s foreign policy to become focused on human rights again, the left-nationalist power cabal that is the ANC must go ... But underneath, tremendous forces are at play. The world is being reordered and it is unlikely to be in Africa’s favour."

Stories from Stellenbosch and Kharkiv: Dzvinka Kachur and Hannah Yanovska (3 March 2022 at 09:50)

Dzvinka Kachur, Hannah Yanovska Opinion 2022-03-03

"They bomb in the evening. And with bags in hand, we go down from the tenth floor to the subway."

(Ab)using language for narrow socio-political and racist interests

Mashudu Mashige Opinion 2022-03-02

"Institutional support and status involves far more than just mouthing platitudes to the electorate. It means a dogged determination, as displayed in the development of Afrikaans to where it is today."

Russians: Hostages of our own state

Anna Solodkina Opinion 2022-02-28

"All the public talks and podcasts in Russia, all the conversations with friends and family, come down to just a few topics: Will the metro be a safe place to hide in case Moscow is bombed by NATO? Is it the right time to withdraw all cash from our bank accounts? Is it too late to buy US dollars and sell the stocks? Will our young male family members be mobilised and sent to war, most of them against their will? Will the government start mass repression of its own citizens, those who dare to speak up?"

Where is your happy place?

Zubayr Charles Opinion 2022-02-25

"With the sun reaching nearly 40 degrees, some of the uncles are not singing from the flat-surfaced rock, and instead they sit under a gazebo, serenading the beachgoers with their velvet voices."

Putin’s invasion and the failure of peace

Tristen Taylor Opinion 2022-02-24

"The war began today (24 February 2022) ... Today represents the world’s failure to find peace for Ukraine. Unfortunately, tomorrow won’t be any better."

The mouse with no whiskers

Marguerite Poland English 2022-02-14

"The need for comfortable multilingual interaction from childhood is crucial in establishing respect and a sense of community in a country of diverse people." – Marguerite Poland remembers Benjamin Mahlasela, her Xhosa language tutor at Rhodes University 50 years ago.

The passing of Desmond Tutu, 26 December 2021: A few memories

Paul Murray Opinion 2021-12-27

"He was one of the greatest the country has ever seen, iconic beyond description, who stood up for the rights of all South Africans, and whose legendary status reached the rooms, offices, courts of monarchs, heads of nations and spiritual leaders of virtually every country in the world."

Speech by Marlene le Roux during the acceptance of an honorary doctorate degree in Education at Stellenbosch University

Marlene le Roux Opinion 2021-12-13

"I accept this on behalf of so many disadvantaged women, persons with disabilities and also people who have no voice in life. I started my life in what can be seen as a cycle where you are born into poverty and would ultimately die in poverty."

Muizenberg beach protest against seismic blasting

Lara Aucamp Opinion 2021-12-06

"On Sunday, 5 December more than 500 people met at Surfer’s Corner on Beach Road in Muizenberg to protest against seismic blasting off the South African coast."

It’s not just a barbershop, it’s a community

Zubayr Charles Opinion 2021-12-01

"What my friend failed to mention was that the gevaarlike Jordanian couldn’t help us both at the same time, and due to my impatience, I landed in the chair of Abbaas Sylvester."