LitNet contributors voice their opinions about current affairs.

Goodbye and hello: Zimbabwean publishing future and past

Philani A Nyoni Opinion 2024-02-29

"The reign of these juggernauts was quite a golden age, but not without its problems."

Election 2024 – The DA’s rescue plan for South Africa: a review

Rory Riordan Opinion 2024-02-28

"Their concerns about diminishing state debt are well motivated and should be taken seriously, and their manifesto includes much of interest and many good ideas. But the last bolts need tightening, the final budget needs better costing, and they should give us, even if in appendices, much more detail about their thinking."

A year of elections, multiple challenges and choices

Jason Lloyd Opinion 2024-02-27

"Here, on the southern tip of Africa, political commentators, journalists, authors, philosophers, economists, thinkers and columnists unanimously agree that the 29 May 2024 election in South Africa will be a make-or-break event."

Election 2024: The Economic Freedom Fighters’ election manifesto

Rory Riordan Opinion 2024-02-20

"Thus, these many commitments are not commitments to study and then decide on action; they are clearly phrased as actions that have been decided on, and must now be seen through. We know where we are with the EFF."

The world at war: Choppy waters ahead

David Willers Opinion 2024-02-15

"It feels a bit unreal putting these words on paper, but a phantom is looming ever larger in the global consciousness. Something is definitely going on; turbulent daily news events describe geopolitical tensions of all sorts – military build-ups and diplomatic stand-offs."

Durban’s water crisis: far more than pipes and taps at stake

Chris Heymans Opinion 2024-02-15

"For months now, the water and sanitation (WSS) unit of eThekwini (Durban) municipality has been in the news for all the wrong reasons."

Initiation practices and other undesirable things

Mphuthumi Ntabeni Universiteitseminaar | University Seminar 2024-02-01

"If there is anything in common between the rigour of the English boarding school system I grew up in and the staunch Calvinism of Afrikaners of, say, Stellenbosch University, it is the belief that young men in particular need to be toughened up to prepare them for life. It is the reason why, though known to authorities, these rituals and rites of passages are tolerated and ignored until they go too far, as they sometimes do."

Hero in hiding: Jeff Morphew, forgotten South African in the fight for democracy

David Willers Opinion 2024-01-30

"Democracy is at risk of being replaced in many cases with despotic oligarchies and fascist elites. Our ‘imperfect, but still the best system of government’, to paraphrase Churchill’s definition of democracy, is even under threat in the EU, where right-wing parties with dubious links to history are poised to make electoral gains this year."

Revisiting Bloke Modisane, from Sophiatown to Gaza: #III – On escape

Robin K Crigler Opinion 2024-01-30

"I suggested that it might be useful to think of Modisane’s history like a kind of monstrous Large Language Model (LLM) – a bizarre and monstrous simulacrum of human intelligence trained on our basest reflexes and insecurities."

Don’t touch me on my context

Jannie Gagiano SêNet-briewe 2024-01-30

"You can’t go back in time to kill your grandfather with an axe because you dislike the historical context he furnished you with. If you could, he could have done the same to his grandfather, until the only ancestor remaining to provide you with a validating context would be lonely old Adam playing with his snake in the Garden of Eden."

Revisiting Bloke Modisane, from Sophiatown to Gaza: #2 On violence, on history

Robin K Crigler Opinion 2024-01-23

"The question is ultimately a simple one: which groups of people has social media made it harder for you to see as fully human?"

Revisiting Bloke Modisane, from Sophiatown to Gaza: #1 On pain

Robin K Crigler Opinion 2024-01-17

"We have no idea how things are ultimately going to look in the Holy Land, but I believe we can use Blame me on history as a text to think about the durability of the human spirit, how to be witnesses to pain, and how to be witnesses who are also implicated in that pain."

A path towards true humanity

Mphuthumi Ntabeni Opinion 2024-01-11

"I wonder where South Africa would have been, had countries like Cuba, Ireland, Zambia, Angola or the Scandinavian nations not supported us against the murderous National Party’s apartheid regime."

RIP Henry Kissinger – influential American diplomat who shaped policy on southern Africa

David Willers Opinion 2023-12-05

"Kissinger arguably saved the world from nuclear war by defusing geopolitical crises on several occasions during the height of the Cold War."

Nothing about us without us

Marlene le Roux Opinion 2023-12-04

"As a country we must stop paying lip service by having commissions and task teams and Zoom meetings. We need to implement existing policies effectively, and we need it to happen now!"

Eyeless in Gaza

David Willers Opinion 2023-11-29

"The grim reaper is everywhere to be seen as these tragic events unfold. Beyond the rights and wrongs, the claims and counter-claims, this war, like all wars, has already resulted in the deaths of thousands of non-combatants ..."

They didn’t walk alone: 15th George Botha Memorial Lecture

Denise Zinn Opinion 2023-11-22

"What about those who cooked, cleaned and built the houses in which they lived, he reminds us to consider. Without them, would those who achieved fame, or who sacrificed and contributed so much, been able to do all they did?"

Russel Botman’s ethical legacy calls forth a time yet to come

Aslam Fataar Opinion 2023-11-20

"Russel asked how we might create an embracing, inclusive time horizon, irrespective of personal consequences, out of which we could serve humanity. Russel gifted us a type of human enfolding, based on recognition, intimacy and conviviality, a legacy for human and planetary co-existence."

Ons is nie almal so nie

Loretta Feris Opinion 2023-11-07

"Addressing structural racism in South Africa requires a comprehensive and sustained effort from government, but also from us as citizens, who fundamentally believe that 'ons is nie almal so nie'. It necessitates policies that promote economic empowerment, educational equality and social parity."

The wonderful corniness of the Springboks: South African softness at its best

Robin K Crigler Opinion 2023-11-06

"Like South African hardegatheid South African softness also maybe has a particular cultural significance."