LitNet contributors voice their opinions about current affairs.
Abassie se warme worsiesOpinion 2023-10-05
"There is something so intricate and special about going to a butcher, reaching the glass cabinet, glaring at the various kinds of meat, stating your order, watching the items get weighed and finally paying."
On racism at book festivalsOpinion 2023-09-28
"White supremacy must be stopped. Festivals should be safe, inclusive and welcoming spaces to all."
One human family against evil empiresBooks and writers 2023-09-20
"The literary controversy by author Elizabeth Gilbert, of the popular book Eat pray love, seems to have passed unnoticed on South Africa’s literary scene ... She delayed its publication indefinitely after receiving flak from Ukraine supporters and citizens."
Mangosuthu Buthelezi: Good and evil in one personOpinion 2023-09-12
"African spirituality does not entail the idea of eternal damnation. It is anchored in the belief that even in death, a sinner can be forgiven and be reunited with his or her ancestors. The question is: would Africans be willing to forgive the sins Mangosuthu Buthelezi committed before 1994?"
The contested legacy of Mangosuthu ButheleziOpinion 2023-09-11
"Truth be told, I was introduced to political propaganda and speech writing through Buthelezi’s speeches. He was indeed a gifted writer, crafting statements that could move masses. My father, an Inkatha member, often brought home Buthelezi’s speeches in Zulu and English."
Will an African coup loop descend to southern Africa?Opinion 2023-09-06
"The new thing among African juntas is leeching on the grievances of the demos, that is, pretending to be (and celebrated as) a liberating force – at the beginning at least – before also creating a pattern similar to that of the new elite."
To the moon or a crash landing? 2024 election prospectsOpinion 2023-09-05
"Stop dreaming, take on the issues in front of you, DA, and get back to talking with the ANC. There are a number of South Africa’s biggest cities that are in real trouble (I know, I live in one), and only a determined effort by both the ANC and the DA working together can pull them right."
Beyond Brics opticsOpinion 2023-08-25
"Brics must be more of a foundation for economic growth with equal partners, and not be another cause for global political insecurity. The colonial mentality we resent from the West we shall not tolerate from the East either."
Beyond the age of demagoguesOpinion 2023-08-25
"It is a common thing in the South African political scene, approaching elections, that every political party takes its campaign line mark from the Economic Freedom Front (EFF) to jumpstart the race - by a rowdy form of political assertion. This usually takes a form of its cultish leader, Julius Malema, igniting the tinder by doing something deliberately controversial, like singing the 'Kill the Boer' song."
Global warming: Keep calm and carry onOpinion 2023-08-17
"Today, we are all metaphorically still afraid of being buried alive, only this time under an invisible cloud of carbon dioxide strangling our planet. The equivalent to our coffin bells are planetary temperature readings that go back to 1940."
Speech to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Coffee Club | Artscape Women’s Humanity Festival 2023Opinion 2023-08-04
"The overall intention is to promote, celebrate, support and empower women in all spheres, all walks of life, all cultures and capabilities – ultimately, to ensure an equal, balanced society for all, now and in the future."
Migrants: fear of the "Other" changing the face of politics in EuropeOpinion 2023-07-27
"Apart from getting sanctions lifted – and the calculation is that the effect of the latest grain shipping blockade embargo will trigger another massive migration crisis in Europe – Putin must also be hoping that the political impact in the EU will speed up calls for an end to the war in Ukraine via a negotiated settlement."
Book discussion and interview on the Juta publication: Copyright reform or reframe?Books and writers 2023-07-20
"[The Copyright Amendment Bill] will do inestimable damage to our law of copyright and related areas. Perhaps worst of all, if made law, they will cause immense harm to the very people they purport to be assisting, namely the authors, the composers, the artists and generally the creative persons who seek to produce new and better works and make a livelihood from doing so."
"We gain a certain understanding of Victorian classrooms at home and abroad, during the colonial period and after. We also learned of the contemporary cultures of neoliberal kitchens in neoliberal cities, and by implication, of many universities, their purposes of higher education and coercive relations of governance and management."
South Africa, Russia and ten days that shook the world: Pretoria’s love affair with MoscowOpinion 2023-06-30
"For Moscow, Fischer was to South Africa what Togliatti was to Italy – a loyal communist, through and through, who was majorly responsible for persuading the ANC to emulate the multiracial South African Communist Party and take in other races as members."
John William Colenso: Heretic or savant?Opinion 2023-06-29
"In appraising Colenso, some have portrayed him as a heretic, an ambiguous figure and an enigma. As a bishop, he never really fitted in with the work he was meant to do, because of his divergent views from the mainstream canons of the English Church. This is not to deny his work as a missionary and a teacher, which, in retrospect, might have been the correct designation for his role."
The power of humour: Does it help or hurt us?Opinion 2023-06-29
"It’s true that an attitude of good humour can ease the difficulties of everyday life, at least on an individual level. But does humour offer us anything more than that – an individual escape?"
Practical protection orders: How to stop harassmentOpinion 2023-06-15
"When no means no, does the law protect victims enough? Harassment orders are legal answers to stalkers and abusers; successful orders require the cooperation of courts and police services, which appears to be easier said than done."
Marc Bamuthi Joseph: video of the keynote address, Tribuo arts conference, 3 June 2023Opinion 2023-06-08
Marc Bamuthi Joseph is the vice-president and artistic director of social impact at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. He delivered the keynote address at the Tribuo arts conference held in Stellenbosch in June 2023, and he spoke about a transformative future and the currencies of redemption.
Africa Day: Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrikaOpinion 2023-05-25
"Lastly, I dream of an Africa that honours its own identity and looks after its cultural/historical heritage. Of a new African consciousness – not just in politics, but in a deeper worldview of environmental respect that arises from the philosophy of Ubuntu bethu, which we inherited from our forefathers and ancestors."