LitNet contributors voice their opinions about current affairs.
“Wrong Fugard”Books and writers 2022-07-13
"Athol was spending increasingly longer periods working away from South Africa, but he always returned home to write. He told me he couldn’t write anywhere else. He had to be at home."
Centenary of the 1922 Bondelswarts UprisingOpinion 2022-07-13
"This year marks the centenary of the Bondelswarts Uprising in Namibia – then South West Africa – between late May and early June 1922, and its prompt crushing, which resulted in Jan Smuts’s British Empire-supporting South African Party government attracting significant national and international criticism. What drew attention was the manner of this historically Nama group’s suppression ... This tragic episode followed a long history of fierce Bondelswart resistance against intrusion into their independence."
Boris: Hero to zero in three yearsOpinion 2022-07-13
"So, what went wrong? A number of unfortunate coincidences, probably. Most notably, being a man whose reputation as a true libertarian in the John Stuart Mill mould was established, he himself fell foul of too much libertarianism when it entered the sphere of his own life, which, when he became prime minister, made his private behaviour a public spectacle."
So long Boris and thanks for nothingOpinion 2022-07-08
"That’s why over the past three days, 28 ministers of his government resigned and joined by another 33 deputy ministers and other high-level officials."
Two meetings, two worldsOpinion 2022-06-30
"Africa’s 20th-century history shows the true cost of the world’s powerful countries locked into a struggle for dominance, economic or otherwise."
Collaboration – the moral maze of the enemy withinOpinion 2022-06-20
"Painful choices had to be made, if Meyer was to save both his house and his delicate wife from the privations of the crowded concentration camps, rife with disease and primitive sanitation. In Meyer’s view, the war was taking too brutal a toll, and would be lost in any event. Honourable surrender was the best way forward."
Athol Fugard is 90: A portrait of the artist as a man who jumped at opportunitiesOpinion 2022-06-09
"The playwright sits on the stoep and watches the Cape robins and company flock into the back garden as objects around him in the cold dawn claim their shapes back from the night. The feathered visitors know when his wife has refilled the bird feeders, all cleverly designed to deny grey squirrels access. Having had their fill, the diners start the morning’s grooming and noisy chattering."
The Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELAB): what parents should knowSA Skoleseminaar | Schools Seminar 2022-06-06
"It is important for parents to be empowered and to get involved in the debates around education. .... Parents as well as learners themselves should consider making submissions and having their voices heard."
The role of destigmatization campaigns in mental health and the legacy that is the #CrazySocks4Docs campaignOpinion 2022-06-03
"For just a day, we are asked to stop and think about our mental health and the health of colleagues. We are asked to consider when we are the patient needing help, how we go about accessing that help."
Eurovision Song Contest 2022: the politics of musicOpinion 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”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 StreetOpinion 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 ladderOpinion 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 SwartBooks 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 historyOpinion 2022-04-06
"Can a Russia without Ukraine be the Russia it thinks it should be?"
1922 Rand RebellionOpinion 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 SicknessOpinion 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, continuedOpinion 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 warOpinion 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)Opinion 2022-03-03
"They bomb in the evening. And with bags in hand, we go down from the tenth floor to the subway."