Browsing All Posts published on »March, 2011«

Farewell to an unassuming hero

March 27, 2011

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Henry Gordon  — ‘Squire’ — Makgothi 1928 – 2011 One of the most humble of a fighting generation of ANC leaders died this week (on 24/03/2011). Henry Gordon — “Squire” — Makgothi, teacher, defiance campaigner and treason trialist was perhaps the most unassuming of the leading figures in the liberation movement. Loyal, often to a […]

Union hopes for education for all

March 27, 2011

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Education in South Africa, with few exceptions, is in a shambles and in dire need of major repair. That much was made clear in the mass demonstration outside parliament this week by thousands of school students supported by parents, teachers and the teacher unions. They were calling for equal, quality education for all. A few […]

Defining workers and the working class

March 18, 2011

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Who is a worker? And what constitutes the working class? These questions were thrown into sharp relief last month by a Cape Town reader, Tim Anderson. In a letter to the editor he asked me to explain the criteria that distinguishes someone as a worker. And he introduced the element of trade unions, organisations that […]

Playing the race card as polls loom

March 18, 2011

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(First published 11 March, 2011) Whenever an election looms, the rumour mills tend to grind away, often fuelled by ill-considered comments by politicians.  It’s the same the world over, compounded by media manipulation, distortions of fact and outright falsification being all too often the order of the days leading up to polling time. But there […]

Sensational slogans and reformist reality

March 18, 2011

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(First published 25 February, 2011) Never judge a book by its cover. Nor, for that matter, the prospect of revolution by the labels given to mass protest, the radical tone of slogans or the harshness of repression. In a South African context, it also means not jumping to the conclusion that our liberal parliamentary democracy […]

Sensational slogans and reformist reality

March 13, 2011

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(First published February 25, 2011) Never judge a book by its cover. Nor, for that matter, the prospect of revolution by the labels given to mass protest, the radical tone of slogans or the harshness of repression. In a South African context, it also means not jumping to the conclusion that our liberal parliamentary democracy […]

Operation Daisy and the art prof spy

March 7, 2011

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At the height of the 1976 rebellion against apartheid in South Africa, the security police launched an audacious scheme that enabled them to steal anti-apartheid funds with the aid of bogus trusts headed by an apparently respectable fine arts professor at the University of the Witwatersrand.