Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
26 November 2006

Story of the dominee

This story of mine was published in Die Burger yesterday.

10 March 2015

Welcome to Worcester – and apartheid 2015 style

If you are poor and black and live in South Africa (especially in a rural town), you do not enjoy […]

1 November 2013

The JSC: It’s not all bad and here’s why

When faced with a crisis or awkward questions about their competence or their ability to deliver on their election promises, […]

22 May 2013

The curious case of the pastor punished for honesty

“Prejudice,” warned former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo in the judgment of Hoffmann v South African Airways, “can never justify unfair […]

9 May 2012

A note on Afrikaners and tribalism

I am not a tribalist and I am opposed to tribalism in all its forms, whether practiced by Zulu nationalists […]

8 November 2011

Why the taalbulle will destroy Afrikaans

I am a bit nervous to raise the topic. People get very, very cross when one says the “wrong” thing […]

2 November 2011

On freedom of expression and the censorship of magazines

When Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng was nominated to that position, it was revealed that he happened to be a pastor in […]

1 November 2010

Sadly no one has a right to party (or to a job)

The United States of America Declaration of Independence famously states that: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all […]

16 August 2010

The return of fake morality?

Because my parents were members of the Dutch Reformed Church, I had to attend the church service and Sunday school every […]

27 April 2009

Happy freedom day: respect the human dignity of all

I hope you all had a great freedom day and took a moment to cherish the wonder of living in […]

23 January 2009

Has Ngcuka blown the Zuma case?

Carl Niehaus, spin-doctor for the ANC who appropariately studied to be a dominee (seeing that Jacob Zuma has said the ANC […]

2 January 2009

The new year will test our democracy

I was happy to note that Mr Jacob Zuma earlier this week recommitted the ANC to upholding the Constitution and […]

3 September 2008

On freedom of religion and the gay music teacher

Where does freedom of religion end and respect for the constitutional values of equality and dignity begin? I ask because […]

29 February 2008

Asmal’s goodbey to Parliament and the duty to speak

One of the things that struck me about the furore following revelations about the making of a racist and humiliating […]

16 November 2007

Satanism the downfall of Rapport columnist, but why?

The Afrikaans Sunday newspaper, Rapport, is not on my list of must-read publications. Ever since it paid Wit Wolf Barend […]

24 March 2007

The Bible made them do it?

My take, published in Die Burger today, on the argument made by Dutch Reformed Church Dominees that the Bible tells […]

19 March 2007

Thabo Mbeki, racism and crime

President Thabo Mbeki has been roundly criticised for last Friday’s ANC Today letter on racism and crime. I suppose given […]

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