The conversation around reconciliation and justice often treats black and white South Africans as equally culpable for the atrocities that occurred under apartheid by imputing a false blameworthiness on all South Africans in order to counter the guilt that white individuals have to deal with for their role, whether in a blatant or incipient form. We often pretend that apartheid was a type of civil war between two nations who dominated each other, back and forth, in equal measure.
President Jacob Zuma and his allies have called for disciplinary action to be taken against ANC MPs who supported a vote of no confidence in Zuma. Calling these MPs “traitors”, “Askaris”, or (the slightly less incendiary) “ill-disciplined”, they have argued that MPs are only elected to the National Assembly because of their membership of their party and must at all times obey instructions from their party. This view ignores the precedent set by the recent Constitutional Court judgment on the vote of no confidence. It also fails to consider the possibility that provisions in political party constitutions that allow parties to expel MPs who vote against the party line might themselves be unconstitutional.
Journalists should not only be investigating the criminal capture of the institutions we need for economic governance, such as the SA Revenue Service and Eskom, but also study what is going on in a plethora of public institutions that are crucial for social and rights governance – for the realisation of constitutional rights to health or education.
One of the safest herbicides on the market, glyphosate, now carries a warning label in California saying it can cause cancer. Some countries have banned it altogether. In Europe, neonicotinoids, some of the safest pesticides on the market, have been banned. In both cases, activists gamed the system to advance their own interests, while harming both people and the environment.
In the words of Nayyirah Waheed, “All of the women in me are tired”. Tired of scrambling for recognition, tired of having to speak 20 times before I am heard, tired of being left out of conversations that should be led by women. But more than anything else, I am tired of mostly male gatherings, I am tired of excuses, I am tired of sitting in a room and not seeing anyone that looks like me, despite the fact that they occupy every corner in this country.
One thing I know for sure: no government can substitute for the role of committed families and communities in protecting children. In the end, a culture of active, responsible citizenship is indispensable to building a functional society that cares for its most vulnerable members. And anyone who knows how we can achieve that has the key to South Africa’s future.
The United States of America and North Korea are effectively in a state of war. North Korea has finally achieved the unthinkable. They have produced an Intercontinental Nuclear Warhead that is capable of reaching US cities and Korea’s usual threats have suddenly taken a more sombre and war-ready tone.