View Archived Content

ARTICLE: CHURCH AND STATE

state-church No doubt to the alarm of his minders and keepers, President Zuma deviated from the prepared text of his speech yesterday to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Giyani, Limpopo. His speech should have been suitably innocuous – with a nod to the older generation on International Grandparents Day, exhortations to the youth and the expression of justifiable pride in the fact that the number of children infected with HIV within the East and Southern African region has more than halved in the past 10 years. There was only one reference to “apartheid colonialism” – and for the rest, the tone of the speech was suitably presidential.

Read More »

ARTICLE: CONFUSING RACIAL PREJUDICE WITH LANGUAGE RIGHTS

languageRemarks made by Prof Jonathan Jansen – Rector of the University of the Free State – in the Percy Baneshik Memorial Lecture to the English Academy of South Africa on 18 September, have caused a furore in Afrikaans cultural and educational circles. They have been widely interpreted as a call for English-only education and as a claim that “Afrikaans-exclusive or even Afrikaans-dominant white schools and universities represent a serious threat to race relations in South Africa”.

Read More »

ARTICLE: HERITAGE AFTER HERITAGE DAY 2013: CULTURAL TACTLESSNESS

culture The recent statements made by Arts and Culture Minister, Paul Mashatile, as well as Pretoria/Tshwane executive mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa – only three days after South Africa celebrated Heritage Day – raise questions regarding their commitment to the Preamble of the Constitution to “heal the divisions of the past” and that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity”.

Read More »

ARTICLE: HERITAGE DAY 2013: NOT JUST ANOTHER WALK (BRAAI) IN THE PARK?

braai-day One of the most important aspects recognised in the Constitution of South Africa, is the importance of our collective heritage and the rich cultural, linguistic and historical diversity of our people.

This includes the heritage of all our peoples – from the first nations of South Africa – the KhoiKhoi, Nama and San; our indigenous African peoples – the Zulus, Xhosas, Ndebeles and Swazis; the Tswana, Pedi and South Sotho, Tsonga and Venda; white South Africans descended from the Dutch, English, German and French settlers; our extended coloured community; to the Asians who arrived from the Dutch East Indies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and from India during the 19th century.

Read More »

ARTICLE: PRIVATE LIVES AND PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITIES

private I have never, in my entire life, had even a puff of a cigarette. True, I did smoke a cigar 29 years ago when my son was born – but like Bill Clinton I did not inhale. Although I dislike smoking I am fairly tolerant of those who are addicted to tobacco (I have little choice since my wife enjoys the occasional cigarette). Nevertheless, I am happy that people may no longer smoke in planes, restaurants and other public places. I also believe that government should be commended for its vigorous anti-smoking campaign – which has cut smoking by 50% in the past 20 years.

Read More »

ARTICLE: INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FRIENDSHIP 2013: A CULTURE OF PEACE

friendship dayThis year ­‐ on 30 July -­ we celebrate International Day of Friendship. The day is based not only on the recognition of friendship in the general sense but also the relevance and importance that friendship is something more and noble, and embodies a valuable sentiment in the lives of human beings around the world.

Read More »