AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Democratic Alliance

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Thursday, May 29th, 2014

The story of a South African “tribe”

In October 2013, former South African president Thabo Mbeki, speaking at the Bethesda Methodist Church in the north of Johannesburg, warned us of a resurgence of tribalism in South Africa. In January of this year, Mbeki once again had the courage to speak out. Calling this the “homeboy phenomenon”, he explained that this process is engaged in consciously and deliberately,

Monday, March 17th, 2014

The Undemocratic Alliance

I do a monthly radio show for Jacobin Radio. Listen at the link below as I discuss the South African "opposition" party, the Democratic Alliance's politics with another AIAC'er T.O. Molefe. In the first half I sketch...

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Mamphela had a Party

A star that shone too brightly has been snuffed out before its time. On Tuesday, not even a year since its launch, and months shy of contesting its first – and South Africa’s fourth – democratic election,...

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Little Stan Greenberg is Dead

A dear friend and former colleague, Andy Davis, used to giggle at the sight of Stan Greenberg and I rushing through the hallowed halls of Shell House (the ANC’s former headquarters) together and talking numbers and strategy....

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Cape Town’s make-believe politics

Cape Town’s local politics seems to be getting more and more distressing. Last week the Rondebosch Common, a public plot of open land in the leafy suburb of Rondebosch in Cape Town showed a bit more activity...

Monday, February 6th, 2012

More Benetton Politics

I swore I wasn’t going to add a thing to the discussion about the idiotic poster campaign by the student/youth wing of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance about a future non-racial love-fest. I have remained shtum (yiddish...

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Mdu Ntuli’s ‘Izikhokho Show’

You’ll excuse our South African focus today here and on Twitter. A burger chain writes in braille; author JM Coetzee writes about cricket; “a gym member tells of racist insults”; “Minister of Arts and Culture supports boycott,...

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Benetton Politics

South Africa’s Democratic Alliance, usually very slick and media savvy, have really outdone themselves with a new campaign by its youth wing. Fresh out of leader Helen Zille’s troublesome ‘AIDS Gestapo’ views and calling the ever disgruntled...

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Helen Zille’s ‘AIDS Gestapo’

Just as South Africa is recovering from the havoc wrought by former President Thabo Mbeki’s AIDS denialism, now there’s a new politician spouting all sorts of nonsense – this time it’s Helen Zille, the leader of the...

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion

Occasionally we have to promote our day jobs. Here are some excerpts from an op-ed that occasional AIAC blogger Herman Wasserman and I wrote last week for a South African publication on the latest manufactured scandal...

Monday, July 18th, 2011

The people of Blikkiesdorp

For at least 3 years now South African photographer Lizane Louw have chronicled the lives of the people of Blikkiesdorp (translation: Tin Town), a temporary relocation camp in Delft–not to be confused with the Dutch town and...

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Putting up with being insulted by Malema

The South African Civil Society Information Service (SACSIS) keeps bringing it. This is not the handwringing of The Daily Maverick (another, more commercial online news portal from there) passing for insight. Most of the op-eds on SACSIS...

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

The Ideology of the Democratic Alliance

This piece, below, on the politics of the South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (led by Helen Zille, above), was written by Jane Duncan (a journalism professor at Rhodes University) well before the recent local government...

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

The Uprising

“The Uprising of Hangberg” is filmmaking at its incendiary best. Part agitprop piece, testimonies, campaign document, and popular history, the film recounts the violent events of September 2010 when municipal police on the orders of the Cape Town’s...

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

How to go to the toilet in South Africa

Residents of a shack settlement in Khayelitsha–that’s an area of cheap housing and squatter shacks about 20 miles from the Cape Town’s city center –“were provided communal toilets by the City of Cape Town on condition they...