Tag: Mamphela Ramphele

A ‘credible political opposition’ in South Africa

South African writer and journalist, William Gumede, in a contribution to The Guardian asserts that “South Africa desperately needs a relevant, credible and non-racial alternative to the dominant ANC” if “the [country’s] infant democracy [is] to fully come of age”. No evidence is given to support the claim of ‘desperation’, or any analysis to uphold the idea of an ‘infantile’ democracy.

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To Be Young, Angry and Black

The face of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa is young-ish and black. Their “redistribute now” missive has earned both valid and lazy criticism. Their tone is perceived by many to be “dangerous” and “irrational”. For Ramphele, the red-beret clad young man from Rustenburg should have been less respectful towards her. For he is “young, angry and black”. The faceless trope deprives him of agency; he is driven by dangerous impulses and anger; he is one within an uncontrollable mass, predestined to produce instability. He is a threat. In a country that oscillates between the haze of Rainbow Nation-ism and the reality of economic exclusion – “young, angry and black” is a good scarecrow.

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