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A fresh, different perspective on South African politics.
Many common political arguments come pre-packaged in a very old and dusty box – and in this book, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh sets out to dismantle that box. The self-evident truths are not so inarguable. He argues that free education is far from impossible, land reform is not the first step to chaos, and the media is not free…
In this incisive, informed book we find challenges to commonly held opinions and new solutions to old problems.
The Jameson Raid was a pivotal moment in the history of South Africa, linking events from the Anglo-Boer War to the declaration of the Union of South Africa in 1910. For over a century the failed revolution has been interpreted through the lens of British imperialism, with responsibility laid at the feet of Cecil John Rhodes. Yet the wild adventurism that characterised the raid resembles a cowboy expedition more than a serious attempt to overthrow a Boer government.
In The Cowboy Capitalist, Charles van Onselen challenges a historiography of over 120 years, locating the raid in American rather than British history and forcing us to rethink the histories of at least three nations. Through a close look at the little-remembered figure of John Hays Hammond, a confidant of both Rhodes and Jameson, he discovers the American Old West on the South African Highveld.
This radical reinterpretation challenges the commonly held belief that the Jameson Raid was quintessentially British and, in doing so, drives splinters into our understanding of events as far forward as South Africa’s critical 1948 general election, with which the foundations of Grand Apartheid were laid.
The SASO/BPC trial which took place from October 1974 until December 21st 1974 played an intrinsic role in the surge of Black Consciousness thought. An ideology founded by Stephen Bantu Biko, which wished to relay the unspoken strength and spirit of the African people.
It was seen to be a way of thought developed for the African people to reclaim confidence within their skin tone. As the trail commenced in the year 1974, little was known about the ideology’s founder – Steve Biko, aside from his colleagues and followers of the movement, as his whereabouts and communication had been limited as the Apartheid government had ordered a ban on Biko; thereby restricting his movements and communication with individuals.
When Steve entered the Pretoria courtroom in Pretoria as a star witness to deliver his testimony on Black Consciousness, in the three-month trial; those who had heard of the myth of the man named Biko, got to witness him in court. This, gave traction and new-found understanding to the teachings of Black Consciousness. This book focuses solely on his testimony, as said in his words. The spoken words that ignited the momentum of resistance that could not be stopped.
In her much anticipated memoir, Sisonke Msimang writes about her exile childhood in Zambia and Kenya, young adulthood and college years in North America, and returning to South Africa in the euphoric 1990s. She reflects candidly on her discontent and disappointment with present-day South Africa but also on her experiences of family, romance, and motherhood, with the novelist’s talent for character and pathos.
Militant young comrades dance off the pages of the 1970s Lusaka she invokes, and the heady and naive days of just-democratic South Africa in the 1990s are as vividly painted. Her memoir is at heart a chronicle of a coming-of-age, and while well-known South African political figures appear in these pages, it is an intimate story, a testament to family bonds and sisterhood.
Sisonke Msimang is one of the most assured and celebrated voices commenting on the South African present – often humorously; sometimes deeply movingly – and this book launches her to an even broader audience.
Meet the rebels, artists, troublemakers, athletes, dancing queens and freedom fighters that shaped our past – and are changing our future.
An A To Z Of Amazing South African Women tells the stories of 26 trailblazing South African women through accessible stories and illustrations that are as bright and bold as the women they depict. From Fatima Meer to Caster Semenya, Natalie du Toit to Dope St Jude, this is a book about women who ask too many questions, who defy injustice, who refuse to take no for an answer. It is a celebration of the courage and determination of the activists, scientists and storytellers who have gone before us – as well as a recognition of the everyday heroism of ordinary South African woman doing extraordinary things.
The book takes its inspiration from the worldwide bestseller An A To Z Of Rad American Women and is the work of writer Ambre Nicolson and illustrator Jaxon Hsu, a husband and wife team based in Cape Town.
Herman Mashaba rose from humble beginnings to become one of South Africa’s wealthiest and best-known entrepreneurs, as well as Mayor of Johannesburg.
His remarkable story begins in a small village in Gauteng, where we meet the cocky youngster who refused to settle for a future that offered nothing. Forced to drop out of university, the determined young man fought to establish the first black-owned haircare company in South Africa. Mashaba struggled every day of his life – against apartheid, with its demeaning laws, and against his competitors to grab market share for his business. In the process, Mashaba learnt lessons that few business schools teach today.
This is a story of survival, and of determination in adversity. It is also a love story between Herman and Connie, his wife of 35 years, who embarked on this journey together. Mashaba shows the importance of having a vision, daring to dream it, and then making it happen. This inspiring book will leave you with the question: “If he did it, why can’t I?”
It is well known that the African National Congress was formed in 1912 and is considered the oldest political organisation on the African continent. What is often not widely known is that the person who founded it was one Pixley ka Isaka Seme, a thirty-year-old black South African from Inanda outside the city of Durban.
What is remarkable about Seme’s achievement in founding the ANC is not only that he succeeded where most had failed at forging black political unity. It is also the speed at which he did it. He had just returned to South Africa from the United Kingdom and the United States of America, where he had been a student since he was a teenager. In slightly over a year the founding conference of the ANC was convened and he was at its helm as the main organiser.
Seme also established a national newspaper, became one of the pioneering black lawyers in South Africa, bought land from white farmers for black settlement right at the time when opposition to it was gaining momentum, became a sought-after adviser and confidant to African royalty, and was considered a leading visionary for black economic empowerment. And yet, when he became president general of the ANC in the 1930s, he brought it to its knees through sheer ineptitude and an authoritarian style of leadership. On more than one occasion he was found guilty for breaching the law, which partly led to him being struck off the roll of attorneys.
This book discusses in detail Seme’s extraordinary life, from his humble beginnings at Inanda Mission to his triumphs and disappointments across the continents, in his public and private life. When Seme died in 1951 he was bankrupt and his political standing had suffered greatly. And yet he was praised as one of the greatest South Africans ever to have lived. For all this, he has largely been forgotten. This biography brings the remarkable life of this extraordinary South African back to public consciousness.
Without much fanfare Ahmed Kathrada worked alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and other giants in the struggle to end racial discrimination in South Africa. He faced house arrest and many court trials related to his activism until, finally, a trial for sabotage saw him sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Mandela and six others.
Conversations with a Gentle Soul has its origins in a series of discussions between Kathrada and Sahm Venter about his opinions, encounters and experiences. Throughout his life, Kathrada has refused to hang on to negative emotions such as hatred and bitterness. Instead, he radiates contentment and the openness of a man at peace with himself. His wisdom is packaged within layers of optimism, mischievousness and humour, and he provides insights that are of value to all South Africans.
John Kane-Berman is uniquely qualified to look back over the enormous political and social changes that have taken place in his lifetime in this fractious country. In his career as student leader, Rhodes Scholar, newspaperman, independent columnist, speech maker, commentator, and Chief Executive, for thirty years, of the South African Institute of Race Relations, Kane-Berman has been at the coal face of political change in South Africa.
The breadth and depth of ideas and events covered here are striking: the disintegration of apartheid, the chaos of the ‘people’s war’ and its contribution to the broader societal breakdown we see today, the liberal slide-away, the authoritarian ANC with its racial ideology and revolutionary goals, to mention only a few. Kane-Berman’s willingness to confront received wisdom is thoroughly refreshing, and he is forthright about the threats to freedom, democracy, and growth in contemporary South Africa, many of which he identified even before the ANC came to power.
Writing, debate, and reasoned argument have been Kane-Berman’s stock in trade and his clarity of vision and personal insight have created a memoir of rare candour and absorbing interest.
At just 17, Fatima Meer threw herself into resisting racism, her first public act of defiance in a long and pioneering political life. Despite assassination attempts, she persevered on the courageous path she had chosen.
In this intimate memoir, Fatima Meer shares her story of growing up and of love, joy, longing and loss. As Meer open-heartedly reflects on her regrets as well as her triumphs, an enchanting tale emerges of a rebellious, revolutionary woman who never shied away from the truth.
Jan Christiaan Smuts was ’n soldaat, staatsman, intellektueel en een van Suid-Afrika se grootste leiers. Tog word daar vandag min oor hom gepraat of geskryf, al beleef ons tans skynbaar ’n leierskapsvakuum.
In Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense voer Richard Steyn aan dat ons hierdie indrukwekkende kryger-staatsman se lewe en denke moet herbesoek, omdat daar soveel te leer is uit sy merkwaardige prestasies. Die hoogs leesbare verslag ondersoek onder meer Smuts se rol as politieke leier, as adviseur van węreldleiers, sy spirituele en intellektuele lewe en sy verhoudings met vroue. Sy unieke bydraes op ŉ verskeidenheid ander terreine, insluitend botanie, bewaring en filosofie, word ook bespreek.
Jan Smuts: Afrikaner Sonder Grense skram egter nie weg van die paradoksale in Smuts nie. Hoewel hy een van die argitekte van die Verenigde Nasies en ŉ groot kampvegter vir menseregte was, kon hy nie so ver kom om die plaaslike swart meerderheid politieke regte te gun nie.
This stirring collection of essays and talks by activist and former judge Albie Sachs is the culmination of more than 25 years of thought about constitution-making and non-racialism. Following the Constitutional Court's landmark Nkandla ruling in March 2016, it serves as a powerful reminder of the tenets of the Constitution, the rule of law and the continuous struggle to uphold democratic rights and freedoms. We, The People offers an intimate insider's view of South Africa's Constitution by a writer who has been deeply entrenched in its historical journey from the depths of apartheid right up to the politically contested present.
As a second-year law student at the University of Cape Town, Sachs took part in the Defiance Campaign and went on to attend the Congress of the People in Kliptown, where the Freedom Charter was adopted in 1955. Three decades later, shortly after the bomb attack in Maputo that cost him his arm and the sight in one eye, he was called on by the Constitutional Committee of the African National Congress to co-draft (with Kader Asmal) the first outline of a Bill of Rights for a new democratic South Africa. In 1994, he was appointed by Nelson Mandela to the Constitutional Court, where he served as a judge until 2009. We, The People contains some of Sachs' most memorable public talks and writings, in which he takes us back to the broad-based popular foundations of the Constitution in the Freedom Charter. He picks up on Oliver Tambo's original vision of a non-racial future for South Africa, rather than one based on institutionalised power-sharing between the races. He explores the tension between perfectability and corruptibility, hope and mistrust, which lies at the centre of all constitutions.
Sachs discusses the enforcement of social and economic rights, and contemplates the building of the Constitutional Court in the heart of the Old Fort Prison as a mechanism for reconciling the past and the future. Subjective experience and objective analysis interact powerfully in a personalised narrative that reasserts the value of constitutionality not just for South Africans, but for people striving to advance human dignity, equality and freedom across the world today.
Donald Trump’s takeover of the White House is a dangerous escalation in a world of cascading crises. His reckless agenda—including a corporate coup in government, aggressive scapegoating and warmongering, and sweeping aside climate science to set off a fossil fuel frenzy—will generate waves of disasters and shocks to the economy, national security, and the environment.
Acclaimed journalist, activist, and bestselling author Naomi Klein has spent two decades studying political shocks, climate change, and “brand bullies.” From this unique perspective, she argues that Trump is not an aberration but a logical extension of the worst, most dangerous trends of the past half-century—the very conditions that have unleashed a rising tide of white nationalism the world over. It is not enough, she tells us, to merely resist, to say “no.” Our historical moment demands more: a credible and inspiring “yes,” a roadmap to reclaiming the populist ground from those who would divide us—one that sets a bold course for winning the fair and caring world we want and need.
This timely, urgent book from one of our most influential thinkers offers a bracing positive shock of its own, helping us understand just how we got here, and how we can, collectively, come together and heal.
Internationally-renowned historian Hermann Giliomee has himself been intimately involved in the unfolding drama of South Africa’s history, as participant at the Dakar talks with the ANC, as outspoken commentator for the English press, and as leading thinker on the Afrikaners. Giliomee’s lucidity and original insights make this more than just his own story. It is also a gripping narrative, filled with anecdotes and revealing inner workings of the Afrikaner establishment.
The infamous Seriti Commission into the arms deal. The Glenister case following the disbanding of the Scorpions. Busting open the bread manufacturers’ cartel.
High drama; high stakes brought to South Africa courtesy of the Accountability Now NGO, and its founder Paul Hoffman.
Join him in his journey from jaded silk to corruption buster – a fly-on-the-wall account of courtroom battles, influential personalities, secrets and lies in the battle to speak truth to power.
The Wretched of the Earth is a classic, political work which has gained prominence in SA during the recent student (and political) uprisings. It is an in- depth analysis of the effects of colonisation on the individual in society. It examines the consequences of a decolonising struggle and the needed path to liberation. Themes of class, race, violence and culture are discussed, and this book has had a major impact on civil and human rights, anti-colonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world, and is currently hotly-debated in SA.
When Jacob Zuma retires to Nkandla, what will be left behind?
South Africa has been in the grip of the “Zunami” since May 2009: Scandal, corruption and allegations of state capture have become synonymous with the Zuma era, leaving the country and its people disheartened. But Jacob Zuma’s time is running out. Whether he leaves the presidency after the ANC’s national conference in 2017, stays on until 2019, or is forced to retire much sooner, the question is: what impact will his departure have on South Africa, its people and on the ruling party? Can we fix the damage, and how?
Ralph Mathekga answers these questions and more as he puts Zumaʼs leadership, and what will come after, in the spotlight.
As uitgesproke kommenatator wat voor en na 1994 met die regering gebots het, een van die Dakar-gangers wat al in die 1980s die ANC gaan ontmoet het en wereldkenner van die Afrikaners, is Giliomee ten nouste betrokke by ons land se geskiedenis – en hoe ons dit verstaan. Hier verweef hy sy eie lewensverhaal met die van die land en die mense wat hom fassineer in leesbare, narratiewe vorm, vol staaltjies en onvertelde verhale.
#FeesMustFall, the student revolt that began in October 2015, was an uprising against lack of access to, and financial exclusion from, higher education in South Africa. More broadly, it radically questioned the socio-political dispensation resulting from the 1994 social pact between big business, the ruling elite and the liberation movement.
The 2015 revolt links to national and international youth struggles of the recent past and is informed by Black Consciousness politics and social movements of the international Left. Yet, its objectives are more complex than those of earlier struggles. The student movement has challenged the hierarchical, top-down leadership system of university management and it’s ‘double speak’ of professing to act in workers’ and students’ interests yet enforce a regressive system for control and governance. University managements, while one one level amenable to change, have also co-opted students into their ranks to create co-responsibility for the highly bureaucratised university financial aid that stand in the way of their social revolution.
This book maps the contours of student discontent a year after the start of the #FeesMustFall revolt. Student voices dissect coloniality, improper compromises by the founders of democratic South Africa, feminism, worker rights and meaningful education. In-depth assessments by prominent scholars reflect on the complexities of student activism, its impact on national and university governance, and offer provocative analyses of the power of the revolt.
The demise of apartheid was one of the great achievements of postwar history, sought after and celebrated by a progressive global community. Looking at these events from the other side, An African Volk explores how the apartheid state strove to maintain power as the world of white empire gave way to a post-colonial environment that repudiated racial hierarchy.
Drawing upon archival research across Southern Africa and beyond, as well as interviews with leaders of the apartheid order, Jamie Miller shows how the white power structure attempted to turn the new political climate to its advantage. Instead of simply resisting decolonization and African nationalism in the name of white supremacy, the regime looked to co-opt and invert the norms of the new global era to promote a fresh ideological basis for its rule. It adapted discourses of nativist identity, African anti-colonialism, economic development, anti-communism, and state sovereignty to rearticulate what it meant to be African. An African Volk details both the global and local repercussions.
At the dawn of the 1970s, the apartheid state reached out eagerly to independent Africa in an effort to reject the mantle of colonialism and redefine the white polity as a full part of the post-colonial world. This outreach both reflected and fuelled heated debates within white society, exposing a deeply divided polity in the midst of profound economic, cultural, and social change. Situated at the nexus of African, decolonization, and Cold War history, An African Volk takes readers into the corridors of white power to detail the apartheid regime's campaign to break out of isolation and secure global acceptance.
Priscilla Jana is a legendary figure in South African revolutionary politics. As an Indian woman who had experienced racial oppression first-hand, she decided to use her degree in law to fight for the rights of her fellow people and do all she could to bring down the Apartheid state - who saw her as a very real threat. At one time she represented every single political prisoner on Robben Island, including both the late Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie. Priscilla spent her days in court, fighting human rights case after human rights case, but it was at night when her real work was done. As part of an underground cell, she fought tirelessly to bring down the hated government. This activism, however, came at a price. One of South Africa's infamous 'banned persons', for five years Priscilla was unable to take part in any political activities, enter any place where a large number of people were gathered, and had her movements severely restricted. Worse, her own home was attacked with petrol bombs on multiple occasions. Undeterred, Priscilla Jana continued her work, even adopting the baby daughter of a client imprisoned on Robben Island, bringing here up, educating her, and providing a loving home. Finally, upon Mandela's release and the political revolution of her beloved country, Priscilla's work was rewarded, as she was elected as a member of South Africa's first democratic parliament. Later, she was to become an ambassador to both The Netherlands and Ireland. Now retired and living in Cape Town, Priscilla still works and waits for her most fervent desire: the true healing and unification of South Africa.
A fresh, nuanced look at an extraordinary woman and her lifelong fight for justice. Defying the constraints of her gender and class, Emily Hobhouse travelled across continents and spoke out against oppression. A passionate pacifist and a feminist, she opposed both the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War and World War One, leading to accusations of treason. Elsabe Brits travelled in her footsteps to bring to life a colourful story of war, heroism and passion, spanning three continents.
Who are these Guptas who are so powerful, they’re distributing cabinet posts like matrons handing out condoms at a brothel? Who do Americans think they are, accusing Trevor Noah of ‘stealing’ a joke from one of their comedians? Is Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma’s spaza shop a National Key Point?
In #ZuptasMustFall, And Other Rants, Fred Khumalo runs riot, contemplating the pressing issues that continue to confound, infuriate and exasperate the nation – or to sink it into further controversy. Covering a wide range of topics, including politics, history, current events and celebrity gossip, this compilation of recent and new writings contains Khumalo’s trademark blend of humour and shrewd analysis, as well as his treatment of everyday issues from a uniquely South African perspective.
This is an entertaining collection of thoughts from one of the country’s most seasoned journalists, offering many questions, and tongue-in-cheek answers, on who we are as a nation, where we are going, and how we compare to the rest of the world.
Advocate Thuli Madonsela has achieved in her seven years as Public Protector what few accomplish in a lifetime; her legacy and contribution cannot be over-stated. In her final days in office she compiled the explosive State Capture report and, before that, the report on President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence. Praised and vilified in equal measures, Madonsela has frequently found herself at centre stage in the increasingly fractious South African political scene.
No Longer Whispering To Power is about Thuli Madonsela’s tenure as Public Protector, during which the whisper grew into a cry. It is the story of the South African people’s attempt to hold power to account through the Office of the Public Protector. More significantly, this important book stands as a record of the crucial work Madonsela has done, always acting without fear or favour.
As kampvegter vir vrouestemreg en in haar uitgesproke teenkanting teen onreg is Emily Hobhouse ’n ikoon wat vandag nog inspireer. Ontdek die onbekende sy van ’n verbasend moderne vrou in hierdie volkleur pragboek propvol foto’s, interessante dagboekinskrywings en briewe. So gee sy ’n genuanseerde, vars blik op ’n buitengewone vrou wat voortdurend in die spervuur was. Van kleintyd het Emily haar verset teen haar lot. Vir vroue was daar min geleenthede en sy moes boonop haar siek pa oppas. Tog raak sy wereldwyd betrokke by die stryd teen onreg en oorlog. In twee oorloe het sy duisende lewens gered, en tog is sy – ’n ware patriot – in haar eie land onbekend en alleen dood.
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