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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

“Liberation is of paramount importance in the concept of Black Consciousness” – remembering Steve Biko with No Fears Expressed

First published in 1987, No Fears Expressed is a compilation of quotes taken from the words of the activist and Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko. Sourced from the iconic I Write What I Like, including the collection of Biko’s columns published in the journal of the South Africa Student Organisation under the pseudonym of ‘Frank Talk’, as well as from The Testimony of Steve Biko (edited by Millard W. Arnold), this book contains many inspirational quotes and thoughts that are still relevant in South African society today.

Biko’s words fall under a wide range of topics including racism, blackwhite relations, remedies for apartheid, colonialism, black rage and township life. All are topics that reflect the ever-present divide that exists between black and white South Africans.

Steve Biko would have been 70 years old in 2017. His place in history is firmly cemented and the struggle that he gave his life for continues. He left a legacy of thoughts and words, and these words pay tribute to the courage and power of the young leader who was to become one of Africa’s heroes.

To commemorate Biko’s life, BooksLIVE – in collaboration with Pan Macmillan – will publish quotes to remember Biko by during the month of September; a month which also marks 40 years since he was beaten to death in police custody.

Steve Biko on Liberation:

Freedom is the ability to define oneself with one’s possibilities held back not by the power of other people over one but only by one’s relationship to God and to natural surroundings.
IWWIL (‘Black Consciousness and the Quest for a True Humanity’), p 101

Liberation therefore, is of paramount importance in the concept of Black Consciousness, for we cannot be conscious of ourselves and yet remain in bondage. We want to attain the envisioned self which is a free self.
IWWIL (‘The Definition of Black Consciousness’), p 53

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Watch: Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu discusses The Soweto Uprisings on SABC

When the Soweto uprisings of June 1976 took place, Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu, the author of The Soweto Uprisings: Counter Memories of June 1976 was a 14-year-old pupil at Phefeni Junior Secondary School.

With his classmates, he was among the active participants in the protest action against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

Contrary to the generally accepted views, both that the uprisings were ‘spontaneous’ and that there were bigger political players and student organisations behind the uprisings, Sifiso’s book shows that this was not the case.

Using newspaper articles, interviews with former fellow pupils and through his own personal account, Sifiso provides us with a ‘counter-memory’ of the momentous events of that time.

Here Professor Ndlovu discusses the book and his participation in the protest on SABC’S Morning Live Show with Leanne Manas:

The Soweto Uprisings

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“The long walk continues” – eight quotes to remember Nelson Mandela by

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as the first democratically elected president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Born on 18 July 1918, Mandela passed away on 5 December 2013.

The United Nations officially declared 18 July International Mandela Day in November 2009; ever since it has been celebrated annually as a day dedicated to honouring Mandela’s life and legacy.

Here are eight quotes, as published in Nelson Mandela by Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations in the section titled ‘Freedom’, to remember this remarkable man by:

“It is the task of a new generation to lead and take responsibility; ours has done as well as it could in its time.”
- From a message to the launch of the ANC election manifesto and ninety-seventh anniversary celebrations, Absa Stadium, East London, South Africa, 10 January 2009

“We are too old to pretend to be able to contribute to the resolution of those conflicts and tensions on the international front. It is, therefore, immensely gratifying to note a younger generation of African statespersons emerging. They will be able to speak with authority about a new world order in which people everywhere will live in equality, harmony and peace.”
- At the fifth annual Nelson Mandela Lecture, Linder Auditorium, Johannesburg, South Africa, 22 July 2007

“The long walk continues.”
- Final sitting of the first democratically elected parliament, Cape Town, South Africa, 26 March 1999

“The road we have walked has been built by the contribution of all of us; the tools we have used on that road had been fashioned by all of us; the future we face is that of all of us, both in its promises and its demands.”
- At the inauguration of a monument to passive restistance, Umbilo Park, Durban, South Africa, 27 May 2002

“Our vision for the future is one of renewed dedication by world leaders in all fields of human interaction to a twenty-first century of peace and reconciliation.”
- Accepting the German Media Prize, Baden-Baden, Germany, 28 January 1999

“All South Africans face the challenge of coming to terms with the past in ways which will enable us to face the future as a united nation at peace with itself.”
- At the inter-faith commissioning service for the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission), St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, South Africa, 13 February 1996

“Let us together turn into reality the glorious vision of a South Africa free of racism. Free of racial antagonisms among our people. No longer a threat to peace. No longer the skunk of the world. Our common victory is certain.”
- Address to the International Labour Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 8 June 1990

“We can build a society grounded on friendship and our common humanity – a society founded on tolerance. That is the only road open to us. It is a road to a glorious future in this beautiful country of ours. Let us join hands and march into the future.”
- From an announcement of the election date, multi-party negotiations process, Kempton Park, South Africa, 17 November 1993

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Pan Macmillan SA to publish Peter Harris’ debut novel

Pan Macmillan South Africa is delighted to announce it will publish the debut novel of award-winning author Peter Harris. The book will be released in South Africa in October 2017.

The narrative revolves around Max Sinclair, the CEO of Wits Mining, who is in the process of selling 25% of the company to a consortium. As the deal-making gathers pace there are casualties on all sides as corporate and political intrigue spiral, and Johannesburg reveals its true colours as a gritty mining town. The novel is an acerbic exploration of post-apartheid South Africa, with a particular focus on the deepening corruption and cronyism that is threatening the country’s long-term development.

Peter Harris has gathered many accolades for his non-fiction writing. In a Different Time: The Inside Story of the Delmas Four was awarded the prestigious Sunday Times Alan Paton award as well as the Booksellers’ Choice Award in 2009. He is also the author of the best-selling Birth: The Conspiracy to Stop the ’94 Election.

Harris was born in Durban and moved to Johannesburg after qualifying as a lawyer. In the early 1990s, he was seconded from his law firm to the National Peace Accord. Thereafter, he was seconded to head the Monitoring Directorate of South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission for the 1994 election. He currently practises as a lawyer.

Peter Harris commented: ‘In a Different Time was a book about the 1980s, and an extraordinary treason trial. It also chronicled the huge sacrifices that were made to bring about democracy in South Africa. My second book, Birth, was about the transition in the early 1990s and the extreme challenges that the country encountered in getting to and conducting the 1994 election, in the face of significant odds. This novel, located in the cauldron of Johannesburg, is about the society we have become.’

Terry Morris, Managing Director of Pan Macmillan South Africa, said: ‘It is such a privilege for Pan Macmillan to work with an author of Peter Harris’s calibre. Peter is well known for his non-fiction writing, but our team was instantly hooked by the storyline and characters of his debut novel and we look forward to sharing this gripping book with readers.’
 

In a Different Time

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Birth


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Sent to Robben Island at 15, now a top legal mind: Dikgang Moseneke’s extraordinary memoir My Own Liberator

My Own LiberatorPan Macmillan is proud to present My Own Liberator: A Memoir by Dikgang Moseneke:

My Own Liberator, Dikgang Moseneke pays homage to the many people and places that have helped to define and shape him. In tracing his ancestry, the influence on both his maternal and paternal sides is evident in the values they imbued in their children – the importance of family, the value of hard work and education, an uncompromising moral code, compassion for those less fortunate and unflinching refusal to accept an unjust political regime or acknowledge its oppressive laws.

As a young activist in the Pan-Africanist Congress, at the tender age of 15, Moseneke was arrested, detained and, in 1963, sentenced to 10 years on Robben Island for participating in anti-apartheid activities. Physical incarceration, harsh conditions and inhumane treatment could not imprison the political prisoners’ minds, however, and for many the Island became a school not only in politics but an opportunity for dedicated study, formal and informal. It set the young Moseneke on a path towards a law degree that would provide the bedrock for a long and fruitful legal career and see him serve his country in the highest court.

My Own Liberator charts Moseneke’s rise as one of the country’s top legal minds, who not only helped to draft the interim constitution, but for 15 years acted as a guardian of that constitution for all South Africans, helping to make it a living document for the country and its people.

With a Foreword by Thabo Mbeki

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Dikgang Moseneke was born in Pretoria in December 1947. While imprisoned on Robben Island, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science and a B Juris degree, and would later complete a Bachelor of Laws, from the University of South Africa. Moseneke started his professional career as an attorney’s clerk in 1976. He was admitted as an attorney in 1978 and practised for five years at Maluleke, Seriti and Moseneke. In 1983 he was called to the Pretoria Bar and he was awarded senior counsel status 10 years later. Moseneke worked underground for the PAC during the 1980s and became its deputy president when it was unbanned in 1990. Moseneke also served on the technical committee that drafted the interim constitution of 1993. In 1994 he was appointed deputy chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, which conducted the first democratic elections in South Africa.

Between 1995 and 2001, Moseneke left the Bar to pursue a full-time corporate career, but in November 2001, he came back to law when he was appointed to the High Court in Pretoria by then-President Thabo Mbeki. A year later Moseneke was made a judge in the Constitutional Court and, in June 2005, he became Deputy Chief Justice, a position from which he retired in May 2016.

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OUTA investigating possibility of class action against Eskom

The E-Tolls SagaBlackoutThe Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) says it is investigating the possibility of bringing a class action against Eskom.

This follows a court decision setting aside the 9.4 per cent Eskom electricity tariff increase.

The North Gauteng High Court ruled on Tuesday that Eskom had not followed the correct methodology when requesting an additional tariff increase for 2016 using the Revenue Clearing Account.

Eskom had failed to submit quarterly reports to the national energy regulator Nersa to lay the basis for the application and also submitted late‚ outside of the permitted time frame. The case was brought by the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chambers and others.

Outa said on Wednesday evening it would be engaging with various experts to assess the viability of launching a class action against Eskom on behalf of the public to recoup the amounts unlawfully charged.

“We applaud the businesses and the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chambers for successfully challenging the irrational manner within which Nersa approved the increase in Eskoms tariffs. Although not all amounts overcharged will be deemed significant in the eyes of some‚ it is an absolute matter of principle that Eskom pay back every cent they have overcharged,” said Ivan Herselman‚ director of legal affairs at Outa.

On 31 March 2016‚ Outa applied to interdict the Eskom tariff increase on the basis of insufficient time and information to analyse the reasons for the electricity tariff increase agreed to by Nersa‚ before it cames into effect.

Outa is currently on appeal against the judgment which ruled against the organisation. It said the judgment of this latest court ruling specifically confirmed Outa’s position that Eskom could revert to the lowest tariff‚ if the interdict was granted.

“We are fully aware that Eskom and/or Nersa are likely to appeal the ruling but will start with our preparations to determine whether a class action is feasible in the circumstances” Herselman added.

Source: TMG Digital

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Julius Malema: ‘I’m not suffering from an uncontrollable ambition for power’

Still an Inconvenient YouthEconomic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says growing the party‚ not winning municipalities or positions‚ is what the party is focusing on.

He was speaking at the EFF’s gala dinner on Saturday‚ at Meropa Leisure and Entertainment in Polokwane‚ ahead of its Tshela Thupa rally on Sunday in Limpopo.

The rally will mark the party’s final day of campaigning ahead of the local government elections on Wednesday.

“I don’t care whether we win a municipality or not‚ but we are going to increase our numbers. I’m not suffering from an uncontrollable ambition for power‚” said Malema.

He said those who wanted to win municipalities at all costs were “shortsighted” and “myopic”.

Malema reminded the audience that the EFF was only three years old and people should not put pressure on it to win municipalities.

The EFF leader also said it was important to grow local economies and put land in the hands of its rightful owners.

“When we speak they think we want to be like Zimbabwe. We don’t want you to be like Zimbabwe‚ we want you to benefit from the land‚ there’s too much money to be made from this land‚” said Malema.

He added that the state should be funding and supporting black farm owners instead of giving them land that soon lay vacant and unused.

“That is setting black people up for failure … you must sit with them‚ you must babysit them for 10 years and then pull out after 10 years because you mentored those people‚” Malema said.

He said South Africa had the responsibility to ensure that patterns of property ownership changed.

Malema also spoke about nationalisation saying that he was not calling for a complete ban of the private sector but the economy should be led and owned by the state.

“We are not the enemy of business‚ we want to partner with business‚” he said.

Malema said sanitation services should not be outsourced but should rather be the responsibility of the municipality.

“You can’t privatise water‚ you can’t privatise a reading of meters … because the reality is that those are basic things that the municipality is doing. So once you privatise them‚ you’re going to pay more‚ because a job which can be done with R100m we end up doing it with R150m because R50m goes to this middleman called a tenderman‚” said Malema.

He said tenderpreneurs depended too much on government tenders and lacked the innovation needed to be true entrepreneurs.

The party has vowed that under its leadership general tenders would come to an end‚ and that it would only outsource scarce services.

TMG Digital/BDlive

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Challenging the prevailing narrative: The Thabo Mbeki I Know edited by Miranda Strydom and Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu

The Thabo Mbeki I KnowOut now from Pan Macmillan: The Thabo Mbeki I Know, edited by Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu and Miranda Strydom:

Forewords by Judge Barney Afako and Professor Mahmood Mamdani

The Thabo Mbeki I Know is a collection that celebrates one of South Africa’s most exceptional thought leaders. The contributors include those who first got to know Thabo Mbeki as a young man, in South Africa and in exile, and those who encountered him as a statesman and worked alongside him as an African leader.

In The Thabo Mbeki I Know, these friends, comrades, statesmen, politicians and business associates provide insights that challenge the prevailing academic narrative and present fresh perspectives on the former president’s time in office and on his legacy – a vital undertaking as we approach a decade since an embattled Mbeki left office.

Edited by Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu and Miranda Strydom, The Thabo Mbeki I Know provides readers with an opportunity to reassess Thabo Mbeki’s contribution to post-apartheid South Africa, as both deputy president and president; to the African continent and diaspora, as a highly respected state leader; and to the international community as a whole.

About the editors

Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu is an Executive Director at the South African Democracy Education Trust, he has a PhD in History from the University of the Witwatersrand and an MA in History from the University of Natal. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the multi-volume Road to Democracy in South Africa series. He is also the author of The Soweto Uprisings: Counter-memories of June 1976. He is a Professor of History at the University of South Africa and also a member of UNESCO’s Scientific Committee responsible for updating the General History of Africa series.

Miranda Strydom was born and raised in Swaziland. She arrived in South Africa in 1995 where she started working as an economics reporter for SABC Radio. She later joined Business Report until she was recruited to the news team of the newly launched e.tv News in 1998. Miranda was appointed Business Editor for the Sowetan newspaper and after a short stint as communications adviser to then Minister of Public Enterprises, Jeff Radebe, she returned to the SABC as a member of the presidential press corps until she left the media industry in 2011 to join the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.

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‘Obscene’: Rebecca Davis comments on the R140,000 raised after the ‘#RhodesMustFall waitress furore’

Best White and Other Anxious DelusionsRebecca Davis has written a piece for the Mail & Guardian on the “#RhodesMustFall waitress furore”.

After two black members of the #RhodesMustFall movement wrote on their bill that their white waitress “would receive a tip when she returned their land”, R140,000 was subsequently raised for the waitress by concerned citizens in a crowdfunding effort boosted by social media.

Journalist and columnist Davis, whose book Best White and Other Anxious Delusions was released last year, recalls her own days as a waiter, at a five-star hotel in Cape Town, and says the experience of serving many “unpleasant individuals” left her with “waitering post-traumatic stress disorder”.

Davis says not tipping a waiter is a “dick move”, no matter how you look at it, and she says she did feel sorry for the waitress.

However, she adds that “the fact that R100,000 could be collected in a few days to make up for a white waitress being spurned by a black patron is obscene”:

Despite what organisers may claim, this can no longer be ­celebrated as an outpouring of kindness. This is a message from white people to black people: we still have the financial muscle to show you who’s boss.

There were no crowdfunding drives to raise money for Cynthia Joni, the middle-aged domestic worker beaten up by a white man in Kenilworth because he believed she was a prostitute.

I didn’t see any for Muhammed Makungwa, the Malawian gardener sjambokked on his way to work in Rondebosch. I must have missed one for taxi driver Michelle Nomgcana, urinated on from the balcony of Tiger Tiger nightclub.

Complete article: Mail & Guardian

 
Related stories:

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New from Johnny Copelyn – Maverick Insider: A Struggle for Union Independence in a Time of National Liberation

Maverick InsiderPan Macmillan is proud to present the exciting new publication Maverick Insider: A Struggle for Union Independence in a Time of National Liberation by Johnny Copelyn:

In 1973, the trade union movement was both racially and regionally divided. It virtually excluded African workers, and in many cases unions were led by cautious and paternalistic leaders, long schooled in avoiding confrontation with either the state or employers.

Then widespread strikes erupted in Durban where hundreds of thousands of workers downed tools in support of wage demands. It was a militant explosion unprecedented since the apartheid government had crushed and outlawed mass demonstrations against segregation and “whites only” rule. And it provided the impetus for the next decade and a half of trade union organisation, which succeeded in uniting workers on a largely non-racial basis, dominated by the slogan “one union one industry”.

Maverick Insider is an anecdotal, insider’s account of the transformation during this period in the textile, clothing and leather worker sectors. It focuses on the outlooks of leadership groups in different parts of that industry and their efforts to influence the nature of the amalgamation of six unions to form the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU), one of the three largest unions of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

It traces the interaction between union leadership and both political parties and community organisations dedicated to making the country ungovernable, as well as those who were determined to stamp out such calls. It details struggles to unite workers across political divides in the same union organisation and to assert an independent working-class point of view in a period of growing African nationalism.

It details the traumatic events on the road to the so-called peaceful miracle that created a rainbow nation but left 22 000 South Africans dead in the process. And it is the story of a team of people who set out to change the world and formed an unshakeable bond in the process.

About the author

Johnny Copelyn runs a listed investment holding company, Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI), which is SACTWU’s investment vehicle. He lives with his life partner, Corinne, in Cape Town. Between them they have six children.

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