Archive for June, 2008

Point Blank by Shubnum Khan

June 12, 2008


Editorial: Normalising Xenophobia

June 12, 2008

Normalizing xenophobia
by Azad Essa

The barbaric violence, including the intimidation and killings that silenced the ho hum of the rainbow nation for the past three weeks has finally subsided.Ordinary South Africans, after witnessing the bloodshed sprayed all over their newspapers and television screens, appear to have returned to the daily drama of their own lives. Of course, the mass rioting might have stopped, but isolated incidents continue to reverberate sporadically across the country.

It is rather the South African government’s feeble approach to finding caring solutions to this and other crises that force one to question government commitment.

But even government inaction can’t hold out for so long.

You can bet your bottom Zim dollar that government will respond eventually. A xenophobia related conference will be arranged, a set of international rock stars will fly over for a Madiba-inspired concert, mass t-shirts and other such memorabilia will be sold. And if we really lucky, we might even get another public holiday.

Azad Essa is a journalist and researcher based at IOLS-Research

Book Review: My Life- Fidel Castro

June 12, 2008

Book Review
My Life: Fidel Castro
With Ignacio Ramonet

Published by Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin,
November, 2007, 724 pages, U.K, £25 .00, India, 795Rs.Reviewed by Wajahat Ahmad


‘I know the regime will try to suppress the truth by all possible means; I know that there will be a conspiracy to bury me in oblivion. But my voice will not be stifled -it will rise from my breast even when I feel most alone, and my heart will give it all the fire that callous cowards deny ?Condemn me, It does not matter. History will absolve me.’

Fidel Castro, 1953

Xenophobia: Reasons for the impeding crisis

June 12, 2008

Focus: Xenophobia in South Africa
Reasons for the impeding crisis

By Patrick Craven

The recent shocking spate of murderous attacks on foreign residents has rightly dominated both the media and the academic world. IOLS Research has already made an important contribution to the debate around the causes of this outbreak of violence.
What is becoming clear is that there is no consensus on the underlying reasons for the problem and the debate will doubtless continue. I would like to focus on one particular attempt to identify the reasons – an article on 30 May 2008 in Independent Newspapers by veteran journalist Allister Sparks. He puts the blame on the interaction of two failed government policies – one caused by the old ANC leadership and the other, as
he puts it, at least partially by the new.


June 12, 2008

NOCWAL: supporting postgraduate research
by Yajiv Haripersad and Sabeeha Maithir


University education is characterized by a reputation for developing critical thinkers. This is especially so in the Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences. However the gap between developing an analytical mind on a learner level, guided by teachers or supervisors within the relevant higher education institutions and writing independently is one that remains under-developed. Postgraduate learners rarely express individual (or collective) research interest through independent initiative research papers or the like. Reason for this being, that there is no formalized space dedicated to the stimulation of postgraduate research through which postgraduate learners can express their interest in research.

Furthermore upon reaching a postgraduate level and thereafter exiting university, a learner is armed with the necessary rules and taught methodologies but without an avenue through which to channel this knowledge and interest in research. University education is often criticized for not providing for the practical training of the learner, a need that other tertiary institutions such as those aligned towards more vocational training and education provide for. There is thus an opportunity for the creation of a formal structure within public higher education institutions that provides for the experiential training needs of postgraduate learners.

The Plight of Tutors at UKZN: Whose the culprit?

June 12, 2008

The plight of tutors at UKZN: who is the real culprit?
by Percy Ngonyama

As tutors engage in rigorous debate about the super exploitation of their cheap labour, they should be wary not to succumb to ‘divide and rule’?the boss’s very effective dirty strategy? blaming fellow victims. Getting up and standing up for their labour rights are long overdue for tutors at UKZN.

The prospect of withholding of labour power should be seriously looked into.
As our experience, past and present, will tell us, sometimes, this is the only language bureaucrats understand.

Percy Ngonyama is a MA student and a Tutor in the Department of Historical and
Internet Studies.

Inferiority Complex?

June 12, 2008

Focus: Xenophobia in South Africa
Nothing more than an inferiority complex.
by Phumlani Zulu

To me xenophobia is nothing.

It’s just another form of inferiority complex leading to frustration, driving people to misdirect their anger. This is a wake up call for all of us in South Africa. Today we are chasing our brothers and tomorrow we will fight against one another as South Africans and I wonder when we are going to stop. We need our African fellows and they also need us. From now on, all concerned South Africans should heed a call of fighting side by side against xenophobic elements. It is now the time for all South Africans to stand up like never before and fight xenophobia.

Point Blank by Shubnum Khan

June 10, 2008