Archive for the ‘Editorials’ Category

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


Editorial: What Now?

May 26, 2008

What now?
by Aisha Lorgat

Now we have all seen it, here and abroad, emblazoned like a shameful scarlet letter in media images and news feeds that are strikingly similar to the beginnings of the Rwandan genocide. Horrifying images of necklacing, the punishment meted out in township justice during apartheid that everyone, we certainly, assumed had no place in the new South Africa, return to haunt our collective consciousness again. The crime this time however, was not being an informant or askari, but that the man burning to appease the blood lust of the mob had committed the truly despicable crime of being born north of the Limpopo.

All of us in South Africa need to decide if we are indeed ‘African’ at all. The fractured schizophrenic identity games we play with ourselves and others are becoming extremely damaging. If South Africa is indeed part of Africa then we need to commit ourselves to the continent, not just in trite statements, and not in a patronising ‘big-brother’ way. Instead we need to recognise that we all on this bright continent are linked to each other integrally; that the umbilical cord to the heart of our Africanness may be damaged but that it can never be severed without killing us in the process.


Editorial- The end of a credible South Africa

April 21, 2008

The end of a credible South Africa

       by Azad Essa

Indeed, the imagery of a nation that narrowly avoided bloodshed through tactical Gandhiism by all sides are what make up bedtime stories in troubled places as far afield as Kashmir and Armenia.  In fact, no matter how hard Manto tried to match perceptions of South Africa’s intellectual capacity with those preconceived, dangerous, and racist stereotypes of Africans with the help of her beetroot fantasies, and no matter how many times the media has showcased Zuma publicly exposing his medialized macho Zulu ego, and belief in shower cure-alls across the globe, South Africa’s hold on the moral high ground was secure. Until last week, that is..


Editorial- South Africa is not immune to food riots

April 8, 2008


South Africa is not immune to food riots

      By Azad Essa


The latest fad doing the rounds these days: hints on how cash strapped South Africans ought to save, well, cash. In these particularly harsh economic times where $1 will buy you up to three loafs of bread in Harare, but just one loaf and perhaps a couple of chappie bubble gum in Durban – even Black Economic Empowerment candidates have asked their rock star wives to take it easy on the SUV pedals. So has the meltdown finally begun?




Running on empty? God Bless Neo-liberalism

March 13, 2008


Running on empty? God Bless Neo-liberalism
            by Shafinaaz Hassim


A little over a decade ago, various media voiced the concerns of critics about the state’s decision to adopt neo-liberal policies. While debates have raged throughout this time, dissident voice was, for the most part, hushed as mere skepticism.  

They said it would make us richer.

Now, as we watch our little house of cards slowly tumbling over, one can only wonder about these shortsighted urges to follow so-called global trends.

The evidence is exhausting.



South Africa’s infant mortality – tell tale of severe inequality.

February 27, 2008

Slice of Life by Quraisha Daya

South Africa‘s infant mortality – tell tale of severe inequality.
    by Azad Essa