democracy

What price for power? Events in Ficksburg and elsewhere show that SA cannot be considered immune to the vicious succession battles seen in North Africa, Ivory Coast

Professor Jonathan Jansen (pic courtesy Timeslive)
What is the meaning of Ficksburg? I did not see the question coming. In a lecture to senior students at a UK university last week, the final query was this: if and when the ANC eventually loses the national elections, would they voluntarily relinquish power?

Written by Jonathan Jansen

What is the meaning of Ficksburg? I did not see the question coming.

In a lecture to senior students at a UK university last week, the final query was this: if and when the ANC eventually loses the national elections, would they voluntarily relinquish power?

A matter of keeping their word

When President Jacob Zuma recently expressed the belief that popular uprising of the kind that has been seen in Tunisia is "impossible" in South Africa, he made a strong argument: "We have a constitutional democracy here; every person has the right to say what he wants and to vote."

Written by Oscar Siwali

When President Jacob Zuma recently expressed the belief that popular uprising of the kind that has been seen in Tunisia is "impossible" in South Africa, he made a strong argument: "We have a constitutional democracy here; every person has the right to say what he wants and to vote."

The values we fought for: If we fail to live by them, our apartheid past will have won

For the sake of our children and their children, we must constantly remind ourselves why there was a freedom struggle in this country. It is essential that we do this because many among us believe that the struggle for freedom was about power, that those who fought the apartheid system did so merely because they wanted to replace the heinous apartheid system and its snouts in the trough with their own snouts in the trough. This is not true.

Written by Justice Malala

For the sake of our children and their children, we must constantly remind ourselves why there was a freedom struggle in this country.

It is essential that we do this because many among us believe that the struggle for freedom was about power, that those who fought the apartheid system did so merely because they wanted to replace the heinous apartheid system and its snouts in the trough with their own snouts in the trough. This is not true.

Opinion: Save us from the super-rich

(pic courtesy Timeslive)
Rich people are becoming a luxury we can no longer afford. In fact, rich people are rapidly becoming even more of a danger to themselves. So it's little wonder that rich people have been queueing up to endorse Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi's recent call for a tax on the super-rich ... oh, but they haven't. So why should they be? The fact is that all the evidence and experience of other countries that have succeeded in building more sustainable and healthy societies suggests that a class of super-rich people is not part of the solution. Our rich should declare their interests: are they for South Africa, or just for themselves?

Written by David Le Page

A toast to the Rainbow Nation's man of peace

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (pic courtesy Timeslive)
Asked yesterday what he wanted for South Africa, Desmond Mpilo Tutu said: “I will go to my grave happily when I see us become what we have it in us to become: caring, compassionate, gentle, sharing.”

Asked yesterday what he wanted for South Africa, Desmond Mpilo Tutu said: “I will go to my grave happily when I see us become what we have it in us to become: caring, compassionate, gentle, sharing.”

Tutu was announcing that he was finally withdrawing from public life, starting in October, when he turns 79.

“The time has now come to slow down,” he said.

'We are not a threat to national peace and security' – Abahlali

Mnikelo Ndabankulu: "We preach the gospel of the poor" (pic. Diakonia)
Abahlali baseMjondolo are not a threat to national peace and security but are a social movement seeking the basics for survival. This emerged at ‘A Conversation with Abahlali' organised jointly by Diakonia Council of Churches and the Democracy Development Programme on 29 April. The purpose of the conversation was to listen to Abahlali and accord the public a chance to ask questions regarding this movement.

Abahlali baseMjondolo are not a threat to national peace and security but are a social movement seeking the basics for survival.

This emerged at ‘A Conversation with Abahlali' organised jointly by Diakonia Council of Churches and the Democracy Development Programme on 29 April. The purpose of the conversation was to listen to Abahlali and accord the public a chance to ask questions regarding this movement.

Hope and despair after 16 years

Alice Hlongwane, 50, of Diepsloot (Picture: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI)
16 years of freedom have changed the lives of poor South Africans - both for better and worse

In Sakhile township, near Balfour, Mpumalanga - the scene of violent service-delivery protests in February - youth activist Zakhele Maya, 25, said Freedom Day celebrations were an "insult" to poor people like him.

"It pains me when I am told that I must celebrate Freedom Day. We are not free. How can I be free when economic participation remains a huge problem? No one is working here. All small businesses we have attempted to establish have gone down," Maya said.

Swedish, S. African clerics say arms deal weakens new democracy

South African and Swedish church leaders have reiterated grave concerns that a 10-year-old arms deal that involved Sweden with South Africa threatens the fledgling African democracy. 



South African and Swedish church leaders have reiterated grave concerns that a 10-year-old arms deal that involved Sweden with South Africa threatens the fledgling African democracy. 



The deal to sell armaments to South Africa also involved other European and Western nations such as Britain, France and Germany. It was signed a decade ago, estimated at around US$4.8 billion. 



Unrealized hopes of our democracy

South Africa celebrated 16th years of democracy this year. Momentous changes have occurred since the end of apartheid and the democratic elections of 1994. The feelings of optimism about the promise of democracy and a new system are prevalent throughout the country but there are also deep concerns and problems. An unemployment rate of 40%, HIV/AIDS, high infant mortality rate, low life expectancy, and high levels of criminal activity continue to plague the country.

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