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We need an inter-generational dialogue on legacies and meanings of freedom

When Angela Davis delivered the annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture last week she engaged with important issues about how we relate to legacies, experiences, heritages, forms of struggles and ideas of freedom. Many of these tell us how various sections of society, especially the youth and older people who were involved in previous struggles, interact […]

Demise of the ANC: a tentative understanding

“The opposite of good is not evil, it is indifference.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel   There is a growing sense that the ANC may be in the process of disintegration. Some assessments are based on electoral considerations, relating to the recent ANC setbacks. These do not spell out the causes and the wider social, political […]

Building our political future in a time of ANC disarray

Building our political future in a time of ANC disarray

As is evident in discord voiced in the media, the ANC is still reeling after the setbacks it experienced in the local government elections of 3 August.   It may be that specialists in analysing election statistics argue that the ANC has been less weakened in the rural areas than in urban areas, and that […]

Does the ANC face defeat in 2019? What are the implications?

No-one should expect the ANC leadership to have anticipated precisely how the local government elections would turn out. Polls predicted some type of setback, but then many commentators and scholars cast doubt on the polls.   Leaders ought to be prepared for a worst-case scenario and have some idea of how to address that should […]

Will removing Zuma solve our problems?

A common narrative has emerged in the wake of the recent local government elections: that the electoral fortunes of the ANC constituted a referendum on President Jacob Zuma’s presidency and that the ANC paid a price in local government for his various scandals. Certainly in the way the campaign was conducted, there was less attention […]

Political freedom and values beyond elections

This week’s elections, which could lead to significant changes in electoral power of the ANC and other parties, are very important. But if we want to build a society on an emancipatory basis, we need questions to be addressed that go beyond what is currently being offered by – or is at stake in – […]

South Africa in crisis: is there a way out?

With instability in Zimbabwe, where we are seeing demonstrations that would have been impossible to imagine in recent years, the possibility of change may be on the horizon.  It may not be an orderly transition. If the ruling ZANU PF tries to manage a transition we could end up seeing more of the same, just […]

ANC legacies? Retrieving and deploying emancipatory values today

For many decades and for many people, the name “ANC” conjured up selflessness, sacrifice in the service of the oppressed people of South Africa and the meaning of freedom itself. People bent every effort to link themselves with the message of the ANC. They risked police attention and possible arrest by listening to the ANC […]

Tshwane in flames as ANC authority disintegrates

There have always been problems with ANC electoral lists in post-apartheid South Africa. There have been undercurrents of dissatisfaction since the earliest parliamentary lists of 1994, though they did not initially become public issues and there do not seem to have been significant electoral irregularities. What has emerged in recent years, however, is widespread and […]

“Show of strength” by declining ANC

The Gauteng ANC almost fulfilled their promise that they would fill the 95,000- seater FNB stadium for the provincial launch of their local government election manifesto last Saturday. There were some empty seats and people did leave during President Jacob Zuma’s speech, but they definitely pulled some 20-40,000 more than there have been at any […]

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