What about demographic representation?

South African politics can be amusing and it can also be surprising what upsets people. The new big controversy has been a cartoon published by Eye Witness News which has been condemned as racist. Even more ridiculous, the ANC actually claims the cartoon undermines the democratic process. Sure, it’s going to upset some people but it’s hardly undermining democracy. Continue reading

Exaggerated and misguided statements by ANC

One can seemingly always rely on the ANC to say something stupid. I had planned to ignore the most recent example of this until I saw it get even worse. They have taken issue with an art project by some high school students. Some of the T-shirts on display had unflattering depictions and captions of ANC members. They’ve since decided to ignore the constitutional right to freedom of expression, that the ANC members are public figures and all that entails, that the artists are high school students and that the syllabus includes a section on political commentary. Continue reading

Why South Africa is failing

It should be fairly obvious to any educated person but South Africa is failing because there is a complete absence of leadership. One might even go so far as to say the leadership that there is is actually detrimental to the country. I’d like to take this opportunity to vent my frustrations about the sheer idiocy I encounter every time I read the news.

At the start of the year we had an unemployment rate of 25% (Closer to 37% if you include the people who have given up looking) and we currently have more people on welfare than paying taxes! Ninety people are employed for every 100 on social welfare. This situation cannot go on for ever. Continue reading

Move away from the culture of violence

There is a culture of violence in South Africa which is retarding any efforts to move the country forward. Violent protests end up causing more problems than there were originally and, even worse, those aggressive tendencies are manipulated by politicians in order to maintain power. We know there is a problem with violence when we look at crime but at times we become so used to it that we seem to forget to call it out when it happens.

The most notable recent violence has been the Marikana massacre where 34 striking miners were killed by police and around 80 injured. Obviously such an event is a tragedy and there will be an inquiry into the events to find out exactly what happened and what went wrong but one aspect of the problem is already obvious, the culture of violence in South Africa. Whether the police were wrong to respond the way they did I don’t think we can just dismiss what the workers themselves were doing. Professor Pierre de Vos seems quite happy to ignore their actions. Continue reading

To be unAfrican seems to me a compliment

When I wrote about The Spear yesterday I said that some people described the painting as “an attack to the very value and moral systems of the majority African people.” I said such criticisms were needed to make sure that we are able to progress in our ethics but now, as more reactions to the painting have come to light, I feel that perhaps that attack on the moral systems of the majority is actually a compliment. Continue reading

The Spear, a test for South Africa’s free expression

The Spear by Brett Murray

There has been a lot of talk about Brett Murray’s depiction of President Jacob Zuma in the picture, The Spear, which already has it’s own Wikipedia entry. Everyone has their opinion on the picture, which was sold for R136 000, and whether it is a legitimate example of freedom of expression or whether it should be removed and destroyed. I want to look at it in light of the 10 principles of free speech I talked about earlier.

While the display of the picture has been defended by City Press and the Goodman Gallery on the grounds of freedom of expression it has been opposed by supporters of Zuman and the ANC by multiple, and often ridiculous, arguments. Continue reading