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Nigerian historian and thinker Toyin Falola on decolonising the academy in Africa

Nigerian historian and thinker Toyin Falola on decolonising the academy in Africa

NIGERIAN intellectual and historian Toyin Falola’s latest book is called Decolonizing African Studies: Knowledge Production, Agency, and Voice. It sets out to respond to the urgent need to eliminate the vestiges of colonialism (the domination of foreign powers) in the academy and in research methodologies where African perspectives continue to be marginalised or excluded, creating the problem of misrepresentation of the continent. The book also critiques the limitations to and failures of decoloniality so far. It closes with a discussion of African futurism. In this interview, Falola talks about some key battlegrounds for the decolonisation of knowledge production. Author OLAYINKA…
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Sanctions? What sanctions? That appears to be the question Russians are asking

Sanctions? What sanctions? That appears to be the question Russians are asking

WESTERN sanctions against Russia were supposed to have brought the Vladimir Putin regime to its knees by now, yet by all accounts, the question in the uppermost mind of the Russian leadership is: What sanctions? State-owned entity Gazprom, Russia’s global gas supplier - has baulked the bleak market outlook as they marked the month of June by announcing record high dividends on its stock for 2021. This amounted to 1.24 trillion rubles, or USD $20.7 billion US dollars. Also this month, Gazprom announced that it has immediately halted gas supplies to two more customers in Europe after both had declined…
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What it’ll take for the Guptas to face corruption charges in South Africa

What it’ll take for the Guptas to face corruption charges in South Africa

NOW that Rajesh and Atul Gupta have been arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there is a great deal of speculation as to when the brothers may ultimately set foot on South African soil to face charges of money laundering and other financial crimes. The brothers are the alleged kingpins behind state capture in South Africa – the massive corruption and repurposing of state organs for private gain during the ruinous reign of their friend, former president Jacob Zuma. They fled South Africa for Dubai in April 2016. Author PENELOPE ANDREWS, Professor of Law, New York Law School The…
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South Africa’s epochal 1976 uprisings shouldn’t be reduced to a symbolic ritual

South Africa’s epochal 1976 uprisings shouldn’t be reduced to a symbolic ritual

ON the morning of Wednesday, 16 June 1976, young students from schools across Soweto set out on a march through the sprawling black township outside Johannesburg. The march was to amplify their opposition to the apartheid government’s new school-language policy that would see Afrikaans replace English as their main medium of instruction in several key subjects. Author JULIAN BROWN, Associate Professor of Political Studies, University of the Witwatersrand Before the march began, they were confident. They knew the risks that they faced – “we decided that there should be no placard inciting the police as such, one activist put it…
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Senzo Meyiwa trial casts spotlight on language use in South African courts

Senzo Meyiwa trial casts spotlight on language use in South African courts

THE murder of football player Senzo Meyiwa in 2014 and its protracted and controversial police investigation involving high profile figures in the South African music industry continues to make headlines in South Africa. Five men are on trial for allegedly murdering the national team captain and goalkeeper. Recent events in the criminal trial have shone the spotlight on the use of language from a perspective of legal practitioners, judicial officers, police officers and courtroom interpretation. Authors ZAKEERA DOCRAT, Postdoctoral research fellow (Forensic Linguistics/ Language and Law), University of the Western Cape RUSSELL H. KASCHULA, Professor of African Language Studies, University…
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Robert Sobukwe: equal status in the pantheon of South African activists is long overdue

Robert Sobukwe: equal status in the pantheon of South African activists is long overdue

THE mortal fight against apartheid is usually cast in terms of good versus evil, a simple schism in which there are heroes and villains, or racially, in a white against black equation that blots out pretty much all else in between. But of course, this is hardly ever the case. Apartheid – and the racial segregation it was based on – thoroughly tested ethical principles and stances, made unlikely heroes of some and improbable scoundrels of others. It besmirched moral lenses more often than not. And because the sight it proffered isn’t usually pretty – and to protect the collective…
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The silence over Ukraine’s appeal for landmines expose the truth about our growing unipolar world

The silence over Ukraine’s appeal for landmines expose the truth about our growing unipolar world

Abbey Makoe ON March 04, the Ukrainian Minister of Defence, Oleksii Reznikov, issued a broad memo to the “friends and partners” of Ukraine, urging them to supply more arms for use against Russia in the ongoing conflict. According to the signed memo in possession of African Mirror, Reznikov wrote under the heading “to whom it may concern”. He wrote: “At this time, Ukraine needs maximum practical assistance from its friends and partners.” He explained further: “There is a permanent need in stocks replenishment of air defence (Stingers), anti-tank (Javelins, NLAW, etc) landmines and personal protection (body armours and helmets) assets,…
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South Africa is in search of a fairer electoral system. But what’s been tabled is flawed

South Africa is in search of a fairer electoral system. But what’s been tabled is flawed

SOUTH AFRICA is amending its electoral law to make it fairer by enabling citizens to contest provincial and national elections without being forced to join political parties. The follows a 2020 Constitutional Court judgment that found that excluding citizens from being elected as independent individuals was unconstitutional. The court gave parliament 24 months to amend the 1998 Electoral Act accordingly. Author DIRK KOTZE, Professor in Political Science, University of South Africa South Africa’s constitution prescribes an electoral system “that results, in general, in proportional representation”. The country has used this system for national and provincial elections since 1994. But, in…
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Legendary Mike Mzileni captured South Africa’s history and also its musical stars

Legendary Mike Mzileni captured South Africa’s history and also its musical stars

SOPHIE MGCINA, composer, educationist and performer, gazes out from the page, uncompromising and direct. She’s just swung around from the piano to face us; behind her, a score sits open. It’s 1993, and she’s been telling journalist Z.B. Molefe, “I had to work like 10 black women to get where I am today.” But if she hadn’t said it, photographer Mike Ndumiso Mzileni’s accompanying image would have stated it loud and clear. Author GWEN ANSELL, Associate of the Gordon Institute for Business Science, University of Pretoria Respected elder statesman of press photographers Mzileni has died at the age of 80,…
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State capture in South Africa: how the rot set in and how the project was rumbled

State capture in South Africa: how the rot set in and how the project was rumbled

It seems the time of reckoning for the massive corruption that has hobbled South Africa’s economy is nigh. Two parts of the three-part report by the judicial commission investigating allegations of state capture under former President Jacob Zuma have now been published. The third is due at the end of February. “State capture” has become the South African term for what is elsewhere called kleptocracy. Author KEITH GOTTSCHALK, Political Scientist, University of the Western Cape Here I reflect on Part 2 of the report. Ideally, a review of the complex Zondo Commission Report Part 2 requires a team of three…
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