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Cognisant of the globalising context in which we find ourselves, as intellectuals we ought to ensure relevance in what we teach. This orientation, that prizes pedagogic relevance, has been raised as an objection to the decolonial call, being – at times – used to resist democratic change in the South African University. The contributions in this volume highlight the implications of the global relevance discourse through revealing the impact of decontextualised curricula.
Similarly, institutional democratisation and decolonisation ought not to be a turn to fundamentalist positions that recreate the essentialisms resisted through calls for decolonisation. As a critical response to such resistance to democratisation, this book showcases how decolonisation protects the constitutionally enshrined ideal of academic freedom and the freedom of scientific research. We argue that this framing of decoloniality should not be used to protect interests that seek to undermine the transformation of higher education. Concurrently, however, it is critical of decolonial positions that are essentialist and narrow in their manifestation and articulation.
Decolonisation as Democratisation suggests what is intended by a curriculum revisionist agenda that prizes decolonisation through bringing together academics working in South Africa and the global academy. This collaborative approach aims to facilitate critical reflexivity in our curriculum reform strategies while developing pragmatic solutions to current calls for decolonisation.
South Africa’s democracy is often seen as a story of bright beginnings gone astray, a pattern said to be common to Africa. The negotiated settlement of 1994, it is claimed, ended racial domination and created the foundation for a prosperous democracy – but greedy politicians betrayed the promise of a new society.
In Prisoners Of The Past, Steven Friedman astutely argues that this misreads the nature of contemporary South Africa. Building on the work of the economic historian Douglass North and the political thinker Mahmood Mamdani, Friedman shows that South African democracy’s difficulties are legacies of the pre-1994 past. The settlement which ushered in majority rule left intact core features of the apartheid economy and society. The economy continues to exclude millions from its benefits, while racial hierarchies have proved stubborn: apartheid is discredited, but the values of the pre-1948 colonial era, the period of British colonisation, still dominate. Thus South Africa’s democracy supports free elections, civil liberties and the rule of law, but also continues past patterns of exclusion and domination.
Friedman reasons that this ‘path dependence’ is not, as is often claimed, the result of constitutional compromises in 1994 that left domination untouched. This bargain was flawed because it brought not too much compromise, but too little. Compromises extended political citizenship to all but there were no similar bargains on economic and cultural change. Using the work of the radical sociologist Harold Wolpe, Friedman shows that only negotiations on a new economy and society can free South Africans from the prison of the past.
Can people who live in shantytowns, shacks and favelas teach us anything about democracy? About how to govern society in a way that is inclusive, participatory and addresses popular needs? This book argues that they can.
In a study conducted in dozens of South Africa’s shack settlements, where more than 9 million people live, Trevor Ngwane finds thriving shack dwellers’ committees that govern local life, are responsive to popular needs and provide a voice for the community. These committees, called ‘amakomiti’ in the Zulu language, organise the provision of basic services such as water, sanitation, public works and crime prevention especially during settlement establishment.
Amakomiti argues that, contrary to common perception, slum dwellers are in fact an essential part of the urban population, whose political agency must be recognised and respected. In a world searching for democratic alternatives that serve the many and not the few, it is to the shantytowns, rather than the seats of political power, that we should turn.
Land reform and the possibility of expropriation without compensation are among the most hotly debated topics in South Africa today, met with trepidation and fervour in equal measure. But these broader issues tend to obscure a more immediate reality: a severe housing crisis and a sharp increase in urban land occupations.
In Promised Land, Karl Kemp travels the country documenting the fallout of failing land reform, from the under-siege Philippi Horticultural Area deep in the heart of Cape Town’s ganglands to the burning mango groves of Tzaneen, from Johannesburg’s lawless Deep South to rural KwaZulu-Natal, where chiefs own vast tracts of land on behalf of their subjects. He visits farming communities beset by violent crime, and provides gripping, on-the-ground reporting of recent land invasions, with perspectives from all sides, including land activists, property owners and government officials. Kemp also looks at burning issues surrounding the land debate in South Africa – corruption, farm murders, illegal foreign labour, mechanisation and eviction – and reveals the views of those affected.
Touching on the history of land conflict and conquest in each area, as well as detailing the current situation on the ground, Promised Land provides startling insights into the story of land conflict in South Africa.
Over the past few years, it has become clear that the path of transformation in schools since 1994 has not led South Africa’s education system to where we had hoped it could be. Through tweets, posts and recent protests in schools, it has become apparent that in former Model-C and private schools, children of colour and those who are ‘different’ don’t feel they belong.
Following the astonishing success of How To Fix South Africa’s Schools, the authors sat down with young people who attended former Model-C and private schools, as well as principals and teachers, to reflect on transformation and belonging in South African schools. These filmed reflections, included on DVD in this book, are honest and insightful.
Drawing on the authors’ experiences in supporting schools over the last twenty years, and the insight of those interviewed, A School Where I Belong outlines six areas where true transformation in South African classrooms and schools can begin.
When the Cradock Four's Fort Calata was murdered by agents of the apartheid state in 1985, his son Lukhanyo was only three years old. Thirty-one years later Lukhanyo, now a journalist, becomes one of the SABC Eight when he defies Hlaudi Motsoeneng's reign of censorship at the public broadcaster by writing an open letter that declares: "my father didn't die for this".
Now, with his wife Abigail, Lukhanyo brings to life the father he never knew and investigates the mystery that surrounds his death despite two high-profile inquests.
Join them in a poignant and inspiring journey into the history of a remarkable family that traces the struggle against apartheid beginning with Fort's grandfather, Rivonia trialist and ANC Secretary-General Rev James Calata.
Born Karoline King in 1980 in Johannesburg South Africa, Sara-Jayne (as she will later be called by her adoptive parents) is the result of an affair, illegal under apartheid’s Immorality Act, between a white British woman and her black South African employee. Her story reveals the shocking lie created to cover up the forbidden relationship, and the hurried overseas adoption of the illegitimate baby, born during one of history’s most inhumane and destructive regimes.
Killing Karoline follows the journey of the baby girl (categorised as ‘white’ under South Africa’s race classification system) who is raised in a leafy, middle-class corner of the South of England by a white couple. It takes the reader through the formative years, a difficult adolescence and into adulthood, as Sara-Jayne (Karoline) seeks to discover who she is and where she came from. Plagued by questions surrounding her own identity and unable to ‘fit in’ Sara-Jayne (Karoline) begins to turn on herself, before eventually coming full circle and returning to South Africa after 26 years to face her demons. There she is forced to face issues of identity, race, rejection and belonging beyond that which she could ever have imagined.
She must also face her birth family, who in turn must confront what happens when the baby you kill off at a mere six weeks old, returns from the dead.
Why has land reform been such a failure in South Africa? Will expropriation without compensation solve the problem? What can be done to get the land programme back on track?
In his new book, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi tackles these questions, and more. Going back in history, he shows how Africans’ communal land ownership was used by colonial rulers to deny that Africans owned the land at all. He explores the effect of the Land Acts, Bantustans and forced removals. And he considers the ANC’s policies on land throughout the twentieth century, during the negotiations of the 1990s, and in government.
Land Matters unpacks developments in land redistribution, restitution and tenure reform, and makes suggestions for what needs to be done in future. The book also considers the power of chiefs, the tension between communal land ownership and the desire for private title, the failure of the willing-buyer, willing-seller approach, women and land reform, the role of banks, and the debates around amending the Constitution.
Thoughtful and provocative, Land Matters sheds light on one of the most complex questions in South Africa today.
“Rebels And Rage is a critically important contribution to public discussion about #FeesMustFall”–Eusebius McKaiser
Adam Habib, the most prominent and outspoken university official through the recent student protests, takes a characteristically frank view of the past three years on South Africa’s campuses in this new book. Habib charts the progress of the student protests that erupted on Wits University campus in late 2015 and raged for the better part of three years, drawing on his own intimate involvement and negotiation with the students, and also records university management and government responses to the events. He critically examines the student movement and individual student leaders who emerged under the banners #feesmustfall and #Rhodesmustfall, and debates how to achieve truly progressive social change in South Africa, on our campuses and off.
This book is both an attempt at a historical account and a thoughtful reflection on the issues the protests kicked up, from the perspective not only of a high-ranking member of university management, but also Habib as political scientist with a background as an activist during the struggle against apartheid. Habib moves between reflecting on the events of the last three years on university campuses, and reimagining the future of South African higher education.
South Africa’s distorted distribution of wealth is one of the biggest challenges facing the country’s economy, with unemployment sitting at an unsustainable 27.7%. In terms of wealth, the top percentile households hold 70.9% while the bottom 60% holds a mere 7%. 76% of South Africans face an imminent threat of falling below the poverty line. With such statistics, the inequality crisis in this country is at a desperate level and strategies to remedy this challenge seem shallow and lack urgency.
In this context, the Institute for African Alternatives has brought together a series of papers written by eminent South African academics and policymakers to serve as a catalyst to finally confront and resolve inequality. With papers from former Public Prosecutor Thuli Madonsela, Ben Turok and former President Kgalema Motlanthe, this book provides a guide to how the nation can confront and resolve the inequality plaguing the country. The nation is headed to the polls later this year and books such as this are vital for providing a strong guide on how those in power can address South Africa’s biggest economic crisis.
A great contribution to the current political discourse, the book both confronts the issue and provides strategies on how to remedy inequality.
Do you call yourself a feminist? What does this mean in your daily life?
In this book, South African feminists explore their often vastly different experiences and perspectives in accessible and engaging voices. Feminism Is touches on issues as wide-ranging as motherhood, anger, sex, race, inclusions and exclusions, the noisy protest and the quiet struggle.
It will challenge your thinking and inspire you to action, reaffirming the urgent necessity of feminism in South Africa today.
The Detainees’ Parents Support Committee (DPSC) was started in 1981 in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was set up by the parents, spouses and families of activists who were detained and had no recourse to legal intervention. Many in this movement had not been politically involved.
Members of the DPSC stood on street corners with placards calling for the release of their children. They organised food, clothing and legal representation for detainees across the country, and they supported the detainees’ families. DPSC activists marched, petitioned, argued, wrote and protested for the release of all detainees. They made public the brutal operations of the security establishment.
The DPSC helped to draw international attention to the atrocities being perpetuated against children – some as young as nine – by the apartheid state. And the evidence amassed by the DPSC helped to lay some of the groundwork for South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
The Knock On The Door tells the story of the DPSC and of how the anti-detention movement became part of the mass uprising that brought down apartheid. It is an inspiring account of ordinary people coming together to stand up against racism and the abuse of power.
The issue of land rights is an ongoing and complex topic of debate for South Africans. Rights to Land comes at a time when land redistribution by government is underway. This book seeks to understand the issues around land rights and distribution of land in South Africa and proposes that new policies and processes should be developed and adopted. It further provides an analysis of what went so wrong, and warns that a new phase of restitution may ignite conflicting ethnic claims and facilitate elite capture of land and rural resources.
While there are no quick fixes, the first phase of restitution should be completed and the policy then curtailed. The book argues that land ownership and administration is important to rural democracy and that this should not be placed under the control of traditionalist intermediaries. Land restitution, initiated in 1994, was an important response to the injustices of the apartheid era. But it was intended as a limited and short-term process – initially to be completed in five years.
It may continue for decades, creating uncertainty and undermining investment into agriculture.
Reflecting Rogue is the much anticipated and brilliant collection of experimental autobiographical essays on power, pleasure and South African culture by Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola, author of the bestelling Rape: A South African Nightmare.
In her most personal book to date, written from classic Gqola anti-racist, feminist perspectives, Reflecting Rogue delivers fourteen essays of deliciously incisive brain food, all extremely accessible to a general critical readership, without sacrificing intellectual rigour.
An unfettered call to anti-racist action by the activist, political commentator and public speaker, Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu.
This book is the hard conversation we must have.
In 2020 we have seen clearer than ever that Black people are still fighting for the right to be judged by the content of their character and not the colour of their skin. In the words of the author, "there is no freedom without rights and no rights without the freedom to exercise those rights."
This book demands change, because black people are done waiting.
In This Is Why I Resist activist and political commentator, Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu digs down into the deep roots of racism and anti-blackness in the UK and the US. Using real life examples from the modern day, Dr Shola shows us the different forms racism takes in our day-to-day lives and asks us to raise our voice to end the oppression. She delves into subjects not often explored such as racial gatekeepers, white ingratitude, performative allyship (those black squares on Instagram), current identity politics and abuse of the Black trans community.
Where Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race and Me and White Supremacy take White people by the hand to help them negotiate issues of race, This Is Why I Resist offers no such comfort, but instead asks WHEN will we progress, because Black Lives Matter and we need change.
It's time for a conscious revolution.
Without much fanfare Ahmed Kathrada worked alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and other giants in the struggle to end racial discrimination in South Africa. He faced house arrest and many court trials related to his activism until, finally, a trial for sabotage saw him sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Mandela and six others.
Conversations with a Gentle Soul has its origins in a series of discussions between Kathrada and Sahm Venter about his opinions, encounters and experiences. Throughout his life, Kathrada has refused to hang on to negative emotions such as hatred and bitterness. Instead, he radiates contentment and the openness of a man at peace with himself. His wisdom is packaged within layers of optimism, mischievousness and humour, and he provides insights that are of value to all South Africans.
"Why walk when you can soar..."
These are the opening words on Tracy Todd’s website and they are a powerful affirmation of the person Tracy is today – a sought-after inspirational speaker whose uplifting presentations have inspired and given hope to many people. But it is difficult to imagine what she has overcome in a tough and often lonely journey.
At the age of twenty-eight her life was turned upside down when a horrific road accident left her a quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down. Her life as an athletic, marathon-running young mother and teacher was abruptly shattered. Despite months of rehabilitation, Tracy often found herself wondering if her life was worth living. Everything she had taken for granted was now beyond her reach and frustration at her helplessness threatened to overwhelm her. Against the odds, Tracy chose to live.
Her strength of character and determination prevailed and, sustained by the support of her son, family and friends, her care assistants, and an unbelievably caring community, she set about gaining the independence to rebuild her life and reclaim her identity – which she has done, with dignity and grace. Brave Lotus Flower Rides The Dragon is an honest, inspiring and engaging memoir in which Tracy’s natural warmth and humour are tangible and, most importantly, she embodies what the human spirit can achieve.
America's foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid? Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morrison takes up these and other vital questions bearing on identity in The Origin Of Others.
In her search for answers, the novelist considers her own memories as well as history, politics, and especially literature. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Camara Laye are among the authors she examines. Readers of Morrison's fiction will welcome her discussions of some of her most celebrated books: Beloved, Paradise, and A Mercy. Morrison also writes about nineteenth-century literary efforts to romance slavery, contrasting them with the scientific racism of Samuel Cartwright and the banal diaries of the plantation overseer and slaveholder Thomas Thistlewood. She looks at configurations of blackness, notions of racial purity, and the ways in which literature employs skin colour to reveal character or drive narrative.
Expanding the scope of her concern, she also addresses globalization and the mass movement of peoples in this century. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison's most personal work of nonfiction to date.
South African higher education students have for the years 2015 and 2016 stood up to demand not only a free education but a decolonised, African-focused education. The calls for decolonisation of knowledge are the ultimate call for freedom. Without the decolonisation of knowledge, Africans may feel their liberation is inchoate and their efforts to shed Western dominance all come to naught.
Over the years various African leaders including Steve Biko wrote about the need to decolonise knowledge. The call for decolonisation is largely being equated with the search for an African identity that looks critically at Western hegemony. Biko sought the black people to understand their origins; to understand black history and affirm black identity. These are all embedded in the struggle to decolonise and search for African values and identities.
The contributors in this book treat several but connected themes that define what Africa and the diaspora require for a society devoid of colonialism and ready for a renewed Africa. “The discussions we develop and the philosophies we adopt on Pan Africanism and decolonisation are due to a bigger vision and for many of us the destination is African renaissance”. Everyone has a role to play in realising African renaissance; government, churches, universities, schools, cultural organisations all have a role to play in this endeavour.
In this ‘vital book for these times’ (Kirkus Reviews), Don Lemon brings his vast audience and experience as a reporter and a Black man to today’s most urgent question: How can we end racism in America in our lifetimes?
The host of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon is more popular than ever. As America’s only Black prime-time anchor, Lemon and his daily monologues on racism and antiracism, on the failures of the Trump administration and of so many of our leaders, and on America’s systemic flaws speak for his millions of fans. Now, in an urgent, deeply personal, riveting plea, he shows us all how deep our problems lie, and what we can do to begin to fix them.
Beginning with a letter to one of his Black nephews, he proceeds with reporting and reflections on his slave ancestors, his upbringing in the shadows of segregation, and his adult confrontations with politicians, activists, and scholars. In doing so, Lemon offers a searing and poetic ultimatum to America. He visits the slave port where a direct ancestor was shackled and shipped to America. He recalls a slave uprising in Louisiana, just a few miles from his birthplace. And he takes us to the heart of the 2020 protests in New York City. As he writes to his young nephew: We must resist racism every single day. We must resist it with love.
MISTRA's publication on Whiteness Afrikaans Afrikaners: Addressing Post-Apartheid Legacies, Privileges and Burdens consists of various thought-provoking contributions made at a roundtable held in 2015 at Constitution Hill as a continuation of MISTRA’s research on nation formation and social cohesion. The publication aims to enhance the understanding of the history of whiteness in all its socio-economic manifestations as well as the architecture of power relations and privileges in democratic South Africa.
The volume comprises of contributions by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, current Deputy Minister of Cogta, Andries Nel, Mary Burton, Christi van der Westhuizen, Lynette Steenveld, Bobby Godsell, Dirk Herman (of Solidarity), Ernst Roets (of Afriforum), Xhanti Payi, Mathatha Tsedu, Pieter Duvenage, Hein Willemse, Nico Koopman, Melissa Steyn, Achille Mbembe and Mathews Phosa.
"Over the past two decades, Nene has gained a reputation both locally and internationally as a thought-leader in diversity and inclusion, values-driven leadership and transformation. She has authored numerous publications, including contributing to the book Leadership Perspectives from the Front Line. She is a member of the Diversity Collegium, a think tank of globally-recognised diversity experts. She is an associate lecturer at GIBS on Global Diversity and Unconscious Bias, as well as an associate lecturer on Transformation Strategy for the Stellenbosch Business School. She is a sought-after speaker for conferences around the world."
"The ideas and experiences shared by author Nene Molefi speak directly to the troubling prejudices and inequities that persist in our world. Diversity and inclusion are more pressing than ever. Injustices and deep social divisions persist, personally and systemically. Racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of fear and hatred are not isolated. They remain embedded and they demand courageous, deliberate work. In this book, Nene uses her own story to cast a bright light on the transformation journey. Nene’s book quite vulnerably takes the reader on Nene’s personal journey. In addition to the deeply personal content, each chapter ends with practical guidelines on how to lead inclusively. Nene’s book offers hope and substance in our vision of a diverse and inclusive and just society." —Justice Edwin Cameron
In 2002 Elke moved to South Africa to start a new phase of life. Having been a successful international business woman, she wanted to share her knowledge and resources. She knew little about the traumatic history of apartheid and the brutal impact of racism in the country. To serve to lead – supporting South African women to succeed was the motto of the social entrepreneurship organisation she created. The book is a powerful testimony of successful women entrepreneurs in spite of the huge challenges faced by them in a still deeply divided country.
Little did Elke know that soon she would face a deeply jarring crisis, profoundly challenging her white western identity and values which seemed ill gotten in the context of white society’s racism and the brutal exclusion and oppression of black South Africans. The book tells with shocking honesty how she reached a breaking point, realizing that once again she belonged to the culture of perpetrators. She struggles with white society’s denial, silence, blaming and selfish protection of false privilege; it felt so painfully similar to post Nazi Germany from where Elke fled as a young adult, feeling such shame and guilt about her parents participation and her struggle with ‘loving parents and their evil choices’.
The book describes a gripping journey towards the healing power of dialogue. She meets amazing black South Africans, generous, dignified and accomplished who offer her guidance and embrace her in friendship and love. In that process, Elke shifts from anger and resentment into taking responsibility beyond shame and guilt as a descendant of Nazi parents and today as an undeservedly benefitting white South African. Together with a deeply committed Jewish educator Elke starts inter-racial dialogue sessions with school groups, students, teachers and scholars at the Holocaust Centre in Cape Town. Elke’s narrative is an moving account of conversations between people of diverse backgrounds, sharing their deep seated pain and shame.
The remarkable story of how Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row, for crimes he did not commit.
The Sun Does Shine is a powerful and compelling true story that brings to life deep, human questions about suffering and redemption.
Anthony Ray Hinton was poor and black when he was convicted of two murders he hadn't committed. For the next three decades he was trapped in solitary confinement in a tiny cell on death row, having to watch as - one by one - his fellow prisoners were taken past him to the execution room. Eventually his case was taken up by the award-winning lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, who managed to have him exonerated, though it took 15 years for this to happen.
How did Hinton cope with the mental and emotional torture of his situation? The Sun Does Shine throws light not only on his remarkable personality but also on social deprivation and miscarriages of justice.
"To say I was surprised at the volume of positive feedback I received from around the world after my comments on Sky Sports is an understatement. I came to realise I couldn’t just stop there; I had to take it forward – hence the book, as I believe education is the way forward." - Michael Holding.
Rarely can a rain delay in a cricket match have led to anything like the moment when Holding spoke out in the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter protests about the racism he has suffered and has seen all around him throughout his life. But as he spoke, he sought not only to educate but to propose a way forward that inspired so many. Within minutes, he was receiving calls from famous sports stars from around the world offering to help him to spread the message further.
Now, in Why We Kneel, How We Rise, Holding shares his story together with those of some of the most iconic athletes in the world, including Usain Bolt, Adam Goodes, Thierry Henry, Michael Johnson, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Makhaya Ntini, Naomi Osaka and Hope Powell. He delivers a powerful and inspiring message of hope for the future and a vision for change, while providing the background and history to an issue that has dogged the world for many centuries.
Through the prism of sport and conversations with its legends, the book explains how racism dehumanises people; how it works to achieve that end; how it has been ignored by history and historians; and what it is like to be treated differently just because of the colour of your skin.
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