Commissioners, I am now faced with a difficult choice. How should I respond to your subpoena?
I am mindful of the fact that the arms deal has wrought havoc on the lives of ordinary South Africans and corrupted our politics for the past 15 years. It has profited international arms corporations while weakening our democratic state institutions. It has profited the rich at the expense of the poor.
I am also mindful that the cover-up that followed the arms deal has put in place a system of patronage with the purpose of keeping alleged corrupt elites out of prison. It allows them to continue benefiting from the spoils of an unequal society. I have regretfully come to the conclusion that this Commission will provide no remedy to this situation.
For these reasons, I can no longer in good conscience participate in a hearing of the Arms Procurement Commission.Continue Reading →
Talk presented at a workshop ‘Youth, Conflict and Governance in Africa’, Yale University, USA, March 2014
South Africa celebrates its twentieth year of democracy this year. It has been an eventful twenty years, with much debate and contestation around the political values and practices in a new and noisy democracy. The institutions and procedures […]Continue Reading →
For more than twenty years, following his conviction and sentence to life imprisonment in 1964, the Apartheid government in South Africa banned pictures of Nelson Mandela and his fellow prisoners. This ban was so effective that in 1982, following a medical checkup in Cape Town, Mandela’s warders allowed him a stroll on a public beach, […]Continue Reading →
From “A Farewell to Madiba”, a praise poem by Thabo Mbeki, delivered by him to the National Assembly, Cape Town, on 26 March 1999
You have walked along the road of the heroes and the heroines.
You have borne the pain of those who have known fear and learnt to conquer it.
You have marched […]Continue Reading →
South Africa has played a central role in conflict mediation across the African continent in the past two decades. This short piece will examine some of the core pillars of the South African approach to conflict mediation and the promotion of stability on the African continent, including quiet diplomacy, transitional power sharing and transitional justice. […]Continue Reading →
Because of our country’s painful racist past, South Africans tend to see all human rights violations through the prism of white vs black. Learning about the Holocaust, where, in very general terms, whites killed whites and Rwanda where blacks murdered blacks is hugely important.Continue Reading →
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