Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

Xenophobia Still Smouldering in South Africa

In Tearing Ourselves Apart on June 19, 2009 at 2:15 pm

by Mandisi Majavu, IPS

CAPE TOWN, Jun 19 (IPS) – “My worry is that my children are going to be slaves because they won’t have anything. These foreign people come to South Africa with nothing, but tomorrow he has cash, third day he owns a shop and fourth day he has a car. Where do these foreign people get this money?”

Small business owners are venting their frustrations on ‘foreign nationals’ – among them many Somalis – who own shops in the country’s townships, causing experts to warn that xenophobic violence could increase.

Businesspeople from four of Cape Town’s impoverished communities – Delft, Masiphumelele, Samora Machel and Gugulethu – held several meetings in late May and early June to discuss ways of ridding their communities of foreign-owned shops. Read the rest of this entry »


Interview: Mahmood Mamdani on Darfur

In The Politics of Politics on June 13, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Interview by Charlie Kimber, Socialist Review, 12 June 2009

You reject the label genocide and question overblown estimates of how many have died in Darfur. This can seem to trivialise the suffering. Why is this an important question?

One does not have to inflate actual suffering to take it seriously. In 2006 the US government’s audit agency, the Government Accountability Office, got together with the Academy of Sciences and appointed a panel of 12 experts to evaluate the reliability of six different estimates on excess deaths in Darfur at the peak of the violence in 2003-4.

The panel agreed unanimously that the highest estimate, of roughly 400,000 dead, coming from Save Darfur linked researchers, was the least reliable. The most reliable estimate was of roughly 120,000 from the World Health Organisation (WHO) affiliated Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) in Belgium. Read the rest of this entry »

The Ogoni Nine–Shell settlement: Victory, but justice deferred?

In The Courts on June 13, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Sokarie Ekine & Firoze Manji, Pambazuka News, 11 June 2009

With Shell having agreed an out-of-court settlement of $15.5 million with the families of the Ogoni Nine activists killed in 1995, Sokari Ekine and Firoze Manji argue that a victory should not be confused with justice. Though representative of an emerging movement in bringing a multinational to the brink of a trial, the questions over the Niger Delta region and Shell’s atrocious environmental and human rights records remain, with the company admitting no liability for its actions. We must continue to support the numerous trials against Shell still carrying on, Ekine and Manji contend, and ensure that widespread discussion helps establish broader justice for the Ogoni people and all those suffering from multinational and governmental exploitation in Nigeria and beyond. Read the rest of this entry »

To Resist All Degradations & Divisions

In Interviews on June 13, 2009 at 11:55 am

S’bu Zikode interviewed by Richard Pithouse, Abahlali baseMjondolo, 28 April 2009

Click here to read an annotated version of this interview in pdf and here to read a summary.

Tell me something about where you were born and who your family were.

I was born in a village called Loskop which is near the town called Estcourt. It is in the Natal Midlands. I was born in 1975. I have a twin sister, her name is Thoko. We are now the last born. I have two other sisters. I also had a brother who passed away so I am the only son. Read the rest of this entry »

Another World is Possible: Reflections and Criticisms on the World Social Forum, 2009, in Belem, Brazil

In The Politics of Politics on June 13, 2009 at 11:47 am

by Mzonke Poni, Khayelitsha Struggles, 14 April 2009

Another World is Possible: Reflections and Criticisms on the World Social Forum, 2009, in Belem, Brazil

The Road to Brazil

My long trip started on the 20th January 2009 when I travelled from Cape Town to Durban by bus. I spent 26 hours on a City to City bus, moving from Cape Town via PE, East London and Umtata and then to Durban. As much as it was a long journey I must say it I really enjoyed it. I think it was nice touring my own country, getting the opportunity to be exposed to different corners of South Africa from Cities and Townships to Rural areas where the poorest of the poor are located as a result of the past. Read the rest of this entry »

Aimé Césaire

In For the Ancestors on June 13, 2009 at 11:34 am

by Mabogo Percy More, Hydrarchy, 12 May 2008

We the living shoulder the historical responsibility of ensuring that the deeds and words of the dead should not fade into oblivion unnoticed. Since the dead (ancestors) will always be there, confronting us directly or far off on the horizons of our being, our duty requires that we accept this responsibility with a clear consciousness. The death of Aimé Césaire – the Martiniquean poet, politician and revolutionary – last week calls on us to carry out the responsibility that we owe the dead. Read the rest of this entry »