- Greg Nicolson
Earlier this week, Twitter dramatically changed its abuse policy to a much stricter format, making it far more difficult for abuse and cyberbullying to take place without consequences. Will this have a knock on effect for other social media? And what’s the deal behind trolling, anyway? By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Last week, the Sunday Times caused shockwaves when it published photographer James Oatway’s pictures of an apparently xenophobic murder on the front page. Responses have been mixed, with some hailing Oatway’s work for bringing the reality of xenophobia to light, and others saying the pictures should never have been published. Does a picture sometimes say more than a thousand words – and is this ever too much? By GREG MARINOVICH.
Always wanted to visit Robben Island, but can’t afford the trip or live too far away? Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can now experience the island from any internet-connected computer. A new collaboration between Google and the Robben Island Museum has seen the island mapped via Street View, so you can choose between exploring it on your own or taking an interactive tour with a former political prisoner. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Percy Sledge died after a long illness earlier this week. He was well known as a chart-topper who came from humble roots in rural Alabama. Less well known is his role as a game changer in the music of the time, his lasting impact on the industry today, and a nonetheless enduring down-to-earth warmth. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
For over a century women and men with dreams of other peoples’ equality and dignity in their hearts were prepared to sacrifice their own life possibilities in the belief that a better society was possible. In the end, their dreams were unstoppable and on 27 April 1994 they took 35 million expectant people over the finishing line to freedom. Tragically, however, the baton has been dropped and besmirched by those to whom they handed it. And yet, the future can still be made better for all South Africans. By MARK HEYWOOD.
There are generally two responses when we tell people that we've quit our jobs to travel across Africa from Cairo to Cape Town. Some folks are excited and even inspired to do the same. Others just shake their heads. As we make our way home to the Cape Flats over nearly 100 days, the following stories capture some of our wonderful adventures. By FARZANA PALEKER & KAYUM AHMED.
In the relatively polarised debate on whether a legalised trade in rhino horn can save the species from extinction, it seems that both sides are guilty of cherry picking to one degree or another. Sweeping statements and unsubstantiated assertions are commonplace, according to strategist ROSS HARVEY, with each side caricaturing the other, setting up straw men and obliterating them.
On the same day that singer Sunette Bridges threatened to chain herself to the statue of former President of the Boer Republic, Paul Kruger, in Pretoria's Church Square, alternative rocker Francois van Coke, the voice of a post-Apartheid generation of Afrikaners, released his haunting and soul-searching solo album. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Celebrity columnist and media “it” girl Jani Allan’s memoir exposes not only the casual and brutal indifference of white South African life during Apartheid, but also how the triple forces of racism, sexism and self-delusion served to publicly unmake a talented and intelligent writer caught up in the toxic currents of the time. By MARIANNE THAMM.
There are generally two responses when we tell people that we've quit our jobs to travel across Africa from Cairo to Cape Town. Some folks are excited and even inspired to do the same; others just shake their heads in disbelief. As we make our way home to the Cape Flats over nearly 100 days, the following stories capture some of our wonderful adventures. By FARZANA PALEKER & KAYUM AHMED.
‘Does this dress make me look unparliamentary?’ On Tuesday the business of the Mpumalanga legislature ground to a halt while MPs argued whether this dress made DA Mpumalanga deputy leader Jane Moloisi-Sithole look too provocative. This is not some sort of belated April Fool’s joke. By REBECCA DAVIS.
This is the biggest thing to happen to a South African entertainer since Charlize won the Oscar. News that 31-year-old South African comedian Trevor Noah would replace Jon Stewart as the host of America’s top satirical TV programme, ‘The Daily Show’, set the internet ablaze on Monday. The interest in Noah’s appointment in the States is testament to the hugely influential role ‘The Daily Show’ occupies in American popular culture. Noah faces a daunting task. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The performing arts scene in Johannesburg is getting increasingly busy with large-scale oratorios as well as much comedy on various stages. J. BROOKS SPECTOR listens to and contemplates the oratorio, ‘Ushaka’, as well as Pieter-Dirk Uys’ examinations of his own comedic gift and the questions they have in common.
After a shambolic lead-up and a chaotic and marathon inaugural consultative conference, elections for the historic Creative and Cultural Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) ended this week with a measure of calm restored when those with political ambitions were thwarted and a new board was nominated to represent the interests of the creative sector. As the week drew to a close there was even better news, when the acting DG for The Department of Arts and Culture agreed to scrap entirely the controversial White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Over the past three days, stakeholders with interests in rhino conservation have had the unenviable task of presenting their views on the “feasibility, or not, of a rhino horn trade” to the Committee of Inquiry set up to investigate exactly that. The Committees’ eventual conclusion will determine whether South Africa calls for legalisation at the next meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2016. By ANDREA TEAGLE.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa believes now is the time to combat SA's biggest killer, tuberculosis. The state is embarking on the largest screening campaign seen in South Africa and Ramaphosa, like activists and patients, wants to see the same efforts applied in fighting HIV/Aids. But the challenges are vast. By GREG NICOLSON.
The conviction of former tennis icon, Bob Hewitt, on two counts of rape and one of indecent assault, vindicates the experiences of many women who grew up in the claustrophobic and deeply patriarchal 1960s, 70s and 80s and who were victims of the unquestioned toxic power and privilege bestowed on men during this epoch. It might be difficult for younger women to imagine just how silencing and oppressive a time it was. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Allegations of corruption, political interference and a lack of transparency as well as death threats, walk-outs and boycotts formed the dramatic and sometimes chaotic backdrop to what should have been an historic consultative and elective conference for the newly-established Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) in Bloemfontein this week. By MARIANNE THAMM.
While the country was inundated by the usual sport and political stories on Tuesday, South Africa's worst killer continued. Tuberculosis isn't as sexy as other issues on the agenda, but unless it gets more attention, people will keep on dying of something that's both preventable and treatable. By GREG NICOLSON.
Lee Kuan Yew, who died on Sunday aged 91, was an autocrat who favoured harsh punishment over the softly-softly approach. He also, nearly single-handedly, turned a tatty colonial outpost into an economic powerhouse – and kept it his family’s preserve. In his honour, we're republishing here our 2007 story by ANDY DAVIS, first published in Maverick magazine.
New app Meerkat has been tipped as a game-changer, both for the selfie-loving and news-obsessed. GREG NICOLSON gave it a try and found you can see whatever you're interested in, wherever, by whomever, plus some things you never thought you'd be interested in. The weird thing - you can interact with it in real time.
Neill Blomkamp’s back with Chappie, a typically thought-provoking foray into the perils of artificial intelligence. Sharlto Copley and Dev Patel star, as do Hugh Jackman’s calves and the city of Joburg itself, which looks splendid as the brutalist backdrop to an action-packed but tender tale of a robot who finds himself and a family – with a little help from Die Antwoord. By SIMON ALLISON.