- Richard Poplak
Now that Michael Elion’s controversial sculpture ‘Perceiving Freedom’ is receiving criticism, questions are being raised about the process which enabled it to occupy public space in the first place. FARZANAH BADSHA sat on the art54 selection committee, and has some insights into her experience of the selection process, its limitations, and what might be done differently to make public art work for all.
By Monday next week murder accused Shrien Dewani and his legal team should be able to gauge whether the Bristol businessman will soon be a free man or whether the court still has questions and doubts about his alleged involvement in the killing of his wife Anni. It has been a costly trial for the state and one that has placed the country in the international spotlight. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Zwelethu Mthethwa will not face his day in court just yet. The internationally-renowned artist, accused of killing sex worker Nokuphila Kumalo last April, on Monday saw his trial pushed back for over six months because no judge was available. While these delays are regrettably common for cases outside the limelight of the Pistorius and Dewani arenas, for the sex workers gathered outside court in Cape Town, it was taken as further proof that the law does not prioritise these crimes as it should. By REBECCA DAVIS.
With the approach of the fourth anniversary of the murder of Anni Dewani while on honeymoon in Cape Town on 13 November 2010, the Cape High court has heard evidence that none of the men accused of orchestrating her death apparently knew where or how she would be killed or where her body would be discarded. At this stage of the trial the seemingly chaotic murder plan appears to have been one of either evil genius or shambolic idiocy. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The sports utility vehicle, usually referred to as an SUV, has become a ubiquitous part of the motoring world. Large or compact, all-wheel drive or two-wheel drive, petrol or diesel, really rugged or more lifestyle-oriented – there’s an SUV for every taste and need. And it’s the compact SUV segment that’s showing the strongest growth in demand. DEON SCHOEMAN drives the latest interpretation of the genre from Mercedes-Benz, and wonders why it took the Swabians so long to create the GLA.
Believers and non-believers the world over had their eyes on the Catholic Church’s recent Synod on the Family, which initially promised to be a landmark shift in perspective in the history of the Church. In the end, despite the progressive leadership of Pope Francis, the latest document released by the Synod opted for relatively conservative wording on the key issue of homosexuality. But signs suggest that the Church is facing deep divisions, and South African Catholics are not necessarily immune. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
On Thursday night Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee put off the inevitable. Again. Instead of grasping the jugular, and holding a vote on whether to expel the National Union of Metalworkers of SA, it decided to simply adjourn. Which means there will be another meeting. At some point in the future. Which will no doubt again back off from the brink of kick-starting a very real political re-alignment. Why is breaking up so hard to do? And surely Cosatu is over, passed on, an ex-federation at this point anyway? By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Jenna Lowe is one of 4,300 South Africans awaiting an organ transplant (excluding those who are unaware that they are experiencing end stage organ failure, or realise too late). South Africa has one of the lowest organ donor rates in the world. Lack of awareness remains a formidable barrier, and all the more daunting in the light of structural deficiencies. However, Lowe’s ‘Get Me to 21’ campaign has shown what can be achieved when social media is harnessed to close the gap between those affected and those who can help. By ANDREA TEAGLE.
If Tuesday was all about the language used in court surrounding the killing of Swedish holidaymaker Anni Dewani, yesterday was all about maths, bad maths and apparently shoddy police work. So far, Shrien Dewani’s defence team appears to be making headway in an attempt to prove his innocence. By MARIANNE THAMM.
“Society cannot always get what they want. Courts do not exist to win popularity contests but to dispense justice,” Judge Thokozile Masipa said when she handed down sentence against Oscar Pistorius. There was never going to be universal acceptance of Pistorius’s sentence, no matter what it was. But why do we feel so uneasy about the outcome of this trial – a five-year sentence on the main charge of culpable homicide? Why is there a sense that there was no justice for Reeva Steenkamp’s violent death? Perhaps it is because Pistorius will actually be out of prison in less than a year, still feeling sorry for himself? Or is it that we remain troubled that this was a crime of passion that could not legally be proven? By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
A week of robust debate at the Vatican has come to an end, and the official English translation of the report is anticipated sometime soon. There’s been a mixed response to the discussion, with some applauding the progress made and others voicing disappointment that there has not been enough forward motion. Most importantly, are we even looking at all the most relevant issues? Perhaps not. By RUSSELL POLLITT.
A recent survey in the UK has indicated that the ambition of a staggering 40 percent of children in that country is to be rich and famous. Oscar Pistorius’s apparent ability to line up an endless selection of willing girlfriends in spite of his unacceptable behaviour is evidence of this fatal attraction to celebrity and public acknowledgement no matter the cost or the reality. By MARIANNE THAMM.