Remembering Marikana – some stains won’t wash off

By  Maurice Mcleod  If your partner came home and unexpectedly gave you an expensive platinum ring, you would probably be very pleased. But if you were behaving responsibly, you’d ask them where it came from and how they afforded it. When they admitted that they stole it from the little old lady down the street,… Read More

Top 15 recently published books by writers and poets from Sub-Saharan Africa

by Samira Sawlani As the festive season begins, so does the enjoyable and/or stressful task of choosing Christmas presents for loved ones. Fret not; be it for the book and poetry lovers in your life or a reward for yourself after all that shopping, here is a list of recently published fiction and poetry by… Read More

The struggle continues for South Africa’s #FeesMustFall Students

by Mako Muzenda A young man being dragged across the road by two armed policemen. The screams and pleas of “Don’t shoot us!” went unheeded; the South African Police Service (SAPS) officers opened fire, shooting students with rubber coated bullets. Those that could run away did, but some weren’t fast enough to escape the police. Dragged… Read More

Pushed to their limits, Zimbabweans fight back

by Mako Muzenda ‘Zimbabwe’ is derived from ‘dzimba dzemabwe’, a Shona phrase which loosely translates to ‘large house of stone’. It’s tied to the ruins at Great Zimbabwe, that once powerful kingdom that forms the cornerstone of national pride and identity. It’s no surprise that when Independence rang in on 18 April 1980, that the… Read More

Prevailing racist ideas have given the pharmaceutical industry leeway to experiment on underprivileged people

A Stanford study has showed that abstinence is ineffective in reducing new HIV transmission. But why an unscientific method was even considered is confounding experts; creating bio-ethical issues and putting public health on the line. by Sophie Alal The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, was launched by ex- president George Bush in… Read More

Thisgingnio: South Africa’s only Chinese woman prisoner

by Karen Williams  Although Chinese men made up the main contingent of prisoners that the Dutch East India Company (the VOC) held in South Africa, one Chinese woman prisoner has been documented. Thisgingnio1 was from Cirebon in Indonesia and she arrived in Cape Town on 9 April 1747. There is no information on her crime… Read More

Chained and enslaved: Early Chinese prisoners in South Africa

by Karen Williams   In 1705 a gang of Chinese slaves were caught robbing the burghers at night. When interrogated, it was discovered that they escaped from the (Slave) Lodge by forming a human pyramid in the courtyard to escape over the roof. – The Dutch East Indian Company’s Slave Lodge at the Cape, by Helene… Read More

Where were South Africa’s enslaved people from?

by Karen Williams  Slavery in South Africa began at the same time as colonisation in 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck, the representative of the Dutch East India Company (the VOC), arrived in Cape Town to set up a refreshment station. Van Riebeeck arrived with two slave girls from “Abyssinia” (Ethiopia). But Van Riebeeck’s arrival did… Read More