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Deepening Democracy through Access to Information

Raymond Suttner

Voting and other action needed to recover our democracy – Part Two

Voting and other action needed to recover our democracy – Part Two

15th January 2024 There is no ready-made pathway that will easily empower citizens and other residents to better their lives in accordance with the Constitution and... 

Crisis of Electoralism: Do you have a civic duty to vote in South Africa today? – Part One

Crisis of Electoralism: Do you have a civic duty to vote in South Africa today? – Part One

9th January 2024 With elections this year, and most polls predicting the ANC may for the first time since 1994 lose its status as the majority party nationally,... 

Xenophobic attacks repudiate freedom. They must be stopped!

Xenophobic attacks repudiate freedom. They must be stopped!

27th November 2023 The bodies may not have even been recovered from the Albert Street fire before Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshaveni issued a statement... 

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New forms of hope and collectivity for universal emancipation in South Africa (Collective and social hope – Part two)

New forms of hope and collectivity for universal emancipation in South Africa (Collective and social hope – Part two)

21st November 2023 Where do we look for a new form of collectivity for universal emancipation in South Africa? If it’s necessary to build a new collective in place of... 

Response to general crisis: Social hope and collective action for change in South Africa – Part one

Response to general crisis: Social hope and collective action for change in South Africa – Part one

20th November 2023 When we talk about hope in a political context, one is referring to hope for change that will be transformative, not merely in our individual... 

Rugby World Cup. A one-time aspirant rugby Springbok reflects on the significance of the victory – Part Two

Rugby World Cup. A one-time aspirant rugby Springbok reflects on the significance of the victory – Part Two

7th November 2023 When I got to university, one of the highlights of the year was the InterVarsity rugby match between UCT and Stellenbosch. By that time, I was... 

Rugby World Cup: A one-time aspirant rugby Springbok reflects on the significance of the victory – Part one

Rugby World Cup: A one-time aspirant rugby Springbok reflects on the significance of the victory – Part one

6th November 2023 “The events of the past six weeks are an incredible tribute to the transformation of a symbol that once represented raw Afrikaner nationalism and... 

Demoralisation, passivity and hope – Part Two

Demoralisation, passivity and hope – Part Two

31st October 2023 “… It’s important to emphasise that hope is only a beginning; it’s not a substitute for action, only a basis for it. ‘Not everything that is faced... 

Crisis, despair and harnessing hope – Part One

Crisis, despair and harnessing hope – Part One

30th October 2023 We are living in a time when every second analyst or academic or forecaster advances a plan as to how we can extricate ourselves from the present... 

South African crisis: despair, hope and the prophetic – Part Two

South African crisis: despair, hope and the prophetic – Part Two

17th October 2023 What does one do to improve our conditions? When one reads about the notion of hope, some of it is in dense theoretical books (as in Ernst Bloch’s... 

South African crisis: Addressing despair, hope and the prophetic – Part one

South African crisis: Addressing despair, hope and the prophetic – Part one

16th October 2023 The atmosphere in South Africa in October 2023 is one of pervasive despair, a sense of depression and disillusionment, that things are bad and will... 

The continuing crisis: can we find a way forward?

The continuing crisis: can we find a way forward?

2nd October 2023 “To the oppressed, and to those who suffer with them and fight at their side”- Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Penguin, 1996, dedication).... 

Stephen Marais’ memoir raises questions and choices beyond the Struggle

Stephen Marais’ memoir raises questions and choices beyond the Struggle

27th September 2023 The true confessions of an unrehabilitated terrorist.  Anecdotes and Antidotes by Stephen Johannes Marais The genre of prison literature is now... 

The contribution of the UDF and People’s Power to our understanding of freedom – Part Four

The contribution of the UDF and People’s Power to our understanding of freedom – Part Four

4th September 2023 Conditions underpinning successful Popular Power activities and provoking abuses/collapse When one considers the UDF period, we obviously want to... 

The contribution of the UDF and People’s Power to our understanding of freedom – Part three

The contribution of the UDF and People’s Power to our understanding of freedom – Part three

22nd August 2023 The UDF as both an agent of the ANC as well as autonomous actor This is Part three in a series. Read Part one and two. 

The contribution of the UDF and People’s Power to our understanding of freedom – Part two

The contribution of the UDF and People’s Power to our understanding of freedom – Part two

21st August 2023 The current commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the UDF is foregrounding certain elements of the experience of the UDF and underplaying or... 

The contribution of the UDF and People’s Power to our understandings of freedom – Part one

The contribution of the UDF and People’s Power to our understandings of freedom – Part one

7th August 2023 When one looks at the statements made in commemorating 40 years since the formation of the United Democratic Front (UDF) one does not generally get... 

Being a revolutionary or pursuing an emancipatory path in the “15 wasted years” – Series final part 7

Being a revolutionary or pursuing an emancipatory path in the “15 wasted years” – Series final part 7

3rd July 2023 This series was conceived as an attempt to ask what it means to be a revolutionary in South Africa, starting around 1960 with the banning of the... 

Being a revolutionary or believer in emancipatory transformation in post-apartheid South Africa: Part six

Being a revolutionary or believer in emancipatory transformation in post-apartheid South Africa: Part six

28th June 2023 The onset of democratic rule set in motion a completely different framework for politics from that previously practised in the ANC and its allies.... 

Being a revolutionary/pursuing an emancipatory path in period of negotiations: Part five

Being a revolutionary/pursuing an emancipatory path in period of negotiations: Part five

19th June 2023 The period of negotiations was one way - one cannot say that there was any single way - of playing out a revolutionary role. Some would see it as... 

Revolutionary or emancipatory consciousness and action after 1976: Part four

Revolutionary or emancipatory consciousness and action after 1976: Part four

13th June 2023 As indicated, the decade after the Rivonia Trial was not one of the absence of resistance, although in the case of the ANC and SACP cadres, they... 

Revolutionary or emancipatory consciousness and activity from the Rivonia trial to the 1976 uprising: Part three

Revolutionary or emancipatory consciousness and activity from the Rivonia trial to the 1976 uprising: Part three

5th June 2023 This article and those that precede and follow it concern revolutionary (or emancipatory) consciousness and revolutionary activity in the context... 

How meanings of revolutionary/emancipatory consciousness and actions need to change over time: Part two

How meanings of revolutionary/emancipatory consciousness and actions need to change over time: Part two

29th May 2023 As indicated in the first part of this series, the content of the notions revolutionary consciousness and activity are not static... 

Revolutionary or emancipatory consciousness and action before and after 1990/94: Part one

Revolutionary or emancipatory consciousness and action before and after 1990/94: Part one

24th May 2023 There was a time when the word “revolution” was frequently used by cadres and activists in the Struggle against apartheid. It was nevertheless... 

What do we do when erstwhile liberators become ‘counter-revolutionaries’?

What do we do when erstwhile liberators become ‘counter-revolutionaries’?

24th April 2023 In former President Thabo Mbeki's, recent letter to ANC Deputy President Paul Mashatile there were copious references to “counter-revolution” and... 

Scandals surrounding Bester/Magudumana saga illustrate state disintegration as public is left vulnerable

Scandals surrounding Bester/Magudumana saga illustrate state disintegration as public is left vulnerable

11th April 2023 Much of the media has been dominated by events surrounding the escape of convicted rapist and murderer Thabo Bester from Mangaung Maximum Security... 

Respecting and advancing human rights: Part Two – Barriers obstructing realisation of human rights

Respecting and advancing human rights: Part Two – Barriers obstructing realisation of human rights

28th March 2023 One of the features of the attack on human rights in South African society is the pervasiveness of violence. In contemporary South African society,... 

We need to celebrate and engage meanings of human rights as part of recovering democratic life – Part One

We need to celebrate and engage meanings of human rights as part of recovering democratic life – Part One

27th March 2023 On Tuesday 21 March Human Rights Day was observed. There's something to be said for marking days, where they are treated as more than rituals.... 

Irremediable crisis? Pervading pessimism without remedies in place

Irremediable crisis? Pervading pessimism without remedies in place

13th March 2023 For some years much of South African society has voiced or has appeared to be consumed by hopelessness and demoralisation. There is a sense that... 

Drive the crooks and incompetents out of government!

Drive the crooks and incompetents out of government!

6th March 2023 The ruling ANC cannot be tasked with rebuilding what it has itself broken in recent years. It is now too involved in the dysfunctionality of the... 

Being or not being a communist in South Africa today

Being or not being a communist in South Africa today

27th February 2023 From 1969/70 until 2006 I had been a fairly orthodox member of the South African Communist Party, and I broke ranks over the party’s conduct during... 

Multiple crises need a new configuration of forces

Multiple crises need a new configuration of forces

21st February 2023 For a political organisation to win confidence of voters or supporters, it requires certain qualities. These are not invariable, because it is... 

What it meant to be a white person in the liberation struggle

What it meant to be a white person in the liberation struggle

16th January 2023 What did it mean to be a white person in a struggle that was widely perceived to be for the liberation of black people and almost entirely... 

Let’s not have illusions over ANC conference election results, we need a re-set

Let’s not have illusions over ANC conference election results, we need a re-set

9th January 2023 South Africans are desperate for a new beginning, for a return to the democratic values of 1994. It has been argued that president Cyril... 

Cyril Ramaphosa’s resignation is not main issue. It is attacks on constitutional order

Cyril Ramaphosa’s resignation is not main issue. It is attacks on constitutional order

5th December 2022 A news headline reads that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s allies believe “they [had] the numbers to mount a fight back” at the ANC NEC meeting, which... 

ANC crisis may foreshadow its demise and deepen state turmoil

ANC crisis may foreshadow its demise and deepen state turmoil

21st November 2022 There is little doubt that the ANC is on the way down and we will see its gradual demise. It is not something I would have predicted some time back... 

Ekurhuleni defeat sounds alarm bells for ANC and for democratic stability

Ekurhuleni defeat sounds alarm bells for ANC and for democratic stability

10th November 2022 It is well known that proportional representation (PR) voting systems are more likely to lead to coalitions than “first past the post”, pure... 

We cannot emerge from the SA political crisis if we mischaracterise it

We cannot emerge from the SA political crisis if we mischaracterise it

31st October 2022 Carol Paton published a recent opinion piece, unfortunately behind a paywall on News 24... 

Albert Nolan – memories of a non-believer

Albert Nolan – memories of a non-believer

19th October 2022 I first met Albert Nolan when I emerged from prison in 1983. I was then a Communist, although it was illegal to be one and I didn't admit that in... 

No lifeline to people-unfriendly coalitions. Strengthen wider democratic possibilities! A reply to Pierre de Vos

No lifeline to people-unfriendly coalitions. Strengthen wider democratic possibilities! A reply to Pierre de Vos

10th October 2022 There is much preoccupation with coalitions as “the future” of South African politics, with study visits and much media focus on the question.... 

We need to find an escape from “choiceless democracy”

We need to find an escape from “choiceless democracy”

3rd October 2022 I have an aversion to being a political spectator and have been involved in politics since my youth in the 1960s, first in the Progressive Party... 

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