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“The NEC of the ANC holds a view that the ICC is no longer useful for the purposes for which it was intended – being a court of last resort for the prosecution of crimes against humanity.” Four Days in June

Paula Akugizibwe assumes observer status at the African Union and finds the ‘new sovereign’ in a state of afro-centric rebirth. But under the silky sheets of diplomacy and people-power pillowtalk, she discovers, is a charm offensive that puts paid to the ‘Renaissance’ and keeps the West in control.
In a place where everything is guided by violence, international humanitarian aid organisations seem to do little more than catalogue and ultimately silence the voices of those affected. Writing with anger and sadness, Joséphine Imani’s* job application cover letter, addressed to the humanitarian aid industry, challenges this anaesthetisation and delivers a searing critique of humanitarianism.
Joshua Craze offers a sobering analysis of the fantasy that is the United Nations mandate and presence in South Sudan, where civil war is the order of every day. The organisation’s peacekeeping mission, Craze argues, is based on the fundamental logic of the UN’s functioning: to recreate the image of its membership wherever it goes – regardless of context – and to enforce a neutrality that wilfully ignores reality and guarantees an inherently incoherent response.

Wendell Hassan Marsh maps the trajectories of Islam as it evolved in the New World and the limited definitions of Muslim communities in the African-American consciousness. Read Remembering the name of God.
The struggle for freedom is a reckless, foolish and sacrosanct adventure – so believed Albert Luthuli, the first president of the African National Congress. A devout Christian, a man deeply committed to land and community, Luthuli saw the relationship between a nation and its ideals as founded on shared values, not the ingratiated construct that beleaguers the nationalism playing out in South Africa today. Jon Soske delves his unpublished notebooks.
“Jesus waits in the swimming pool. The tenth commandment lies in pieces all over my sinful heart as our queue snakes towards salvation.” Read My Life as a Seventh Day Adventist by Paula Akugizibwe

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 Using historian and author Jacob Dlamini’s latest work as a backdrop, Bongani Kona juxtaposes acts of defiance and acts of betrayal in the protracted struggle against apartheid in South Africa. He questions, as do Dlamini and many others, if the very act of betrayal – of collaboration with the enemy, of selling out and condemning close comrades – is woven tightly into the fabric of post-apartheid society and responsible for our inability to “reckon” with an authoritarian past.

Read The Politics of Betrayal.


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Lexicon of Love

The language of football is arguably nowhere more verbose and loquacious than in Brazil – full of the picturesque and partisan, the witty and fantastical. It is where, as James Young writes, the nexus between the twists of life on and off the pitch is revealed.

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Sports Chatter

Simon Kuper discusses the drivel in the drip-feed that is mainstream sports journalism – from rumour and innuendo to occasional smut and toilet humour.

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The Art of Suspense

Lidudumalingani Mqombothi revisits the football matches of his childhood, when radio, not television, was most people’s ticket to the beautiful game. But a radio was not the only requirement for a full experience – an active imagination and an attentive ear were integral to engaging in the virtuosity of the audio commentary.