ISSUE #124

Cissie Gool House, a modern-day Commune


In 1871 a revolutionary takeover of Paris created a vision of a new society and inspired socialists everywhere. Today in Cape Town so-called occupiers have turned the Cissie Gool House in Woodstock into a working commune, creating a vibrant communalism. The City is trying to evict them and shut down the house.

The Zondo Commission: Drama as a Factional Project


Proper debate on corruption and democracy eclipsed by media obsession

A tribute to an unreconstructed radical


The lecture hall was where he opened the eyes of students to an alternative view of law and history. His story-telling was both didactic and insurgent. Lovell had mastered both Africanisation and decolonisation in his teaching of law long before they became buzzwords in the legal academy.

Education through the eyes of a learner


The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on lives and livelihoods, especially the poor and vulnerable. South Africa’s education system, which has been in crisis for many years, has also been negatively impacted, as a Grade 11 learner has revealed.

Covid-19 vaccines – inequality and the politics of health


Covid-19 has exposed the faultlines of egregious inequality, both between and within countries. It’s time the world woke up, assert the writers. This inequality will kill people on a global scale, as it did with HIV, until civil society forces Big Pharma to cede power. That’s the scenario we are looking at again. Hopefully, we have learnt something from the past, before too many of our people die.

Art and the fight for freedom


The events of 21 March 1960 in Sharpeville forced South Africa’s artists to create work that responded to the political moment. Many used their creativity to bolster the liberation movement.

ISSUE #124

Welcome to the April edition of The Journalist


In this edition we highlight issues that have informed much of the mainstream media coverage over the past 6 months.

They include the long-awaited Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, the saga of the Zondo Commission and the special public holidays of 2021. Except that we reflect on the battles for public opinion and the underlying politics of these issues, rather than merely parrot what is already in the public domain.

The contribution on the Zondo Commission challenges the idea that the commission is merely about uncovering corruption and exposing perpetrators. The contribution on the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out is important because it shows how vaccine apartheid is being entrenched while ensuring profits for pharmaceutical monopolies at the expense of public health.

We also spotlight a momentous event of March 1871 – the Paris Commune –which inspired thousands to envisage a new society and which still resonates today in the form of a housing commune in Cape Town.

Our Arts section highlights the impact of the Sharpeville massacre of 21 March 1960 on artists in South Africa and in exile and how the massacre resulted in a surge of artistic creativity and imagination. As befits the first edition of 2021 we also feature a poignant article revealing the state of public schools where children of the poor bear the brunt of bureaucratic incompetence.

We also publish an obituary to Lovell Fernandez, one of the unsung heroes of the anti-apartheid struggle and a contributor to the understanding of social justice and law at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).


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