Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Marshall Plan for southern Africa’

Martin Plaut, School of Advanced Study Margaret Thatcher wooed the South African government with promises of a “Marshall Plan for southern Africa” and helped “save” the independence of Namibia, according to newly released papers. The events they cover provide an insight into a March 1989 visit to Britain by the South African foreign minister, Pik …

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Book review: finding a vocabulary to judge Thabo Mbeki

Peter Vale, University of Johannesburg South Africa’s second democratically elected president remains a puzzle to many notwithstanding Mark Gevisser, who wrote the fine 2007 biography, “Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred”. Of course, there are many different explanations for why he puzzles us so. Also, why he haunts our politics nine years after he lost the …

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What Nelson Mandela can teach us about lifelong, dialogue-rich learning

Peter Rule, University of KwaZulu-Natal Nelson Mandela’s life and writings reveal his fascination with education. The late statesman’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, often profiles characters by their education and what he learnt from them. Mandela pursued his own learning actively, curiously and indefatigably in many different settings. He is also an exemplar of a …

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Should Shakespeare be taught in Africa’s classrooms?

Chris Thurman, University of the Witwatersrand Should William Shakespeare be taught in Africa’s schools and universities? It’s a question that emerges, sometimes flippantly and sometimes in earnest, when conversations about post-coloniality and decolonisation turn to literature and culture. It’s a useful and necessary question that I – as a scholar who teaches and writes about …

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Mandela’s belief that education can change the world is still a dream

Wim de Villiers, Stellenbosch University Universities can play an important part in fulfilling Nelson Mandela’s much-quoted belief that: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Mandela Day, the late South African president’s birthday, is an opportunity to reflect on how his statement of intent actually works in practice. …

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