South Africa: An Electoral Tremor, Not An Earthquake

In few countries would a governing political party in the throes of internal crisis consider 54% of the vote in mid-term elections to local councils a disappointing result. In South Africa, however, this represents a significant shot across the bows of the ANC 22 years after it took power, a decline of 8% from the equivalent elections in 2011, and almost 16% from its all-time best result in the 2004 general election. (Official results service here.) The shock is amplified …

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ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Ireland v Zimbabwe

It’s a busy, and potentially significant, night/day for the Group B teams at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.  At around 3.30am [GMT] on Saturday Ireland will look to put the heavy defeat to South Africa behind them when they face Zimbabwe, in a rare ODI match-up, at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart, Australia. And with India having done both teams a favour by, just, holding off the West Indies challenge last night to seal qualification for the quarter-finals, it’s all to play for. Ireland’s cricketers …

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ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Ireland v South Africa

Ireland, and Surrey, wicketkeeper Gary Wilson sounds positive ahead of tonight’s/tomorrow’s match against South Africa in Canberra in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Given the Proteas’ comprehensive tonking of the West Indies, courtesy of captain AB de Villiers’ supreme batting prowess, that optimism may be misplaced… Meanwhile, CricketIreland talked to Ireland captain William Porterfield, John Mooney, and coach Phil Simmons ahead of the game. When asked about the prospect of facing a player in such great form, John Mooney was keen …

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Flegs and Anthems

I was interested to note the Union Flag carefully positioned immediately beside Belfast PUP Councillor Julie-Anne Corr Johnson for her interview with BBC NI’s The View recently. “On one hand they tell us the British identity of Northern Ireland citizens is under threat”, she thundered, “whilst at the same time denying British citizens like me access to British laws and British rights.” The openly lesbian Corr Johnson was objecting to the DUP campaign for a ‘religious opt-out’ to equality laws …

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The Mirror Image-Minoritarianism

This is part two of my analysis of the Haass talks and Unionist thinking. This article also appeared on my blog Haass begins with: …there was a feeling that change would disadvantage them. First, Haass fails to notice the change that had occurred in the immediate run up to his talks had disadvantaged them. The design of the agenda was a rather obvious clue e.g. parades and flags. Second, we will deal with the cliché of ‘change’. Change can be …

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“How many times has a labour movement supported a liberation movement, only to find itself betrayed on the day of liberation?”

Speaking of dissent…  The death of Nelson Mandela appears to have opened the door to some potentially significant criticism of the current leadership of the ANC.  As the BBC reports, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the largest trade union in South Africa, has withdrawn its support for the ruling party of government.  From the BBC report The BBC’s Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg says this should be a wake-up call for the ANC not to take its anti-apartheid support base for …

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#Mandela: “The role of the leader is to understand the anxieties of his people and do something about it.”

David McWilliams on how the Mandela deal worked for South Africa… When I asked him how the whole thing was working and whether there was any truth in the whites’ suggestion that the blacks were particularly tolerant even after everything that had occurred during white rule, he grinned and said: “They pretend it never happened and we pretend to forgive them.” These sentiments could have come directly from that other brilliant hero to South Africans, Mahatma Gandhi, who memorably said …

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The ANC, the IRA and the rise of influence of the left within Sinn Fein…

World by Storm has a nice piece up on the IRA’s role in helping MK, the armed wing of the ANC, in the 1980s. In particular he sees a strange alchemy at work there: …if one can think of a clearly legitimate contemporary struggle it was that against apartheid and it is to the credit of all involved in this latest revelation that Irish people and the IRA played a small part in its overthrow. Furthermore I tend to believe …

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ICC World Cup 2011: Ireland V South Africa

A must win game for Ireland today against South Africa if they are to have any chance of making it through to the knock-out stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. You can pick up the live radio coverage here, along with the BBC over-by-over text commentary.  RTÉ coverage here. ESPNCricinfo commentary and scorecard here. Ireland won the toss and decided to field. And a good start for Ireland. South Africa innings Amla c Dockrell b Rankin for18 (17b …

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“The alliance is dysfunctional…”

Not, for once, a reference to the alliance that operates mediates our semi-detached polit-bureau – although some similarities may be apparent.  This time it’s South Africa, where the BBC reports on the threatened escalation of strike action by Confederation of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi. Some one million civil servants are already on strike but Cosatu’s total affiliated membership is double that. Mr Vavi said work would also halt in the key mining and manufacturing industries, while unions …

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Schadenfreude

France exited the World Cup with a 2-1 loss to hosts South Africa after being reduced to ten men 26 minutes into the game.  The French finished bottom of their group and, unfortunately, South Africa also failed to progress.  From The Guardian Sports Blog’s Amy Lawrence La fin. Let the discredits roll. Let Les Bleus depart the total shambles that they are. Their World Cup 2010 experience has been so unfathomably awful, it is hard to know where to begin with the inquest. A …

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Yizwa imithandazo yethu

Its unusual for me to moan or promote a personal agenda on Slugger so I hope I will be forgiven this selfish entry. South Africa should hold its head in shame. They have disgraced themselves on the international stage and brought pain to countless millions. Today saw a suffering launched on the world that makes apartheid seem a minor transgression. The vuvuzela. I have already joined a Facebook group in protest and my anger will surely grow until FIFA or …

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South Africa and the World Cup Frenzy – A Success Story?

No local teams will be participating, but all eyes are already on South Africa in the lead-up to the World Cup next month – and the rest will be glued to the T.V. But amid all the glitz and glamour surrounding the World Cup, very little is being said about South Africa beneath the World Cup gloss. We presume that such prestigious events as the World Cup can bring countless benefits to struggling societies, particularly those coming out of transition. In …

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De Klerk speaks at Glencree Summer School

I am just back from a weekend spent at the Glencree Summer School, where a variety of speakers gave presentations to a mixed audience from both sides of the Ulster community, the Republic and the UK. The keynote address was given by the ex-President of South Africa, FW de Klerk. Though it was clear from the discussion that followed his initial address that there were few direct parallels between the circumstances in the two situations, a number of interesting points …

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