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  • Archive for October, 2014

    Letter from Hobeni 15: Speak truth to power

    Thursday, October 30th, 2014

    Letter from Hobeni – 30th October 2014 This is a story of petty and vindictive spite. It is the story of someone who is so frightened of people knowing the truth that he regards telling the truth as incitement to rebellion. On 21st November 1975, Donald Woods wrote

    Letter from Hobeni 14: Celebrating Mandela

    Sunday, October 26th, 2014

    I have now completed one of the key tasks of my trip to South Africa.   Copies of the programme for Nelson Mandela International Day in Glasgow 2014 are now in the possession of the Mandela Museum at Qunu, near his birthplace at

    Letter from Hobeni 13: Solidarity

    Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

    I have just had a very pleasant surprise.   I was sitting in the library with the doors open, forging through a pile of papers, when I heard a familiar voice saying “David?   David from London?    David from the Anti-Apartheid Movement?   What are you doing here?   Do you remember me?   I am

    Letter from Hobeni 12: Ubuntu

    Saturday, October 18th, 2014

    It is said that a nation that does not understand its history is doomed to repeat it.   In South Africa, or at least around Hobeni, part of this nation does not know its history, let alone understand it. One person expressed astonishment that people are not allowed to

    Swaziland Monarchy Urged to Reverse Trade Union Ban

    Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

    Morning Star Pressure grew on Swaziland’s monarchy today to reverse its decision to dissolve all trade unions and employer federations. UNI Global Union has added its voice to a chorus of international condemnation of last week’s diktat by Labour and Social Security Minister Winnie Magagula, instructing all federations to cease operation immediately. The draconian

    Uproar over Harare demolitions

    Monday, October 13th, 2014

    IRIN Thousands of residents in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare and surrounding areas are facing eviction from their homes as local authorities embark on an operation to demolish all illegal structures.    At the end of last month, city authorities turned

    Letter from Hobeni 11: Sunbirds

    Sunday, October 12th, 2014

    I have had my first visitor to the library.   A sunbird flew into the building.   It has a curved beak for extracting insects from trees, and its plumage is black with an orange crest, and dashes of orange under its wings.   It looks like the sun setting in an African night sky.   I opened a [...]

    Free Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini

    Thursday, October 9th, 2014

    Letter to British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond from ACTSA and others Dear Philip Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini: Swaziland We are deeply concerned about the rapid erosion of Swaziland’s already limited human and political rights. Democracy and basic rights have long been denied, but the government is responding to its critics in an increasingly brutal

    Letter from Hobeni 10: Cry Freedom

    Monday, October 6th, 2014

    I have just been interviewed by the Daily Dispatch.   I suppose that it should have been obvious that Donald Woods’ old newspaper would be interested in what I am doing here at