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In Search of the "Disappeared": Taking the Campaign to Africa

Imagine your loved one simply "disappeared". You approach the local authorities and are met with blank stares. Years later you are still searching, wondering what happened to them or whether they are still alive. "Disappearances" ...

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Once More to the Barricades

This week's anniversary of June 16th 1976 is an appropriate time at which to reflect on questions of the state response to the recent wave of protests. The brutal police response to the 1976 demonstrations set ...

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Fear, Terror and the Spoils of Power: Youth Militias in Zimbabwe

It is when fear becomes part of the social fabric of society that the spoils of abused power become most lucrative. Amidst reports of decreased levels of physical violence in the run up to the ...

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Behind the Bars of South African Prisons: Gendered Roles and Vulnerability of Male Inmates

In South African prisons, different kinds of sexual interactions and relationships take place between men. The majority of these are abusive, exploitative, and involve rape and various degrees of coercion. Newcomers to prison are especially ...

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Women Sleeping with the Enemy

On June 15 1994, the senior specialised auxillary service officer wrote: "I am in the service of the Transvaal Provincial Administration and employed as a senior mortuary officer at the mortuary of the Baragwaneth Hospital ...

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Mbeki and Smith Both Got It Wrong

Statistics, in and of themselves make for boring conversation and dull reading. Yet they leap to volatile political life when used to make arguments about race and violence, sex and death - as the angry ...

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Crime, Security and Fear of the Other

Earlier this year a local couple made the news when they applied for asylum in the United States claiming that they were persecuted in South Africa on the basis of their race. The couple argued ...

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The Quality of Mercy

In 2001 Anita Ferreira was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of her common-law partner Cyril Parkman. The court accepted that she has been severely and extensively abused, but did not find that his ...

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South Africa Cannot Afford the Culture of Secrecy

In asserting that public access to government-held information was essential to accountable processes of democratic rule, a United States Judge, Louis Brandeis, once said: "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light ...

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