18 01 20

first_imgAt least four presidential appointees, among them, a junior staffer, may be on the listing of the Executive Mansion for possible replacement during the upcoming reshuffle exercise, the Daily Observer has reliably learnt.A phone call from a ‘highly placed’ source confirmed to the Daily Observer Tuesday that an ‘imminent reshuffle’ would be announced shortly upon the arrival of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from a visit to the United States.According to our source, officials already tipped for possible replacement have reportedly been informed through written communications addressed to their deputies, who would be in charge, while a search committee reviews applications from lists of candidates that would fill in the gaps. This report is yet to be independently verified by the Observer.Others to be replaced, our source said, will include two administrators of controversial security agencies that have constantly been criticized by the general public in recent times.Among those named by our source to be affected by the reshuffle exercise are Finance Minister Amara Konneh, Education Minister Etmonia David-Tarpeh, Public Works Minister Antoinette Weeks, and Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Matthew Piah.Minister Konneh was sworn into office in February 2012 replacing the present Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan. He is a core member of President Sirleaf’s Economic Management Team and is credited with helping to stabilize the Liberian economy from the effects of a protracted civil war. Concurrently, he also serves as Liberia’s Acting Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs. Mr. Konneh is also a National Coordinator of the Liberia Development Alliance that coordinates Liberia’s development agenda (Agenda for Transformation – 2012 – 2017), among other positions of influence.Of late, he has become the subject of public criticism owing to his handling of the country’s budgets, particularly with the subsequent crisis of a ‘budget shortfall.’Mr. Konneh has coordinated the implementation of the Lift Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategy (2008 to 2011); his critics are of the opinion that he has ‘underperformed.’ He has been summoned numerous times by the national legislature over issues ranging from his dual-ministerial role at Finance and Planning to the budget shortfall, and lawmakers have recently called for his resignation.Minister of Education, Etmonia David Tarpeh, previously served as Minister of Youth and Sports during President Sirleaf’s first term (2006-20012). She succeeded Mr. E. Othello Gongar in the second term and was subsequently confirmed as Education Minister by the Liberian Senate more than three months later.But the country’s education system under her oversight continued to flounder, and took center stage when all of the 25,000 cadidates who took the University of Liberia’s entrance exams last year flunked. President Ellen Johnon Sirleaf, internationally embarassed by the situation, was constrained to admit that the education system was a complete mess. Since then, frantic efforts to get the system on track have hardly shown tangible results, as students continue to learn in deplorable conditions, under-trained teachers continue to demand bribes for grades, and students themselves, particularly at the university level, continue to resist efforts geared toward implementing change. Last week, Minister Tarpeh and her deputies finally presented a plan to the president; but judging from this latest development, that may have come too late.Dr. Antoinette Weeks, the first female to occupy the Ministry of Public Works as Minister proper, was appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf a year after President Sirleaf’s first term ended, replacing Attorney Samuel Kofi Woods, who had occupied the position for four years.Minister Woods, for reasons yet to be disclosed, resigned his post in 2013, thereby making way for the first female minister of Public Works. Woods took over the government’s infrastructure arm and pulled back its lost confidence to the public during his four-year term.However, since she took over, there has been public outcry over her poor performance, the latest concern being raised by the House of Representatives over her failure to exercise effective monitoring of contractors constructing roads in the country.Concern has also been raised about the delay in reconstructing Somalia Drive, for which the Japanese and Liberian Governments signed a US$50 million agreement almost a year ago.Madam Weeks, who holds a B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering with expertise in Project Management, Compliance and Regulatory Oversight, is not considered to have  performed at the same level as Woods did. Although he is not an engineer, he spent much of his time, especially weekends, touring and inspecting projects — the hallmark of his success.Rather, she has reportedly been actively engaged in disputes with coworkers, over which one deputy minister reportedly resigned.Furthermore, Madam Weeks is on record for her aggression towards the media and has, on many occasions, denied requests for interviews from journalists, describing them as bad journalists.  The incumbent Presidential Press Secretary, Jerolinmek Matthew Piah, took over from Liberian Journalist Cyrus Badio with the expectation that he would bring to the Executive a renewed dynamism of communication with the public.Since he took over the President’s communication apparatus, however, his engagement with media houses has left much to be desired, especially as it regards timely responses to questions from media houses. Since leaving the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs & Tourism early 2012, he has remained in strong defense of the President’s actions and whatever criticism has been directed at the Executive.It can be recalled that when the Press Union of Liberia sanctioned the Executive Mansion with a media block out in May of 2013, the Presidential Press Secretary along with Deputy Minister of Information for Public Affairs, Isaac Jackson, lambasted the media’s action and accused the PUL of violating the public’s right to information.Of recent, Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah is on record for debunking Grand Bassa lawmaker, Gabriel B. Smith’s statement against the President, describing it as “reckless.” He also jumped to the Presidency’s defense when the political leader of the Movement of Progressive Change (MPC), Simeon M. Freeman, criticized the recent State of Nation Economy Address made by President Sirleaf.He also reacted to opposition member Benoni Urey’s statement against the President, instructing him to concentrate on Agriculture, which, he (Piah) argued, Urey knows more about than government.It remains to be determined whether this report of a major reshuffle is corroborated by the President upon her return from the United States.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

11 01 20

first_img“We have 500 active requests right now,” said Michael Duggan, the library’s supervisory archivist, who noted that the library has an archival staff of just 11 people. ” … Now we’re up to 364 Freedom of Information Act requests for collections we know have classified documents in them.” The waiting time for unclassified documents is about two years and seven months, and officials are working to reduce the waiting period for such documents to about a year. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has introduced legislation to do away with Bush’s 2001 executive order. “If this legislation takes effect, it should help things enormously,” said Karen Lightfoot, a spokeswoman for Waxman’s committee. The bill would nullify Bush’s 2001 executive order and restore public access to presidential records under a faster process that was set up during the Reagan administration, Waxman said. SIMI VALLEY – Political science professor Robert C. Smith is trying to write a book about former President Ronald Reagan and his views on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. But he already has waited about two years since he filed a Freedom of Information Act request for data and has been told he might have to wait another year. New efforts in Congress might ease restrictions on the papers of former presidents, but archivists say there could still be problems finding the manpower needed to release what is requested by the public, including the items Smith wants. Partly as the result of a policy set in 2001 by President George W. Bush, the waiting time for some documents at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley has increased from about 18 months in 2001 to about 61/2 years, particularly in the case of classified documents. Under the Presidential Records Act passed in 1978, records were supposed to be released to historians and the public 12 years after the end of a presidential administration. Waxman said Bush’s edict gave current and former presidents the authority to withhold presidential records indefinitely. The order was written by former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, now attorney general, and issued by Bush to protect constitutionally based privileges involving presidential records reflecting such things as military, diplomatic and national security secrets. Waxman and others complain this can limit the public’s understanding of important decisions affecting their lives. “This result is simply unacceptable,” Waxman said when he introduced his legislation that would set strict time limits for the current and former president to review records before they are released. The Reagan Library alone receives visits from hundreds of researchers each year, including authors, college professors, students, political party workers, attorneys and others seeking information for various projects. The library contains 48 million pages of documents from Reagan’s presidency, of which about 17 percent have been released for public research. In addition, about 3 million pages of Reagan’s gubernatorial records have been opened to the public in the past few years, out of a collection of about 10 million documents. The information that has been released has been used in scores of books about Reagan and other books concerning various issues in recent history. Some are even for sale in the library’s gift shop. But many of the federal documents are available only through formal requests under the Freedom of Information Act, and many of them are classified out of concern over national security. Duggan said it’s a complicated situation, and even if Bush’s edict were removed, the library and other presidential libraries across the country would still face backlogs. Everything marked for national security has to be sent back to the agency it came from for release before it can be opened to the public, Duggan said. Meanwhile, the time it takes to obtain some documents has frustrated scholars across the nation. Smith, a professor of political science at San Francisco State University, remains uncertain when he will have access to the documents he needs for a book he is writing on the relationship between conservatism and racism. “It’s been now about two years since I filed the request, and it’s still pending. I was told by the librarian it would be at least three years,” he said. “I was told it wasn’t so much restrictions (on the information), but a matter of staff and resources.” Smith is looking for documents covering the Reagan administration’s position on the King holiday, and particularly papers from Melvin Bradley, an African-American adviser to Reagan. Although Reagan eventually supported the national holiday, he initially expressed opposition. “I’d like to see the back and forth with his staff to see what led him to change his mind,” Smith said. “I want to know what role Bradley played, if any. That would be critical to what I’m trying to do.” He and other researchers need access to such documents to put together complete accounts of history, he said. “History informs the present,” he said. “Until these facts come out, people can’t understand the past and what might be coming in the future. Deluge of requests Two-year wait eric.leach@dailynews.com (805) 583-7602160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

6 01 20

first_img0Shares0000Liverpool players celebrate Georgino Wijnadlum’s goal against Cardiff City during their English Premier League match in Wales on April 21, 2019CARDIFF, United Kingdom, Apr 21 – Liverpool continue to put the pressure on Manchester City as a hard-fought 2-0 win at relegation threatened Cardiff moved them back top of the Premier League on Sunday.Georginio Wijnaldum’s opener just before the hour and James Milner’s penalty secured a ninth consecutive win in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp’s side and moved them two points ahead of City, who have a game in hand, at the top of the table. City travel to Manchester United on Wednesday in what appears the toughest hurdle left for the English champions to clear and deny Liverpool a first Premier League title in 29 years.The Reds remain poised to pounce if Pep Guardiola’s side fail to pick up maximum points in their remaining four games.While Liverpool were cruising into a second successive Champions League semi-final in midweek, Cardiff gave their chances of survival a huge boost with a 2-0 win at Brighton to close within three points of safety.If Neil Warnock’s men are to defy the odds to stay up, it is upcoming games against already relegated Fulham and Crystal Palace they will need to win, but they did not make life easy for Liverpool.The visitors should have taken the lead midway through the first-half when their front three clicked together for the first time when Mohamed Salah fed Sadio Mane and the Senegalese’s pass put Roberto Firmino clean through on goal. However, the Brazilian blazed over with just Neil Etheridge to beat.Salah has found his form in front of goal at the right time for Liverpool’s bid for a Premier League and Champions League double.However, after scoring in three of his past four games, Salah could not keep that streak going as he fired too close to Etheridge when played in by Jordan Henderson.Gini Wijnaldum scoring against Cardiff City on April 21, 2019Cardiff’s massed ranks of defence allowed Liverpool to enjoy nearly 75 percent possession, but the home team did not pose a threat of their own until they nearly took a shock lead just before the break.Victor Camarasa’s mishit shot fell kindly for Oumar Niasse and the on loan Everton striker nearly brought even more a smile to fans of his parent club on a day they beat Manchester United 4-0, but his shot was turned over by Alisson Becker.There was little reason for Liverpool to panic at half-time as their previous four Premier League games had also been won with second-half goals and so it proved once more.Trent Alexander-Arnold bagged his 10th assist of the season as the England international’s corner was pulled back for Wijnaldum to lash into the net first time.Liverpool’s midfield has begun to chip in with crucial goals at the right time of the season and Henderson should have provided another moments later when he fired wastefully over with the goal at his mercy.Klopp vented his frustration at Henderson’s miss and it was nearly costly when Cardiff captain Sean Morrison had a glorious chance to level 26 minutes from time.Morrison seemed to have the simple task of heading into an empty net as Alisson got caught underneath a corner, but he mistimed his header and the ball instead bounced to safety off his back.And Morrison was the Cardiff villain at the other end when he was adjudged to have brought down Salah inside the area 10 minutes from time and substitute Milner confidently dispatched the spot-kick.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

3 01 20

first_img1 Stevan Jovetic Manchester City forward Stevan Jovetic is on the verge of joining Inter Milan, according to reports in Italy.The Montenegrin’s agent is due to meet San Siro officials this week in Milan for further talks in an attempt to thrash out a deal before the weekend.The former Fiorentina hitman is surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium and is said to be keen on a return to Serie A.It has been revealed by Sky Italia that the Nerazzurri want to secure Jovetic’s services on an initial loan agreement and then reserve first-option on the player to sign him for £13m next summer.A deal between the two clubs has been on the cards for weeks and it is thought this week’s talks are the final opportunity to complete a move between all parties.Jovetic has struggled to settle in Manchester since arriving in 2013 and notched just five goals in 26 appearances in all competitions last term.last_img read more

25 12 19

first_imgThe Donegal Relay for Life organisers are sending out an SOS for artwork form schools across the county.The artwork (senior classes) should illustrate ways to promote healthy living, ways to reduce our risk of getting cancer.The idea is that a class can design a piece of work 3ft X 3ft, laminated, with the school name and address clearly shown, to be displayed around the track of LYIT football pitch, where Relay for Life Donegal will take place on 26th and 27th May. SECONDARY SCHOOLSWe are asking Transition Year students to get involved in art work helping to raise awareness – to highlight the key messages, to make banners, to bring their creativity to the event.All work will be displayed. Relay for Life Donegal promises to be one of the biggest events to be staged for charity in Donegal and will heighten awareness of cancer and its prevention.Please contact relayforlifedonegal@gmail.com if you would like your school to be involved or if you would like to volunteer to help during Relay for Life Donegal weekend, 26th & 27th May.Celebrate, Remember, Fight BackReduce Your Risk of Getting CancerYou can reduce your risk of getting cancer by up to 50% according to the Irish Cancer Society. Positive steps to reduce your risk to cancer are:1. Eat a healthy diet – cut down on foods high in calories, fat and sugar, limit your intake of red and processed meat, alcohol and salt and eat more fruit, vegetables, whole grains and pulses. 2. Be physically active – aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day which is any activity which gets your heart beating a little faster than normal and makes you breath a little deeper and faster e.g brisk walking.3. Be a healthy weight – if you are concerned about your weight, ask your doctor to measure your body mass index and seek advice on your diet.4. If you smoke plan to quit. The HSE provides a free smoking cessation counselling service throughout the county.To make an appointment call 18050 200 687 or Louise at 91 04693. 5. Protect yourself in the sun and avoid sunburn by wearing a hat, covering up or using high factor sun protection.If you have any concern about cancer phone the National Cancer Helpline and speak with a specialist nurse in confidence on 1800 200 700 ( Mon – Thurs 9am – 7pm, Fridays 9am – 5pm.)SCHOOLS INVITED TO GET INVOLVED IN DONEGAL’S RELAY FOR LIFE was last modified: April 10th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Relay for Lifelast_img read more

18 12 19

first_imgThe saying goes that if you throw enough mud some will stick. In the case of the loss of MH370 it can be said if you throw enough fiction some will become fact.There is so much written about MH370’s disappearance and its crew that is simply not true it could be the subject of a bestseller.The latest find — if confirmed — of burnt debris by  Indiana Jones-styled MH370 wreckage hunter Blaine Gibson may well put to rest some of the theories of what happened on the plane.However, he is right to caution against  jumping to conclusions about the origins of the pieces and when they became burnt.Last week the tormented relatives of the victims of MH370 made a plea to some sections of the global media to stick to the known facts and to stop the speculation.Grace Nathan, who lost her mother Anne Daisy on MH370, told The West Australian newspaper the disaster was unprecedented and, therefore, so was their situation. “It’s constant 21/2 years on,” Mrs Nathan said. “There might a lull of three weeks, then someone will come up with some bizarre conspiracy theory.”“That all throws us through a loop. I have to relive the horror again and again and I never get to recover from it. I never have time to grieve.”The new piece had wide ramifications, Mr Gibson said. “If it was a fire in the avionics bay of the Boeing 777 it is imperative that we find the reason to ensure it does not  happen again,” he  said.With more and more debris turning up, Mr Gibson has urged governments not to give up on the search.last_img read more

18 12 19

first_imgAlan Paton in the hills of KwaZulu-Natal, where he lived until his death.(Image: Random House Struik)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sello HatangNMF communications manager+27 11 547 5600RELATED ARTICLES• Mandela’s old offices restored• Mandela: a remarkable 92 years• Alice Walker to explore Biko ties• ‘The infinite gardens of Mandela’• Mandela archive to go onlineSource: Nelson Mandela FoundationVerne Harris, head of the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Memory Programme, delivered the 18th Alan Paton Lecture on 5 May 2011. Harris spoke on the topic of Madiba, Memory and the Work of Justice, discussing the role that memory plays in post-apartheid South Africa.He joined a distinguished line-up of former Alan Paton speakers that includes Helen Suzman (1998); Justice Pius Langa (1999); Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (2002); and Raenette Taljaard (2007).The annual Alan Paton Lecture takes place at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus, which houses the Alan Paton Centre. Its purpose is to honour the renowned author and to talk about matters close to him, such as literary, educational and environmental issues, prison reform for juvenile offenders, and the South African political situation.Paton, probably best known for his first novel Cry, the Beloved Country, was a world-renowned author and anti-apartheid activist. A co-founder and the vice-president of the South African Liberal Party, Paton died in 1988.Staff at the Nelson Mandela Foundation recently unearthed a letter written by Mandela to Paton in 1979. Previously unpublished, the letter was never delivered because Mandela wrote it while still imprisoned, and it was confiscated by authorities without ever coming near a post box.In the letter Mandela described the difficulties he faced in sending correspondence, and said that the letter was his third attempt to contact Paton. He offered his sympathy on the death of Paton’s wife and thanked the author for taking the time to visit the Mandela family in Brandfort, Free State province. He also commended Paton on his literary work as well as his courageous anti-government stance.A transcript of the letter is available for download (PDF, 76 KB).The full text of Harris’s lecture follows:Let me say at once that I am honoured to be associated with Alan Paton in this way. And that my institution, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, is similarly honoured.My aim today is to honour Paton’s memory by reflecting on the roles of memory in the beloved country during the era we call post-apartheid, postcolonial.The post-apartheid era in South Africa has seen a wealth of memory work: ranging from the endeavour of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to the flowering of new museums and archives; from the investigations underpinning the land restitution process to the rapid growth and diversification of the country’s heritage sector; from the research supporting special pensions for those who contributed to the struggles against apartheid to the writing of new history curricula for schools; from the location of the remains of persons murdered by the apartheid state to the use of legislated freedom of information instruments by civil society in ‘truth-recovery’ and reparations-related interventions.This work has drawn on a long tradition of ‘memory for justice’ in the country, which coalesced strongly from the late 1970s as a tool of struggle against instruments of forgetting imposed by the apartheid regime. Through the 1990s the tradition held sway in inspiring and informing what was called post-apartheid transformation.Equally, this memory work has been influenced by the international discourses of transitional justice, which insist that ‘dealing with’ oppressive pasts is necessary for the building of democratic futures.  Working with inherited collective pain vouchsafes the healing essential to sustainable reconciliation and nation-building.So, a wealth of memory work, drawing on struggle tradition and international best practice. And yet. And yet our society remains severely damaged. Old fissures remain resilient. New ones are emerging. The social fabric is being unravelled further by growing disparities between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, by rampant corruption, by creaking service delivery infrastructures, a failure of leadership at many levels, alienation from political processes, xenophobia, what I call the re-racialisation of discourse, unacceptable levels of crime, domestic violence, infant mortality, HIV infection, illiteracy, unemployment, and so on.By any measure we are troubled, and in trouble. Obviously this is not attributable to a single cause, or set of causes. Nor are we exceptional – South Africa shares many of the challenges being experienced by a family of nations caught in the nexus of under-development and post-oppression transition.But it is time, I believe, for us to assess our post-apartheid memory work. Has it been too superficial? Have we only scratched the surface of our country’s pain and alienation? Does the really hard work – the work which truly embraces damage and offers healing – remain to be done? To what extent are the failures of the post-apartheid project failures of memory?In the time available to me today I can do no more than skim the surface of the terrain staked out by these questions; suggest ways of answering them rather than provide answers to them. Moreover, I cannot hope to engage the full gamut of ‘sites’ in which invocation of the past takes place – from the school classroom to the museum display hall, from rural communities pressing land claims to urban communities demanding service delivery, from traditional leaders seeking extended powers to broadcasters marking anniversaries of historical events.I will focus my reflection on more or less formal, more or less institutional endeavour undertaken, sponsored or sanctioned by the state. The reflection follows five lines of enquiry, each exploring an attribute of post-apartheid memory work and suggesting a possible, and necessary, deconstructive interrogation.The reflection can, and should, be read as a critique of the post-apartheid project’s reliance on two interlinked figures, or symbols: ‘the New South Africa’ and ‘Nelson Mandela’. ‘The New South Africa’ was heralded by the release from prison of Nelson Mandela on 11 February 1990, given formal appellation by the country’s first democratic election on 27 April 1994, and in its apogee during the presidency of Mandela in the period 1994-1999. It was always a construct, a vision, embraced first in public discourses in South Africa and then quickly adopted globally as shorthand for the ambitious project of democratisation rising from the wreckage of over four decades of apartheid rule.But it was also the signature for intense and wide-ranging work designed to reconstruct and develop a society shattered by oppression. From the outset the vision relied on a combination of metanarrative (the big explanatory story) and symbol to give it shape and to stretch its reach. Public discourse in and about South Africa was emblazoned by the concepts of noble struggle against apartheid, of post-apartheid reconciliation, and of nation-building.Central to this energy was the life and work of Nelson Mandela, the living symbol of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s ‘rainbow nation’.The reflection is, at the same time, an act of self-reflection. Since 2004 I have headed a project in the Nelson Mandela Foundation designed to deliver to the world a Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. Any centreing of memory in post-apartheid South Africa must take account of, and account for, the conditions I have alluded to and wish now to engage. Especially if the centreing – like that being undertaken by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory – is committed to promoting social justice.We neither work in a vacuum nor are immune from the special power of Nelson Mandela the figure, the symbol. We might know, and have worked with Madiba the man, the individual fallible human being, but inevitably everything we do is cast within a framing determined by figures, symbols and metanarratives.I said I would be exploring five attributes of post-apartheid memory work.  The first is its determination to build new metanarratives.Of metanarrativeOne of the core tenets of the ‘memory for justice’ tradition I mentioned at the outset was that memory should be used actively to counter the metanarratives of the apartheid regime and to build new, liberatory, ones. Not surprisingly, then, much of the memory work done through the 1990s and beyond has been deployed to this cause. Narratives of a noble struggle (‘the struggle’) against oppression, of heroes and heroines versus villains, of ‘the people’ or ‘our people’, of truth and reconciliation, of nation-building, reconstruction and development, the ‘New South Africa’, ‘Madiba Magic’, the ‘rainbow nation’, and so on, have been dominant.I don’t want to offer a deconstruction of these narratives. Nor do I wish to question the need for new metanarratives in rebuilding a society damaged by generations of oppression.I do want to suggest, however, that memory work deployed in this way runs the risk of being trapped into a totalising agenda and of foregoing the opportunity to harness truly liberatory energies. And I do want to suggest that we have paid a price for this deployment. Too many sub-narratives have been squeezed out, too many counter-narratives ignored. Loose threads too often have been seen as threats to a seamless narrative rather than opportunity for richer, more complex and more textured weaving. Privileging of the (predetermined) ‘story’, ‘the message’, has discouraged attention being paid to process, to modes of memory construction, to form, language, genre, voice, reading, and so on. All of this, I would argue, has constituted an obstacle to the decolonisation of memory institutions in South Africa.In what we can now call the post-Mbeki, or post-Polokwane, era we have seen the emergence of a fresh wave of memory work in South Africa. You see it in a rush of new heritage projects and of new institutions more or less dedicated to memory work (the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the OR and Adelaide Tambo Foundation, the Luthuli Foundation, the Ahmed Timol Foundation, the Joe Slovo Foundation, and so on); you see it in a rash of new autobiographies and biographies; an obsession with anything Nelson Mandela-related (recall, for example, how in January the world’s media descended on South Africa and how public discourse became entranced by the question of Madiba’s health); you see it in a feverish marking of anniversaries.Obviously a lot is going on here and there can be no single explanation. But note how this work is being deployed. By those, on the one hand, determined to co-opt post-apartheid metanarratives to new forces and energies. By those, on the other hand, determined to protect and preserve ‘the legacy’ against such co-option. A whole new layer of risk, I would suggest, and more obstacles to the processes of decolonisation.Of opacityI move on now to a second attribute of post-apartheid memory work. Under apartheid, swathes of South African history were erased, hidden or marginalised.  Oppositional voices and narratives were repressed or silenced. This systemic opacity spurred another core tenet of the ‘memory for justice’ tradition, namely, that creating space for such histories, voices and narratives was at once an ethical imperative and a critical instrument of struggle.Not surprisingly, then, post-apartheid South Africa was shaped by commitment to concepts and values like ‘transparency’, ‘freedom of information’, ‘truth-recovery’, ‘full disclosure’, and so on. And yet. And yet South Africa in the era of democracy has proved to be a less than fertile environment for these concepts and values. Cultures of opacity remain resilient. Our memory work is hampered by secrets, taboos, disavowals and lies. The silences are often deafening.It is too easy in these circumstances to point fingers. To name those who circumscribed or obstructed the work of the TRC. To name those who turned the 2003 Hefer Commission into a farce. To list the cover-ups. To identify those obstructing the objects of the Promotion of Access to Information Act. To name the public representations of our past shrouded in shadow. And so on.I believe that it is imperative that we all take responsibility for the cultures of opacity; understand that it is not only those who wield power who deal in silences; and (more difficult) accept that there might be legitimate secrets, healthy taboos, justifiable disavowals, even – I hesitate to say it – necessary lies. Cultures of opacity flow deeply through South African society. They come not only from the old apartheid state milieus. They flow out of diverse and deep traditions, customs and mythologies. They flow out of the anti-apartheid experiences of exile, the underground and mass resistance. They flow out of the nature of our transition to democracy – not a revolution, but a protracted negotiated settlement, during which selective destruction of memory resources took place and more or less secret deals were made. The latter scenario, in South Africa and elsewhere, stimulates extreme sensitivity around access to information.In any polity or collectivity it is, precisely, the secrets, the taboos, the disavowals and the lies which mark the place of bruise, of wound, of damage. Memory work, I would argue, is bound by the call of justice to tend this place. Tend. In other words, on the one hand, it must decline any dictate to turn away from this place, pretend that it is not there. On the other hand, it must turn to this place, return to it, engage it. Respectfully. Determinedly. Without the recklessness of rush.Of healingA third attribute of much of the memory work done in post-apartheid South Africa is an assumption that remembering brings with it healing. In some formulations, there can be no healing without remembering. The provenance of this view internationally is complex, going back, arguably, as far as Freud, infused, certainly, by the discourses of psychoanalysis, influenced, certainly, by the dogmas of transitional justice.In South Africa, the influences of Christian notions of confession, repentance and forgiveness have been particularly strong. Indeed, it could be argued that the TRC was framed very deliberately by these notions.But what if remembering is just as likely to reopen old wounds? What if the majority of the thousands of South Africans who came to the TRC to testify to abuse and damage have not found healing from their ‘TRC experience’? (Have we gone back to those thousands in the years since the TRC to test what has now become a dominant mythology, namely, that the TRC’s rituals of testimony were effective as instruments of healing?)What if forgiveness is impossible, because it requires precisely an embrace of the unforgiveable? What if forgiveness is not an act of mercy from one to another, but rather a rendezvous? In other words, a process in which timing is critical and for which enormous patience is required? What if healing is more closely associated with forgetting than with remembering? Does the binary opposite remembering-forgetting, like all binary opposites, obfuscate rather than illuminate? Could healing also be a rendezvous? Is it possible that we rushed into the rituals of ‘dealing with’ the past? Have we, in consequence, pre-empted a rendezvous wanting to happen? Or missed it altogether?I don’t have ready answers to these questions, nor time now to explore them. But I would suggest that we underestimated the damage wrought by our histories – to individuals, collectivities and institutions.And I would suggest that we were seduced by the possibility of a ‘quick-fix’. (‘Madiba Magic’ would sprinkle salve on our wounds and we would emerge, quickly, as reconstructed ‘new South Africans’. Madiba’s gracing of the 1995 Rugby World Cup would fast-track the transformation of the country’s sports sectors and accomplish in a moment what logic told us would require generations of hard work.)On the other hand, I see promising signs: NGOs committed to a long haul in engaging damage; indications in the new rash of autobiographies and biographies of a greater willingness to open up to damage; the emergence of a generation of young public intellectuals prepared to question struggle orthodoxies and tend the bruises in memory; some memory institutions becoming conscious of how their representations of what was formerly ‘the other’ introduce new layers of ‘othering’; and so on.Signs. Not many. But promising. Could they be signs of impending rendezvous? Signs of people either finding ways for healing to come to them or creating conditions in which healing is more likely to come to others, without prescription, without blueprint?Of reconciliationMost of South Africa’s post-apartheid memory work has been geared to promoting reconciliation. A fourth attribute. Reconciliation. A noble aim, perhaps, but it has run the risks of metanarrative deployment which I outlined earlier.Too often, in my view, it has been trapped into a totalising agenda. Too often it has followed dictates to turn from secrets, taboos, disavowals and lies. Too often it has embraced a blueprint for healing. More damaging, it has been encumbered by the broader reconciliation project’s baggage. A substantial baggage, but let me name just two (profoundly interconnected) dimensions.Reconciliation is of a completely different order to that of forgiveness. The latter is about the impossible gift; the reaching for pure transcendence. Reconciliation is about hammering out a practical way forward, accommodating harsh realities and negotiating ways of learning simply to get on together. An economy of exchange, in other words.And in South Africa in the 1990s a very specific, trifocal, economy was agreed to as the springboard for continuing reconciliation endeavour: amnesty for human rights perpetrators offering full disclosure, reparations for victims of human rights violations, and prosecution (i.e. punishment) for perpetrators failing to secure amnesty. A fatally flawed springboard as it turned out. For the exchange was not honoured. Very little ‘full disclosure’ was secured. Reparations were inadequate and fiercely contested. And prosecution was not forthcoming.We have paid a heavy price for reconciliation’s consequent crisis of legitimacy. A crisis deepened by perceptions that the reconciliation project has been used to smooth the replacement of one elite by another. Liberation has reached too small a number of South Africans to be an enduring energy of unification.The notion of a South Africa “belonging to all who live in it” seems now to be an impossible ideal. South Africa belongs increasingly to the few who can afford to access the instruments of democratisation, the few who benefit from resilient colonial and apartheid patterns of privilege, the few who can feed from the troughs of patronage, protection and graft. The few who construct islands of conspicuous consumption in huge lakes of impoverishment. In these contexts the metanarratives of ‘the New South Africa’ are unravelling. Social cohesion is elusive. For the many, the many encumbered by the chains of a too-old South Africa, for the many, I would argue, learning simply to get on together has become a lot harder now than it was in 1994.Of learningA final attribute of most post-apartheid memory work. It has made the assumption, or at least relied unduly on the assumption, that constructions of the past – the study of history – are about learning from the ‘mistakes’ of that past.I’ve been studying history all my adult life, and the one sure thing I’ve learned is that societies hardly ever learn from the mistakes of their pasts. Working with those pasts is important for other reasons, some of which I’ve already alluded to.Time does not allow a full exploration of what is a complex question; suffice it to suggest a different paradigm for engaging the question after naming two linked consequences of the learning-from-mistakes assumption. First, it leads, or slips, too easily into didactic modes and forms. There are lessons to be learned, and the learner must be clear on what they are. For the learner – whether the viewer of an exhibition, the reader of a textbook, the listener to a radio programme – for the learner this is an experience of paternalism.Second, the assumption encourages reliance on experts to ensure that learning takes place. The knowledge of these experts, whether historians or archivists, museologists or anthropologists, is a source of significant power, and they exert an almost unavoidably paternalist influence over when and how memory is constructed. Memory itself has developed as a field of expert knowledge and is often appropriated by its own emerging cohort of experts. They tend to decide on behalf of non-experts. Paternalism. Non-experts typically challenge this power only through direct action in which they insist on their memories being constructed in the modes and forms they desire.Paternalism, of course, is always profoundly alienating. Its resilience in our memory institutions explains in large part the difficulty they’ve experienced in securing a sense of ownership by communities, in realising meaningful popular participation in their constructions of the past, in creating new publics. Public programming has been mostly about outreach and very little about in-reach – the public reaching in, participating in. Democratisation – decolonisation – of our memory institutions has suffered accordingly. As Jacques Derrida has argued: “Effective democratisation can always be measured by this essential criterion: the participation in and the access to the archive, its constitution, and its interpretation.”Societies, I believe, and individuals possibly as well, learn most readily not from the past but from the future. What we perceive to be the future opening to us, what we experience as our participation in the making of that future, what we feel as our smaller journeys joining with larger journeys of collectivity, nation and humankind, determine in fundamental ways our embrace of values, symbols, narratives and pasts.What we learn from the past, I am suggesting, is shaped indelibly by what we are learning from the future. When we feel alienated from the future – when it feels like a closing rather than an opening, when energy is stifled and opportunity circumscribed, when paternalism is privileged over participation, when experts determine constructions of knowledge for us, when our personal journeys feel disconnected from or unconnected to larger journeys – when we feel alienated from the future, then mistakes of the past become a foreign country to us.Equally – and this is another form of alienation – when we feel overly at home with the future – when its opening is overdetermined for us or by us, when energy and opportunity are controlled willingly, when we receive the knowledge of experts and eschew the responsibilities of participation, when our personal journeys are subsumed by larger journeys – when we feel overly at home with the future, then the mistakes of the past become a foreign country to us.The mistakes of South Africa’s past, I would submit, have become a foreign country to us.And the imperative is to befriend them. I didn’t say ‘learn from them.’ Befriend them. Hold them. Give them sanctuary. Be hospitable to them.The best example of this I can think of from Madiba’s life is the way in which during the prison years he held memory of his pre-capture sacrifice of domestic life to struggle. Not that he would have done differently; not that he did do differently in the post-prison years. But his holding of memory contributed to an intense engagement with the idea of ‘the domestic’, and a profound nurturing – from prison – of that space.Befriending the mistakes of the past – which I am arguing is of the same order as, if not the same as, befriending the future – befriending our mistakes is the work of memory, the work of archive.The archive, in the formulation of Jacques Derrida, opens out of the future. The call of justice here, the call of justice at work in archive, is a call for archive to be opened fundamentally to participation. Participation in its constitution and in its interpretation. Opened to the endeavour of experts and non-experts alike. Opened to the voices of people. Opened to contestation. Liberated from the tyrannies of didacticism and paternalism.ConclusionAt the outset I posed a number of questions. Has our post-apartheid memory work been too superficial? Have we only scratched the surface of our country’s pain and alienation? Does the really hard work – the work which truly embraces damage and offers healing – remain to be done? To what extent are the failures of the post-apartheid project failures of memory?I think you know by now what my necessarily tentative and preliminary answers are. What to do about it, I think, is the critical issue. Here time has allowed me only the posing of what I regard as the key questions, the key ‘how’ questions: How can we avoid the pitfalls of deploying memory work to the service of metanarrative? How can we open the metanarratives we have adopted, unavoidably have adopted, to problematisation and deconstruction? How best to break down our cultures of opacity? How do we enable the decolonisation of our memory institutions? How do we tend the place of bruise, of wound, of damage? How do we create conditions for healing, without prescription, without blueprint? How do we rescue the post-apartheid reconciliation project? How do we befriend the mistakes of our pasts? How do we grow up as a nation? How do we learn to live without Madiba?I haven’t provided answers to these questions. But I have suggested that it is critical that we be asking them, engaging them, framing our memory work in relation to them. Critical for all of us. But especially so for an organisation carrying the name of Nelson Mandela conjoined with the concept of memory.So we at the Nelson Mandela Foundation have a particular responsibility. Given the extent to which the figure, the symbol, ‘Nelson Mandela’ has been deployed in constructing ‘the New South Africa’. Given his association with the ‘memory for justice’ tradition. Given his participation in the genesis and early implementation of South Africa’s reconciliation project. Given his directive that the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory’s most important shaping influence should be the call of justice.I have no doubt that had he been younger at the advent of post-apartheid transition, he would have vigorously and publicly contested his elevation to the status of icon, even saint.He would have disturbed the reliance of ‘the New South Africa’ on his personal narrative deployed as metanarrative. Listen to him reflecting during 1998, in a first draft of what was intended to be a sequel to his autobiography: “One issue that deeply worried me in prison was the false image that I unwittingly projected to the outside world; of being regarded as a saint. I never was one, even on the basis of an earthly definition of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”I have no doubt that had he been younger towards the end of his presidency, he would have acted robustly to ensure that the TRC Final Report was not buried and the huge, rich TRC archive with it. He would have prioritised the rescuing of what became a fatally flawed springboard.I have no doubt that had he been younger in the first decade of the 21st century, he would have summoned his energy against patronage, protection and graft. Listen again to him reflecting in that 1998 manuscript: “But history never stops to play tricks with seasoned and world famous freedom fighters. Frequently erstwhile revolutionaries have easily succumbed to greed, and the tendency to divert public resources for personal enrichment ultimately overwhelmed them. By amassing vast personal wealth, and by betraying the noble objectives which made them famous, they virtually deserted the masses of the people and joined the former oppressors …”If only. If only.But, as he has enjoined us repeatedly in recent years, “it is, now, in your hands.” In our hands to engage memory work as fundamental to the success of the post-apartheid project. In our hands to engage rather than avoid the politics of memory. In our hands to get our hands dirty.In our hands to reach for a just politics. A politics mindful of the call of justice. A politics straining for a justice which is always coming.  A justice defined by one’s relation to ‘the other’. The stranger. The one who does not fit. The one who disturbs ‘us’, who contests ‘our’ space. Who opens us to what is coming. Who is most deeply inside us at the same time as being ‘outside’. Who importunes us to reach in and reach out simultaneously. Who whispers in our ear that while an army can liberate a country, only we can liberate ourselves. Who reminds us that ‘the Long Walk’ has no ending.Who points to what Madiba said in the final sentences of Long Walk to Freedom: “I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest … But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger …”last_img read more

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first_imgLimits on foreign exchange This policy change will especially have an impact on the local mining sector, as there are several mining companies with assets and operations in South Africa and on the African continent that have a primary listings in Australia, Canada and the UK, and a secondary listing on the JSE. Macquarie First South Securities CEO Franco Lorenzani explained that inward listed shares traditionally attracted low volumes due to limits imposed on foreign exchange allowances. Examples include Forbes Coal, with a primary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), and Ferrum Crescent, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and London’s Alternative Investments Market (AIM). Both companies gained a secondary listing on the JSE in 2011. “The message that the JSE will share with companies with African assets is that there is capital in South Africa,” said Burke. “The JSE has a responsibility to provide an enabling environment in which South Africans and Africans can benefit from their resources and companies operating here. Creates listing opportunities “This augurs well for the JSE attracting further resource listings and we look forward to meeting the international mining companies with assets in Africa during Mining Indaba,” the JSE’s John Burke said in a statement this week. “On account of the policy change, both retail and institutional investors will have more flexibility and this could increase liquidity in dual listed shares.” Due to the policy change, inward or dual-listed shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange will be classified as domestic assets and will be able to attract increased investment. He added that the National Treasury, the Reserve Bank and the JSE are to be applauded for tackling the issue as South Africa would benefit with increased employment, revenue and the social benefits of mining. “Now the investment decision is based on merit rather than the shackles of regulatory issues and dual listed companies will be able to raise capital more easily in South Africa,” he said. “There’s demand for commodities particularly out of Asia and other markets and this change was imperative to encourage investment in the region.” If a company is already listed elsewhere, a secondary listing on the JSE can be fast-tracked as the JSE recognises exchanges that are members of the World Federation of Exchanges.center_img During Mining Indaba, this year as in other years, two showcases are held which teach investors how to invest in mining companies and then give audiences the opportunity to hear from and meet senior mining company executives. The JSE also makes a considerable effort to expose its listed companies to both local and international fund managers and funds. Sasfin Capital has approximately a quarter of its clients inward listed with primary listings in jurisdictions including Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE). “The reality is that if a business has projects in Africa, the JSE should be a viable preferred destination to list the business and raise capital for that project.” A recent policy change by the National Treasury makes it easier for South African investors to trade in foreign domiciled companies, and the JSE now considers these companies eligible for inclusion in its domestic indices. Providing exposure for listed companies 7 February 2012 “The recent relaxation by Treasury will go a long way to resolving these issues, and we believe that this creates a good opportunity for offshore companies with South African assets to list on the JSE and take advantage of these capital markets,” said Sasfin Capital’s Sarah Williams. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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first_imgSouth African President Jacob Zuma at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos in 2010. Zuma will not attend this year’s event, but South Africa will still be well represented by government ministers, heads of major corporations, and leaders in the media, arts, education and social investment. (Photo copyright World Economic Forum)• Fikile MakhobaBrand South Africa+27 71 155 9192FikileM@brandsouthafrica.com• WEF Davos 2014: Keeping up with a fast-changing world• Watch: Davos 2014 pre-meeting press conference• Watch: Nelson Mandela adresses Davos in 1999 • Take action for competitiveness • Gallery: Brand South Africa in Davos“South Africa is easy to sell. Our country is successful, with lots of potential.”At a send-off in Johannesburg on Thursday for members of the high-powered Team South Africa set to represent the country at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos next week, President Jacob Zuma urged them to take every opportunity to promote South Africa to the world.Zuma described the WEF meeting as “one of the foremost marketing opportunities for nations and business around the world” – “a good opportunity for us as South Africans to share ideas on how to present our beautiful country”.Team South Africa delegatesWork pressure at home and the upcoming national elections mean Zuma, for the first time since he became president, will not attend Davos. But the members of Team South Africa who will be there include government ministers, heads of major corporations, and leaders in the media, arts, education and social investment.Representing the government will be national ministers Trevor Manual, Rob Davies, Derek Hanekom, Ebrahim Patel, Edna Molewa, Malusi Gigaba, Pravin Gordhan and Yunis Carrim.Brand South Africa deputy chair Happy Ntshingila will attend, alongside the organisation’s chief executive Miller Matola, director of strategic marketing and communications Wendy Tlou, UK country manager John Battersby, and research manager Dr Petrus de Kock.Other South African bigwigs set to promote the country in Davos include movie producer Anant Singh, Discovery’s Adrian Gore, Naspers boss Koos Bekker, Barclays CEO Maria Ramos and chair Wendy Lucas-Bull, philanthropist and extreme sportsman Lewis Pugh, Mail & Guardian deputy chair Trevor Ncube, and mining mogul Patrice Motsepe.The African agendaBut Davos is not only about marketing – it’s also a forum for leaders across the world to share ideas on how to make a better future. Zuma said Africa’s interests must not be neglected.“WEF is an excellent platform for engagement on world issues, in particular to promote a more equitable economic world order,” he said. “It is also an important platform to flag, on the world stage, issues that are of concern to the African continent and to push the African agenda in general.”Zuma stressed South Africa’s selling points: the achievements made since democracy in 1994, the country’s potential as a stable and developing investment destination, the fight against joblessness, and the opportunities promised by the National Development Plan and New Growth Path.“We are pleased that all of us put our country first when we are in Davos and sell South Africa. And indeed there is a lot to communicate about our country. There are achievements we can speak of as South Africans which will generate confidence amongst investment partners.”Strong foundationsHe also paid tribute to former president Nelson Mandela, who died in December.“Our founding president, tata Nelson Mandela, and the first democratic administration laid a firm foundation and we continue to build on that foundation to take the country forward,” he said. “We remain a nation at work for a better life, striving each day to do better.”Zuma said it is “indisputable” that South Africa was a “much better place than it was before 1994”. “Since 1994, five million more people are employed, with total employment at 14-million people. Obviously we want more jobs, which is why the partnership with the private sector, labour and community organisations remains critical to create the right environment.”He also raised the National Development Plan and New Growth Path, which outline the objectives and work required for South Africa to achieve significant socioeconomic development and growth by 2030.“The New Growth Path identifies six critical job drivers, which we are promoting for investments. These are agriculture, mining, tourism, the green economy, manufacturing and infrastructure development,” Zuma said.“As you engage the world you will be able to say we know exactly where we want to be by 2030 and we are working very hard to get there as South Africans.”Zuma ended with some advice to delegates: “For those of you who will be going to Davos for the first time, do not forget your snow shoes and very heavy coats,” he said. “It can be very cold over there, in the literal sense!“We know that you will all represent the country well. We wish you all the best.”last_img read more

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first_imgReports surfaced this weekend that hackers have broken into the Nasdaq’s communications networks. The company says that the breach did not impact the Nasdaq’s stock trading systems and that it did not expose any customer data.The Associated Press reports that hackers broke into the service multiple times over more than a year. The target was apparently Directors Desk, an online communication and collaboration tool that helps corporations share documents with directors between scheduled board meetings. While the information you could conceivably glean from these meetings could be of great value, the FBI says it does not have a motive at this time for the intrusions.Although the investigations were ongoing, Nasdaq had kept silent about the security breach until the story broke this weekend. Only then did it issue a statement and notify customers about the situation.According to Nasdaq OMX spokesperson Frank DeMaria, the company had detected “suspicious files” during a routine security scan.The news is the latest in a series of technology scares and snafus that have struck Wall Street. In May of last year, a “flash crash” set off a chain reaction that briefly wiped out $1 trillion in market value. Photo credits: Flickr user Michael Tags:#Finance#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts audrey watterslast_img read more