Raymond Suttner, The influence of Walter Sisulu and Moses Kotane in moulding the political development of Nelson Mandela

There is no doubt that Mandela was at times after his release more popular than the ANC and that he could sometimes act without organisational authority. Continue reading

Raymond Suttner: Mandela as underground ‘black pimpernel’, late 1961-a glimpse

Below is a glimpse of Mandela operating underground as the ‘black pimpernel’ before his arrest in 1962. Continue reading

Mandela dances with Statistics South Africa choir on presentation of 1996 census results


Thank you to Tony McGregor for photographs

Raymond Suttner, Mandela:strong, tough and tender

Mandela as boxerMadibaandchild

There is a myth that to be strong and manly one cannot also be tender and gentle. Mandela, in a range of ways dispels any such myth. Thereby his life is a challenge to tough and violent masculinities, that are all too prevalent in South Africa today. For Mandela there were times where he found it necessary to fight, both as a boxer and in MK, times where he had to show his strength as in prison. But this photograph with a baby is only one of a range of manifestations of his tenderness.

Raymond Suttner, What did it mean when Mandela said he was willing to die? What does it mean for us in our own lives?

Possibly the closing words of Nelson Mandela’s statement from the dock as ‘accused number one’ in the Rivonia trial are amongst the most quoted in political history. Continue reading

Zapiro, An auspicious meeting

Zapiro, An auspicious meeting

Zapiro (Jonathan Shapiro) is a leading South African cartoonist, here capturing Obama’s imminent visit to South Africa, receiving the red carpet treatment from Zuma

Nic Dawes, Mandela:the long goodbye

Nic Dawes, Mandela:the long goodbye

Why Cornel West is upset about Barack Obama swearing on Martin Luther King’s bible

Nelson Mandela. Short documentary done by Nelson Mandela Foundation

I think this film gives some sense of Mandela’s life Continue reading

Michael Neocosmos, ‘From Peoples’ Politics to State Politics: Aspects of National Liberation in South Africa’


An important article on the displacement of popular power and the UDF from the mid 1980s onwards. It is a chapter in Adebayo O. Olukoshi (ed), The Politics of Opposition in Contemporary Africa.  Nordic Africa Institute.  1998.

The significance of the Agang launch

It is hard not to be impressed watching on television and now reading the speech of Dr Mamphela Ramphele at Agang’s launch. 


How much weight to we place on a speech? Continue reading