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Monthly Archives: March, 2018

Honorary Doctorate awarded to Archbishop Thabo Makgoba: Look for God among the weak and powerless

During Stellenbosch University's centenary celebrations, the university has chosen to confer fourteen honourary doctorates on distinguished individuals from various fields and walks of life....

The Church and my human rights

South Africa's Human Rights Day is at risk of being regarded as just another excuse to gather around a braai and celebrate the fact we’re not at work. We rarely use the day as a time of reflection and consider how far we’ve come as the country, or if we’re still headed in the direction too many fought for. While our constitution may be among the best in the world, as a nation we’re still far behind in fulfilling its demands for quality education, health care, adequate housing, equitable land and economic income distribution, to name but a few. Struck by this thought, Mphuthumi Ntabeni had a conversation with his daughter, which led him to reflect on his journey to Catholicism and the role of the Church and the battle for human rights. 

REVIEW — Khwezi

In his latest review, Mphuthumi Ntabeni looks at the story of Fezekile Kuzwayo, known as Khwezi, as written by broadcast journalist Redi Tlhabi. A victim of sexual abuse and politically motivated slander, Khwezi's is a tragic tale that resulted in her fleeing from the country, while the accused went on to become one of the most controversial presidents this country has seen. 

Was Stephen Hawking a “scientific celebrity”?

Much has been written about world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking who died last week. Chris Chatteris looks at some of the content of Hawking's work and wonders about his popularising influence. He wonders if he said some of the things he did tongue in cheek. If  not, Chatteris says, then some of his speculations might just be a little "whacky". 

Is a trip to Home Affairs really a shared frustration?

Some responsibilities are mundane, painful and humbling for all South Africans. A visit to Home Affairs is one such deed that fills most with dread - even bishops. But while the frustration of long queues and a sense of helplessness are common, José Ponce de Leon reminds us that the inconvenience of admin is far more impactful on the most vulnerable South Africans and that while our experiences of frustration are shared, the outcomes are often very different. 

Stephen Hawking: What an atheist can teach believers

World-renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking, died at the age of 76 after a long struggle with a motor neurone disease on 14 March 2018. Anthony Egan takes a look at his life and the significance of his work, suggesting that there is a lot that Christian can learn from this self-proclaimed atheist.

Wasting water: a crisis and a sin!

In Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si', water is mentioned forty-seven times. Given the situation in South Africa, Mphuthumi Ntabeni looks at what Pope Francis says in Laudato Si' and relates it to the experience of people living in Cape Town, arguing that wasting water is a sin!

Ignorance, indifference and fear fuel racism

Racism, in various forms, regularly raises its ugly head in South Africa. However, racism is a global phenomenon. The Catholic bishops in South Africa have, for Lent, asked the Church to reflect on racism. Professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University in New York, Fr Bryan Massingale says that most fundamentally racism is a soul-sickness.

Should we need permits to practice our faith?

There has been, for some time, a debate in South Africa regarding the regulation of religious practitioners. The Commission for the Promotion and Protection...

Trafficking in Persons meeting in Maputo

South African Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, Bishop Abel Gabuza of Kimberley, Bishop Duncan Tsoke auxiliary of Johannesburg and Fr Peter-John Pearson, Director...

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Tribute to Andrew Mlangeni: champion against corruption

On 21 July 2020, the last remaining Rivonia trialist Andrew Mokete Mlangeni, who jailed with Nelson Mandela during the anti-apartheid struggle, died...

Will we still need school uniforms after COVID-19?

Sometimes we do things in a particular way because that is how we have always done them. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced...

Beyond the spectrum of colour!

Over the past few months, we have witnessed worldwide calls for an end to racial oppression in all its forms. Social media...

What a Sudanese girl taught me about Saint Maria Goretti

The life and death of Saint Maria Goretti is often told as a warning against giving in to sexual pleasure. Levinia Pienaar relates an experience during her time as an African-Union United Nations peacekeeper in Sudan, reflecting on this in the light of her experience of catechesis in her childhood parish. Her experience brings home the stark reality that girls and women are powerless to fend off their attackers.