Bryan Rostron

​The night McBride and friends blew up Magoo’s Bar

'Robert McBride: The Struggle Continues' is published by Tafelberg. This is an excerpt from the book

Race as a value in itself

Identity 'chauvinism' leads South Africans down the road to authoritarianism.

Lockerbie: Drowning the facts

A cool appraisal of the evidence shows that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was not given a fair trial, writes Bryan Rostron.

Infantile disorders

Most ANC leaders who returned from exile, including President Thabo Mbeki, received their training in the old Soviet bloc and use Stalinist jargon.

A red lesson from Italy

Tear gas billowed down the street every day as rioters battled police. Enraged protesters believed that even the Communist Party had turned its back on them. One evening, amid the debris of street barricades, I spotted two party officials -- famed for their underground resistance -- pleading with a group of rioters to renounce violent protest. This was in Rome exactly 30 years ago.

Rider Haggard rides again

The swashbuckling colonial novelist remains a persistent feature of many books on Africa. Events are not merely reported, but interpreted through the incredulous eyes of our intrepid ''white man in Africa''. Curiously, this retrograde genre remains extremely popular in South Africa.

Big Brother is alive and well

George Orwell, who would have been 100 this week, knew what it was like to be poor. ''It's fatal to look hungry,'' he wrote in Down and Out in Paris and London. ''It makes people want to kick you.''

Representatives of the righteous rich are on the march again

The righteous representatives of the rich are on the march again. But while some prepare to smite, others serenely now offer poor, ignorant Africans the comfort of the good word — in this case, the de luxe blessings of British journalism

There’s money in horror

'Some call me the devil,'' proclaims Ed Fagan delightedly. We are in a Cape Town Waterfront hotel and Fagan, a showman, is enjoying himself as he details the multibillion-dollar class action he has launched against foreign companies accused of propping up apartheid.

(Illiberal) liberalism?

The Edwardian English writer Saki (HH Munro) began one of his acerbic short stories along the lines of, ''Lady So-and-So was a passionate socialist, secure in the conviction that such a catastrophe would never arrive in her lifetime.''

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