Niren Tolsi

No freedom for the poor

The Foreman Road informal settlement nestles in a ravine leading down to the Palmiet River on the edge of the middle-class suburb of Clare Estate in Durban. From the top of the settlement the view across the river is of a swathe of trees and bushes, yet that is where the idyll ends.

DKNY, Diesel, Durban

"The wonderful cultural mix in Durban definitely has an effect on my work, because there is no one style of dressing," said fashion designer Amanda Laird Cherry. "It’s so inspiring to walk down Grey Street and see people in punjabis and kurthas, men walking with skins in their belts, a traditional Shembe stick and a briefcase. You see this every day, and you can’t help but be inspired."

Court gives Aids prisoners hope

Treatment of HIV/Aids, including the provision of anti-retroviral drugs, will now be available to inmates of Durban’s Westville Prison after a Durban High Court ruling by Judge Thumba Pillay. Fifteen HIV-positive prisoners had taken the prison and the departments of health and correctional services to court to force them to fulfil their constitutional and legal obligation to provide treatment.

Watch out, Durban

The 27th Durban International Film Festival will engage cinephiles on a range of issues and stories, writes Niren Tolsi.

Courts crack whip on pensions

KwaZulu-Natal social welfare and population development minister Nyanga Ngubane’s bid to avoid personally paying the legal costs of thousands of social grant applicants struggling for pensions and grants was thwarted by the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein recently.

Arrests point to political violence

The arrest of two men in connection with the murder of South African Communist Party member Mazwi Zulu in Durban’s troubled Umlazi township tends to contradict African National Congress claims that the violence is criminal rather than political. Nkosiyabo Ngubane and Sphiwe Nene were arrested at the home of Bhekisasa Xulu, the ANC councillor for Ward 80.

Violence plagues KZN local elections

Splits in the African National Congress during local elections continue to plague the Durban township of Umlazi, with violent infighting resulting in at least three deaths. At the centre of the conflict is Bhekisasa Xulu, whose election as ANC ward councillor a group of residents unsuccessfully tried to stop.

KZN police refuse to testify

National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi will not cooperate with KwaZulu-Natal Premier S'bu Ndebele's commission into alleged police bias because he does not want to be drawn into a provincial ANC power play. Sources at South African Police Service headquarters suggested that Selebi saw the commission as part of a turf war between Ndebele and provincial minister of safety and liaison Bheki Cele.

Movies go indie for Africa Day

Nu Metro and SABC Africa have launched a small festival for big ideas, writes Niren Tolsi.

‘The members will decide’

Jacob Zuma’s political future rests with the way about 3 000 delegates at next year’s ANC conference will vote for the party’s leadership. The Mail & Guardian's Monako Dibetle, Percy Zvomuya and Niren Tolsi spoke to members of the party and its affiliates.

Mhlongo Maskandi

Busi Mhlongo wears her heart on her sleeve when it comes to fallen musicians, writes Niren Tolsi.

Prisoners take fight for ARVs to court

Fifteen inmates of Durban’s Westville prison have gone to court to force the prison to provide them with HIV/Aids treatment, including anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs. According to papers they have filed in the Durban High Court, 78 inmates of the Medium B prison have died of Aids-related diseases in the past year.

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