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Richard Calland

Election 2004: More of the same

Remember ''Heineken — the beer that refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach''? It was a great marketing slogan. But now, if you search the Heineken website, it is conspicuous by its absence. Advertising and marketing strategists like to move on; staleness is to be avoided at all costs, which is why it is a bit surprising considering the ANC's old slogan ...

Senor Mesa versus the coca lord

Bolivia. You land at 4 000m above sea level, so it is not just the scenery that takes the breath away. Surrounding the country's international airport are the poverty stricken shanty towns of the world's highest capital city, La Paz. Personal popularity will allow Bolivia's active president a window of opportunity to reinvent his government's relationship with its people.

Democracy of a special type

President Thabo Mbeki's is a presidency given to deep philosophical reflection, so it's surprising that a watershed debate he started on African democracy has been so under-reported.

Shooting fish in a barrel

Last Monday should have been formally named ''National Corruption Day'' or perhaps, better, ''Corruption Awareness Day'' -- which has the advantage of an appealingly apt acronym. But Monday's haul represented not so much a few bites as a trawler load.

A licence to loot

Tom Devine is a decent American. A fighter for what he calls "free speech dissent" -- whistle-blowing to you and me -- he conceals the steel of a lifelong professional commitment to whistle-blowers beneath a gentle, soft-spoken exterior. It seems like he could not hurt a fly. But when he talks about Executive Order 13303 a quiet rage gathers about him.

What will the US leave behind?

As Belize began its long weekend of partying on the night of September 10, the Imperial power of this age, the United States, began a different form of commemoration. The second anniversary of 9/11 appears to herald a new period of, perhaps, a deeper self-reflection. At least that's the hope.

South Africa needs a Hutton

There have been various calls from a variety of sources for a judicial inquiry into the arms deal here in South Africa. And we should seriously consider holding one, argues Calland. South Africa must find a way to address the unanswered questions that remain.

A conspiracy of silence

Political parties need money to operate. The question is how much and at what level should disclosure be required. Richard Calland draws attention to the number of left-of-centre parties that cosy up to big business and lose sight of their ideological heritage.

Push for change in Zimbabwe

With apartheid South Africa it was crystal clear. There was a transnational, cross sector, multi-class, multi-race, solidarity against the regime and for the people of South Africa. Not, however, in the case of Zimbabwe now -- decidedly and distinctively not.

When spin comes unspun

New Labour's obsession with form over content has become a cancer at the heart of the Blair administration.

Fear is not nearly enough

You know that the election campaign has begun when the Democratic Alliance mounts its first assault upon the lamp-posts of the nation.

Setting Nepad’s compass

I cannot believe it. That was the reaction of many people when I told them of the appointment of Chris Stals as one of the six eminent persons who will oversee the crucial African Peer Review Mechanism.

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