Opinions

 

Who is entitled to a state funeral and what does it tell us about commemoration in South Africa?

Dineo Skosana considers debates that have arisen around the decision to accord the late Senzo Meyiwa and official provincial funeral.

Missing documents at the Department of Home Affairs

In our quest to understand the state of records management in the public sector the Archival Platform commissioned a number of ‘archive activists’ to access records that should be easily available to citizens, and to report back on their experiences. This post focuses on challenges encountered by an activist attempting to obtain an unabridged brith certificate from the Cape Town Regional Office of the Department of Home Affairs in Barrack Street. It moves on to discuss the role of unabridged birth certificates in human trafficking, children travelling and identity theft and closes with some thoughts on the Department’s digitisation policy as a solution to safeguarding paper records, applications and certificates.

Intangible heritage and the archive

Deirdre Prins-Solani considers the complex relationship beween intagible heritage and the archive at the nexus of archive actvism.

Don’s story: Part Two

Heather MacAlister describes Don’s first meeting with his mother.

People in the city

Lucelle Campbell comments on the plight of homeless people in Cape Town and the deep historical divisions that entrench inequalities in the city.

Governance-based evidence and service delivery protests

Isabel Schelnack-Kelly, responding to an Archival Platform post on the AGSA’s report on local government 2012-2013 considers the link between governance-based evidence and service delivery protests. She argues that the lack of credible information compromises accountability and fuels protests.

Social cohesion: a national imperative and a challenge for archivists

Jo-Anne Duggan considers some recent initiatives aimed at promoting social cohesion and asks what archivists can do to contribute to this challenge.

University of Fort Hare: Post-graduate Archives and Records Management diploma

Vuyani Booi offers an overview of the University of Fort Hare Post-graduate Archives and Records Management diploma programme

The Archive and Memory / Memory as Archive

Deirdre Prins-Solani reflects on the seamless ways in which memory and archives connect.

Social Cohesion, the TRC and Justice

Mbongiseni Buthelezi reflects an op-ed published on the Daily Maverick website on 27 June 2014 and written by Jane Quin titled “De Kock ordered my sister’s killing – and no, his debt is not paid”. Buthelezi concludes that It is nimperatve, for the project of social cohesion, to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of apartheid-era crimes and human rights violations.

Memorialising a barbarous act of aggression: the first Maseru raid (1982)

Sebinane Lekoekoe, writes about the 1982 cross-border raid, in which 42 people were killed and many others wounded, from the perspective of the citizens of his country, whose sovereignty was violated. He asks how this act could or should be memorialised and how survivors, who still suffer, might be compensated.

Jacqui Quin and Leon Meyer: The life of a photograph

Jo-Anne Duggan traces the fascinating life story of the photograph of Jaqui and her husband Leon Meyer taken in the mortuary in Maseru and published in the Sunday Times on 22 December 1985. The life of this particular picture took a couple of unexpected turns as it made its way in the world. It didn’t, like others published in the same edition of the newspaper slip quietly into obscurity, to lie dormant in the archive. It left its mark on the family and on the photographer and it took on another life, inspiring a novel and being implicated in some way or another in a bombing.

De Kock ordered my sister’s killing – and no, his debt is not paid

Jane Quin’s op-ed published online by the Daily Maverick on 27 June 2014, shortly before de Kock’s parole application was considered by the Minister of Justice raises an issue that will resonate with many South Africans: the quest for justice and the failure of the state to follow through on the recommendations by the TRC. In this op-ed Jane reflects on the killing of Jacqueline Quin and husband Leon Meyer, known in exile as Joe, four other MK operatives, Nomkhosi Mary Mini, Lulamile Dantile, Vivian Stanley Mathee, Monwabisi Themba Mayoli (all South African citizens) and three Lesotho nationals Mankaelang Mohatle, Boemo Tau and Amelia Leseuyeho in a cross-border raid in Lesotho in 1985.

Refections on Jane Quin’s Maverick piece

In her post Reflections on Jane Quin’s piece, De Kock ordered my sister’s killing: an no he has not paid for it, Theresa Edlmann touches on the unresolvedness of notions of reconciliation, justice and accountability in post-apartheid South Africa, and how they form part of the complex legacies of the TRC 16 years after the last hearings took place. Edlmann concludes that what is needed right now is compassion and wisdom from both government and society, to enable a healing and re-humanising process governed by respect, not political expedience, trite notions of reconciliation or simplistic understandings of justice.

Opening the TRC Archive: a SAHA case study

Catherine Kennedy, director of the South African History Archive (SAHA) describes the work her organisation has done to making the work and records of, and surrounding, the South African TRC more readily accessible, drawing on the recommendations made by the TRC itself to direct its work.