Opinions

 

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. 

What are our parliamentarians saying and hearing about archives?

The Archival Platform has argued that the significance of the archives, and the role that national and provincial archives and records services play in ensuring the proper management and care of all government records is insufficiently recognised and acknowledged by our leaders and decision-makers. In this post Jo-Anne Duggan turns to the Hansard to find out what our parliamentarians are saying - and hearing - about archives.

The AGSA’s report on local government 2012- 2013: Implications for records management

The AGSA’s Consolidated general report on the audit outcomes of Local Government 2012-2013 indicates that in many instances record keeping is inadequate of non-existent! In this post we consider the statements made about the state of record keeping in this report, and the measures put in place to improve the situation.

Our new minister is responsible for archives too!

In all the uproar surrounding the appointment of our new minister something positive has emerged: arts and culture organisations have been coming out in defence of the sector, explaining why arts and cuture matters in society. We put the case for archives.

Don’s story

Heather MacAlister tells the story of her husband’s search for his birth mother - and how she was found, through some determined archival sleuthing!

Anecdotes and Archives: Scottish South Africans?

Katie Mooney tells the story of her family drawing on diverse sources: family anecdotes, archival documents, tales of fiction, memories and facts.

Cecil Rhodes, Heritage Formation and Contemporary Popular Culture

Duane Jethro, notes that as the state has chosen not to ‘unsettle’ apartheid-era monuments and heritage sites activists have taken matters into their own hands and staged various cultural interventions in an attempt to disrupt these static commemorations of power.

My tears over the grave of my father

Vuyani Booi shares his experience of searching for, and finding the grave of his late father, a journey which affirmed the significance, value and meaning of family memories.

Cultures butchered in a foreign land?

Sebinane Lekoekoe visits the Musée du quai Branly and reflects on the manner in which cultural objects removed from one land are displayed in another. He argues that the communities of origin should play a significant role in deciding how their material is displayed so that it’s significance is not lost.

Invented digital traditions

Dineo Skosana writes about how, in the past, funerals of the well renowned, political activists and prominent members of the society were recorded, whereas today funerals of commoners are increasingly being videoed.

The Art Archive

Emile considers the ‘art archive’, the visual constructons of the human imagination that stand alongside other forms of the human trace such as letters, books, oral testimonies, etc., and as important in understanding the meaning and scope of archive and memory.