South African Land Reform for What?
Land and Inequality / Southern Africa

South African Land Reform for What?

On June 30, South African President Jacob Zuma signed legislation re-opening the process of land restitution in South Africa. After the democratic transition in 1994, the South African government had made plans to compensate people who had been forcibly removed from their land, because of the racist land policies enacted in the twentieth century. Land in South Africa is about more than just economics. It is about homes and history, identity and justice. But it might also be time to think beyond land redistribution and towards other kinds of economic restitution. Continue reading

Africa and Western World / Military Interventions / Religion, Spirituality, and the Supernatural / Southern Africa

Of Witches and Drones and How We (All) Normalize Violence

The basic logic governing the use of drones and of witchcraft accusations is not as different as many Americans might like to think. Why do so many of us accept the use of drones? Because we believe that people are plotting to harm us, and we do not want ourselves or our loved ones to get hurt. Why do some Africans kill people believed to be witches? Because they believe that people are plotting to harm them, and they do not want themselves or their loved ones to get hurt. However, in the US, many of us have the luxury of expecting violence to be distant and rare. Continue reading