South Africa Quotes

Quotes tagged as "south-africa" Showing 1-30 of 217
Peter Singer
“To protest about bullfighting in Spain, the eating of dogs in South Korea, or the slaughter of baby seals in Canada while continuing to eat eggs from hens who have spent their lives crammed into cages, or veal from calves who have been deprived of their mothers, their proper diet, and the freedom to lie down with their legs extended, is like denouncing apartheid in South Africa while asking your neighbors not to sell their houses to blacks.”
Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

Alan Paton
“Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that's the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing. Nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him if he gives too much.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country

Desmond Tutu
“We learn from history that we don't learn from history!”
Desmond Tutu

Nadine Gordimer
“Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you've made sense of one small area.”
Nadine Gordimer

Steve Biko
“At the time of his death, Biko had a wife and three children for which he left a letter that stated in one part: “I've devoted my life to see equality for blacks, and at the same time, I've denied the needs of my family. Please understand that I take these actions, not out of selfishness or arrogance, but to preserve a South Africa worth living in for blacks and whites.”
Steve Biko

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“The most upsetting thing about Society’s attitude towards disabled people is that many millions of disabled people became disabled while trying to please Society, the very same bitch that secretly regards them as subhuman.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana, The Use and Misuse of Children

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Some of us were brought into this troubled world primarily or only to increase our fathers’ chances of not being left by our mothers, or vice versa.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana, The Use and Misuse of Children

J.M. Coetzee
“He would not mind hearing Petrus’s story one day. But preferably not reduced to English. More and more he is convinced that English is an unfit medium for the truth of South Africa.”
J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace

Mark Gevisser
“There is one key area in which Zuma has made no attempt at reconciliation whatsoever: criminal justice and security. The ministers of justice, defence, intelligence (now called 'state security' in a throwback to both apartheid and the ANC's old Stalinist past), police and communications are all die-hard Zuma loyalists. Whatever their line functions, they will also play the role they have played so ably to date: keeping Zuma out of court—and making sure the state serves Zuma as it once did Mbeki.”
Mark Gevisser

Lauren Beukes
“Traffic in Joburg is like the democratic process. Every time you think it's going to get moving and take you somewhere, you hit another jam.”
Lauren Beukes, Zoo City

“We make the choice . . . and then the choice makes us”
Jaco Strydom, Confessions oor kerkwees

Tahir Shah
“Visit Cape Town and history is never far from your grasp. It lingers in the air, a scent on the breezy, an explanation of circumstance that shaped the Rainbow People. Stroll around the old downtown and it's impossible not to be affected by the trials and tribulations of the struggle. But, in many ways, it is the sense of triumph in the face of such adversity that makes the experience all the more poignant.”
Tahir Shah, Travels With Myself

Mark Gevisser
“Even if Zuma was to develop the authoritarian impulses of a Mugabe, he would be checked—not least by his own party, which set a continental precedent by ousting Thabo Mbeki in 2007, after it felt he had outstayed his welcome by seeking a third term as party president. The ANC appears to have set itself against that deathtrap of African democracy: the ruler for life.”
Mark Gevisser

“It's very difficult not to come across as a white supremacist when there are so many black inferiorists around.”
David Bullard

“I thought I was getting away from politics for a while. But I now realise that the vuvuzela is to these World Cup blogs what Julius Malema is to my politics columns: a noisy, but sadly unavoidable irritant. With both Malema and the vuvuzela, their importance is far overstated. Malema: South Africa's Robert Mugabe? I think not. The vuvuzela: an archetypal symbol of 'African culture?' For African civilisation's sake, I seriously hope not.

Both are getting far too much airtime than they deserve. Both have thrust themselves on to the world stage through a combination of hot air and raucous bluster. Both amuse and enervate in roughly equal measure. And both are equally harmless in and of themselves — though in Malema's case, it is the political tendency that he represents, and the right-wing interests that lie behind his diatribes that is dangerous. With the vuvu I doubt if there are such nefarious interests behind the scenes; it may upset the delicate ears of the middle classes, both here and at the BBC, but I suspect that South Africa's democracy will not be imperilled by a mass-produced plastic horn.”
Richard Calland

“A culture of secrecy is like the bad stench created by cat pee—it is very difficult to get rid of.”
Pierre de Vos

Alan Paton
“Have you a room that you could let?"
"Yes, I have a room that I could let, but I do not want to let it. I have only two rooms, and there are six of us already, and the boys and girls are growing up. But school books cost money, and my husband is ailing, and when he is well it is only thirty-five shillings a week. And six shillings of that is for the rent, and three shillings of that is for the rent, and three shillings for travelling, and a shilling that we may all be buried decently, and a shilling for the books, and three shillings is for clothes and that is little enough, and a shilling for my husband's beer, and a shilling for his tobacco, and these I do not grudge for he is a decent man and does not gamble or spend his money on other women, and a shilling for the Church, and a shilling for sickness. And that leaves seventeen shillings for food for six, and we are always hungry. Yes I have a room but I do not want to let it. How much could you pay?"
"I could pay three shillings a week for the room."
"And I would not take it."
"Three shillings and sixpence."
"Three shillings and sixpence. You can't fill your stomach on privacy. You need privacy when your children are growing up, but you can't fill your stomach on it. Yes, I shall take three shillings and sixpence.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country

Christopher Hitchens
“There was a time in my life when I did a fair bit of work for the tempestuous Lucretia Stewart, then editor of the American Express travel magazine, Departures. Together, we evolved a harmless satire of the slightly driveling style employed by the journalists of tourism. 'Land of Contrasts' was our shorthand for it. ('Jerusalem: an enthralling blend of old and new.' 'South Africa: a harmony in black and white.' 'Belfast, where ancient meets modern.') It was as you can see, no difficult task. I began to notice a few weeks ago that my enemies in the 'peace' movement had decided to borrow from this tattered style book. The mantra, especially in the letters to this newspaper, was: 'Afghanistan, where the world's richest country rains bombs on the world's poorest country.'

Poor fools. They should never have tried to beat me at this game. What about, 'Afghanistan, where the world's most open society confronts the world's most closed one'? 'Where American women pilots kill the men who enslave women.' 'Where the world's most indiscriminate bombers are bombed by the world's most accurate ones.' 'Where the largest number of poor people applaud the bombing of their own regime.' I could go on. (I think number four may need a little work.) But there are some suggested contrasts for the 'doves' to paste into their scrapbook. Incidentally, when they look at their scrapbooks they will be able to re-read themselves saying things like, 'The bombing of Kosovo is driving the Serbs into the arms of Milosevic.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

Mark Gevisser
“What in Mandela was seen as an almost saintly ability to conciliate could, in a lesser man, be read as weak-kneed populism.”
Mark Gevisser

Beric J. Croome
“Even taxpayers have rights!”
Beric J. Croome, Taxpayers' Rights in South Africa

Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“In reality most human beings are not, to most human beings, more important than money.”
Mokokoma Mokhonoana, The Use and Misuse of Children

“Moral writing is boring.”
Johan van Wyk

Archie Henderson
“Archie Henderson has won no awards, written no books and never played any representative sport. He was an under-11 tournament-winning tennis player as a boy, but left the game when he discovered rugby where he was one of the worst flyhalves he can remember. This did not prevent him from having opinions on most things in sport.

His moment of glory came in 1970 when he predicted—correctly as it turned out—that Griquas would beat the Blue Bulls (then still the meekly named Noord-Transvaal) in the Currie Cup final. It is something for which he has never been forgiven by the powers-that-be at Loftus. Archie has played cricket in South Africa and India and gave the bowling term military medium a new and more pacifist interpretation. His greatest ambition was to score a century on Llandudno beach before the tide came in.”
Archie Henderson

Ian Martin
“Religion and nationalism? I defecate on the altar of religious conviction, and wipe my arse on the flag of national pride.”
Ian Martin, Pop-Splat

“Here was a temporary solution. Parole would get Mofokeng and Mokoena out of jail as quickly as possible. Other details could be sorted out later. I accompanied Nyambi to Kroonstad jail at the end of October and remember that as he told Mofokeng and Mokoena the news—that they would be home for Christmas—smiles slowly but surely transformed the sombre, cautious expressions on their faces.

Big problem: it was discovered in December, a full two months after the judgment was made, that the court order does not mention the NCCS at all. Consequently, the NCCS interpreted the court's order as having removed the NCCS's jurisdiction to deal with any "lifers" sentenced pre-1994. The members of the NCCS packed their briefcases and went home.

No one knows why the judgment didn't mention the NCCS; maybe the judge who wrote it, Justice Bess Nkabinde, simply didn't know how the parole system operates; but eight of her fellow judges, the best in the land, found with her.

The Mofokeng and Mokoena families, who are from 'the poorest of the poor', as the ANC likes to say, are distraught.

But the rest—the law men, the politicians and the government ministers—well, quite frankly, they don't seem to give a fig. Zuma has gone on holiday, to host his famous annual Christmas party for children. Mapisa-Nqakula has also gone on holiday. Mofokeng and Mokoena remain where they were put 17 years ago, despite not having committed any crime.”
Jeremy Gordin

Enock Maregesi
“Kamishna … karibu," alisema Nafi huku akisimama na kutupa gazeti mezani na kuchukua karatasi ya faksi, iliyotumwa.
"Ahsante. Kuna nini …"
"Kamishna, imekuja faksi kutoka Oslo kama nilivyokueleza – katika simu. Inakutaka haraka, kesho, lazima kesho, kuwahi kikao Alhamisi mjini Copenhagen," alisema Nafi huku akimpa kamishna karatasi ya faksi.
"Mjini Copenhagen!" alisema kamishna kwa kutoamini.
"Ndiyo, kamishna … Sidhani kama kuna jambo la hatari lakini."
"Nafi, nini kimetokea!"
"Kamishna … sijui. Kwa kweli sijui. Ilipofika, hii faksi, kitu cha kwanza niliongea na watu wa WIS kupata uthibitisho wao. Nao hawajui. Huenda ni mauaji ya jana ya Meksiko. Hii ni siri kubwa ya tume kamishna, na ndiyo maana Oslo wakaingilia kati."
"Ndiyo. Kila mtu ameyasikia mauaji ya Meksiko. Ni mabaya. Kinachonishangaza ni kwamba, jana niliongea na makamu … kuhusu mabadiliko ya katiba ya WODEA. Hakunambia chochote kuhusu mkutano wa kesho!"
"Kamishna, nakusihi kuwa makini. Dalili zinaonyesha hali si nzuri hata kidogo. Hawa ni wadhalimu tu … wa madawa ya kulevya."
"Vyema!" alijibu kamishna kwa jeuri na hasira. Halafu akaendelea, "Kuna cha ziada?"
"Ijumaa, kama tulivyoongea wiki iliyopita, nasafiri kwenda Afrika Kusini."
"Kikao kinafanyika Alhamisi, Nafi, huwezi kusafiri Ijumaa …"
"Binti yangu atafukuzwa shule, kam …"
"Nafi, ongea na chuo … wambie umepata dharura utaondoka Jumatatu; utawaona Jumanne … Fuata maadili ya kazi tafadhali. Safari yako si muhimu hivyo kulinganisha na tume!"
"Sawa! Profesa. Niwie radhi, nimekuelewa, samahani sana. Samahani sana.”
Enock Maregesi, Kolonia Santita

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