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Archive for the ‘twitter’ Category

LitNet kies sy Afrikaanse woord van die jaar 2015

Die aanlyn gemeenskap LitNet het pas sy Afrikaanse woord van die jaar 2015 aangekondig.

Dis ‘n ongewone en verrassende keuse, maar volgens LitNet se redakteur, Etienne van Heerden, is dit ‘n woord wat die tydsgees stip vasvat.

Die wenwoord is #. Dis gekies uit woorde wat direk aan LitNet gestuur is, asook woorde ontvang van LitNet se Woord van die Jaar 2015-ondersteuners (die ATKV, die HAT, Taalkommissie, WAT en Netwerk24).

Maar is dit ‘n woord?

Ernst Kotzé, emeritus professor in Taalkunde aan die NMMU-universiteit verduidelik:

“‘n Mens kan die hutsteken (#) as ‘n logografiese woord beskryf wat, soos enige alfabetiese woord, in Afrikaans uitgespreek kan word, op watter wyse dan ook. Dit volg ook ‘n nuwe tradisie van woordtipes wat deur die gebruik van elektroniese teks ontstaan het, onder andere piktogramme, soos die emoji (“gesiggie met trane van vreugde”), wat deur Oxford Dictionaries in die VK as hulle woord van 2015 gekies is.”

Die voorsteller van # as LitNet se woord van die jaar 2015 is Lydia Potgieter. Sy wen R1 000 kontant.

# is gekies uit 15 woorde op LitNet se kortlys. Hierdie woorde is:

  • Studente-opstande
  • #
  • Zunami
  • Vlugteling
  • SlimWim
  • Droogte
  • Beurtwater
  • Terreur
  • Gaydebat
  • Afrikaans
  • Kakiebosch
  • Ekkie
  • Poenankies
  • Witgeit
  • Hommeltuig

Van Heerden het Afrikaanssprekendes gevra om hul reg te hou vir LitNet se Woord van die Jaar 2016-kompetisie. “Wie weet wat lê vir ons voor, en watter woord die 2016-tydsgees gaan vasvang?” het hy gesê.


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Naomi Meyer, LitNet se inhoudsbestuurder, het op die uiteenlopende reaksies op die keuse van die Afrikaanse worrd van die jaar gereageer.

Lees haar artikel waarin sy verduidelik hoekom die # ‘n waardige wenner is:

Die # sorteer inligting. Sedert 2009 word die simbool op Twitter gebruik om idees onderling met mekaar te verbind. As jy vandag spog met jou prestasies onder die vaandel #feelingblessed, sal jou inskrywing hom bevind in die geselskap van ander mense wat ook hierdie selfde hutsmerk-emosie gebruik het.

Die # was vanjaar wêreldwyd ‘n simbool wat mense mobiliseer, opgeroep, saamgegroepeer en uitgesluit het. Dink maar aan #jesuischarlie, #rhodesmustfall, #openstellenbosch, #feesmustfall, en #zumamustfall.

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“An Xmas wish: stay woke” by Thando Mgqolozana

(This story by Thando Mgqolozana, published in the 13 December 2015 Sunday Times, first appeared on the walls of Azania House, also known as UCT’s Avenue Hall, as “Dear Sana lwam – continued.”)


* * *


Dear Sana lwam,

I received your letter.

One day, not too long from now I hope, when you have a daughter of your own, you will understand what I mean when I say this letter was an experience so deep I can’t find words to describe it, and baby I’m not talking only about your impressive writing.

Some parts left me shaken. Tell me, baby, when you say you “offed the VC”, do you mean you killed the man? Am I reading this correctly? I’ll be hoping for further explanation in your next letter, for now I will assume you children have gone and slayed the Vice Commissioner. I can’t say I approve of killings, not of other people at any rate, but I’ve thought enough about this and as a way of reply let me tell you a story you may remember from when you were little. Please share it with your comrades at Azania House.


* * *


It was a late summer’s afternoon, in the Year of the Feather, when all birds still lived in Dushe, a palace in the forest. Mrs Hen had gathered her chicks underneath her wings. The hatchlings were only two days old and Mrs Hen was as protective of them as any mother would be over her new offspring. She was sitting outside the entrance of the royal closet waiting for Mr Falcon, the king, to return from patrol duty. Mr Falcon’s routine involved an unhurried flight around Dushe, inspecting all corners of the palace with his sharp eye, and on returning he would lock himself up in the royal closet.

Mrs Hen was entrusted with the key to the royal closet. At all times she could be seen with the golden key hanging on her neck on a piece of string, waiting for Mr Falcon.
In those days birds were distinguished by their feathers; it was believed that the colour, shape, and texture of the feather revealed the character of a bird in a way that nothing else could. Mrs Hen’s feather, according to the final verdict of the Royal Counsel, suggested she was of the most protective bird species in all of Dushe, so the decision to entrust her with the key to the royal closet was not a difficult one to make.

The closet was where His Majesty, Mr Falcon, kept his jewellery collection and portraits of himself that were crafted by the weaver birds on a regular basis, or when one was commissioned by the Royal Counsel, or whenever the weavers were not busy plaiting banners for the Dushe Talent Festival. Unlike his predecessors, who only went into the royal closet when they were showing visitors around, His Majesty went in and viewed the portraits and jewellery for lengths of time, every afternoon. Some birds said – behind his back, of course – that His Majesty was affected excessively with hubris, others said indeed Mr Falcon’s only talent was looking at portraits of himself, and yet others believed he visited the closet in order to meditate – a very royal thing to do.

On this afternoon, Mrs Hen fell asleep while waiting for Mr Falcon. When he arrived, eventually, he saw that her head was tucked underneath her wing and she was snoring. A chick was napping on Mrs Hen’s fluffy back. Instead of waking her Mr Falcon used his beak, carefully, to unhook the key from Mrs Hen’s neck, but before he knew it he was pressed to the ground, struggling to breathe. Mrs Hen had one foot on his neck and another on his belly. She was shouting, imploring the chicks to run to safety. The chicks scattered to all directions. It was some moments before Mrs Hen realised she had mistaken the king for a dangerous beast. She jumped off and cried, “Forgive me, forgive me Your Majesty.”
Mr Falcon got up and was dusting himself, still feeling giddy, while Mrs Hen held her wings akimbo as a sign of peace, saying, “Oh Mr Falcon, Sir. Forgive me. I fell asleep while waiting. I thought you were one of these… dangerous beasts that eat chicks.”

The king looked around to see if any of his subjects were watching but there were only Mrs Hen’s confused chicks, now chirping hauntingly and running back to Mrs Hen’s embrace.
Mr Falcon said, “Just give me the key.”

“Your Majesty,” she said, bowing remorsefully, and handed over the key to Mr Falcon. “I am very, very sorry, Sir.”

Mr Falcon looked at Mrs Hen as though wondering what sort of devious bird she was, and then he flashed that unnatural kingly smile at her, turned around and went into the closet.

Mrs Hen was so nervous she couldn’t fall asleep that night until dawn. She made a promise to herself that she would never take a nap again while on duty, no matter how tired she was. It was the honour of all chickens at stake; if she made another mistake she was sure no bird in Dushe would trust a chicken again, and in those days trust was everything to birds.

There was a new vigilance about Mrs Hen the following morning. She fastened the golden key around her neck, waved and greeted other birds by their names, to demonstrate to them and to herself that she was alert.


* * *


In the afternoon Mr Falcon came back and found all the birds gathered outside the closet, their heads hanging low as though bereaved.. Upon enquiry, Mr Falcon was told that the bird who kept his keys had lost them. The birds had been looking everywhere and there was no sign of the keys anywhere.

Mr Falcon said, “I thought someone had died – but this is worse.”

“Indeed, Your Majesty,” said Mr Vulture, his uncle, shaking his balding head in resignation. “But that’s what you get for trusting a chicken.”

“Are you saying something, old man?” asked Mr Falcon.

“Don’t mind me, Your Majesty. I’m just an old, miserable man.”

Mr Falcon shifted his attention to the other birds and said, “When did this birdy lose my key?”

“She doesn’t know, Mister Yourmajesty,” said the hummingbird, shaking with nervousness.

“Where is she now… what’s her name?”

“You mean Mrs Hen, Mister Yourmajesty?”

“Where is she? Hen, where are you?”

No bird answered but they all turned to look where Mrs Hen was desperately scratching the ground with her feet, searching for the lost key. She was surrounded by her chicks and they were helping her, using their beaks that were not yet firm.

When His Majesty saw Mrs Hen he took off and with great viciousness clawed at and flew away with Mrs Hen’s baby chick. All Mrs Hen could say when she realised what had happened was, “Usana lwam, Thixo!” What she didn’t know was that Mr Falcon would do it again the following day, and the day after, until her entire brood had been clawed away and eaten. He’d wait on a treetop, watch Mrs Hen as she was scratching the ground and then descend unexpectedly. Every time it happened she wished she could fly, to rescue her chicks from Mr Falcon, but flying was not one of her talents.

The other birds were dejected and overwhelmed. The freedom of Dushe from the early days was replaced by fear. According to the Birds’ Charter, no bird could prey on another or another’s produce; but the king’s behaviour towards Mrs Hen ushered in a new era, one in which uncertainty was the order of the day.


* * *


Mrs Hen continued to search for the lost key. Her desperation was aggravated by the demise of each chick. She thought if she found the key Mr Falcon might forgive her, the chickens might stop blaming her for putting the entire species into disrepute, the other birds might stop seeing her as a foolish bird, and slowly but surely everything would return to normal. But one morning, a few days later, Mrs Hen and all chickens were banished from Dushe. That morning the other birds sat on treetops and watched the sorrowful exodus of the chickens from the palace into the wilderness.

On the way, in the distance ahead, the chickens saw figures that looked like giant birds. They thought those must be Mr Falcon’s secret army. They changed direction a number of times in order to avoid an encounter, but every time they emerged the giant birds miraculously appeared in front of them. They kept running and wished they could fly, but out of sheer fatigue they stopped and waited in resignation for the strange birds to catch up with them.

The big one, almost as big as a horse, endowed with a neck as long as a giraffe, introduced herself as Mrs Ostrich; and the short one, with a hideous horn atop her head, said she was Mrs Guinea Fowl-Whistler or some such thing, and together they were the first Dushe rejects. Their crime, they were told, was that they were flightless birds, therefore couldn’t be regarded as birds at all and had to leave. But it turned out Mr Falcon had banished them in order to prey on their hatchlings away from the sight of the other birds. They now lived as nomads, moving from one place to another to confuse the enemy. But the chickens didn’t know whether to believe them or not, and travelled on.


* * *


When they arrived at a pebbly cave on a plateau, very far from where they’d come, the chickens settled and named it Kude-le. The following morning, their first morning in Kude-le, when everybody woke up, Mrs Hen was already outside, frantically scratching the ground like she had in Dushe. She didn’t speak when spoken to, she just scratched and scratched and didn’t stop even when her feet started bleeding. Part of her soul had gone with her late chicks.

Meanwhile, after the sad departure of the chickens from Dushe, Mr Falcon was seen entering the royal closet in the usual way, using a golden key, but no bird knew where he’d found it, or if there was a new one, or whether in fact the original key was lost in the first instance.


* * *


The words of Mrs Ostrich and Mrs Guinea Fowl-Whistler hit home one afternoon when Mr Falcon arrived quietly in Kude-le and clawed away a baby chick from Mrs Hen’s newest brood. He stalked the chickens of Kude-le even when the Year of the Feather had passed.

The cocks of Kude-le could be heard calling each other at the crack of dawn, “Kwek, I miss the Dushe days!”

“I hear there is no more Dushe to speak of.”

“Kwek, I miss the other birds.”

“Let’s go find them in the forest.”

“Kwek, has the key been found?”

“I doubt it. If it had we would have known.”

“Kwek, we stay another day then?”

“It looks like it.”


Over time their memories got so distorted the chickens could not remember a time when their lives were not in danger. They’d argue about it for days. The chicks, unlike the hens and roosters, were more concerned with creating a just society of birds than they were in finding the lost key; but the grownups dismissed them as naïve upstarts, and it went on like that for generations.

As for Mrs Hen, she grew very old and whenever she saw a bird flying over she gathered her chicks under her wings. If she was lucky enough to spot Mr Falcon from a treetop Mrs Hen crossed the road and ran to safety. Other birds used their wings to fly but Mrs Hen used hers to protect those for whom she was responsible.


* * *


Do you remember this story, baby?

I am your mother; I am Mrs Hen. Sometimes I will not understand your methods but I will use my body to protect you if it is the last thing I have to do. If there is a max price for motherhood, this is it!

Tell the Azanians I love them.

And stay woke, baby. I hope to see you at Christmas.



* * *


Illustration by Lizza Littlewort



A brief Twitter history of Thando’s story:

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Sunday Read: Travel Back in Time with a Millennia-spanning Twitter Story by Alberto Chimal and More

The latest issue of the award-winning Asymptote Journal takes readers back in time with exclusive writings and translations from 24 countries exploring the theme of time travel.

The trailer for the Fall 2015 issue starts with a curious quote from Stephen Hawking, “Why do we remember the past, and not the future?”, introducing the fact that the stories, poems and interviews will be focused on the psychological arrow of time. Writers featured include Thomas Stangl, Yasutaka Tsutsui, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Richard Weiner, Lok Fung, Paul Wilson, Richard Zenith, Matéi Visniec and Magnús Sigurðsson – all incredible writers from near and far.

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Los AtacantesAn absolute highlight is the Twitter story Mexican writer Alberto Chimal, translated to English by George Henson.

Chimal is the author of two novels and numerous short-story collections, all in Spanish. He is based at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City where he teaches creative writing. He is an award-winning writer considered a leading practitioner and researcher on the “fantastic” and online writing, Asymptote writes in their introduction to his work.

Chimal’s story, titled “The Time Traveller”, is mesmerising and will surely take you on a magnigicent journey. Enjoy this week’s Sunday Read:


Good morning, afternoon, evening, says the Time Traveller when his machine is moody and doesn’t ask him where (or to when) he’s going.

The Time Traveller holds out his hand and traps the first raindrop. All the others prevent the world from learning about this feat.

The Time Traveller dreamt a “flashforward,” in which he awoke, traveled backwards in time, slept, and dreamt a “flashforward.”

The Time Traveller’s passport recognizes him as a citizen of a land that doesn’t exist yet and that no one will remember when it disappears.

The Time Traveller uses a machine propelled by lost, ignored, and wasted hours. He’s pleased: he’ll have fuel forever.

The Time Traveller says hello, leaves 4 ten yrs, wants 2 see you again, returns seconds be4 the first time. Déjà vu, you’ll think. Or think.

Read the Editor’s Note to see what else you can expect from this time-travelling issue of Asymptote:

Translation is a time-traveling art, transporting readers to a previously inaccessible place in another’s past or present. Asymptote’s Fall 2015 issue (video trailer here) is full of such trippy revelations: from poet Yves Bonnefoy glimpsing the hands of a young girl in those of an old woman, to Alberto Chimal’s sharply funny 140-character peeks at a time traveler’s troubles. In an exclusive story by Yasutaka Tsutsui (writer of stunning anime classics Paprika and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time), a modern Orpheus journeys through a mysterious time-warping web to find his fallen lover. Yet nowhere are the side effects of time travel as poignantly described as in Gostan Zarian’s eerily familiar descriptions of the Armenian genocide, which started 100 years ago this year: orphans, refugees, “broken people in the streets with horror in their eyes.” Throughout this brand-new edition, Manchester-based guest artist Samuel Hickson’s evocative art graces our pages, complementing an exciting lineup that also includes Sjón, Ursula Andkjær Olsen, Ottilie

Book details

Images courtesy of Asymptote and Alberto Chimal

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2015 Open Book Festival: On Roadtripping, Life in the Postcolony and Four Years of Open Book (Wednesday, 6 PM)

The 2015 Open Book Festival is off to a great start! Check out Books LIVE’s coverage of the events as they unfold:

The festival will be covered by Books LIVE editor Jennifer Malec (@projectjennifer), deputy editor Helené Prinsloo (@helenayp), assistant editors Erin Devenish (@ErinDevenish811), Annetjie van Wynegaard (@Annetjievw) and Jennifer Platt (@Jenniferdplatt) of the Sunday Times.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page ( and our Twitter profile (@BooksLIVESA) for more information and pictures!


A Place Called WinterLives of OthersGreen LionThe Last Road TripIn die blou kamp
Find MeJeannette Unite: TerraPappa in Afrika


For this session Erin is at the event entitled “Ford Presents: Roadtripping” with Gareth Crocker, Dana Snyman and Laura van den Berg.



Jennifer is covering “Pappa in Doubt”, in which Anton Kannemeyer discusses his ongoing exploration of life in the postcolony with Andrew Lamprecht:


@Jenniferdplatt is at the event where Patrick Gale, Neel Mukherjee and Henrietta Rose-Innes share their memories of four years of Open Book with The Book Lounge owner Mervyn Sloman.



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Read “Farewell to Innocence”, a Twitter Short Story by Thando Mgqolozana

Thando Mgqolozana

Thando Mgqolozana has shared a short story on Twitter, titled “Farewell to Innocence”.

Mgqolozana is the author of three novels, Hear Me Alone A Man Who is Not a Man and, most recently, Unimportance.

UnimportanceA Man Who is Not a ManHear Me Alone

“Farewell to Innocence” tells the story of a young boy tasked with delivering a letter, the significance of which he realises too late.

Read the short story, delivered in 72 tweets:


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Related stories:

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“Bloody Brilliant” – Helen Zille Responds to Twitter Suggestions to Name Her Memoir

Twitter has erupted after the announcement this morning that Penguin Random House will be publishing Helen Zille’s memoir, with the hashtag #NameZillesMemoir trending as the top of the charts – and the former DA leader has responded in good humour.

The title suggestions range from tongue-in-cheek to downright harsh, but Zille has promised that if she ends up choosing one of them, the person who tweeted it will get the chance to write a short foreword to the book:

Zille has also retweeted some of her favourites, and added her own suggestion to the mix:

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She does, however, point out that she still has a lot of work to do on the book:

See some of the suggestions from the Twitter literati:

The UnsaidUnimportanceCould I Vote DA?MobinomicsVer in die wêreld, sushi

Why not add your suggestion to the list? Who knows, it could be your ticket to authorial fame.

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Helen Moffett Takes Down the Department of Women in 17 Tweets (Without Swearing Once)

Helen Moffett has gone on her first Twitter rant – and we’re so glad she has.

Strange FruitLovely Beyond Any SingingBob Woolmer's Art and Science of Cricket

Moffett is well known for her editing skills, but in the Books LIVE office she is well known for breaking the web server with her traffic-attracting blogposts.

The first of these, in 2012, was “Take your Women’s Day and shove it” – which earned over 10 000 Facebook likes. The next year, Moffett was even angrier, and the title of her Women’s Day blog was “Fuck Women’s Day. FUCK IT.”

Last year her displeasure was directed at the Department of Arts and Culture’s Wear a Doek Fridays campaign, which was initiated in support of Women’s Month, in a post entitled “Take your doek and knot it”.

So it’s perhaps unsurprising that the Department of Women’s frankly bizarre tweets about Marie Claire’s ill-conceived and now infamous “In Her Shoes” campaign are the latest cause for a very necessary and welcome Moffett-rant.

The Department of Women’s tweets focused on DJ Euphonik – one of the men photographed in high-heels by Marie Claire to promote women’s rights – and his allegedly abusive relationship with media personality Bonang.

See their tweets, and Moffett’s response:

Moffett’s latest book is a collection of short stories and poems titled Stray, co-edited with Diane Awerbuck, to be published in September by Modjaji Books

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“Now Our Leaders are Looking with Nostalgia at Apartheid Laws” – Zakes Mda Criticises Zuma’s Marikana Comments

Rachel’s BlueSometimes there is a VoidBlack DiamondThe Whale CallerThe Madonna of Excelsior

Referring to the controversial comments made about the Marikana massacre by President Jacob Zuma at Tshwane University of Technology on Tuesday, Zakes Mda made some cutting remarks on Twitter.

Zuma shocked TUT students during his address at the campus, when he said: “Even the Marikana miners were shot after killing people.”

Later, in criticism of student protests, he continued: “Do not use violence to express yourselves, or I might be forced to relook at the apartheid laws that used violence to suppress people.

“They [the striking Marikana miners] had killed people, if you do not know.”

Mda commented:

The Presidency has since released a statement, insisting that Zuma condemns the Marikana massacre as much as the government does:

Government reiterates its view, also conveyed by President Jacob Zuma yesterday, that all the deaths that occurred in Marikana in August 2012 should be equally condemned as all are equally unacceptable.

The President has said it before that the deaths of the 10 persons who were killed before the tragic killing of 34 people in Marikana should also be condemned, including the killings that took place even after the deaths of the 34.

“All the deaths should be equally condemned by all without being selective as all lives are important and all families equally lost their loved ones in the tragic and painful incidents that occurred at Marikana,” said the President.

The media has reported the remarks of the President at Tshwane University of Technology yesterday to have meant that he condones the death of the 34. President Zuma and government condemn all the deaths equally.

The Marikana massacre took place in August 2012, and was investigated by the Farlam commission of enquiry. The resulting report was handed to Zuma earlier this year, and there have been repeated calls for him to release the findings.

In late May the President finally announced that he would release the report in late June, with Gia Nicolaides, author of Reporting from the Frontline: Untold Stories from Marikana, commenting: “Let’s hope it’s an unedited version.”

PlatinumReporting from the FrontlineSouth Africa: The Present as HistoryMarikana

Book details

  • Marikana: A view from the mountain and a case to answer by Peter Alexander, Thapelo Lekgowa, Botsang Mmope, Luke Sinwell, Bongani Xezwi
    EAN: 9781431407330
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Attract a Literary Agent During #PitMad: A Twitter Pitch Party Happening Now

Right now on Twitter, aspiring authors are tweeting 140-character pitches for their completed novels in the hope of attracting literary agents.

#PitMad, or Pitch Madness as it was originally known, is hosted by author Brenda Drake.

From her website:

#PitMad is a pitch party on Twitter where writers tweet a 140 character pitch for their completed manuscripts. Have several variations of your Twitter pitch available. Twitter may not let you tweet the same pitch over within the same hour. The pitch must include the hashtag #PitMad and the category (#YA, #MG, #A, #NA, #PB and #NF) in the tweet. The “#” is important to include. It will sort the categories to make it easier for the agents/publishers.

For more information about Twitter Pitching visit this post by agent @carlywatters here and this post by #PitMad alum @DianaUrban here. And here find a post from Diana on how to filter out spam from the #PitMad feed.

The hashtags you should use are:

#YA = Young Adult
#MG = Middle Grade
#A = Adult
#NA = New Adult
#PB = Picture Book
#CB = Chapter Book
#NF = Non-fiction
#WF = Woman’s Fiction
#SFF = Science Fiction and Fantasy
#R = Romance
#LF = Literary Fiction
#Mem = Memoir

But! Make sure you follow the rules.

  • Everyone is welcome to pitch, and all genres/categories are welcomed.
  • However, your manuscript must be completed and polished.
  • You may tweet more than once, and you may pitch more than one manuscript, but the rule of thumb is two tweets per manuscript.
  • Make sure to include the hashtag #PitMad and your genre.
  • Agents/publishers will favourite your tweet if they want to see more. Therefore, don’t favourite your friends’ tweets, rather retweet to show support.
  • If you receive a favourite, follow that person’s submission guidelines (which they will usually have tweeted earlier).
  • Don’t tweet agents and publishers unless they tweet you first.
  • Be nice. If you see any abuse flying around, report it to Twitter or notify one of the hosts of the event.

Upcoming PitMad events:

March 11, 2015 (TODAY!)
June 4, 2015
September 10, 2015
December 4, 2015

#PitMad starts at 8 AM and ends at 8 PM (EST or EDT, New York time) or 2 PM to 2 AM, South African time.

Some tweets from the current #PitMad:

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Nelson Mandela’s Former PA Zelda la Grange Causes Twitter Storm with Jacob Zuma Criticism

Good Morning, Mr MandelaGoeiemore, Mnr. MandelaZelda la Grange, author of one of the most popular non-fiction books of 2014, Good Morning, Mr Mandela, and former personal assistant to Nelson Mandela, created quite a stir on Saturday when she took to Twitter to rant about President Jacob Zuma’s “constant go at whites” and how unwelcome it makes white people feel in South Africa, according to her.

Here is what she had to say:



Endings and BeginningsWell known radio talk show host and Alan Paton Award-winning author Redi Tlhabi responded to La Grange’s tweets with an eloquent argument, beginning “let me give u a different perspective on the deficiency of your arguments”.

Read Tlhabi’s response:



La Grange later took to Twitter again, this time to send out a 14-point apology:


But backlash still followed with #zeldadoesntevenknow, #zelda and #ZeldalaGrange trending at various points over the weekend, with criticism mainly directed at the perceived lack of sincerity in her apology and the “brand” she has created for herself, a brand which is now very damaged.

#zeldadoesntevenknow brought forth many black South African’s experiences of racial discrimination and called into question what she shared and portrayed in her best-selling book.

One of the most affecting tweets about Good Morning, Mr Mandela is probably this one:

Mogomotsi Magome writes for The Sunday Independent that The Nelson Mandela Foundation has distanced itself from La Grange’s comments and that ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said that “the party was disappointed with her remarks, adding she was trying to pretend that ‘certain things did not happen in this country’”.

La Grange’s racial outbursts on Twitter have raised serious debate about reconciliation efforts as the person who was arguably the closest individual to the country’s custodian of reconciliation for more than a decade appeared to be perpetuating racial stereotypes.

La Grange, who last year released a book about her years as Madiba’s assistant, was taken to task after a series of bizarre tweets that appeared to downplay the effects of apartheid and colonialism on South African society.

She was accused of being racist after her tweets, which included threats to leave South Africa and claims that white taxes had funded the R246 million security upgrades at Zuma’s Nkandla home, went viral on Saturday. La Grange has 57 000 Twitter followers.

Daily Maverick‘s Ranjeni Munusamy writes that “La Grange found out the hard way this weekend that she did not have a licence to behave badly just because the target of her tirade was Zuma, everybody’s favourite whipping boy”. Reflecting on Zuma’s reputation and public persona, Munusamy says that La Grange “fell easily into the trap of thinking her own prejudice and racially defined insecurities would find resonance simply because Zuma was the primary target”.

Read Munusamy’s article, in which she highlights how difficult it is to have constructive national debates on issues such as race:

At the ANC’s anniversary celebrations in Cape Town last week, Zuma made two very deliberate points about why South Africa is in the state it is in. At the ANC fundraising dinner, he said: “All the trouble began in 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck landed in the Cape”. Breaking away from the text of his speech at the rally the next day, Zuma attributed the electricity crisis to bad planning during Apartheid. The thinly veiled intention behind this is obviously that he and his administration should not be blamed for the parlous state of the nation.

The fact, though, is that much of the national dialogue centres on blaming Zuma for his poor leadership and the infestation of corruption, patronage and lack of accountability. Zuma has become the personification of the rot in society, and Nkandla has come to represent the showstopper for entitlement and plundering of the state by the political elite.

The spokesperson of the Young Communist League of South Africa, Khaya Xaba, released the following statement in reaction to La Grange’s controversial comments:

The Young Communist League of South Africa [uFasimba] is extremely disappointed that Zelda has failed to learn from the many years she spent assisting president Nelson Mandela.

Her recent remarks on Twitter have exposed her to the nation as unchanged. Her views reflect those of racists and apartheid apologists, like Helen Zille, who choose to insult South Africa and our democracy while glorifying the undemocratic white minority presidents and colonial leaders.

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