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Mugabe does not rule alone - Read an excerpt from Power Politics in Zimbabwe by Michael Bratton

Power Politics in ZimbabwePower Politics in Zimbabwe by Michael Bratton is a careful analysis of one of the most controversial presidencies in the world.

In this preeminent book on Robert Mugabe and the ZANU-PF, the author looks at the political settlements, roots of repression, colonial political settlements, the Zimbabwean period of crisis (2000-2008), the power-sharing experiment (2008-2013), and the power politics at play in the country.

Bratton, a distinguished professor of of political science and African studies at Michigan State University, also reflects on the rewriting of the constitution, improving the electoral conduct, a security-sector reform and tackling transitional justice.

The first chapter takes a look at the power politics in Zimbabwe and gives an outline of the book. US publishers Lynne Rienner, who first released this book in 2014, have made an excerpt available; giving readers the opportunity to sample the first chapter in its entirety.

Read the excerpt:

Power Politics in Zimbabwe – Excerpt

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Be sure to visit Jenny Morris's new Cape Town eatery - Yumcious Cafe

Jenny Morris

World Atlas of FoodRenown celebrity chef Jenny Morris, better known as the Giggling Gourmet, has embarked on yet another exciting venture, opening Yumcious Café – a beautiful eatery located in the Cape Quarter in Greenpoint, Cape Town.

Serving breafast, lunch and all things sweet and delectable, this new place is sure to be a Cape Town favourite. The World Atlas of Food author takes a hands on approach to this new venture, so chances are that you’ll get to meet her if you stop by.

Read what one happy patron had to say on Zomato, after visiting the eatery in their second week:

Stopped in for lunch at Chef Jenny Morris’ new restaurant in the Cape Quarter and it did not disappoint. Offering home cooked salads, quiches, fish and meat – buffet style, as well as a variety of bugers. And at R19/kg it is great value. The staff were a little clueless (it is only their 1st week of operation, so this can be excused) but Jenny is on the floor welcoming and chatting to guests. Great weekday work breakfast and lunch option. Sure to be a hit!

Read The Whale Cottage‘s review of Yumcious Café:

Located in the former Rocca and then Celtic Cove restaurants, Chef Jenny and her husband David have brought the bulk of the seating outside onto the covered terrace. Tables are a mix of grey concrete, as well as black top ones with silver bases, while chairs are a mix of grey and white moulded plastic. Tables have grey plant holders with a succulent plant, while the sugar stick holders and salt and pepper holders are green ceramic. Plates for the food match the colour too. Paper serviettes are wrapped around cutlery sets. A clever touch is to have laminated A5 copies of the menu on the table already, so that one does not have to wait for it to be brought to the table.

Also read:


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Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology - Call for publishing partners

From Jacana:

The Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) and Jacana Media are thrilled to announce the establishment of the annual Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology, made possible in partnership with The Other Foundation and through the generous funding of Atlantic Philanthropies, a limited life foundation.


Created in honour of the late activist Gerald Kraak’s extraordinary legacy of supporting human rights, this award will advance his contribution to building a South Africa that is safe and welcoming to all. The unique and vital anthology will feature English language writing and photography from and about Africa. Exceptional works which explore, interrogate and celebrate the topics of gender, sexuality and human rights will be shortlisted, and given a voice through publication.

Gerald Kraak (1956-2014) was a passionate champion of social justice, an anti-apartheid activist and the head of the Atlantic Philanthropies’ Reconciliation and Human Rights Programme in South Africa. He authored two books, including the European Union Literary Award-winning exploration of South African politics, Ice in the Lungs (Jacana, 2005), and directed a documentary on gay conscripts in the apartheid army. He will be remembered for being kind and generous, delightfully irreverent and deeply committed to realising an equal and just society for all.

Rather than general discussions of these subjects, pieces which engage with gender and sexuality in ways that promote new understandings of and insights into human rights on our continent will be sought. A cash prize is awarded to the author of the winning piece.

Gender, sexuality and human rights are under threat across Africa. The more they are threatened, the more important it is for us to help share ideas which promote equal rights for all. Because the contributions will be received from Africa, it is essential for them to be spread throughout Africa. We hope that brave, like-minded publishers will join us in this endeavour.

We want to make the publishing process as simple and affordable as possible. Our idea would be to supply committed publishers based in countries across Africa with print-ready files of the anthology in early 2017, to enable them to publish and sell the book in their country of operation. There would be no production costs or content creation responsibilities to be borne by them.

We would want involvement from all in the naming of the award and anthology and call for submissions in February 2016.

If you as a publisher share these aims, we’d love you to talk to us and tell us more about yourselves.

Please email by 10 February, 2016 to express your interest.

About The Jacana Literary Foundation

The Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) is a not-for-profit organisation which seeks to promote and foster writing excellence from South and southern Africa through a number of initiatives. By securing funding for key projects, the JLF aims to publish literature that might not otherwise see publication for purely commercial reasons.

This allows the JLF’s publishing partner, Jacana Media, to produce literature which supports the concept of bibliodiversity. We believe that it is through the reading and writing of local creative works that the truths of our lives are best told.

About The Other Foundation

The Other Foundation is an African Trust that gathers support for those who are working to protect and advance the rights, wellbeing and social inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities – and gives support in a smart way that helps groups to work better for lasting change. To learn more, please visit:

'We're not scared of Zuma' - Julius Malema rejects Nkandla settlement

The Coming RevolutionStill an Inconvenient YouthThe World According to Julius Malema

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has rejected President Jacob Zuma’s settlement offer over taxpayer cash spent on his Nkandla homestead.

“He thinks he can play with us …” Malema told a news briefing in Johannesburg.

“We’re not going to accept any settlement that doesn’t reaffirm the powers of Public Protector‚ that remedial actions are binding.”

Malema said since Zuma had flouted the office of the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and her powers‚ the institution was no longer respected as before.

“We can’t have a situation where Zuma’s drum majorettes in parliament insult the Public Protector.

“We can’t accept that the Public Protector can be told that she is not God and her remedial actions aren’t binding.”

Watch the video:

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Malema lambasted his former political chief‚ saying Zuma was in breach of his office as he did not protect the public purse.

“We’re here because the corrupt President of SA has made an admission that he is corrupt and that he will pay back the money.

“They made a proposed settlement and they expect us to respond.

“In his typical way of trying to control everything and influence judges‚ he took a copy to court. Zuma being Zuma writes to us and copies judges so he can influence them. He wants them to see him as a reasonable man. The judges responded saying that they’re not interested‚ because that is the matter between the parties and won’t get involved.”

South Africa is not going to be another failed African state under the watch of the EFF‚ he proclaimed.

“We’re not scared of anyone. We’re not scared of Zuma and Parliament …

“This man is collapsing the country. We’re not scared of being beaten up. We’re prepared to die for protection of the Constitution.”

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Call for submissions: South African Writers College Short Story Competition 2016

South African Writers College has made a call for submissions for their annual Short Story Competition.

The competition is held to acknowledge excellence in creative writing in the short story form. The contest is open to any emerging writer residing in South Africa and who has had fewer than four stories/articles published in any format (print or digital).

This year’s theme is “The Gift”, but it cannot be the title of the story.

First prize amounts to R10 000, second prize is R5 000 and third prize is R2 000. The top three entries will be published the SA College site and will receive editorial comments on their submitted works.

Stories need to be submitted before 30 April, 2016 and can’t be longer than 2 000 words.

Attach your story as a Word document and send it to:

On the first page of your Word document, include the title, your email address and total numbers of words of your entry. Do not include your name on any page of the story

For further details, visit the SA College website, then start writing!

New Short Story Day Africa anthology Water launched - Plus 2016 theme and editing mentorship announced

Short Story Day Africa Prize Winners 2015


Alert! The new Short Story Day Africa anthology, Water, was launched to the press yesterday, with the 2016 theme and a new editing mentorship programme being announced at the event.

SSDA is one of the most important writing initiatives in Africa, fostering a love of reading and writing African fiction by providing a platform for new stories to be written and discovered.

Feast, Famine and PotluckTerra IncognitaWater

Each year, SSDA hosts the Short Story Day Africa Prize, the continent’s most prestigious prize for an original piece of short fiction. The first prize, in 2013, went to Okwiri Oduor fom Kenya for “My Father’s Head”, which was published in the first SSDA anthology Feast, Famine & Potluck and went on to win the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing. In 2014, Diane Awerbuck’s story “Leatherman” took home the prize and was published in the second SSDA anthology, Terra Incognita.

Cat Hellisen was announced as the winner of the 2015 competition, which called for stories on the theme of “water”. Of Hellisen’s story “The Worme Bridge”, judges Nick Mulgrew and Karina M Szczurek said:

“The Worme Bridge” stood out for us with its brave story and clear, distinctive voice; it’s a wonderfully dark exploration of the water theme. The story works effortlessly to construct an other kind of reality while grounding itself in the real world. The writing is compelling: the reader is drawn into this family and the strangeness that overtakes them. We found this a powerful piece of writing that continues to haunt the reader afterwards.

Keep an eye on Books LIVE tomorrow, as we will be publishing Hellisen’s winning story in our next edition of Fiction Friday.

Second place went to Alex Latimer for “A Fierce Symmetry” and third to Mark Winkler for “Ink”. Read their stories here:

These stories will be published in the third SSDA anthology Water: New Short Fiction from Africa, edited by Szczurek and Mulgrew. At a special event to launch this book in Cape Town yesterday, the organisers announced the theme for the 2016 competition: Migrations.

Mulgrew, who made the announcement, stressed that this is one of the most central themes to the African experience, one that is integral to the essence of being African.

Here’s the theme breakdown in full, as presented by SSDA:

From our ancestors’ first forays through the continent, to the contemporary diaspora spread around the world, people are eternally moving in, out and about the African continent. Not everyone leaves out of their own volition, and not everyone comes with the best intentions: nevertheless, the story of Africa is the story of souls migrating, settling, unsettling, fleeing, seeking, resting, nesting and sharing stories, experiences and myths.

From great animal movements to great treks both physical and spiritual, from the comfort of ancient myth to the desperation of those currently fleeing their homes, Short Story Day Africa is looking for a crop of short fiction that will bring a fresh, urgent perspective to one of our most profound phenomena, and the basis of all our greatest stories.

A formal call for submissions will be made later this year.

Helen MoffettThe 2016 competition will also expand its territory to incorporate a new component, with this year’s editor Helen Moffett facilitating an editorial mentorship to help emerging editors from the African continent hone their skills and establish themselves in the book industry.

The selection process will also be different this year, with the top stories being edited before the judges make a decision. This will close the gap between new and established writers and allow the stories to be judged on the same level.

At the announcement, Moffett explained that this year will see a bigger consciousness of transliteration and editorial support for writers who do not write in their mother tongue, ensuring a fair chance for all entrants. Moffett said that skills transfer and the field of editing are close to her heart, and she hopes that the editorial mentorship will also aid where this is concerned.

Water: New Short Fiction from Africa will be launched to the public officially at The Book Lounge on Tuesday, 8 March. We’ll see you there!

Short Story Day Africa 2015: Water

From left to right: Organisers Tiah Beautement and Rachel Zadok; winners Cat Hellison, Mark Winkler and Alex Latimer; editors Karina Szczurek and Nick Mulgrew


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Helené Prinsloo tweeted live from the Water launch and announcement of the new theme yesterday:


Short Story Day Africa: Water

Rachel Zadok

Karina Szczurek and Nick Mulgrew


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