In Print


He found an old newspaper in a rubbish bin. ilagardien©engagé

I have written and published hundreds, probably thousands of articles and photographs around the world over 25-30 years. Much of it was before the internet became widely available. Others were in print media, and not always made available online. Here I will try to add links to some of them as I recall them, or as I come across them. Feel free to brows and spread. il

Photographing a South African Form of Death – By James Sey

In December 1985 I covered the story of an assassination….

Read the brilliant essay on the photograph I made, written by a friend, James Sey (Click on Link Below)

Photographing a South African Form of Death


New Column in South Africa’s Best Daily Newspaper

6 December 2017 I have secured a fortnightly column in Business Day, arguably South Africa’s best daily newspaper. The column will be published every second Tuesday. Unfortunately, it is behind a paywall (BusinessLive) where even I can’t reach.

This means that to read the published column I have to buy the print edition, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I am old enough to appreciate print. The problem with getting a daily paper, for now, is that the newsstand closest to where I am staying is in a very large mall. Anyway, I will try to place screen shots, photographs or scanned copies, here. The following appeared in the 5 December edition.

National Development Plan in our Rear View Mirror

‘ …. since 2012, elements of post-modernist thinking have more aggressively and unapologetically cluttered our politics with wilful obscurantism and zealous moral relativity, all of which, I would venture, have failed to reconcile the varying rights and wrongs of our economic ills.

‘Some post-modernists shifted our discussions away from classical patterns of capital accumulation, exploitation and abuse of dominance.

‘I come out on the side of the belief that post-modernist politics represent the disappointment of the revolutionary generation of 1968 – perhaps in South Africa, those folk who were active in the 1980s and those who claim to have been activists – and the incorporation of some of its members into the professional and managerial structures of current institutions. They’re a sad but dangerous bunch. They are the ones who “do” things like “transformation” the way that Bono “does” poverty.’ (Read Article)

Saying Goodbye to The Bay

I leave Port Elizabeth with a heavy heart. At the end of this month, I will leave Port Elizabeth. I have lived in the city for a little more than 18 months, associated with Nelson Mandela University. (Read article)

The Cruelty of Deliberate Forgetting

By now, most South Africans are familiar with the expression that we should forget the past and just “move on”. Invariably, it is the erstwhile oppressor who would insist that subsequent generations should take from the past what was good and leave behind what was bad. It is an elision of prescriptive forgetting and a type of repressive erasure; a cross between destroying one set of mnemonic devices (or events) and simply putting new things in place to represent the present and construct new social identities. (Read Article)

Transparent governance is key to our survival

13 April 2017. Shocking events and states of affairs flash on television screens and on social media daily. We can run from them, but we cannot hide. The best example is the downgrading of SA to junk status by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch. It has to be dealt with on the basis of presenting reality and not on an imaginary world of conspiracies. (Read Full Article)

Help Students Challenge Economics

Any intellectual challenges to the orthodoxy that underpins the discipline have tended to provoke the ire of those who benefit most from the status quo, or the reproduction of dominant ideas. We would be doing our students a disservice, and sabotaging the future of our country, if we do not think, deeply, about what we teach in economics. (Read Article)


Demystifying Economics

On the passing of Tony Atkinson and John Berger. Tony Atkinson and John Berger spent most of their lives in “a lifelong assault on mystification”. Atkinson made his economics accessible and clear to ordinary folk, and when Berger was awarded the Booker Prize in 1972, he said: “Clarity is more important than money.” (Read Further)


Economics Fails to Factor in Role of Ethics

21 April 2016. Edited version of an address at Ethics Strategic Conversation: When and why we cheat: The science of integrity in business, hosted by the Business School of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University on 21 April 2016. Published in Business Day on 16 May 2016.

THERE is never a bad time to discuss ethics in business and society; and in SA today, it is a particularly good time to discuss ethics — or when and why we cheat. Read Further

Related Reading

Goodwin, Neva ‘The human element in the new economics: a 60-year refresh for economic thinking and teaching’ Real-World Economics Review, Issue Number 68. Available online at Accessed 19 December 2016


Demystifying Economics



ON a January morning, a few months before my 21st birthday, a medical doctor sat on the edge of my hospital bed and told me about the surgical procedure I was about to undergo. “To do the lobectomy they will do a thoracotomy. You will be turned on your side . . .” Read Further


Whose Truth is Important?

Last week I was reminded by some colleagues that there were many truths. I was banging on about how academic research and scholarship were necessary means to get us as close to the truth as humanly possible. They reminded me that there were many truths . . .”  (Read Further)


Go for Shared Prosperity

Of all the human foibles, I believe patriotism and national pride might be the worst. I am, of course, being facetious. Nevertheless, as South Africa veers like a drunk at the edge of a political economic precipice, we are called upon to pull together and help bring the country back from the edge. (Read Further)

See, also, this video clip, which I refer to in the above commentary.



Who Guards the Guardians

I have been doing some reading on “the idea of the university” since August, the month or so before higher education in South Africa entered what may turn out to be epoch-defining change. Part of this reading has been on “ownership” of bodies of knowledge. (Read Further)


I Have No Faith in SA’s future

hanging the way the country is governed is impossible. Change cannot be achieved in the lifetime of the current generation of South Africans. At some point in the future, there may be centres of excellence or pockets of efficacy and efficiency, but, in general, things will continue to break down. (Read Article at the Daily Maverick)


The Fight to Control South Africa’s Treasury is Starting to Look Like a Fiscus Coup

This fight over the fiscus, over how money is spent in the country may be what defines the political battles over the coming year. I have used this phrase elsewhere, but this looming battle – what may turn out to be a fiscus coup – places the country in an instant before a shattering (Read further)

I dropped a hint about the ruling party’s intentions to remove Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in February last year – before machinations against him started.

This is what I wrote: “Gordhan will be as successful, only, as his domestic allies will allow him to be. In this sense, someone has to watch his back.” (Read Article on the Daily Maverick Website)


Between Reparations and Revenge

In a society where the only truth is whatever is expressed the loudest, and by persons who consider themselves as “more-radical-than”, there tends to be no logical, reasonable, rational or long-sighted approach … Demands are made without concern even for justice and fairness, and with little or no deference to jurisprudence. (Read Article)

#economics #education #south africa #capitalism #finance


Humility is a Good Place to Start in any Journey of Learning

Note: I should have written the entire piece in the present tense. It is clumsy.

If business and management studies, including the much vaunted MBA, were to take on the awesome challenges of the 21st century, they will have to come under curricular scrutiny. Humility will be a good place to start. (Read Article)

#curriculumreform #scientism #education #MBA #humility