Yesterday Boekehuis hosted Mark Gevisser, Mbeki’s biographer, in conversation with Fiona Forde, Malema’s biographer. Mark engaged Fiona to expand on some of the issues raised in her biography of Malema: ‘An Inconvenient Youth’. An informed, informative, measured and fascinating interchange followed. Forde’s take is that it is not over till the fat man sings, (my label for Malema not hers), it’s all about internal Party politics and the succession battle in the ANC, and the party/Party continues in carnivalesque mode with no discipline in the ANC and an ethos (or non-ethos) of ‘anything goes’. Very sobering but completely rivetting. And shockingly in the midst of all this broader national turmoil, it seems that Media 24 is pulling the rug on Boekehuis and it will soon close down. This extraordinary venue has become an institution in Jozi’s vibrant cultural sceme. It has provided a much needed space for critical debate and an informed exchange of ideas outside the sometimes restrictive and elite framework of academe and tertiary institutions. It will be a very sad day if this extraordinary intellectual and cultural beacon closes, one which has been a showcase of critical engagement for its holding company Media 24.
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