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13 March 2018 Photo Edwin Mthimkhulu
Solomon Mahlangu inspires UFS alumnus first Sesotho book
Ace Moloi questions and delves into the concept of freedomin Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho

Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho is the title of Ace Moloi’s anthology of short stories and the name of one of the 14 stories in the book. The anthology is the first book in Sesotho published by the three-time author.

On Friday, 16 March 2018, Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho, an Art Fusion Literature product, will make its debut public appearance during a public reading at the University of the Free State’s Equitas Auditorium at 17:30.

Moloi’s first literary offering was In Her Fall Rose A Nation which was published in 2013 during his final-year as a Communication Science student at the university. In 2016, Moloi published Holding My Breath, which was praised widely for stirring emotions in readers who related to the heart-wrenching narrative of losing a mother. It was only this year that the author managed to achieve his teenage goal of establishing himself as a vernacular author.

Solomon Mahlangu, an African National Congress freedom fighter and Umkhonto we Sizwe militant who was convicted of murder and hanged in 1979, was the inspiration behind the anthology. Mahlangu inspired the Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho story, which is the story of the selflessness of a captured guerrilla hero in the face of police torture and his eventual death by hanging. It represents Mahlangu and those who suffered during the struggle for liberation. 

“My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom,” are the supposed last words uttered by Mahlangu that inspired the book’s title. Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho means “the fruits of freedom” in Sesotho. For Moloi, writing in the vernacular symbolises the fruits of freedom. “I’m trying to write in a revolutionary spirit, in Sesotho, because we haven’t done that. We have not seriously interrogated political concepts in Sesotho or in any native language,” he said.

Graduate unemployment, violent crime, and sports are some of the other topics tackled in the book. These act as a catalyst for debates over the evidence of ‘the fruits of freedom’ in post-1994 South Africa. 

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The book on ‘Reitz’ still not closed
2016-08-12

Description: IRSJ book  Tags: IRSJ book

Prof André Keet, Director: Institute for Reconciliation and
Social Justice (IRSJ) with the authors of Transformation
and Legitimation in Post-apartheid Universities: Reading
Discourses from ‘Reitz’,
JC van der Merwe and
Dionne van Reenen.

A new IRSJ book tackles issues of transformation.

Transformation and Legitimation in Post-apartheid Universities: Reading Discourses from ‘Reitz’ is the first in a series on critical studies in higher education transformation from the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ). In his introduction to this series, Prof André Keet, Director: Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ), highlights why a scholarly work of this nature was necessary: “Acts of resistance against structurally-anchored forms of exclusion within universities in both South Africa and elsewhere suggest that, despite our best efforts, the social structure of the academy … has remained more or less intact over the past several decades.” The book was recently launched during the fifth anniversary reflections of the IRSJ.

Transformation and Legitimation in Post-apartheid Universities: Reading Discourses from ‘Reitz’ explores and expands on the landmark “Reitz” incident. The authors, JC van der Merwe, Deputy-Director at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ) and Dionne van Reenen, researcher and PhD candidate at the IRSJ, offer insights on how this incident and the events surrounding it represent a recurring pattern that continues to underpin many processes in post-apartheid South Africa.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Chair of the Advisory Board of the IRSJ, and Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, says of the authors: “The courage of their convictions is reflected in this book. They have played, and will continue to play, an amazing role in shaping the discourse around transformation.”

Jamie Turkington, former editor of the IRAWA Post during the time of the ‘Reitz’ incident and facilitator during the five-year anniversary function, says: “This book will be beneficial for every student and every person involved in the University of the Free State since 1980 till now to read and absorb the valuable points therein. If you thought Reitz was over, it shouldn’t be; it is as relevant today as ever.”

"If you thought Reitz was over..."

Turkington adds that the book will serve as a “worthwhile conversation starter at UFS”, raising such questions as:
• How much legitimacy was the UFS able to acquire internally, within the university community, as well as in society at large?
• How do we chart a way forward from here?
• How do we keep the progress going?

As the book itself says: “Reitz serves as a reminder to higher education practitioners that our humanity is fragile in terms of who we are and what we can achieve. Transformation and legitimation, and the way higher education institutions handle these going forward, promises to be seminal in the foreseeable future of the sector.”

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