Patrick Burnett

What difference will the appointment of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma really make to the African Union and the betterment of people across the continent?


Blackout. No international journalists. No network cameras. And yet the story of Libya’s revolution has poured out on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other online platforms. It’s a story that has been raw, uncut and shocking. Below is a selection of this material from four days in Libya this week.


Twenty-four hour network coverage, activist videos, Twitter, Facebook and blogs have all mashed together to convey the Egyptian revolution to the world, writes Patrick Burnett.
As Pambazuka News celebrates its 500th issue, Patrick Burnett discusses the publication’s history and growth and the limits of Clay Shirky’s notion of the ‘cognitive surplus’.

In response to Mphutlane wa Bofelo’s : It's a good point that the same ANC office bearers who have failed dismally in service delivery at local government level are likely to be back in their positions in COPE T-shirts - with similarly disastrous consequences. The same thing can be seen in the Western Cape. It IS an important point which gets buried beneath the argument that South Africa will no longer have a one party monopoly on power and that this will be good for democracy.

It more

This week, police in Zimbabwe used tear gas, water cannon and live ammunition to crush Sunday's gathering by the Save Zimbabwe Campaign, a coalition of opposition, church and civic groups, in Harare's western township of Highfield. Police shot and killed one opposition activist, Gift Tandare. Lawyers and fellow opposition activists said Tsvangirai had suffered a suspected skull fracture after being beaten by police. Patrick Burnett summarises voices from the ground and highlights some key more

Ever heard of street soccer activism? In Zimbabwe, the Uhuru Collective is using soccer to fight for social justice, mobilizing residents and encouraging them to challenge their local council on rates fees.

The full story is featured on the website a Zimbabwean portal on civil society, but it’s not only the use of street soccer for activism that is interesting, but the way in which Kubatana have integrated short audio recordings into the story. The result is not only a web-based more

"I was not aware of anything until they were hitting me. I think there were five policemen for every refugee. When we started to defend ourselves, there were many more coming. They came and attacked. I saw one person I knew. They were beating him and when he fell down, they broke his neck. One of the police broke his neck with his baton. One pregnant woman also died in the same place." – An interview with a demonstrator, as quoted in a report compiled by the Forced Migration and Refugee more

As internet usage in Africa grows, governments are beginning to wake up to the power of the online medium to communicate, influence and organize. Already numerous examples of internet censorship in the form of arrests and website blocking can be found. This is likely to grow, says Patrick Burnett.

News last week was that Internet giant Yahoo! had been fingered in the November 2003 imprisonment of Chinese cyber-dissident Jiang Lijun, who was sentenced to four years for pro-democracy more

Last week, the South African defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota took final delivery of the SAS Amatola, a R1,5-billion, 36 000 ton, 121 metre long warship complete with biological and chemical defense mechanisms, automated damage control and armour protection. The state-of-the-art Amatola is the first of four corvettes to be fully completed and is currently docked at the military harbour in the picturesque naval town of Simon’s Town near Cape Town.

The mountain peaks above Simon’s Town more