How Does the Media Cover the Race Debate in South Africa?

2 February 2015, The Wits Club


This event is fully booked!

Racial prejudice didn’t disappear when apartheid ended in South Africa and racism remains an endemic problem in this country, if not globally. But as South Africans come to terms with the reality of a post-apartheid country where racial equality remains a distant goal, are we engaging in sufficient social dialogue to overcome the problem? Vital to healthy social dialogue about the issue, is how our media reflects the race debate in South Africa.

SACSIS and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa Offce invite you to a panel discussion where some of South Africa’s most distinguishable public figures and media representatives will engage with the topic of how the media covers the race debate in South Africa and provide answers to the following questions.

Does our media acknowledge that there's a racial divide in South Africa or does blind commitment to fostering the construct of the "rainbow nation" obstruct deeper inquiry into racial divisions in the country?

What are the parameters of the race debate in the South African media?

How do the white and black media, respectively, present racial debates and issues in South Africa?

How do we conduct a responsible public debate about racism, which, at the same time, contributes to building social cohesion?


Date: Monday, 02 February  2015

Time: Registration from 13h30 to 14h00
Main programme from 14h00 to 16h30

Venue: The Wits Club, West Campus Wits University.

Admission: Free

RSVP: This event is fully booked. To join the waiting list,  please send an email with your name, affiliation and contact details to with "RSVP media and race panel" in the subject line of your email message.


Eusebius McKaiser
Eusebius McKaiser is a political analyst, broadcaster, lecturer and writer based in Johannesburg. His academic background is in moral philosophy, having studied and lectured in the philosophy department at Rhodes University, before doing research in moral philosophy as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He remains an associate of the Wits Centre for Ethics. As a broadcaster, Eusebius has previously presented Interface on SABC3 before hosting radio shows. He anchored Talk At Nine on Talk Radio 702 and, until recently, 'Power Talk With Eusebius McKaiser' on Power 98.7. He has written extensive social and political comment in the local and international print media, including carrying columns in the New York Times, and currently a column syndicated across Independent Media. Eusebius is a former World Masters Debate Champion. He coaches debate and public speaking, and is also a regular MC, facilitator and keynote speak on the conference circuit. He has two best-selling books out, A Bantu In My Bathroom & Could I Vote DA? He is currently working on a third book, Searching for Sello Duiker.  

Ferial Haffajee
Ferial Haffajee is Editor-in-Chief of City Press. Previously she held the same position at the Mail & Guardian. She is also an alumni of the Africa Leadership Initiative, a project of the Aspen Institute. Ferial sits on the board of Gender Links, which is geared to improving the media’s coverage of development and gender empowerment. She is a previous winner of the Shoprite-Checkers woman of the year award, The Media magazine’s women in media award, a Sanlam financial journalism award and the Naspers group's most prestigious internal prize, the Phil Weber award. In 2008, she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Ferial sits on the boards of the International Press Institute and the World Editors Forum. She chairs the SA National Editors Forum’s ethics and diversity committee.

John Perlman
John currently hosts Today with John Perlman on Kaya FM, at 6pm Monday-Thursday, a programme he has presented since May 2007. He has twice been a winner in the Best News and Actuality Show category at the MTN Radio Awards. John has also been inducted into the MTN Radio Hall of Fame. Before that he presented AM Live on SAfm for nine years. Before focusing on radio, John was a newspaper journalist for more than 10 years, with the Weekly Mail, the Saturday Star and the Sunday Independent. As a freelance he has had articles published in a number of titles including The Guardian, the Financial Times, Business Day, City Press, the Financial Mail, The Independent and The Ring Magazine.


Xolela Mangcu
Xolela Mangcu is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. He is the author and co-author of seven books, including the recently published, Biko: A Biography (Tafelberg, 2012), To the Brink: The State of Democracy in South Africa (UKZN Press 2008), The Meaning of Mandela (essays by Wole Soyinka, Cornel West, Henry Louis Gates Jr.), (HSRC Press, 2005). A collection of his columns over the past twenty years – Arrogance of Power: Twenty Years of Disenchantment is being published by Tafelberg Press (2014). Mangcu was a regular columnist for the Business Day, the Weekender and the Sunday Independent, and currently writes a bi-weekly column for the Sowetan. He was also the Founder of the Platform for Public Deliberation and Founding Executive Director of the Steve Biko Foundation.  

This event is being co-hosted by The South African Civil Society Information Service and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa Office.