South Africa

Claret, dogs and nothing to grouse about

14 September 2019 9:00 am

What do you get if you cross a dyslexic, an insomniac and an agnostic? Someone who wakes up at 4…

Savagery in the Cape Colony: Red Dog, by Willem Anker, reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Red Dog is an ambitious hybrid of a book. It was published in South Africa to wide acclaim in 2014…

Boer refugees were herded by the British into cattle trucks to be shunted into concentration camps at Bloemfontein in 1901. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

Brutish Brits: You Will Be Safe Here, by Damian Barr, reviewed

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Damian Barr explains the upsetting genesis of his impressive debut novel, You Will Be Safe Here, in his acknowledgements: This…

Rorke’s Drift: a desperate brawl at a mission station up there with the great battle honours of the British army

Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat: the triumph of Rorke’s Drift

19 January 2019 9:00 am

On 22 January last year, the entrance whiteboard at London Underground’s Dollis Hill carried a brief factual statement: On this…

Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Taki: Should I just move to a cave in France?

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Gstaad   Do any of you know what cisgender is? I just found out. Cisgender is a term that describes…

Durban Notebook: a nation in paralysis

20 October 2018 9:00 am

No one likes uncertainty and in Britain we’ve got more than our fair share. But spare a thought for South…

The white DJ: permissible only in Palm Beach, Biarritz or on the Riviera

My faux pas at the Duke of Beaufort’s bash

15 September 2018 9:00 am

A letter from a reader in South Africa mentions that the writer’s father insisted a white dinner jacket was permissible…

My fans say I could have won the Nobel – if it wasn’t for the bizarre sex

19 May 2018 9:00 am

The family ranch, which my father acquired when I was about six years of age, lay along the banks of…

Farming is a hard life no matter where you do it

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Laikipia, Kenya Erupe is a Kenyan farmer. He owns a smallholding of a few acres not far from my own…

Genocide in South Africa: now that’s a black-and-white issue

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Last time I was in South Africa I spent two weeks deep in the Karoo, that desiccated wasteland in the…

In Woolf’s clothing

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Martin Amis once said that the writer’s life is half ambition and half anxiety. While one part of your brain…

South Africa’s Heart of Darkness

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Trencherman was first published in Afrikaans in 2006 and translated into English for a South African readership shortly afterwards, but…

A glimpse of an older, kinder Chelsea

2 April 2016 9:00 am

The Parish Church of St Luke in Sydney Street, Chelsea, is enormous. Vaguely reminiscent of King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, it…

South Africa’s rainbow nation promise lives on — in rich, caged enclaves

20 February 2016 9:00 am

I went back to see my old house in Cape Town last week, and they’d put a cage around it.…

There may never be a better (or cheaper) time to visit South Africa

6 February 2016 9:00 am

There are plenty of places to fly to for winter sun, but only one place that offers five-star hotels for…

Every Test match should have a Ben Stokes (or even a Chris Gayle)

9 January 2016 9:00 am

On Sunday morning a friend texted: ‘You watching the big bash, or the domestic stuff down in Australia?’ On one…

Fear, loneliness and nostalgia: a return to Johannesburg

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Oddly enough, the cabin service people on the plane are constantly eating during the night, helping themselves to the first-class…

An innocent abroad defies South Africa’s insane colour code

16 May 2015 9:00 am

At the eye of apartheid South Africa’s storm of insanities was a mania for categorisation. Everything belonged in its place,…

The students tearing down Cecil Rhodes’s statue are still upholding his legacy

25 April 2015 9:00 am

‘Rhodes must fall!’ shouted angry black students at the University of Cape Town. The problem is — and it is…

Marlene Dumas at Tate Modern reviewed: 'remarkable'

7 February 2015 9:00 am

‘Whoever wishes to devote himself to painting,’ Henri Matisse once advised, ‘should begin by cutting out his own tongue.’ Marlene…

Blikkiesdorp, the shack settlement where Asad lived for the two years during which he and Jonny Steinberg collaborated on the book

Refugees and resilience: a story of Africa

24 January 2015 9:00 am

I would love to sit in on a Jonny Steinberg interview. Over the years this South African writer has perfected…

Johannesburg: a city trying hard to revamp its image

Low life’s Limpopo legend

3 January 2015 9:00 am

‘You’ve got a lot to live up to,’ said the ranger. ‘The last Spectator journalist who stayed here was Jeremy…

Norman Mailer’s wife comes out of the shadows

22 November 2014 9:00 am

‘It’s not as bad as I thought it would be,’ said Norman Mailer to his wife, Norris Church, after reading…

Portrait of the week

1 November 2014 9:00 am

Home The last British combat troops turned over Camp Bastion in Helmand to Afghan forces and withdrew from Afghanistan after…

At least South Africa has the world’s best murder trials

18 October 2014 9:00 am

 Johannesburg I was astonished, in London the other week, to discover how closely you Britons were following the Oscar Pistorius…