The personal is political
In a popular essay published in 1970 titled "The personal is political", American feminist Carol Hanisch argued that many personal experiences can be traced to one's location within a system of power relationships. While Hanisch's essay focussed on men's power and women's oppression, the same argument can be made of any type of oppression that's rooted in social structures or inequality.
It is for this reason that in this week's briefing we deviate from our standard analysis on the big political story of the week, to focus on the personal and one of the biggest scourges our country faces: sexual abuse.
The story of how former teacher and media executive Willem Breytenbach allegedly sexually abused young men for 40 years and never got caught is not only the story of a sick man or of those he abused, although for some of his victims, it will be their only story. Rather, it is the story of the power abuse that plays itself out hundreds and thousands of times all over South Africa in many shapes and forms.
So what good does it do us to publish the sordid details of Breytenbach's depraved actions? Our hope is that we may learn something about the social and power dynamics that breed these kinds of misdeeds and embolden future victims to expose their tormentors.
In this week's briefing, Adriaan Basson and Jenna Etheridge speak to Breytenbach's alleged victims, Mandy Wiener interviews Deon Wiggett, the man behind the podcast that exposed Breytenbach and legal experts Sarah Hoffman and Emma Sadleir write about how Instagram amplifies the risk for children of coming across sexual predators.
News24 opinions editor
Adriaan Basson and Jenna Etheridge
It is between Kroonstad and Three Anchor Bay that Willem Breytenbach spent the prime of his adult life - what now appears to be an undeniable fact - as a sexual predator and got away with it. For 40 years.
It's difficult to describe how anxious and jumpy Deon Wiggett is. It's not just now during the interview, but always. His legs do not stop bouncing, his hands fidget and his eyes flutter. If you've listened to the podcast, you'll know that he speaks in an awkward staccato, at times mulling each word, at others firing them off in rapid succession. He's self-deprecating and wry.
Sarah Hoffman and Emma Sadleir
Without overseeing what our kids are doing on Instagram, checking in frequently and having multiple conversations around your children's online activity, they are bound to make mistakes with long term serious psychological, reputational and even legal consequences.
In this much-anticipated finale of a series of podcasts co-published by News24, Deon Wiggett recounts a chilling story of how he and other boys were allegedly sexually molested more than 20 years ago by Willem Breytenbach, who used to be a teacher at a prestigious school and later became an executive at Media24.
SIGN UP for the Friday Briefing newsletter, delivered to your inbox early every Friday morning, for insight and analysis on the big political story of the week.
We subscribe to the Press Code.
You choose what you want
News24 on Android
Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.
Terms and Conditions
24.com Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012
Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.
This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.