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Mandela put SA first. The same can’t be said of Jacob Zuma

Nelson Mandela was born last week 99 years ago, when the telegraph was the means of mass communication. But much of the commemoration of his July 18 birthdaywas in cyberspace across social media platforms.

One such meme sent to me on the birthday, appropriately encased in a black border, bore the legend: “It ’s little use having 1 Mandela day and 364 […]

By |July 26th, 2017|Jacob Zuma, South African Politics|0 Comments

The Big Read: Thank you, Bell Pottinger

Imagine you own a large and successful plumbing and sanitation company. You decide to go big with the launch of your new corporate headquarters. You invite your major clients and the media to the event.

Then, moments after the event commences, disaster strikes. In full view of the assembled dignitaries, the pipes burst, spewing water all […]

By |July 12th, 2017|Jacob Zuma, South African Politics|0 Comments

The dangerous delusions on planet Zuma

For students of American politics, there are at least three reasons to remember the late U.S. Senator from Arizona, Barry Goldwater. 

First, as the Republican presidential nominee back in 1964 he posted one of the most catastrophic losses in modern American politics. Incumbent president Lyndon Johnson demolished him by the extraordinary margin of 22.58% of the […]

By |June 28th, 2017|International Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

And the ‘Every Man for Himself’ award on Zuma’s sinking ship goes to…

US President Donald Trump has strong local competition for the award which columnist David Brooks recently bestowed on him. 

He declared that the erratic leader of the free world as ‘ the all-time record holder of the Dunning-Kruger effect.’

In 1999, David Dunning and Justin Kruger – two academic psychologists at Cornell University – described how people […]

By |June 25th, 2017|International Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

The Big Read: Expect only the unexpected

‘Present at the Creation’ was the title of US Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s autobiography.

As the US’s chief diplomat between 1949 and 1953, he inaugurated and witnessed key events that shaped our world after the end of the war against Hitler and the commencement of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union.

The […]

By |June 14th, 2017|Brexit, International Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

Restive voters pull rug from under the feet of complacent potentates

It’s the memes wot won it. This shorthand definition of an image, video or cartoon — usually humorous and shared rapidly by internet users — is one of many explanations for the extraordinary results posted in Thursday’s British general election. Bundled off the campaign just three days before the poll because of a series of […]

By |June 12th, 2017|Brexit, International Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

Two lessons from abroad on how to bring our rainbow back

Israel is one of the few countries available for the South African political establishment to burnish their human rights credentials. 

For reasons of solidarity and expediency or simple inattention,  such gross rights violators as Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Syria –where political protestors are shot dead, imprisoned or gassed  with poison respectively, escape both attention and censure.

Thus  the […]

A tale of two seriously damaged presidents. One of them is ours

‘The return of Molefe to Eskom and the ridiculous reasons offered for it makes even Trump’s explanation for firing James Comey seem plausible’

Here are two — of several — quotes plucked from the weekend which seem to describe the depressing national condition into which the Jacob Zuma presidency has plunged South Africa with its continuing […]

Unravelling constitutional threads that keep fabric of nation intact

Small business minister is the latest recruit to the ranks of thread-pullers that put hard-won settlement at risk

From the balcony of my temporary accommodation on a marina outside Tel Aviv last Monday, I witnessed the flyover of the latest additions to Israel’s air force, already by far the mightiest in this war-ravaged region. Israel is […]

By |May 10th, 2017|International Politics|0 Comments

Lessons from the battle for an open public space

‘ The courts, despite some energetic rigging attempts by the majority party, still push back against a delinquent state; civil society, far from being muzzled, is fully throated in its denunciations of state capture and corruption’

Does distance lend enchantment, or just more distance?Writing this column in Tel Aviv, on the day Israel celebrates its 69th […]

By |May 3rd, 2017|Jacob Zuma, South African Politics|0 Comments