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As constitutional darkness descends, Zuma is starting to feel the heat

‘You have to go a long way back to find a cabinet which is so openly at war with itself’

The brilliantly funny 1993 movie Groundhog Day concerns an unpleasant weatherman, played by Bill Murray, who is covering the annual ritual of the groundhog emerging from its hole to predict the arrival of spring.
But he is […]

By |October 19th, 2016|African National Congress (ANC), Pravin Gordhan|0 Comments

SA’s animal farm offers double hiding holes for jackals and wounded buffalo

The most famous use of animal allegory in political satire was by George Orwell in his 20th-century classic Animal Farm. Its place in the canon of the most influential books of our time is cemented because of its brilliant, indirect, but coruscating account of a magnificent and just revolutionary cause morphing into a nightmare of […]

By |October 13th, 2016|African National Congress (ANC), Pravin Gordhan|0 Comments

The Big Read: Cheap-seat tweets expose Trump as the ultimate hack

Two events last Friday morning, oceans and several time zones apart, remind us that politicians embrace the full spectrum of the ethical universe.

First up, literally since it was predawn, were the intemperate, vituperative and ranting tweets – starting at 3am – of US presidential candidate Donald J Trump.

These were on heavyweight matters: on the size […]

By |October 5th, 2016|International Politics, US elections, World Politics|0 Comments

Tregernomics: An Interview with Tony Leon

Tony Leon is a major figure in South African politics. He became the leader of the Democratic Party in 1994, and over the next five years, he helped grow it into South Africa’s second largest party, making him Leader of the Opposition. He held this role for several years until 2007, keeping the ruling African […]

By |October 3rd, 2016|International Politics, US elections, World Politics|0 Comments

Corporate world afraid to unite against the presidential road to ruin

Fearful kakophony drowns business voice, writes Tony Leon.

‘Who do I call when I want to speak to Europe?” Apparently, Henry Kissinger never uttered this great quip attributed to him, on the impossibility of receiving a coherent and unified response from the EU.

But the line is useful shorthand right now, with local substitution, to frame the […]

South Africa: Between a snafu and a fubar

On Zuma’s watch, growth has halved, the national debt has doubled and another million are unemployed

THERE‘S a grim choice confronting the US electorate in November between the two most unpopular candidates in polling history. This caused Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson — one of the most erudite and eloquent people on the planet — on […]

Snapshots of greed, gestures of change, and genuine hope

Political gestures can be low-cost or ultra-expensive, harmless or dangerous, provide evidence of sunset on the old order or can morph into a false dawn. Political assassinations are at the extreme end of such symbolism.

One hundred and two years ago, the murder in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, famously tipped […]

The Big Read: Looking for someone to blame

It’s difficult to capture in a headline the essence of what is going on, and going wrong in South Africa right now.

If you were to borrow the title from the world of books, perhaps Beryl Bainbridge’s slim 1996 classic of the night the Titanic sank Every Man for Himself, would be a handy summary.

If current […]

Can Gordhan’s Black Knight survive the repeated attacks?

There is merriment on social media, writes Tony Leon, but Zuma is in a deadly serious battle for the economy as he shrugs off election losses and takes SOEs under his control.

Memes – those social media images that go viral on the internet – were in overdrive this week to herald the improbable trifecta of […]

Herman Mashaba: Most vulnerable at the moment of his greatest triumph

Jacob Zuma once famously blamed Jan van Riebeeck for creating South Africa’s problems.

On Monday, the nation watched a chaotic marathon meeting where the most glittering metro prize of all, Johannesburg, slipped from the ANC’s grasp. Now the president can go even further back in our colonial history to cast about for his party’s woes.

To borrow […]