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About Tony Leon

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So far Tony Leon has created 299 blog entries.

This is what I really meant when I called Maimane an ‘experiment’

The death last week of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose extraordinary long and consequential life was heralded across the world, has occasioned many reminiscences from thousands of encounters with His Royal Highness. For while Prince Philip always walked two steps behind his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, he was usually several paces in front of [...]

Don’t blame ‘vaccine apartheid’ as you sleepwalk through pandemic, Cyril

Using the old South African trope of eliding the 27-year-in-office government from any blame or accountability for its missteps was given a whole new meaning on Monday. The usual all-purpose, all-weather ruse of blaming apartheid is more challenging in respect of the novel coronavirus which only took root here last March, almost 26 years after [...]

By |2021-03-31T08:36:56+00:00March 31st, 2021|Corona Virus, Cyril Ramaphosa|0 Comments

Israel a handy alibi for SA’s poor foreign policy

In 1977, when apartheid was at its zenith and Johannesburg still had a booming city centre, I helped organise a conference at a five-star establishment, the President Hotel, where, as a first-year university student, I was hugely impressed by the passion and profundity of our keynote speaker, the 46-year-old firebrand secretary-general of the South African [...]

By |2021-03-28T06:36:06+00:00March 28th, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Opinion|0 Comments

How can SA swallow Cyril Ramaphosa’s big whoppers?

In 2011 Cyril Ramaphosa added to his personal fortune when he secured a 20-year deal, via his Shanduka Group, to run all 145 McDonald’s restaurants in SA. In 2016 he sold his franchise rights for “an undisclosed sum” to a Middle Eastern company. No doubt the president still has a fond attachment to junk food’s [...]

The simple fact is that the ANC has been in power too long

A famous historian archly observed that “the wheel of history is often turned by the god of irony”. We have no shortage of examples of this fundamental truth. Joel Netshitenzhe, regarded as the reigning intellect of the governing party here, popularised the adage, “the sins of incumbency”. In June 2012, when Jacob Zuma was in [...]

By |2021-03-17T05:47:28+00:00March 17th, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Opinion|0 Comments

How the ANC has chased away investors, taxpayers and prosperity

Despite the magic of [Nelson] Mandela and the so-called rainbow miracle, 900,000 South Africans left the country from 1990 to 2018. Although this covers all eras from [FW] De Klerk through to [Jacob] Zuma, it gives a flavour of the size of the exodus. And the group with the greatest mobility and the easiest options [...]

By |2021-03-09T09:13:43+00:00March 9th, 2021|Opinion|0 Comments

Who leads the DA when Steenhuisen follows another leader?

When I was leader of the opposition, I once compared the job with its certain punishments and uncertain prospects as “making bricks without straw”. Sometimes there were opportunities to reach and targets to hit, but equally the very basics for construction were often missing. From a now vanished age, late United Party MP and opposition [...]

Judicial bribery slur warrants immediate action

In my new book, Future Tense - Reflections on My Troubled Land, a chapter entitled "Rogue Diplomats" deals with a certain breed of our ambassadors - a fairly long and depressing list of eminences and excellencies who were brought home after their shenanigans here rendered moot their diplomatic functioning overseas. On the list is our one-time [...]

By |2021-02-28T09:43:02+00:00February 28th, 2021|Cyril Ramaphosa, Jacob Zuma, Opinion|0 Comments

To retain SA’s bread and butter, which is possible, you need to get creative, Tito

Next month my new book, Future Tense — Reflections on my Troubled Land, will hit the bookshelves here. There was one potential problem in crafting this effort, beyond the agonies of the creative process in general. Writing the book during the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020, beyond the intimations of mortality it induced in us all, posed [...]

By |2021-02-17T08:09:14+00:00February 17th, 2021|Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni|0 Comments

Ramaphosa is failing in his duty to protect the constitution

I was in New York the day after the November 2004 US presidential election. George W Bush’s re-election — by a far wider margin than the polls had predicted — was of immediate interest. However, it was a column by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof, published that day in the New York Times, that set out for [...]

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