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About Tony Leon

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So far Tony Leon has created 233 blog entries.

How a slip of the tongue far away helped bring down apartheid

On Saturday night in Berlin, the capital of chic modernity in Europe and of its largest economy, throngs celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the most menacing and divisive symbol of the Cold War. On November 9 1989, Berlin was ground zero of the four-decade battle between the liberal market [...]

By |2019-11-13T06:49:12+00:00November 13th, 2019|Opinion, Uncategorized, World Politics|0 Comments

Look and learn: choking debt before it chokes you

Comparing two different polities, especially with different demographics, history and economies, can be fraught and error-ridden. Writing in Politicsweb recently, RW Johnson dismissed as “very silly” attempts to find “alleged SA analogies” in sovereign and leadership comparisons “as if everything that happens in the world needs to be translated into what it means for SA”. [...]

By |2019-11-12T06:30:18+00:00November 12th, 2019|South African Politics, Tito Mboweni|0 Comments

Mboweni and Ramaphosa, it’s time for action

This week’s medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) is the grimmest and most difficult in a generation. There’s the revenue shortfall, anticipated at about R50bn. The convenient — though perfectly valid — explanation for this huge undershoot is the internal sabotage at the SA Revenue Service by Tom Moyane and his merry men and women. The less [...]

Tito may not have good news, but he won’t fly a false flag – we hope

South Africans desperately seeking some good news are unlikely to find it in the speech in parliament on Wednesday afternoon from Tito Mboweni when he delivers the medium-term budget policy statement. Happier tidings might emerge from the pitch on Saturday afternoon when the Springboks meet England in the Rugby World Cup final at the International [...]

By |2019-10-30T04:38:24+00:00October 30th, 2019|Finance Minister, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

Veterans of long haul are not rattled by death notices

In the furies of social media, it is worth a reminder that obituary writers declaring the death of political parties often turn out to be premature. Or even dead wrong. In 1994, at the dawn of our democracy, many death notices were penned for the Democratic Party, which had a dreadful election on the back [...]

SAA crashes while Ethiopian Airways soars, but Cyril just blathers on

On Monday in London – at separate venues – two heads of state were in action delivering speeches to different audiences in the same city, but their rhetoric was joined by a common incredulity, even cynicism, on whether hard deeds will follow fine words. The speech that grabbed the headlines, helped by the majestic backdrop [...]

By |2019-10-16T07:20:16+00:00October 16th, 2019|Boris Johnson, Cyril Ramaphosa, SAA|0 Comments

SA is sliding down the road to ruin on the flat tyres of empowerment

About 15 years ago, in parliament, the Democratic Alliance spokesperson on education drew attention with a very telling metaphor. The House was then discussing yet another government assault on private school education, corralling the powers of their governing bodies and related items, in the pursuit of achieving equality of outcomes across all education sectors. Willem [...]

By |2019-10-02T08:08:24+00:00October 2nd, 2019|South African Politics|0 Comments

Instructive lessons for Eskom from British Leyland’s experience

There is a long, ever-lengthening, list of SA-originating business leaders who have achieved huge success and had high impact in boardrooms and markets across the world. Elon Musk and Roelof Botha in the hi-tech field in California (and even outer space in the case of the former); Ivan Glasenberg and Mick Davis in the world [...]

By |2019-10-01T06:11:22+00:00October 1st, 2019|Eskom, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

Rap on the knuckles for the new nationalists

Usually, I am a sucker for middlebrow musicals of the Sound of Music and Evita stamp, where you leave the theatre singing,  tunelessly but enthusiastically,  the showstopper tunes. But last week in London, and aptly on the eve of SA’s Heritage Day, I witnessed a musical event with such great and wider meaning, and performed in such an unusual, [...]

By |2019-09-29T06:11:14+00:00September 29th, 2019|Boris Johnson, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

Power-crazed Mugabe’s path to longevity is well-hewed by dictators

Thomas More’s prescription sola mors tyrranicida est (“death is the only way to be rid of tyrants”) proved to be half-right when 95-year-old Robert Mugabe died in Singapore. Theoretically, it was not his physical demise but a political event, an in-house coup by his one-time trusted deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in 2017, which led to his downfall. But [...]

By |2019-09-25T09:44:41+00:00September 25th, 2019|Cyril Ramaphosa, Robert Mugabe, Thabo Mbeki|0 Comments