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About Tony Leon

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So far Tony Leon has created 275 blog entries.

Lacking courage to tackle SA’s disasters, Cyril’s credibility crumbles

A few weeks back, and for the first time in more than a decade, I addressed a parliamentary caucus of the Democratic Alliance, on the party’s 20th anniversary. These current dire times dictate virtual Zoom meetings as the new normal. So, I was unable to gauge the body language of my audience that day; and I [...]

By |2020-07-22T07:45:05+00:00July 22nd, 2020|Cyril Ramaphosa|0 Comments

Malawi’s triumph for democracy gives a cheerless world reason to take heart

Landlocked and impoverished Malawi occupies little attention in this country or the world’s consciousness. Yet this predominantly rural and often blighted central African country has at key moments emerged from the shadows and thrust itself into the spotlight here and well beyond these shores. In May 1970, its dictatorial President for Life, Dr Hastings Banda, [...]

By |2020-07-08T07:31:28+00:00July 8th, 2020|Opinion, World Politics|0 Comments

Opposition is a thankless task, but we can’t do without it

The late former leader of the parliamentary opposition, Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert, once said that to do his job “you need iron in the soul”. That phrase provides the title for an interesting book I read recently on the leaders of the official opposition here, authored by Unisa academic Alex Mouton. An even bleaker prospect was [...]

By |2020-07-03T06:34:30+00:00July 3rd, 2020|Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen|0 Comments

Plagues, locusts and SA’s political R factor

The fiscal apocalypse outlined in Wednesday's emergency budget was biblical in proportion and probably could add a new page to the Book of Revelation. Instead of reminding us of the End of Times, which is certainly on the cards as the country careers off the economic cliff face, Tito Mboweni settled for the Book of Matthew. He reminded [...]

SA ignored warnings about its debt crisis. Now you and I will pay dearly

When Tito Mboweni rises in parliament on Wednesday afternoon to present his revised budget, the normally emollient finance minister will likely replace his usual beaming smile with a grim rictus. This, after all, in the direst economic circumstances in more than 70 years (cue the Great Depression of the 1930s as an approximate marker on [...]

The racial slant in Cyril’s Floyd-Biko parallel reveals his true colours

The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A Caro ranks as one of the finest biographies yet written on leaders and their complexions, compulsions and achievements.  In volume four of this epic work, The Passage of Power, Caro writes of the moment when Johnson was thrust into the presidency after the assassination of John F Kennedy in [...]

How Cyril went from secular saint to Mampara

Dominic Cummings - the controversial adviser to Boris Johnson who is in the eye of the storm for bending if not bypassing the UK lockdown regulations he imposed on the country - has a gift for pithy phraseology. He famously crafted the winning slogan of the 2016 referendum: "Take Back Control". Then, to provide the [...]

The clunking government fist on corona echoes Stalin’s Soviet Union

“The National Coronavirus  Command Council”, which for past 10 weeks has governed our lives sans any input from parliament, sounds ominous enough to be plucked from the old Soviet Union playbook. Actually it is far more a case of command than council. On Sunday evening, beyond the clichés and warmed-up rhetoric of Cyril Ramaphosa, he [...]

Too many Covid-19 puzzlements an uneasy resonance with pre-Nazi Germany

As South Africans endure the seventh week of home imprisonment, the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is, to borrow from the song in The King and I, “a puzzlement”. First puzzle is our new overlord, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She seems to imagine that viral microbes possess an intelligence wing. And while several of her fellow ministers, [...]

This is not our Mao or Pol Pot moment – there’s a pandemic to fight

Academic-turned-politician Prof Belinda Bozzoli MP recently noted that that there is “weird sort of millenarianism floating around in certain quarters”. “Millenarianism” is a reference to the belief, usually religious or political, of a coming fundamental transformation of society in which “all things will be changed”. In Bozzoli’s view this manifests itself here in the belief [...]