African National Congress (ANC)

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 [...]

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

Slow and sedate Ramaphosa, so unlike fast and furious Trump

Having placed three bets on a Joe Biden presidential win, I was greatly relieved when the US networks called his election last week, even if the votes are still being counted and recounted, and Donald Trump refuses to concede and proclaims he was cheated out of victory. Six bottles of France’s finest bubbles have already [...]

ANC clings to its liberation ticket, but its expiry date is coming fast

Hard-pressed taxpayers need to brace themselves for the latest squeeze from the ANC. This is a recent proposal to increase state (i.e. taxpayer) funding of political parties from R146m annually to a whopping R500m, a surge of more than 240%. It’s an update of the definition of corruption in the city of Chicago – home [...]

By |2020-10-14T09:06:00+00:00October 14th, 2020|African National Congress (ANC), Opinion|0 Comments

Ramaphosa’s Catch 22: sacrifice the ANC to save the country

With just two televised speeches earlier in 2020, on March 15 and April 21, President Cyril Ramaphosa flew into the stratosphere of public approval. This rarefied plane has been occupied by few politicians, and none of his competitors or predecessors apart from Nelson Mandela. Ramaphosa was in control of a national emergency; decisive steps were [...]

By |2020-08-27T07:19:28+00:00August 27th, 2020|African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa|0 Comments

Shades of ’80s SA in this mysterious modern Star Chamber

The reason we use a 19th century remedy - washing our hands - for a novel 21st century virus is that the outer shell of the coronavirus is weak. The "lipid envelope" is easily destroyed by soap and water. I read this virological fact in an article by master novelist Ian McEwan, who also, via [...]

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 [...]

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