African National Congress (ANC)

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 [...]

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 [...]

When it’s over, we want all our rights back, Cyril

In 1966, two eminent academics at the University of Natal (as it then was), professors Ronald Albino and Tony Matthews, published a paper in the South African Law Journal entitled “The permanence of the temporary”. The article was an examination of the 90-day law and the 180-day detention regime which allowed the National Party regime, [...]

SA needs a bazooka to fight the virus. Cyril offered us a pea shooter

Covid 19 has converted us all into armchair immunologists. So here’s a trick question used sometimes to test aspiring medical specialists: “What treatment is offered by ear in an emergency?” The correct answer: “Words of comfort.” At his best, Cyril Ramaphosa reminds me of a trusty doctor. He might have a lousy diagnosis to deliver, [...]

Sacrificing our future on the altar of false unity

We learnt this week that the South African minister of communications can’t pin the city of Geneva in the state of Switzerland.  But what of the state of our own nation as the government displays as many fractures as an orthopaedic ward? In parliament, DA leader John Steenhuisen asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to put country [...]

By |2020-02-23T06:23:01+00:00February 23rd, 2020|African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa, Eskom|0 Comments

ANC replicating apartheid past

The rear-view mirror is the preferred reflector for our government. Far easier to remember the apartheid past, in which most members of the governing party were victims, than the dire times that confront SA. But even this litigation of the past has both its distortions and its ironies. Take, for example, the latest piece of constitutional nonsense [...]

It would have been a false ‘New Dawn’ in Davos for Cyril

Imagine a pow wow in London this week, featuring the heir to the throne Prince William and his self-dethroning brother, Harry, and a cast of international and African worthies. The title of this gathering, “UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020”, of the great and the good, including a clutch of continental leaders, is both virtuous and self-evidently [...]

By |2020-01-22T06:37:41+00:00January 22nd, 2020|African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa|0 Comments

The good news first: SA isn’t as doomed as you think

As we end the first week of the year and enter the brave new world of the third decade of the century (not true for the pedants, as the last decade strictly ends on December 31 2020), note one big thing. According to the 2011 SA census, more than 40% of our 57 million population [...]

Well-intentioned men of zeal and the harm they do

In his famous 1928 dissenting opinion in Olmstead vs United States, US Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis offered a warning to freedom-lovers everywhere. He wrote: “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their [...]

Don’t even bother, Mmusi. Your ‘people’s dialogue’ will be a flop

Away from the Eskom horror show, far be it for me to rain on the “People’s Dialogue” to be launched soon by Herman Mashaba and Mmusi Maimane. However, a weather check may be in order to see whether a shaft of light may yet appear in our current darkness. There is an elephant’s graveyard in [...]