African National Congress (ANC)

ANC shares Tories’ economy-hurting fixation on ideology

During an English heat wave, I recently escaped London to lose myself in the bucolic Kent countryside near the picturesque town of Westerham. I was one of many Winston Churchill latter-day pilgrims on a visit to his country home at Chartwell. This was where he lived or visited for more than 40 years from 1922 until [...]

Corrosive fallout from buying into ruling-party myth

Binge-watching a top-rated TV series is a sure-fire way to escape the depressing reality of SA's winter of discontent. But beyond escapism, one current series offers compelling insight into what happens to a society where trust is destroyed and truth is completely corrupted. Chernobyl is the masterful HBO-Sky series depicting the nuclear disaster at the eponymous [...]

Cyril’s grand plans and big bailouts won’t solve SA’s problems

SA’s longest-serving leader of the opposition, Sir de Villiers Graaff, had a handy solution to the numerous crises faced by his United Party. “When in doubt, Div would appoint a committee,” one of his confidantes once told me. That worked until it didn’t and the UP dissolved itself, appropriately perhaps, on a Johannesburg ice rink [...]

Cyril’s fine words can’t hide his failure to save SA from Zuma gang

“Never make predictions, least of all about the future,” was the wise advice of Hollywood mogul Sam Goldwyn. The same might be said of political slogans and phrases, some of which barely survive contact with the real world. As Theresa May limps through her last days as prime minister of Great Britain, and the fight [...]

Bold movers or losers? The Cyril and Mmusi conundrum

Commentators should be indebted to The Times (of London) ace columnist Clare Foges for transposing the medical affliction Achromatopsia, or colour blindness, and applying it to the bewildering world of (non) Brexit Britain. In her Monday offering, Foges noted that the Conservative Party – hitherto the most successful and enduring party in the Western world, the “natural [...]

Cyril assumes power – but not over his own party

'Dual use" is the national security theory on the dilemma that arises when something of benefit to humanity can also harm it. Thomas Friedman, global affairs columnist of the New York Times, this week quoted a security strategist on the US clampdown on China's Huawei: "Everything that makes us powerful and prosperous also makes us [...]

Ramaphosa, Eisenhower ace the same hole – up to a point

At the height of America’s postwar supremacy in the 1950s, which birthed the baby boomer generation and saw the US standard of living soar, the country’s 34th president was emblematic of its elevated national mood and international standing. President Dwight D (“Ike”) Eisenhower – Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during the war – and thereafter [...]

IEC shows mediocrity has become the norm in SA

The biggest loser in Wednesday’s election was an institution, not a party or any leader: the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC). Heedless of 25 years’ experience, it contrived to combine, in the words of Helen Zille, incompetence with “ineffable smugness”: double voting due to indelible ink that wasn’t; voting stations that were meant to open [...]

We all know that Ace is far from alone. Now let’s do something about it

The recent Easter weekend coincided with the intensification of campaigning for the upcoming general elections. The double advantage of a large audience and the ennoblement of the speakers with the blessings of a higher authority created a magnet for politicians to harangue congregations across the country. There were no reports of any of the political [...]

More votes for opposition could shift SA from its mix of toxic politics and bad economics

In 2014 Financial Times columnist Philip Stephens went to Moscow. He was in search of an answer to the question why Vladimir Putin was, in the teeth of his weak economy and restive populace, doing such apparently risky things as invading neighbouring Crimea and threatening the states in Russia’s “near abroad”. The best response he [...]