African National Congress (ANC)

Lessons from the pitch for parties on a sticky wicket

How might the Steve Smith-led Aussie ball-tampering scandal at Newlands inform some of the key issues affecting the body politic and our economy? The obvious answer is that even the prime minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, on Sunday described the incident as “completely beyond belief” and called for “decisive action” from Cricket Australia. Incidentally, this [...]

Back to the politics of the long haul for a post-Zuma DA

Here's a remarkable and democratically depressing fact: South African voters rarely change their national government. Under the whites-only franchise until 1989, the National Party won an extraordinary 11 consecutive elections. Since the advent of full democracy in 1994, the ANC has won five polls on the trot. The 40-plus percentage points separating the ANC from [...]

Why does Malema’s race threat go unpunished?

In Malema’s delicate phraseology, “We are going for your white man, we are going to cut your throat” His view on nationals from the key Brics nations? “Chinese are like Indians. They think they are close to whiteness. When they practise racism, they are even worse than whites.” Of course this bilious and crude ethnic [...]

Land-grab support gives glimpse of Ramaphosa’s likely presidential path

More than 250 years ago the second US president offered a slice of wisdom that might just resonate this week with SA’s fifth democratic president. It certainly informs the praise and criticism of Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration, now less than a month old. In 1770, John Adams, arguing in defence of soldiers in the Boston massacre, [...]

Ramaphosa faces a brave new world in the mining sector

But there are some early and welcome signs that his presidency will find ways to deal with it Last Wednesday, on the flight back to Cape Town from Johannesburg – the tail end of a long haul journey which commenced two days before in Sydney, Australia – I bumped into an old political acquaintance. Pravin Gordhan, [...]

Hypocrite-in-chief lectures populace on tax morality

FW de Klerk once said, “Australia’s greatest problem is that it has no great problem- nobody can say that about South Africa.” While South Africa in the past few days lived up to VI Lenin’s aphorism ‘there are decades when nothing happens and weeks when decades happen ‘– I found myself faraway “Down Under”. I [...]

All the signs point to junking most of our specialist forecasting models

Theresa May supremely in control of her country and party and the Brexit process; Angela Merkel, the indispensable leader of the western world, cruising to a resounding win in the German election; Donald Trump on course to blow up the US economy or to impeachment; Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma odds-on favourite to succeed her namesake as South [...]

‘Virtue signalling’ a poor and modern relation of political correctness

For the purpose of a new book which I have been commissioned to write‚ I have recently delved into the origins of the term ‘political correctness.’ Instinctively‚ perhaps congenitally‚ I am incapable of being ‘politically correct’. By this I mean subscribing or authoring opinions which hew to orthodoxy‚ however at variance with the facts on [...]

It’s early days, but Cyril may really be the game-changer

South Africa’s ruling party elects a new president; he assures audiences at home and abroad that he will herald an era of desperately needed reform leading to political and economic recovery. National and international opinion is deeply divided. The optimists, in short supply after the ruinous misrule of his unpopular predecessor, cling to the hope [...]

Malema is like Trump‚ but will the DA end up like Mbeki?

A few days late and many dollars short‚ as the old saying goes‚ Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday in East London delivered the ANC January 8 statement in celebration of the movement’s 106th anniversary. The lack of funds is not a reflection on the self-styled Buffalo Man’s huge net worth‚ but on the costly populist promises [...]