Cyril Ramaphosa

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 [...]

Pandemic covers and uncovers a multitude of sins

Senator J. William Fulbright occupies a place in the political Pantheon reserved for a breed now extinct: he was a Southern Democratic Senator who staunchly opposed the war in Vietnam in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He lost his re-election bid in 1974 for being too out of touch with his conservative voters. But he did [...]

The big disconnect between preparation for Covid-19 and the Credit-20 crash

A famous question was asked by British monarch Queen Elizabeth II: “Why did no-one see it coming?” This was not her question on the coronavirus pandemic, but her inquiry at the London School of Economics back in November 2008 on the credit crunch set off by the global financial crisis, which the British queen described [...]

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, [...]

More Cyril, please, and less of the cabinet confusion

Our world, our country, our lives, all our assumptions and prejudices now divide in two. Globalisation pundit Thomas Friedman defines it as "BC" (before coronavirus) and "AC" (after coronavirus). With SA and much of the world now imprisoned at home, we can add a third acronym: "DC" - during Covid-19, the state we are in [...]

By |2020-03-29T08:17:41+00:00March 29th, 2020|Corona Virus, Cyril Ramaphosa|0 Comments

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