Cyril Ramaphosa

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

Ramaphosa is being swallowed by a widening credibility gap

In 1966, as the US escalated its involvement in the Vietnam War, beleaguered president Lyndon Johnson and his administration denied the surge. Congressman (and later president) Gerald Ford coined the phrase “credibility gap” — the discrepancy between what a politician claims to be the case and the facts of the matter. Columnist Walter Lippmann suggested this [...]

By |2020-02-18T06:19:36+00:00February 18th, 2020|Cyril Ramaphosa, Eskom|0 Comments

Come on Cyril! FW did it, Mantashe has just done it. You can do it too

To mark the 30th anniversary of FW de Klerk’s earth-shaking speech to parliament on February 2 1990, veteran journalist Tim du Plessis sent me an inquiry. “Can you describe”, he asked, “where you were and what you felt when you heard the news?” My answer – on the one speech ever delivered in parliament which [...]

By |2020-02-05T06:02:17+00:00February 5th, 2020|Cyril Ramaphosa, FW de Klerk|0 Comments

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 [...]