Cyril Ramaphosa

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 [...]

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 [...]

SAA crashes while Ethiopian Airways soars, but Cyril just blathers on

On Monday in London – at separate venues – two heads of state were in action delivering speeches to different audiences in the same city, but their rhetoric was joined by a common incredulity, even cynicism, on whether hard deeds will follow fine words. The speech that grabbed the headlines, helped by the majestic backdrop [...]

By |2019-10-16T07:20:16+00:00October 16th, 2019|Boris Johnson, Cyril Ramaphosa, SAA|0 Comments

Power-crazed Mugabe’s path to longevity is well-hewed by dictators

Thomas More’s prescription sola mors tyrranicida est (“death is the only way to be rid of tyrants”) proved to be half-right when 95-year-old Robert Mugabe died in Singapore. Theoretically, it was not his physical demise but a political event, an in-house coup by his one-time trusted deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in 2017, which led to his downfall. But [...]

By |2019-09-25T09:44:41+00:00September 25th, 2019|Cyril Ramaphosa, Robert Mugabe, Thabo Mbeki|0 Comments

The treasury wish list for boosting growth is right – extremely so

“Running out of Road” is the pertinently titled report by the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) report on our dreadful public finances. When you actually drill down into the detail of our cratering revenues and blowout expenditure, “Headlong Into a Cul de Sac” or “Entering the Death Zone” might be even catchier. The CDE [...]

By |2019-09-04T06:44:35+00:00September 4th, 2019|Cyril Ramaphosa, South African Politics|0 Comments