Cyril Ramaphosa

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 [...]

New leaders need policies that will divert SA from the cliffs that remain

Ramaphosa has to confront financial realities while placating populist lobby and dealing with land reform Plettenberg Bay is the poster resort for the glaring inequalities confronting SA — magnificent R50m mansions overlooking Robberg Beach, a proverbial stone’s throw from the shacks dotting nearby New Horizons settlement. Plett, though, was also the place where I had [...]

Ramaphosa will need some of FDR’s ‘tactical fluidity’ to right the ship

Shortly after Cyril Ramaphosa’s narrow victory , a senior opposition MP offered a vivid metaphor wrapped in a back handed compliment to the new ANC president. “It’s like a piece of driftwood which you grab with both hands in a stormy sea after a shipwreck”, my informant suggested. Ten years after the Jacob Zuma tsunami [...]

Zuma’s Munchausen syndrome has damaged all the country’s vital signs

President bangs on about unity, but it is he himself who infected a party that is falling further apart by the day Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has warned South Africans who display symptoms of lysteriosis, a dread disease caused by bacterium found in soil, water and vegetation, to seek urgent medical assistance. But this outbreak, [...]

Cometh the hour, cometh the man — in Pretoria as in Paris

Last Sunday heralded the promise of real political change in France and South Africa. Tony Leon analyses the parallels and differences There’s a pessimistic French expression Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose, which translates as  the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Two unrelated political events exactly one week ago [...]

Casual Constitution comments give glimpse of future under Ramaphosa

Whether on his track record he will be an answer to the prayer for a graft-busting president is open to question Long before he entered Parliament and moved up and down the ladder of power, and now up again, Cyril Ramaphosa was a communist and a trade unionist. Perhaps, as he eyes the glittering prize [...]