Jacob Zuma

Corruption and conspiracies: the lies that bind our Zuma and Israel’s Bibi

At first blush, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu and our dethroned former president, Jacob Zuma, have zero in common. The one presides over one of the most successful economies in the world, the other drove ours into a ditch. Zuma is a staunch ally of the Palestinian cause; Netanyahu has made a career out [...]

Cyril’s fine words can’t hide his failure to save SA from Zuma gang

“Never make predictions, least of all about the future,” was the wise advice of Hollywood mogul Sam Goldwyn. The same might be said of political slogans and phrases, some of which barely survive contact with the real world. As Theresa May limps through her last days as prime minister of Great Britain, and the fight [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]