Corporate world afraid to unite against the presidential road to ruin

Fearful kakophony drowns business voice, writes Tony Leon.

‘Who do I call when I want to speak to Europe?” Apparently, Henry Kissinger never uttered this great quip attributed to him, on the impossibility of receiving a coherent and unified response from the EU.

But the line is useful shorthand right now, with local substitution, to frame the […]

South Africa: Between a snafu and a fubar

On Zuma’s watch, growth has halved, the national debt has doubled and another million are unemployed

THERE‘S a grim choice confronting the US electorate in November between the two most unpopular candidates in polling history. This caused Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson — one of the most erudite and eloquent people on the planet — on […]

Tony Leon: ‘Jan Smuts se woorde steeds waar vir SA’

Hy bly optimisties oor Suid-Afrika se toekoms ondanks die kruispunt van krisisse waar die land hom tans bevind, het Tony Leon Woensdagaand in ’n toespraak voor die Britse parlement se Henry Jackson-vereniging gesê.

Suid-Afrika het presies 22 jaar gelede sy rug op 350 jaar van rasseverdeling, uitbuiting, onderdrukking en ystervuis-regering gedraai. In 1994 het die land […]

Nkandla excesses expose the glaring gap in founding law

The ideologically ramshackle coalition that gathered as the “People’s Consultative Assembly” last weekend at various centres showcased a veritable fruit salad of ideas and personalities.

Ranging from a retired judge to an avant-garde film director and a supporting cast of politicians, they were united by one galvanising idea: removing Jacob Zuma from the presidency.

A petri dish […]

Cronin still doggedly pushing a long-discredited ideology

I will, doubtless, not add longevity to the political shelf-life of Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin by expressing admiration for his bravery and eloquence. His marooning in the obscurity of a deputy ministry hardly matches his talents and struggle credentials. But the real wonder of it is that he holds any executive office at […]

A betting guide to Jacob Zuma’s survival

Zuma knows where, figuratively at least, all the bodies are buried and who has been caught in the web of intelligence networks he controls

For those of us who grew up under the unlamented apartheid regime, racial repression was lashed onto dour Calvinism.

This meant that everything from cinemas on Sunday to television (until 1976, at least) […]

President’s qualified apology echoes typical irresponsibility

FRIDAY night’s prime-time television performance by President Jacob Zuma, on the back of the devastating Constitutional Court judgment the day before, was something to behold. It is capable of almost endless interpretations, although the path forward remains unclear.

Gone was the customary giggle, the chuckle and the rictus. Zuma’s qualified and exceedingly rare apology was delivered […]

South Africa’s Houdini in ANC box of Gewede

You need a rhino hide to survive at the top in politics.

With so many darts, though many are injected with the truth serum, shot at Jacob Zuma, it’s a wonder he’s still walking, never mind standing.

But with the equivocal support –backing him but investigating his favoured émigré family the Guptas, from his national executive, JZ […]

It’s Jacob Zuma’s country, the rest of us just live here

SA has no record at all of any minister ever resigning on a point of principle. So the concept of a ‘resignation speech’ remains alien to our political culture

On November 13 1990, the former deputy prime minister of Great Britain, Geoffrey Howe, rocked the House of Commons in his quiet, measured and, this time, deadly […]

Gordhan has his work cut out saving SA from the credit junkyard

THE thinking behind Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech must have been partly inspired by the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. The fable of getting things “just right”, and not too extreme at either end certainly sat front and centre of last Wednesday’s effort: avoid scaring the markets with swingeing tax hikes was […]