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 […]

With Trump, as with Malema, Fear is the Key to Poll Success

Never underestimate the power of the negative — especially when it comes to election campaigns. Scare tactics often trump logic at the ballot booth.

If you are feeling somewhat scratchy following the budget hair shirt our maestro minister of finance had to wear on Wednesday in parliament, look away from these shores for some relief.

I don’t […]

Zuma: A delicate time in a dangerous year

It was Gauntlett, apparently, who determined that, in order to save Zuma legally, he would have to wound him politically

Long ago when British Prime Minister Harold Wilson was under political siege, he shrugged off cascading crises around him with the phrase, “A week is a long time in politics.‘‘

Decades later, when Conservative cabinet minister John […]

Why Iowa caucus is not a barometer of popular sentiment in the US

Iowa is very different from the rest of the US. With an ever-shrinking white majority in the country as a whole, this state is over 91% pale

On Tuesday when you found all your DStv news channels clogged with news from Iowa, blame it on a largely unknown former governor of the US state of Georgia […]

Mbeki’s race rage — and what he did (not) do about it

Thabo Mbeki’s detractors await his defence of real areas of controversy around his rule — literally the A to Z, from AIDS to Zimbabwe, writes Tony Leon

BACK at the dawn of the last century, readers of The Strand Magazine in London lined up in droves to buy the next instalment of the latest Sherlock Holmes […]

Beware the ‘moral panic’ that will put SA on a slippery slope

“The obligatory optimism of a socialist society”. That was the working description penned, years back, by Albanian prize winning author Ismail Kadare on life and literature under the tyrant’s heel of the ultra-authoritarian Enver Hoxha.

Just last week, here at home and at the start of our twenty first year of constitutional democracy, we received […]

The two things Herman Mashaba has in common with Donald Trump

Mashaba practises the old-fashioned method of “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps”

Who benefited from Jacob Zuma‘s extraordinary, still unexplained, decision to go through three finance ministers in five days in mid-December?

Apart from the market mavens and/or financial gamblers who shorted the rand, we received at least one answer on the upside in past days.

Pioneering […]

Hopes on minister’s newly found strength and muscle

IN FOUR days of market turmoil, political crisis and apocalyptic moments, there were ironies aplenty, alongside a lot of gallows humour. Born-again Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan personifies the greatest of them.

In a matter of days, he has replaced the shortest-lived and weakest finance minister in the country’s history, Desmond van Rooyen, to become the strongest […]

Zuma may shrug, but the country is at a crisis point

No good blaming PW or apartheid for this unhappy mess, it is of far more recent origin and largely self-created

South Africa, as it ends 2015, a year we would probably rather forget, faces an economic crisis as serious as the political train wreck of 30 years ago, in 1985.

Then President PW Botha famously never crossed […]