South Africa, Israel, Iran and … Kroonstad?

‘The ideological attraction of our government to authoritarian Iran perhaps lies in the unquiet grave of past history’

Here is a tale of three countries. Let‘s call them A, B and C. Country A is experiencing its worst drought in living memory.

Last year, according to one report, country A recorded its lowest rainfall “since comprehensive records […]

By |June 22nd, 2016|International Politics, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

The Big Read: Let he who has ears, hear

Exactly seventy-two years ago on Monday, June 6 1944, over 150000 allied troops stormed the Nazi-held beaches of Normandy, France, a day immortalised as D-Day.

D-Day began the final, though bloody, phase of the war against Hitler and the liberation of Europe from the Nazi jackboot, achieved with finality the following spring, on May 8 1945, […]

Three SA ambassadors that present an ugly face to the world

Cynics here and elsewhere might think it appropriate that South Africa’s face overseas is that of a criminal accused

Readers might have observed last week’s moving ceremony in Hiroshima, when Barack Obama made history by becoming the first US president to visit the city America hit with an atom bomb in 1945 .

Less noticed, perhaps, was […]

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 […]