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 […]

Snapshots of greed, gestures of change, and genuine hope

Political gestures can be low-cost or ultra-expensive, harmless or dangerous, provide evidence of sunset on the old order or can morph into a false dawn. Political assassinations are at the extreme end of such symbolism.

One hundred and two years ago, the murder in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, famously tipped […]

The Big Read: Looking for someone to blame

It’s difficult to capture in a headline the essence of what is going on, and going wrong in South Africa right now.

If you were to borrow the title from the world of books, perhaps Beryl Bainbridge’s slim 1996 classic of the night the Titanic sank Every Man for Himself, would be a handy summary.

If current […]

Can Gordhan’s Black Knight survive the repeated attacks?

There is merriment on social media, writes Tony Leon, but Zuma is in a deadly serious battle for the economy as he shrugs off election losses and takes SOEs under his control.

Memes – those social media images that go viral on the internet – were in overdrive this week to herald the improbable trifecta of […]

Whites: The scapegoats that the Jews once were

“Populism flourishes on conspiracy theories, conjuring up sinister forces seeking to undermine people’s interests”

IN AN essay published in late September in The New York Review of Books entitled “Fear”, US novelist Marilynne Robinson accused certain extremist strands in contemporary American Christianity of being “unchristian” in that they peddle a noxious cocktail of “ignorance, intolerance and […]

By |November 24th, 2015|Parliament, South African Politics|0 Comments

Jacob Zuma: Party first, country and constitution second

Give the man a Bells — or should that be a cuppa tea?

If our dear president drank infusions stronger than his preferred rooibos tea, I guess you would give the man a Bell‘s. Since tea was the preferred metaphor for Gwede Mantashe‘s recent attack on his predecessor, Kgalema Motlanthe, for daring to suggest that the […]

Why #FeesMustFall succeeded where others failed

Why did there appear to be such broad sympathy and support for the student cause?

On the first night of the Jewish Passover festival, to commemorate the exodus from enslavement in Pharaoh’s Egypt over 5 700 years ago, a famous question is raised.

The youngest person at the dinner (seder) table traditionally asks:
“Why is this night different […]

By |November 11th, 2015|Parliament, South African Politics, Youth|0 Comments

Mbeki got away with skipping question time and ministers routinely evaded censure

YOU couldn‘t make it up. Peering at the world through chic European spectacles, shod in Italian shoes, chauffeured in a German car and the beneficiary of R25-million from a US-listed mining house, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete assailed Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema — and for even worse than being a “cockroach”.

According to a […]

By |February 24th, 2015|Parliament, Thabo Mbeki|0 Comments