Russian War

Are Pandor’s Iran comments just ignorance, indifference or wilful blindness?

US President Ronald Reagan is attributed as once wisely noting that: "Politics is simple yet hard to do." Even more so in the international arena, as South Africa's contortions in the United States on the bilateral relationship revealed. Last week, International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor was in the news for two apparently related reasons. Domestically, she [...]

There are no straight lines in politics. Voters will get 3 versions of the ANC on 29 May

More than a decade back, I had a memorable dinner in Buenos Aires with a former White House speechwriter for President George W Bush. One of the guests present asked him what it was like to work for the 43rd President of the United States. Bush was famously regarded by voters as being both a [...]

Dial-a-quote Mbalula uncharacteristically silent on Alexei Navalny’s death

If you were doing a mental health check on the state of South African democracy today, schizophrenia could be an accurate diagnosis. On the one hand, never in its 30-year bumpy ride toward the pivotal 2024 election has the outcome been so unclear nor as contested. Evidence of the rude good democratic health here arrived [...]

Yikes! The moonshot pact is run from a pizza shop basement

As a Brics scene-stealer, it was hard to beat the offstage and out-of-the-sky antics of Pretoria’s absent friend, Vladimir Putin. Apparently on Wednesday a plane crash in Russia killed Wagner mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, once known as “Putin’s chef”. His death exactly two months after his short-lived mutiny against the Kremlin proves anew the adage [...]

Who needs trade benefits when we have resentments?

Last month, at a Brics youth summit in Durban, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the ring-mistress of RET resentments, went global in her full-frontal assault on the West, the World Bank, World Trade Organisation, ‘’five South African banks” and “dominant Eurocentric narratives of the world”. We can leave aside the irony that South Africa has this 74-year [...]

Now, more than ever, SA must reconsider its stance on Russia/Ukraine conflict

There will be a lot on the agenda during this week’s visit to Pretoria of German foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock. It is worth noting that last February when Russia launched its disastrous invasion of Ukraine, Bearbock’s boss, German chancellor, Olaf Scholtz, described the event as Zettenwende or “a changing of the times”. And in the 17 intervening [...]

Cyril can’t see the forest for the magic money trees

The genius dark television drama-comedy Succession, concerning the inner angst of super-rich media family the Roys, ended recently . Dynastic founder of the family empire, the monstrous Logan Roy, offered this withering put-down to his four dysfunctional children: “You are not serious people.” That’s a pretty good epitaph for the comedy of errors and worse [...]

It seems ANC chicanery can bring deeply divided US parties together

You have to hand it to the ANC and our spectacularly misnamed department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco). Both have achieved the rarest of rare feats: uniting the bitterly factitious and brutally acrimonious Democrats and Republicans in the US Capitol. The two major parties, which control the three branches of the US government, agree [...]

Ramaphosa’s game of bluff despite the mirror behind him

British statesman Roy Jenkins wrote of the life and career of French soldier-leader Charles de Gaulle that “compared with his companions on the world stage [De Gaulle] had mostly to play a poor hand from a weak seat”, adding that “he behaved in a way which, seeking grandeur, invited ridicule, yet always escaped it. He was [...]

There’s a mess all right, but unfortunately no Messiah

February’s explosive eNCA interview with former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter sucked all the oxygen from the ailing body politic. Understandably, since his assertions on high-level corruption and criminality were entirely plausible. His claims on the complicity of at least two cabinet ministers, and the connivance of a third who ignored it, in the malfeasance [...]

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