South African Politics

Premier move: Maimane dodged the bullet of political idiocy

By wisely turning away from the baubles of premiership, the DA leader avoided splitting the party leadership Last week in London I attended a dinner with some starring members of the British political establishment. The entire menu of conversations covered Brexit, and that was a day before Theresa May was ambushed by the European Union [...]

It’s land now. Will it end with the death penalty?

The trouble with changing the Constitution is that it opens the Pandora's Box of populism Last week, South Africa endured a terrible, awful and simply bad few days. Problem is that our troubles are now arriving, to channel Shakespeare, ‘not as single spies but in battalions.’ Emerging market contagion was the start of it, currency [...]

By |2018-09-13T08:48:40+00:00September 13th, 2018|Cyril Ramaphosa, Finance, South African Politics|0 Comments

The not so secret sauce SA doesn’t have

“Resilience!”. That’s what two business mavens advised me was the secret sauce which allows South Africa to power on. Even with blackouts from Eskom and other daily travails from our failing state. “Africa’s grocer” as resilient Shoprite Checkers is dubbed displayed some of this sauce, not on its aisles, but in its annual results published [...]

By |2018-08-27T09:26:20+00:00August 27th, 2018|Donald Trump, South African Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

Vietnam War-like outcomes loom over social engineering schemes

With SA’s currency crashing through the floor, the petrol price going through the roof and confidence going out of the window, few bright spots shine amid a winter of discontent. But one stay-at-home value proposition (at a monthly subscription of just $9) is Netflix. It provides a cornucopia of viewing richness, unadorned by adverts or [...]

Looking backwards to go forward is hardly the way to make progress

Fear of being on the wrong side of history shows up again at celebrations around Helen Suzman’s centenary One of the many features of SA today is a fascination with looking in the rear-view mirror, almost to the exclusion of the road ahead. But often, the view backwards is distorted. Tuesday November 7 provided seminal [...]

By |2017-11-18T22:52:13+00:00November 18th, 2017|Helen Suzman, South African Politics|0 Comments

A state of mindlessness: Our nation’s continuing plummet to disaster defies belief

South Africa faces multiple disasters: a combination of reckless misgovernance and now, with the worst drought in living memory, the Hand of God thrown in for good measure. On the subject of the divinity, the old saw "Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad" has been given a uniquely modern South African [...]

By |2017-11-15T10:27:38+00:00November 15th, 2017|Jacob Zuma, South African Politics|0 Comments

Helen Suzman Was An Intensely Human Politician And Not A Saint

We should learn the right lessons and draw the correct conclusions from the extraordinary and well-lived life of Helen Suzman. Exactly 10 years ago, on 7 November 2007, I telephoned Helen Suzman in Johannesburg from Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I was a resident Fellow at its famous university. I called to congratulate her on her 90th [...]

By |2017-11-10T09:37:39+00:00November 7th, 2017|Helen Suzman, South African Politics|0 Comments

Once disgraced Mbeki era now seems like the golden age

In 1967, US author Allen Drury wrote a book on apartheid South Africa entitled A Very Strange Society. Fifty years later, and two-plus decades into our post-apartheid story, we have added several new chapters to our national tragedy, though that title remains very contemporary. The strangest part started just shy of 10 years ago: at [...]

By |2017-11-06T11:12:11+00:00November 1st, 2017|Jacob Zuma, South African Politics, Thabo Mbeki|0 Comments

Creating a desert where excellence can’t bloom

Many years ago, Harry Oppenheimer suggested that “In Johannesburg there is nothing to see and in Cape Town there is no one to talk to.” Recent population shifts have altered the conversation imbalance. But that does not mean each conversation in the Mother City offers reassurance. Last Monday, I asked a senior academic at University [...]

By |2017-10-30T21:23:51+00:00October 29th, 2017|South African Politics|0 Comments

The parallels between Jacob Zuma and Harvey Weinstein cannot be missed

There are obvious comparisons to be drawn between fallen Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and beleaguered President Jacob Zuma. Both have been accused of inappropriate conduct, or worse, misconduct, towards women and abusing their positions of power. Zuma was of course acquitted of rape charges and Weinstein has yet to be charged. With eight women, at [...]

By |2017-10-23T14:20:09+00:00October 18th, 2017|South African Politics|0 Comments