South African Politics

DA spots economic benefits in fields rejected by ruling party’s dogma

Forays to Taiwan and Israel show a willingness to put trade before the ANC’s outdated political solidarity, writes Tony Leon

Tshwane DA mayor Solly Msimanga brought out the dragon in the pro-Sino ANC with his recent jaunt to the Middle Kingdom’s enemy Taiwan. No doubt, this week new heights of apoplexy will be scaled in governing […]

By |January 17th, 2017|Jacob Zuma, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

Coach Zuma’s ANC is in a relegation battle

What is it about sport that provides so many cautionary tales for life generally and politics in particular?

Such an irreverent thought fleetingly occurred to me as I half-watched the ANC’s 105th birthday bash at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

Perhaps it was the venue itself: like the organisation it hosted, pretty ancient and somewhat modest in size […]

By |January 11th, 2017|Jacob Zuma, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

West Africa gives cause for hope

Citizens have voted out well-entrenched leaders in a democratic surge in part of the continent, writes Tony Leon

To update Pliny the Elder’s well-worn phrase in my imperfect schoolboy Latin, perhaps it is now apt to write Ex Africa Occidens aliquid novi — Out of West Africa always something new. This modernisation is due to two […]

By |December 15th, 2016|Jacob Zuma, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

From the lofty heights of Mandela to the depraved depths of Zuma

LAST Friday, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the signing of South Africa‘s constitution, I was, physically and metaphorically confronted by a version of my much younger self. The view was not entirely reassuring.

The event was a reunion, of sorts, in Cape Town: former staff members of the Constitutional Assembly — the South […]

By |December 14th, 2016|Jacob Zuma, Opinion, South African Politics|0 Comments

Plunder, stealing – and this they falsely call a presidency

Tony Leon finds parallels in literature ranging from Superman to Tacitus to ‘Catch-22’ for the plight of the president and his party.

Several notables are cited as originators of the famous formula, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

Among the claimants is Joseph Heller, author of the iconic 20th-century satirical novel Catch-22.

Proof positive […]

By |December 4th, 2016|International Politics, Jacob Zuma, South African Politics|0 Comments

The Big Read: It’s the same sad old story

On the weekend, as the once feared Springboks were humiliated by Wales for only the third time in 110 years, just after the Italian job, their riches-to-rags story coincided with a newly released academic report. It has resonance beyond sport, right into the ugly heart of local and world events.

The UK’s Daily Mail published a […]

By |November 30th, 2016|International Politics, South African Politics|0 Comments

Malema and the black swan moment

“Finance minister Pravin Gordhan, stands like Horatio on the bridge trying to hold back the ratings agencies”

A FRIEND of mine in London sent me an amazing betting statistic. If you had wagered a paltry £5 on a trifecta of Leicester City winning the Premier League in May, Britain voting for Brexit in June and Americans […]

By |November 16th, 2016|Donald Trump, Julius Malema, Pravin Gordhan, South African Politics|0 Comments

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 […]