South African Politics

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 […]

Upcoming elections most important since 1994 – Tony Leon

Durban – The upcoming local government elections are probably the most important since 1994, former Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon said on Wednesday.

“I think although this is a local government election, given the backdrop against which it’s happening from Nenegate, through to the multiple crises of governance and the mushrooming of corruption, it is the […]

By |July 6th, 2016|Democratic Alliance, Elections, South African Politics|0 Comments

After Brexit, the great unravelling

Unlikely a place as England might be for a political earthquake, it is perhaps the setting for a great unravelling

In July 1961, in London’s West End, a new musical play debuted to critical and commercial success. Entitled Stop the World – I Want to Get Off , it was set in a circus.

Last Thursday, British […]

Where righteous anger meets rigid allegiance

Alan Paton would not have shrunk from crucial change whatever the cost, writes Tony Leon

Way back in 1974, in the village of Botha’s Hill when KZN was called Natal, apartheid was at its apogee and South Africa was another country, the boarding school I attended there played host to its most distinguished resident.

Alan Paton glared […]

By |June 27th, 2016|South African Politics|0 Comments

Myeni rules with racial bean counter’s version of Stalin’s

VOLTAIRE’S Dr Pangloss believed that “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”.

With Tshwane now in flames, ANC ministers at war with each other and a winter of discontent everywhere, it’s hard to be a Panglossian optimist. Fear not, aside from tuning into the SABC, you can always read the South […]

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, […]