South African Politics

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, […]

Three SA ambassadors that present an ugly face to the world

Cynics here and elsewhere might think it appropriate that South Africa’s face overseas is that of a criminal accused

Readers might have observed last week’s moving ceremony in Hiroshima, when Barack Obama made history by becoming the first US president to visit the city America hit with an atom bomb in 1945 .

Less noticed, perhaps, was […]

Mediocrity Rules as we Keep Faith with Failed Remedies

When future historians write the current chapter of our national story, they will be spoilt for choice on its title.

Explaining how the once great hope of Africa slid down from the largest, investment grade  economy on the continent,  to third place, in a handful of years, and shed 1.3m jobs since 2009 (according to the […]

By |May 29th, 2016|South African Politics|0 Comments

Living in an upside-down world of two sets of laws

I FIRST saw the phrase “for my friends, everything; for my enemies the law” with reference to the modus operandi of Russia’s pitiless president, Vladimir Putin.

If you read accounts of the kleptocracy in the Kremlin and the ruthless manner in which Putin’s diktat is enforced, it seems an understatement.

The recently published book Red Notice: A […]

The Big Read: The race card is looking less like the ace of spades and more like a joker

An ornithologist noted that starlings, or the Indian myna here, move “at the same time, in the same direction, and all at once”.

You could say exactly the same thing about much of the noise in South Africa that passes for analysis of our political economy. Originality and, heaven forbid, dissenting from the conventional wisdom, often […]

Tony Leon: ‘Jan Smuts se woorde steeds waar vir SA’

Hy bly optimisties oor Suid-Afrika se toekoms ondanks die kruispunt van krisisse waar die land hom tans bevind, het Tony Leon Woensdagaand in ’n toespraak voor die Britse parlement se Henry Jackson-vereniging gesê.

Suid-Afrika het presies 22 jaar gelede sy rug op 350 jaar van rasseverdeling, uitbuiting, onderdrukking en ystervuis-regering gedraai. In 1994 het die land […]

Nkandla excesses expose the glaring gap in founding law

The ideologically ramshackle coalition that gathered as the “People’s Consultative Assembly” last weekend at various centres showcased a veritable fruit salad of ideas and personalities.

Ranging from a retired judge to an avant-garde film director and a supporting cast of politicians, they were united by one galvanising idea: removing Jacob Zuma from the presidency.

A petri dish […]

Cronin still doggedly pushing a long-discredited ideology

I will, doubtless, not add longevity to the political shelf-life of Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin by expressing admiration for his bravery and eloquence. His marooning in the obscurity of a deputy ministry hardly matches his talents and struggle credentials. But the real wonder of it is that he holds any executive office at […]