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Corruption and conspiracies: the lies that bind our Zuma and Israel’s Bibi

At first blush, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu and our dethroned former president, Jacob Zuma, have zero in common. The one presides over one of the most successful economies in the world, the other drove ours into a ditch. Zuma is a staunch ally of the Palestinian cause; Netanyahu has made a career out [...]

How a slip of the tongue far away helped bring down apartheid

On Saturday night in Berlin, the capital of chic modernity in Europe and of its largest economy, throngs celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the most menacing and divisive symbol of the Cold War. On November 9 1989, Berlin was ground zero of the four-decade battle between the liberal market [...]

By |2019-11-13T06:49:12+00:00November 13th, 2019|Opinion, Uncategorized, World Politics|0 Comments

Veterans of long haul are not rattled by death notices

In the furies of social media, it is worth a reminder that obituary writers declaring the death of political parties often turn out to be premature. Or even dead wrong. In 1994, at the dawn of our democracy, many death notices were penned for the Democratic Party, which had a dreadful election on the back [...]

ANC’s brazen hypocrisy on Venezuela reveals its warped view of the world

“Imagine,” a Western diplomat from a leading investor nation in SA told me recently, “If we had said during the struggle for democracy here:  ‘It’s not our business’.” “And if we had added to this that the future of South Africa cannot be determined by outsiders, least of all by those from the West. “There [...]

Of economic windfalls and political disasters

Karl Lagerfeld, the fashion genius at the house of Chanel who died this week in Paris, was described by a peer as "the creator of dreams". Whoever conceived the 2019 ANC election slogan, however, must be living a nightmare right now. To quote the party billboard: "The Power is in Your Hands - Grow SA". [...]

By |2019-02-28T08:06:58+00:00February 24th, 2019|Cyril Ramaphosa, Eskom, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Do Cyril and Tito dare break the racial quota taboo at Eskom?

Thursday is the most downcast budget day since the arrival of the ANC in government in 1994. Back then, the international isolation of the departing apartheid regime coupled with the minus growth of the local economy under siege had left the new administration with a bare fiscal cupboard. Indeed, incoming minister Mac Maharaj, a confidant [...]

Cyril Ramaphosa can take valuable pointers from Roosevelt’s play book

A year ago today, Cyril Ramaphosa was inaugurated as SA president, taking over a country on the verge of a nervous, indeed general, breakdown after the rampaging excesses and gross delinquencies of the Jacob Zuma administration. Leaving aside the highly inconvenient fact that Ramaphosa was the number two man at the helm for  more than [...]

The rise of the political professional has paralysed SA parties

And then there were none. That was the thought that occurred last Thursday, in Bryanston, Sandton, when I attended the memorial service for Rupert Lorimer. Until his death in early January, Lorimer was the last living member of the group of six new MPs who, in 1974, were elected to parliament for the Progressive Party, [...]

The voices we hear – and don’t hear – as poll fever bites

The rancorous tone of the election campaign here, even before its official start, suggests many readers might prefer to take a spin in a Land Rover driven by Prince Philip than endure three more months of political noise. Expect it to get even louder and nastier. Bill Clinton, at one time a vote-winner of note, [...]

The economic miracle of a land dubbed ‘ardently capitalist communist’

A couple of weeks ago, from 10,000km away, I had an epiphany. Or several of them. On a family vacation, I was standing outside the enormous, postmodern Samsung factory near Da Nang, a coastal city and resort in central Vietnam. The first of these was a remembrance, aided by Max Hastings’ new book, Vietnam — An Epic [...]

By |2019-01-25T09:21:59+00:00January 25th, 2019|International Politics, Opinion, Uncategorized|0 Comments