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 […]

When good leaders turn bad

Lula and Brazil’s descent from grace goes a lot beyond country and personality

The great, now sadly late, rocker Prince will be remembered for many things, from musical genius to edgy sexuality and the shock of the new back in 1978.

Back then he burst onto the musical scene with his debut album For You.

But, unlike some […]

By |April 28th, 2016|Ambassador of Argentina, World Politics|0 Comments

Where’s South Africa headed? Just look at Argentina

So much wealth and wellbeing was squandered by bad governance and even worse economic policies

THIS month three years ago I had an interesting encounter with one of the most senior members of our government.
I had just returned from my stint as SA ambassador to Argentina, and I was asked for my views on that country. […]

Tough questions for our democratic parliament to answer

In an eventful, and crisis-driven three terms as British Prime Minister, Tony Blair both created and confronted some big issues and hairy moments.

Here is his unequivocal description of the worst of them: “ It was the most discombobulating, nail-biting, bowel-moving, terror-inspiring, courage-draining experience in my prime-ministerial life, without question.”

Was he describing the decision to stand […]

By |September 27th, 2015|International Politics, Opinion, South African Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

Time of political fracture links polls continents apart

TWO rather different leadership contests are happening this week. In the UK tomorrow, a new prime minister will be chosen, and in SA on Sunday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) will choose a new leader. The consequences of these choices will have hugely different effects.

The UK might count for less in the world these days than […]

By |May 7th, 2015|Opinion, South African Politics, World Politics|0 Comments

Lessons from a leader who banned chewing gum

The ‘guided democracy’ lead by the late Lee Kuan Yew had plenty of lessons — both good and bad — that can come in useful for leaders around the world
Nineteenth-century French writer Gustave Flaubert was of the view that “our worth should be measured by our aspirations more than our works”.

He would go down a […]

By |April 30th, 2015|Opinion, World Politics|0 Comments