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About Tony Leon

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So far Tony Leon has created 17 blog entries.

The ANC’s policy phantasms won’t fly

On Monday , South Africans, wearied and depressed by endless electricity blackouts in the heart of winter, were offered by President Cyril Ramaphosa yet another solution — this time in the form of a “10-point power crisis plan”.  Most folk are caught between the hope that this time, against all odds and expectation, the plan [...]

OK, now for the 10-point credibility plan, Mr President

Just hours after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Monday evening announcement of a “10-point power crisis plan”, educationist and public commentator Jonathan Jansen commissioned an online survey. Jansen asked respondents how confident they were that in respect of the “bold announcements of the president to fix the energy crisis that this time words will become actions?” Of [...]

Waiting for Ramaphosa goes from Phala Phala party to a black Christmas

The death of acclaimed film critic Barry Ronge in early July was a jarring reminder to me of how he held our English 1 class at Wits University spellbound with his wit and articulacy 42 years ago. Ronge’s lecture topic back then was “the theatre of the absurd” — at the time very voguish with its [...]

Look who’s afraid of change while Conservatives keep it fresh

Writing this column from London amid an intense heatwave, the meltdown in the British Conservative Party offers no end of lessons for politicians and polities everywhere. Last Thursday Boris Johnson’s gravity-defying political survivalism was brought crashing down to earth as he was forcibly ejected — “by the herd”, as he dubbed his Tory colleagues — [...]

It’s when the moderate centre is quiet that extremists flourish

There are a lot of reasons right now to read or reread the works of Canadian author, Margaret Atwood. Her 1985 theological dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, recently brought to the screen as a miniseries, obtained fresh urgency in the light of the extraordinary US Supreme Court decision last week to remove the constitutional right to [...]

Cyril the Silent is reminiscent of National Party ‘reformists’ during apartheid

“The rest is silence” were the last words of Hamlet shortly before his death and the end of the epic play by William Shakespeare. Could this be the political  epitaph for the wounded presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa? Like the Prince of Denmark he is a figure of hesitancy and indecisiveness on one hand and a [...]

The scandal surrounding Cyril has opened yet another gate

At the recent Franschhoek Literary Festival, I watched a fascinating interview with mega-bestselling author (320-million books sold to date) Jeffrey Archer and local radio host John Maytham. The most interesting part of the discussion with the spry-looking 82-year-old author was his description of his daily work routine: at an age when most in his cohort [...]

After succeeding Meyer Kahn, Cyril Ramaphosa failed to take heed of his wisdom

Meyer Kahn, who died in Johannesburg last week, was described by a close friend and business colleague as “an ordinary man possessed of quite extraordinary abilities”. That handsome tribute to a business leader and former executive chair of SA Breweries, who with CEO Graham Mackay co-piloted SAB (later SABMiller and now merged into AB InBev) [...]

If I were the ANC I’d be a little concerned about my ties to UMK

Dealing with individuals sanctioned by the US can be hazardous. This is the lesson Vladimir Putin and his oligarch friends are discovering anew since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and swift and crippling sanctions imposed against them by the US, UK and EU. During the recent Franschhoek Literary Festival I interviewed, via video link, the [...]

Ramaphosa should know better than to endorse the ‘might is right’ world view

For someone who believes in antique ideologies — from state control of the economy to racial nationalism — Cyril Ramaphosa speaks in very postmodern terms. Postmodernism is the philosophy that there is no scientific or historical truth; and CR certainly peppered his remarks last week on the war in Ukraine with lashings of this concept. [...]

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