African National Congress (ANC)

By groveling to the EFF, the ANC is digging SA’s grave

At the ANC national conference in December 2017, which elected Cyril Ramaphosa as president by a tiny margin, the party adopted a resolution that consisted of two mutually destructive elements. On the one hand it resolved that nationalisation of land without compensation “should be one of the methods used by the state to address land [...]

By |2021-06-23T07:36:41+00:00June 23rd, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), EFF|0 Comments

Racial nationalist governments start to resemble each other

In the heyday of Die Burger newspaper and the National Party (NP) — for which the publication served as both house journal and chief cheerleader — their influence was consequential and often baleful. Posterity attributes to long-time Die Burger editor the late Piet Cillie the quote: “We had to practise apartheid to prove it could [...]

If SA is to live, its leaders must stop feasting on dead ideas

There are several reasons why Venezuelan polymath Moises Naim claims the attention of posterity. He served as the minister of trade and industry in his homeland when that country was the richest in South America. Afterward, he edited prestigious journal Foreign Affairs and along the way was an executive director of the World Bank. In [...]

Why persist in failure when solutions exist?

At the end of May, previously vaccine-starved SA faces a curious paradox: the supply of inoculations against the deadly coronavirus vastly exceeds demand. At least in theory. This strange dilemma is almost entirely explicable because the government, in light of so many demonstrable serial botch-ups on this front, insists on centralising and nationalising the broken [...]

The president loves big numbers and big talk but it’s all fantasy economics

My former parliamentary colleague, Errol “EK” Moorcroft, once offered sage advice on the perils of overpromising and underdelivering: “Least said, soonest mended” was his stance. President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government have a different approach. “Cyril loves big numbers” is the inside view of a National Treasury mandarin. Indeed, a scroll back to Ramaphosa’s “new deal [...]

Have you no sense of decency, Mkhize? Oh, how a mighty reputation has fallen

Eventually, after four years of unchecked recklessness which not even popular US president Dwight Eisenhower could interdict, US senator Joseph McCarthy was undone by one killer question. He provided posterity with the synonym for scapegoating individuals for disloyalty usually involving Communism, and in his case for making often unsubstantiated accusations involving the so-called “Red Scare”. [...]

Be worried, ANC. You’ve failed on jabs and jobs and the local polls loom

Local elections anywhere can often lead to false readings of the national picture. Such an error here in the local government polls in 2016 prefigured the national decline of the DA three years later in the general election in 2019. Many will remember how — against all expectation and for what passes as “informed commentary” [...]

As another Freedom Day passes, where are the genuine SA statesmen?

Historian CV Wedgwood wrote: “History is written backward but lived forward. Those who know the end of the story can never know what it was like at the time.” Very few, even if not present in the infamous Gupta compound in Saxonwold, won’t know the result of the extraordinary testimony at the Zondo commission, offered [...]

Our land of dreams has no help for pain

It is probably incautious in these incendiary times to remind readers of an acclaimed poet from the mid-Victorian era. Danger acknowledged, Matthew Arnold's elegiac composition, on the loss of faith and certainty, seems unusually modern and fits right in with the clamorous background noise that characterises SA in 2021. Although Arnold had in mind the [...]

Country’s top lawyers given short shrift in judicial appointments

SA leads the world’s constitutional democracies in its supply of judicial talent. That is the rational explanation for the decision-making processes applied by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), the body entrusted by the constitution with recommending candidates for appointment to the various divisions of our courts. How else to explain its recent decision to decline [...]

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