Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa’s ‘credibility gap’ now stands as a yawning chasm of disbelief

Last Thursday in the United States, a special prosecutor, Robert K Hur, exonerated President Joe Biden on charges of mishandling classified documents in a report of more than 400 pages. But just nine words of it could mark the epitaph for the president and herald the return of Donald Trump to the White House. Hur (appointed [...]

Faced with a difficult election, the ANC is fuelling a ‘paranoid style of politics’

At the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, pop sensation, an understatement, Taylor Swift became the first honouree to win Album of the Year for the fourth time, eclipsing Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder in the process. At just 54kgs, Taylor Swift bestrides the world of music today as a modern-day colossus, her concerts [...]

SA’s latest fit of morality sponsored by the ‘bankrupt’ ANC

In 1843, Lord Thomas Macaulay, an English politician and historian, wrote: "We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality." Substitute the ANC government and update it to present times, and you achieve a neat fit for the crowing and posturing of President Cyril Ramaphosa and [...]

Enough with government’s ‘obligatory optimism’

Enver Hoxha was the remorseless Communist dictator who held the Balkan country of Albania in his pitiless grip for just over 40 years from 1944 until his death in 1985. Once, uncharacteristically, in his New Year message for 1967, he did offer his long-suffering country a burst of candour when he advised: This year will [...]

SA once had a clear vision, now we’re just a muddle

You need to go quite far back to find a time when SA had a universally admired president, his deputy — to whom no personal or financial scandal attached — was thoroughly engaged in keeping the machinery of government humming, and the country had a clear and serious view of its place and purpose in [...]

The ANC invents a sixth stage of grief

In 1969, Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified the five stages of grief as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Fifty or so years later, Eskom added one more stage, six, to the national misery index through load-shedding, though our government remains stubbornly stuck in stages one (denial) and two (anger). On Monday, we were treated to [...]

In SA, hard and soft power battle against each other

In the degraded discourse around local politics a niche backhander on social media — aimed at dissenting or decamping DA figures that are usually black — is “watch out, you’ll soon be sent to Harvard”. This meme suggests, absurdly, that the official opposition has the magical ability to use Harvard, the world’s pre-eminent and richest [...]

The eerie silence after the weekend’s twin events in Cape Town has been deafening

Due to economic headwinds gusting in the face of the publishers of this newspaper, and the media sector overall, today’s column is the last in a series I’ve written for TimesLIVE Premium and its print predecessor stretching back more than a decade. My columns for Business Day continue through December. I will miss my engagement [...]

Try as he may, Ramaphosa is no Kolisi … or Mandela

I should be grateful to President Cyril Ramaphosa for declaring my birthday on December 15 a public holiday. My day of birth, of course, never featured in his calculation and is unknown to him. But declaring December 15 a public holiday, six weeks after the epic World Cup victory the mighty Springboks reaped on Saturday [...]

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