Cyril Ramaphosa

Bill Browder and Tony Leon argue that money, not morality, dictates South Africa’s support for Vladimir Putin

King Charles III has conferred a signal honour on South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa. He has invited him on a state visit to Britain this month, the first by a foreign leader since the king came to the throne. That is in spite of South Africa’s refusal to condemn Russia’s merciless war in Ukraine. In [...]

ANC candidates sing from the same ideological hymn sheet

To see how little distinguishes the lead candidates for the ANC presidency when it comes to policy and ideology, consider their stance on the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill currently before parliament. In June 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa, apparently famed for his consensual approach to public policy, announced that NHI was “coming to you whether [...]

What will kick off SA’s Arab spring?

In 2011 Xi Jinping was simply vice-president of China, before ascending to the top post as party general secretary (or supreme leader), to which he is set to be affirmed for a third term by his Communist Party at its 20th national congress. Back then he hosted a visit to his country by Joe Biden, [...]

Joburg was made a political ‘offer it couldn’t refuse’

“The Return of the Locusts” is an apt and lapidary title for the political melodrama which played out in the City Council chambers in Braamfontein, Johannesburg late last week. In short and dramatic order, following the ouster of the Speaker of the Council, a motion of no confidence was passed against the former mayor, Mpho [...]

Ramaphosa’s meeting with US president a non-event, just like his reforms

One of Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite aphorisms was, apparently, “I have to be seen to be believed”. Yesterday, after the pomp, circumstances and flummery of her state funeral at Westminster, and later, her final committal at Windsor, her grandson Prince William, the Prince of Wales, tweeted “5.1 billon people watched the queen’s funeral, 63% of [...]

Truss me on this one, Liz: new dawns get old fast

Newly elected (by the tiny universe of her own party members) British PM Liz Truss has surfed to power on a blue wave of Conservative support, though by a lesser margin than polls predicted, or any of her recent predecessors enjoyed. Still, a win is a win, and though she might soon founder on the [...]

State dysfunction got airborne with Ramaphosa’s DRC flight of fancy

Last weekend, the Sunday Times ran a front-page exposé by Erika Gibson on the saga of high-flying Cyril Ramaphosa. His office splurged R2.6m to hire a 320-passenger SAA Airbus A340 to transport 12 people, including the president, to a single meeting in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the report said. A day late [...]

Get it together or liberation from ANC remains a tantalising dream

Might the ancient Greek myth of Tantalus offer a modern warning to the warring tribes in the ranks of SA's opposition parties?  Tantalus, readers might recall, was punished by the gods for sacrificing his son for a feast and was doomed to stand for the rest of his life in a pool of water beneath [...]

SA’s US policy is foreign to say the least

Remarks this week by international relations minister Naledi Pandor represent a rhetorical Venn diagram between her intelligence and experience on the one hand, and her obligation to parrot the party line, encased by impractical commitments and ideological rigidities on the other. This awkward intersection was on full display during the visit to Pretoria on Monday [...]

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