Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril’s credit may prove on Monday to have been flushed away

Back in 1970, in the whites-only general election, the United Party (UP) campaigned with a poster: “Want TV? Vote UP!” My progressive teenage set ridiculed the official opposition for such a marginal message, given the miseries of apartheid. However, in that poll, for the first time in six elections, the UP actually gained seats off [...]

It’s a pity the DA posters have overshadowed the real election issues

“You cannot fatten a pig on market day.” This adage from British politics resonates here and now in the dismal run-up to polling day on November 1. The implication is that unless you have a track record of delivery, or even basic decency established well ahead of voting day, you are unlikely to reap the [...]

Do the ANC’s small disasters signal the large collapse?

Schadenfreude — taking pleasure in the misery of another — is not regarded as a civic or social virtue. Still, it was difficult for SA’s long-suffering citizens — long reconciled to the ineptitude and crassness of the governing ANC — to suppress some delight knowing many of the sins our political overlords have visited on [...]

Punch-drunk public runs out of faith in its leaders

Cascading corruption, sky-high unemployment, and state incompetence. This daily diet of misery is now so mundane and common that what once induced shock and outrage in us is shrugged off. We have, as South Africans, learnt to normalise the abnormal. Last Sunday, readers were treated to the front-page headline of “Spy boss ‘took R112m’ ” [...]

SA should insist the UK changes its ludicrous Covid travel curbs

The Venn diagram, where public health imperatives and political needs intersect, is opaque, if not a mess. It is the meeting point between poor policies and arbitrary decisions. South Africans found plenty to justly criticise about government overreach in the 16 months since the country was first placed under lockdown on March 26 2020. The [...]

By |2021-08-04T07:13:56+00:00August 4th, 2021|Boris Johnson, Corona Virus, Cyril Ramaphosa, Opinion|0 Comments

If we can’t have a GNU, let’s have a GOAT

Perhaps only a tragedian playwright of ancient Greece can do rhetorical justice to the leadership legacy of Nelson Mandela. Sophocles wrote: "One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been." Last Sunday, shell-shocked South Africans, some in the midst of the rubble and disaster of a five-day looting spree which [...]

Public trust gone: look what happened while Cyril played his ‘long game’

Prof Harry Hindsight and the School of Post-Event Rationalisations have been in overdrive these past days in looted and riot-ravaged parts of SA. Though conspicuous by their absence from KwaZulu-Natal during the intense first days of the lawless violence, police minister Bheki Cele and the oxymoronically titled “minister of state security” Ayanda Dlodlo proved to [...]

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 [...]

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