Cyril Ramaphosa

What Ramaphosa has in common with Nixon, Clinton and Blair

To insert thread through the eye of a needle is the basic, though skilled, accomplishment of every seamstress. In politics, a needle-threader is someone who can pass something through a narrow space between two often diametrically opposite impulses or ideas. In the US, president Richard Nixon was regarded by some as a needle-threader extraordinaire: he [...]

By |2021-12-24T11:29:14+00:00December 24th, 2021|Cyril Ramaphosa|0 Comments

SA no longer has the constitution for our tragic pantomime

In 2004, British playwright Michael Frayn’s award-winning play Democracy achieved both critical and commercial success, despite its seemingly dull premise: German politics in the 1970s. I watched the performance in London at the time, utterly mesmerised as the play toggled between two themes. First, the highly charged political drama — the fall of left-wing West [...]

By |2021-12-09T15:23:19+00:00December 9th, 2021|Cyril Ramaphosa|0 Comments

Today politics says goodbye to a man whose name belies his character

Stanley Baldwin, three times British prime minister in the interwar years, opined on his departure from parliament in 1937, “Once I leave, I leave. I am not going to speak to the man on the bridge and I am not going to spit on the deck.” I have sometimes followed this advice and have very seldom [...]

By |2021-12-08T11:45:17+00:00December 8th, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa|0 Comments

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 [...]

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