Jacob Zuma

OK, now for the 10-point credibility plan, Mr President

Just hours after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Monday evening announcement of a “10-point power crisis plan”, educationist and public commentator Jonathan Jansen commissioned an online survey. Jansen asked respondents how confident they were that in respect of the “bold announcements of the president to fix the energy crisis that this time words will become actions?” Of [...]

Waiting for Ramaphosa goes from Phala Phala party to a black Christmas

The death of acclaimed film critic Barry Ronge in early July was a jarring reminder to me of how he held our English 1 class at Wits University spellbound with his wit and articulacy 42 years ago. Ronge’s lecture topic back then was “the theatre of the absurd” — at the time very voguish with its [...]

Cyril the Silent is reminiscent of National Party ‘reformists’ during apartheid

“The rest is silence” were the last words of Hamlet shortly before his death and the end of the epic play by William Shakespeare. Could this be the political  epitaph for the wounded presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa? Like the Prince of Denmark he is a figure of hesitancy and indecisiveness on one hand and a [...]

There’s more chance of seeing the Easter bunny than relief funds reaching victims

This past weekend saw Christians and Jews celebrate Easter and Passover respectively, two of the principal holidays in both religions’ calendars. Easter of course is the post-crucifixion celebration of the miracle of the resurrection, while Passover celebrates the exodus from the enslavement of pharaoh in ancient Egypt, delivered in part by God visiting 10 deadly [...]

Magnitsky Acts kick in as sanctions against Russia echo apartheid boycott

Just on six years ago, in the depths of the Jacob Zuma era and the ANC’s state capture project, I wrote a column highlighting two powerful phrases originating from South America that had been applied to the kleptocracy emerging in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Both also applied, with interest, to the state of Zuma’s capture of [...]

By |2022-04-11T06:35:15+00:00April 11th, 2022|Jacob Zuma, Russian War, Vladimir Putin, World Politics|0 Comments

SA’s politicians quite simply don’t have enough ‘skin in the game’ to care

Lebanese American polymath Nassim Nicholas Taleb has gifted the world with imperishable ideas wrapped in memorable metaphors. In 2007 he published his ground-breaking book The Black Swan which illustrated the chaos caused by unpredictable, unprecedented events occurring outside the range of predictive probabilities bringing severe consequences in their wake. Some years before its publication, the late US [...]

Power of the courts prevail against SA’s once-most-powerful citizen

“This is the way the world ends”, TS Eliot wrote at the conclusion of his 1925 poem The Hollow Men, “Not with a bang but a whimper.” An apt epigraph for how the Nkandla stand-off ended late on Wednesday evening as Jacob Zuma was arrested and sped off to spend his first night incarcerated. No insurrection, [...]

By |2021-07-09T11:48:49+00:00July 9th, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Jacob Zuma|0 Comments

Judicial bribery slur warrants immediate action

In my new book, Future Tense - Reflections on My Troubled Land, a chapter entitled "Rogue Diplomats" deals with a certain breed of our ambassadors - a fairly long and depressing list of eminences and excellencies who were brought home after their shenanigans here rendered moot their diplomatic functioning overseas. On the list is our one-time [...]

By |2021-02-28T09:43:02+00:00February 28th, 2021|Cyril Ramaphosa, Jacob Zuma, Opinion|0 Comments

Ramaphosa is failing in his duty to protect the constitution

I was in New York the day after the November 2004 US presidential election. George W Bush’s re-election — by a far wider margin than the polls had predicted — was of immediate interest. However, it was a column by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof, published that day in the New York Times, that set out for [...]

Corruption and conspiracies: the lies that bind our Zuma and Israel’s Bibi

At first blush, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu and our dethroned former president, Jacob Zuma, have zero in common. The one presides over one of the most successful economies in the world, the other drove ours into a ditch. Zuma is a staunch ally of the Palestinian cause; Netanyahu has made a career out [...]

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