Opinion

SA won’t prosper while it bends its knee to Cliff-hanging cancel culture

With the decision of Cricket SA to force all Protea players to “take the knee” and Quinton de Kock’s stance not to bend, the issues of free speech and the right of individual dissent now spillover from the Twittersphere to the playing fields. But the issues at the heart of this have a long history, [...]

By |2021-10-27T06:41:02+00:00October 27th, 2021|Elections, John Steenhuisen, Opinion|0 Comments

Reasons for the ANC’s continuing failure to think

Why do governments pursue policies contrary to their own interests? That paradoxical question was at the heart of Barbara Tuchman's 1984 popular history, The March of Folly. In her panoptic sweep from the wooden horse at Troy to the quagmire of US folly in Vietnam, she noted: "Mankind, it seems, makes a poorer performance of government [...]

By |2021-09-26T09:08:15+00:00September 26th, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Opinion|0 Comments

It’s a sad indictment on the ANC that it couldn’t get a quorum for its own bill

Last Thursday, as my column, “Do the ANC’s small disasters signal the large collapse?", for our sister publication Business Day was in the works, I had no idea an event in parliament would provide another example of my thesis. In the Business Day column, I catalogued the serial chapters of ineptitude and crass negligence, from unpaid staff and tax [...]

By |2021-09-15T09:14:20+00:00September 15th, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Elections, Opinion|0 Comments

The JSC is shaking the foundations on which it was built

A millennium or so ago, sometime between the first and second centuries, the Roman poet Juvenal asked a question that resonates now in troubled SA. “Quis custodiet Ipsos custodes?” or “Who will guard the guards themselves?” remains key, especially for a country which, on the one hand, celebrates its constitution and, on the other, finds [...]

By |2021-09-01T09:33:48+00:00September 1st, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Helen Zille, Opinion|0 Comments

Was Biden weak or is he doing a Ramaphosa and playing the long game?

Last Thursday, while driving in the English countryside, various authoritative voices on BBC Radio Four provided a counterpoint to the heavy traffic. The topic was, of course, Afghanistan, and the experts speculated that the capital city, Kabul, was in danger of encirclement at some future point, “perhaps even on the anniversary of 9/11”, in view of [...]

By |2021-08-18T06:27:13+00:00August 18th, 2021|Opinion, World Politics|0 Comments

Beijing’s mood-souring tech clampdown shows power of totalitarian state

There are many reasons to mourn the absence from the public space, and in some of our lives, of Jonathan Ball, the outsize SA publisher who died prematurely of cancer at 69 in early April. Ball was a consummate and brave book publisher, a combination of coruscating wit and curmudgeonly opinions, and a paid-up member [...]

By |2021-08-11T08:22:33+00:00August 11th, 2021|Opinion|0 Comments

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

Stop trying to hide your failings with euphemisms, weasels

This week’s standoff in Nkandla will tell us a lot about who we are as a country. It will speak volumes on where we stand on the rule of law and equal treatment of all citizens, and how even-handed the state and its agencies will be in applying the adage that no-one is above the [...]

It’s a steal: billionaires right on the money

'Insert the topic of billionaires in a book title and you have a seller'', is the view of Jeremy Boraine, publishing director at Jonathan Ball Publishers. Indeed. Of the top five bestselling titles in SA right now, three of them deal with that tiny subset of local billionaires, the Afrikaans super-rich. The Stellenbosch Mafia by Pieter [...]

By |2021-06-27T08:11:27+00:00June 27th, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Opinion|0 Comments

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 [...]

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