Opinion

As another Freedom Day passes, where are the genuine SA statesmen?

Historian CV Wedgwood wrote: “History is written backward but lived forward. Those who know the end of the story can never know what it was like at the time.” Very few, even if not present in the infamous Gupta compound in Saxonwold, won’t know the result of the extraordinary testimony at the Zondo commission, offered [...]

Our land of dreams has no help for pain

It is probably incautious in these incendiary times to remind readers of an acclaimed poet from the mid-Victorian era. Danger acknowledged, Matthew Arnold's elegiac composition, on the loss of faith and certainty, seems unusually modern and fits right in with the clamorous background noise that characterises SA in 2021. Although Arnold had in mind the [...]

This is what I really meant when I called Maimane an ‘experiment’

The death last week of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose extraordinary long and consequential life was heralded across the world, has occasioned many reminiscences from thousands of encounters with His Royal Highness. For while Prince Philip always walked two steps behind his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, he was usually several paces in front of [...]

Israel a handy alibi for SA’s poor foreign policy

In 1977, when apartheid was at its zenith and Johannesburg still had a booming city centre, I helped organise a conference at a five-star establishment, the President Hotel, where, as a first-year university student, I was hugely impressed by the passion and profundity of our keynote speaker, the 46-year-old firebrand secretary-general of the South African [...]

By |2021-03-28T06:36:06+00:00March 28th, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Opinion|0 Comments

The simple fact is that the ANC has been in power too long

A famous historian archly observed that “the wheel of history is often turned by the god of irony”. We have no shortage of examples of this fundamental truth. Joel Netshitenzhe, regarded as the reigning intellect of the governing party here, popularised the adage, “the sins of incumbency”. In June 2012, when Jacob Zuma was in [...]

By |2021-03-17T05:47:28+00:00March 17th, 2021|African National Congress (ANC), Opinion|0 Comments

How the ANC has chased away investors, taxpayers and prosperity

Despite the magic of [Nelson] Mandela and the so-called rainbow miracle, 900,000 South Africans left the country from 1990 to 2018. Although this covers all eras from [FW] De Klerk through to [Jacob] Zuma, it gives a flavour of the size of the exodus. And the group with the greatest mobility and the easiest options [...]

By |2021-03-09T09:13:43+00:00March 9th, 2021|Opinion|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

Settling for mediocrity might be a pragmatic political position

It’s one of life’s cosmic mysteries. How did SA — amid the virulent deadly second wave of the coronavirus — manage not to have a comprehensive vaccine procurement and rollout plan? On Thursday, health minister Zweli Mkhize announced a “breakthrough” in securing 1.5-million doses of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine from India. But the brutal truth [...]

By |2021-01-10T11:37:26+00:00January 10th, 2021|Corona Virus, Opinion|0 Comments

Why ‘Marxist’ Bozzoli felt more at home in DA than in nationalistic ANC

Watching, online, the moving memorial service at Wits in tribute to its late academic leader and latter-day parliamentarian, Belinda Bozzoli, induced an element of time travel. It was 1978 and Bozzoli, my Industrial Relations 1 lecturer, was at the time the most radical (and feminist) person in authority I had yet encountered. It was not, [...]

By |2020-12-17T09:01:29+00:00December 17th, 2020|Opinion|0 Comments

Maradona: a metaphor for the paradoxes of Argentina

In a now vanished age, May 2010, I went to the movies on a Saturday evening in Recoleta, Buenos Aires. The upmarket Cine Village multiplex attracted an audience of well-heeled Portenos (locals of the city) and resident diplomats such as me. Before the main feature, a cheesy commercial for a local insurance company was screened. [...]

By |2020-11-29T06:32:39+00:00November 29th, 2020|Opinion, Tito Mboweni|0 Comments
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