IN 2014 I took up my first invitation to be an analyst for a major television station on the 2014 national elections.   It was also my last ever stint as a TV analyst because of how absurd the televisions soundbyte...
Up-sell. That’s corporate-speak for strategies to make you part with more money than you otherwise would have, had they not dangled a little extra in front of you. “Would you like to super-size that?” is the most famous up-sell line,...
We have not yet seen prosperous-looking men descend the steps from a courtroom down to the cells. Believe me, though, when I say the bad guys of state capture story are quaking in their boots. They know that, as...
Substance abuse is killing our society and the future of our country. The link between substance abuse and violence cannot be underestimated. Police Minister Fikile Mbalula reported recently that children who abuse drugs were being used to fuel tensions and...
When Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma visited the Moyikwa family in Grahamstown last week before the funeral of Sindile Solomon Moyikwa to express sympathy at his passing at age 59, it expressed the problem of a society “living in the lie”. The Cape...
Over the weekend ANC presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu raised the possibility of granting President Jacob Zuma amnesty from prosecution for all the crimes he is alleged to have committed, in order to “preserve the unity” of the ANC. The...
Political assassinations are an evil phenomenon. They are antithetic to any democracy. What this phenomenon does when it occurs is to induce a climate of fear among the general populace. Citizens become loathe to express themselves openly and are disinclined...
Today, July 27 2017, marks the 90th birthday of Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe, the ignored and discarded “Mother of Azania” who has endured unspeakable suffering, struggle and pain for most of her years. She will celebrate her 90th birthday as usual,...
I have now completed about a dozen book conversations in mostly packed venues from Cape Town to Johannesburg, and double that number of radio and newspaper interviews in the past two weeks. While my two new books brought people into...
Oh, humour. What would we do without it? In response to the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) Shaun Abrahams to disappear from view at the exact moment he might be expected to be in full flight with...
The next major political marker in our politics will arrive in January 2018. If Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wins the ANC presidency in December this year the chances that the party will split increase a hundredfold. This may happen in January...
Those of us who have credit agreement payments to honour every month may have got a tiny bit of good news last week with the interest rate drop, but for many, the money will remain too little and the...
The winter circumcision season is well underway, and many initiation schools across the country have opened their doors to young men who are participating in this traditional rite of passage, the sacred path towards adulthood and manhood. This rite of...
“I SAW no real conflict in my dual leadership of my people: as chief and political leader in Congress. I saw no reason to resign from either... I do not wish to challenge my dismissal, but I would like...
In From Strength to Love, his 1963 volume of sermons, Martin Luther King writes, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge...
ANC factional battles may cost Enoch Mgijima municipality its R20-million grant from National Treasury if it does not appoint a full-time municipal manager next month. The Komani-based local council has been without a permanent accounting officer since last year’s municipal...
It is tempting to suggest that last month’s jubilation by opposition parties after the Constitutional Court ruled that the speaker of parliament had the power to refuse or permit a secret ballot, was a tad premature. Since it is the...
The fragility of our economy hinges on the distorted pattern of ownership and economic exclusion created by apartheid policies. The effect of decades of racial exclusion and the economic exclusion of the black majority is still evident in both employment...
I cannot think of another country in the world where a book event could generate so much racial unease. From book festivals in Franschhoek and Cape Town to bookstores in the leafy suburbs of Johannesburg, I have heard the...
Common sense is often mistaken for over-simplification. At the same time, over-complication is often mistaken for deep understanding. This mistake can make it easy to dismiss wisdom as over-simplification. At the same time, it can hamstring us into taking little...
Those in charge of the state and its key institutions, under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma, inherited a country that generations of freedom fighters and honest citizens had won back from adventurous colonialists – only to hand it...
One of the strongest endorsements that US President Donald Trump received when he clinched the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 was from tech-entrepreneur billionaire, Peter Thiel, one of the founders of Paypal, the world’s leading online payment services. Thiel’s endorsement...
On Saturday morning I called my friend Doc Tilala and told him I was driving into my mother’s village in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria. I was in luck, he said. He was walking back from a funeral. I could...
How often have you put your signature to a document without reading the terms and conditions in the tiny print? For most people the answer would be often, if not always, mostly because they don’t have the time or the...
At the end of the 2001 Currie Cup season, without a provincial contract with any union, still smarting from the failed Sharks deal and without a trustworthy agent, I could feel rugby’s clenched fist putting the squeeze on my...
People use the internet to maintain family connections and distant friendships, to empower themselves and learn, to manage their businesses, or just to unwind reading the news from around the globe. The basics of economic opportunity now live online. Whether...
Barbara Thomson Like many other coastal areas in South Africa, East London and Port Elizabeth are also important centres of industrial manufacturing and economic development. East London and Port Elizabeth, with three commercial ports in total, are intricately connected to, and...
What are the prospects of the drought ending any time soon? Not great according to SA Weather Service spokesman Garth Samson who I spoke to in Port Elizabeth this week. “It doesn’t look promising right up to the end of...
The Italian philosopher and statesman, Nicollo Machiavelli, once cautioned that a leader should never solicit forces stronger than he is to do the battling on his behalf. When such forces win the battle they will rule everyone, including the...
There is this silly moment in one of Leon Schuster’s slapstick comedies where a policeman is writing his street-side report on a body lying on the pavement. He is struggling, however, to spell the word “pavement”. After several attempts...
Let me start by saying this: Busisiwe Mkhwebane is an intelligent woman. And I hope and pray that by saying so I am not being condescending. My point is that I believe when she wanted parliament to amend the constitution...
Reminiscent of the Reverend Mqoboli’s opening of the ANC’s inaugural conference on January 8, 1912, Reverend Mehane opened the 5th policy conference held at Nasrec this year with the hymn, Lizalis’ idinga lakho Thixo. Composed by the Reverend Tiyo Soga...
Within four days the offices of two of the country’s law-enforcement agencies have been burgled. First there was a break-in at the Hawks’ Silverton offices on Wednesday. The intruders appeared to know exactly what they were looking, going for...
I have been exposing examples of “shrinkflation” for many years now – instead of putting up the price of an existing product, manufacturers re-package it in a slightly smaller pack in the hope we consumers do not notice. We always...
THE ANC, once a proud, clear-eyed and capable organisation, cannot come up with the solutions that SA needs to get itself out of the massive problems we face. The battle to build a prosperous, united and non-racial South Africa...
What was the purpose of the ANC national policy conference? Was it just a routine gathering of former comrades and friends or was it to find solutions for the country and the ANC? The main problem of our times for...
Every time I visit a school I sense the hunger for education. I see it in the eyes of the children, who are so eager to be there. I once visited a 7th grade classroom with 70 pupils, but...
There was good news and bad news for residents of Buffalo City this week. First the good news for motorists: A bypass on the N2 is to be built around Butterworth. Hooray! And again, H-O-O-R-A-Y! What a pleasure it is...
The ANC held an historic national policy conference over five days in Johannesburg which assumed the posture of a consultative assembly. The outcomes were declared by all to be paving the way for a stronger, united and coherent movement...
Failing well? The term makes no sense. Failure means something bad happened. A company failed to meet its targets leading to loss of revenues. A student fails an examination and might have to repeat the year. A marriage fails...
By NIKA SOON-SHIONG and MASIXOLE BOOI In September last year, Vuyani Sipambo, principal at Nkupulweni Junior Secondary in Matatiele, received a letter informing him his school was to be “rationalised”, and that learners and teachers would be relocated to a...
As I approach the end of four wonderful years as Israel’s ambassador in South Africa, I have been reflecting on many lessons learned here which will be even more valuable to take home to Israel than the souvenirs I...
Growing up in the small town of Dutywa, I remember many times, very often on a weekend, when the hum of the small town would be broken by loud hailing voices and screams of women. “Iwuuuu, baaamba iseeeela! (Catch that...
When Black First Land First attacked Peter Bruce last week and threatened his editor, Tim Cohen, because they are (a) white and (b) journalists, they forgot another First ... Ruth First. Ruth First was murdered by apartheid security forces...
It was a curious thing, several weeks ago, to hear Moeletsi Mbeki, invoking the 19th century mfecane as a basis for arguing that black people must move on from the politics of the land question. In the interview on...
The thing that has been missing in the backlash over the public protector’s instruction to parliament that it alter the Reserve Bank’s constitutional mandate, has been any recognition that the constitution is not just a technical document – it...
At the end of May, a ragtag group of about 20 people marched on the private home of SA Communist Party deputy secretary-general Solly Mapaila. They made numerous threats and said Mapaila, a critic of the Gupta family’s state...
South Africa is facing a time, perhaps unlike any other in our history. Never have we needed staunch and ethical leadership like we do now. Time and again, the Constitutional Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, has...
Long before the Black Business Forum (BBF) was launched, we had to ask ourselves difficult questions. Should black African businesses not be supported by the whole-of-government and the private sector? What are the ways and means to attract black clientele...
An LA-SA Radio presenter, Lunga Majai, asked me on air the other day: where were you on June 16 1976? This question was reminiscent of the Negro spiritual: “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” As we are...