Lesotho, Guptas, Jacob’s Ladder, Julius huffs and he puffs but he doesn’t blow the House down, Cyril’s hard week down at the commission …. and so much more

Here are some bits and pieces I highlighted for investors over the last few weeks. Thanks as always to BNP Paribas Cadiz Securities for allowing me to republish these snippets here … it is also a touch more information that most people require, but I post it here for the record, if nothing else. IContinue reading “Lesotho, Guptas, Jacob’s Ladder, Julius huffs and he puffs but he doesn’t blow the House down, Cyril’s hard week down at the commission …. and so much more”

Brics and stones can break our bones …

I often send out commentary before I am satisfied with it. That usually means typos and misspellings that I have failed to find in a rushed edit, but sometimes it means the analysis is … less in-depth (trite? … shallow? … Ed) than I would have liked. It’s the price of procrastination when chasing deadlines – andContinue reading “Brics and stones can break our bones …”

Outlook 2014 – and other messages from the future

I have been agonising over whether to keep this website going –  or to consign it to the wastelands of the interwebs there to wander mournfully, accumulating lurid advertisements for secret ways of getting rid of belly fat and invitations from young, beautiful and lonely people, in your area, waiting by their phones for a call from you. AfterContinue reading “Outlook 2014 – and other messages from the future”

Elections 2014, investment threats, DRC and crime intelligence chaos

Important defection from the ANC to the EFF, and the DA launches robust campaign in Soweto – but it is probably not yet enough to scare the ANC Appropriate concern grows at the Promotion of Investment and Protection Bill Stunning victory in eastern DRC is becoming a feather in Zuma’s cap …  … while theContinue reading “Elections 2014, investment threats, DRC and crime intelligence chaos”

Gordhan (the good, the bad and the ugly), DA succession, Cosatu split looking more likely, Zuma’s delightful gaffes … and much more

As promised some comments on the politics of Pravin Gordhan’s medium-term budget … but first forgive me for expressing some of my irritation at two of his (Gordhan’s)  recent statements. That will be followed by some of  the bits and pieces I found interesting in the weekly newspapers – if you didn’t see the ‘Zuma gaffes”Continue reading “Gordhan (the good, the bad and the ugly), DA succession, Cosatu split looking more likely, Zuma’s delightful gaffes … and much more”

Nairobi, Cosatu, The Alliance, pressure on mining … and much, much more

I have been on the road without respite for close to 4 weeks … so here is brief selection of some of my news commentary over the last few weeks, just to show that I am alive and working, albeit a little frenetically. Apologies for the out of date bits and the bits that historyContinue reading “Nairobi, Cosatu, The Alliance, pressure on mining … and much, much more”

Stuff happens to some people, but some people happen to stuff

Jacob Zuma has forced me to reread Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli’s The Prince, published 500 years ago this year. He (Jacob Zuma) didn’t threaten me with the red lightsaber or catch me in a honey trap. My natterings, fortunately, are not impactful enough to draw the attentions of the Dark Lord (Darth Vader, dah! –Continue reading “Stuff happens to some people, but some people happen to stuff”

Malema: a stick being used to beat Zuma? Just a thought …

I am sure no-one has failed to notice the flood of South African high achievers passing through the United Kingdom over the last week or so. A golfer was there recently, some swimmers,  a group of cricketers … and, oh yes, Julius Malema. Julius told BBC and Sky News that he was in London workingContinue reading “Malema: a stick being used to beat Zuma? Just a thought …”

Greeting – and a few thoughts of home – from Belgrade

I am in Serbia on a social visit and I thought I would record here some of my initial observations about stuff we might learn from this country about some aspects of SA politics and culture. Cultural Betrayal Firstly, I am in Belgrade – a city of 1.6 million people built on the confluence ofContinue reading “Greeting – and a few thoughts of home – from Belgrade”

Egypt, my Egypt

I am clicking “Publish” in a rush … I suspect I will come to regret this later. Anyway: The popular mobilisations in Tunisia, Egypt and a swath of authoritarian North African and Middle Eastern states are interesting and important for more reasons than can be named, let alone examined, here. But the aspects that haveContinue reading “Egypt, my Egypt”

Who is Cronin’s enemy?

Jeremy Cronin’s criticism of Cosatu’s  recent hosting of a “Civil Society Conference” is impossible to understand without understanding his – and the SACP’s – assumptions about the world and South Africa in November 2010. Cronin’s premise is that “an enemy” is attempting to make the public debate about the future of South Africa focus onContinue reading “Who is Cronin’s enemy?”

The fearful symmetry of Terre’Blanche and Malema

I don’t really have time for this, but the moment seems to insist. So: I awoke this morning to a world framed as if by an immortal hand or eye. The bludgeoning to death of Eugène Terre’Blanche together with the Zimbabwe public display by Julius Malema feels like a tableau arranged by a naughty godContinue reading “The fearful symmetry of Terre’Blanche and Malema”

The hidden hand in service delivery protests

It is starting to be whispered that there is a “hidden hand” in the service delivery protests*. The problem (of the protests) is serious and threatening and government is starting to worry about high-profile violence during the World Cup. These protest share a strong crossover constituency and architecture with the xenophobic violence that occurred MayContinue reading “The hidden hand in service delivery protests”

Apartheid Reparations and Foreign Investment

Could IBM, Fujitsu, Ford, General Motors , Rheinmetall and Daimler be guilty of “knowing participation in and/or aiding and abetting of the crimes of apartheid; extrajudicial killing; torture; prolonged unlawful detention; and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”? Should they be tried for this crime in a US federal court? If they are found guilty shouldContinue reading “Apartheid Reparations and Foreign Investment”

Pirates of Polokwane* Shaik their Booty

That was going to be my headline for the story I was going to write about the appointment of Mo Shaik to head the secret service. I decided not to write about it. I simply can’t. I was going to point out that the South African Secret Service is responsible for all non-military foreign intelligenceContinue reading “Pirates of Polokwane* Shaik their Booty”