The alliance is dead, Zuma’s dignity saved and SA dams on life support – and how I think I know what I think I know

I wanted to discuss something called heuristics, which refers to the way we make decisions or reach an understanding about something, especially when the matter under consideration is complicated. The word (heuristics) can mean the short cuts we take but the general field also deals with the many errors of thinking to which such short cuts canContinue reading “The alliance is dead, Zuma’s dignity saved and SA dams on life support – and how I think I know what I think I know”

Jacob Zuma – will he stay, will he go and does it matter?

I will get on to the weighty question of whether Jacob Zuma might retire before his term of office is completed momentarily, but first let me mention that I have been busy with what started as an idle rumination about the South African Communist Party. But has turned, inevitably perhaps, to “become persistent and recurrentContinue reading “Jacob Zuma – will he stay, will he go and does it matter?”

Polling, polling, polling down the river

It’s the 1st of April and I have already seen that Helen Zille has accepted an ‘elecnomination‘  to spend two weeks living in Khayelitsha, surviving on the minimum wage and using a bucket toilet. Good for her, I say. In other news the DA has announced that the Western Cape government it is going to upgrade Zille’s private residenceContinue reading “Polling, polling, polling down the river”

ANC savaged by a duck – and other matters of national importance

Some of my recent news coverage and commentary: E-tolling and the DA’s cruel billboards Last week Jacob Zuma signed into law the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill – meaning the unpopular e-tolling can begin on certain Gauteng highways. I was impressed that the President did the necessary – despite the fact that thisContinue reading “ANC savaged by a duck – and other matters of national importance”

Strikes, Alliance shenanigans and the very criminal justice system

Herewith an extract from my recent political news update. Strikes – turbulence as the cycle hits the secular trend Num (the National Union of Mineworkers) has served notice on the Chamber of Mines (COM) of its intention to strike across the gold sector, beginning with the Tuesday night shift this week. Num represents 72,000 ofContinue reading “Strikes, Alliance shenanigans and the very criminal justice system”

Alliance ‘boycott’ of Marikana commemoration and Vavi axing are both monuments marking the retreat of ANC power

Zwelinzima Vavi’s suspension from Cosatu and the ANC/SACP/Num decision not to attend the Marikana commemoration, both on Friday last week, are, to my mind, indicative of a significant retreat of ANC hegemony. ‘Hegemony’,  as I imbibed the concept from probably slightly fevered readings of Antonio Gramsci’s sublime Prison Notebooks while I was a student activist (and from endlessContinue reading “Alliance ‘boycott’ of Marikana commemoration and Vavi axing are both monuments marking the retreat of ANC power”

NDP defections, construction scandal gathers momentum, Ramaphosa’s uncertain future, Zanu-PF’s alledged relationship with Julius … and much much more

Herewith my latest news update as of 06h30 this morning. NDP – defections to the left and right Collusion scandal in the construction industry gathers momentum Tax Review Committee – some welcome caution Proposed legislative changes in the mining industry shows SA government’s deep ambivalence towards the sector Ramaphosa – rumours that Zuma faction isContinue reading “NDP defections, construction scandal gathers momentum, Ramaphosa’s uncertain future, Zanu-PF’s alledged relationship with Julius … and much much more”

Motlanthe’s pleasant bedside manner won’t solve mining crisis – but it can’t hurt

Herewith an extract from my weekly news commentary* as of 06h30 yesterday. ‘A minefield of obstacles for Motlanthe’ – Sunday Independent  The Presidency, in the person of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, launched the “Draft Framework Agreement for a Sustainable Mining Industry” on Friday. The document is based on an initial process of discussion with allContinue reading “Motlanthe’s pleasant bedside manner won’t solve mining crisis – but it can’t hurt”

Mangaung – takes, outtakes and takeouts

Various commentators, politicians and analysts have attempted to characterise Mangaung, to define the moment’s essential nature. Below are two takes I found interesting with some words from me on why I found them thus. After that I include a more general summary of what happened with the voting results for the Top Six and theContinue reading “Mangaung – takes, outtakes and takeouts”

Talking head, the kept politician, Mangaung, Ramaphosa, Motlanthe and other matters

I was interviewed on eCNA by the excellent Gareth Edwards yesterday about some matters relating to Mangaung, policy and succession. Catch that here. … and here is a part of my weekly news summary from Monday morning: Nelson Mandela hospitalised on the eve of Mangaung conference; A leaked KPMG audit conducted for Zuma’s corruption trialContinue reading “Talking head, the kept politician, Mangaung, Ramaphosa, Motlanthe and other matters”

A few deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 1

Annus horribilis This has undoubtedly been the worst year for South Africa – at too many levels to name – since 1994. There is much I have wanted to say here but couldn’t find the time.  So I am going to rapidly fire off a series of posts, as my professional duties tail off towardsContinue reading “A few deep blue thoughts as we rush towards Mangaung – Part 1”

The connection between violent ANC contest and the piles of Nkandla treasure

I am not encouraged, in my professional life, to be too colourful in what I write or say. This morning I reviewed the weeklies – as I do before 06h30 every Monday morning – and found myself having to strip more metaphor and vitriol than usual from what I had to say. For example –Continue reading “The connection between violent ANC contest and the piles of Nkandla treasure”

Is any one version of a post-Mangaung ANC better than another?

First off, let me admit, that I have no choice but to believe that the answer to the question in the title is: yes. It’s an article of faith. Who can live in a world where the bullies and thugs, the greedy and manipulative, the powerful and the arrogant have won so decisively that it isContinue reading “Is any one version of a post-Mangaung ANC better than another?”

My growing worries about the ANC’s plans for economic intervention

Remember kaleidoscopes? Basically a tube that you held up towards a light and peered through as if it was a telescope? But unlike kid’s telescopes –  which, like kid’s microscopes, were blurry and disappointing and stupid – the kaleidoscope was a device of astonishing power and beauty. The point for my six-year-old self who received his first kaleidoscope for a birthday, probably,Continue reading “My growing worries about the ANC’s plans for economic intervention”

What could derail Jacob Zuma at this late hour?

Well it is certainly not Julius. Last night his expulsion from the ANC and the ANC Youth League was confirmed by the ruling party’s national disciplinary committee. His ‘fixer’, secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa, was suspended for a year – making any attempt to ‘rule-by-wire’ difficult. The appeals committee chaired by Cyril Ramaphosa also confirmed the three-yearContinue reading “What could derail Jacob Zuma at this late hour?”