William Saunderson-Meyer

The ANC gets an ‘F’ for fibbing. Must try harder

It’s an oldie but goldie. How can one tell when a politician is lying? Answer: When their lips are moving. It’s distressing not only that President Jacob Zuma’s administration is inept and corrupt. What is almost worse is the insultingly poor quality of the explanations proffered when things go wrong. After 21 years of assiduous…

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Mbete, a disaster as National Assembly speaker

So, it is all okay then? National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has apologised for labelling her bête noire Julius Malema a ‘cockroach’. After all, to err is human, to forgive divine? No, it is not okay. If the farce that played out around President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) were to have…

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The chortling schoolboy fluffs his sonorous monologue

It was the best and worse of South African political discourse. It was the raw hope of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison exactly 25 years ago this week, reduced to a squabbling farce. It was the magisterial Chair of the National Chamber of Provinces versus the classroom monitor pettiness of the Speaker of the National…

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Social media dump Zuma in a political pickle

It is a legal maxim never to ask in court a question to which you don’t already know the answer. There’s a political equivalent, which is never to ask voters for advice that you don’t intend taking. In advance of next week’s State of the Nation address (Sona), the Presidency invited South Africans to use…

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Zuma’s bad dose of ‘premature proclamation’ causes legislative impotence

It’s not often that a country’s leader goes to court to nullify laws that his own government drafted and he earlier happily signed. But hey, this is South Africa where the left hand often is at odds with its right-hand partner. Here, trade unions regularly demonstrate against the very government that they are part of….

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Marie biscuit corruption shows up the rot

This week a minor official, corrupted with a packet of Marie biscuits, highlighted starkly the present rot and inequities in the nation. Corruption is endemic to all political systems. What differs is how it is dealt with. Because governments in Western democracies are easily voted out, popular outrage over corruption is assuaged by periodically acting…

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Before blaming the West, let’s shake off our African passivity

So are African lives less important to the international community than Western lives? Following the worldwide attention given to the Paris killings by Islamic militants, it’s a question being widely asked and generally answered in the affirmative. The refrain is that while fewer than two dozen French were killed, during that same week the Islamic…

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It’s always song and dance time in the ANC

South Africans are big on celebrations, the makietie ever more lavish even as the ostensible reason for it diminishes. So it is unsurprising that one of the biggest annual bashes is that of the governing party feting nothing more remarkable than its own continued existence. The African National Congress centenary a few years ago cost…

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2014: The SAS Zuma adrift in choppy waters

The year’s close is traditionally a time for introspection. It is not only an opportunity to dwell nostalgically on what was good, but also to identify patterns that if extrapolated give plausible shape to our future. South Africa’s first year without Nelson Mandela around has been a rudderless one. And since Madiba was absent from…

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Tokoloshe stalks the ANC’s clever high flyers

Poor Ellen Tshabalala and her BCom (Unisa) DipLabRel (Unisa). No one wants to believe that the dog ate her homework. Last week Parliament’s communication portfolio committee recommended, for the second time, that Tshabalala be suspended “with immediate effect” from her position as chair of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board because she had lied…

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