William Saunderson-Meyer

Vukani! Don’t waste your widow’s mite on May 7

Power is the currency of politics. Experienced politicians know instinctually when to hoard it, when to spend it and when to convert it into a bankable alternative. So for a brace of former Cabinet ministers to suggest voters should squander their power – their widow’s mite of the vote – by throwing it away, is…

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ANC veteran Turok sticks his head above the parapet. Then ducks

A widely touted election scenario is that the African National Congress sees its majority slashed. Waking from its walk on the dark side, the party attributes the erosion of voter trust to President Jacob Zuma’s failings and ousts him as leader. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa takes the reins and South Africa sighs with relief. It’s…

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Gauteng Nature Conservation makes a complete baboon of itself

Whether the law is an ass, as was asserted by Mr Bumble in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, remains a matter of eternal debate. But as a full bench of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) highlights in a judgment last week, sometimes those who act in the law’s name, make complete baboons of themselves….

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Time for the SANDF to slim down and shape up

It’s not a national secret that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is in serious trouble. Its barracks are unfit for human habitation, it has been haemorrhaging expertise and its soldiers teetered on the brink of mutiny in a protest march on the Union Buildings So when the government’s leaked long-term military strategy review…

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Zuma’s gilded battlements besieged by the public protector

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s long delayed report into the expenditure of at least R246-million of taxpayer money on President Jacob Zuma’s rural home at Nkandla is undoubtedly the non-fiction must-read of the year. And equally, were they to be collected into a single volume, the tripartite alliance’s attack dogs’ ongoing attempts at discrediting the report…

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One nation, united, in search of a verdict

This is South Africa at its very best. One nation, irrevocably divided, with liberty and justice for all who can afford it. No, I speak not of the general election campaign as the squabbling picks up steam. Although with all the bile being spewed, as politicians rubbish not only their opponents but also the demographic…

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South Africa’s lawyers should be desperately ashamed

Last week the Johannesburg Bar Council (JBC) took a decision that should cause their colleagues in the organised attorneys’ profession to cringe with embarrassment and blush with shame. It opened to media scrutiny, for the first time, a disciplinary enquiry into one of its advocate members. In contrast, though I agree it seems scarcely credible…

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Zille’s itchy Twitter finger dumps her in the poo

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille has caused quite a kerfuffle after her fight with a journalist on social media. Go, Zille! Zille’s supporters argue that since journalists dish it out with glee, we have to accept that in a robust democracy the price to be paid by the media is not to whine about getting…

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Zuma’s muti leaves the opposition wilting

Not in two decades – not in 66 years, come to think of it – has South Africa’s Official Opposition had better prospects of landing the ruling party a bruising body blow. As things stand, however, it might well botch the opportunity. The African National Congress is, after all, in unparalleled disarray. It has squandered…

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DA march on ANC HQ: A plague on both your houses

South African politicians are notoriously bad at accountability. It’s always someone else’s fault: usually that of their opponent. In most western democracies, however, politicians do still resign for reasons of accountability. This week the British Immigration minister, Mark Harper, bit the bullet because his Colombian cleaner turned out to be an illegal immigrant. Harper could…

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