William Saunderson-Meyer

Pollyanna throws in the towel against the Taliban

Let’s chant a dirge for the chief executives of one of South Africa’s most besieged economic sectors. Just consider the challenges they face daily. They head financially precarious entities in a field where both the raw-material inputs and the finished goods are of declining quality. A number of them preside over plants that once produced…

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Zuma washes his hands of a looming crisis

To state that South Africa is spinning towards a serious crisis is not hyperbole. There are many factors causing this, including failed governance and delivery, but at its nub it is triggered by greed and powered by a ruthless determination to subvert our democracy and the mechanisms that protect it. This is not yet the…

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SA’s number one VVIP deserves an upgrade

The department of defence has an irrevocable obligation to buy what its minister describes as “a VVIP” jet. That means an aircraft for a Very Very Important Person. But jump to no conclusions as to who this VVIP is. It is not the man who is referred to by his scurrying minions as “Number one”….

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South Africans’ sneering antipathy to Trump is misplaced

The sneering antipathy and moral condescension of seemingly the entire South Africa towards Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for the United States presidency, makes me chuckle. We are, after all, the nation that elected Jacob Zuma – a man who is as morally dubious and certainly far less competent than Trump – to…

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Live by the legal sword, die by it

Recourse to the courts is often the first refuge of the scoundrel with deep pockets. A deliberately protracted judicial process can be used by the wealthy to delay, to avoid, to obfuscate, and to bully their adversaries into submission. It’s an approach that has worked well for various South African rogues, embezzlers, crooks and unsavoury…

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While the ANC factions manoeuvre, SA drifts in limbo

A national crisis is always best resolved quickly. Investors and voters both react negatively to political paralysis and institutional dysfunction. And since protracted uncertainty begets instability, it’s mostly better to find a quick patch and keep the momentum going than it is to embark on an agonising and usually elusive search for the “best” solution….

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Time to ditch SA’s failed Moral Regeneration Movement

Universal brotherhood. World peace. Nuclear disarmament. And to this beseech-the-fairies wish list of above, you can add the concept of moral re-armament in South Africa. All laudable but irretrievably doomed objectives. What brought this to mind was the weekend speech by Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, in which she noted that assassinated SA Communist…

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It’s time to ditch trade unionism in the SANDF

The South African National Defence Force has accused the military union of promoting a coup d’état. It has announced that it is investigating a charge of provocation to mutiny against the SA National Defence Union’s national secretary. This follows the union’s call for President Jacob Zuma to be removed as commander-in-chief of the armed forces….

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David kicks Goliath in the Nkandla gonads

The Constitutional Court judgment on Nkandla and the powers of the public protector has been hanging above the heads of President Jacob Zuma and the African National Congress government like an unexploded bomb. That it was delivered on Thursday, a mere six weeks after counsel for both side delivered their summations, was a sign that…

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It’s not about capture but control

Catchphrases quickly move from being nifty idioms that ignite thought to clichés that stifle it. Such is the likely fate of “state capture”, a phrase that features in virtually every media account of President Jacob Zuma’s controversial relationship with the Gupta family. But what has been happening in the past weeks is not about state…

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