William Saunderson-Meyer

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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Is there a ‘reasonable person’ in charge of SA?

This week President Jacob Zuma went to Parliament to account to the people, as constitutionally a president periodically perforce must. The key issue was the role that his political benefactors, the Gupta clan, allegedly play in ministerial appointments. What a nation agog over a series of revelations from within African National Congress ranks had hoped…

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Zimbabwe: The triumph of hope over experience

Southern African politics is a rambunctious affair. It’s far removed from the predictable and safe parameters of the established Anglophone democracies against which we surreptitiously measure ourselves. It’s a bit like being slung into a tumble dryer with a sack of razor blades. One accepts that one is going to incur nicks and cuts, with…

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Time to act against the EFF

Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande, who was noticeably absent from the sites of student protest over the past months, has surfaced. Blinking his eyes in Rip Van Winkle befuddlement, true. But mercifully surfaced. The police, he reassures, will in future take “decisive action” over violent protests. Lest we be misled into thinking…

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SA’s politicians crash and burn on Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day this past Monday was marked by what the media described as a “spectacular” show, including a large fly past that included four Gripens, four Hawks, three C-130s and several Oryx helicopters, as well as the Silver Falcons “in tight formation”. In other words, the South African Air Force (SAAF), which has been…

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