Coenraad Bezuidenhout

Love in the time of corruption

It was an epic duel. At stake was a fantastically rich slab of game pate, but the fresh prune slices and some subtly dressed peppery leaves that accompanied it was in more immediate danger of having to be surrendered. Much worse: so was a glass of finely moussed Moravian brut. Yes, Moravian, for I was…

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Letting go of Madiba requires getting him in the first place

It’s become ubiquitous over the last three weeks, but the Zapiro cartoon of a sad South Africa sitting at the bedside of an ailing Nelson Mandela still touches. “I know it’s hard, but we have to start letting go”, it says in the speech bubble above his head. Madiba still lives, but his nearing end…

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Nick Griffin, prejudice and Mandela’s greatest gift to us…

British National Party leader Nick Griffin reminds us it is not only in South Africa where public personalities revert to the most basic prejudices to advance their cause or please their followers. Labelling former president Nelson Mandela a “murderous terrorist” may be an extreme example, but those who like public recognition often revert to such…

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South Africa’s ripe for Living Newspaper

Life imitating art taught me form does not always have to trump function. Running the Leader of the Opposition’s office in Parliament until shortly before the 2009 elections, an invitation from a Jewish community forum in Seapoint known as The Living Newspaper was one of the last engagements for which I had to see preparations…

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On art and honesty

“It doesn’t always have to mean something”, a friend barked back. We were watching The Favour, the Watch and the Very Big Fish. The circle was all a bit older, degreed drama folk. I, waitering by my gap year in an industrial backwater, just couldn’t get screwball comedy. But it was not to last long….

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SA needs more entrepreneurs

In South Africa, the phrase “no quick fix” is often associated with the black box phenomena we accept when mulling unemployment — labour market inflexibility, competitiveness and regulatory reform are but a few. Small business development is another such a cure for unemployment for which there is — you guessed it — no quick fix….

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Investee cynicism won’t help us

As a university student, I often mistook cynicism for being smart. “I abhor enthusiasm”, I would say, puffing a cigarette while ogling the “sheep” around me sent hoop-jumping by the “pseudo-academics” at the “employment shelter” I called my university. Just as I learnt that smoking can seriously dent your health, I also discovered that such…

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Make jobs and economic growth the tests for media tribunal

The governing party’s proposed media appeals tribunal will be a rare discussion point attracting some consensus at its National General Council (NGC) meeting in Durban this week. If it was thought that the tribunal was supported when it first emerged at Polokwane due to the media’s treatment of ANC President Jacob Zuma during his rape…

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Everyone stands to lose if the secrecy bill succeeds

The Protection of Information Bill (POI) saga is probably more of a farce than a black comedy, but doesn’t it make that late nineties movie Wag the Dog spring to mind? Perhaps not because of similarities between its plot and the POI saga, but definitely as one considers the lame attempts of those championing the…

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The international press and investors are onto us

There are a host of factors affecting investment decisions that governments cannot control. Think of natural resource endowments, proximity to major markets, the climate or even inherited developmental legacies. With our global economy’s sustained dependence on oil and gas, surpluses of these commodities to export may still ensure countries certain advantages in attracting foreign direct…

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