Tag Archives: Sona

EFF has only contempt for democracy and the law

As South Africans are discovering, a state-of-the-art constitution does not of itself a thriving democracy make. Similarly, ersatz military ranks, red berets and Che Guevara slogans do not a revolution make. The Economic Freedom Fighters love radical rhetoric but the seizure of “white” land and the nationalisation without compensation of the mines are, at this…

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A torrid week for President Zuma

Flypasts, 21-gun salutes, and ostentatious fashion statements by preening MPs. The annual opening of Parliament with its presidential State of the Nation Address (Sona) is one of those political rituals that has always mattered more to the participants than it does to the ordinary citizen. Joe Soap generally paid the pomp and platitudes little attention….

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President Zuma is a dead man walking

President Jacob Zuma is a dead man walking, metaphorically speaking. The political free rein allowed him by cowed party colleagues for the past seven years has suddenly been pulled in. He remains nominally in charge but increasingly less in control. In December, Zuma’s manoeuvring to allegedly benefit cronies led to the firing of respected Finance…

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Parliament isn’t broken – our political economy is

To make sense of the anarchical tendencies recently witnessed in Parliament, we should pay attention to two key voices that recently gave us unprecedented insight into the state of South Africa’s political economy. The first came from Reverend Frank Chikane, reflecting on his experiences during more than a decade of public service in the Presidency….

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Zuma might just be what our democracy needs

It is undeniable that South Africa hasn’t been in the best shape under Jacob Zuma’s “leadership”. Energy supply is a hot mess, economic growth has been lacklustre, corruption scandals blow over with no repercussions, and democratic institutions have been undermined and weakened one after the other. As worrisome as this may be, is it not…

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Heroes all: EFF and the honourable Julius Malema

This is how social media images of a country inform one’s perceptions, and then stick like glue in this instant-info “Gutenberg Galaxy” of ours. You scroll through Google News, Facebook and Twitter, and powerful impressions of countries impinge on your subconscious without you being able to question them. Then you “form” an unmediated and indelible…

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Parliament: Where rationality goes to die

The events in Parliament at the State of the Nation were nothing short of appalling. Much time will be spent analysing how this could have happened, what we do now and, what this means for the future of our democracy. That is good and timely. Parliament has been decaying since its democratic rebirth, hollowed out…

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Sona: Did you hear Zuma chuckle?

By Michelle October Last night, did anybody else hear that laugh? It was a long, satisfied, deep-throated chuckle. Just moments before, half of the parliamentarians elected to govern the country alongside Jacob Zuma and his party had rose up against him, in a last resounding, powerless attempt to make him see reason. The renegades in…

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My hot date with the prez

The invitation arrived by blue-light brigade in a red envelope. “Will you be my Valentine?” it read. “Well, yes!” I replied. It’s a little early for Valentine’s I thought, but hey, it’s not every day you get a Valentine’s letter with a presidential seal. What to wear? A two-tone shirt will set the wrong tone….

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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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