Llewellyn Kriel

Invictus: What does it mean to YOU?

When he was only 12, William Ernest Henley contracted tuberculosis of the bone. Eventually his left foot had to be amputated just below the knee. He spent many years in and out of hospital because the disease also infected his right foot, but he refused to have it amputated as well. He was eventually discharged…

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Hey, Zuma, you can’t buy your way out of this one, old chap

Almost from the moment the rag-tag gaggle of erstwhile freedom fighters took over the reins of power — and, boy, did they love that power, like a kid who had just got his driver’s licence and was put behind the wheel of a Ferrari — they realised that, even under someone of the statesmanship and…

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Why make it so hard to be proudly South African?

There is a temptation to see South Africa as a self-cannibalising charity case. Given the vast number of charitable causes, NGOs, NPOs and beggars on the streets, it seems everyone has a hand out. And given the ANC government’s appalling record on social upliftment issues from health to housing to employment, even the ordinary individual…

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Democracy — the South African version

I have taken enormous liberties with this blog. Liberties which I trust the original poet, a legend in his own lifetime and an enduring icon in my life, will forgive because I am unable to improve on his evocative, lyrical, astounding work. Along with Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, John Lennon, Carole…

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Wanted: Lessons in what’s possible — contact Luthuli House

Just as physicists, astronomers, molecular biologists, mathematicians and the greatest minds in the world discover more and more bizarre and jaw-dropping new things in the macroverse and microverse, they are realising that fundamental laws of science remain incontrovertible and more sound than ever. Of course, they still battle to reconcile things that are mathematically proven,…

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Why aren’t we alive with probability?

South Africa — Alive with Possibility. So trumpets SA Info, self-proclaimed “gateway to the nation”, and echoed by Brand South Africa, “custodian” of SA’s image. SA Tourism opts for the slightly less in-your-face “It’s Possible”, but the theme remains common. It’s an alluring slogan. It speaks of vibrancy and vitality. It resonates with promise and…

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SAA and Acsa’s secret 10 commandments finally unearthed

Having spent two-and-a-half hours wandering, lost, dazed, misdirected and alone, through the confusing labyrinthine catacombs of Ortia (m.c.k.a. Johannesburg International Airport) last night, I beg some wealthy and wise entrepreneur to urgently begin marketing a “Survivor SA” kit to save body, sanity and soul. The airport ordeal followed a horrendous 110-minute hellride from the West…

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Hey, wena, what you got to say?

Many of Thought Leader’s regular bloggers worry whether the people who read these blogs actually do so with any measure of intellectual diligence. The cause for our concerns is the very low standard of almost half of the comments readers take the time to write. We often look at the garbled, nonsensical, immature inanities commentators…

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The unbearable fiction of facts

Don’t you find it amazing that in a country where people’s feelings, sensitivities, moods, prejudices and perceptions are such a dominant social phenomenon so little study is done into emotion? We are constantly hearing politicians, media analysts and every kind of researcher chirping on and on about facts and, in the process, decrying perceptions. I…

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The first 100 days of what?

Who needs PR agencies or spin doctors? Certainly not Jacob Zuma, judging by the breathless adulation of the media yesterday. Even the opposition parties went a little gaga over the guy. You would have sworn Zuma had actually done something praiseworthy in the past three-and-a-half months. He has talked a lot, but he has done…

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