Llewellyn Kriel

Something is wrong, very wrong

You know that numinous, uncomfortable feeling you get when you sense that something is very wrong? It kind of ties a knot in your belly just below your breastbone and sometimes even hurts at your temples and between your shoulder blades. Your brows involuntarily furrow and your eyes widen as your pulse quickens. And what’s…

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Is this SA’s silence of the lambs?

It boggles even my mind how South Africans can be so docilely satisfied with the way things are. It defies comprehension by correspondents in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, the US and Canada. Well, except for the vast and growing network of expats in some of those countries — they are…

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Africa-time is alive and deadly as usual

Almost within minutes of moving into the White House, US President Barack Obama was issuing orders, addressing priorities and meeting ordinary Americans on their terms, in their towns and face to face. He even wrote a note for a 10-year-old girl to be excused from school for attending a town hall meeting with her dad….

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Meet Al Caphone, capo de tutti capi of SA’s telecommunications cartel

In the past six months Vodacom made more than R14 billion, 12.2% better than it performed previously. While millions of South Africans suffer the very worst of the global economic crisis, it seems counter-intuitive that a telecommunications company can bask in that kind of profitability. This should spark great admiration. Until you come face to face…

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You don’t have to be a rocket scientist … but it helps

I wish I had an astronomy telescope powerful enough to spot a minor planet barely visible near Jupiter. It’s called Siyaxuza and is named after a young rocket scientist from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. ‘Stroesnyannies! This bombshell is contained in the revered Clem Sunter’s column “The X Factor” on News24’s website. Despite the fact…

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Seven billion superheroes: Has the ‘third wave’ overtaken us already?

In 1980 pioneering futurist Alvin Toffler published the sequel to his seminal Future Shock. The Third Wave broadly argued that humanity was poised on the cusp of an all-encompassing, all-pervading third fundamental social revolution — the previous two having been the Industrial Revolution and prior to that the First Wave when clans of nomadic hunter-gatherers…

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Hey, why you so late again?

If ignorance really is bliss, South Africans must be among the happiest people this side of the Big Bang. The fact that we are not is alarming; or rather very, very frightening. Or should be. Okay, confession time: I’m distorting the original meaning of the adage. Most of us understand it to mean that not…

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Piketberg: A mine and a metaphor for our time

A few weeks ago South Africans elected the African National Congress to yet another term as overlords of one of the most beautiful, sacred and creative lands on Earth. A land acknowledged as the “Cradle of Humankind”, where our species, homo sapiens sapiens, first ventured forth to populate and ultimately become the overlords of the…

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Dangling between the devil and the ANC

One of the big stories of the day in the US is the sly means by which mega-corporations are finding less-than-open ways to give their CEOs disproportionately gargantuan packages. Everything from super-cars to private jets to high-profile academic posts to private security. The companies — if and when they respond — bleat about how hard…

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It takes a village to raise a species

EISH! What a tough day for humanity! With the World Health Organisation raising the global alert level to Phase 5 meaning that a worldwide pandemic of the killer H1N1 influenza virus is imminent, the world — that’s all of us — is now locked in combat with two enemies. The existing one is the global…

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