William Saunderson-Meyer

Doing panga surgery with the National Health Act

Legislators are like tik addicts. They’re convinced that after just one more hit they’ll find Nirvana. But the law, especially when cack-handedly drafted, is an imperfect instrument for changing society. It’s like using a panga for plastic surgery: the results are likely to please neither practitioner nor patient. Filled as it is with a righteous…

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Time to have Faith in the ANC’s ‘good story’?

Keep your friends close but your enemies closer, is what the mafia don advised. It’s a Machiavellian strategy that President Jacob Zuma has embraced and is taking to absurd lengths with his new Cabinet. It is now a veritable army of ministers and deputy ministers that oversees South Africa’s government. This week’s oath taking ceremony…

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Is it time for the DA to ditch Helen Zille?

What is the optimal length of tenure for a political leader? How to judge the moment when the adulation of your followers curdles, as it inevitably does, and turns to aversion? Do you jump, or do you wait to be pushed from your pedestal? These are questions that Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille will be…

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Cinderella and the ugly sisters take it public

The South African electorate had its Cinderella moment at the May 7 Ball – briefly courted and feted. Now it’s back to the domestic drudgery of the other 364 days of the year – abused and ignored until the local elections role around in two years’ time. Unfortunately, unlike as in the fairy tale, there…

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Election 2014: The ANC glacier holds fast

There are two apparent truisms to be discerned in the still steaming entrails of the 2014 general election, and they belong to President Jacob Zuma. The first is that “the ANC will rule until Jesus return”‘. The second, is that “it’s cold outside” the governing party. Taking a cross-section of the democracy sapling and counting…

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Elections 2014: Everything and nothing remains the same

By this time next week, the election dust will have settled. One doesn’t have to be clairvoyant or even wait for the results, to discern the shape of the future. Everything will be the same. Nothing will be the same. The ANC will again form the government and the DA will again form the official…

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How the ANC’s gravity-defying levitation is achieved

As South Africa’s political parties approach the final straight it’s yet another one-horse race, if the bookies are to be believed. The African National Congress, says the latest polls, is set to achieve close to the two-thirds majority that it has maintained for the past 20 years. The opposition Democratic Alliance will apparently be fortunate…

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Vukani! Don’t waste your widow’s mite on May 7

Power is the currency of politics. Experienced politicians know instinctually when to hoard it, when to spend it and when to convert it into a bankable alternative. So for a brace of former Cabinet ministers to suggest voters should squander their power – their widow’s mite of the vote – by throwing it away, is…

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ANC veteran Turok sticks his head above the parapet. Then ducks

A widely touted election scenario is that the African National Congress sees its majority slashed. Waking from its walk on the dark side, the party attributes the erosion of voter trust to President Jacob Zuma’s failings and ousts him as leader. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa takes the reins and South Africa sighs with relief. It’s…

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Gauteng Nature Conservation makes a complete baboon of itself

Gauteng Nature Conservation makes a complete baboon of itself

Whether the law is an ass, as was asserted by Mr Bumble in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, remains a matter of eternal debate. But as a full bench of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) highlights in a judgment last week, sometimes those who act in the law’s name, make complete baboons of themselves….

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