Llewellyn Kriel

Living in constant fear

ON Thursday 19 September, South Africans heard why this remains a country where its people are still living in constant fear. Two decades of African National Congress self-interest and bungling have failed to curb crime, despite the asinine claptrap with which SA’s minister of police Nathi Mthethwa insulted the country. Millions of ordinary South Africans…

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Democracy is coming

FROM the moment Leonard Cohen entered my life back in 1970, his poetry and his music have profoundly influenced me. They have haunted my conscience, pestered my self-awareness and influenced my writing. You probably have similar influencers — painters who guided your expression, writers who moulded your experience, leaders who formed your social consciousness, preachers…

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Who’s watching the watchdogs?

This is an acid test of media integrity, of being brave enough to face the uncompromising truth. Our media, whether online, print, radio or television, have a pathological aversion to candour and transparency about their own behind-the-scenes attitudes, practices and policies. Oh, they love ripping into political parties, other companies, organisations, prominent individuals, sportsmen and…

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When I was a spy – part two

As instructed, I kept my alter ego secret — in fact, few people today have any idea I was once a secret agent. Let alone what a bad spy I was. Six weeks after the hurly-burly of starting a new life in a new world, I was contacted at Jan Smuts House and two colleagues…

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When I was a spy

If tomorrow belongs to the youth, yesterday must be ultimate egalitarianism. Yesterday belongs to everyone. While the future is vague, diaphanous, ethereal, the past is unambiguous, immutable and solid. We can all change the future. None can change the past. If, like me, you feel a little like a stranger in a strange land in…

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When I was a prison guard

Having identified 36 jobs for which I’ve actually been paid in my 60-year lifespan, I’m sharing the ludicrous, the lucrative, the lugubrious and the lessons learnt. In no specific order, here’s Chapter Two … I never fancied being a Prison Guard. But it was one of those unanticipated side-jobs you had to do as a…

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When I was an industry spokesman

MAYBE I have too much time on my hands. Maybe listening to Vodacom’s soul-mangling jingles waiting for the mythical “Next Available Consultant” (that ranks up there with Bigfoot & the Chupacabra) forces the brain into self-defence … Anyway I got to thinking about all the jobs I’d done in my life. More specifically, those for…

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Another day in the shattered dream that is SA

Driving back from an appointment at the state-run Helen Joseph Hospital — how she would cringe at the “place of weeping” that bears her name and which most people call the Hell & Joseph — I see the massive traffic jam snaking back a kilometre down Hendrik Potgieter Road in Roodepoort. The words of a…

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What will it take to get us talking?

Maybe rising to the challenge would be a good start. Sociologists agree that few facets of the human experience so effectively transcend divisions to unite people as being able to communicate with each other effectively. To do this, a shared “language” is indispensable. Whether it be the spoken word, signing for deaf people, semaphore or…

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An ordinary, decent company — right!

Most of us ordinary, reasonably decent people have difficulty wrapping our minds around the legal notion of a company being a “person” in the same way we are. People are people and companies are, well, just, y’know, companies. People have feelings and morals. Companies don’t. It never was that simple and it never will be….

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