William Saunderson-Meyer

Defining the ‘dom’ in Afrikanerdom

Two dozen white zealots, the self-appointed saviours of the Afrikaner people, have fought a decade-long rearguard action in the Gauteng High Court. Judgment is being given at last but it is perhaps not the looming heavy sentences that will cut most deeply. For it is clear that the Boeremag accused – charged with treason, murder…

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Olympic opening: More Little Britain than Great Britain

Glorious traditions, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder. When some chinless member of the British aristocracy was expounding on the ‘glorious traditions’ of the Royal Navy, the riposte – often incorrectly attributed to Winston Churchill, once First Lord of the Admiralty – was, ‘What glorious traditions? The traditions of the Royal Navy…

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Auditor general’s hand grenade fizzles and splutters

Auditor general Terence Nombembe has lobbed his annual hand grenade into the laps of the politicians, the local government audit report. As always, it is packed with explosive material. Sadly, however, the incendiary fizzles and splutters but never explodes. While the collapse of local government annually excites ritualistic consternation and lamentation, nothing much is done…

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Shirking teachers need to be caned by their pupils

Research tells us that a disconcertingly large number of Americans fear the Illuminati, the Knights Templar and the Elders of Zion. These gullible souls swallow the air candy of the conspiracy theorists that such evil organisations are plotting global domination, although there’s no evidence that they even exist beyond the imagination of the likes of…

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The Free when-it-suits-us Market Foundation

When one finds oneself cheering the combined team of the Tobacco Institute and the Free Market Foundation – the latter with surely about as much credibility in a post-financial meltdown world as the Lenin Institute of Economic Innovation – one must perhaps pause and head for a neurological examination. Certainly it was disconcerting to be…

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Now, now, kiddies! Mother knows best

The infantalisation of South African adults proceeds apace. The nanny state has already decreed how much exposure – precisely none – we are to be allowed to character sapping tobacco and booze advertising. Now it is the turn of Cape Town, which revels in its casting as the ‘mother’ city, to embrace the heavy-handed exercise…

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ANC policy conference ignores the burning issue of the day

The African National Congress’ policy conference kicked off in Johannesburg this week. Its intellectual equivalent of mud wrestling was over a truckload of documents analysing party organisational renewal, nationalisation, job creation, investment and land redistribution. There was also President Jacob Zuma’s catchily titled but ponderously composed Second Transition centrepiece of policy proposals, which is his…

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Huffing and puffing at the bus company from hell

It is just possibly the most despised commercial entity in South Africa. It has been threatened with closure by ministers, targeted by cops and sued for millions. It’s the intercity bus company from hell that regardless just keeps on trucking. SA Roadlink, labelled ‘Deathlink’ by its detractors, has, since its inception six years ago, been…

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Street politics: A new twist to an old tactic

The yoof are on the march. Again. It does not make for a pretty picture, although it is a politically fascinating one. The issues vary from train fares at the micro level to unemployment, rural deprivation and racism at the macro. The strategy, however, is uniform, calculated and well tested in South Africa. It is…

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The Empire loyalists wipe away a tear

So was it really that touching? Or is the Anglophone world just having one of its periodic attacks of mass hysteria? Not touched in the heart, just touched in the head. If they weren’t dabbing their eyes at the 60th jubilee of that aged foreign queen, Elizabeth II, it would be something else. The weepy…

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