Opinion

‘We do not want to be him’

In his report to the African National Congress's conference in December, President Thabo Mbeki implored members of his party to become the front-line "cadres" in the quest to "defeat the networks of corruption" threatening the reconstruction and development of South African society.

Misleading from the front

The late Parks Mankahlana, who had an ear for the neat catchphrase, once described President Thabo Mbeki as "a revolutionary nationalist". The problem is that revolutionaries do not make good social democrats.

End this dark ritual

Every year around this time South Africans engage in the macabre ritual of monitoring the road-death body count, exchanging anecdotes about the hell run on the country's highways and relating the latest tales about the record fines being dished out by the traffic police.

Free the ANC from intolerance

During one of those interactions that have become a regular feature among members of the club of Southern African liberation movements, a delegation from Namibia's ruling Swapo posed a question that confounded some ANC leaders: how does the ANC go about grooming leadership and managing its succession process?

Neutralise this pungent smell

The most perturbing aspects of the reaction from those in authority to revelations that Deputy President Jacob Zuma is being investigated by the Scorpions unit have been the contrived silence and egg-dancing. Zuma has glibly declared his innocence and proclaimed his right to remain silent until he is called to stand before a court of law. The National Directorate of Public Prosecutions, under whose wing the Scorpions unit falls, conveniently says it does not comment on investigations into specific individuals and refuses to confirm what is already public knowledge --that it has put written questions to certain individuals about Zuma's conduct and movements.

What went wrong?

The rumour mill has been working overtime during the past three weeks as Wits University employees, journalists and everyone else who can cadge some media space try to figure out what has been going on at the topmost levels of one of this country's academic showpieces.

Cheating the poor

In recent weeks public discourse has been dominated by news and debates about the strategies South Africa should use to fight poverty. Drivenby soaring food prices, reports of grinding poverty in our rural provinces and ideological battles within the ruling African National Congress alliance, this debate has rightly come to occupy South Africa's political centre stage.

Is a dose of principle too much to ask for?

The New National Party trumpeted its triumph over the Democratic Alliance as a victory for those committed to the improvement of poor people's quality of life. The African National Congress hailed the week's developments as a boon for the cause of non-racialism and the efficient delivery of social services.

We all suffer

This week's Commonwealth "troika" meeting in Abuja made one thing abundantly clear -- it is game up in Zimbabwe. Unconstitutional and often violent land seizures will continue to the end; while human rights and governance abuses will continue for as long as the ruling party needs them. President Robert Mugabe has calculated well: South Africa, the region and the continent -- and their representatives in the Commonwealth have dependably shielded him. South Africa insists it is powerless to act. It had an opportunity to do something in Abuja, and called pass.

State must show it cares

This week yet more cases of grotesque gender violence hit the headlines -- the savage rapes of two girls aged three and six. The attack on one of the girls resulted in injuries that medical personnel described as among the worst they have ever seen.

Earth in the balance

Perhaps the biggest threat to our world is the idea that humanity's immediate needs must be satisfied by whatever means and that the future can go hang.

To err is Erwin

In an interview with the SABC, Minister of Trade and Industry Alec Erwin responded to our story last week about the inflated value ascribed to many of the offset projects linked to the arms deal. He said: "The Mail & Guardian article was factually inaccurate in a whole range of ways ... The figures about a drop in exports are just wrong. We don't respond to such grossly inaccurate and speculative nonsense."

Afro-realism

One might think from the triumphalism of South Africa's media that peace came this week to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Let us be honest with ourselves: this is the first step in the proverbial journey of a thousand miles.

An assurance we can believe, please

Well, the grubby crazy truth is almost out. Back in 1998 President Thabo Mbeki gave South Africans a categorical assurance. It dealt with Virodene, a loony anti-Aids remedy with no credibility among scientists, which was already known to be based on a toxic industrial solvent...

Reform the farmer

On the face of it, the chanting of "Kill the Boer! Kill the farmer!" at Peter Mokaba's funeral last weekend -- and its indulgence by African National Congress leaders -- ran directly counter to the government's professed reconciliation policy.

Still Saul, not Paul

Those sceptical about the government's alleged Damascene conversion on HIV/Aids, and who fear dissident backsliding, will be worried by the nevirapine appeal in the Constitutional Court...

Even rats enjoy a flutter

She said to me quite plainly: 'If I lose I pay you a million dollars. If you lose you agree to have two large...

US has a critical role

WITH the United States gearing up for war against Iraq and the growing risk that the spiralling Israeli-Palestinian conflict may spill over into the whole region, the Middle East stands at a crossroads.

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders