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How much longer until tipping point?

Lifestyle Section - Opinion


During the election campaign in 2009, President Jacob Zuma said on more than one occasion at election rallies, that the ANC will rule until Jesus comes. That assertion has recently re-surfaced, probably in response to the increasing realisation that the ANC is in trouble. Indeed, President Zuma himself said so in as many words last Thursday when he addressed the ANC Youth League elective (sorry, consultative!) conference in Soweto, so one must wonder precisely how long it will take for Jesus to come.

By Norman McFarlane 03 December 2014 Read Article


Liar, liar, pants on fire

Lifestyle Section - Opinion


Having regard to all the circumstances, and in particular the cumulative substantial departures from international standards of free and fair elections, found in Zimbabwe during the pre-election period, the elections, in our view, cannot be considered to be free and fair. This is the concluding paragraph of the judicial report into the 2002 Zimbabwe Presidential Election, commissioned by then president Thabo Mbeki, and completed by High Court Justices Sisi Khampepe and Dikgang Moseneke. The report was handed to President Thabo Mbeki, and although its contents have been widely speculated about, it wasn’t until the Mail & Guardian finally succeeded in wresting it from the titanium-clawed grip of the office of the President on Friday November 14, that the speculation was unequivocally confirmed.

By Norman McFarlane 26 November 2014 Read Article

‘Marikana’ in Parliament

Lifestyle Section - Opinion


On August 16 2012, a hail of bullets poured into a group of striking miners on a koppie at Marikana, and  minutes later 34 people lay dead, and another 78 injured. These  gunshots still echo around South Africa, most recently last Friday, when the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into what became known as the Marikana Massacre drew to a close, after the various counsels presented their closing arguments.

By Norman McFarlane 19 November 2014 Read Article

Of public broadcasters and qualifications

Lifestyle Section - Opinion


According to our records, no qualification was awarded to the mentioned individual. These are the words that appear in a letter from Unisa's executive director of legal services and information, Jan van Wyk, in response to a Promotion of Access to Information Act enquiry by City Press newspaper in July. The “mentioned individual” is SABC board chairperson Zandile Ellen Thsabalala. The qualifications which Ms Thsbalala does not have, despite her vehement insistence to the contrary, are a BCom degree, and a post graduate qualification in labour relations.

By Norman McFarlane 12 November 2014 Read Article

NUMSA and the New Left

Lifestyle Section - Opinion


It was 19 years ago that political analyst Lawrence Schlemmer suggested that by the time the 2014 national election rolled around, the Tri-Partite Alliance will have split, with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) opening up a “New Left” in our politics, and the ANC no longer assured of a clear majority at the polls. He opined at the time, that the average white voter, who had eschewed supporting the ANC up to that time, would do so willingly in order to keep the emergent New Left at bay.

By Norman McFarlane 05 November 2014 Read Article

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