Sharp Thoughts

  • To Kill the Truth

    To Kill the Truth

    SAM Bourne is the author of political thrillers. His real-life persona is Jonathan Freedland, one of the Guardian’s acute columnists and a commentator on British current events, especially Brexit, and Jewish affairs. His opinion piece […]

  • Africa's Holocaust

    Africa’s Holocaust

    ‘IN Rwanda I shook hands with the devil. I have seen him, I have smelled him and I have touched him. I know the devil exists, and therefore I know there is a God.’ Those […]

  • Social media and the coarsening of debate

    Social media and the coarsening of debate

    VIEWERS of the SATV soap opera ‘Isidingo’ will recall Horizon Deep mayor Sechaba Matabane-Moloi being set up in a supposedly drug-induced orgy at a Christmas party by his deputy Gabriel Motusi. The devious Motusi missed […]

  • Lies, politics and history

    Lies, politics and history

    A CONVENIENTLY forgotten aspect of the long, convoluted and unresolved saga of Brexit is the fact that the successful Leave campaign in 2016 was based on a stack of lies and a raft of other […]

  • Disappointments of working lives

    Disappointments of working lives

    A CROWNING moment of a lifetime’s professional work would in the past have been a handing over to one’s younger, competent successor confident that while times inevitably move on values and principles would be carefully […]

  • Driving and the national psyche

    Driving and the national psyche

    LAST July we drove back home from the Eastern Cape via Transkei. Forty years ago this stretch of the N2 was regarded with extreme trepidation by drivers as posing every conceivable danger: hazardous road layout […]

  • The search for a better life

    The search for a better life

    LAND restitution: you will not find a mainstream political party or commentator in South Africa who does not fervently support it as an essential prerequisite of the nation’s future. The current populist cry (and increasingly […]

  • Liberty in peril

    Liberty in peril

    THESE are troubled times globally for pluralism and liberal democracy; and especially in South Africa whose rainbow nation gloss has long looked thoroughly tarnished. In recent weeks the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), third largest party […]

  • A betrayal of epic proportions

    A betrayal of epic proportions

    LAST month we buried our mother. Her ashes lie in a peaceful, but well-frequented, English village churchyard directly under the highest point of the Cotswold hills; close to those of our father. At her funeral […]

  • Massaging history in an orgy of hagiography

    Massaging history in an orgy of hagiography

    ‘POLITICALLY and morally accountable for gross violations of human rights’: the author of this statement is South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC); and its subject is Winnie Madikizela Mandela (WMM) who died on 2 […]