Sharp Thoughts

  • In appreciation of Stephen Poliakoff

    In appreciation of Stephen Poliakoff

    STEPHEN Poliakoff is a prolific and highly successful scriptwriter and film director, a Londoner by birth and career and now in his mid-60s. Like so many creative and accomplished Britons he is of relatively recent […]

  • Rescued from the brink?

    THE seventh week of the year proved momentous for southern Africa. First, thief-in-chief President Jacob Zuma was forced to resign by his own party, but not before prevarication had allowed a number of his criminal […]

  • State of the South African nation

    BEFORE, during and since the ANC’s elective conference in December last year much has been made of personalities. This is not without reason. President Jacob Zuma is widely regarded as ‘thief-in-chief’ and Cyril Ramaphosa’s election […]

  • On a road to nowhere

    FOR many years there has been major excavation and traffic disruption at the junction of Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross Road in London. The reason is the massive tunnel being drilled through […]

  • Just another commodity

    Just another commodity

    CRICKET is governed not by rules, like other sport, but by laws. Famously, there are 42 of them and the law makers have managed to keep this number constant through various editions, including the latest […]

  • Fear and intimidation: censorship and South African post-liberation culture

    TWEETS are clearly a short route to trouble. A couple of years ago Tim Noakes, the highly respected sports scientist and dietician, expressed an opinion via Twitter to a mother that a high-fat and vegetable, […]

  • ‘Indians can’t fly’: the continuing search for justice for apartheid’s political prisoners

    THERE are two plausible explanations for the death of political detainee Ahmed Timol at the hands of apartheid security branch (SB) police on 27 October 1971, both involving defenestration. Either he was suspended from a […]

  • Zille, Maimane and freedom of speech

    WILL Twitter outbursts eventually contribute to the downfall of Donald Trump as US President? Americans must surely be cringing at his remarks via a medium especially suited to the crass and the less articulate. But […]

  • Down with the Establishment!

    TEN and a half million votes and over one third of the total cast: that was the support for the candidate of the far right, Marine le Pen of Front National, in the second round […]

  • Endorsing war criminals

    HULLABALOO: it’s a word often applied to South African politics – and with good reason. In the year in which Jacob Zuma should relinquish the presidency of the African National Congress (and, much of the […]