• A day of infamy, sadness and shame

    FRIDAY, January 31, 2020 will be recorded in British history as a day of infamy, sadness and shame. Brexit represents the triumph of English populist nationalism with its toxic baggage of xenophobia, philistinism, ignorance, nostalgia, […]

     
  • Blessed by Bosasa

    Blessed by Bosasa

    Adriaan Basson, Blessed by Bosasa: Inside Gavin Watson’s State Capture Cult (Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball) THE GRAND corruption of Gavin Watson’s facilities management company, Bosasa, detailed at length in Adriaan Basson’s book will be familiar to […]

     
  • Obscene language in cricket

    HERSCHELLE Gibbs and Kevin Pietersen shrug off Joss Buttler’s expletive-laden rant at Vernon Philander in the recent Cape Town test  as typical of what ‘happens on the field most of the time’ (Witness, January 9). […]

     
  • Historical delusion and ignorance in the land of Brexit unicorns

    Historical delusion and ignorance in the land of Brexit unicorns

    THE THUMPING electoral victory of the Conservative and Brexit (no longer Unionist whatever it might claim) Party has confirmed in power the most reactionary government in modern British history. It was handed to the lying, […]

     
  • Broadcasting meltdown

    CHICKENS are at last coming home to roost for South African Airways. Business rescue basically means it will survive in some form in private hands, or simply disappear into liquidation. Either way it will be […]

     
  • South Africa’s economic saboteurs

    PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa reckons that economic sabotage is partly to blame for Eskom’s recent level-six load shedding; eerily reminiscent of Alec Erwin’s loose bolt at Koeberg in 2006. How, then, would Ramaphosa describe the systematic […]

     
  • Le Carré as Historical Commentator

    Le Carré as Historical Commentator

    SOME years back I set myself a pleasant task: to systematically re-read the books of my favourite authors. Without being morbid, approaching late middle age it’s realistic to acknowledge that this is something to indulge […]

     
  • Agent Running in the Field

    Agent Running in the Field

    John le Carré, Agent Running in the Field (London: Viking) WITH a degree of inevitability, the Brexit novel has arrived. Happily, one of the authors is the 88-year-old John le Carré, an articulate Remainer. There […]

     
  • A House Divided: The Feud that Took Cape Town to the Brink

    A House Divided: The Feud that Took Cape Town to the Brink

    Crispian Olver, A House Divided: The Feud that Took Cape Town to the Brink (Jonathan Ball, 2019) CAPE Town has a reputation, based on consistent clean audits and much evidence of administrative efficiency, as the […]

     
  • Permanent Record

    Permanent Record

    Edward Snowden, Permanent Record (Macmillan, 2019) THE first, and most important, point to make about Edward Snowden is that he is not Julian Assange. Snowden is a whistleblower in the classic sense who identified illegality, […]