Democratic state crisis holds security dangers (Polity, 14 May 2018)

Last week I wrote an article referring to a democratic and state crisis. (  I feared that what I wrote may have been superseded by events.  Continue reading

Democratic project in trouble. How does it get remedied? (Polity 7 May 2018, reprinted Daily Maverick)

It is well known that Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as ANC president in December was by a small number of votes and that he was elected alongside others in the top leadership who were former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters. Continue reading

How do we understand our freedom? (Polity 30 April 2018, reprinted Daily Maverick)

How do we celebrate Freedom Day, or should we celebrate Freedom Day at all in South Africa, 24 years after the first democratic elections, years that have seen very mixed results, evoking joy but also great disappointment?  Continue reading

North-West uprising and restoring democratic values and practices (Polity 23 April 2018, reprinted in Daily Maverick and


It is a common occurrence during protests to have foreign-owned businesses, that is businesses owned by refugees from Africa or Asia (not the wealthier ones from Europe or the USA) destroyed and/or looted. This is so regular a feature that it tends to go almost unnoticed, as in the case of the North West protests against Premier Supra Mahumaphelo, where it has generally been mentioned as an aside.  Continue reading

Is Zuma mounting a revolt against the Ramaphosa-led ANC and state? (Polity 9 April 2018, reprinted Daily Maverick and

In the last few weeks before and during the court appearance of Jacob Zuma in Durban last week there have been repeated self-references by Zuma to himself as being persecuted and betrayed by those whom he trusted. Continue reading

Can the ANC recover ground lost under Zuma? (Polity 5 April 2018, reprinted in Daily Maverick and


With the departure of Jacob Zuma as ANC and state president and the positive reception accorded to the initial period of the Cyril Ramaphosa presidency, the question arises whether the ANC can recover the ground it lost under the leadership of Zuma, and what that in fact means.  Continue reading

Shifting political ground challenges all parties (Polity 26 March 2018, reprinted Daily Maverick)


The removal of Jacob Zuma as ANC and state president and some of the early steps of the Cyril Ramaphosa-led ANC and government has posed challenges for opposition parties, especially the DA. Continue reading