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Analysis of and commentary on South African politics from a liberal perspective.

Category: Quotable Quotes

The Zumaphosa Monitor


Search as hard as you can, you won’t final a single critical word from President Cyril Ramaphosa about former President Jacob Zuma. That’s the Jacob Zuma, the man who brought South Africa to the brink. What you will find, however, is praise, and a lot of it. The Zumaphosa Monitor is designed to track everything Ramaphosa has said about Jacob Zuma in the hope that, one day, he might actually have a critical word to say directly about the former President. When he does, it will shut down.

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FW De Klerk: the ultimate ‘joiner’


FWdeKlerkARTICLE: One from the archives – a look at the many political positions former President FW de Klerk adopted during his political career, as captured by five key comments. Together with the ANC, in opposition to the ANC, for the ANC, against the ANC, de Klerk has done it all. It’s a muddled historical record, but one worth noting if only to provide some context, the next time he speaks from a position of some ostensibly conviction.

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Marius Fransman’s political dictionary


BullshitFEATURE: Few things are more entertaining than a Marius Fransman turn of phrase. At the same time, few things are more nonsensical. It is too easy, however, to dismiss so much of his rhetoric as rubbish. Rather, I think we should celebrate it – as a kind of comic relief. In that spirit I have compiled a collection of some of his more memorable sayings (and perhaps foolishly, tried to define them). Here they are then. Hopefully I will be able to produce a second edition sometime soon. Contributions welcome.

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The ANC’s top ten ‘treasonous’ people


ANCFlagFEATURE: As the ANC has turned its bullying gaze towards First National Bank, so one of its perennial slurs has once again been invoked – ‘treason’, and the suggestion that FNB was attempting to overthrow the government. It is a hysterical and wholly inaccurate accusation, designed to silence criticism and shut down debate – and FNB is not the first to be labelled ‘treasonous’ by the ANC. Here follows a list of ten such instances. In each case the charge is outlandish and wrong, and, in each case, it is used as a response to disagreement rather than any actual threat. Perhaps more importantly, together they describe a party out of touch both with reality and its own history.

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The Ten Commandments according to Jacob Zuma


FEATURE: Jacob Zuma has, over the last five years, spent much time advocating his and the ANC’s religious credentials: that his is a party endorsed by God, that it will rule till the end of days, that its enemies will suffer damnation, that he is like Jesus, even that an ANC membership card is a ticket into heaven. I have organised all his religious rhetoric into ten key ideas – everything Jacob Zuma has ever said about the ANC and religion. Not only does it serve as a helpful archive but jointly and separately his statements paint a picture of a profoundly undemocratic leader with scant regard for the constitution or the basic tenets of democracy [GRAPHIC included].

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Petrol price increase “indefensible”: ANC


SERIES: A good quote can hold within it a thousand separate insights, just as surely as some poorly constructed thought can reveal someone as a fool. Quotable Quotes looks at what is said, what was said and, on occasion, how the two compare. A lot of people forget but the ANC was once in opposition – from 1990, when it was un-banned, to South Africa’s first democratic election, in April 1994. Perhaps not formally elected but, for that period of time and in the run-up to 94, it assumed the role. Here are a few quotes from the ANC back then. I wonder how the ANC has held up in government against the standard it set when it was in opposition?

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The many-tentacled cash cow, and other mangled metaphors


FEATURE: Before there was Marius Fransman – the reigning king of convolution – there was Edwin Naidu, who would, week-in and week-out, generate for the Sunday Independent a series of metaphors so mangled they would produce in equal quantities much laughter and confusion. And not just mixed metaphors but a wide range of cliches, unoriginal and over-used, if that isn’t redundant.  In the 2008 article below, I look at some of them and set out just how bizarre and devoid of meaning many of them are. So, if you want to see why Vodacom is a many-tentacled cash cow, read on!

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36 Quotes from Jacob Zuma


FEATURE: I have been looking through the various wise things Jacob Zuma has said, in particular, before his election to the Presidency in 2009. And, seeing as I have them all to hand, I thought I would put together a list of some of his more infamous statements. I was struck by how often he came out in defence of President Mbeki’s HIV/Aids denialism, specifically as Deputy President. That said, in no particular order, here are 36 quotes from Jacob Zuma.

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Phiyega’s gallery of gobbledegook


FEATURE: The new police commissioner, Mangwashi Phiyega, has a wonderful way with words. Never before has a senior member of civil service squeezed so many metaphors and idioms into so little content. Is she the police’s answer to Pieter de Villiers? In order to make sure they are all captured for posterity and I am starting a running archive of her best sayings. Here it is.

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Albie Sachs on South African art in 2000


SERIES: A good quote can hold within it a thousand separate insights, just as surely as some poorly constructed thought can reveal someone as a fool. Quotable Quotes looks at what is said, what was said and, on occasion, how the two compare. In this edition, a quote from 2000, from former ANC stalwart and Justice Albie Sachs about South African art and how it was independent of political hegemony and correctness; an appraisal that stands in stark contrast to the ANC’s recent response to ‘The Spear’.

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Is the ANC its own harshest critic?


FEATURE: President Zuma’s election as ANC President ushered in a new era in ANC politics. Gone were the days of tight party discipline and the seemingly unified, focused communication that defined Mbeki’s reign. Now it openly and, on a regular basis, criticises itself – often in the harshest terms. Unfortunately, it has little to do with improvement and everything to do with political posturing and so, in the run-up to Mangaung, we can expect more of it, not less.

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The ANC’s all-time top 10 most disturbing quotes


FEATURE: I have compiled into a list what I consider to be the ANC’s 10 most disturbing quotes of the last 18 years. Each one made a significant impact on current affairs and, significantly, revealed the ANC’s real thinking, so they are worth documenting and recalling. But I am open to suggestions. The point of this article is to generate a discussion. So read them and leave your comments. Did Zuma’s shower quote make the list? Malema on nationalisation? Mbeki on Aids? Read on and find out. Also, leave your thoughts on Twitter, I will use the hashtag #ANCQuotes

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A Zuma flip flop: On the arms deal in 2004 and 2012


SERIES: A good quote can hold within it a thousand separate insights, just as surely as some poorly constructed thought can reveal someone as a fool. Quotable Quotes looks at what is said, what was said and, on occasion, how the two compare. Today, Jacob Zuma and the arms deal. Perhaps his biggest flip flop ever? You be the judge – see what Jacob Zuma said about it when answering questions in 2012 and how that compares his answer, to the exact same question, in 2004.

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A cesspool of negativity


SERIES: A good quote can hold within it a thousand separate insights, just as surely as some poorly constructed thought can reveal someone as a fool. Quotable Quotes looks at what is said, what was said and, on occasion, how the two compare. Today, the ANC regularly accuses the DA of ‘opposing for the sake of opposing’ but what of its record in opposition, in the Western Cape legislature? Does it practice what it preaches or, like so much the ANC says and does, is that criticism little more than hypocritical posturing?

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[In]famous ANC promises 1: free media


SERIES: A good quote can hold within it a thousand separate insights, just as surely as some poorly constructed thought can reveal someone as a fool. Quotable Quotes looks at what is said, what was said and, on occasion, how the two compare. In this edition: Believe it or not, the ANC has not always advocated for state regulation. Indeed, there was a time when it spoke out against the very idea.

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Zuma on Jesus and democracy


SERIES: A good quote can hold within it a thousand separate insights, just as surely as some poorly constructed thought can reveal someone as a fool. Quotable Quotes looks at what is said, what was said and, on occasion, how the two compare. In this edition a look at Jacob Zuma’s ANC centenary speech and how it contradicts some of his earlier ideas on Jesus and the power of the voters.

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