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

Tag: Marthinus van Schalkwyk

Patricia “Kortbroek” de Lille


After a lifetime of anti-ANC sentiment and on the back of a political career that, ultimately, was only ever a small rickety temple to her own ego, Patricia de Lille has whitewashed a library full of contempt for the ANC, by joining the ANC Cabinet. She is a modern day Marthinus van Schalkwyk. And so, to her should go the title “Kortbroek”, which came to define his particular brand of expediency.

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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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Mbeki’s 1994 TV debate nightmare


SERIES: In this edition of From the Archives: As the Republican Party process to determine a presidential candidate plays itself out in America, with a seemingly endless stream of televised debates, it is worth asking why we don’t enjoy a similar culture of public debate in South Africa. Why did Jacob Zuma and Helen Zille not debate each other on live television in the run-up to the 2009 election? The answer to that question is a complex one, and a lot, I suspect, to do with Zuma himself. But the ANC more generally has never really advocated for this kind of thing, certainly Mbeki fought it tooth and nail – and he was no Jacob Zuma. Why? One reason is the ANC’s obvious attitude to debate but, with regards to Mbeki, the answer might be a little more personal. Here follows a retrospective on the first and only time democratic South Africa presidential candidates debated on live TV – in the run-up to the 1994 election.

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