Imraan Coovadia

All articles by this author

Unsatisfactory Closure

Unsatisfactory Closure

After Jacob Zuma

Cyril Ramaphosa’s triumph makes for unsatisfactory closure, given his long silence as Zuma’s deputy, and the holdovers elected along with him to run the ruling party, not to say the dual centers of power in the party and the presidency which will likely persist until the 2019 general election. Ramaphosa lacks (or seems to lack) the psychological strangeness of his predecessors, Zuma and before him Thabo Mbeki, who were often in the grip of destructive and self-destructive political passions. He nevertheless embodies the contradictions of the society, being at once the most successful trade unionist on the continent and, as a mining executive, the face most associated with the police killing of mineworkers at Marikana on August 16, 2012.

The Tax Man

The Tax Man

Pravin Gordhan and South Africa

The interest of Pravin Gordhan’s career lies not in its exemplary decency, but in a more complicated problem that confronts citizens of many countries: how to maintain one’s honesty when forced to act in close proximity to corruption? And another question from political science: are there situations for which democracy is no cure?

A Broken Window

A Broken Window

Jadwat was unreliable. It hadn’t been true then. There had been no rain at her wedding. Today there was no sunshine. The reservoir of these tears had accumulated in the course of a difficult year. If she was distracted while driving, or couldn’t add two numbers together, or misplaced the key to her surgery, the tears found their way to the surface. They embarrassed her.

Unsatisfactory Closure

Unsatisfactory Closure

After Jacob Zuma

Cyril Ramaphosa’s triumph makes for unsatisfactory closure, given his long silence as Zuma’s deputy, and the holdovers elected along with him to run the ruling party, not to say the dual centers of power in the party and the presidency which will likely persist until the 2019 general election. Ramaphosa lacks (or seems to lack) the psychological strangeness of his predecessors, Zuma and before him Thabo Mbeki, who were often in the grip of destructive and self-destructive political passions. He nevertheless embodies the contradictions of the society, being at once the most successful trade unionist on the continent and, as a mining executive, the face most associated with the police killing of mineworkers at Marikana on August 16, 2012.

The Tax Man

The Tax Man

Pravin Gordhan and South Africa

The interest of Pravin Gordhan’s career lies not in its exemplary decency, but in a more complicated problem that confronts citizens of many countries: how to maintain one’s honesty when forced to act in close proximity to corruption? And another question from political science: are there situations for which democracy is no cure?

A Broken Window

A Broken Window

Jadwat was unreliable. It hadn’t been true then. There had been no rain at her wedding. Today there was no sunshine. The reservoir of these tears had accumulated in the course of a difficult year. If she was distracted while driving, or couldn’t add two numbers together, or misplaced the key to her surgery, the tears found their way to the surface. They embarrassed her.