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Monday, 08 December 2014


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Roman Dutch Law is the basis of the South African system, not English Common Law: it works rather well and the independent judiciary historically made life difficult for the apartheid government.
Brits watched way too much BBC in the bad old days and never got their smug heads around the fact that the South African reality is and always was very much more complicated and nuanced than the binary Media version.
Yes, the country is stuffed. South Africa used to supply power to the whole of southern Africa, cheaply and efficiently. After transition the ANC ignored a report recommending building new power stations to replace old plus accommodate growth. They did instal well connected bonus trousering nonengineers (current head has a BA ffs) who allowed the system to run into the ground (no maintenance) which it did in 2008 with a repeat currently of "loadshedding" which royally screws every business and home and future investment. No heads will fall and I'm sure Xmas bonuses are safe but hey Zuma is so charming!

Thanks, Ljh, you have confirmed my ignorance of South Africa and its legal heritage - mea culpa! You also confirm my 'gut feeling' that SA had/has huge potential which has been squandered away by its leaders. Only one phrase sums it up - "Cry the beloved country"!

Another point: South Africa has never done what the world outside expected. Its people remain unPC, utterly sceptical of politicians and accustomed to exercising initiative and improvisation despite the expansion of the state by the ANC. Things may just turn around.

Well, all my fingers and toes are crossed for you 'down there'. If in the future, Ljh, you feel like writing an occasional guest commentary on South African affairs I will be happy to publish it. My ignorance is woeful!

Yes, Ljh; that would be worth seeing. And my thanks to old Duffy - that great and good man - for offering you the space.

That's very kind D&N and OT: my return home after 14 years in the UK, paid extraordinarily generously by your national religion and bureaucracy, the NHS, is a liberation. I really like living where selfreliance is a necessary virtue, community is a necessity and where the spirit if not the letter lives when it comes to getting things done. If I feel articulate and think I have some insight I shall try..

Good show, Ljh, just e-mail them to me (see over on the left) and be assured, of course, that your anonymity will be fully respected. I do think SA is an important entity, not least because of its huge potentiality. It is rarely reported on 'up here', unless it's a 'Shlock-Horror' story like the recent criminal trials, so any insights you might have to interest us will be warmly welcomed.

Yes please Ljh, and as a further enticement - Ol' JK promises to neither comment nor ask questions.


Our host's question[s] incite me.

Here here! Since the end of the Cold War I have to say that I have not kept up with SA. As a bonus, I will not be incited either. But do reserve the right to be excited on proper occasions.

Well, aren't we getting very worldly? Branching out indeed.
When you blokes have sorted out Africa have a look at New Guinea. That'll give you something to do.

No, sorry, Andra, isn't it just one big transit camp for Aussie-bound immigrants?

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