Author Archives


Mandela and the Treason Trial

The 1955 Rivonia treason trial in South Africa was an event of monumental, almost biblical stature. Not just was – is. Nelson Mandela and his comrades were on trial for their lives. The African National Congress leaders had been caught red-handed at a house called Liliesleaf Farm north […]

Is the fourth wave coming?

Africa is…a phrase we often hear.  But it is impossible to make general statements about Africa. It is the most diverse continent on the planet. And it changes fast, sometimes for the worse but increasingly for the better – although it has a daunting mountain to climb to […]

Zimbabwe’s Resurrection

I recently attended a meeting on Zimbabwe at the University of Westminster organised by Dr Winston Mano. I was hoping to gain some insight into the politics of Zimbabwe post Mugabe. Entitled Towards 2018 Zimbabwe elections: Democratic Challenges and Opportunities it seemed like an opportunity to understand the […]

All Change in Southern Africa

Southern Africa has been hit by a political earthquake. Three powerful rulers did not feel it coming: Jacob Zuma, Eduardo dos Santos and Robert Mugabe. Suddenly they are gone. The first two were removed by constitutional procedures. In South Africa Jacob Zuma failed to renew his presidency and has been […]

The Commonwealth

Who thought up the title Commonwealth for the remnant of Britain’s empire? Its earliest meaning is welfare, the common good. Now it is a club of countries, mainly – but no longer exclusively – those which were once British possessions. Allowing Mozambique and Rwanda, former Portuguese and French […]