Jean-Jacques Cornish

Is he really running out of road?

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How did we move in four short years from  the Ramaphoria  of a new president to a man whom even sympathetic analysts say has run out of road?

Cyril Ramaphosa has reached the critical half-way stage of his presidential term and he will have to show his mettle in Thursday’s state of the nation address (SONA) if he hopes for a second term.

He started with the advantage of not being the concapulating and corrupt leader that had driven the new South Africa into the sand.

Every year since then he has pulled out the inspiring rhetoric, telling us which way the increasingly troubled country must go.

This time he has to do more, namely tell us how he is going to drive us in the desired direction.

He has three landmark reports to guide him.

Primarily, and possibly the most important, are the first two parts of the Zondo Commission report detailing how corruption – or as we call it, state capture -has permeated our body politic.

To retain any credibility with the increasingly cynical and disenchanted people, many of whom made great sacrifices to fight apartheid, he has to say when and how he will bring the perpetrators to book.

Until those brazenly corrupt officials don orange prison jump suits, we cannot believe the President’s promises to fight corruption.

The second report is that of the panel of experts assigned to probe last year’s anarchy and looting that left more than 350 people dead and cost the country R50-billion.

That report  tells the President that the response to the lawlessness by the police and security forces  

was woefully inadequate.Neither timeous, sufficient or appropriate.

Any government that holds ministers accountable  would have to red card the Police Minister Bheki Cele and Ayanda Dlodlo for her parlous role as Minister of State Security at the time of the looting.

The President cannot continue to blame some vague insurrection when the experts have pointed the finger squarely at people in hight places.

The final part of the troika putting him on the spot is the third assessment of South Africa by the African Peer Review Mechanism. It was delivered at last weekend’s African Union summit.

It urges him to deal with the looting and lawlessness, rising inequality, unemployment, the  poor service delivery and acts of xenophobia.

This comes not from South Africans who will be required to vote for or against him and the ruling African National Congress, but from our neighbours.

Saying  Ramaphosa has his work cut out is a gross understatement.

How did we move in four short years from  the Ramaphoria  of a new president to a man whom even sympathetic analysts say has run out of road?

Cyril Ramaphosa has reached the critical half-way stage of his presidential term and he will have to show his mettle in Thursday’s state of the nation address (SONA) if he hopes for a second term.

He started with the advantage of not being the concapulating and corrupt leader that had driven the new South Africa into the sand.

Every year since then he has pulled out the inspiring rhetoric, telling us which way the increasingly troubled country must go.

This time he has to do more, namely tell us how he is going to drive us in the desired direction.

He has three landmark reports to guide him.

Primarily, and possibly the most important, are the first two parts of the Zondo Commission report detailing how corruption – or as we call it, state capture -has permeated our body politic.

To retain any credibility with the increasingly cynical and disenchanted people, many of whom made great sacrifices to fight apartheid, he has to say when and how he will bring the perpetrators to book.

Until those brazenly corrupt officials don orange prison jump suits, we cannot believe the President’s promises to fight corruption.

The second report is that of the panel of experts assigned to probe last year’s anarchy and looting that left more than 350 people dead and cost the country R50-billion.

That report  tells the President that the response to the lawlessness by the police and security forces  

was woefully inadequate.Neither timeous, sufficient or appropriate.

Any government that holds ministers accountable  would have to red card the Police Minister Bheki Cele and Ayanda Dlodlo for her parlous role as Minister of State Security at the time of the looting.

The President cannot continue to blame some vague insurrection when the experts have pointed the finger squarely at people in hight places.

The final part of the troika putting him on the spot is the third assessment of South Africa by the African Peer Review Mechanism. It was delivered at last weekend’s African Union summit.

It urges him to deal with the looting and lawlessness, rising inequality, unemployment, the  poor service delivery and acts of xenophobia.

This comes not from South Africans who will be required to vote for or against him and the ruling African National Congress, but from our neighbours.

Saying  Ramaphosa has his work cut out is a gross understatement.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.