In 2007, I was invited to write for thoughtleader.co.za which I grudgingly accepted. In hindsight, this was one of the best decisions I ever made because it led me to meet Sarah.

These pieces were published at thoughtleader. The title comes from Sherlock Holmes. I liked it because we in the 4th Estate are a club that keeps government in check; and I, like Diogenes, am a cynic.


Happy birthday Mr Morris

22 August 2008

“It was the worst of times, it was the best of times; it was the age of foolishness, it was the age of wisdom; it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the epoch of belief; it was the season of Darkness, it was the season of Light; it was the winter of despair, it was the spring of hope; we had nothing before us, we had everything before us …”

Hitler’s legacy … sh!t happens

31 December 2008

There’s a virtual ring that runs around Vienna’s inner city reflecting where the Austrian empire’s rulers once held sway and where Hitler arrived to a tumultuous welcome from some 250 000 Austrians about 70 years ago. In relative terms, that was almost yesterday. Today, there is an art exhibition in the city called Restitution reflecting works stolen from Jews — many of the original owners now untraceable.

Lamenting the loss of innocence

29 June 2009

Child abuse is one of my psychological buttons. I suppose my reaction to someone who is accused of doing any such thing is along the lines of religiously crazed Iranians when told that Salman Rushdie has committed blasphemy. My gut reaction is to throw due process to the winds and join the rampaging masses in screaming for castration, or worse, of the offender. The facts of cases are relegated to the background. Bad luck for the defendant if he happens to be innocent.

The most engaging raconteur I have ever met

15 September 2011

I first met Deon du Plessis at the Sunday Tribune offices in Field Street during the early 1980s where he was deputy editor. He was a giant of a man – I stand close to 6 feet tall, but he towered over me and was almost twice as broad as I am. By the time I returned to the country in 1994, he was by then editor of the Pretoria News. He was widely expected to become editor of The Star in Johannesburg, but instead became the editor’s boss – as managing director of Independent Newspapers Gauteng.