The Last Show: Final Thoughts on The State of South Africa with host Stephen Reardon

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The guest this week is…. Me, Stephen Reardon. This week’s show is guest hosted by Russell Lamberti and we discuss a wide range of topics from liberalism, the student movement, my most surprising guests, what I’ve learnt about South Africa and the story of ZAR podcast.

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Stephen is a business executive who has worked in a wide range of businesses and industries. He has always had a keen interest in politics and social issues and most recently founded, produced and hosted the podcast ZAR.
ZAR podcast has grown into a 20 part series that has featured prominent guests such as the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, Tony Leon, RW Johnson, Zizi Kowda and many other prominent South African commentators.

The Opposition View with DA National Spokesperson Refiloe Ntsekhe


My guest today is DA national spokesperson Refiloe Ntsekhe.

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We discuss the state of the Democratic Alliance, race based legislation, racism, DKB, local elections and economic policy.

Refiloe has a degree in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Cape Town, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing. During her years at UCT, she was a national executive member of the South African Liberal Students Association in the 1990s and joined the DA in 2001.

After qualifying at university she held a range of marketing positions in various corporations including: The Foschini Group, Capespan, SAA, ABSA and SABC.

She was appointed in 2009 as the DA’s National Director of the LEAD programme which increased communication with voters in traditional ANC support areas. She left this position when she became the councillor for Ward 24 in Ekurhuleni in 2011.

In 2012, while still a councillor, she was appointed as the DA’s Gauteng provincial spokesperson. After the May 2014, she was elected as a Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and is currently the Shadow MEC for Social Development and a member of the Health Portfolio. She is also the DA Political Head for Kempton Park and Tembisa.

On the 10th of May 2015 she was elected one of the three Deputy Federal Chairpersons for the DA.

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#Feesmusfall, racism and student violence with Professor Adam Habib


My guest today is Professor Adam Habib.

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We spoke from his office in Johannesburg. Our discussion covers the recent student protests, racism in our culture and on our campuses, #feesmustfall and higher education funding. WARNING: There is some explicit language in this interview.

Professor Adam Habib is the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, and has served in this position as from the 1st of June 2013.

He is an academic, an activist, an administrator, and a renowned political media commentator and columnist.

A Professor of Political Science, Habib has more than 30 years of academic, research, institutional and administration expertise. His experience spans five universities and multiple local and international institutions, boards and task teams

Professor Habib holds qualifications in Political Science from three universities including the University of Natal and Wits. He earned his masters and doctoral qualifications from the Graduate School of the City University of New York.

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The State of the ANC with National Spokesman Zizi Kodwa


My guest today is Zizi Kodwa.

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Zizi Kodwa is the national spokesman of the African National Congress.
We spoke in his office in Luthuli house in downtown Johannesburg (please excuse the sporadic hooting). Our discussion covers Land reform, the ANC alignment with China and the upcoming local elections.

He previously held the position of South African Presidential Spokesperson from 2010 – 2011. He is a former Marketing Manager for Denel Swartklip Division and Spokesperson for the ANC Youth League (ANCYL).

Kodwa also serves on the Board of Trustees of the South Africa International Marketing Council. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree from the University of the Western Cape.

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Free Speech in South Africa with Gareth Van Onselen

GarethvanOnselen_PROMOMy guest today is Gareth van Onselen.

He joined me on the line from Cape Town. We discuss free speech in South Africa, the state of the DA, why Jacob Zuma doesn’t get embarrassed and why we can’t criminalise racism.

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Gareth obtained a Masters degree in sociology at Wits University before moving to Cape Town in 2001 and, for the next ten years, worked for the Democratic Alliance in South Africa’s parliament. Among other things, he oversaw the party’s research and communications, as an Executive Director. At the beginning of 2013 he left the party and moved into journalism. He now writes a column for the Business Day and works as a Senior Reporter for the Sunday Times. He has published two books. The first, Clever Blacks, Jesus and Nkandla: The real Jacob Zuma in his own words (2014), was a collection of controversial quotes from South African President Jacob Zuma that reveal his private convictions and beliefs. His second book, Holy Cows: The Ambiguities of Being South African, was released by Tafelberg in 2015.

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Drought, food security and the future of land reform – with Agbiz CEO John Purchase


I sat down with John Purchase to talk about the state of the agriculture industry in South Africa. We cover the current crippling drought, El Nino, GMO crops, the state of food security and policy decisions around land reform. Plus – Should we be farming Rhinos!

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I must point out I spoke to John in early December 2015 so some of the comments about future rain are based on the interview date. As many listeners will know the hoped for rain did not fall and the drought has worsened over the country.

John is currently CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) of South Africa, having been appointed to the position in 2007. Prior to taking up the position with Agbiz, he was the CEO of Grain South Africa. He started his professional career as a scientist in South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council (ARC).
John was appointed to the Board of the Land & Agricultural Bank of South Africa in July 2012, as well as appointed as Council Member to the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) by the South African Cabinet. John is the current chairman of the CEO Forum, a forum of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in which the CEO’s and MD’s of agribusinesses and organized agriculture meet with the Minister and senior executives of DAFF (government) to address the critical and strategic challenges facing the broader agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries of South Africa.

He serves on various Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) committees and NEDLAC task teams with regard to policy and legislation matters impacting on the agro-food industry, such as co-operatives legislation, consumer protection legislation (GM labelling), climate change and carbon tax policy, land reform policy and legislation, spatial planning and land use management legislation and expropriation legislation.

Among other awards, he received the 2011 Alumnus of the Year award from the University of the Free State, as well as the 2012 South African Agriculturalist of the Year Award from the South African Agricultural Writers Association. In June 2013 he was also elected to the Board of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association.

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