David Bullard

David Bullard (born 1952, London) is a British-born and South African naturalized columnist, author and celebrity public speaker known for his controversial satire.

Early career

Bullard studied English and Drama at Exeter University, failed as a barrister and became a trader on the London Stock Exchange before emigrating to South Africa in 1981.[1]

In South Africa he continued his career in financial services before starting a column entitled "Out to Lunch" for the Business Times section of The Sunday Times newspaper in 1994.[2] It was thought to be one of the most widely read columns published in the country, at least in part because of Bullard's habit of insulting and infuriating the rich and famous.[3]


In 2002 the first collection of his columns, Out to Lunch, was published as a charity venture. That was followed by a second collection, Out to Lunch Again, in 2005.[4] The third, Screw it, Let's Do Lunch!, appeared in 2007.[5]

Shooting and blogging controversy

In March 2007 Bullard and his wife were attacked by two men in a home robbery and Bullard was wounded. Shortly after the incident he told a newspaper "apart from having a bullet in me, I'm absolutely fabulous", though he complained of the bloody mess in his home.[6]

In May 2007 Bullard caused a storm in the South African blogosphere by describing blogging as the "air guitars of journalism... cobbled together by people who wouldn't stand a hope in hell of getting a job in journalism."[7]

Firing due to allegations of racism

On 10 April 2008 Bullard was fired as a Sunday Times columnist after the publication, the previous Sunday, of a column (Uncolonised Africa wouldn’t know what it was missing) the newspaper subsequently described as racist and insulting to black people.[8] On 13 April Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya apologised for publishing the column, saying that "by publishing him (Bullard) we were complicit in disseminating his Stone Age philosophies".[9] The same issue of the paper carried an entire page dedicated to letters regarding the column and firing, roughly equally divided between support for the paper and support for Bullard.

Bullard linked his firing with a column (Run out of gas) published in Empire magazine in February 2008, in which he was highly critical about the Sunday Times and its editorial management. Makhanya denied any connection.[10]

After a week of sustained media interest Bullard apologised for the offending column,[11] but said the next day he would sue for unfair dismissal. At least three complaints were laid against him with the South African Human Rights Commission.[12]

Asked about Bullard in a press conference subsequently, arts and culture minister Pallo Jordan said his writing amounted to defecating on Africans and that "Bullard is the sort of person South Africa does not need within its borders."[13]

In 2014 Bullard's case for unfair dismissal against Avusa entered its sixth year.[14]


  1. "Search results for: David Bullard". JonathanBall Publishers. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  2. "TVSA profile". TVSA. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  3. "Sunday Times bio". Sunday Times (SA). Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  4. "Out to Lunch Again". Kalahari.net. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  5. "Screw it, Let's Do Lunch!". Kalahari.net. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  6. "'Don't wear your best jeans when being shot'". Independent Online. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  7. "Poynter Online E-media tidbits". Poynter Institute. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  8. "'Bullard fired for his 19th century views'". Independent Online. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  9. "This newspaper is not in the business of promoting prejudice". Sunday Times (SA). Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  10. "Bullard fired for 'racist' column". Daily Dispatch. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  11. "Bullard: an apology to my readers and friends". Business Day. Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  12. "Bullard: Sorry, but I'm suing". Independent Online. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  13. "No dumping here, Jordan tells Bullard". The Times (SA). Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  14. What Bruce Springsteen can teach the ANC janiallan.com. 6 February 2014
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