Does sport save patriotism?!

I haven’t been very patriotic lately. It may be the fact that I’m living so far from home that every time I smell anything resembling a braai I try and lick the air, or it could be the fact that when you are outside the snow globe you can actually see how dirty it is and it makes you sad.

Either way I haven’t been particularly kind in my writing about SA lately. The truth I think ist because I really feel sometimes there is very little to be proud of and even that seems to be slipping away quite quickly.

Enter the Olympic games . . .

Now I guess skepticism fills me during these occasions (probably more the fact that I want to pre-empt the disappointment of what I’m used to seeing from South African Olympians generally) but when I saw South Africa walk proudly into that stadium I couldn’t help but cry.

You see we are a nation that sends our men and women off with vuvuzelas! We are a nation who gets to the Olympic village and makes sure that there are enough flags for every man women and child in Britain to see!

We are a nation of fighters, we are a nation of being written off and coming back to kick Michael Phelps’s ass to the finish line!

We are a nation who are missing both legs and when they tell us we cannot compete we fight them in the board rooms and court rooms until we get our shot to compete as an equal and we make the world fall in love with us!

We are a nation of women who are mocked and ridiculed about their sexuality in every circle both nationally and internationally and we keep composed and quite because on day we will lead our nation into an Olympic arena!

We are a nation who were once told blacks and whites would never co-exist let alone rely on each others every stroke to win gold one day!

We are Chad LE Clos’s father talking about his beautiful boytjie! We let our emotions gush because we are a nationa that loves and lives passionately for each other!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYa0r43Xn-8

We are a proud and honorable nation, one you dare not discount or disregard for we will make you eat those words one way or another! South Africa made me very proud this Olympics and very heart sore. I’m sure very few of you know what it feels like to be in a very foreign place (one where your home country actually doesn’t even exist on the map for most locals), the truth is when you know the feeling of every one back home, you know they are having a braai and a beer and cheering on our athletes whether they have no chance in hell or whether they are medal winners, those are the moments you miss the most!

South Africa made me proud these Olympics because they reminded me why I love this country so much, because it’s the under dog, because it fights and because it is eternally hopeful of itself and its people. Those traits are the ones we often forget and those are the ones that make me so proud of our nation.

Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika

How quick we are to forget . . .

I remember ’94 fairly clearly, I mean I was only in my pre-teams but I remember quite amusingly, now in hindsight, the amount of white supermarket dwellers stocking up on things like candles, canned goods and bottled water. Somehow they believed a free and fair election could spark mass chaos. I guess now we ridicule but sometimes people panic in the face of the unknown, especially when they have to look after a family.

I remember so clearly my mom was stopped by a reporter in a PnP Hypermarket and asked “you have a massive amount of food, are you stocking up for the post election chaos? Are you scared? Will you go into hiding?”

In a way only my mom can pull off she said “Are you mad, you try shopping for a husband and three teenage sons, this is my weekly grocery shopping?!!”

That was the tone my family took I guess. It was fair, it was right and it was about damn time!

That was not the common white South African theme if we are all honest. As a complete generalization (and as I’ve explained above I do not see me or my family as part of this) white people were scared, angry and completely unsure of what lay ahead.

Cue, the now, world revered demi-god Tata Madiba!

I won’t go into superlatives to describe this man, many others have and will continue to do so in a far more eloquent and meaningful way than I ever can, but I think if you remember how pathetic white people responded to this king who was about to take control of our country, you will only appreciate this more.

Fast forward almost two decades . . . past the ups and downs of Thabo Mbeki for all he was worth, through Kgalema’s short stint into the end of Jacob Zuma:term one! Now looking back on all the leaders this country has had (even including the heavy set Dutch who ran the country into the dark ages) are you not that much more ashamed of how you treated Tata Madiba as he hit the worlds stage and took control of a country in emotional, financial and every other kind of turmoil.

I hear those same white women from Sandton (and yes I can say this because I knew most of them growing up) who blatantly swore they would never live in a country run by a black man, now praising him and wishing him a happy birthday and professing there love and wishes that he was still president – my how quickly we forget.

I guess the only reprieve for their fickle tongues is that the world has changed so dramatically over the last two decades that we virtually don’t recognize it anymore. Nothing illustrated this better than this brilliant depiction of the “Mandela Story” via social media (if Nelson Mandela had social media . . .)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXvuRFby8cc&feature=player_embedded

Tata we salute you, we honor you and we (as a collective) apologize for the way we disrespected your ability before we even knew you. Perhaps while all of you spend your 67 minutes doing something to improve the world you can also spend it thinking about what it would be like to have a leader like him grace our country’s presidential residences once again and quietly apologize for the disrespect you showed him all those years ago!

Seems a very sad far way off right now doesn’t it?

Is there anyone left to make the hard decisions . . .

This quote has resonated with me for a long time and when I recently watched the IRON LADY (one of 10 movies I watched crossing the world last time – apparently I have lost the ability to sleep on planes even when blind drunk)  it cemented an issue I’ve been battling to compartmentalize for a long time!

Does anyone make hard decisions anymore?

After going back to South Africa for a few days I go the usual update via the insufferable newspapers and radio stations. Fortunately I haven’t lost the ability to deflect the cries of crime and corruption but the one thing strangely enough that hit home was the e-tolls. Not because they are a major topic in my life but because of what they actually represent.

You see basically what happened is the government spent pretty much R20 billion of the tax payers money (and my money since I only left a few months ago) on structures and a system that would make you pay for the roads you use – seems simple enough.

Cue the public outcry and the trade unions whining (because that’s all they seem to do) and cue the governments ‘deer in the headlights’ panic and long process of trying to get every single person in the country, it would appear, to agree to the tolls.

Now the bottom line is South Africa is in a similar financial situation to Greece (yes its dramatic but not far off). WE CANNOT PAY FOR OUR ROADS. The government came up with a solution that those who use the roads have to pay more for them – seems like good logic doesn’t it? Now if we had forceful, intelligent leadership, what would have happened is the government would have forced the people to pay and after six months of crying people would adjust the amount they spend on Verimark products and they would pay. South Africa would make money to fix its roads (or buy Jacob Zumas 12th wife a house) and all would be back to normal.

But no – we sit with a R20 billion asset that doesn’t work and egg on everyones faces!

SO what the hell does Margaret Thatcher have to do with it? Well it’s quite simple, she existed in a time when Britain was even more of a boys club than it is today! She rose through the ranks to become the most powerful politician in Britain in a time when Britain was categorically failing as she realized she had to make HARD DECISIONS!

She cut mining jobs, she raised taxes and she did the unthinkable by taking on the trade unions head on (something I wish SA would do at some point!) she did these things not because she wanted her approval rating to drop to the lowest of any British PM in history but because she knew her personal suffering was nothing compared to the suffering that Britain would endure if she didn’t!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVok-8zJMKE

Maggie knew that she had to make hard decisions in the short term to ensure the long term survival and prosperity of her nation. By the time she left office ten years later she had managed to tick pretty much every box on a Prime Ministers scorecard and she will be forever remembered as one of the greatest (toughest) leaders of the 21st century.

South Africa is in financial trouble, of that there is little doubt, but then again so is every nation on earth (except the Chinese) and we need a government who is going to make tough decisions and unfortunately FORCE the people to endure them for the long term survival of our nation.

Now the question is do you believe these people can handle that job?

Can Youth Day %$#@-ups unite Malema & the DA?

I always find it interesting how certain things happen at certain times for reasons that reveal themselves at a later stage. I’m a great believer in fate and I always try look for why things happen, when they do.

This youth day our dear Pres. Jacob Zuma was in Mexico standing proud with the world’s leaders at the G20 Summit (seems like there’s always a summit of some kind to satisfy 3rd world leaders wives need for a 1st world  shopping trip).

This is the first time a president of South Africa (after we emerged from the dark ages of course) has not been in the country during the HIGHLY symbolic Youth Day.

If you are not sure what Youth Day is exactly or why it is symbolic maybe you should read here first!

This is probably one of the most significant days in South African history and for the leader of the country not to be there to speak to the youth is beyond disgraceful, in fact it’s more disrespectful. You see so often leaders and governments disregard the youth because they think they have no power. If June 16 1976 has taught us anything it’s that the youth have a voice, a powerful voice, and they will use it to great effect if they are pushed far enough! The youth can topple leaders, government and throw countries into political chaos. If you lose the youth you lose a part of your control to govern the people – never forget that Mr President (although you may have already lost it)

What’s interesting is in the days leading up to youth day both Helen Zille  and the artist formerly known as the head of the ANCYL, JuJu, both criticized the president for his lack of attention to the youth!

Zille blatantly attacked the president’s ability to empathise saying

“We have a president who simply seems unable to understand the lives others lead. Empathy for the other, we know, is the beginning of the sincerest kind of reconciliation.”

This was almost mirrored by Juju’s comments during a rally held in the only place people still think he is worth something – Limpopo.

“But comrades you must know the real man, the man for his own family, the man who has no interest for his own people, the man for his tribe…the man whom we said was a unifier, the ANC today is more divided, what is the legacy of President Zuma? His legacy is that of being interrelate to the youth, is that of expelling those who disagree with him.”

Which got me to thinking about this very interesting proverb . . .

Now we all know that JZ and the DA are and continue to be political enemies but after recent expulsion events I think it’s fair to say JZ has made another powerful enemy in Julius, and the one thing that Julius has control over, is the youth!

If you are a little slow and can’t see what I’m getting at it’s that on this youth day where Zuma has been criticized so many times about failing the youth, has his blatant absence opened the door for two of the most unlikely allies to form a rather powerful political team?

Don’t get me wrong now.

Firstly, I think it’s not possible for a multitude of reasons, least of all that JuJu is too much of a loose cannon and political liability that he is virtually uncontrollable.

Secondly, I don’t think that our Julius is smart enough to understand that the only way he will ever make it back onto the political spotlight is if he reinvents himself, not as a white-hating, land-grabbing extremist, but as a man of the youth ready to fight for whichever leader shows they are focused on our youth (and whose power teet he can suckle on next).

It’s a dream (or nightmare scenario), but wouldn’t it be fun to see JuJu and Helen on the same side?

I think even if I get to hear JuJu respond to ‘Do you hate white people?’ with ‘NO! I love them’ just one more time in an interview it will be worth the political drama!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GB6lMar2F8

To live without fear . . .

Its funny when I was living in Joburg I always used to joke with people that Cape Town was a little like Disney World for me. Not because it was fake or not believable (well maybe a little) but because I just find it too nice to live in. I mean it’s a place you go on holiday, you can’t actually live there, life needs to be tougher, cities need to be about dirt and smog and concrete and angry drivers. All this perfect beaches, amazing sunsets and beautiful people is for holiday destinations.

I’ve been to a number of places where kids play on the streets, walk to their friends’ houses to play and can ride their bikes to school. Places where women can walk home late at night, take the subway wherever and whenever and wear as much expensive jewelry as they want without any hint of fear of, well sadly we know all too well of what. I’ve been to these places on holiday!

When I lived in SA I was never the ‘crime whinger’ type. In fact I never felt scared at all. I was cautious and vigilant and just made sure I kept my wits about me as ‘anyone does in a major city nowadays’ – this is what I told any foreigner who argued with me about the crime in my home country. I defended it to the last. Even when I had a gun stuck through my window by some street punk to get my phone or my car or who knows what. I never ever allowed myself to be negative – that’s what big cities are like I kept saying. It’s the price you pay for this quality of life I used to think.

If you had told me you could live in a place where this kind of attitude is termed insane, I would have said those are holiday destinations!

For now i live in Shanghai. Population anywhere between 30-35 million people. There is ‘no’ crime (I use the ‘ ’ because there is crime like pick pocketing etc. I’m pretty sure but certainly nothing I would have termed crime before I got here)

In this city people ARE safe, walking to work, going out pretty much anywhere anytime and wearing whatever they want.

My point is not that this is a better city than JHB (well better run it sure as hell is) but rather that when you move from a place like SA to a place like China you realize why the rest of the world thinks we live in a war zone, because relative to what they experience WE DO!

The bottom line is I will continue to defend SA as I have always done but I must say I’m starting to see their side of the argument. I never realized how good not having to worry about the guy running up behind you, the person walking up to your car and leaving your doors and windows open all day would feel.

The truth is safety is one one Maslows base layers in his hierarchy of needs and now that I have felt the ‘other side’ of the argument for a while i guess I just find it tremendously sad that in an age of such technological advances and progression we still have to live with a dark cloud of crime around us.

For now I miss the adventure of it all to be honest but perhaps one day when I grow up and have some kids of my own I’m not sure how I will justify a life behind tall walls, beams and barbed wire over open parks, bike rides neighborhood soccer games. I’m not sure as a parent if its fair that you have to lie awake at night as you worry if your teenager is safe or if you are going to get one of those devastating calls and you become one of the statistics.

I suppose life will happen wherever you are, or is that just something ive told myself enough times I believe it. I mean sure you can get hit by a car anywhere but if you live in the middle of the highway the chances are slightly higher aren’t they?

Did we dodge a near fatal bullet?

Yesterday marked the end of the long laborious and drawn out expulsion of Julius Sello Malema. He has provided us with every spectrum of the human emotion over the last few years and the sound bites that go with it. He has no doubt been a colorful footnote in South Africa’s rainbow history.

To use a rather juvenile reference to prove my point I watched the movie Men in Black IIIthis past week. In it, is a character that can see every possible future and every past event based on the triggers that do or don’t happen. For example if you were driving to work he sees the reality where you get there safely, or the reality where you get stuck in traffic for an hour, or the reality where you get hit by a bus and never make it there. Every possible reality is happening at every moment (complicated I know but maybe this is just a random pitch for you to go see MIB III)

Grif showing the MIBs an alternate reality

This started me thinking, what is the reality where Julius managed to keep himself in line long enough to see the ANC conference in 2013?

We somehow never learn from the past, from other countries misfortune and misery and somehow malignant narcissists manage to make it to the head of nations all too often. In pre-modern days this actually was a good thing. Leaders like Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great were hailed, and continue, to be so as heroes of their generation and probably correctly so as they managed to conquer and rule half the world!

Then we discovered democracy and we realized it wasn’t exactly fair to kill anyone that got in your way of ruling over people, well some of us did, yet we still managed to get leaders murdering for pleasure and almost taking over the world, people like Hitler and Stalin took a decade to stop. Then the ‘west’ grew up a bit and started progressing just as Africa, as it generally lags behind first world-ers, managed to allow people like Idi Amin, Charles Taylor, Laurent Kabila  and finally, the closest to home, dear Robert Mugabe to commit savage atrocities for decades in the name of freedom.

There is a very real possibility that Julius gave us merely a taste of the kind of leader unlimited power would have allowed him to become. We managed to see the proverbial tip of the iceberg of a classic malignant narcissist who managed to delude himself into believing things that only his twisted brain could have concocted. If this was the reality where JuJu had managed to shut his trap for just long enough that he snuck his way into a senior ANC position and the power that comes with it, I think most of us would fear the worst.

What would have become of South Africa?

Well we have our neighbors to the north to see the worst case scenario. An exporting powerhouse, idyllic homeland and magnificently beautiful tourist destination ripped apart and left to die in pieces by a dictatorial madman who like Malema also started as a young powerful revolutionary (well at very least Mugabe was a revolutionary – JuJu was failing woodwork when the ANC were fighting for freedom)

I truly believe that JuJu would have spent the next generation tearing the heart out of this nation for nothing but personal greed and gain and fooling himself and all of those prospering off his vile legacy that he was giving South Africa back to its people and wrestling it from the clutches of  ‘the oppressors’

If this were that reality I really do think we would have looked back 20 or 30 years from now, most of us forced into leaving to other parts of the world, and found a nation broken, its people living in the worst poverty, hopeless leaking through the streets and hearts shattered after following a maniac for most of their lives who preached words like economic freedom (which I challenge him to spell) and flying the flag of a once proud ANC high.

Yesterday we dodged a bullet, make no mistake about it and like an impala whose herd-mate has just been caught and killed by a pride of lions in the middle of the night I am still ever-so-weary that JuJu may come back to haunt us yet again.

For now South Africa we can count ourselves very lucky that this is the reality where JuJu goes quietly into the night!

The Spear of the nation works harder than the head of the nation . . .

Can we just pause a moment and think about the fact that our entire news reporting, judicial system and social media network is clogged by the fact that our Pres JZs penis has been painted on canvas.

Now that it has sunk in and you realize that something about this is just fundamentally wrong let me give you my view for a second. We live (well I don’t for now) in a place where violent crime is a real and living problem, unemployment is close to double what the government tells us it is, poverty, disease, education and healthcare are all at the absolute minimum of standards in most parts of the country and for the last week our governments BIGGEST SINGLE CONCERN is that the president has been painted naked (thankfully not with his titties hanging out – he has a suit on so surely that provides some dignity) – does this not just seem horrifically wrong to anyone?

I mean let’s be fair here for a moment – if JZ were the President of the USA he would be getting torn to shreds 24 hours a day by talk show host after talk show host let alone have to worry about something hanging in the Goodman gallery in Pretoria. In fact if he actually was president of a first world country chances are he would be in jail for fraud, corruption or rape – you take your pick. So the fact that he has caused a media frenzy because his ‘spear’ is hanging proudly in the neighborhood art gallery I think is a little beyond me!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2P2innj12c

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZnNVgr6xB8

They say that it questions his morals and dignity but with the greatest respect Mr Prez you aren’t exactly viewed by the world as the most upstanding and moral citizen we have. I think the fact that you have more wives than I have cufflinks does tend to paint you in, lets just say, a rather precarious light does it not?

So far you have embraced this view with a ‘I’m proud of myself so you can get F$#@ED attitude and all of a sudden a painting like this bothers you so much what happened to this proud untouchable warrior?

As the president you have a responsibility to the people to deliver basic services to them, not worry about the tabloids, newspapers or songs that are being sung behind your back. You are supposed to be bigger than that, stronger than that and more presidential THAN THAT! You owe your people that much and by the way you have handled this whole event just shows how infantile your abilities to lead this nation actually are.

I think the best part of this entire story is the German guy who actually bought the painting. He was grilled on why he bought it and what his agenda was and he merely said ‘I just like big black penis’s’.

Finally someone in this whole story has actually taken this complete event for what it is – A JOKE and just another global headline that embarrasses even further! Sometimes I wonder if Tata Madiba wants his face on our new money anymore!

After all is said and done two morons ran into the gallery with paint on their hands and spent a few minutes, essentially, jerking off the painted Jacob Zuma on the wall until the painting was virtually unrecognisable (good solution JZ – pay some thugs to run in and throw paint on it – that’ll make the headlines go away) . . .

Thankfully due to the internet the image of JZs in all his glory will never be lost to humanity no matter what hired thugs decide to do with themselves. I think though I choose to remember not the original artwork but the brilliance that is, as always, encapsulated by ZAPIRO in both drawing and just a few captioning words!

Material out today!

We posted about the launch of the movie Material some time back, and are excited to say that today is launch day. If you weren’t lucky enough to have a caught a preview, do yourself a favour and get to a cinema this weekend to watch a truly world class South African film.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnr_3NKt7Yg

Comedic Material

Later this month, a local movie that we hear is brilliant hits the cinema (we’re yet to see it but as soon as we do we’ll update this post). It’s called Material and will be out on the 17th of February. Riaad Moosa plays the lead in the film, and is accompanied by Vincent Ebrahim from The Kumars at No. 42, who came from London, to play Riaad’s father. It celebrates the goodness of South Africa’s spirit and of the legacy of a unique and historical part of this land, Fordsburg. Personally I can’t wait to see it – check out the trailer for more.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMGkebuEkkE

Cassim Kaif (Moosa), a young Muslim man who works in his father’s fabric shop in Fordsburg, Johannesburg. In the family tradition Cassim, as the only son, is expected to take over the family business from his father. Cassim is a respectful son and has certainly not considered any alternatives; this is his life and his destiny. Until one night, through a series of coincidences, he lands up doing an open mike session at a local comedy club. He discovers a hidden talent for comedy; a passion is sparked within him like nothing previously in his life. He is encouraged to carry on with the comedy, a path that brings him into conflict, not only with his father but other family members and some elements of his community. This is essentially the story of a family grappling with universal issues like, identity, responsibility and duty.

The cast features an exciting line up talent, including Riaad Moosa, Vincent Ebrahim (Kumars at No.42), Denise Newman, Joey Rasdien, Krijay Govender, Zakeeya Patel, Carishma Basday, Roysten Stoffels, Nik Rabinowitz, Osmond Ali, Afzal Khan, Rabin Harduth and Quanita Adams.

The TRANSPARENT government?

I brought up Barack Obama’s bailout briefly the other day to try and illustrate how powerful transparency of expenditure can be for a government.

With a simple website and something long forgotten in politician school, honesty, the President went from being the most untrustworthy first citizen to someone the masses could get on board with. He essentially managed to convince a nation that had recently lost everything to, not only give him more money from their tax coffers than ever before, BUT ALSO without the widespread chaos that I expected. Fast forward to today and for the first time since the bankers destroyed the world in 08 the employment numbers are up, those bailed out are now making more money than before and it seems for now that part of the Presidents problem seems to be solving itself.

So what’s my point here? Do I think our government should be handing out money to try fix the massive social and economic decay facing this nation?

Plainly, F*@K NO I wouldn’t let them hand out food stamps – you saw what happened when they tried to hand out condoms at the ANC centenary (in other news get ready for an influx of baby JUJU’s)!


However, imagine for a moment a country that prided itself on truth, honesty and integrity.  A nation not scarred by previous regimes, a country with leaders not out to spend their time in office filling their pockets, but a democratically elected leadership who told its citizens where exactly its tax money was going.

A small smile creeps up my face as I can feel your skepticism – don’t worry we, like an abused single mother, have been hurt too many times in the past to trust again that easily.

Most people don’t really understand budgets (the country’s credit card debt numbers are evident of that) but here’s a ‘budgets for dummies’ for you.

No matter if the budget is R1000 or R100 billion – the principal is the same. At the start of the fiscal year you start out with a number and you divide it up based on the expenses, you use the previous year as a guide and the coming year as an influence and you make the best decisions you can to split the money in such a way that you will cover all bases. You then hope that your projected income is delivered and then the sums should make sense and you make some money. The theory is really rather simple – the practice however is slightly harder but you get the basic understanding.

Now imagine you as a citizen of a country could log onto the governments website and see exactly how this money was split. What healthcare was allocated VS education VS safety and security VS (most importantly government housing allowances).  I’m not talking about an auditor general’s report that comes out and has so much grey area that it may as well be London in autumn, I mean an easy to use easy to understand website. A place where ALL expenses must be channeled through and explained. Surely if there is an expense it requires some kind of explanation, and surely that explanation is not illegal or unethical then there is no harm in sharing it with the public.

You see under the cloak of governmental darkness, things can be hidden, that’s where people take chances and thats where corruption starts it cancerous life and is fed until it becomes the deadly stage 4 and a country is on life support.

As citizens who are united only by our distrust of this and every other government we need to start asking MORE or our elected officials! We have forgotten who the customer in this relationship is quite simply. You may not realize it but we pay for services that we expect to be done and when they are not, and when our money is being stolen so blatantly surely we have to be stricter on our service providers and in this case it’s the government.

At the end of the day the public, the paying public has the power. You see WE are the ones depositing billions into government funds every month to use ‘to run the country’ and if we don’t, well, at first there will be a standoff (and all the chaos that comes with that) but at some point one party will have to cave. I truly believe with the correct public leader and the right process we can change democracy in a way that will affect future governments around the world.

Imagine that, South Africa leading the fight to a transparent democracy, one where the citizens have the right to see where their money is going. Seems so simple doesn’t it!

South Africans scare the *&$% out of me sometimes . . .

Last week the auditor general brought out a report on the last financial year and the way our government managed the funds.

Now as taxpayers, if you didn’t know, we have a vested interest in this report. You see you give a portion of your salary (well maybe you don’t you tax evading bitch!) to the government every month and other than knowing they use it to give to their tenderpreneur (yes it has a Wiki page!) mates for their Breitling collections, surely you want to know what the hell they do with it?

Well it turns out they fuck around with it (yes I hear you all saying ‘surprise surprise’) but, I consider myself fairly cynical when it comes to our joyful leaders in parliament, and not even I could have imagined to what degree we were being screwed.

Let me give you the number R20 BILLION!

Yes, R20 BILLION of our hard earned and paid money has been wasted. I suppose you want to know what the hell they spent it on. The list is sadly a long disgusting trail starting from just bad management of fund to fraud to tenders paid for but services never delivered!

What I find most incredible is we go on living our lives, paying our tax and not making a noise about any of it until we are drunk at a braai and we start to whine about how this country is getting raped – WELL START TO MAKE SOME FUCKING NOISE ABOUT IT THEN!

If I wasn’t moving half way across the world in the coming weeks I think I would start to create a movement, not one to over throw or fight but one that wants transparency. A movement that tries to get like-minded people to forcefully ask for honesty, openness and most of all a government that at least tells us when and how they are going to rape us. To have a system that allows citizens to see what is happening with their money similarly to that of Barack Obama’s bailout policy – probably the most successful expense of any government in recent history!

I want and I demand as a citizen to know that my tax money is being spent on things that are helping change this country for the better, not being used to fund 100th anniversary parties, not private jets where they’re not needed and certainly not to pay tenders on jobs that are never done and the fact that South Africans don’t seem to care makes me insanely angry!

Once again I turn to the, perhaps clairvoyant, Zapiro who years ago showed our fearless leader JZ like this – who could’ve expected anything less of the government he installed than to rape the rest of its citizens !

 

The SHABBY SHAIK syndrome!

Let us forget for a moment the world class slime fest that is Shabir Shaik shall we, because it seems that South Africans have just accepted that this cheating bastard should not be in jail because he is on the verge of death!

Please see the pic below for proof of his illness (sounds like the defense’s argument for his release on Medical Parole)

Let’s rather look at the next one who is playing ‘the hospital card’!

Thanks must go as always to Zaprio for his magical command of the political scene with merely a few sketches!

 

Now after I saw Jackie was headed straight to the emergency room, I decided to take to twitter and try rally some support, the response I got was a little more naïve than I expected from our normally beautifully cynical Mandy Weiner!

 

You see maybe I’m just of the mind frame of ‘Once bitten, twice shy’ but I cannot believe that dear Jackie Selebi has managed to get terminally ill in the five minutes that his appeal was rejected. Yes, yes I know those of you who are corruption fans will be shouting that he has been sick for a while. I don’t deny this BUT can you idiots please understand that I’m sure he had a backup plan since day one. It’s not like he was going to be healthy all the way through then keel over as the appeal ended – he’s been playing you all for months people!

I guess overall I’m just tired of getting screwed as a citizen, I mean we pay high taxes, our money generally gets stolen one way or another by our government and their friends and to be fair I’m happy to pay that toll to live the lifestyle in the country I do. BUT, when a man gets freed from jail because (again let me emphasize) HE WAS GOING TO DIE, and then we find him getting in a mosque-brawl (yeah my first time too) and still this doesn’t seem to violate his parole enough to stick that sneaky bitch back in jail – something is wrong people!

Time will tell whether or not Jackie playing the same game here but the difference between Shabby and Jackie is that Shabby is on the Zuma team, I mean he was the one who gave the Prez the corruption cash so you can only expect he can call in a few favors when he needs them – Jackie sadly can’t (well he can but Glenn Aglitotti has been in enough shit himself) so they are not likely to make any difference!

I have said I will reserve judgment on Jackie but let’s be honest, the innocent until proven guilty scenario really is tinged with irony right now. The fact of the matter is that another convicted fraudster sits in a hospital bed working out just which way is the best to bypass the legal system and cheat every single honest South African. If that doesn’t make you a little angry then get out your golf bag and book a tee off time with Shabby because you are clearly in on it as well!

 

The great African problem!

After having dinner with a couple of very intelligent people at the base of the Stellenbosch Mountains, the inevitable happened after a few bottles of wine, a philosophical discussion was sparked. The subject of which was why certain countries succeed and some don’t?

First it was decided that we’re probably all destined to fail because with the rate at which populations are and will grow we will suck up every natural resource the earth has and probably in our lifetimes civilization may very well collapse. So we turned our attention to the current successes and failures.

There are an obvious reason of resources, infrastructure, perhaps good governance and the fact that they were left alone and never colonized (which is actually the politically correct word for RAPING a country). Most of these reasons were used in the defense of why African nations tend to implode!

The truth is there is little defense for the behavior that has gone on in Africa post colonization. There are basically no examples on the African continent of a country that has left the shackles of colonization and bettered itself through hard work, positive focus and a lack of corruption. In fact it’s like an African template.

People revolt against colonialism (rightly so by the way), new leader takes over, new leader likes money, new leader gets greedy, new leader refused to leave, new leader becomes a dictator and proceeds to fuck up every positive thing the country had going for them (maybe a slightly generalized view but please tell me I’m wrong) and finally turns to killing, raping and torturing any opposition in their way. Its become so ridiculous that we’ve seen ad campaigns based on it (and they’ve gone viral globally)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1EX–vdxh4

The only difference in South Africa is two things, one is the leadership, courage and selflessness of one Nelson Mandela who basically stopped civil war by himself (if I was him I would have come out of those prison cells with two shots guns and pretended I was in a scene from zombieland!) and the other is that our young democracy hasn’t been given enough time to be tested – as we speak it is faltering not even twenty years on!

The question is, why is this an AFRICAN PROBLEM? Countries like India have had the colonization problem and now they are emerging as one of the globes superpowers along with China.

After much discussion there was no clear answer. Is it that the culture in Africa is different, one of greed and power mongering? I don’t think so, I think that’s a global problem not just ours. Is it because our leaders are just more prone to dictatorship? Not really, dictators have ruled countries all over the world throughout history.

I guess the only rational thing I can think is that our countries are, relatively, too young. We haven’t made the mistakes yet that other first world countries have made. Germany learnt their dictator lesson in WWI & II for example and they had almost 70 years to rebuild to where they are today. But then you think of places like Sweden, Finland and Switzerland that just sort of worked from the word ‘go’.

The only thing I’m scared of is that we as Africans are not as fast learners, I’m afraid we have an animal farm mentality and we may continue to make the same mistakes for a while. The mistakes of corruption and greed creating too much poverty and too much resentment between classes that it can’t ever be fixed!

In the meantime though we are wasting what is, without question, potentially the richest continent on this planet. We have natural resource gushing out of the earth and yet we still manage to screw it up. Before long we will have raped the resources dry and then where will the narcissistic nouveau –riche dictators of Africa be? Sadly on a private yacht in the Bahamas I guess (our legal systems are probably the only thing worse than our dictators)

 

A dark day indeed #BlackTuesday!

I sat on 22 November “Black Tuesday”  in a pension fund board meeting that looks after roughly 40 000 lower LSM South Africans and much to the irritation and dismay of my board members I was glued to my twitter feed from @EWNreporter and other reputable journo’s present at the passing of the Secrecy bill.

I could not help but think of the fact that the people we were spending the day ensuring their futures are safe financially (who feed roughly 5 people for each person employed so more than 200 000 people) had voted in a party that was in the process of taking away one of the most important rights I have as a free citizen.

Suddenly my entire body filled with anger!

About two months ago I wrote an article about this bill and the danger it poses, needless to say as a rather unknown blogger I didn’t have much impact on parliament. Despite my pre-warning, yesterday the bill was passed in a house that looked and sounded like a cross between a zoo and a kindergarten playground based on the behavior of most ‘elected officials’

Yesterday as I burnt with anger, my soul filled with sorrow, because as hard as the founders of the ANC fought for freedom (in every sense of the word), crowned in a way  by Nelson Mandela’s famous words in 1997 “Press freedom would never be under threat in South Africa for as long as the ANC is the majority party” I realized that the dream they had realized was being pissed on by the new ANC, the ones who want the money, the ones who want ultimate power, the ones who behave like ANIMAL FARM!

We have worked so fucking hard in this country for a bunch of corrupt cowards to erode away at it and we have so many devastatingly serious problems without our government being able to hide their disgusting abuse of power behind the shadows in the name of national security. National security, HA! What fucking national security do we have and what national security do we really need that is so important to be able to black out any transgression the government choose.

I hear the hopefuls saying this isn’t the end of the fight, and when I re-watched Lindiwe Mazibuko speak on behalf of the DA I began to cry. She managed to stay so calm and so poised when all others were ready to take to the streets. She spoke with such still power and harrowing words that the reality of what had just happened sunk in. In that moment as I sat fearing the worst, I listened to minister after minister (of all races and colours and genders) speak from the heart and then get booed and hissed at by an ANC that would have disgraced its forefathers.

To echo Lindiwe “let the message ring out from this house across South Africa: the ANC has abandoned the values of its foundations exactly 100 years after it was founded”

The sad thing is, I think most of parliament doesn’t care really, they’re like spoiled brats in a sweet store. They want to stuff their fat faces full of as much chocolate as they can while they can and everyone else can clean up the mess they leave behind.

While I don’t share the panic quite to the extent of some of my facebook friends suggesting tickets to Oz are the only answer, I do share the deep sorrow every journalist around this country must feel today and I hope that this is not the end of this fight.

I hope someone, someone other than a rather unknown blogger, has the strength to push this fight as far as it needs to go because if we don’t, if we allow a wave of darkness to cover what ever wrongdoings it sees fit, then my fellow South Africans we may never see the light again. The nagging concern in the back of my mind is, sadly our only recourse is the constitutional court . . .

 

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” – Nelson Mandela

 

Stand and applaud as the ANC regains its soul!

Yesterday was a defining day in the future of South African politics, not because JuJu was beaten like the insolent child he is (I think the Hawks were and still are going to F#@K him anyway) but because of the way the ANC have handled themselves over the past few weeks.

This has no doubt been a difficult few months for the ruling party!

The first hint of disciplinary action set off a call to arms for JuJu’s supporters which led to the uptick in support through the marches for economic ‘just give me money for free’ freedom. I’m pretty sure JuJu felt relatively safe that he had enough support to scare the ANC into letting him go, and why not? He was gaining followers, he was making front page news and he was obviously confident enough to threaten the leadership of the most powerful party in the country!

The questions that I’m sure the disciplinary committee asked itself and its leaders were, do we draw a line in the sand now and face whatever consequences it may bring or do we bury our heads in the sand because it’s the easier option – I’m very proud to say they chose the former!

Similarly to the Dalai Lama decision (although right and wrong are a little more clear cut in this example) this was a very tough call to make and when Derek Hanekom stood to read his 136 page verdict, pride began to swell inside me like never before. Again I must re-iterate not because of the subject matter (ok a little – it was glorious to see that brat get a beating even though he wasn’t there to take it himself) but for the way the ANC conducted itself.

The ANC made a point to go back to its roots of a proud, disciplined organization run with truth and integrity at its heart. They made a point to say somewhere along the line we have let this trouble maker and his band of merry degenerates get out of hand and portray this organization as something very far from what its founding fathers had in mind and finally, and most importantly, they made a point to say enough is enough!

The level of detail with which the hearings and the verdicts conducted were nothing short of impeccable and the outcomes were fair and just for all parties (this of course as our JuJu supporting readers keep telling – is my opinion!) The deliberations were done with calm heads and the answers at the press conference were clear and confident. Although I am not an ANC supporter or voter (I have been in the past) I must say that if this party starts to rule like this I may become one of their strongest followers (we have light years to go before they have cleaned up their act enough though)

All in all I must commend the ruling party and its leaders for an exemplary job on the whole and I just hope that those selected for appeals board don’t allow this great line that has been drawn in the sand to be rubbed out or moved! You comrades have been proud and stood up to the task – best you do the same now!