Zapiro for Government Tribunal

Zapiro - Gen Cele

The real tribunal that’s needed in South Africa is not one to protect the public from the media, but rather to protect the public (including the media) from the government…

And people like Zapiro seems to be at the forefront of that action. In this cartoon, he asks a very important question, and one I would love to have seen answered…

A Good question

Wishful thinking, I know…

On abuse of power and being called to book…

And still the Saga continues.

Mzilikazi wa Afrika, after being arrested, released and then threatened by the NPA, now has had his charges formally dropped. But, it has to be added, only provisionally… This is also known as throwing mud with the hope of getting some of it to stick.

What this is really known as, and I’m certain the ANC agrees — or at least they should — is an extreme abuse of power.

We’re all aware that the Nationalist Government were past masters of this type of action, but it seems that the ANC has taken to the lesson extremely well; so well, in fact that the student might still become the master.

Stephen Grootes, in another brilliant piece in The Daily Maverick covers the “Stench of Abuse of Power” that lingers over the Mzilikazi wa Africa saga…

Since the proposed “Media Tribunal” is meant to serve as a recourse to the poor (embattled politicians), I fully expect that Stephen will become one of their first supressions. Erm, I meant “rectifications”, of course… And the bloody ANC politicians wonder why everyone with half a brain is edgy about it?

Living under the Sword

Hoy, ANC! Have you ever wondered why we don’t trust you? I mean really don’t trust you? As in, even less than any sane person ever trusts any government?

Now here I’m not even talking about your latest attempt at limiting press freedom (Good luck with that, by the way. After all, we do live in a constitutional democracy. You know, the one your forebears fought for? Before the ANC became a bunch of power mongers? You remember!) Anyway, where was I… Oh yes. We’re not talking you press-freedom attempts.

We’re not even talking about the fact that you disbanded the Scorpions (You remember them too, of course. They were the ones who would arrest corrupt politicians… Yeah, them) and replaced them with the (ahem) Hawks.

No, were talking of your latest attempt to use those self-same Hawks to arrest a journalist on political grounds, and the have them keep them (You used to call that Detention Without Trial when the Apartheid Government did that to you guys, remember… Those were the days, eh? You could do whatever you wanted an no-one would even think of querying you..) even though the prosecutor claims they have no case

Stephen Grootes (who I’m certain is next on the Hawks‘ list of people to arrest-and-detain — I wonder if you guys will torture him?) has written quite a nice analysis of the situation

Oh, I wonder whose those nice people in uniform outside my door is? More of yours?

Bastards! There. I feel better now.

Reflections on the Falls – Day 2

As Themba’s stentorian snores had lulled me to sleep the previous evening, so they not so gradually brought me to a none-too-gentle awakening. Yep. Still here…

With some caffeine fuelled enthusiasm I had decided that a shower was my first order of business. Alas, no, the miniscule alcove had not over-night magically assumed more generous proportions, no. Oh well, at least I got to leave it cleaner than I had entered it.

After dressing I wandered down to breakfast. And a surprisingly good one at that as well. The cynic in me immediately started wondering what the catch was… The place had not so far managed to fill me to the brim with confidence in their ability to play nicely.

Playing tourist time: Victoria Falls. Truly majestic. Or probably would have been if there was anything actually falling… Okay, that’s a bit unfair. The parts of the falls where there was falling water to be had (not an unfair expectation of some place proclaiming to be a waterfall I would have though, myself) was maybe excessively waterfall-y. Rather damp and everything. And quite high, at 100m plus… Okay. Effing high. 33 Storeys is a bit higher than I feel like falling down from. I did pick up on one thing though. Apparently I’m not really afraid of heights.

Then it was time to go back to the hotel for a blessedly cold beer. And the news that the airline’s licence had been suspended. We had to buy a new ticket. And we got to spend another day at Vic Falls. At our own expense. Oh. Joy.

Nothing but to do but continue with out event-packed afternoon. The elephant-back safari. Something I, as someone who had been reared on Kipling, had been quite looking forward to. And we were only half-an-hour late, too. An auspicious start indeed. We arrive in time for refreshments: anything from Lemonade, Sprite or Water. Unless you happen to want water, that is. But the tap’s in the loo if you would like to go get some…

Finally we were deemed ready for our great adventure; after we had been convinced to sign the indemnity form. It was at this point which an alarm started sounding in my head. Any venture requiring new clothes or indemnity forms are suspect by definition, in my opinion.

The real trouble started when one of the smallest elephants were brought closer and I was entreated to mount the bastard thing. All was fine till the denizen from the lowest of the hells started moving and the saddle started slipping to the side. “Now this,” I thought to myself, “is simply not going to end well.” Which I then promptly proved by valiantly holding on to the reigns which in turn was quite sturdily fastened to the saddle; which in turn decided that there was no way in hell that I would be staying on that damned elephant; it quite gracefully turned on the barrel of said elephant.

Themba and I — yes the very same Themba — now both got dumped, quite ungracefully and very damned hard, on the ground. From there we got to experience quite a unique view of elephants. An encounter I would have preferred to forgo and would really not recommend.

20121103-165155.jpg

An earnest attempt now got made, after we had been patched up somewhat and the saddle had been actually cinched, to convince me to re-mount the elephant. Now I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but stupid ain’t really one of them. There was no way, on this green earth, that I was getting back on that damned elephant!

Limping, I made my way to the cooler box, and promptly did my utmost (with eventual success due to Themba’s kind assistance and thorough command of Zulu) to convince one of the rangers that we truly deserved a couple of cold beers.

Nursing a cold beer, a bruised body and my equally bruised ego we find that one of the rangers left to “baby-sit” us is the chief lion trainer for the safari-outfit. Apparently they become unmanageable at two years of age, so the oldest ones he had were all seventeen months old. If you had never seen a seventeen-month-old lion from close up, take my word on this: that’s one big pussy-cat!

Eventually supper-time arrives and I frantically try and find a reason to skip going to “The Boma”. I wasn’t at all too certain that I would survive whatever was in store for us now… In a way what we run into at supper was both better and worse than I had feared… The food was edible. The entertainment was fairly decent. But the “interactive drum experience” (just known as “drumming” to us ignorant South Africans) was a total wash. Well, for me at least. I was sitting at the table in too much pain to go fetch some ice-cream and some over-enthusiastic personification of evil (damn those extroverts!) expected me to be all eager and enthusiastic at the prospect of energetically beating a drum? I was so sore, I couldn’t even lift my beer to my mouth!

Later, with the pain mostly under control due to some decent painkillers (as opposed to my faculties, for much the same reason) I eventually stumbled off to bed; dog-tired and hoping like hell that I would I fall asleep before the painkillers wore off. In fact, I was also so doped up that Themba could have snored all he wanted, he could have started a fire-fight in the room for all I cared, that night I was going to sleep, damn it!

There were some upsides to all of that, fortunately. The day had been so “eventful” that I had little time to reflect on anything. I had been so busy wondering what new “adventure” awaited us, that there had been no time to think about “home”.

Reflections on the Falls – Day 1

“Now, I’ve been to some dodgy places. No, I mean some really dodgy places. But that was behind me, I was convinced of that. I knew that that was history. Which doesn’t explain why I am here. No, it really does not.” These were some of my very first thoughts at seeing the Airport after landing…

It was bad enough when the Airline grounded all flights. Fortunately another Airline decided to honour the tickets. Sort of. After giving us a decent run-around for an hour, we’re informed that, instead of flying into Livingston in Zambia as we were going to, we would now be flying into Vic Falls in Zimbabwe. Ah well, close enough, I suppose. It then got a whole lot worse when the person organising the flight, the one with the transfer vouchers, with the paperwork, the money to pay for the hotel, managed to miss it… Not his fault really, since he would have had ample time to do all he needed had the Airline not decided to lose an engine a while ago, but still; it worried.

Here on the other side another, new, comedy awaited us though. Somewhere, somehow, one of the bags got lost. All got checked in together, and all, but that one, had made it. One managed to “get lost”. But of course it would… It was on Friday. Bag number X000013. It was doomed from the start…

Thistry we wandered to one of the shops. Paying a mil-and-a-half for anything freaks me out just a tad. Maybe a house is still okay, but a bloody ice-cream? Well, to be fair, that translates to just over R333 at the official exchange rate. For a bloody ice-cream? Now, I’ll readily grant that I haven’t bought any ice-cream in a while, but I would have considered R15 to be a tad expensive but understandable: I mean it is an Airport after all. But that’s no excuse for more than a 2222% premium, is it?

We finally got to the hotel, not at all certain of our welcome, since the person who had organised it all is the only one not available to explain to them that it all had, indeed, been organised. Thus it’s just another place, with another adventure awaiting us on this day from the nether realms. I get to share a room with Themba. Themba is okay. I like the dude, I really do. But not enough to share a bed with him okay?

Paying for beer at the local pub proved to be another adventure in itself. One pays in rands for prices quoted in Zim dollars to then get US dollars in change. Most unfortunately they don’t accept coins, ever so sorry. A nice little racket, of course, since it means that everything gets calculated in multiples of R6.77. And then rounded up. As I said, a nice little racket indeed.

Finally it was time for our first “activity”. A sunset cruise. Now it was time to experience the wilds of Africa with man in his natural habitat. On the deck of a barge with a cold beer in his hand. And I certainly experienced lots… Hippos. Crocodiles. Bottom of my beer glass. To be honest I saw way too many of the last for personal comfort; I got too close to the grim reality of it, if you will.

End of the day arrived, and we promptly moved on to Supper-time at “The Makuwa-Kuwa”. Which is great; that is, unless you feel at all uncomfortable at the idea of paying $25 US for a fairly common South African Cabernet. R100 I would’ve been able to justify to myself, but paying nearly R200 for a R50 bottle of wine was a lot, if you’ll excuse the pun, harder to swallow. Being forced to be honest, though, I would admit to the food being very, very, good. Deciding to simply avoid the wine, I’m starting to feel a bit better about this venture. Until, that is…

I went off to bed quite looking forward to a well-earned night’s rest after quite an eventful day. Fortunately it had taken only a modicum of brute force to separate the beds so I wouldn’t find myself sleeping close enough to Themba so that I would end up feeling obliged to make him an offer of marriage. Unfortunately, though, it soon became evident that Themba snores for the First Team.

Great. Just effing great…

Justice

Justice be done!

It took long enough, very nearly two years in fact, but finally the guilty have been brought to book.

Now I am a cynic and frequently expect the very worst from humankind. A stance far too often reinforced by the actions huimanity as well. But some days, quite seldom unfortunately, a faint glimmer of hope appears for the species.

Don’t worry, it won’t last… Mankind will do something for me to lose faith in them before the day is over. But for now, for a brief moment…

Hey, I resemble that action!

Man, am I so with this guy!

Too many institutions use bullying tactics — manipulating people into paying various superfluous or even illegal fees — figuring (quite correctly it would seem) that most people would not be able to afford either the time or the money to take legal or other action and would rather just pay said fees to make it all “just go away”.

Two distinct groups with this tactic immediately comes to mind: the Mafia and SABC TV Licenses….

Oh, really?

Yay, I’m a gazillionaire! Also known as “Now exactly how stupid do they think people really are”?

I mean, really!


FROM THE DESK OF THE PROMOTIONS LOTTERY MANAGER,
PROTEA WINNERS ORGANIZATION LOTTERY SOUTH AFRICA,
13,LAKE VIEW DRIVE,AUCKLAND PARK
P.O.BOX 296, AUCKLAND PARK,
JOHANNESBURY,
SOUTH AFRICA.

Your kind Attention:

FINAL NOTICE OF AWARD NOTIFICATION

We are pleased to inform you of the announcement today the 4th of September 2006,of winners of the PROTEA WINNERS ORGANIZATION LOTTERY, held on 12th August 2006 as part of our promotional draws. Participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from 2,500,000 email addresses of individuals and companies from Africa, America, Asia, Australia,Canada,Europe, Middle East,and New Zealand as part of our electronic business Promotions lottery Program. You qualified for the draw as a result of you visiting Various websites we are running the e-business promotions lottery for.

You/Your Company, attached to ticket number 139-3201-6409,with serial number 570-10 drew the lucky numbers 1,8,14,20,31,46,72,and consequently won in the Second Category.

You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of US$3,000,000.00 in cash,which is the winning payout for Second category winners.This is from the total prize money of S$21,000,000.00 shared among the Seven international winners in the Second category.

CONGRATULATIONS!

Your fund is now deposited with the Maco Finance and Security Company insured in your name. Due to the mix up of some numbers and names, we award strictly from public notice until your claim has been processed and your money remitted to your account.

This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by participants of this program. We hope with a part of your prize, you will participate in our up coming mid year (2007) high stakes US$1.3 billion International Lottery. To begin your claim, please contact your claim agent immediately:

DR EVANS DINGA
FOREIGN SERVICE MANAGER,
TEL: 00-27-73-093-9070
EMAIL: evans_dinga@hotmail.com

Kindly contact your claims officer and provide him with the following informations,

  1. The Refrence Number:
  2. The Batch Number:
  3. The Ticket Number:
  4. The serial Number:
  5. The lucky Number:

FULL NAMES:
MAILING ADDRESS:
SEX:
AGE/DATE OF BIRTH:
MARITAL STATUS:
OCCUPATION:
TEL/FAX NUMBER:
AMOUNT WON:
STATE/COUNTRY:
COMPANY NAME:

If you do not contact your claims agent within 14 working days of this notification, your winning prize money would be revoked.

NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers. Winners are advised to keep their winning details/ information from the public to avoid fraudulent claims. (IMPORTANT) pending the transfer/claim

REFERENCE NUMBER: KFQ-XV69-013b-9
BATCH NUMBER: 57-488-BBN

Congratulations once again from all our staff and thank you promotions program.

Sincerely,
MRS STEPHANIE NKOSI.
Lottery Co-ordinator

PROTEA WINNERS ORGANIZATION LOTTERY SOUTH AFRICA


Here are a couple of clues, idiots:

  1. It’s Johannesburg, not Johannesbury,
  2. The National Lottery in South Africa is managed by “Uthingo Management (Pty) Ltd
  3. All potential notifications will come from “nationallottery.co.za” addresses (most certainly not from “hotmail.com”
  4. These guys are quite professional, and it is unlikely they will ask for “the following informations“…
  5. Contact numbers for the National Lottery are widely available
  6. Now bugger off and go bother some Yankees…

‘Unpatriotic’? I’ll show you ‘unpatriotic’!

Politicians must be the funniest (if quite unintentionally so) people in the world.

According to a report on IOL ANC councillor Thandi Tobias, the chairperson of the National Assembly’s defence committee, considers South Africans serving in foreign armies ‘unpatriotic’.

Not that they care that most South Africans serving in foreign armies do so because they are “white South Africans who cannot work in South Africa due to affirmative action and representativity in the civil service.”

From the report:

During the Assembly debate, DA MP Roy Jankielsohn described the bill as sloppy and constitutionally flawed.

He argued that white soldiers were forced out of the South African National Defence Force and stopped from joining the reserve force.

“In this regard the legislation is malicious and punitive in nature. White South Africans want to contribute to our country, but the ANC is obsessed with having the power to criminalise this contribution,” he said.

Jankielsohn was also referring to South Africans employed as “security guards” in areas of conflict like Iraq that is said to contribute at least R6-billion in spending power back home.

In other words: “We don’t want you to work in South Africa. In actual fact, we don’t want you to work outside South Africa either. What we want you to do is just go away.”

To which the reply probably has to be: “We South Africans don’t just ‘go away’. We didn’t when Brits did their damnedest to exterminate us. We didn’t during the urban terror campaign in the eighties. We’re not going to do so now. Terribly sorry, but no.”

If I have to be “unpatriotic” to make a living and take care of my family, then “patriotism” be damned.