Has Lekota named his new party?

It now seems certain that the ruling party in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) who fought their way to freedom through the appalling Apartheid era, will split. Those members who disagree with the the policies, ethics and behaviour of the ANC leader, Jacob Zuma, and those of his supporters, are setting up a new party under the (apparent) leadership of former ANC chairman and defence minister, Mosiuoa Lekota. Aside from the obvious questions of who and how many would join this new party came the additional issue of what it would be called.
It now seems that the proverbial cat has vacated the proverbial bag following an appearance by Mr Lekota at Orange Farm yesterday:

Lekota’s supporters wore white and yellow T-shirts emblazoned with the former ANC chairperson’s face and the words “South African National Congress”.

I think it shows some wonderful imagination. I feel though, the intricacies may be beyond many people’s vision, so please excuse me if I attempt to explain to those that don’t get it.

To recap, Mosiuoa Lekota was a high-ranking member of a political party called the African National Congress, or ANC for short. What has occurred over the past few weeks in South Africa has led (or rather will lead, allegedly) to the forming a breakaway faction from the ANC. In choosing a name for their new entity, what Mr Lekota and his allies have done is taken the name of their previous party, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and added the word “South” in front of it, thus seemingly choosing their new party’s name to be the South African National Congress.

Do you see? It’s simply genius.
I’ll run through it one more time for those at the back. Instead of the African National Congress, they will be called the South African Nation Congress. Because while the continent is called Africa, the country we are in is called South Africa. Hence South African National Congress. Yes?

Words cannot describe the awesome.

One can only hope that their manifesto is a little more distinctive than their party name.

Ops and Balls

Sorry. I haven’t updated in quite a while. Life in Cape Town has been more than a little hectic and I haven’t always even been in Cape Town. In fact, last weekend, I wasn’t in Cape Town at all. We were off visiting friends outside Stanford, where the air is fresh, the fynbos is fyn and the beer flows all day long. Views were admired, dams were swum in and beer flowed all day long*. 7 adults, six kids (aged 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and 3 months). Chaos.
Photos or it didn’t happen? Your proof is here.

And this madness seems set to continue.
This weekend we’re off to a tonsil and then on Monday, my little boy is having his balls removed. 

Hmm. Sorry. Hang on a minute. That’s not quite right. 

Obviously, that should read:
“This weekend we’re off to a ball and then on Monday, my little boy is having his tonsils removed.” 
Short interlude while I phone the surgeon and check that we’ve got our ducks in a row…
OK. Sorted.

The ball is no less than the rather exclusive (although apparently they’re going to let me in) Fancourt Ball, hosted this year by Sabine Plattner and “Tannie” Evita Bezuidenhout. Black ties and big names aplenty.
We’ll be making our way out along the Southern Cape coast (although not as far as the sleepy village of Port Elizabeth) on Friday and then partying up a storm on Saturday evening before a return on Sunday.   

 
Say Aah! (Say Eww!)

And then – in an effort to stem the seemingly constant streams of snot from the seemingly continual respiratory and ear infections, as suffered by my little lad – surgery! Desperate times call for desperate measures and a full on tonsillectomy with free** adenoidectomy thrown in seems just about desperate enough. While the global markets may be crashing down around us, shares in private medical care and jelly and ice cream manufacture seem to be a safe option right now. At least for the next week, anyway.

Of course, all of the above assumes that I’m actually going to make it as far as this weekend, which may not necessarily be the case.  

In other news, the word on the street (actually, the word via sms), is that The Ad Wizard and Mrs Ad Wizard are expecting a Baby Ad Wizard. This is wonderful news for them, rather surprising news for those of us who know The Ad Wizard and possibly quite worrying news for the rest of the world. But congrats anyway, guys.

* I may already have mentioned that bit.
** “free” – ja right!

He had a long neck, Officer

We’ve all heard about South Africa’s crime rate, but in a worrying twist, it seems that even the local wildlife is now getting in on the act:

Pietermaritzburg – Seventy-year-old Schalk Hagen died without telling anyone exactly what happened to him. Now the prime suspect in his death is a giraffe. Hagen had gone for his usual morning walk at Bisley Nature Reserve in March.

The only thing he uttered to his distraught wife on his return from his walk, with blood spurting from a deep head wound, was “I ran away*“. Hagen later died of his injuries.

Prompted by the story of Hagen’s death in The Witness last week, a reader told on Monday how a bull giraffe attacked and chased instructors and patrons around at the Canterbury stables, the same month Hagen was injured. Hagen’s wife, Aletha, added that he and his 16-year-old grand-daughter had previously gone for a walk in the reserve when a giraffe, accompanied by a sibling, charged at them aggressively.

“I suppose it was chasing them away from the group. When he came home wounded that day, the first thing I asked him was if he had been attacked by a giraffe**, but he was unable to reply,” said Aletha.

Hagen had suffered a cracked skull and a deep head wound which received 14 stitches.

And then, as ever in South African news, the amusing side to this tragic tale, which also goes some way to explain why sit-com writers spend so much time scanning our local newspapers in search of novel, yet implausible, ideas.

The story of Hagen’s mysterious injury sparked Ross McCann’s memory of a giraffe attack at the Canterbury stables, a riding school at the Bisley Valley Nature reserve.

“I am of the firm belief that Hagen was attacked by a giraffe.” He said a giraffe left marks on a tree at the stables when it attacked instructors and trainees.

Instructor Francois Hugo said the bull giraffe chased more than five people around the stables. “I was with my colleague and four people, some of whom were training in the sand arena. It charged my colleague who ran into the outside toilet for hiding. But the giraffe stuck its head into the toilet through the hole above the door. It was trying to head-butt him, so I tried to distract it. It immediately came after me as I ran and hid behind the tree. It was a bull giraffe, it smelt horrible, and had big black spots, darker than spots on other giraffes. We were separated just by the tree’s trunk.”

Hugo said the giraffe attacked him using its horns but missed and dug them into the tree trunk. Two marks are still visible***. Hugo admitted he was scared and ran for his life, followed by his trainees, as the giraffe chased after them.

I’m picturing Michael Palin as colleague cowering in outside toilet
South African “comedian” Leon Schuster will have to be the giraffe. It’s the law.

* not fast enough, you didn’t.
** as you would…
*** neatly comparable with the number of horns on your average giraffe.

Business Time

This was sent to me by a colleague. I think it’s brilliant.

If you, like me, are in a long term relationship and cohabiting, prepare to be very – very – scared.
Somebody has obviously been watching us…

And I’ll just slip in a couple of housekeeping points:

1. This blog is now registered on commentluv.com. It’s one of my favourite WP plugins so I thought it was the right thing to do. I have no idea what benefits this will bring for this site or my visitors. Probably none.
2. A warm welcome to Po who joins the esteemed and exclusive 6000 miles… blogroll. Welcome. There you go.

Death by virus

The recent outbreak of presumed viral haemorrhagic fever in Johannesburg has understandably got the tabloid press into a frenzy and once again proved that they will do anything to sensationalise a story. It has also shown that their knowledge of microbiology is non-existent: they probably think “bacteria” means to return home sadder than when you left.

Authorities have not yet identified the causal agent of the outbreak, which has claimed three lives, hence it’s monikers “Mystery virus” or “Killer virus“.  The Times has a timeline of the outbreak, wonderfully titled “Chronology of Death*”. The fact that the likely culprit is endemic in parts of South Africa anyway hasn’t stopped the reporters hiding their disappointment at the lack of further victims behind expert analysis – like that of ex-Springbok rugby star turned epidemiologist** Corné Krige, whose cousin was the index case.

A concerned Krige, who captained the Springboks to the 2003 World Cup, said it was scary that the killer virus had not been identified.

The Times has labelled the health department “clueless”, when in actual fact, their response to this potentially very serious outbreak has been exemplary. They have contained the infection, limited its spread in a very short time and therefore avoided causing widespread panic – even in the face of some truly dreadful reporting.  

* To be said in a deep movie announcers voice.
** No.