Three reasons why we’re all buggered

I had one reason why we (South African residents) were all buggered when I left home this morning. Now I have three. By the end of this post, I may have even more. But I’m not going to change the title, as that would merely serve to confuse readers even further.

1. A letter to The Times:

We must give Jacob Zuma’s new cabinet time to prove themselves. Service delivery is a difficult issue to advise politicians on. For the sake of our country, I hope God will guide them. It’s a great combination.

Nathi Khumalo

Jacob Zuma and God “a great combination”? I’ll say.
Hitler and Santa Claus must be devastated to have finally been usurped from their Greatest Combination of Political Leader and Make Believe Character top spot.

2. I agree with Jessie Duarte*:

Instead of answering legitimate criticism about the composition of her provincial Cabinet, she has chosen to insult and demonise the President of the Republic of South Africa. Instead of focusing on the real issues that face South Africans, Zille is obsessed with her personal campaign against Zuma.

Jessie Duarte, ANC spokesperson

Duarte is right.
Despite all the concerning and hilariously offensive ridiculousness which has followed (overseas readers, you HAVE to read this statement from the ANC Youth League), it was Helen Zille’s unnecessary personal swipe at Jacob Zuma in a letter to the Sowetan newspaper which started the whole issue.
And thus, once again, we’re left asking why Zille is still going after Zuma. We had the DA’s view on this pre-election. And since the ANC failed to win their two-thirds majority (just), we have to assume that their tactics worked (just).
But what is the point of this continued personal campaign? Answers on a postcard, please.

3. But it’s academic anyway: we’re all going to die of swine flu and there’s nothing we can do about it:

The so called “swine flu” does not exist, as scientists claim it has mutated and “evolved”, which implies evolution, and evolution does not exist. Therefore, this must be the will of God, and nothing can stop that.

RS Diaz, New York

Why is it that creationists always seem, somehow… less evolved?

EDIT: Chris Roper’s column
EDIT II: Umkhonto we Sizwe weigh in.
EDIT III: Significantly, the ANC distances itself from the ANCYL’s comments on Zille. Great politics. That’s how you do it, Helen.

* I always said that the day Jessie Duarte and I agreed on something, Hell would freeze over and the camels would come skating home.
    Today is that day. It is noticably colder already.

Photo of a blonde girl with an Eastern European parliament building between her legs

No. 1 in a series of 1. Or so I’m guessing, anyway.


From here, but I’m really not sure how or why.

The trouble with starting a series like this on one’s blog is that there are often limited opportunities for continuing it. But that’s what makes it special, exclusive, unique.
Everyone has got photos of brunette girls with Eastern European parliament buildings between their legs; or photos of blonde girls with Western European parliament buildings between their legs. So why bother with that run-of-the-mill stuff?

It’s going the extra mile that makes this blog stand out from all those others.

Next week we begin our much anticipated series of posts of charcoal drawings of West African freshwater fish lying in wooden boxes.

Much like you, I can hardly wait.


One part joy, two parts relief.
Well done, boys!

More tomorrow…

It’s tomorrow, and here’s the match report, featuring some sporting words from Preston manager Alan Irvine:

I can’t speak for previous play-offs and it wasn’t down to luck this time in any case.
Sheffield United were better than us in both games and deserved to go through overall.

Compare and contrast that with Didier Drogba…

Written on my Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 after one of the most nerve-wracking 45 minutes of my football-watching life.

Xenophobia – One Year On

One year after the wave of xenophobic attacks swept across South Africa, a quick revisit to some of the stories from last May and a look at where we are now.

We, more than many other nations, should know better. We should know better because we have just emerged from more than three centuries of the horror of settler colonialism and apartheid… This madness has to stop. There is simply no justification for attacking people simply because they are not South African nationals.

Editorial, City Press. May 2008.

The Times takes a look at how those affected are still haunted by the events of May 2008.

Meanwhile, those displaced by the violence are concerned about the onset of winter in the Cape. 

“The government cut electricity last year. It is painful to live under (such) hard conditions. Now winter is coming, I don’t know what is going to happen,” said Dieudonne Masumbuko, who was among a group gathering charcoal to ward off the cold and prepare food. Masumbuko, from Burundi, does not want to return to the local community from whom he fled, but wants to be sent to any country other than his own “where there are problems”.

Burundi native Jacqueline Uwamahoro said keeping her two children healthy and safe during the winter was her big concern.
“The tents are already broken, so water will flow in,” said Uwamahoro. “There is no electricity so I have to bath the children in cold water.”

My posts on the xenophobic attacks last year are still by far the most searched items on 6000 miles… Read them here.

Although it was making all the headlines at the time, the xenophobia in SA disappeared fairly rapidly from the news, although xenophobia is immediately given as a possible cause when any incident involving violence against foreign nationals is reported, in light of last year’s events. But these are just sporadic occurrences – we have seen no repeat of the orchestrated violence which shamed the country last May.

So has SA moved on? Ben Sithole, a Mozambican living in Ramaphosa doesn’t think so:

“Those images I saw, and the victims’ cries for help … are still haunting me .. .”

He is one of a handful of foreigners who returned, and he knows he’s not safe. Though his neighbours have assured him that they will protect him, the people who burned his friend to death are still there, boasting about their crime, and some areas are too dangerous for him to enter.

Finally, a happier tale of Lizbeth Gumbi and Gustodio Muvale who escaped the violence and were given refuge by a couple in Primrose on the East Rand. Their child Zanele will turn one year old later this month.

I hope that her name and story can be remembered alongside those of Ernesto Nhamuave, the “burning man” whose picture shocked the world last May. Because while the appalling and unnecessary xenophobic violence is something that cannot and should not be forgotten, that good news stories and renewed hope can come out of such horror is an important lesson we can also learn.


I’m not Zille-bashing, but…

This article on news24 does rather seem to continue the “OMG, we’re all… doomed… doomed!”  scare tactics thread that characterised the DA’s final approach to the elections last month. And while I recognise that it is Zille’s and the DA’s job to question the Government, I’m not quite sure what value there is in criticising each and every cabinet appointment. I found her disingenuous use of Angie Motshekga’s quote particularly distasteful.
To whom did the DA expect that those jobs would be given? Were they really thinking that the ANC, having just wiped the floor (again) with the opposition parties would then appoint them into the cabinet?

And if so, why didn’t Helen Zille appoint an all-ANC front bench to the Western Cape Provincial Government?

I just can’t reconcile this:

“With few exceptions, President Jacob Zuma’s new Cabinet is bad news for South Africa,” Zille said.
Zille said Zuma’s decision to revamp the structure of Cabinet raised more questions than it provided answers.

with this:

Zille said the Cabinet needed to be given time before its performance could be properly judged.

Because it sounds to me like you’ve made your mind up already, Helen.