How to help a municipal worker

Following online news reports covering this morning’s plane crash in Durban, I have gained new insight into what action to take in the unlikely event that a small twin-engined aircraft should crash-land in my neighbourhood, skidding over an unfortunate municipal worker in the process. 

Pictures: Gcina Ndwalane via

My first reaction – being trained in first aid – would have been to approach the aircraft and try and assist in whatever way I could, taking into account the dangers inherent in such a move. One of the first things I was taught by St. John (or one of his discipley people) is how not to make oneself an additional casualty in such any given incident. 

However, it would seem that in the intervening period, the rules have changed.

Logie Naidoo, said she noticed the low flying plane just after 8am. “We are used to planes flying low overhead but this was too low.”

Being at ground level? Well spotted, Logie.

“There was a very loud noise and the plane slid in between our houses through a vacant lot and into the school property,” she said.

Naidoo said a municipal worker who was cleaning the street at the time appeared to have been struck by the plane.

“I was horrified, it looked like the plane slid over one man. I started screaming and praying. It all just happened so quickly.”

Again, flawless insight. Plane crashes do tend to be pretty quick. That, I believe, is due to the combination of the effects of the aircraft’s jet engines and the seemingly relentless pull of gravity.
Slower plane crashes tend to be more controlled and are called “landings”.

But did you pick up on the important detail there?
On no account should you try to physically assist anyone in or underneath the crashed aircraft. The best response is to scream and pray.

Scream and pray.

Screaming is a good idea because the noise will alert other individuals in the area that there has been a plane crash (probably a quick one). You may find that screaming is superfluous however, since the noise of the actual plane actually crashing may have made them already realise that a plane crash has occurred.
Never mind. It’ll help to scream anyway. And pray.

Praying, to be honest, is less helpful in these sort of situations when you actually stop to think about it. Which you won’t, because you’re too busy screaming.
Praying suggests that you believe in some deity or higher power being responsible for the things that happen on, around and – crucially – just above this planet. That being the case, your deity or higher power has already made his/her/its mind up about the little SAA Airlinkplane that just tried to take off from Durban Airport. And about the unfortunate municipal worker underneath it. Strangely, he/she/it has also made up his/her/its mind about you as well and you get to live, presumably so you can scream and pray.

But praying at this point is the equivalent of imploring a football referee to change his mind about the red card he just gave to your teammate. The mind is made up, the decision now set in stone (or at least a school fence). And your continued protests are likely to get you a yellow card. I presume that would be a mild heart attack or something similar.

But whatever you do, don’t actually go and try to help anyone. Stand there, scream and pray.
And then tell the newspapers about how you did it. You hero.

This must be an old map…

I can’t come on here and attribute this quote to the individual who actually made it, for reasons of personal safety. However, I do feel that it deserves sharing. So here I am, sharing it. 

It was while we were viewing a map of South Africa, that my companion remarked:


“This must be an old map: it’s still got Swaziland on it.”

She was right though. It had.

Which is a good thing for all our Swazi friends out there (a whole 14 of whom have visited this blog in the last 12 months).

Morne Harmse – sentence is passed

And the recriminations can now begin.

Morne Harmse, the schoolboy with the masks and the Samurai sword who killed a fellow pupil at his Krugersdorp School last year, was this week sentenced to an effective 20 years in prison.
And of course, there are those who think this is too lenient and those who think it is too harsh. Aren’t there always?

In sentencing someone for these sort of crimes, I believe, a number of different factors have to be taken into consideration by the judge: the degree of premeditation, the effects of the crime and perhaps most importantly, the underlying reasons that the incident took place. And on that, there is also considerable disagreement. The sensationalists went with Satanism and Slipknot, the more rational minds with the sorry mental state of a confused and misunderstood teenage boy.

The State – pandering to the masses – wheeled out Kobus Jonker, self-styled “expert” on “the occult”, who interviewed Harmse and gave testimony that although he (Harmse) had dabbled in “the occult”, there was little evidence to suggest that this was the cause of Harmse’s attack. Wrong coloured candles, apparently. Helpful stuff.

Jonker has a dubious reputation in South Africa, as Jacques Rousseau points out in The Star today and one can only hope that in sentencing, the judge completely disregarded the nonsense this “expert” gave the court.

Perhaps there would be more value in following the advice of The Times commenter ‘RSinangola’ on this issue:

Bring back corporal punishment at school and at home and there will be a more than 50% chance that this won’t happen again.

RSinangola  explains neither the  background nor the mathematical workings behind his theory, but since he has submitted them for publication in a national newspaper, I think we can rest assured that he has thoroughly tested his hypothesis.
And until someone comes up with a better plan, which may give us, say, “a more than 75% chance that this won’t happen again”, maybe we should take his comment on board and reinstitute corporal punishment forthwith.
Well done, that man.

White bloke moves to Canada: makes news

I really wasn’t going to follow this up, because it’s utterly stupid (if it’s even true), but I have had a lot of emails and this blog is yours*, so here goes.

This was on yesterday:

Ottawa – A white South African man has been granted refugee status in Canada, after an immigration board panel ruled he would be persecuted if he returned home to South Africa, the Ottawa Sun reports. This is the first time a white South African has been granted refugee status in Canada claiming persecution from black South Africans, the newspaper said.
Brandon Huntley, 31, presented “clear and convincing proof of the state’s inability or unwillingness to protect him”, the Canadian immigration and refugee board panel ruled last Thursday.
“I find that the claimant would stand out like a ‘sore thumb’ due to his colour in any part of the country,” tribunal panel chair William Davis said. 
Huntley’s “subjective fear of persecution remained constant and consistent” up to the time he made his refugee claim, Davis noted.
The Canadian newspaper reported that Huntley – who grew up in Mowbray, Cape Town – claimed he had been attacked seven times by black South Africans. He said he was called a “white dog” and a “settler”.
“There’s a hatred of what we did to them and it’s all about the colour of your skin,” Huntley reportedly said.
He first went to Canada on a six-month work permit in 2004, and returned in 2005. He stayed on illegally and made a refugee claim in April 2008, the Ottawa Sun reported.

And of course, the people who hate South Africa, many of whom have actually left and only get selective news snippets like this, have jumped on the bandwagon with glee. And they are shouting about the “white dog” and the “state’s inability or unwillingness to protect him” as if the Canadian immigration board panel is an expert on the situation in South Africa. Which they are obviously not.
If they were, then why would they make statements like “I find that the claimant would stand out like a ‘sore thumb’ due to his colour in any part of the country”, which is completely laughable, but will be conveniently ignored by the desperate and baying expat masses overseas because it doesn’t fit their agenda.

The whole thing is nonsense.

What about when Jeremy Clarkson went to Johannesburg and caused a sh!tstorm of note in SA by telling us that it was completely safe? The expats and their wannabe mates over here dived right in, screaming that “he didn’t go to [suburb]” and “he had an armed guard” etc etc, once again ignoring the rest of the column which detailed how lions in Kruger National Park were contracting HIV from the Mozambicans that they were eating. Now, despite my best efforts in searching, I didn’t see a single whining whitie complaint about that little gem, so I’m assuming that they fully agreed that it was true.
Which just shows you selective their vision is and how Looney Tunes their blinkered viewpoints are.

But back to the story at hand.
Brandon Huntley comes from a suburb about 5kms from where I live. It, much like South Africa, is a melting pot of many different colours and cultures. I would happily walk around there: it’s a safe, friendly and open place. In fact, the only minor issue is that it’s full of students. Maybe he was actually trying to get away from them (which I could completely understand), but then even Ottawa has a University, so that’s a non-starter, Brandon. Sorry.

At the end of the day, if Huntley had anything to offer Canada, he would have been welcomed with open arms. That he slipped in illegally through the back door means that SA is better off without him and his strangely paranoid views.
As for Canada; well, if you can just make stuff up about where you came from and they’ll believe it, then her doors are open. I would imagine that Brandon is already making plans to enjoy their extensive benefits system.

As I’ve said before… Good riddance.

* is it hell…

EDIT: Update here:

On Monday evening Russell Kaplan, Huntley’s legal representative, told Beeld that reports in South African newspapers concerning the problem of crime, among others, was used as proof.

I don’t know about you, but I believe absolutely EVERYTHING I read in the newspapers.
More selective vision, more cherry-picking the sensationalist stories and soundbites. The fact that the board believed it proves that the Canadian immigration procedures are an absolute joke.

EDIT 2: Another update here.

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