Say Sorry, Fikile!

Ah yes, the bizarre world of South African politics. How we love it. And how we especially love Fikile Mbalula and his regular nonsensical verbosity. Oh stop it, of course we do.

First off, he told us about… this… the… something…:

We were aware of the ultra-leftist tendencies that were aimed at uplifting pseudo-Marxist predispositions at the expense of the revolutionary recognition of the symbiotic link between national liberation and social emancipation; born out of the acknowledgement of the inter-play between the national oppression and class exploitation.

Yep, us too, Fikile. Us too.
And then there was the time that Bafana beat Angola, nudging Fikile into a 1,162 word rallying speech of note, which began thus:

We stand here this morning as a proud and confident nation imbued by the resounding thrashing, walloping and gregarious defeat of the Angolan national football Team in Ethekwini by the our astonishing and call-heeding warriors Bafana-Bafana, the crown jewel of the nation of the most popular sport in our country and the world over.

José Eduardo dos Santos. José Eduardo dos Santos, do you hear me?
Your boys took a hell of a beating.

Compare and contrast that with his ranty outburst in Jaunary this year, when he described the team as “useless” and “a bunch of losers”. Yes, he remains our Minister of Sport.
And that latter fact may be due to his unfaltering allegiance to Number One – President Jacob Zuma. He’s even gone as far as calling those who booed JZ as being “infused by Satanism”, which makes them sound like a posh dish in a smart restaurant, to me. I would half expect him to add “…and served with a raspberry jus”. The rest of his quote compares Zuma to powerful elemental forces which cause widespread damage and misery, so perhaps we’re on the same page after all:

They will be defeated because President Jacob Zuma will not diminish because of the booing. He is a tsunami, more than a hurricane. All of their plans, infused in Satanism at best, will never succeed in the future because their plans are nothing else but filled with evil.

But this time, he’s gone too far. Because this time, he’s offended the South African Pagan Rights Alliance, and it’s never good to offend a Pagan Rights Alliance from any country. Apparently, it was this part of his speech in Nyanga last week that was particularly hurtful:

This thing of witchcraft is when a witch does nothing for the people but they still get re-elected. This is what we find ourselves in here in the Western Cape. We are being governed by witches. These witches are oppressing us, they are trampling on us. Where are the tokoloshes and the sangomas so that we can chase these witches away?

Helen Zille and the DA-led Provincial Government pretty much ignored him, as per usual, but SAPRA is up in arms, because – in what must come as a bit of a body blow to Premier Zille – they apparently find it rather demeaning to be compared to her. Here’s SAPRA director Damon Leff:

South African witches object strongly to inflammatory and offensive accusations of ‘witchcraft’ uttered by Mbalula and ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile.
SAPRA calls on the African National Congress and the ANC-led government to cease making accusations of witchcraft and to desist from using a political platform to incite witch-hunts against opposition political parties by denigrating the dignity and standing witches of South African citizens who are witches.

Riiiight, But there’s a serious side to this too, apparently, says Leff:

For a politician to make such a statement in a public platform could incite violence. A simple thing like that led to mass killings in Rwanda.

Well, no. Actually, it was the President’s plane being shot down, not the hyperbolic utterances of some loony communist one weekend. And given that SAPRA claims to represent around 100 individuals countrywide, and conservative estimates suggest that the Rwandan genocide claimed the lives of over 1,000,000, I’m not sure you can use it as a valid analogy anyway. For a start, the SAPRA members will be far more thinly spread across the country and surely no-one could afford the petrol to go and pay them each a visit.

Leff said SAPRA would like to remind Mbalula and Mjongile that according to the Witchcraft Suppression Act, accusations of witchcraft are punishable by a fine of up to R400 000 or up to 10 years imprisonment.

Right, so we have an Act to aimed at suppressing witchcraft (yes we do – and it’s hilarious), but under that Act you can’t actually say that someone is a witch. Anyone with me in thinking that this could be problematic when Constable Jacobs brings in an individual to his Warrant Officer?

“Yes, Jacobs. What is it?”
“I’ve brought this… lady in, Sir.”
“Right. And why have you brought her in?”
“Under the 1957 Act, Sir. She’s a… a… I mean, I have reason to believe that… well, you know…”
“No Jacobs, I don’t know. What are you on about?”
“She’s… I can’t say what I think she is, Sir. Legally, I mean.”
“What? Spit it out, Constable. I have doughnuts to eat.”
“You know, Sir. Eye of newt, toe of bat… Broomsticks. Black cats. [Whispers] Spells!”
“[Enlightened] Oh! You think she’s a wi… one of those! Right! Why didn’t you just say so? Oh, that’s right, you can’t. OK, put her in cell 4.”

Meanwhile, SAPRA claims to advocate for those 100 individuals who “identify their religion as witchcraft” – an admission that immediately puts them in breach of Section 1(d) of the above-mentioned Act. (See Barry, anyone can be like a lawyer.)

Colour me confused.

Anyway, Fikile isn’t going to apologise and says that his comments “should not be taken literally”.
Presumably, the populace is supposed to assume that this doesn’t extend quite as far as his “…so go and vote for the ANC next month” bit.

7 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in annoying people, elections, politics, that's a bit mad, this is south africa

PistoriusBalls 12

Before the break:

I once did a project for almost 15 days and then I simply had to give up, so fair play to the journalists sitting in the courtroom for a few hours each day and being paid to tell people about it. Sterkte.

Euphemism, right?


Probably her most incisive comment yet.

That’s a rather thick anticlimax. Much worse than a mist of disappointment or a haze of letdown.


Aaand we’re back! Welcome to bring your own soft-furnishings to court day.


To be fair, I think he could have chosen just about anywhere better than to meet her than there. Amirite?

4 Comments | Tagged , , , , | Posted in annoying people, in the news, pistorius balls, this is south africa

Testing Vodacom

Everything is going wrong. My car is going wrong (twice, to the tune of about R8,000), my lab equipment is going wrong, and now my tablet has died the death and it’s not good news. All was well yesterday morning as I avoided Grant Nash by playing the BBC Radio 4 News Quiz podcast on the way into work. But then once I was actually at work, I couldn’t switch the damn thing on.

Cue Google, which took me here, where catchily-named forum user 3omda619 was wailing and gnashing his or her teeth:

Dear Sony,
I bought the Xperia Z Tablet LTE 16g about a month ago.
Now the power button and the headphone port are not working anymore and I don’t know why.
Today my battery drained and I can’t turn it on again and I don’t know what to do.
please HELP!!!!!

“Not quite the same as mine though, because my headphone port is working just fine,” I said, plugging in some headphones to demonstrate this fact to myself.

Damn. OK, so yes, actually exactly the same as mine.

And 3omda619 and I aren’t the only ones. Plenty more cases of this and Sony’s only (and rather futile) advice is to try a full system reset. But it’s a hardware thing, not a software thing, as demonstrated by the complete lack of successful outcomes to this suggested repair method. Also on that forum, the usual kneejerk nonsense from upset customers:

I swear for the rest of my life I will never purchase any Sony product ever again and I will persuade anyone I know not to as well.

Of course you will. Because nothing has ever gone wrong with an LG. Ever.

In fact I will sell my TV, Phone, Tablet and any Sony product I own.

Well, that’ll teach them not to make products which may cease to function in the future, won’t it? Boy, I bet everyone at Sony HQ is quaking in their boots at the prospect of you offering a manufacturer-defined selection of your secondhand consumer durables to other individuals (although I guess you won’t get too much for the tablet right now). Look, I’ve got a bit of spare time, so why don’t we all sit back and watch as the near 70 year old, Japanese-based, multinational conglomerate with revenue of around US$72.349 billion last year, crumbles as you advise your three friends and the milkman not to buy a Sony, shall we?

But I digress. Often. My gorgeous, if poorly-functioning tablet is covered by my Vodacom warranty, so yes, it will have to be repaired, but at least it’s not going to cost me anything.
But where do I take it to? Easy: on the MyVodacom app – still accessible thanks to my idea of utilising the ‘double-tap to wake tablet’ option – there’s a handy map of all my local Vodacom outlets:


I looked at the map. I looked outside. I looked at the map again. There appeared to be little to no correlation between the blank post-apocalyptic Vodacom version and the blue skies, singing birds and pretty mountain upon which I was gazing.

It wasn’t a great start.

Anyway, long story short, a quick(ish) phone call later and I have been told to take my ailing device to Green Point or Canal Walk to have it booked in. This I will do tomorrow. Apparently-allegedly, I will be without it for 2-3 weeks. Well, I’ll keep you updated on that one. I’ve always said that things go wrong from time to time. That’s just life. It’s how you put them right that matters.

From first thing tomorrow morning, that ball will be firmly in Vodacom’s court.

3 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in android, positive thoughts, this is south africa

It’s been a bad day (please don’t take a picture)

Today has been a bit of a crappy one, what with one thing and another (and another, and another and… look, you get the picture), so I’m afraid you’re going to have to make do with a cartoon about frigate birds:


Do I perhaps sense some degree of bitterness from the (surely male) cartoonist?
Probably. I’m very perceptive with these things.

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Très Autumnal

We’ve had a nice – if breezy – weekend away, and coming back to this sort of thing has got our hopes up that summer isn’t over quite yet.

There was a small incident on the way home, involving a tyre bursting on the R316 at about 120kph, but I’m more than happy to gloss over that (and now that I’ve changed my pants, forget about it as soon as possible) and concentrate on the lovely weather this week.

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