Political statements

What with one thing (Brexit) and another (Trump), Western politics has been quite interesting of late. But that wasn’t always the case.
Still, despite those dramatic anomalies mentioned above – South African politics remains more interesting. And, for me, some of the best bits about South African politics are the enthusiastic media releases from various organisations, characterised by their excessive verbiage and circumlocution.

Who could forget when Blade Nzimande told us about:

the anti-majoritarian, conservative reactive groundswell that seeks to tarnish the whole movement, portraying us all as anti-constitutionalist and as narrow nationalist chauvinists.


Or when Fikile “Fickle” Mbalula waxed lyrical thus:

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; in the context of the National Democratic Revolution.

Ah yes. Halcyon days.

This morning, I was greeted (not literally) by a media release from the ANC Women’s League. Now, after they commended the killing of wives in the Eastern Cape, you might not be expecting too much from them, but Secretary General Meokgo Matuba has really stepped up to the plate with this statement on the Land Reform debate in Parliament yesterday.
Here’s an excerpt:

Any delay by the ANC led government in implementing ANC resolutions will give grounds to demagoguery, opportunistic populist formations to throw rhetorics and portrays themselves as the champions of the poor and the working class. The funded mercenaries who are proudly bedfellows of our historical class enemies, will portray themselves as the solution to socio-economic challenges the country is facing whilst they are mere election footsoldiers of the neo-liberal political party that is advancing white supremacy.

I once threw rhetorics. It was a huge error. It turned out to be the gateway to lobbing oratories and from there I got heavily into flinging magniloquence. Still, I’ve been clean for a few years now, and I count it as nothing more than a difficult learning experience.
We all make mistakes.

There’s something about left-wing politics that seems to demand verbosity. And there’s a certain pomposity about South African politicians which gives them free rein – even encourages them – to use that verbosity whenever possible.

Long may it continue. It makes for really entertaining reading.

Koeberg go woo-woo

Just a reminder that Koeberg Power Station will be conducting a full volume test of its siren and public announcement system between 10:00 & 12:00 today.

Eskom’s Khulu Phasiwe stated that testing of the siren and PA system is done once a year as part of Koeberg’s emergency preparedness, in line with its licensing conditions.

Residents within 16km of the power station have already been notified, and need not panic as this is only a test.

However, if past tests are anything to go by, it’s likely that the sirens will be more effective than the notifications, so you can help by sharing the link to this post all over the Melkbos and (Uns)Table View Facebook groups.

Although, why you would be in those groups is a bit beyond me.

Rain Prayers planned “soon”

Religious leaders in Cape Town have said that they will get round to praying for rain soon.
The city is currently in the throes of its worst drought for decades, and Mayor Patricia de Lille had appealed to senior figures from across the religious spectrum to pray for precipitation as dam levels continued to fall. However, with no significant rainfall in several weeks, there are some individuals who are beginning to doubt that the praying was having any effect.

But now there has been widespread shock as a Cape Town newspaper investigation has revealed that most local religious leaders haven’t actually been praying for rain at all.

Tamboerskloof vicar Rev. Denise Woodhouse stated that she had been instructed by her senior clergy to hold off any specific reference to rain in her Sunday prayers “until April or May”.
When it was pointed out to her that this was rather convenient timing, given that that’s when the seasonal rains usually begin anyway, she replied, “Yes, isn’t God amazing?” and hurried off to help with pouring the tea at the Women’s Auxiliary meeting.

In Rondebosch, Minister Peter Mulhearn echoed Rev Woodhouse’s words: “Apparently, God’s got a lot of stuff on His plate right now,” he said. “There are wars all over the place, there’s the ongoing plight of the rhino, and this whole Donald Trump thing is probably taking up an awful lot of His time. I think we need to give Him a break on these very local matters until at least mid-Autumn time. Then we’ll put forward Cape Town’s case for rain. And you just watch – He will surely deliver.”

And it was much the same story from Wynberg Imam Iqbal Sadiq, who told us: “Now is not the time for panic. We are aware of the Mayor’s request, and have scheduled a Salat Al-Istisqa’ (prayer for rain) for early winter. We are sure that Allah will provide.”

When questioned about the apparent delay in prayers for rainfall, a city spokesperson stated: “Obviously, we can only ask. It’s in the hands of religious leaders as to if and when they choose to pray for rain. And it’s only one of the many sensible strategies that the city has put in place to deal with the water crisis. We’re hopeful that the our unicorn-powered pumping station in Kraaifontein will pick up the shortfall in the meantime.”

Have you blogged today?

“Have you blogged today?”

“What, me? No. No, I haven’t, as it happens.”

“Well, why not? I thought you blogged every day?”

“Yeah, I do. It’s just been a busy one. Work. Papers to review. Stuff. You know. I mean, I hadn’t forgotten or anything. I was… I am going to do one.”

“What – one of your quota photos or a Youtube music video or something? No-one reads them.”

“Sometimes it’s more just a thing of getting something on there. Keeping the run going. I’d love to write a thousand words every day, but sometimes it’s just not possible. You post what you can, when you can.”

“Really, so you’d post anything, just to not break the chain? That’s not exactly very inspiring, is it?”

“Needs must. I didn’t even have chance to sort out the photos from the weekend, otherwise, I’d probably post a link to them.”

“Ha. Well, there’s tomorrow’s post sorted then!”


“And today – got anything in mind yet?”

“Mmm. Actually, I thought maybe the transcript of a conversation with an imaginary antagonist might be the way forward.”

“Pfft. No-one is going to read that.”


“Oh really?”

Eclipse later today

In Southern Africa (or Patagonia) this evening? Don’t miss the partial solar eclipse later on today.

Weather permitting, Durban, Johannesbeagle, Cape Town and the rest of SA will all able to see a bite-shaped chunk missing from the side of the sun as the moon passes between us and it.

The Astronomical Society of South Africa website has all the details you need, including (but not limited to) this gif:

Yes, I was a bit concerned when the sun suddenly fell out of the Durban sky first time I saw it, too. Everything’s ok though. It’s just that we get a bit more eveningsworth for our money in the Mother City.

PLEASE, PLEASE! check their “How Do I Look?” section for hint and tips on safely watching the eclipse. It’s never safe to look directly at the sun, even if it’s almost half hidden.

And please share this post far and wide so that others get the chance to see the eclipse too. Thanks.