Zuma “shocked and embarrassed”

Not by allegations that he showers to protect himself from HIV, nor by his pending corruption charges, but by white poverty in South Africa.

The head of South Africa’s governing African National Congress, Jacob Zuma, has said he is shocked and embarrassed about white poverty in the country.
Mr Zuma was speaking after visiting the Bethlehem township near the capital, Pretoria, where white families live without running water or electricity.
He said the high level of black poverty did not mean whites did not suffer too.

Yes, in this country famed for its haves and have-nots, traditionally divided among racial lines, there has been a blurring, with an estimated 131,000 white individuals classed as homeless. Of course, this number is tiny compared to the number of black people in the same situation, but that still doesn’t make it right or any easier for those who are struggling. In raising this “awkward” issue, JZ is once again making all the right noises and appealing to potential white voters with the election coming up next year.
Does he really care? Who can say?

I, for one, refuse to believe the ZumaRuma™ merchants who can see no good in the ANC President. While I sometimes feel that he is playing a clever political game – he’s talking a lot about issues that matter to South Africans, but actually promising very little – I don’t think that he is an evil, white-hating racist as some would have us believe. I think he is more grounded and in touch with the population than Thabo Mbeki is or ever has been – and that’s a good sign in someone who, it seems, will be the President of the Republic from next year.

He does have some baggage though, obviously. Primarily his corruption trial* which, despite a myriad of delays and stalling, will raise its ugly head again over the next few months (next thrilling installment August 4th).
However, rapidly moving up to become Zuma’s second biggest suitcase is ANCYL President Julius Malema. Just as soon as JZ pacifies the whities, his sycophantic lapdog Malema alienates them again by saying something daft or inflammatory. After his somewhat ill-advised “kill for Zuma” comments last month, he moved on in spectacularly idiotic style yesterday, suggesting that JZ could rule the country from prison

We can’t imagine the courts finding (Zuma) guilty because, if you arrest him, he will lead us from prison. We are not afraid to be led by a president in orange clothes.
If you want to save yourselves the embarrassment you must drop the charges, because arresting him will not stop him from being the president.
There is no other candidate.

Am I alone in thinking that Julius was surprised to get a laugh when he said that? What’s the betting that he was stone-cold serious? One wonders if, behind the scenes, he’s been working out how to get world leaders to come to Pollsmoor Prison to conduct their business and setting up a video link to the UN, “just in case”.

However, the tide is growing for the charges against Zuma to be dropped. Not just because Julius loves him and doesn’t think he did anything wrong, because they’re rubbish reasons, but for the more serious reason that it would almost certainly be catastrophic for the country and the economy if he were to be found guilty and then take office as President. Or take office as President and then be found guilty.

So perhaps Zuma should not run for President? Or is it a case of better the devil you know?
Because Malema the Suitcase actually got one thing spot on: There is no other candidate.

So where do we go from here?
I don’t mind admitting that I’m a bit stuck on that one right now.

* Actually, to be precise, it’s a corruption, racketeering, money laundering and fraud trial.

Delaying arrest with Sad and Rad

You know the problem. You’ve gone and murdered a few thousand ethnically different people and now the nanny state authories are unhappy for some reason and they want to arrest you and take you to Holland.
And we’re not talking special cafes and scantily-dressed ladies in Amsterdam – we’re talking war crimes courts in The Hague, Europe’s third most boring city behind Brussels and Brussels.

The only way to avoid arrest is to hide. By growing a big fluffy beard.

IRAQ SADDAM CAPTURE    
Sad & Rad: Grew facial hair to delay capture.

It won’t work forever, but it will give you an extra few years to pursue your other interests, be they hole-dwelling or alternative medicine. And it’s mobile – you carry your disguise around with you. On your face. Clever.

The trouble is that now both Saddam Hussein and Radovan Karadzic have utilised this method of concealment, the authorities know exactly what to look out for. That being, of course, big fluffy beards. Which makes you wonder – what have Gandalf and Father Christmas been up to and how long before they get arrested?

    
San & Gan: Possibly guilty of war crimes?

“Sorry son, Christmas is cancelled this year. Remember: Santa is on trial for ordering the slaying of 3,000 innocent muslim men. You can have your train set next year if they haven’t hanged him.”

Just looking for photos?

Note to regular readers: Please scroll down to read 6000 miles…

Just here for photos of our newly-arrived daughter?
Of course, I’d much prefer it if you’d hang around a little and take in the sights and smells of 6000 miles…
Or even subscribe to the RSS feed and we’ll tell you about all the latest news.
Who knows – you might even like it here.

But if you were directed here by my wife or you are here with the sole intention of looking at photos of squeaking neonates, then you’ll find the appropriate flickr set here. (Last update: 18th August 2008).

UPDATE: The Mrs has been utilising her swanky mobile phone to upload pictures of the kids to her Sony Ericsson/Blogger photo blog. No words, no frills, just photos. Which is what it’s all about really, right?


Squeaker

Normal service is resumed below.
Thanks for visiting – and Bon Voyage!

Comfort in Sound…

Hectic doesn’t really begin to describe it. Although, of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I used to get my comfort from sleep, but that seems to have become a distant memory of late, so in both my spare seconds, I’ve been trawling the interweb and popping into local “record” shops on my nappy-seeking visits to Pick n Pay, for musical inspiration and salvation.

First off, for you non-Saffas, a wonderfully catchy summer hit released smack bang in the middle of winter by Cape Town’s electronica specialists, Goldfish. I will warn you that you will be Ooh-ahh, Ooh-ahh, Ooooh’ing for the rest of your day if you click on the youtube link below. This Is How It Goes is taken from their new album Perceptions of Pacha, which is seemingly widely unavailable to download anywhere online.


Direct link*

Watched? Enjoyed? Yes, I know. It’s perhaps a little too trendy for some of my older readers. I recognise that about 90% of you are now closing your browser windows in tears. It’s ok – it happens a lot when people read my stuff.
And while Fleet and Globus will surely be checking out Goldfish further, they won’t be too annoyed to be reminded about the brilliant Fuzzbox and their lead singer, Vickie Perks. Here she is and they are, in top form back in 1989, in a video directed by and starring Adrian Edmondson.


Direct link*

Still brilliant. In a mildly chedderesque fashion.
Vickie Perks is now lead singer of the imaginatively named “Vix n the Kix”, who, according to her myspace page are touring South Africa in October this year (TBC). This seems slightly bizarre for a band that appear to have been no further than Wolverhampton and Stourbridge of late, but hey – if you’re coming to Cape Town, Vickie, I’ll make the effort. Just let me know where and when.

* Visiting from South Africa?
YouTube videos “no longer available”?

Of course they are – it’s just dearest Telkom playing tricks on you.
Refresh a few times or use the direct URL to play them.

To all new arrivals…

…welcome!

Big news from a stormy Cape Town is the arrival (at long last) of little Kristen Georgia.

Weighing in at 3.48kg (that’s 7lb 9½ozs for you old school people), she arrived in a flurry of pushing and deep breathing at 1415 CAT this afternoon. And her mum did some stuff as well.

Mother and baby both doing extraordinarily well. More photos to follow, but you might like to start here.

It’s cool to be a dad. But it’s pretty tiring too. I’ll tell you more when I get a spare moment. (I’m guessing that’ll be about 2013 and I don’t mean quarter past eight).   

K

Many thanks to all of you who have sent good wishes from all over the world by sms, phone or email. We will endeavour to respond personally to each of you once things have calmed down just a little.