But… How…?

As I write, the results from yesterday’s national and provincial elections are beginning to come through. “It’s early days”, as every TV and radio commentator has been repeatedly telling us, but at the present time, it’s all “as you were”, with the ANC comfortably holding the country and Gauteng, and the DA strengthening its position in the Western Cape.
No surprises with those first two, but frankly, I’m left utterly bewildered by the ANC’s disappointing showing locally. Not because their record on service delivery elsewhere is particularly good (it’s not) or because the stats show that the DA isn’t doing a relatively good job of running the Western Cape (they are), but because the DA never released anything quite like this ANC election ad:

Yes. Quite.

I know what you’re thinking: that Marius Fransman, right? Crappy politician, but brilliantly awkward dancer.

Suddenly, it’s no wonder he ignored all logic and reason when casting his vote yesterday:

“I can safely say now, we will, in this election, be trashing the Democratic Alliance in the rural communities… we will push up our vote in the black communities, and you’re going to have a big split vote in the coloured community… with that, we will definitely take the Western Cape this time around.”


Marius, much like you are now, (assuming you made it through the entire thing unscathed) (which is unlikely), is completely flabbergasted that the ANC hasn’t swept to power in the Cape solely on the back of this astonishing musical performance. Indeed, the issue seems to be only that the ANC didn’t get enough people to see this video ahead of voting day. Because surely if they had done, we’d all be voting ANC. Even if we weren’t actually allowed to vote. Even if there wasn’t an election.
Yep, I’ve seen that video and now I want to go and vote ANC in the Western Cape, all day, every day. For year after confusing year, I’ve been wondering why I was here; why any of us are here. What is the purpose of life?

Well, having seen that video, now I know: it’s to vote ANC in the Western Cape.
Resistance is futile. Especially once you hear that cheeky little Orkees nod to Afrikaner culture at 3:11.

Mmm. Inclusive…

Helen Zille’s plans for DA rule in 2019 will now simply have become a pipe dream. Once this goes viral (which it surely will after being featured here), it’s Game Over for the DA. And for everyone else, too. EFF off. ACDP hee hee.
In fact, if this four and quarter minute euphonious extravaganza gets viewed beyond the borders of South Africa, I’d not be surprised to see the ANC achieving world domination within the next few weeks. It really is that good.

Vote ANC in the Western Cape!
Because if you don’t, they’re going to give us more kak like this next time…

Meanwhile, running our country…

Gotta love politicians, right? Right.

ANC MPs John Jeffrey and Buti Manamela are in trouble for comments they made regarding DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko.

During a parliamentary budget vote on Wednesday, Jeffrey said: “While the honourable Mazibuko may be a person of substantial weight, her stature is questionable”.

While Manamela used her attire as an example of how everything – EVERYTHING – is blamed on Jacob Zuma:

Manamela’s comment was a reference to Mazibuko’s dress sense, saying that if she was arrested by the fashion police, the DA would blame President Jacob Zuma.

Cue complaints to the ANC Chief Whip and Jeffery withdrawing and apologising for his remark.

Also cue the SACP issuing this statement, featuring more comedy gold:

 The SACP contends there is nothing inherently sexist in the example made by Cde Manamela in parliament when he sought to explain how opportunistically the opposition blamed the President for things he didn’t have control of and indeed it is true that the President doesn’t choose Lindiwe Mazibuko’s clothes. This has nothing to do with being a man or a woman but with the fact that Lindiwe Mazibuko leads the opposition in parliament, an opposition that has resorted to a blame game.

Well, ok. So maybe the remark was misinterpreted. They weren’t being nasty about Lindiwe at all.
But then it continues:

Lindiwe Mazibuko is nothing else but a disrespectful kid who has used every single parliamentary debate to treat the President with disrespect and with a condescending attitude. Her level of disrespect has reached completely unacceptable levels. Cde Zuma besides being president is an elderly citizen and struggle hero who deserves to be treated with respect especially by young ones like Lindiwe.


Never mind. Just thank goodness these people aren’t in positions of authority and responsibility. Oh… wait…

But here come the ANC Women’s League, taking time away from praying for Madiba’s health with a very sensible statement on the whole matter:

We commend Jeffrey for acknowledging that his comments may have been misunderstood and for apologising. Parliament is no place for tit-for-tat games.

But then ruining it with:

the DA did it first and has not yet apologised: DA leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was yet to apologise for reportedly calling ANC MPL Zodwa Magwaza an elephant, neither had Theuns Botha, who likened Lynne Brown to a hippopotamus.

Zille’s was clever, referring to Magwaza as “the elephant in the room”, so actually technically not a direct insult and probably legit. Botha calling Lynne Brown a hippopotamus was slightly less defensible.

The playground will be open again after the long weekend.

Madonsela ‘concerned’ as DA requests run dry

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was said to have been “hugely concerned” by an apparent halt in requests from the Democratic Alliance for her office to investigate anything and everything to do with anything and everything.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Public Protector stated:

Ms Madonsela stated her concern to colleagues that there had been no incoming requests from the DA for her to investigate any government department, government minister, government linked company or parastatal for almost 24 hours.
This is an unusual situation and had worried Ms Madonsela as the DA contributes over 95% of the investigative work for our office. On the DA’s insistence, we have investigated the Health Department, E-tolling (twice), SAPS Building Leases, Sicelo Shiceka, Richard Mdluli, Jacob Zuma (thirteen times), Susan Shabangu, Oilgate, Bheki Cele and the POIB.
And that’s just off the top of my head. Which they have asked for an investigation into as well.
They submitted no request for any investigation into Minister of Labour Nelisiwe Mildred Oliphant, however, they then submitted a request for an investigation as to why there had been no request for an investigation into Ms Oliphant.

There is much speculation that other DA requests to the Office of the Public Protector, and which were rejected, have not been made public. Rumours suggest that these included the decreasing size of Woolies’ prepared fruit salads, the lack of sunshine in Cape Town last August and the suddenly anatomically-confusing animal designs on Iced Zoo biscuits.

The spokesperson added:

They [the DA] also called for an investigation as to why the Public Protector had investigated the DA-controlled Midvaal municipality, as they never asked us to investigate that. That was a bit of an awkward moment.

However, there was much relief in Ms Madonsela’s office as it turned out that the lack of email requests was because of a Telkom ADSL fault in central Pretoria.

The DA immediately called for the Public Protector to investigate Telkom, by fax.

City Falling Apart?

Many people living in Cape Town gloat over the rest of the country, citing the efficiency of our DA-led City Council and Province as the main non-geological, non-geographical reason for their residence in the Mother City. And yes, when you compare it with Joburg and its rates bill debacle or Limpopo and its everything debacle, we look GREAT!. But then that’s like comparing drinking a poor red wine with being repeatedly punched in the head. Given the alternative, even that “horrible overly-alcoholic fruit-bomb” is going to seem fairly decent.

And that’s what Cape Town governance has been like for the past few years – a poor red wine that seems a whole lot better than a broken jaw and possible ocular contusion. We’ve excused the bad things because it could simply be so much worse. But suddenly the cracks are beginning to show. Potholes aren’t fixed, even when they’re reported. More and more traffic lights are going “a bit Gauteng” and flashing red for hours at a time. And the city implemented their new IT system “ISIS” apparently without actually checking that it worked.

How very Eastern Cape of them.

The upshot of this is that:

…the municipality’s Rates Clearance Department continues to labour under a backlog. The issuing of Rates Clearance Certificates, which would normally take 8 to 10 working days, remains a full month behind schedule – the financial implications of which are obvious to all involved.

And it’s meant that law firm Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes has got in touch with the council (and Emperor Helen Zille, nogal) to express its displeasure and that of its clients:

The written response received from the Executive Deputy Mayor, Mr Ian Neilson, gives the assurance that the municipality is acutely aware of the problems that have occurred around Rates Clearance Certificates since the going live of the ISIS system and acknowledged the negative impact that the clearance backlog has, not only on the city’s economy, but also on the finalisation of property transactions. Mr Neilson assured us of the municipality’s determination to revert to its previous turnaround times as soon as possible.

That last line of Mr Neilson may just have well have been:

Yes, whatever. Now bugger off and stop annoying me.

But then at least he responded – probably more than you’d get from most municipalities.It’s just another indication of how the city is becoming less Capetonian and more Joburgesque every day. The DA are slipping, but they know that they can afford to, because everyone can remember and can still see just how bad the alternative is.

It’s a bit of a shoddy approach to things. Like it or not, the DA is slipping up more and more in Cape Town and it’s all rather disappointing for those of us forced to cough up rates for less and less service.

Fed up

I remarked the other day that recently, SA politics has become depressingly depressing. Far too much foolishness and sabre-rattling from individuals elected to serve the population. Far too much emphasis on race and racism, sex and sexism, this-ism and that-ism. Far too much jumping to conclusions.
Far too little actually sitting down, talking to each other and sorting things out.
Three of the four news stories on the front page of the Cape Times today are based around an -ism of some sort. It’s depressing.
The other one is about plans for toll roads on the N1 and N2, which is equally depressing.

But why wouldn’t the South African population sling insults around at each other the whole time when those individuals who are elected to positions of responsibility are at it the whole time as well? Honestly, it’s like little kids in a playground, but with real and damaging implications for the country. Like I said, depressing.

And yes, I cc’d Helen Zille on a tweet about this, which I found on a Port Elizabeth DA Councillor‘s timeline:

and it now seems to have disappeared rather rapidly. Which is nice.
UPDATE: Nope – must have been a welcome temporary glitch – it’s still there.

Cue the liberals telling me that after the Malema “Shoot The Boer” verdict, “it’s a slippery slope” and that freedom of expression is being eroded. I feel that they are missing the point.

And that point is this. In my humble opinion, those individuals elected (by whoever) to positions of responsibility, should be act responsibly. Is “Shoot the Boer” really hate speech? Does the image above, captioned “How about this?” amount to incitement to violence? Or should we be asking different questions, like: What does it achieve when role models sing Dubul’ iBunu? How does it help when elected officials put images of prominent and controversial figures in a sniper’s crosshairs into the public space?
And yet these individuals make a conscious decision to do these things. Why? Where is the value in that?

It’s more than just the lack of any positive worth in these actions that depresses me. It’s the fact that these things are divisive and harmful and yet they are completely avoidable. Julius Malema, Councillor Greyling et al simply need to make better decisions.
So, rather allow Malema to sing Dubul’ iBunu and then rejoice when he chooses not to. Don’t stop Mr Greyling publishing dubious pictures on his public twitter stream, be happy when he thinks first and rather sticks the image in his trash can.

Hey! It’s ok.
I do recognise that these are just Utopian pipe dreams. I do understand that it’s not going to happen.

But rather than taking pot shots at each other across the great divide, why not just think before you act? Why not just be big enough to put aside emotions, sit down and talk?
My 5 year old son is getting good at doing these things.
Is it really too much to expect politicians to do it as well?