Day 601 – All going as well as predicted

Remember the elections a couple of weeks ago? They were (mostly) an unmitigated disaster, with a lot of hung municipalities across the country. I said then that rather than this being an exciting, new democratic age full of hope, transparency and better government, we were more likely to head down the route of egos, money and general crap, meaning that there will be constant infighting for power and nothing will get done properly for the next 5 years.

An aside: Cape Agulhas Municipality still hasn’t even got a council set up because they can’t decide who is going to run it. And that – if you recall – was the best run municipality in the whole country.
Now? Completely dysfunctional while we wait for them to sort themselves out.

But that is all part of the democratic process. I do get it.
So you might have thought that I was being a bit negative.
After all, how bad could it be?

Well…

Yep. You read right.

He raped a 15-year-old in 2004. He was initially sentenced to five years in prison.
He appealed to the Western Cape High Court. While his conviction wasn’t overturned, his sentence was reduced by Judge Lee Bozalek to a wholly suspended term of imprisonment, correctional supervision, a R20 000 fine and a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders.

And now he’s mayor of Kannaland Municipality, because ICOSA managed to be the largest party in the area, and they are helpfully being propped up by the ANC, who would rather these two delightful gentlemen ran the place than giving the DA any chance of getting in. Horrific.

But then there is only so much for which the format of the elections can be held responsible. Child rapist Donson and fraudster Meshoa wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be in charge if over 8,000 people hadn’t voted for them on the 1st.
No wonder they are smiling.

Just how disgusting does your story have to be before voters choose not to support you? Where does that put the other parties? How bad are they that these guys were the best choice? It’s terrifying.

Anyway, I’m thoroughly sickened for the day already, so I’ll be elsewhere, hoping and praying (such as it is) that there is nothing close to this awful story in the ongoing and upcoming coalition negotiations across the country.

Day 600 – Nothing to see here

It’s Day 600 of our Covid Lockdown in South Africa. And what do we have to show for it?

Well, actually very little Covid, to be fair. Some of the lowest numbers since this whole thing began, which sounds great.

But while being very welcome, this favourable scenario is more just because of where we are in the cycle than specifically because of any government action.

Our State of Disaster (the government/legal definition one, rather than just the actual condition of the country) persists, much to the chagrin of those people on the internet. But the fact is, we’re just sitting here waiting for the Fourth Wave, at which point everything would be reinstated anyway. And there are actually very few limits on living our lives right now. A 4 hour curfew each evening is just about it. And all that keeping nightclubs closed is doing is delaying things a little bit as our frankly terrible vaccination numbers fail to make any measurable difference.

We’re in for another heavy lockdown sometime over Christmas and New Year and while everyone – most especially those people – will tell us “I told you so”, they’re the ones that have done the absolute least to prevent it. Every vaccine helps, and while we could be far in making people safer, and protecting our health service, we have to put up with fake news, hyperbole and hysteria from the idiots in the peanut gallery.

It would be hilarious to watch if it wasn’t going to start costing lives in the next few weeks.

Day 599, part 2 – Bafana Bafana out of World Cup thanks to this “penalty” “decision”

Full disclosure: I didn’t watch the match – way too late for me right now.
Just catching up now and… well… wow. This one needs sharing for posterity.
You’re Ghana love it.

Thoughts and prayers with the player involved. Unlikely to ever play again, looking at this.
Less sympathy for the referee’s bank account.

Ghana’s 1-0 win (the goal coming from this decision) means that the final table looks like this:

…meaning that South Africa don’t qualify, but Ghana do.

Convenient.

And you can talk all you like about missed chances and winning games you only drew and and and, but there were plenty of other close calls across the world yesterday (not least this amazing game – or this one), whose outcomes weren’t then ruined by a really, really, dodgy decision.

Africa stays laughable. And losing.

Day 599 – They’re so angry

Austria is locking down some of its citizens today in a bid to avert another wave of Covid. They’re locking down the unvaccinated ones, and it really does feel like we are suddenly living in a truly divided society.

And then you think: if only there was something they could do about it.

And it all feels a bit better.

And if you think I am trivialising an important issue, maybe I am. But I look at why people aren’t getting vaccinated, and the petty, juvenile, stupid behaviour is all on them. It’s honestly so very pathetic, and if you choose to be “pro-choice” – and we all know what that really means – then why should you put the rest of us in more danger? The last two years have been shitty enough without you trying to prolong it because you feel you have to believe some crap you read on Facebook. Idiots.

The self same idiocy demonstrated over the new Tesco ad.

Seizing the zeitgeist and featuring Father Christmas with a QR code vaccine passport. Brilliant.
It’s not even a good ad. It’s busy, bitty, hurried – it’s hard work… but I actually love the fact that it’s got people upset.

And by people, I mean idiots.

You do you. Go boycott Tesco, you young, brave soldiers.
Let’s see where that gets you. Bless.

UPDATE: It seems that my stance on this has irritated a few people. So be it. You irritate me.

I’m not deliberately going out of my way to upset you, but equally, I’m not going to bend over backwards to accommodate your stupidity any longer. The data are in, the writing is on the wall, the facts are facts.
I very much doubt that SA will see a (non-)vaccinated lockdown, but looking at the way thinks are going, if it comes, I’m very much here for it. Because sure, what you do to yourself is your call, but when you choose to willfully endanger others because of your selfish and foolish behaviour, I lose my patience quickly.
And quite frankly, you deserve to be inconvenienced. And we deserve to be safer.

Oh, and before you gooi around the word “tyranny”, like you are doing already… well… this.

Mmm.

Day 587 – No overall winner, many overall losers

Elections aren’t actually a zero sum game. I mean, in numbers, they might appear so, but when translated into actual meaning, obviously things can change drastically. Because as soon as any one of those numbers dips below 50%, it’s game on for coalitions and kingmakers in these marriages of inconvenience. And that’s when things get stupidly complicated and fall apart in SA. And it’s always service delivery that suffers.

Now you might think that I’m being a bit pessimistic about how this is going to go – Danish Ambassador Tobias Elling Rehfeld certainly does:

But aside from finding that common platform of priorities – and sticking with it – there’s the big question of egos.
[TW: gross generalisations approaching] Here’s a hypothesis: in the Danish model, politicians get into politics to make a difference to the people of their ward and country. Sadly, around here, it’s more about self-enrichment, personal power and standing, and inflating one’s own ego. We’ve seen it time and time again: look at Malema wanting more than the ANC and then repeatedly flip-flopping on every issue whichever way makes him popular; look at de Lille flitting from one party to another, taking credit for the good bits, refusing the responsibility for the bad ones; look at the Mongameli Bobani and the NMB debacle; look at Tshwane a few years back. Disastrous.

Why wouldn’t it happen in these new-found situations as well? After all, as TER goes on to say:

But while that would certainly benefit the actual electorate, that’s not what the politicians in question want.
Quite the opposite.

Joburg is a particular mess. The last projected results I saw left even the most probable (or potentially stable) coalitions sitting on about 45% each. I’ll be delighted if I’m wrong, but I fear that it spells out 5 years of bickering, infighting and lack of service delivery for the city as one or other side tries to balance up 12 x 0.5%s to get over the line. Fugly.

Nationwide, the appalling turnout and the bitty results do show an overall dissatisfaction and disenchantment with the larger parties and the current system. But given that the three largest parties still look likely to get to somewhere around 80% overall, it’s unlikely that anyone is going to listen to that message. So it’s up to the smaller parties to tell us just how amazingly they’ve done, while not wielding any actual power, while the big dogs explain away their losses and disappointment with spin and smoke and mirrors.

Or just outright denial.

Lol.

Oh. And someone will blame white people. Somehow.

The only really good bit about yesterday was the utterly disastrous hilarious crash and burn of the Cape Party. Again. They were still belligerently chucking out hyperbole and mixed idioms yesterday during the voting:

For the record, there was no sleet or snow. A few heavy rain showers is all.
And surely the water surrounding the allegedly sinking ship (whatever that represents) might actually be a good place to be of the ship is actually going down and the rest of the world is ablaze. Take a lifebelt. And don’t pretend that you care about “the future of our children” when you go around supporting anti-vax protests.

Bunch of…

Whatever their plan was, it didn’t work. Who could have thought that appropriating and subtly altering the word “Brexit” with all its resounding economical successes and feelgood news stories into “Capexit” would have such a devastating effect upon their (minimal) potential election success?

So weird. So sad.


UPDATE:

Mess.

UPDATE 2:

Mess.