This is a nice image

I spent a lot of time awake last night wondering about writing a blog post. It was to have been a contentious blog post, and would have required some defence against forces of ignorance and prejudice. I don’t mind stepping up to the plate for this sort of thing, but it does require time and effort. I really don’t have the time at the moment and the effort would have been mainly used up shouting at a brick wall. I have better things to do with my effort right now. I’m not writing that blog post.

Part of the post was going to relate to how the opposition party (and/or anyone else who criticises corruption in SA) cannot afford to bend any rules at all, even when it would clearly make good sense to be able to do so, for fear of losing the moral high ground. We’ve already seen examples of how this can hold us back as a community – for example, the protracted time for the tender processes for aquifer drilling and desalination plants. The blog post was going to feature another example.

For me, this is a sad situation which has been exacerbated by the rampant looting of the state over the past 9 years. In my opinion, Jacob Zuma has caused immeasurable damage to this country and set us back in so many ways. So this was a nice image to log on to this morning:

Yes, that’s our ex-President in the dock on 18 charges of Racketeering, Corruption, Money Laundering and Fraud. The likelihood of him ever going to prison for these crimes is, at best, slight. The wheels of justice may be turning, but they turn very slowly. There will be appeals upon appeals, and every legal delaying tactic will be used. That’s his right, and that’s how justice works.
In this case, it’s unlikely ever to be done.
We’re looking at years and years and years.

His court appearance today took just 12 minutes.

But it was very important that those 12 minutes took place.

This is a nice image.


Addendum: I’m getting a lot of interest in the subject of the original planned blog post. See here, and do the maths. Don’t @ me. ūüôā

Avoid costly mobile phone bills while in South Africa

I can’t actually believe that I’m writing this. This sort of thing is so basic, it shouldn’t need to be written. And that’s going to open the floodgates to all sorts of other basic advice posts like how to wipe your bum after going to the toilet and how you should use a spoon instead of a fork when eating soup. Stuff you really shouldn’t need to be told.
It’s a road I don’t want to go down, but Sky News have forced me to with this article on their website:

World Cup Warning: £80 To Post Photos Online
World Cup ticket holders may need to resist the temptation to make friends envious by posting pictures online using their mobile phones, a customer group has warned.
Consumer Focus calculated that the cost of uploading just 10 photos to Facebook from South Africa could result in an eye-watering £80 bill from a UK mobile operator.

The article goes on to say that visitors should look for an internet cafe to use while they are here, or stock up on text and data bundles before they head over. But there’s a much better way, isn’t there?

My #worldcuphost mode kicks in.
If you’re ¬†coming over for the World Cup, your first stop after the airport and the pub should be a supermarket or post office. There, you can pick up a Vodacom or MTN SIM card, which will cost no more than R1. That’s a whole 9 pence. You’ll need to have your passport with you to register the SIM in your name.
Stock up with some airtime from the friendly cashier, put that new SIM card in your phone – don’t forget to take your UK one out first – and use it for the duration of your stay.
That’s it, there are no more instructions.

Texts back to Blighty will cost around R1.50 (14p) each and data is around R2/MB (that’s 18p).
Train smash averted.

What? You remain unconvinced and  need some further encouragement that this is the correct way to go? Then let me help you out with an ever so basic example.
I’ve done some rudimentary calculations and I reckon that with the current exchange rate at about £1/R11.25 and the average price of a bottle of beer in a pub of R15, that £80 quid you were about to waste on Facebook could get you 60 (sixty!) extra bottles of beer.

I think you should send a few of them my way, don’t you?