Malema visits Orania

In a move which surprised many, ANC Youth League President and all-round firebrand Julius Malema today visited the Northern Cape white Afrikaner enclave of Orania.

In a move which surprised even more, he didn’t actually say anything particularly stupid.

Orania Movement president Carel Boshoff junior said in describing the mood of the talks with Malema and an ANCYL delegation there was no “shoot out” or “search for control” attitude during the discussions.
Boshoff junior said they did encounter differences in aspirations and vision between the two groups but it would not exclude further talks with the ANCYL.

Malema said he liked the attitude of the Orania community in that they were prepared to talk. He said the ANC government would always be willing to help those who try and help themselves.
“They co-operate instead of working against each other,” said Malema, adding it was a nice reality to be exposed to. [link]

I’m beginning to get a different impression of Malema. Yes, he does say some completely daft stuff, but he is always, always in the news. Never a bad thing during an election campaign. The media follows him everywhere in droves, just waiting for his next ill-thought, inflammatory comment, which gives him plenty of opportunity to put his message across to a huge audience. It’s a clever ploy and I reckon those people who thought he was really that stupid are actually the ones who were being fooled.

A Question of Trust

This whole “is the case against Jacob Zuma about to be dropped?” thing. Man, it’s getting complicated.
Why doesn’t someone take things back to basics and explain it in straightforward terms?

OK – here you go, then:

Jacob Zuma, out future President (in 3½ weeks) and who can’t be trusted is set to face charges of corruption, money laundering, racketeering and fraud. He is alleging that these charges, which were investigated by Leonard McCarthy of the Scorpions (who can’t be trusted), were instated by Thanda Mngwengwe of the National Prosecuting Authority (who can’t be trusted) and were being pressed by Bululani Ngcuka of the NPA (who can’t be trusted), are politically motivated by Thabo Mbeki (who actually can’t be trusted, either) .

In a new twist revealed this week, it appears that the South African Police Service (who can’t be trusted), and their Gauteng deputy provincial commissioner Richard Mdluli (who can’t be trusted) bugged the phones of the Mbeki camp and of the Scorpions (neither of whom, remember, can be trusted) and recorded some “potentially embarrassing information”, which the Zuma legal team (who can’t be trusted) are now threatening to release if the charges are not dropped.

Suspended national police commissioner Jackie Selebi (who really can’t be trusted) has denied knowledge of the clandestine recording activities of the Scorpions (who can’t be trusted) and other key players (who can’t be trusted) in the Zuma (who can’t be trusted) corruption saga.

All my information comes from The Times… Umm. No comment.

SA Blog Awards Update

Well, many thanks to both of you loyal readers who nominated me in the 2009 SA Blog Awards. Because of the time and effort you put in (4 clicks and an anti-spam code, I think it was) together with the large lump of cash that I sent through to Glenn Agliotti (no – he’s not a judge, but he has influence, ok?) I find myself a finalist in two categories:

  • Best Original Writing On A South African Blog and
  • Best Personal Blog

I’d like to think that my “composition, attention to detail, advanced levels of subject investigation” in my “diary type blog of a personal lifestory nature” would mean that if there were an award for the Best Original Writing On A South African Personal Blog, I’d have it sewn up already like Helen Zille has the Best White Woman In Charge Of A South African Opposition Party Beginning With D award in her back pocket. Sadly, there isn’t such a category and thus I’m going to have to slug it out with the Patricia de Lilles and Bantu Holomisas of the South African blogosphere.
Of course, this is no bad thing, because this is democratic South Africa, alive with the possibility of finding someone who’ll take a hefty backhander. (I think Brand SA missed a few bits out of that for their official slogan – perhaps wise, but factually inaccurate.)

You can vote by going to the SA Blog Awards site and submitting your vote at the bottom of the page. Or just wait until I stick a widget on here to help you out [I’m currently awaiting widget delivery from the SABA massive]. [EDIT: Widget below] Or do both, from your myriad of email addresses that you really should have consolidated into one handy gmail account. Tell your friends, too and even invite them to tell their friends – start a viral campaign. Remember to use a condom: according to the pope that makes these things spread even faster.

I’m hoping to have some time tomorrow in which to review the finalists and maybe give you some hints and tips as to who else you might like to vote for in the other categories. One which springs immediately to mind (and must be favourite for the win) is blogrollee Po (aka Spindrifting South African SeaMonkey) in the Best Overseas category. So vote for her. And vote for me. Twice.

Thank you for your attention.

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2 parties drop out

It was with great sadness that I read on the news24.com election site that two of the parties which were to have fought in the upcoming elections on April 22nd had dropped out of the race to finish way behind the ANC.

Not too many tears were shed regarding the loss of the Hlanganani Sakhe Isizwe party – they didn’t pay their R180,000 and were kicked out by the IEC. Not that I have anything against the Hlanganani Sakhe Isizwe party, it’s just that when I’m at a braai discussing the election, I’ve usually had too many beers to accurately say their name.

Far more disappointing was the loss of the SA Determined Volunteers Party from the list of competing parties.

Those guys weren’t being paid for what they did. They were volunteers. And not just any volunteers – they were determined volunteers – and I know for a fact that they had a lot of prospective candidates lined up on their shortlist.
Previous to drawing up that shortlist, they had a longer list, but they rejected many of the names on there because they just weren’t determined enough.
Removing those less determined volunteers had the effect of concentrating the determination of the remaining volunteers until they were the most resolute, decisive, steadfast, unhesitating, purposeful, earnest, firm, unflinching, obstinate, persevering, resolute, resolved, single-minded, unfaltering, decided, strong-willed, stubborn,  unwavering, dogged, intent and tenacious bunch of volunteers this side of Pietermaritzburg.

Sadly, such well-meaning determination doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with any sort of organisation and the SA Determined Volunteers Party forgot to submit their registration for the elections.

Bummer.

Two Hats in Hat Swap Shock!

Cape Town Mayor and Leader of the DA, Helen “Two Hats” Zille has been nominated as the DA’s candidate for the Premier of the Western Cape in the forthcoming election.

Speaking with sycophantic radio presenter John Maytham yesterday evening, Zille described the move as being “strategic” and expressed her wish for the DA to work “from the ground up” to “set an example of how good governance can work”.

She said if it could run both Cape Town and the Western Cape, voters across South Africa would realise that service delivery is better in regions where the DA is in power.

“It is a project of national significance. We want to run the city and the province in co-operative governance and demonstrate what it possible under those circumstances,” she said, adding that as mayor she was frustrated by stone-walling on the part of the ANC powers in the province.

This struggle between the ANC controlled Provincial Government and the DA controlled City of Cape Town Municipality has long been cited as the reason for delays in service delivery – most especially housing – and for the objective bystander (that’s me) acts as a shining example of all that is wrong with politics. That is, while the individuals elected to serve the people bicker and attempt to score cheap political points from one another, nothing actually gets done on the ground.
This lack of service delivery is obviously because of the Province, according to the DA and obviously because of the City, according to the ANC. It’s playground politics at its very worst.

Zille’s record as Mayor of Cape Town is undoubtedly impressive. However one must remember that the DA remains a political party and be mindful of spin when looking at her claims of success, which she rolled out one after another in yesterday’s M&G article “The DA Saved Cape Town“.
And even if her numbers stand up to scrutiny (and I have neither the time nor the inclination to scrutinise Helen Zille’s vital statistics) then there is still a lot of work to be done by the DA to overturn the ANC’s Provincial rule. More likely, as Linda Ensorstates in today’s Business Day is the DA holding no overall majority and looking to form a coalition with the ID or Cope: something Zille described as “always complex”.

Whether a coalition (such as the one which the DA have used to run Cape Town for the past three years) represents true democracy is open to debate. But it will be interesting to see how many of those barriers to service delivery are removed should the DA control Province and City. And how many more are “discovered” between Province and National Government. Cynics might suggest that the problem will merely be moved upward and onto a larger scale – something that would hinder service delivery to even greater numbers of needy citizens.