An Acumen Media Report 7th August 2020 (Seven Days)
The entire week was fraught with stories about corruption, we heard how it will not be tolerated, how much there is, how we are going to fight it, and how the ANC is embarrassed. I would find these things encouraging but then I saw #Phalane, remember the guy with the fancy stereo and car, he worked for the cops and was charged with tender fraud in 2017. This week he got fired, that’s three years of pay for a criminal and now he’s been fired. Where is his orange overall?
The President said that corruption would be dealt with and there would be an attitude of zero tolerance, and then we saw the PPE’s float down the river. Last week I lost hope in our President until I had a reassuring conversation with a talk show host, Shafique Morton. He reminded me that #Ramaphosa is a man who plays chess on a very dirty board. Perhaps he is waiting for these “cabinet members” to hang themselves? Am I holding onto a pipe dream? The other reality is far too hard to swallow.
Jackson Mthembu came out with these words: “We commit once again to fight all forms of corruption and malfeasance, especially committed by our members, leaders and public representatives. Where we have dropped the ball, we extend our sincere apologies but we shall make amends” – we commit, once again? Once again? We haven’t seen a single arrest under the State Capture commission, not a single making of amends. Is this how we handle corruption? With lengthy court cases that cost a fortune and then result in someone with over 800 charges ducking the courts for almost a decade? The words you were looking for Min. Mthembu are: “for the first time”, and sadly, the country doesn’t believe you. We especially don’t believe you when you send #AceMagashule to tell us the ANC will review doing business with “family”. I cannot wait to see this Ace in the pack become the Joker we see behind bars. #PuleMabe has had a tough ride with journos this week and it is astonishing that he doesn’t answer a single relevant question. When it’s raised, he simply says that is not his mandate. Are you the ANC Spokesperson, or aren’t you?
The Limpopo Premier, Stan #Mathabatha proudly stood and unveiled shacks as subsidised housing last week. This week, after an uproar across the country, he’s got nothing to do with it. You can’t make this stuff up
In fact, after #TitoMboweni announced full disclosure on #PPETenders (not all tenders mind, just PPE) the resounding response from SA was, “after the horse has bolted”. Just as I was thinking Mboweni was the last man standing, enter #Cosatu (now we are talking), enter #TrevorManual (mmmh), the #KathradaFoundation (sign me up) and enter Civil Society (Hallelujah). Is there hope here? Will we unite against our common enemy that has plagued this country for decades. #UniteAgainstCorruption? We’ve done it before South Africa (many times), we have overcome so much adversity. I have a tickle in my tummy, the one that says something good is going to come out of this rot. Ordinary South African’s are going to rise. And that is a magnificent thing. We are good people and we will do the right thing. #yourMoveSouthAfrica.
The most riveting moment this week was when two judges faced off in the #ZondoCommission. It was Judge #Makhubele vs Judge #Zondo and Zondo won. He was seething and in his most diplomatic manner, he tore Makhubele to shreds. She has had since February to prepare her responding affidavit, she didn’t, her tyre burst (I’m not making this up) and she almost had an accident, so she was traumatised. Then after Zondo annihilated that, she said she didn’t like her lawyer. Sounds fair enough doesn’t it?
#LifttheBan made a huge impact on the social media conversation as we saw the fight for the cigarette ban to be lifted appear in court. Who would have thought, in any lifetime, that BAT would be the good guys? The first day in court the media platform flighting the drama had their comments section running live and within that audience (68000 watching at the time) not a single person had quit smoking, in fact the comments section became a place to source illicit cigarettes. Many were comparing their regions, prices and brands that they were smoking. You’ve got to love this country, if not for entertainment value only. The second day in court, the comments section was removed. The public affectionately referred to BAT’s legal representative as the “Meercat” and the people in the YouTube room were calling for him to be President. With over 120 thousand people engaging at any one time with a negative sentiment in majority. The country has spoken through social media. Yip we are there people, it’s time to #LiftTheBan.
#Saveourjobs was another big hashtag this week. And so it should be. The alcohol industry is in tatters as 100,000 people lost their jobs and a further 1m jobs are threatened. SAB dropped the idea of investing a further R5bn into SA. Pick n Pay warns of a 50% drop in earnings! We are racking up the UIF numbers here Mr President, have you got the money these corporates paid for UIF? I’m thinking our next big story is that SASSA is bankrupt. Denel didn’t pay salaries in case you were wondering.
#lightSARed was the most beautiful campaign and a showcase of immense talent, thank you to those involved for sharing such beauty with us, sorry that the Government didn’t acknowledge you. We heard you though and we are on your side.
#NomaGigaba, I can’t work this story out, apparently, she damaged Malusi’s friend’s car and that’s why she was arrested and the #Hawks were involved – huh? Nothing about her involvement at home affairs fraud though, but if you damage a Merc, there’s a big issue. I smell a rat because it seems all is not well in the Gigaba household, I wonder if after the fall, they’ll pick it up again. Like when #Gigaba tumbled the Rand.
Petrol went up, we didn’t care, some of us haven’t used our cars for months. Surely supply and demand works the other way? Or did I miss that lecture? #KaizerChiefs has suspended football manager #BobbyMotaung after he was caught on social media having a fat party with his Chinas. King Goodwill Zwelethini got a R4.6m raise, nice work if you can get it.
Our neighbour, #Zimbabwe, is in shreds, there is nothing left except compensation for the farmers, which I doubt they will see. Any word against #Mnangagwa and you will be arrested. Did anything change Zim? #ZimbabweanLivesMatter and that’s addressed to you #HermanMashaba. We cannot ignore the issue on our borders, and we must prepare for the worst. These are hungry people, prepare to feed them. A word on #HermanMashaba, if you couldn’t get rid of #Zille how do you expect to even compete with the likes of the #ANC? Instead of paying lip service, do something, show us that you are worthy of a vote. Fix a school, feed some people, raise funds for a shelter. Pick something and SHOW us.
Beirut broke my heart, my Father’s homeland has been under pressure for time and memorial but this week we wept. Apparently, it was some highly volatile chemical that was stored in the docks, just across the street from thousands of houses and businesses. There was some welding done and the fire raged out of control. That’s the official story. How is it possible that a chemical that is so dangerous is housed across the street from 250,000 humans that have now been displaced? Has Lebanon not suffered enough?
Facebook removed Trump’s post because it was not factual, funny how FB and other social can quickly pull down “inaccurate” #Covid19 statements but can’t stop child porn. And #Audi pulled the ad with a girlchild and a banana standing in front of a car you can barely see. Am I the only one that was astonished and revolted?
To wrap up with a positive message, a message of hope: There are 40m of us, we can do this, we can and will rise from these ashes victorious. We always do, it’s the South African way. It’s your move South Africa.