A long walk to fiefdom

I just thought that while I’m on a political ranting roll this evening, I might as well slip this one in; it’s been bothering me since I read the ugly news.

While Nelson Mandela had a truly long walk to freedom, the new ANC-government under the leadership (sic) of Jacob Zuma has just completed its long walk to fiefdom. Yes, the ANC-government has truly arrived, to claim its prize, formerly known as South Africa.

Figures released for questionable government expenditure of public funds, in the opposition Democratic Alliance’s Wasteful Expenditure Monitor makes your eyes water, or makes you lick your lips in glee, depending on which side of the political fence you’re luxuriating in:

  • R99-million on upgrades to the residences of public officials
  • R120,5-million on a variety of items, including unnecessary rental space, luxury cars and artwork
  • Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu spent about R7-million on four Mercedes-Benz vehicles
  • The total spent on new vehicles by Zuma’s government was now R65,8-million
  • The total spent on parties, conferences and similar events now totalled R209-million
  • World Cup tickets by Cabinet members, municipalities and state-owned enterprises: R135,9-million
  • The state has also spent R209-million on parties and conferences, and a further R241-million on “unnecessary property rentals, hotel stays and property renovations. This included the R515 000 spent by Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda on “prolonged stays” at luxury five-star establishments, including Cape Town’s Mount Nelson and Twelve Apostles hotels, which the ANC defended as “within the limits specified in the Minister’s Handbook.”

That’s just for starters. It gets worse better; let’s check what’s on the main course. Recent reports that loudmouth ANC-Youth League President Julius Malema had managed to convince the ruling-ANC government to consider nationalization of mines, was meant only for consumption by the utterly gullible followers of this absurd organization. It’s pretty certain that the nationalization of mines has been on the ANC-government agenda all along; they just needed this fool and his ignorant followers to give it life, to make it appear as if coming from the people, rather than initiated by the greedy government.

We all know, that a fiefdom needs money-spinning operations to make it that more attractive, and since they’re depleting the other sources of revenue at an astonishing rate, the mines are really a no-sweat grab; ask Robert Mugabe.

Now how about some dessert? Why not reward some of your cronies who came to dinner bearing bottles of Veuve Clicquot and Johnny Walker Blue, with some choice appointments (otherwise known as cadre deployment), to some of our finest state-owned utilities; to do with as they please. After all, what is a fiefdom, if you can’t own, and fuck up everything at will.

Boy, are the serfs in for a surprize when they finally wake up!

What did you do on Mandela Day?

For the inaugural Mandela Day yesterday, the world was asked to dedicate 67 minutes of their time to community service.

Why 67 minutes? Well, 67 represents the time in years, that Nelson Mandela spent in the struggle for freedom, and making the world a better place. While many ordinary South Africans and others across the world, devoted time to a multitude of charitable events, a star-studded charity concert was held in New York. However, from all accounts there was charitable activity across the globe on this day, and if successful, lobbyists to the UN could ensure that Mandela Day becomes an annual international event.

And while I mostly only snapped the photographs below, my friends took time to feed the under-privileged people at a local informal settlement:

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Sadly, Mandela Day will come but once a year, but those less fortunate need for every day to be a special day, when ordinary people will spare a thought for them. This day proved that it is not hard for us to make a difference in the lives of not only those who are poor and hungry, but to everyone who is a member of the human race. What we need is more people caring more about less.

And as I close, the call from Mr. Mandela echos in my mind:

it’s in our hands

The night the world honoured one son of Africa and reminded us of the ignominy of another

Last night, I watched the live broadcast of the 46664 concert from Hyde Park, London; an event staged to both celebrate the forthcoming 90Th birthday of Nelson Mandela (on 18 July 2008) and to help raise funds for HIV AIDS projects. The evening was emotionally charged as artist after artist heaped well deserved praise on Madiba and the 46664 charity, and finally Madiba himself appeared on stage, supported by his wife Graca Machel to remind the world that the work he had started was not finished; he handed over responsibility to all of us with the words ” it’s in our hands” which is the slogan of the 46664 charity.

On this wonderful day which belonged to Madiba, sadly another gratuitously despicable event was playing itself out in his home continent, Africa, where an election was being shamelessly rigged and stolen. I am referring off course to Robert Mugabe, the tyrant from Zimbabwe who has gone ahead with the run-off elections, after blatantly intimidating his opposition candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai into withdrawing, using violence and other disgraceful tactics. This despotic asshole had the temerity to ignore even Madiba’s wishes, and go ahead with his lunatic scheme to cling onto power.
These two events falling on the same day, reminded me of individuals from the government in my own country who are as disgraceful as Robert Mugabe on the one hand, and in total contrast to the ambitions of Madiba, on the other. Yes, you have guessed right. Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa, whose unforgivable lack of leadership and implicit support for Robert Mugabe has contributed immensely to the dire situation in Zimbabwe, and the Minister of Health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, whose stance on HIV AIDS is legendary for its utter stupidity, and the number of lives it has cost.
Africa is in desperate need of leadership, even morality. Oh, Madiba how I wish you were even thirty years younger; then you could have shown these three delinquents the error of their ways…