Following the Sunday Times/Manto fight, Minister in the Presidency (and head of GCIS) Essop Pahad has said that government should pull it’s advertisements from the Sunday Times.
This can’t happen soon enough. It always irks me to open up the Sunday Times only to see the Limpopo Dept of Education using their budget to buy half page ads commemorating the Premier’s birthday instead of using that R50 000 (or whatever the going rate is) to I don’t know… buy books? Employ a teacher perhaps?
Following the SABC’s decision to leave SANEF, Jacques Pauw head of Special Assignment, one of the few actual investigative journalism programmes left on the SABC, has resigned (the Special Assignment team page is currently 404’ing, no doubt Snuki Zikalala is dutifully erasing any evidence that Pauw ever worked for them but have a look at the Google cache).
Special Assignment is the only SABC program that has any credibility with the public when it comes to tackling government even amongst non-English speakers which is quite a big achievement.
Fired Deputy Minister of Health Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge is slamming government but big time on the radio during her press conference (in progress live on 567 CapeTalk/Radio 702). This is probably the best example ever of a high level cabinet member coming out so publicly against the President’s office.
Hopefully this is a turning point. The ramifications against Mbeki before the ANC NEC in December could be huge.
Jonny Steinberg (author of the most excellent SA prison gang treatise ‘The Number’) has a rather scathing editorial in today’s Business Day comparing presidential hopeful Tokyo Sexwale to Italian Prime Minister (and media mogul) Silvio Berlusconi.
Steinberg all but accuses Sexwale of buying his current support and claims Sexwale will have to keep on paying his supporters should he come to power.
There is a polite silence about this matter, a discreet aversion of the eyes from Sexwale’s way of conducting politics. And yet if there was ever a spade that asked to be called by its name it is this one. A man has just thrown his hat into the race for this country’s presidency. He has also just given various members of parliament, cabinet ministers, the spouses of cabinet ministers, at least one judge and one public commentator — and who knows who else, it isn’t all out yet — sizeable nest eggs. Could the character of a Sexwale presidency ever be written out more clearly?
I do think Steinberg is being a bit harsh. While it’s true both Berlusconi and Sexwale are wealthy, Sexwale at least does have considerable political experience being a past premier of Gauteng.
That being said I tend to not like politics where the size of the campaigners chequebook is an indicator of whether they will win or not, but it’s better than the hush hush positioning and manoeuvring we would otherwise have with the ANC.
Remember that documentary about Thabo Mbeki that was pre-emptively yanked off the airwaves in June last year? Well it seems the thought police at the SABC have decided that we are now sufficiently worthy of watching it.
However there will be a few “minor edits”. Purely for clarity of course. Although I think it took this long because they struggled to find someone who could overdub Tony Leon’s voice.
Tony Leon: We find Mbeki to be quite * crackle * delightful.
Update: Looks like they’ve changed their minds.
The Mail & Guardian is rerporting that the NPA is making significant inroads in their investigation into the the links between Police Commisioner Jackie Selebi and the criminal network led by Glenn Agliotti, who is facing trial for the murder of mining magnate Brett Kebble.
Agliotti, who has since been named as “the Landlord” in an international narcotics syndicate, was arrested for Kebble’s murder last November. All indications are that Agliotti has become a cooperative witness and has given the Scorpions full details of the murder, the crime network and his relationship with Selebi.
The article states that a number of other associates of Agliotti have made statements implicating Selebi in some extremely shady deals.
If Selebi is arrested it will be one of the biggest embarassments the Mbeki administration will have ever seen.
Parliament’s legal advisers believe that the proposed Film And Publication Amendment Bill (which we’ve covered before) is unconstitutional. Hopefully this will stop this idiotic piece of legislation from being passed but there’s always the chance the ANC will push this through parliament to be rubberstamped into law.
This law is as stupid as the RICA Amendment Bill (which I haven’t seen any activity over in almost a year). They both need to go into the legislative dustbin.
And you can quote me on that. I had to put my head in my hands and breath deeply for a few seconds to avoid punching my monitor after reading this quote:
For instance people say there is no food in Zimbabwe but this is nonsense. There is food, it’s just very expensive.
I wouldn’t be suprised when told that bread is scarce in Harare he replies: “Let them eat cake”.
And it gets worse:
As serious as he was in 2005 after the Zimbabwean parliamentary elections when he told members of his SABC editorial staff that it was a lie that there was no food in Zimbabwe and that people were starving.
Back then he had told a group of journalists (and others) that during his stay in the Sheraton in Harare he had in fact enjoyed freshly baked bread rolls daily.
He added that he had also had no trouble ordering Johnny Walker Black and even mineral water. And what’s more, he insisted triumphantly, he had even got room service to bring it to him so what the hell was everyone on about?
I can’t believe this political apparatchik is still in charge of SABC News.
In the past on this blog we’ve called for cabinet ministers in charge of non-performing departments to be dismissed. The Business Day Weekender echoed those sentiments in this weeks editorial where they opine over the fact that any hope that Thabo Mbeki might be leaving a distinguished legacy is being diminished by the day because he won’t fire useless cabinet ministers.
Ministries identified by The Weekender as being detrimental to Mbeki’s legacy
All of these could stall SA’s development and destroy Mbeki’s legacy. It is now easy to forget that when Mbeki took the reins in June 1999, his popular nickname was Mr Delivery. Eight years later, it is impossible to attach this tag to him. This reality is more dangerous to Mbeki than any populist pretender to his throne.
- Communications – the sooner Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri gets the boot the better
- Trade and Industry – mainly due to the ongoing Lotto debacle and our selective tarriffs on Chinese textiles
P.S. Speaking of useless ministries did anyone notice in the Sunday Times Careers section that the recruitment ad for the vacant Director-General of Home Affairs post was recalled?
Nothing gives me that warm fuzzy feeling more than when a government official doesn’t seem to understand quite exactly what the roles and responsibilities of the press are. This week it’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs talking about the media and the current crisis in Zimbabwe.
He called on the media to work with government in trying to find a solution in the neighbouring country.
Because helping out the administration clean up their bungled foreign policy is the media’s job.
P.S. The DRC (another of Thabo Mbeki’s pet African projects) is not looking too hot now either, would you like the Mail & Guardian to handle it for you?