Tag Archives: baleka mbete

Ta ta Thabo, hello Kgalema

Our new caretaker president has been announced and, contrary to what the rumour mill was saying, it will be Kgalema Motlanthe and not Baleka Mbete. Which is just as well, since he kind of looks more like a caretaker than she does.

Jokes aside, there’s no doubt a sigh of collective relief about the choice — Mbete has been a spectacularly pathetic and scandal-prone speaker better known for her endless supply of expensive haute couture than for ensuring impartiality in our democracy’s engine-room rubberstamp.

Motlanthe, on the other hand, is an intelligent, cunning diplomatic operator who will surely restore some stability at the helm of the troubled ship of state.

Read all about it in this BBC article here.

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Is there a Winkie in the House?

Parliament’s unparallelled ability to generate hot air does lend itself to becoming a geothermal power plant and could solve South Africa’s electricity shortage instantly. But, failing that, it also has the potential to play a relevant, stimulating part of South Africa’s democracy.

Ndumiso Ngcobo’s recent call for some “politainment” is a timely one. It’s about time South Africans got more involved in our “democracy”. And that’s only going to happen if we are exposed to the machinations, the cogs and cock-ups, of our legislative process.

Let’s boost the ratings of Parliament Live — let’s lure the masses away from 7de Laan and The Biggest Loser. Firstly a name change for the parliamentary programme is called for. Politics Survivor? Lost in Translation? Big Brother National Assembly? You decide.

Thankfully, Parliament has attracted just the right people to achieve this lofty aim. Holding court from the Speaker’s chair, Baleka Mbete does sterling work in ensuring that Parliament remains a ruling-party rubberstamp “until Jesus comes” (as Zuma says). Indeed, when she’s not giving Yengeni a piggyback into Pollsmoor or letting gravy-plane fraudsters off the hook, the chiffon-swaddled Caramello Bear is creating an atmosphere where the House’s torpid proceedings are becoming a tad more enlivened.

One such example is Winkie Direko’s throat-slitting gesture at DA MPs a few months ago. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to get on to page six of the Argus/Star/Citizen’s late edition. Winkie’s pinky — the finger that spilt 10 000 teacups.

Personally, I think the honourable member’s attention-seeking stunt was a little bit first-base. For heaven’s sake! Why doesn’t she liven things up a bit by driving denizens of the Constantia-gevaar into the chilly depths of Cape Town harbour? Throw a panga and some struggle songs into the mix and you’ll have the nation glued to their screens.

But then, of course, I dare say that certain of Direko’s compatriots that could do with a good dunking in 10-degree Atlantic water — as that’s almost guaranteed to wake them from their semi-literate stupor. That will soon put an end to the snoring and/or self-absorbed nose-picking (even if the latter happens to be the sum total of mining experience for most of the members of the mineral affairs portfolio committee).

And for those who don’t bubble back up to the surface, well, the Zuma camp has its Mbeki-loyalist parliamentary purge solved in one foul swoop — and the electoral list for the upcoming 2009 landslide can be realigned effortlessly.

It is only a matter of time before the president’s question time is ditched (a long overdue measure — it’s not like he was ever in the country to answer them) and replaced with Msholozi’s shower hour. That will be the day when Parliament is worth watching. Even if it’s only to see the size of his umshini.

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Corruption in government increasing

According to an article in the Business Day, there has been a massive increase in corruption within the civil servic during the 2006/7 financial year. And, even worse, only 18% of the perpetrators are being dismissed.

The news is hardly surprising – after all, what do you expect will happen when there’s  role models like Jackie Selebi and Tony Yengeni. The response from the ruling party around the latter was particularly telling. On the day the convicted fraudster had to report to Pollsmoor, party notables carried him shoulder high to the gates. Parliamentary speaker and current ANC chairperson, Baleka Mbete, was quoted that day as saying Yengeni had done nothing wrong (despite the fact he’d pleaded guilty to corruption in court). She was essentially condoning his rapacious behaviour.

It all makes dissolving the Scorpions so much sense, doesn’t it?

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