The road to Zim?

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I have frequently commented that elements of the ANC are sounding more and more like ZANU PF and if one looks at what has happened in the police services in the last few years, that worry is increasingly relevant. Consider this: In my last post concerning the Ficksburg man who was beaten to death by police, I noted that  I had :

…heard a little rumour, that has yet to be confirmed, that the victim fancied himself as a prospective councillor. If that is true, I’d like to know if he was (a) one of those removed from the ANC party list; (b) an independent; or (c) a candidate for an opposition party. The answers could be very revealing.


Strange rumblings

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Something very concerning happened this week. A man, identified as Andries Tatane, was allegedly beaten to death by six police officers during a service delivery protest near the town of Ficksburg, which, ironically, is in the Free State. Even more disturbingly, video footage of the incident was broadcast on state-run SABC news programmes.

SHOCKING: Andries Tatane died on Wednesday after he was allegedly assaulted by a group of policemen during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg. Picture: VOLKSBLAD

With local government elections happening next month, the ruling ANC was swift to condemn and instruct the minister of Police to probe the incident. And we all know how that will go: he’ll set up a commission of enquiry to probe the incident; its members will talk about producing a report within a year or two; and, if a report is eventually forthcoming, it will not be made public.


More on the fracking debate


Following Ivo’s post yesterday there has been some interesting reaction – just scroll through the incredible list of comments, some of it useful and adding to the debate but some of it simply vitriolic. That we can do without but then it’s an emotive subject – particularly for those who believe in their own self-righteousness.

Nevertheless, there were two responses I felt worth sharing. The first was Fracking the Karoo emotions out of control by Guy McLaren, which seems largely to agree with Ivo and concludes thus:

“I support Ivo’s contention that we should not allow a few wealthy eco warriors with more money than sense to prevent growth in South Africa. These are the very same people that would rather kill an ecosystem that cull a few elephants.”

The second is one of the few anti-fracking posts I’ve ever seen that takes a reasoned approach rather than resorting to blatant emotional blackmail. Posted by Hendirk Mentz, Response to ‘Karoo fracking scandal exposed!’ tries to argue against fracking but is remarkable for the author’s own admission that he “cannot flaw [the] economic logic [of Ivo’s argument] and because I’m new to all of this cannot dispute the evidence…”

Despite that, however, it’s worth a read because it highlights two different perspectives of the debate.

Lunatics to the left and right


Colour me cynical but ever since they were caught red-handed corrupting scientific process to stoke the panic about “climate change”, I’ve been suspicious of the holier-than-thou green brigade – or, as my friend Ivo calls them, the ecomentalists. So when some of the usual suspects started making noises about “fracking up the Karoo“, I was suspicious.

Unfortunately, I haven’t have much time for personal crusades lately so I wasn’t able to ferret out the truth. Fortunately, Ivo did find the time and you can find the results of his investigation in his column about the subject on The Daily Maverick.

In typical fashion, the picture alongside misrepresents the situation by showing the fracking zones directly beneath underground aquifers. As Ivo points out: “Ordinary boreholes are seldom more than 100m deep. Major water supply boreholes may go to 300m. Drinkable water aquifers may occur as deep as 500m, but below this, the water is typically brackish.

“These shallow water supplies contrast starkly with typical shale gas operations at depths of 2,500m or more.”

But that’s not all that perturbed me this morning. In the other lunatic fringe here in Mzansi, we have the ANCYL, which released its “we want everything and we want it now” economic policy document yesterday. Steven Grootes has also written about it on The Daily Maverick.

Has the whole world gone crazy? I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of a song: “…clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you…”

Nuts. Between them, these idiots are doing their very best to constrain this country’s already limited growth prospects. With the “official” unemployment rate standing at 25% of the economically active population and the real rate estimated at around 44%, that can only end badly. We need to create jobs; We can’t do that without direct foreign investment. And if either of the lunatic fringes have their way, FDI is exactly what we’ll lose. I wonder how long it will take our people to lose their patience after that.

Fire the selectors

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Somebody needs to fire the bunch of mental midgets called the South African cricket selectors. Think about it: they have seen fit to include a proper ODI opening batsman and wicketkeeper in Morne van Wyk so instead of playing him in his natural position up the order, they persist with Captain Crossbat the Arrogant Smith. And then to compound the idiocy of batting van Wyk at seven, they continue to risk a player ranked by many as one of best batsmen and fielders in the world behind the stumps – where he is under constant threat of breaking a finger; Not to mention that van Wyk is a far better keeper.

Hashim Amla's half-century kept South Africa steady against Netherlands on an overcast morning in Mohali © Getty Images


Political idiocy

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Actually, the headline above could well qualify as an oxymoron – with an emphasis on the last two syllables. The thought stems from the comments of the MEC for co-operative governance and traditional affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, Nomsa Dube, reported earlier this week by

source: Wikimedia Commons

Following the recent lightning strikes in which locals had been killed, the above-mentioned politician called on the national department of science and technology to investigate the causes of lightning. Clearly, these foolish comments were made merely to placate the uneducated masses because we already know what causes lightning, and have done for many years. We also know how to mitigate it’s effects – through education.

If I believed in a god I would be praying right now for this idiotic politician (sorry, I couldn’t resist using another oxymoron) to be struck by lightning herself so she can find out all about the effects of the natural phenomenon first-hand. Idiot.

Changing the freedom charter?


With the current furore around the ANC’s determination to stop the media from reporting on its many failures in government, something rather strange happened the other day. I read an article (which I can’t find right now) in which the author argued that the establishment of a media appeals tribunal is contrary to South Africa’s freedom charter. Out of curiosity, I decided to check the ANC’s web site for that revered document to see if the author was right. He (or she) was; Here’s the relevant passage:

The law shall guarantee to all their right to speak, to organise, to meet together, to publish, to preach, to worship and to educate their children;


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