This was a great week for South Africa. It might not have felt it at the Zondo Commission up the road in Parktown where some of Juju’s Teletubbies swapped their overalls for ersatz camo, ADT flak jackets and handguns, while the rent-a-mob in red did their best to drown out Pravin Gordhan’s testimony.
A marriage, a wise old lawyer once said, is a private contract between two consenting adults – none of us ever know what goes on when those doors are closed.
Tomorrow (Subs: Sunday) will mark the centenary of the armistice – 100 years since the guns fell silent all over the world bringing an end to the most unimaginable conflict the globe had ever seen.
There’s been a lot of talk this week and last about the state of the media. There’s been lots of hand-wringing, (metaphorical) rending of hair and (literal) gnashing of teeth.
I got cross last week – twice – on the same day. Then I got really cross this week.
Our history is littered with bad apologies. There’s Hansie Cronje’s tearful effort after being bust for match fixing. Then there’s FW de Klerk double to the TRC for apartheid and all the hurt and pain it caused – only to qualify it by saying state sponsored murder and torture had never been part of government policy.
I was driving up the M1 just after 6 on Monday morning. As I took the on ramp, I was struck by the sheer number of people there – none wearing high visibility clothing – on the ramp and the motorway itself waiting for lifts.
This gun is from Square Hill. There’s a suburb of the same name about a kilometre north of the famous Big Hole. A once upper middle-class area once beloved of local politicians and professionals before 1994. You wouldn’t immediately know that they refer to the same thing – a battle fought 100 years ago this week in harsh terrain much like the Northern Cape.
White South Africans didn’t know what happened during apartheid (even less voted for apartheid). No South Africans knew that state capture was happening and, by Wednesday, Markus Jooste, the erstwhile CEO of Steinhoff had never known of the accounting irregularities in the company that went from hero to almost zeroing the Joburg Stock Exchange.
This week Australia’s home affairs minister Peter Dutton asked his department to consider fast-tracking the visa applications of white South African farmers who want to escape the “horrific circumstances” they are forced to endure in their own country.