Mangcu and Bullard: a Comment
Mangcu screams racism!
Proof of African Intellectuals
Bullard with Bollocks! I really like the man, the way he deftly plays back the Ace card to his bemused opponents, who thought they held the Race card and had the whole game sussed. It's too beautiful. The little spat between Bullard and Mangcu (I still cannot pronounce that name, damn) and others such as Makanya and Khumalo, is still wending it's merry little way, with said proponents becoming ever more bemused and perplexed as all the little race cards they thought were so invincible, simply turn to dust.
Hey boys, it's about brains d'ya hear! Not about the colour of your skin mate! Get it? And how about taking up the debate with Bullard, get on telly like we all do in a democracy and fight your corner, like a man! You always talk about "engaging" so why not show us your balls? We wanna see what you got!
THE YELLOW BELLIES OF THE NEW JOURNALISM
Last week, in Business Day, I challenged that great intellectual Xolela Mangcu to meet me for a live debate at Constitution Hill. I am still awaiting a response. The challenge was made before Mangcu wrote a column in The Weekender accusing me of sending e.mails threatening to sue him and financially ruin his family. I subsequently challenged him to produce that e.mail and he has failed to do so.
The reason is quite simple. The e.mail never existed in the first place. It was a creation of Mangcu's tortured imagination. I bumped into Mangcu at Exclusive Books in Hyde Park on tuesday evening at a time when most men would be home with their wives and children. He was sitting alone at a table in the Seattle Coffee shop. I went up to him and reminded him to check his e.mails. He replied that he isn't opening any e.mails from me.
Just as well I was there then because I could remind him face to face to respond to my challenge. I also told him that Metro FM have invited us both on air on Tuesday evening at 20h10 to discuss the scrap. I have accepted and I do hope Mangcu will. But I have my doubts. While he is quite happy to scribble insults in his column and print outright lies he certainly isn't keen to defend these views or actions face to face in front of either a radio or live audience. This is odd behaviour for a so called intellectual in pursuit of the truth. To me his refusal tells me all I need to know. You must draw your own conclusions.
About a month ago, in my Moneyweb column, I invited my former editor to take a polygraph test with me and to debate the issue of press freedom with me at Constitution Hill. I chose Constitution Hill because it is a neutral site in a way. It is frequently used by the Institute of Race Relations for debates and, because it is a monument to this country's transition to democracy nobody should feel uncomfortable going there.
The reason for the polygraph test invitation was that Makhanya made comments after my firing that were simply not true. He invented a meeting I had with him in his imagination and told journalists eager for a bit of juicy gossip that I told him I believed what I had written in the column and that I thought blacks were “indolent savages”. That never happened as Makhanya knows but all he needs to do if he thinks I am wrong and he is right is to take up my invitation of a polygraph test. It may not be admissible evidence in court but it would be interesting to see the result. I don't have any problem with it so why does he?
His reluctance to debate publicly is also worrying for a man who edits the country's largest, albeit very mediocre, English language Sunday paper. You would think someone in that position would leap at the opportunity to put one of his errant former columnists in his place wouldn't you? After all, here is the golden opportunity to prove that everything he has said in the past about me is true. But he doesn't even answer the e.mails I send him at the Sunday Times or respond to reminders from Times editor Ray Hartley that I send regularly on Twitter. To me his refusal tells me all I need to know. You must draw your own conclusions.
Fred Khumalo, my ex colleague from the Sunday Times, penned a piece in the latest The Media magazine in which he accuses me of using the occasion of my sacking to launch vituperative attacks on my former employer. Just to keep in with his editor he also has a go at my apology to Jacob Zuma saying it was one of the “lowest moments in local journalism”. The Sunday Times' hatred of Zuma is well known so this is not a surprising read but the reality is very simple. If you are unemployed and being sued for R1.2 million and an apology makes that problem disappear then you've got to be pretty dumb not to apologise. How dumb are you Fred?
Khumalo then goes on to criticise those who have given me space to “desecrate the house he so comfortably lived in for such a long time”. Are you having a laugh Fred? This was just a job old son. I sold words to the Sunday Times for money. It was an employer/employee arrangement so don't get all prodigal and new testament with me. What poor, deluded Fred is really saying here though is that only voices of which he personally approves should be allowed to write for publications.
If Fred were Minister of Truth he would ban Moneyweb and Richmark Sentinel because they carry opinions which he finds objectionable. PW Khumalo and his wagging finger. Just to make sure I am understanding Fred correctly I have invited him on to a live radio show I co-host on Radio Today, a community radio station. More accurately, my co-host Alfred Lephoi invited him on to discuss this. He has refused. To me his refusal tells me all I need to know. You must draw your own conclusions.
What a sorry state of affairs. Black editors and columnists who are prepared to lie and defame people in print but refuse to defend their actions in a public forum. Is it any wonder that South Africans are giving up on newspapers?