Thursday, April 30, 2009

Guess Who Is ONE Today?

Today I Luv SA celebrates its First Birthday.

Hip hip hooray.

Yes, I know, it doesn't go unnoticed that the blog shares the occasion with the Labour Movement or the Communists.

I Luv SA was started on 1 May 2008, by a self-effacing individual known as Doberman. There were no lofty ideals, other than to inform in a way that was honest, combined with some humour and original artwork.

Initially growth was slow, but now boasts over 300,000 visitors, most of which were acquired in the last 6 months, with an astonishing 3200+ articles having been published. Moreover, I Luv SA is now the highest ranked blog of its kind in South Africa.

Today I Luv SA is maintained by a motley crew of global contributors, which gives it an eclectic feel.

Strangely, I Luv SA set out to tone down the extreme rhetoric found at other sites, yet we have been afflicted with “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. Many critics or pedants, and there are plenty, believe we need to be governed by the same rules of fairness as professional journalists (somewhat of an oxymoron). Quite the contrary. There are many blogs of every persuasion, and we only have an obligation to our audience, which is to dispense truth as we see it.

That being said we acknowledge I Luv SA isn't perfect. We do publish material from time-to-time that is inappropriate, but that is the nature of the beast. We of course strive to remain a blog that is relevant, and trust you will guide us in this endeavour.

Blogging is not easy, and is a time consuming affair, so we thank you for your support. We are all amateurs, have families to support and vocations to pursue. As long as we continue to receive encouragement we will continue with our efforts, despite the many threats to silence us. In fact there are even those with more macabre thoughts of seeing us wiped off the face of the earth. Of course we strongly support our right to freedom of association, thought and speech.

Many people use I Luv SA as an alternative source of news. In addition it is a source of comfort. You will find a uniquely South African perspective, inclusive of humour, language, culture and petty rivalries. So if you form part of the diaspora, and need to feel connected to your roots as you make your transition in your new land, this is where you need to be.

We hope the community takes ownership of the blog and ensures its longevity. So if you are a budding blogger, we look forward to your contributions. Otherwise "many happy returns".

Ah, Nando's does it again!

You will recall the Julius Malema ad that had the ANCYL in a tizzy demanding that it be removed? Well, we were disappointed when Nando's did just that. But wait. Nando's back with a replacement advert featuring donkey Malema again - in disguise. Hilarious!!! They've earned my respect again. I'll make a point of getting some Nando's tomorrow. I have a craving for peri-peri chicken all of a sudden.

Below is the original ad.

Zapiro says showerhead will stay

Supporters of South Africa's next president are fighting against a barrage of caustic satire, raising worries of a free-speech crackdown.

South Africa's most notorious cartoonist has a message for Jacob Zuma: Like it or not, the shower head is here to stay.

Jonathan Shapiro, known by his pen name, Zapiro, has infuriated the country's next president by repeatedly portraying him with a shower nozzle above his head, a scathing reference to the 2006 rape trial where Mr. Zuma testified that he took a shower to protect himself from AIDS after he had sex with an HIV-positive woman.

Mr. Zuma, who will be inaugurated as South Africa's new president next Saturday, has filed two lawsuits against the caustic cartoonist. Members of the ruling party have demanded that Zapiro be more respectful of their leader's dignity as he assumes the highest office in the land.

But in his latest cartoon, published in a Sunday newspaper, Zapiro defiantly sketched a shower nozzle above Mr. Zuma's head again. "Yes, he'll still have that shower," the cartoonist vowed.

In a country where Mr. Zuma has a near-monopoly on power, where his ruling African National Congress has just recorded an overwhelming majority for the fourth consecutive election, fearless satirists such as Zapiro have emerged as the true opposition.

South Africa has a long tradition of biting satire. Political commentary here is sharper and more acerbic than almost anywhere else in the world. But many of Mr. Zuma's supporters are unhappy with the mocking portraits of their hero, and there is mounting pressure on the satirists to become a little more deferential.

It's a titanic battle: South Africa's powerful politicians pitted against its relentless satirists. And so far the mockers are not backing down.

Even the business sector has a tradition of political satire. One of the country's most popular fast-food chains, Nando's, often uses its advertising campaigns to poke fun at politicians. Last week Nando's broadcast a television commercial that lampooned the bombastic leader of the ANC youth league, Julius Malema. The youth league was outraged, calling it "disgusting" and "racist" and complaining that it "undermined" their leader.

When the league threatened to mobilize its members to take militant action against the fast-food chain, Nando's promised to remove the commercials within 24 hours. The league declared victory. Then the chain cheekily unveiled its new commercials: an identical version, except with the puppet's face blurred and his voice distorted.

Even as Mr. Zuma celebrated his election triumph last week, audiences were flocking to see a comedy at Johannesburg's venerable Market Theatre that ridiculed the ANC leader and his comrades.

The play, MacBeki, is a comic version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, making fun of Mr. Zuma and former president Thabo Mbeki for the backroom intrigues and betrayals that marked their rise to power. Audiences roar with laughter in a climactic scene when the character known as MacZum emerges on stage with a shower nozzle on his head.

The playwright, Pieter-Dirk Uys, has been lampooning South Africa's politicians since the apartheid era. But when he created a Jacob Zuma puppet that sprayed water on audiences from a Zapiro-style shower head, the ANC sent him a letter, complaining that it was "offensive."

He shot back that the ANC's leader should be protecting freedom of speech, rather than filing lawsuits against cartoonists.

Another source of satire is the South African fake-news website,, which takes humorous jabs at Mr. Zuma's polygamy and other foibles. It features headlines such as "Zuma campaigning to gain two-thirds majority among his wives."

But by far the most controversial satire in recent years was a Zapiro cartoon last year that accused Mr. Zuma of interfering in the judicial system during his corruption prosecution. It portrays the ANC leader unbuckling his pants and preparing to rape the metaphorical figure of Lady Justice, who is being held down by his political allies. "Go for it, boss!" they urge him.

Mr. Shapiro acknowledges that the cartoon would not be publishable in many countries, even the democracies of the West. "I want to fight hard to keep this amazingly open space that we've had for the past 15 years," he said in an interview.

"There's always been a good hurly-burly in South African politics, but it's changing now," he said. "Only in the past seven or eight months have I been called a racist. Suddenly there's a concerted campaign to smear me and others who question things. Some warning lights are flashing for freedom of expression."

Mr. Shapiro is a lifelong ANC supporter and anti-apartheid activist whose cartoons were often banned by the apartheid regime. He was briefly jailed in the apartheid era on allegations that he helped plan a birthday party for Nelson Mandela. Now the ANC has turned against him, but those pressures are nowhere near as bad as the repressive days of apartheid, Mr. Shapiro says.

Still, he believes that Mr. Zuma's lawsuits against him are one symptom of a growing chill in the political climate. Last fall he was taken to the country's human-rights commission and forced to defend his cartoons. At a meeting of the ANC youth league, one member threatened to "shoot him and kill him." The statement went unchallenged.

In an exchange with Mr. Shapiro on a radio program this year, Mr. Zuma accused the cartoonist of "invading my own dignity."

South Africa's state broadcasting network, SABC, recently prepared a special program on satire. "Are we too reverential of our politicians?" it asked. "Is a slow chilling effect taking hold of political humour in South Africa?"

The answer, apparently, was yes. The show was cancelled at the last minute and was never broadcast.

"Those in power don't like satire," commented one South African newspaper. Anyone who criticizes the ANC is "invariably tagged as counterrevolutionary, reactionary or even racist," it said.

The ANC's spokeswoman, Jesse Duarte, insists that she enjoys the satire of Zapiro and Pieter-Dirk Uys. "We must continue to laugh at ourselves," she told the Sunday Independent this weekend. "Zapiro is still doing satire. Nobody is about to stop him. Nobody wants to stop him." The Lady Justice cartoon, however, was "beyond the pale," she said. "You can look at the cartoon in two ways, figuratively or literally, and I looked at it literally."

Mr. Shapiro is convinced that satire will survive. "There is baying for our blood, but there's also a lot of support for us," he said.

"Don't worry about us. We're strong enough to resist. There are lots of us around, and we will fight hard."

Perfect insiders, perpetual outsiders

When we talk about South African politics, we think of whites, blacks and the coloureds but what of the other ethnic group, the Indian minority? What is their view on the Zuma ascendancy?

Along with about 23 million South Africans, I stood in line for an hour on Wednesday at an election station to cast separate votes for the national and provincial government. If democracy means a willingness to vote despite keen disappointment with the choices on your ballot paper, then South African democracy is in wonderful shape. But it doesn’t feel that way.

It felt as if many of us, including the great majority of Indian South Africans, were voting to try and prevent a runaway government from marching us into a catastrophe. Zimbabwe’s example can’t help but be near to our minds. Our neighbour, like one or two of India’s, is a failed state. There may be as many as five million refugees from Robert Mugabe’s rule inside our borders.

Arithmetic was against us. Jacob Zuma’s ANC should collect about 67% of the vote because two-thirds of the country — disproportionately poorer, blacker, more oppressed, more willing to keep accepting the ANC’s currency of excuses and evasions and also more grateful for the enlargement of the water and electricity grids — outnumbers the one-third richer who are also less black.

From the outside, South Africa is seen as a post-apartheid society, attempting to overcome a history of intolerable racial inequality. But from the inside it seems, to borrow a phrase that a number of South Africans are using, much more like a “post anti-apartheid society,” dealing with the disintegration of the movement that defeated apartheid in the 1980s.

Criss-crossing political journeys since 1990 have brought former white nationalists into the ANC and have taken doctrinaire socialists, trade-unionists, and intellectuals as far away from the ANC as the predominantly white Democratic Alliance with its able leader, Cape Town’s mayor Helen Zille. Given their own fears of the majority, Indians and people of mixed descent — South Africa’s “coloureds” — have mostly rejected the ANC. Many of us fear that the new president, Jacob Zuma, may turn into our Mugabe. If he doesn’t, and the auguries are not altogether negative, he may be a huge improvement on his predecessor Thabo Mbeki.

To ask the inevitable question: Is it good for the Indians? An ANC leader defined the paradoxical situation of Indians in today’s South Africa with characteristic brutality: “Everyone has their own Indian.” That’s the polite way of putting it. In that statement one hears the mixture of clientage and bribery, threats of expropriation and grants of political access and political friendship that typifies minority-majority relations on most of our continent. Indians in South Africa are at once perfect insiders and perpetual outsiders. Fiction writers are usually forgiven for our comparisons so I will say that this situation, in my opinion, makes us pretty Jewish.

Mbeki’s old clique, and cabinet, was disproportionately staffed with Indian lawyers, educators, and activists. Around Zuma the Indians are less visible but they tend to be the funders, finance guys, fall guys, tycoons, reliable government managers, opportunists, and all-round enablers. Zuma’s home province, KwaZulu Natal, harbours an Indian minority which is relatively strong, in its economic and professional development, but insecure politically and psychologically. Zuma’s alliance with the Shaik brothers, one of whom was involved in the corruption case which almost ended Zuma’s career, will not be the last of such fruitful collaborations. In many ways the old Indian way of doing business — under the table, between friends, amongst the family — is wonderfully suited to the ethos of the ANC.

While the votes were being counted the IPL cricket tournament had merrily relocated to South Africa. Apparently there is great interest because of the South Africans playing in the tournament. Indian South Africans are at once further from the old India than they were, say, twenty years ago, because they are less directed by tradition but also much closer to the new India because of the internet, Indian television, and the far greater openness of this country to the outside world.

Even in South Africa, however, there are limits to the determining power of racial identity. I may be the one South African, and the one Indian, who has no interest in cricket. In my final year of boarding school, in 1987, I was promoted to scorer for the First XI. I could never work out whether an over had six balls in it, or eight.

The ballot count in South Africa will be much more exact than my high school cricket scoring. But the calculations South Africans made at the polls this week, and their consequences, are supervised by the real governing force of this country — which is, uncertainty.

Imraan Coovadia is a South African writer and teaches at the University of Cape Town.

Coup at the UN Building

Breaking news from The Onion..

Counting the cost of Zimbabwe's land invasions

In the late 90's the Government of Zimbabwe held a conference on land reform in Zimbabwe.

Broad agreement was reached between the State, the stakeholders and interna
tional aid agencies but the agreement was never implemented.

Two years later, in an attempt to dest
roy the opposition base on commercial farms, the State began what it eventually called the 'Fast Track Land Reform' exercise.

They justified this programme to the rest of the world by arguing that they were redressing historical injustices and racial imbalances in the ownership of the land.

The reform programme ignored the legal situation prevailing in respect to farm ownership and it also ignored the issue of fair and reasonable compensation for assets taken over by the State. The legal position was quite straight forward - commercial farmers held full freehold title and in over 80 per cent of cases, also held a 'certificate of no interest' issued by the Zimbabwe government allowing them to buy the farms on the open market after 1980.

Such a requirement was mandatory - in order to enable the State to acquire the farms if they so wished, on a willing seller, willing buyer basis. Some 3,8 million hectares of farmland was in fact acquired in this way since 1980.
Farmers holding both the title and the certificates held an unassailable legal right to the land and all improvements. By so doing they held the right to receive in full, the market value of such assets when they were sold, less any bond obligations to banks.

In the following 8 years, thousands of farms were 'acquired' with the regime changing the law every time a farmer or group of farmers secured legal judgements in their favour.

Eventually a group of farmers took their case to the SADC Legal Tri
bunal in Windhoek, Namibia where they initially obtained a decision saying that they had the right to go to the Tribunal on the issue (the State had apposed the action) and subsequently secured a ruling in favour of the farmers - instructing the Government of Zimbabwe to protect the farmers legal rights.

One small group
of affected farmers also enjoyed the protection of a 'Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement' signed between the Government of Zimbabwe and the farmers home Government.

A group of farmers of Dutch origin who had invested afte
r Independence and were protected by the BIPA took their case to the international Courts in the Hague.

Last week the highest legal tribunal in the world ruled in favour of the Dutch investors and granted them nearly
22 million dollars in compensation, payable in 90 days.

The attitude of the regime towards the farm acquisitions was quite straight forward. They
were 'taking the farms' from their owners. They simply went to a nominated agency or individual and obtained an 'offer letter' which then allowed the 'beneficiary' the right to take occupation.

No protection was afforded to the owner or his staff and no interference was permitted, as the operation was considered 'politic

In the majority of cases force was used - mainly in the fo
rm of groups of young, politically motivated thugs who acted on behalf of the 'beneficiary'.

Once the owners and their senior staff had been evicted, the new farmers took occupation and took advantage of the assets and even standing crops and
livestock on the farms.

Many elderly and outstanding farmers were evicted in this way - leaving some of them so traumatised that they never recovered.

One such farmer, Keith
Harvey, was evicted from his cattle ranch in the midlands and subsequently went into a cationic coma for two years before he eventually died. He was a former chairman of the Natural Resources Board and a life long conservationist.

A fine cattleman and a pe
rson of great integrity and commitment to the country of his birth. But no estimate has yet been made of just what the disruption of commercial farms has cost us and I asked economists in the farming industry to let me have the numbers.

Even I was shocked by the statistics. In 2000 the total output of the agr
icultural industry in Zimbabwe was 4,3 million tonnes of agricultural products worth at today's prices US$3,347 billion. This has declined to just over 1,348 million tonnes of products in 2009 worth US$1 billion - a decline of 69 per cent in volume and a decline of 70 per cent in value.

What is often not appreciated is that smallholder farmers have been just as badly affected by the collapse of the industry as the large scale commercial farmers.

Their pro
duction in the past season is estimated to have decline by 73 per cent over that achieved in the year 2000. This is on top of the forced displacement and loss of employment for 250 000 people and their 1,3 million dependents on commercial farms.

Despite these stunning figures the farm invasions have continued with 480 incidents on remaining farms recorded since the GPA was signed in September last year.

Even those farms that were granted legal protection by the SADC Tribunal have been specifically targeted on a punitive ba
sis by the elements that are carrying on with this illegal activity and in fact are openly defying the SADC decisions.

The international decision is enforceable and creates very significant challenges for the new Transitional Government. Estimates put the total value of potential legal claims at U
S$5 billion dollars, some 30 per cent more than current GDP.

It is quite clear that the reform programme pursued by the Zanu PF led regime since 1998 has been a costly failure. This is demonstrated when it is appreciated that over 90 per cent of all production from commercial farms in the past season has emanated from the remaining large scale farmers who are now being disrupted.

There are reports that over half o
f all the farms taken over are in fact now derelict and abandoned. Many of the individuals now 'taking' farms are doing so for the third or fourth time.

The fact that sugar production in the lowveld, on highly developed irrigation estates, has declined by 35 per cent - almost all of the decline outside of the control of the core Estates of Triangle and Hippo is due to illegal land occupations.
It is time to accept that the past policies on land have been a failure and that it is time to rethink and to put policies in place that will give all farmers security and enable then to finance their operations properly.

Such policies cannot be implemented until the issue of the rights of farm owners is resolved
and the issue of compensation addressed.

The combined costs of the folly of the land invasions are staggering - they include US$2,8 billion in international food aid on an emergency basis, nearly US$12 billion in lost agricultural production over 10 years and now a potential bill for US$5 billion in compensation - a total of US$20 billion dollars.

And now we are asking for billions of dollars to fix this self-inflicted damage - its bizarre.

Eddie Cross is MP for Bulawayo South and the MDC's Policy Coordinator, this article first appeared on his website

E.Cape Premier spends R260m on jacuzzi, gym

The Eastern Cape is the country's poorest province. It is falling apart. It is in the crapper big time. But..does that concern the premier extraordinaire. Nah ah. He is spending R260 million making sure he is comfortable. Must be all the hard work he is doing. And why the fu*k not? The place is going to blazes anyway. R84 mil on Zuma's inauguration, the country's knee-deep in a recession and the sheeple have just given the tontos running the zoo free reign to keep primping themselves for another five years. Hey, they made the decision, they suffer. Suckers! Unbe-fu*king-lievable! We have come of age. Another African basketcase.

In a new age of austerity, the Department of Public Works has undertaken a multi-million project that will see the Premier’s Office receiving a Jacuzzi and a gymnasium.

Cope has blasted the development, saying spending to uplift poor people should be a priority.

“The province is plagued by problems of underdevelopment and under-expenditure.

“We fail to see how this (project) will help the rural poor people,” said Cope spokesperson Nkosifikle Gqomo.

The redesign of the 6000m² office block – a private-public partnership that is part of the Bhisho/King William’s Town Revitalisation Programme – is set to cost about R260million.

The three-storey building will have rooms for changing babies, a Jacuzzi, gymnasium, a private lift for the premier, a creche and aftercare facility, underground parking and a Bhisho Massacre garden memorial.

Project administrator for the Public Works Department Seutloali Makhetha said they had originally expected the project to cost about R50m, but the cost had escalated. “I must explain that this (R50m) figure was ... just a rough estimate in 2006,” said Makhetha.

Makhetha said 121 architectural companies had entered a competition to land a contract associated with the work, but only 31 had submitted designs.

The three shortlisted companies are the @129 group from Johannesburg, Comrie and Wilkinson Architects Urban Design and Ikhuba, both from C
ape Town. The winner will be appointed as the architect for the lucrative project – to ensure the building is constructed according to plan, and get a R500 000 prize.

The companies that come second and third get R250 000 and R100000 respectively.

Attempts to get comment from the directors of Comrie and Wilkinson and Ikhuba were unsuccessful. Project manager for @129, Theodore Kriel, said he was prohibited from commenting on the competition.

“The Premier’s Office block is going to be a prestigious building and the design has to be of the highest standard possible. The intention is to create a landmark building for the premier that resonates with the cultural values, aspirations and characteristics of the people of the Eastern Cape,” said Makhetha.

Fish Hoek free of swine flu, but South Africans would rather die

CAPE TOWN. The Cape Town coastal suburb of Fish Hoek has been declared officially free of swine fever, but most South Africans say they would rather contract the disease and hemorrhage out of their orifices than live in Fish Hoek.

Meanwhile SADC ministers are meeting to discuss whether Africa's response to the disease should be tardy, inept, or non-existent.

World health bodies have regularly warned tourists about visiting Fish Hoek, one of the few settlements in Africa where clinical depression is contagious and can be caught simply by looking at the town's architecture.

However, this morning an official from the Paris-based Doctors Without Overdrafts confirmed that the town was free of swine flu, possibly because nobody from the outside world ever traveled there willingly.

"South Africans should consider Fish Hoek their port in a viral storm," explained Dr Frottage Croissant. "You will be safe in Fish Hoek. Depressed, yes, and perhaps murderously bored, but safe.

Fish Hoek's mayor, Clive Colonoscopi, said that refugees would discover a town with its eyes fixed firmly on the future. He said residents were very excited about the imminent arrival of the 1970s, due to hit Fish Hoek some time next year, which would bring such benefits as colour television and contraceptives.

However, he said contraceptives would probably not be needed as nobody had had sex in Fish Hoek since March 1957 when Darrel Sludge tripped over a garden gnome and repeatedly fell on his wife.

He added that the town's teen suicide rate was also very low, mainly because there were no trees tall enough to hang from.
However child psychologist Sandi Velcro-Studd warned against complacency, saying that many Fish Hoek teens were turning to charismatic religion without proper guidance.

"We're seeing a lot of injuries, usually from playing keyboards or tambourines in unregulated orgies of worship," she said.
"The kids are too scared and confused to come forward, so they try to disinfect their injuries with Stoney ginger beer or vinegar from the fish and chips place on the main road, and sepsis sets in."

Meanwhile the swine flu crisis is being discussed by Health Ministers from the Southern African Development Community, who have met to discuss whether the region's response to the pandemic should be tardy, inept, or non-existent.
"Obviously SADC has a tradition of responding to health crises in a particular manner," explained SADC spokesman Elastoplast Phiri.

"Our response to the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe really established as a the leading dispenser of workshopped rhetorical approaches to African healthcare, and we need to take that energy forward in talking about possible solutions in an enthusiastic but non-binding fashion.

"Hayibo Parody

Get ready for World Mandela Day!

Yep, celebrate the life and times of the world's favourite terrorist. This is a sign that the world has gone bonkers. Maybe we should remind the world who and what they will be "celebrating". Can they say Church Street Massacre?

Gordon Brown has backed calls for the creation of an official Mandela Day to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation and the 46664 campaign - named after the number given to Mr Mandela in prison - are calling on people around the world to support the proposal.

The organisations hope the day, which would be held on Mr Mandela’s birthday on July 18, will inspire people to change the world around them.

Proposals for Mandela Day have been launched as the campaigner’s homeland marks Freedom Day, an annual celebration of South Africa’s first non-racial democratic elections, which were held in 1994.

Mr Brown said:

“As South Africa marks Freedom Day, I think of how so much is owed to Nelson Mandela - the most inspiring leader of our generation. That is why I welcome the call for a Mandela Day on July 18. This is an excellent opportunity to recognise that every individual has the power to change the world for the better. There is no-one more deserving than Madiba of this honour.”

A statement issued on Mr Mandela’s behalf said:

“We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation.”

Other high-profile figures such as former US President Bill Clinton have also given their backing to the campaign.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Crisis at SAAF Flight School

Dissatisfaction with the standard of training at the SAAF Langebaan Central Flying School has reached a crisis after three senior flight instructors there have surrendered their responsibility to make important decisions about the progress of student pilots.

These instructors have the authority to promote students or expel them from the course. They have taken this step after their recommendations regarding students that have failed the course have been ignored.

Further to this two Astra training aircraft would most likely need to be written off after serious accidents, while the decision to write off a third has still to be made.

Problems regarding training have led to serious disagreements at the school. The recent disagreement was about two students who failed their flight training two years ago. These students had more than 300 reports against them for not reaching the required training standards, before the instructors finally decided to expel them from flight training.

However, Zimbabwean instructors, who are also helping with instruction at the School, are believed not to have agreed with the suspension. (I wonder why?)

There was first an instruction that they must start again with their training and then that they must be transferred to the air force's headquarters in Pretoria.

Shortly thereafter, they were transferred to 41 Squadron at AFB Waterkloof where they were to continue their training on aircraft other than the normal training aircraft.

The request from higher authorities stated that the training schedule should allow for them to obtain their wings in July. (Read: Graduate regardless)

The three instructors, the only ones at the flying school who may recommend the suspension of students, saw their authority being undermined.

The three accidents caused within a period of 4 days by students which have completed more than half their flight training at CFS Langebaanweg , with more than 100 flying hours each.

One student had, during an emergency landing exercise, hit the ground with the propeller first.

Four days later, the same student performed a hard landing of nine times their body weight (9 g's).

Later that same day, a female student also landed with the propeller first and hit the ground at 10g's.

At the time of going to press the Defence Force had not responded to any of Beelds written enquiries.

Previously, there were already tensions at the school when students contended that the instructors were racist when mainly black students failed. (Of course)

The Zimbabwean instructors were appointed to the school about two years ago in order to help control the tensions. (Didn't know Zim had an Air Force)

Original article appeared in Beeld and was translated to English.

ANC wins … and KAPOW! Wolverine destroys army helicopter

By Rod MacKenzie (expat in China)

Kabamm! The armoured truck does a roughly 270 degree belly flop, hurling Wolverine into the air towards the military helicopter that’s trying to gun him down. Snikt! His newly minted adamantium claws (he only gets the “virtually indestructible” metal version halfway through the movie) flash in the sunlight as he sails through the air and skkreeeesshhh, one set of claws scythe through one or two rotor blades, sparks singing through the air. Wolverine sinks the other set of adamantium claws into the body of the ’copter as it spirals chukka chukka to the ground. At the last second he leaps off, rolling across the road while … KAPOW, the chopper smashes into the sand road. He gets to his feet, assorted cuts and gashes on his magnificent body healing within seconds as he strides back to the smouldering helicopter wreck to ensure his deadly nemesis, Zero, is no longer alive …

Dude, like, waaaay awesome, the new X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I saw it about ten days ago, and yeah, ahem, sure I know it only gets released for the first time on the US movie circuit in May. I am writing this in April. Well, cough, cough, let’s just hypothesise (very confidently) that a few Chinese gentlemen have a cousin who knows a friend who was sure the movie producers didn’t mind if they just quickly borrowed a pre-release copy of the movie and … hey diddle diddle, the movie was available by the fricken box-load in just about every street-side DVD stand in Shanghai nearly a month before the US release, with Mandarin subtitles nogal.

That’s normal here in Shanghai. That’s just how China works, my bru. Work with the system or die in the system.

China is a country where fakes are sometimes better than originals, enough said, dear reader. And my DVD I am sure will be a collector’s item as the copy of the movie the Chinese “borrowed” is, oops, before the movie went through final production phase. Just now and then the DVD shows Wolverine and the other deadly mutants with their stunt rope harnesses on (before the final touch-up where the rope harnesses are blotted out) as they half-fly tumbling and twirling through the air or bounce off walls in spectacular, teeth-gnashing efforts to moer one another.

Wolverine’s showdown with the mutant Gambit was like, wicked dude, where Gambit is on top of a ten-floor descending, clattering fire escape while the enraged Wolverine’s adamantium claws slice up the metal frame of the fire escape the way you and I would effortlessly grate cheese … oh, let me not spoil the movie for you. And if you are ignorant of the Marvel Comics X-Men/mutant mythology, which by now rivals Greek mythology, rich with Jungian archetypal possibilities, shame on thee.

In a couple of years’ time I bet if I can find a legal way to auction my um, well, even better than genuine copy of the DVD on eBay or New Zealand’s I could make a fortune. And the DVD only cost me eight RMB, just over ten rand.

So, Wolverine won (leaving a trail of havoc and destruction in his wake) and the ANC won (leaving a trail of … fill in the missing words). Both have awesome self-healing powers and I am actually truly impressed and proud of the way SA peacefully held the elections and simultaneously hosted the Indian Premier League Twenty20 as India apparently couldn’t right now because of their current election issues. I forgive Zuma for his past and his unwillingness to disclose about the arms deal. Wolverine, too, eventually actually forgives his (censored) for killing (censored) and forgives (censored) for betraying (censored). Sheez, no ways will I give away some awesome plot ideas in the new X-Men movie, some of you might hunt me down … But my previous censored sentence reads like what we really know about the infamous arms deal and JZ’s call for forgiveness, doesn’t it, hey?

But I now actually have enormous confidence in the ANC (partly because it only got 65.9%), especially with Zuma’s decision to probably move Trevor Manuel to a watchdog role over the government. Excellent idea, and Manuel is a man with a lot of integrity and a proven, formidable skills base, which surely includes forensic accounting skills, which will be much needed in his potential new position.

I think Zuma has the charisma, confidence and empathy to lead a party elected by the people and for the people to serve the people, especially the poor. Like Wolverine, who has pretty much forgotten entirely who he is and where he comes from by the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we need to forget the past and move on. And hey, strictly speaking, I am not giving anything away about the movie as anyone who knows the Wolverine story from Marvel Comics and who has seen the X-Men trilogy, knows he can’t remember his past except for the occasional flashback.

I said earlier on “that’s just how China works”. It is also how South Africa works and is going to have to work. I understand that the ANC received a lot of funding from the Chinese to help ensure they won the elections. Nothing wrong with that: friends helping friends. There is huge business to be conducted between the two governments.

In Shanghai, there was an SA exhibition in a park a year or so ago and it was just wonderful. The Chinese loved the proteas on display and I was awed by them as I was seeing those lovely fountains of feathery jewels, through the Chinese eyes, as if for the first time.

I was thinking of writing a blog along the lines, “ANC sucking up to the Chinese”, but hey, are they really? There are fish that live around sharks’ mouths, keeping them clean, as there are birds which pick crocodiles’ mouths clean. The symbiosis of hygiene and free protein in return is productive and beneficial for all, though the comparisons I use may unfortunately seem pejorative. Pal, I respect sharks and crocs. And they usually win. So let’s stick with the winners.

Mind you, in X-Men origins: Wolverine, the mutant called (censored) reminds me a lot of Zuma. But, although it was one helluva fight even (name censored) didn’t beat Wolverine even though he could stick his hand in the barrel of a tank and the tank’s fired shell banged off his fist back into the tank and exploded the tank. Reminds me of certain recent court decisions and overrulings. (Censored) just shook his hand out afterwards to release the slight stiffness, I suppose, and it wasn’t wankers’ cramp. I mean, this mutant, who later is called (censored) even developed a huge (censored) and a pair of boobs that would make Dolly Parton look anorexic because of his massive eating disorder. Yet the bruised Wolverine still beat him, so you never know, hey?

I believe some ANC leaders developed a massive eating disorder for corruption and inappropriate wealth. But, with their share of their vote deteriorating a bit with each election — and that’s with two million more voters turning out in 2009 — I think the lads in black, green and gold realise they have to tighten their belts and start delivering. Personally, I am confident Zuma will. The business deals that can be continued with the Chinese and the fresh ones that can be struck up are just too lucrative and beneficial for South Africa’s economy.

So who’s going to be the star of the next Origins of X-Men? The Yellow Peril?

Will Jacob Zuma Rule As A Communist Or Will He Surprise Everyone?

Martin McCauley writes:

Jacob Zuma, once he is inaugurated next month as President of the Republic of South Africa, will become the most powerful politician in Africa. This follows from the fact that the country is the richest on the continent. But what will he do with this power?

Zuma is a former communist who had schooled himself in the politics, tactics and strategy of Vladimir Ilich Lenin. The founder of the Soviet state in Russia was a ruthless tactician. One of his hallmarks was the ability to change course if it suited his aims. Between 1918 and 1921 Soviet Russia attempted to leap over the capitalist phase of economic development straight into socialism. By 1921 the state was bankrupt. What did Lenin do? He reverted to a capitalist economy but kept the commanding heights (energy, mining, etc.) in public hands. It worked. The 1920s helped to revive the economy.

His death in 1924 paved the way for an even more ruthless politician, Joseph Stalin, himself schooled by Lenin. An important aspect of the politics of Lenin and Stalin was that they were totally amoral. If a policy served the interests of the party, it was given precedence. Law was the servant of the party. Party and state interests fused into one whole. The bourgeois liberal concept of the division of power between the legislature, executive and judiciary only served the class interests of the enemies of socialism.

Lenin had been ruthlessly removing everyone whom he regarded as a threat to his dominant position. Thabo Mbeki, the previous President, was the greatest threat to the progress of Zuma. Skilfully he was ousted last November.

Zuma spent years in prison honing his political tactics. He was also head of external intelligence for the African National Congress (ANC). A successful intelligence chief is someone who suspects everyone. He also has to be skilful at dissembling. Say different things to different people. When you contradict yourself backtrack. After all, a path through a jungle is not always straight.

South African politics is now entering a new phase. The ANC is moving away from the gradualist, non-tribal, multi-racial organisation it once was. Zuma is a Zulu and he follows two Xhosa Presidents. The day of the Zulu has arrived. They feel they were marginalised in the past. The days of whites exercising influence may be drawing to a close.

There are two key areas of policy: the law and the economy. Zuma may retain a Leninist view of the law: use it to achieve your policy objectives. This involves targeting your opponents. He feels that he was unjustly treated by the legal system. Charges of corruption were brought even though others were just as guilty and were not charged. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the day of retribution for his opponents has come.

The ANC just failed to gain the 66 per cent of seats in parliament necessary to change the constitution. But then when did former President Mbeki permit the constitution to stand in his way? It was observed when it suited the President and ignored when it did not. Zuma will do the same. The same process may be observed in civil and criminal courts.

Lenin and Stalin had no interest in personal wealth but Zuma does. His first priority may be to spread wealth among his followers. Then they become beholden to him. Fall out with him and their wealth may disappear. The police and armed services need to be kept happy and that means a good standard of living.

If Trevor Manuel continues to direct the market-oriented economy, things may pan out quite well. Foreign direct investment has to continue to pour in to ensure growth. Without it tax revenue will not grow.

As a former Leninist, Zuma will attempt to be all things to all men. Economic power is the key and it will be his first priority. The poor will have to wait a while for more bread and butter. If they ever get it, that is.

All the indications are that Zumaism will change South Africa. But will it be for the better or for the worse remains to be seen.

Commie Ruskies congrat their man Zuma

Eish, everybody's heppy, heppy.. Nyet! Btw, this is for real. One big cuddly commie party.

CP of the Russian Federation, Message of Greeting to the ANC

From: Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Friday, 24 April 2009

Коммунистическая Партия Российской Федерации

Communist Party of the Russian Federation

April, 24, 2009, Moscow

Cde. Jacob Zuma,
African National Congress of South Africa

Dear Comrade Zuma,

On behalf of millions of members and supporters of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation I convey our sincere congratulations on the occasion of the ANC triumph at the April, 22, 2009 general elections.

This victory is a strong proof that the ANC social and economic policy is effectively addressing the needs of the masses and thus enjoys their full support.

It is well known that it is easier to get on top than to stay on top. The ANC convincingly proved that a party that relied on the people not only during the liberation struggle but also in the process of national reconstruction would retain support of the masses.

We believe that an important ingredient of the ANC success is its decades-long alliance with other progressive forces - South African Communist Party and Congress of South African Trade Unions.

Recalling the years of glorious anti-Apartheid struggle to which our country - the Soviet Union - made a contribution, we are proud of continued successes of our comrades in South Africa.

I want to use this occasion to reiterate our readiness to cooperate with the ANC in the interests of friendship and prosperity of our respective countries.

With warm regards,

Gennady Zyuganov


Communist Party of the Russian Federation

Badly decomposed body found in Hospital tiolet

Lack of staff cited in ‘body in toilet’ saga

NURSES not showing up for duty, and also the shortage of nurses, have been cited as among the reasons a man‘s body was found only five days after his death at the Port Alfred Hospital in December.

The lengthy internal investigation, which started five months ago after the badly decomposed body of Mhlangenqaba Zono, 46, was found in the hospital‘s staff bathroom, was returned from the office of the district manager after being completed on January 22.

Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the investigation had been conducted to discover why Zono‘s body was not found until five days after his death.

“Two recommendations have come from the final report, the one being that some of the nurses be investigated as individuals because it was found some of them meant to be on duty were not.
The hospital also needs to formulate a policy when it comes to dealing with patients who want to leave the premises before they are examined. Nurses said this patient had tried to leave and when they could not find him they thought he had left,” said Kupelo.

He said there would be further individual investigations for each nurse who was not on duty when and where she was supposed to be. He said if the investigation found someone was responsible then the necessary disciplinary measures would be taken.

Kupelo said nurses were not trained or informed on how to handle “difficult or depressed” patients. Zono, who was being treated for asthma and breathing problems, had apparently insisted on leaving the premises before he was examined and the nurses had not been sure what to do.

“We definitely have a shortage of nurses and the nurses we do have are overworked to the point of exhaustion. They are not designed to look after people who are trying to run away.”

Kupelo said the lack of cleanliness would also addressed. “A register should be at each bathroom and a cleaning supervisor is meant to check the bathrooms have been cleaned. This was found to be poorly managed.”

Kupelo said there was a definite lack of communication, and of managerial duties and responsibilities. There would be improved training for people in managerial positions and there would also be counselling for the nurses who found the body.

“These are to be addressed because it is unacceptable that a body can be on the premises for five days and no one realises it
. It definitely raises the question of cleanliness.”
Ya think?

However, Kupelo said the report did not suggest any negligence. He said it was clear from the report the nurses accountable should be investigated and there should be increased training for managerial and cleaning staff.
Zono, who is believed to have died from natural causes and probably suffered cardiac arrest following an asthma attack, was found in a locked bathroom at the hospital at least four days after his death in December.

Staff had initially told Zono‘s family that he had escaped from the hospital but then called a few days later to say his body had been found.
The family said they were devastated because they could not give him a proper burial service due to the state of decomposition.
Nokwanda Futhuse, Zono‘s sister, said she still blamed the hospital‘s staff for her brother‘s death but had decided not to take the case further.

Man dies after killing monkey

Mkhuhlu - A dead monkey had the last laugh when the Mpumalanga pensioner who killed him with an axe died a few hours later.

Zondani Mkhwanazi, 64, of Mkhuhlu near Hazyview and his son, Bongani, were sitting outside Mkhwanazi's house on Saturday when he noticed movement at the top of a nearby tree.

It was a monkey jumping from one tree to another, screeching and chattering. Mkhwanazi tried to chase the monkey away, but the animal settled in an isolated tree and wouldn't budge.
"My father thought the monkey was making fun of him," said Bongani.

He said his enraged father went into the house, fetched an axe and chopped down the tree, forcing the monkey to the ground where Zondani killed it with the axe.

Three hours later Zondani started complaining of cramps in his chest. "We all thought it was old-age aches and pains from chopping down the tree," said Bongani

The family went to bed and was woken by the screams of their mother, Busisiwe Mkhwanazi. When they went into the bedroom, she told the family that their father had died in his sleep. Busisiwe can't understand why he had died, saying her husband was such a strong man.

"I was looking forward to spending a lot more years with him," said the heart-broken widow. "At least he passed away in his sleep.

There's some comfort in knowing he didn't suffer," said Bongani Zondani's neighbour Simon Madala is still in shock over Mkhwanazi's death.

"How can a man die after chopping a tree at his own homestead?" he asked.