An Acumen Media Report over 7 days
Roll Up Roll Up, the news cycle circus is in town! Are you ready to scratch the surface of the news and social media this week? No, neither am I! But you bought the ticket so please shuffle to your seats as the show is about to begin! #CirqueDeSA
The ticket conductor tears our stubs and ushers us into a confined space without any electricity because of … #loadshedding. Sadly, it took place before the event started. What do you mean too much pressure on the grid in the peak of summer? Um, ok, sounds to me like they didn’t pay the bills. #Stage2
Our first and really a fine opening act this week is #ZandileMafe, our homeless #GuyFawkes and always a crown pleaser. According to testimony led by #DaliMpofu, #Mafe told us that he was good friends with #EugeneTerreblanche. Now, for the younger audience members among us; Eugene was one of the biggest racists we came to know during our apartheid years, so that says a great deal right? He was one of the worst because he bore no shame at all as he galloped his horse around the ring. He was loud and proud especially when he announced (every time he circled the ring) that brown people were worthless and that we needed to remain in an apartheid regime. He was a special kind of racist, you know, the one’s who carried #WhitneyHouston albums in their saddles because “even though she’s black she can sing.” Back in those days we called him #ET, not affectionately, because we literally couldn’t believe he came from this planet. His biggest claim to fame? He fell off his horse, no, not a fine act at all. I digress, #ZandileMafe said, from the centre of the court ring, that he was a friend of #ET and he lamented the leader’s death. The court room did what it should with such a statement, and burst into fits of laughter! The act had started, and it was a real crowd pleaser. #Mafe, enthused by the reaction, didn’t stop there. He also told the court how he had written to the President to release # JanuszWalus, the guy who assassinated #ChrisHani. This time the audience guffawed but with an inkling of fear. How could anyone, no matter how staged an event was, glorify Janusz? Guy Fawkes just became #TheJester at #CirqueDeSA
But that wasn’t the true opener; the actual opening act of the week was #KomaniTownHall burning. Yes, another heritage site reduced to rubble, but we ask you to look to your right, where the Jester will keep you laughing, while actually, the humour and events surrounding it are dark and sinister. Certainly a #CirqueDeSA
In another part of the tent #Zuma is trying to get #BillyDowner to recuse himself. Why? Well because Downer is good at his job – that’s the short answer. The lack of crowd enthusiasm showed that this #RingMaster is less popular than we thought and is probably becoming more of a side show and not the star that we give him credit for being. His act has changed see; he is now an #EscapeArtist. A bad Houdini if you will. He uses a legal team instead of doing the escaping himself. It’s still effective but more infuriating and even a little boring rather than entertaining. #CirqueDeSA
Outside the #CircusRing the ANC staff are picketing because they have not been paid. Imagine the governing party not paying its staff, unreal right? #SendInTheClowns
#Zondo is one of the highlights of the show. He delivered #StateCaptureReport’s second tranche in a three-part act. In this report #Zondo calls Gigaba’s bluff and unpacks how he, #AnojSingh and #LynnBrown systematically enriched the #Zumas and the #Guptas through various trapeze acts. While we are dazzled, the riddle remains, who owns the #Guptas? Never mind, we will use sleight of the hand to focus on #Zuma and the fraud and looting of #Transnet. The constant reference to #Bain’s involvement in #StateCapture has made #CirqueDeSA famous, as the whole world learns how the corruption of corporate suppliers has no borders. It’s all magic at the #CirqueDeSA. #Zondo also unpacked #Prasa and the impact of the not-so-#LuckyMontana. We saw a guilty verdict for #DanielMthimkhulu from #PRASA but Lucky by name might be next on the cards. We also saw one of the main sponsors of the circus get pulled off the JSE. #Denel failed to file the necessary documents and what was once a thriving bottomless money pit can’t even afford a banner for the event. #TightropeWalkers
#HereAreTheClowns: #Manyi says he has helicopters flying overhead; #JeffRadebe chucks his hat into the ring for #DeputyPresident; The #Ace in the pack failed miserably as #Magashule’s appeal to lift suspension was chucked out of the ring. #MacG interviewed a clown like no other, #HlaudiMotsoneng. You’ll remember this character, he’s the one who said he was God during his reign of terror at the #SABC. This very same man that made people bow down to him stood up in the media ring this week, and under the brilliant interviewing style of #MacG, told us that he didn’t need a matric or a degree because… “I am a degree”. “I am a matric”. Yip, nothing has changed #Hlaudi, still mad as an unhypnotized snake! #CirqueDeSA
You’ve got to get prizes at the circus right? No, we didn’t hand out dodgy dog shaped balloons, instead we gave R50Mil to Cuba. Imagine what a civil society can do with that kind of money? It appears that we have a very special relationship with Cuba, one where we will trample over our poor to give money to theirs. Just another day at the #CirqueDeSA
Other acts exited like trapeze artists that developed a fear of heights: #Mboweni retired – we made no fuss of #MinisterLuckyStar – the writing was on the wall for a while, and no one can blame him. He tried, but this circus is tired, and there’s no longer a need for a #FireEater. #Mashaba resigned from #CityCouncil because he’s done with serving candy floss to tourists, and now would rather focus on a local audience to advance his own agenda. Same circus, just with a different location tagged to it. A South African’s only circus if you will.
The show is a little dull and tedious without elephants and tigers so let’s go straight to the headline act. Enter the #JSCInterviews. We present to you the finest legal minds in our country (are you watching #LindiweSisulu). This was our jaw dropping act this week.
First the panel, just spectacular, filled with passionate and remarkable individuals each with an equal talent to be selected to become the next #RingLeaders at #Concourt. A word on #Concourt – it was slow and sluggish in past performances and to be fair, quite ineffectual. Sure, they tried their best but to date they have not shown any mettle to remove the rot and do justice to our country. They have proven that if you just ignore them and you have a #headlineAct at the circus, you’ll pretty much get away unscathed. We bought the ticket though, so we may as well enjoy the show.
My personal favourite was a genuine act. #MandisaMaya, the only woman in the room held her own when she was confronted with misogyny right here under the lights. First #Mpofu joked that they had spent the night together, and after a rumbling from the crowd he clarified that they had studied together. Then #Lamola joined the misogynistic narrative and asked her if the country is ready for a woman Chief Justice. Her response was, “It’s not a proper question to ask!” Exactly! A female colleague in the room sent kudos for having achieved, against all odds, the title of woman in justice. Maya was brought to tears, I can relate, but then she was called “emotional” by her female colleague. I’m sorry what? When did we lose the word “passionate”? No one is emotional when they cry whilst being praised for years gone by filled with a massive patriarchal battle, and then when she finally rises above all that noise, you are called “emotional”. No, my friends that there is called tears of achievement, tears of passion, and it shouldn’t be a negative, because it shows a human being. #Maya is undoubtedly my favourite part of the circus, in fact, she doesn’t belong in the circus at all. I hope she nails it, but she won’t because the truth is that we are not ready for a compassionate, passionate woman to lead our Constitutional Court. We’d rather go with the ever popular #Zondo and his running mate #Mlambo.
Talking of Mlambo, he was ambushed by the audience. They’d seen this act before and knew how to highjack events for their own glory. Enter the stooges of the circus. #Malema and #Mpofu teamed up to tear chunks out of the President’s candidate #JP Dunstan #Mlambo. They hit him with “rumours” of #SexualAllegations and he walked right into the trap the first time but recovered well as the act continued. As this act closes we are probably of the opinion that we will see #Zondo and #Mlambo take a bow, and I’m not sure we’re happy with that either. The one couldn’t get Zuma to jail, and the other appears a bit “old school” (to be polite). Afterall, he had a lot to say about women and maternity leave, but he definitely whipped the EFF Duo’s narrative with a crack that demanded respect. #Mlambo is a veteran and I suppose we don’t get to like everyone we appoint even if they can do the job. I did find it ironic that during the week of the #JSCInterviews #Malema himself was in court on assault charges. So strange and only at the #CirqueDeSA will you see an accused interviewing for the highest legal position in the land. Quite literally #Dali will be interviewing the same man who told him that “#ShutUp” is not an appropriate phrase to use during a cross examination no matter how unprepared you are for the content.
Side acts this week included the #Census22, not sure why, and if you are going door to door can you take some fresh water and electricity with you? If we can afford to have a census, surely, we can fix the water problem in Johannesburg. I’m so naïve. It’s like saying that the billions of rands from Cop26 will resolve #Eskom’s loadshedding. South Africa is finally out of the #FourthWave, but we’re a bit late out the gate as countries like #Denmark declare no further covid restrictions whatsoever, and the US and the UK are on the same path. But here we have spent almost 700 days at this circus, a country weighing down the buckling Lipizzaners we are balancing on.
At international circuses around the world: #JoeRogan is an antivaxxer and #NeilYoung pulled his music from #Spotify because of it. Look I like Neil, but he’s pretty irrelevant. I’m not a Joe fan though; he’s bombastic and has a massive ego. To be fair I really don’t care about any of this, but others do. #PrinceAndrew launches an assault of a legal kind against his accuser from the #Epstein case. Did you watch that series on Netflix? He’s as guilty as a clown who asks you to smell his flower. Elon tried to pay off a teen who designed a tracking tool that can pinpoint Musk’s planes. Musk offered $5k to make to it go away but the youth today are smart my alien friend. But this guy wasn’t selling, king that teen, he sees it!
There’s bound to be a fireworks display after this circus cacophony and here it is. Russia and Ukraine stand toe-to-toe with weapons pointing at each other’s heads. This circus may blow up, while we are the clowns. And just when I took a breath, we heard that #CycloneBatsirai is on its way and heading straight for the SA. It better slow down because there is only one dune between me and the sea, but hey, I have a wetsuit, will travel.
I’m Tonya Khoury thank you for joining me as I #ScratchTheSurface with Acumen Media.