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Mr Phala Phala – Is it Over SA?

Date: 05.26.2024

Written By

Tonya Khoury

Are we done my country?  Is it over?  Have we fought against all odds, struggled apartheid, risen from the ashes… only to fall here?  #AreWeDone?  This land that is a picture that only the world can aspire to, are we done?  Say it’s not true…

Let’s scratch the surface with Acumen Media

Before I hit the news media with a vengeance, step into my home for a bit. This town lost a beautiful child; a child we watched bloom into a beautiful, bright, young woman; a woman that created an inspiration for us all.  There was a car accident on a lonely road. No words, you know how this story ends.  Our town is gutted.  We put one foot in front of another to muddle through the pain.  I stepped out of my house for the first time in about six weeks, maybe longer, to go and do those awful things that death brings and I found chaos. Say it’s not true.

Our little rural town is a hive of activity bustling with normal day- to- day activities.  There are some days that are busier than others.  Pension days are filled with the Gogos ready to buy their first meal for the new month.  I only went to town because I had no petrol, and where I was traveling to was in the trees and the dunes. As reluctant as I was to pay for that shocking fuel price, I didn’t want to get stuck and we have to do those things that death brings.  Town was heaving, I queued for what felt like eons to get fuel. I lamented to Mom that we would be late and we will not have enough time to do the awful things that death brings, but we were here now and we had no choice.  I thought I’d make my wait worthwhile and use the ATM.  I use FNB, the Gogos don’t.  That’s how it is.  It’s pension day. I saw the queue to my ATM was unusually long and winding like a road of poverty that never ends. I changed my mind; I’d just pay for fuel with my card.

I had filled my tank, resulting in an enormous amount of money, an extraordinary amount of money when you compare it to the long winding road of people that could not even afford a quarter of my tank.  It made me feel sick. Melo served me and I told him that I would pay by card, so he returned with the machine, and he  put the card through and there it was… no signal.  You see, the electricity has been off for hours after hours after hours. No, we don’t see.  Jumping from stage five to stage six to stage eight – you’d swear the schedule thought it was on a dance floor. And five, six, seven, eight… Repeatedly, we’ve been on stage 9 – no electricity at all and no electricity means no signal, means no ATMS, means no card machines, means we have a rural town in darkness. Who knows how it feels in the big cities?  Here, we lost the ability to trade. Melo tried three machines I was still very conscious that I had to be somewhere at a certain time to do the awful things that death brings. Melo gave up and I said I don’t have any cash. I’m going to have to stand in a queue; I begged for an alternative: “Can I pay for it by EFT? Can I leave my license as collateral? Melo answered all those questions and all answers were “No” except one, “The SPAR does cash-back”. I parked across the road, illegally, put my hazards on, left my own Gogo in the car and used my white privilege to the max.  I ran into Spar and here was another set of queues, a burdened  train of the elderly coming in and out, looking for food, buying food, queuing for food.  I stood in the queue for the “Express Till”, that’s a laugh, “express”,  yeah, that’s exactly what it isn’t.  I waited my turn; I tried to be patient as I thought about the weight of the world on our shoulders as a town and how late I was to do the things that death brings. I was almost at the front of the queue after a good two hours and was then told that the Spar had run out of cash because of the number of people needing money.  I begged, and they helped, because I had to pay for the fuel to do the terrible things that death brings.  Can you imagine it, no electricity, no internet, no banking, no cash on pension day for the granny’s on the long winding road of poverty.  Is it over SA?

Forgive me because you are probably thinking, “Well this is depressing.”  It is not going to get any better either I’m afraid, because now it’s time to scratch the media surface.

While I was contemplating my personal loss ; I watched the television display twenty-four coffins, neatly laid out and “supported by AVBOB”.  Some coffins did not even have bodies in them, because that’s how it is and that’s how we honor the death of our children and still no one knows what happened? #BhekiCele what did you do? What happened? I really backed your horse. I thought you had this, and then, like Cameron from #ActionSociety said, “You let us down!”  He woke me from a daze #IanCameron did.  He opened my eyes to the lack of leadership and the shear lack of accountability resulting in the most vile behavior from our #MinisterOfPolice #BhekiCele #WhatDidYouDo? Are we done  SA, hey South Africa are we done?  Are we going to open our arms to these nonprofit organisations and allow them to lead us my Ubuntu?  Will we take our tax money and hand it to those who show their good intention and fix this beautiful country?  Will we take to the streets South Africa?  #NationalShutdown #CeleMustGo.  I was in that coma, you know the one that mourning brings; the one where things don’t seem quite real and I was astonished to realize that it was July. It had been one year since the insurrection and still there were no consequences.  #AreWeDone?

It is so blatantly obvious that we have a ground war, a civil war and it’s not us fighting. And now, not slowly but very, very surely, this country is spiraling out of control. Unmanageable.  That’s the idea right? ZUMA and RET? Swoop in after all the mess you made – you are winning – #ZumaMustFall?  Not a chance.

So, we carry the hashtag #NationalShutdown and the media is filled with #Phalaphala humdrum as our president sidesteps and shuffles like an aged dancer on the political floor – impotent. Useless. Fallen? Is it over South Africa?  It’s so bad that even reputable TV anchor #ChriseldaLewis called the president #MrPhalaPhala. Are we done?

And then the public protector. The woman who is synonymous with Zuma, is on her way back to office.  Is it over?  Tell me it’s not over.  You’ll forgive me for not going on about #BrianMolefe having to pay back ten million.  You’ll forgive me for not pandering to #Gordhan. You’ll forgive me for not covering the #SitheloShozi story.  You’ll forgive me for not focusing on #StateCapture or any other news media story this week and you’ll forgive me because you too are tired, you too are weary my precious South Africans. We are such a patriotic nation; we have achieved so much with so little and now it’s time for us to rise again from the ashes. Or is it over it SA?  How many times my dear country, how many times do we have to start again?

Well I’m on the verge of tears for my own personal reasons and I’m sure you are too my Ubuntu.  If I have to cheer you up, I suppose we could have been Boris Johnson and that hair?

Please leave me to do the terrible things that death brings.

I’m Tonya Khoury and you’ve just scratched the surface with Acumen Media


Mr phalaphala



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