It’s election time and the ground is bubbling like a volcano ready to blow. We’ve been here, we’ve done this before, and some of us have #GotTheTShirt. I’m Tonya Khoury, this is #ScratchTheSurface where we read the news and social media of the week so you don’t have to.
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#Riverlea, a place where you lock and bolt your door when the sun goes down and you cover your children’s ears to protect them from the gunshots being fired in this undeclared warzone. The story of the #ZamaZamas is back. This time with a massacre where some reports quoted twenty people murdered. This ticking timebomb sits at the feet of #BhekiCele. Over 100 people were arrested this week and then, in the early hours of this morning, the Zamas started digging back, opening the holes to the disused mines that the police had covered. There is no beginning and end to this story. This is not a new story, this is the story we are focusing on more and more because it’s time for elections. We have lived through this story with the #KrugersdorpRapes (what ever happened to that?). We’ve been there, done that and we #GotTheBloodyTShirt. Yet, here we are again. Again, we are talking about the lack of police presence, again we are talking about illegal foreigners and how dangerous they are.
Want to know what I think? Of course you do or you wouldn’t be reading. I think it’s time for #BhekiCele to go. I think his head is next to roll. It made me digress, this thought of Bheki’s head rolling down the steps of parliament, this idea of leave-your-hat-on-Cele finally leaving the mess he created. And it made me wonder: have we been giving our President a hard time without realizing the good he has done? Before you lynch me like a witness in the #SenzoTrial, think for a minute. Where are #AceMagashule, #DDMabuza, #DuduMyeni, #NkosozanaDlamini #StillAZuma? Where is #ZweliMkhize, #BathabileDlamini, #LindiweSisulu and so many others that we have had in the cross hairs for years? They’re not in prison, no. They have left the stage and they’re not wearing the Emperor’s new t-shirt. Are #BhekiCele and #PaulMashatile next?
This week it emerged that #Mashatile was in the convoy of the #VIPProtectionUnit that viciously beat two people on the highway. #Mashatile said he thought one of the eunuchs needed a “leak”. Ah come on, did all the unit have to get out and watch? There were several men who climbed out of those vehicles and the last thing on their mind was a toilet stop. Is Paul next? I surely hope so, because if you remember, there is a secret (not so secret) pact between Julius #Malema and #Mashatile that they will use the forthcoming election coalition to merge the ANC and the EFF with Malema as deputy president. Now that’s a t-shirt we do not want.
I’ve deliberately left #EFF and #Malema for later in the reporting because I’m so tired of giving Julius airtime. I’ve been there, done that and the t-shirt doesn’t fit anymore. But as social media and news scramble over his headlines, I’m compelled to balance you. Julius and the EFF had a big party, they turned ten. The filled up a stadium with bussed in “supporters” that amounted to over ninety thousand people. The stadium was incredible, only red t-shirts in the house. Naturally, the people in the stadium, for the large part, are not voters, just a set of people who would like a t-shirt, a good meal and a party, without the burden of cost. Sounds good to most of us right, especially if you are unemployed and you’re tired of bearing the weight on your shoulders that is living in SA today. I lamented the #PowerOfATShirt, but I’m wrong, the red t-shirt is a small part of a soviet style marketing/propaganda campaign. And it is paying off because the people are there. I did forget to mention that food was free, transport was free, music and entertainment was also free. And possibly cigarettes. Then there was the #onesizefitsall t-shirt. Sounds like a great weekend out actually. Well, except for that #GroupThink t-shirt.
You had to endure #Malema showing off like a megalomaniac. He was on what can only be described as a stairlift. A huge elevated platform similar to the ones used at Olympic opening ceremonies lifted him above the crowds. Just where he likes to be our Juju, above the layman. And then there was the massive unseen piñata that exploded with tiny pieces of red tinsel that covered the stadium like snow falling on a sunny day from a donkey’s behind. It was comical and even more so when Julius started singing #killTheBoer in colonial English. It’s not an English song, but Juju made sure all understood what he was singing. And the crowd followed suit. This is not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last time that this so-called “struggle song” will be sung by the red berets. Last year we made a massive fuss and he was taken to court and the court found that this was just a struggle song and not hate speech and he was allowed to sing it as long as he stayed in key. Not sure if “in English” was added to the judgement but whatever. The whole country rolled its eyes at a political party that struggles to keep a single seat in parliament. The party that has shrunk over the years and is facing an election where its only chance is coalition. You don’t scare any of us Julius. We’ve been there, done that, and got a pretty foul-smelling t-shirt.
I say you don’t scare us but according to #JumpingJohn #Steenhuizen South Africans are “cowering” because of this stupid song. Speak for yourself John. We are certainly not cowering, we’re not even bothered. What made us worry was when you did a speech in Afrikaans and you can’t even speak the language. That speech was dreadful and what was the point? Are you after the FF+ vote? You and Gogo Zille keep digging deeper and deeper into the #NotMyPresident category. You are forcing the coalition. Why are you so blinded? Is it too much botox? You cannot be so stupid surely? You’re losing votes hand over fist and you don’t even have Trump’s old t-shirts.
Let’s chat about how much we were cowering, dear John. So much so that a group of Boers went the #EFFHQ to have a “word”, ja ne, we know what that means. Well, if you’re going to gatecrash the party make sure you wear the mob t-shirt because those Boers got a paksla, a hiding from the #EFF. Why would you do that? Search me. I just read the news so you don’t have to. Amongst that news, and probably the reason why the #EFF is the top story this week, #ElonMusk decided he was a South African for a change. He called for the end of white genocide in SA. Julius called him an alien. Is he wrong? I love #IanCameron but he also irritated me as he pointed out a farm murder that he believes was linked to #EFFTurnsTen, it’s not, it’s another farm murder. It deserves attention, not politicking.
I had better speed up as my words are many but minutes are few and we haven’t even covered the trial of the year, #SenzoMeyiwa. We had an array of witnesses this week, from #Steyn who confirmed that #KellyKhumalo should really be in court as her cellphone records unearth all sorts of questions, not the least being that she was in touch with all the accused (barre one) at some point. Dreadlocks and guns, the contents of cellphones remained top discussion as investigators unearthed one particular image of the accused with a picture of a gun saying: “killing machine”. Was this a hit after all? Then Mthokozisi Thwala took the stand, and his statement was ripped apart by a set of advocates who know better. When he was cornered, he blamed the police for taking down his statement inaccurately; the same man edited a book, so you make your own mind up about his literacy. #Thwala was also a close friend of #Mandisa (Senzo’s wife) and he was apparently uncomfortable entering a place where Senzo was with Kelly #Khumalo, his side-chick. There’s no t-shirt here good people, just a set of liars that are covering up something so wicked that we dare not think about it too much.
Quick updates because the words keep catching up with me. Our precious #Buthelezi is in hospital, none of us want to breathe or focus on this story. It is going to cost R180m to fix #BreeStreet, #JohnBlock (Lindiwe’s mate) was granted bail. The man with the heartfelt “rest in peace my love” Facebook post turned out to be his girlfriend’s killer. #ElonMusk is now known as #AlienMusk (all credit to Julius, I’d wear that t-shirt) and all his tweets will now be known as #Xsê.
There is one story that has had me invested for close on two years and I can now give a round of applause. #Madam #Busisiwe #Mkhwebane, our #PublicNeglector has finally been found guilty of misconduct. Now I need a t-shirt. Look she only had two months left on her term, but I’m going to take the win thank you very much to the stellar work from #Dyanti, #Bauer, #Fatima and #Tshepo. For all you endured you deserve more than a t-shirt. Justice is served.
While I’m cheering you up, let me also tell you that in sport (a category I’d never choose on Trivial Pursuit) #BanyanaBanyana showed us power on the field. Our women held a breathtaking draw in the #NetballWorldCup and we will be screaming for the #Springboks. These stories are all worthy of branded t-shirts. Make sure you’re in green and gold my friends and leave the pinatas and crane hoists, it’s just too showy. We’ve always been gracious winners.
I’m Tonya Khoury, thank you for scratching the surface with me and Acumen Media.