I was diving with sharks. Many people think this is nuts. It isn’t. As long as you dive with a real expert. The analogy is deep. This country is in dire need of an expert in these shark infested waters. We need to adjust, quickly, as this is not our territory, it’s theirs. I wouldn’t suggest we do it with an #AbsentPresident.
I’m Tonya Khoury, this is #ScratchTheSurface so make sure you have enough air in your tank as it is a bit dark in the muddy media waters.
#ThaboBester. What do you make of this story? I’m confused about so many things. Firstly, why is it a story? People escape from prison all the time and we never see R1,4m spent on jet trips to make sure they are brought to justice. A personal friend, the man who taught me to dive, was shot and killed in a botched armed robbery. His murderer and accomplices escaped several times and I promise you it never made mainstream media. Why now? Why did the world stop for #ThaboBester? I’ll tell you why, because experts got involved, a set of journalists from #GroundUp media made some serious noise about a story that defies belief. Honestly, I have a bit of #BesterFatigue so here’s the short story. This murderer and rapist escaped from prison and left SA with his partner in crime, #DrNandi. We heard all gory stories about how #Nandi bought dead bodies on a regular basis and that didn’t seem to surprise anyone in the legal system, apparently that happens, often. These two fugitives from the law were found in Tanzania so we sent a jet and picked them up and plonked them in front of the cameras and then the court process kicked in. South Africa gobbled it up, and like sharks on the sardine run, we consumed this narrative with a primal hunger. There’s only one good thing that came out of this story: #GlynisBreytenbach, how much do we love this expert? My word, what on earth are the DA doing? They should have put #MaGlynis right in the front of the party and I promise you South Africa would have had its first female president ages ago. Madam Breytenbach slaughtered #BhekiCele and #G4S (the prison service tasked to move Bester around). She unlocked her jaw and created carnage like a bull shark with a vendetta. She was incredible. I think I speak for the whole country when I say, #WeWantGlynis. She’s the one, the expert to lead us through this poor visibility, through this darkness, where you can’t see what is in front of you deep down in the twisted waters. What we don’t want is an #AbsentPresident.
When there is a massive story like this you have to consider what other news dropped while you were not watching. There is a saying in PR circles: “Never waste a good crisis”, in other words, drop your bad news when the sharks are circling elsewhere, while the whole country is focused on Bester, we also were told that the #Guptas got off #ScotFree. If you are wondering, as was I, where the term “Scot Free” originated, well allow me to help you out. It’s an old Norse word, skot, and an Old French word, escot, combined that was used during medieval times when towns levied taxes in proportional shares for things like a poor fund. The tax was called a “scot,” and somebody who wriggled out of paying it got off “scot free.” How apt? #ScotFree and #Absent, a South African Story. But back to the Guptas: The UAE refused to extradite the Guptas, that means that they are completely unaccountable, untouchable and unphased, a bit like our electricity. This was announced in the same week that the leader of the UAE, Mohamed Bin Zayed, landed in Bisho in the Eastern Cape. Why in Bisho? He owns a game farm there (allegedly). He shipped in his sofas (filled with dollars?) and tables, including his medical fraternity, and even built his own runway for his planes to land. Gross hey? Here we sit looted and a man from the other end of the planet makes decisions on our state captors. So basically, apart from a very sick #Agrizzi, the Zondo Commission was useless. Zuma and the Guptas, and even the harbourer of the top criminals, are all having a jol here in SA and abroad. What a joke. You keep your eye on Thabo Bester, though. Never waste a good crisis. There was a bunch of other stories you missed; they were all swimming below you but you couldn’t see for the Bester Chronicles. We’ll get to those in a moment but first the one big issue that we will not be distracted from is our useless electricity facility, #Eskom.
Eskom, the dinosaur that should be extinct; the megalodon with jaws so big that it will never tire of eating moved us to #Stage8 and no one mentioned a thing. Are we too scared? Too scared that this is so real that we may not recover from it. I read somewhere that a country doesn’t degenerate on a certain date, it takes time, a long time. Ain’t that the truth. What was a slow spiral into the darkness has now moved faster than a R1,4m jet ride as we scramble like sardines, huddled together, trying not to look like fodder … and where is our fearless leader? Absent. Dear Mr President, where are you? At least Trump showed us his disdain by appearing on a golf course, but you, you just are completely awol, a bit like Markus Jooste, who just didn’t turn up in German court. Are you noticing a trend? We are. But back to Eskom: This week, we heard that the President wants nothing to do with #DeRuyter’s allegations of Eskom’s mafia and said that De Ruyter must go to the cops. A classic “not my job” move. The one thing Cupcake did do exceptionally well was bring back a truckload of cash from his world tour. May I ask, who on earth is giving us money? Are they stupid, or complicit?
Remember I said never waste a good crisis, well, the Post Office went bust. I know, they were broke a long time ago, but again, this is a slow journey to nothing. Putin is on his way to SA, I wonder if he’ll build a red carpet runway too? A new SABC board was appointed after months of the organisation running without a leader. To be fair the SABC team did a pretty good job while it was rudderless. Perhaps they should have just saved themselves a fortune, and their dignity, and pressed on. Then to add to the mix is SA Tourism. Their board is to be dissolved after #LindiweMedusaSisulu was spurred out of the building. There was an electoral amendment bill that basically says you can vote for an individual over a party. I like that – did you hear that Glynis? Glynis? Are you there? Please save us. This while #JumpingJohn Steenhuizen is talking about moon pacts and moon shots. Another phrase to add to our political dictionary. Basically it’s just joining coalition waters and swimming with all the sharks at once, until you’re the apex predator. That’s the plan folks, more coalitions and more fight for territory. It is wrong to compare this lot of scavengers to sharks. Sharks are smart, they only want their prey, they are not interested in chomping divers, there is no collateral damage with sharks (unlike politicians). Oh, I almost forgot, BEE restrictions have been dropped on companies under fifty employees. That went straight past you, right? Even me, I had to read the article twice to be sure.
There’s more, are you feeling sea sick yet? Just watch the horizon. Not for a new dawn but so that you can breathe. #Zuma was back in court and Dali-Filibustering-Mpofu was thrilled with yet another postponement. I spoke to a 40-year-old friend who said to me, “That case has been going on half my life”, and that wasn’t an exaggeration. Yet we can arrest Thabo Bester with a jet in seconds. Madam Busi, the subject of our mid-week feature #ScrubbingTheRedCarpet, has had a pause in proceedings, so nothing new to see here. Keep scrolling, I’m watching it for you. Here’s what is swept #UnderTheRug: What’s happening with #Senzo’s trial? Ya, you forgot hey? That was deliberate.
My words have run out and there is much still to cover. So, let’s start our ascent slowly to the surface. Duduzane Zuma launched his presidential campaign; Rosemary Ndlovu (that serial killer cop) saw her chommie and accomplice in court this week as the accomplice was nabbed for trying to get her husband killed for a little over a million rand insurance payback. The #JSCInterviews are back, and they make boring viewing, but you can skip those too because I’ve got your back. #RiseMzansi is a new political party. Derek Hanekom is now sitting at the helm of bankrupt/not bankrupt SAA. That basically means he’s on his way out, I don’t blame him, he’s a good man. He should join forces with civil society, that would be much better. Talking of civil society and good people, the Kathrada Foundation and OUTA have joined hands, now we are talking, two brilliant organisations that will definitely be stronger together. Make sure to bring great investigative journalists, it is only due to them and the social media community that we find the truth behind the pod of lies. If you haven’t watched Al Jazeera’s #GoldMafia please do, you’ll feel better about our country, it’s not just us, the whole world is corrupt, crooked and off kilter.
A few more stories and I’m out. I can’t believe I’m writing about this, but there is an energy drink called Prime that is selling for over 500 rand a bottle. It’s nothing more than a competitor to say the likes of Monster or Red Bull except this – marketing. The same drink is selling in the USA for a couple of dollars but here in SA preposterous things are standard. Look out for a free tasting at the next red – carpet runway event. It’s a prime time to run, runaway.
Across the stormy waters, #Sudan has descended into chaos as two generals collide. The #DaliLama, how gross? How is he allowed to get away with what he did to that child in full view of cameras? In case you missed it, and I doubt you did, the Lama, after kissing a child on his forehead and then his lips, asked the boy to suck his tongue. I don’t make this stuff up. The spin began as we were told this is an ancient Tibetan custom for a grandparent to their grandchild when the kid asks for sweets. For those of you who still think what he did was ok, please remember he is not a grandfather to that boy, nor did the boy ask for sweets and that custom didn’t exist until we read it now online in the past week. Hiding in plain sight. Predators. A bit like #Ackerman, the head of a pedophile ring in SA, who told the journalists that he has done nothing wrong.
Finally, my surface stop, Mr Absent President, tomorrow is likely to be Eid in South Africa, please can we have electricity to celebrate the end of a month of fasting, good deeds and charity? I bet Mohamed bin Zayed brought his own electricity. Sharing is caring Sheikh!
I’m Tonya Khoury and you have scratched the surface, descended to depth and resurfaced with Acumen Media.