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#RIPAKA The Biggest Story in South Africa in 2023

Date: 07.17.2024

Written By

Tonya Khoury

The #DeathOfAKA, the government called it an “untimely passing”. It wasn’t. It was a hit. Well, that’s if you ask me, but I’m just someone who reads the news so you don’t have to. AKA got a bullet straight to the head. Precise, that’s not untimely, that’s very timely and that’s a well-orchestrated crime. #WordsMatter. It is the biggest story of the week with over 217 thousand mentions in South Africa alone, and with over 1.4 million engagements, this is the biggest story of the year. #RIPAKA

Let’s scratch the nasty surface of the big stories this week with Acumen Media. Spoiler alert: the AKA story is rough and the rest is just a bunch of dodgy balloons and hot air.

The nation woke up to the news that one of its biggest celebrities had been gunned down while exiting a club on Florida Road in Durban. AKA, along with his friend Tibz, had been assassinated. Social media, the great truth seeker, immediately identified that these deaths were not random, and that this was not an ordinary drive-by shooting. I can’t believe I just wrote those words, but hey, we are in SA so what do you want from me? Balloons? This shooting carried a strong message and took two people’s lives; people who kept us (w)rapped up in rhyme and rhythm and a large dose of reality teevee.

Six bullets, one hit the intended mark, one of the others hit Tibz by mistake. #Tibz wasn’t meant to die (according to social media). This was a hit on #AKA. Cast your mind back, remember #Anele Tembe, AKA’s girlfriend? She died in Cape Town, ‘falling’ from the Pepper Street Hotel some time back and there were a great deal of questions surrounding her death. Some even said that #AKA threw her off the building after a warped wrangle. Personally, I think she killed herself, and in her mind it was because of #AKA, and that’s what was in her Dad’s mind, too. Anele’s father, Moses Tembe, a successful “businessman” is rumoured to have told AKA never to enter Durban again. And here we are, with carnage on #FloridaRoad and the Tembe family accusing #AKA of killing #Anele.

Security footage trended on Twitter clearly showing #DonDesign (another mate of our Hip Hop King) leaving the building slightly earlier than AKA and Tibz. Many pointed out that his hand had stretched out at some point saying that this signaled the hit! I don’t know about that, and I think it’s a stretch. But those that buy into this theory also say he was blackmailed into setting his friend up and had no choice. We always have a choice. Always. #NOTA said that there is a killer or rat amongst AKA’s friends; he also tore #Cele to shreds and said not to bother turning up to this crime scene because we would rather #SAInvestigates. Well, that’s true, isn’t it? We did a much better job on #Senzo. It is only because of civilians that a documentary got released to ensure we have a court case running ten years later. And perhaps a glimmer of hope for finding #Justice4Senzo. But it’s unlikely, just like it’s unlikely now with the death of AKA. We may never see justice. That’s the way it rolls here in SA. Gangsters only deal with gangsters and frequently those gangsters are the ones that are meant to protect and serve. #HissyFit over.

I suppose you want to hear about #SONA2023, the #SonaDebate, and the #SonaReply? You didn’t watch it did you? You’ve worked this out; I do it for you. I sat through three days of politicians telling #Ramaphosa how useless he was. If it wasn’t that then it was an #ANC representative telling us how wonderful our government is. For the most part the #SonaDebate centered around the state of disaster regarding our power supply. A little while ago, the DA were shouting from the rooftops for the #StateofDisasterDeclaration and then when the President did it, they did a turncoat and started shouting about fraud and corruption and cadre deployment. Look, I’m going to level with you, we need a new set of leaders (maybe more than that – hold that thought) and for the first time in ages I was actually rooting for the DA until I heard the #RubiconSpeech by #Steenhuisen and then I wanted to stick a fork in my eye. Why does this party insist on pointing out the obvious instead of making an impact. They’ve had years now in Gauteng and are flying dangerously high for a hot air balloon. #Majodina, the ANC Chief Whip, did show John the exit in her fiery pro-Ramaphosa retort. And where were our beloved #EFF? Well they used the opportunity to electioneer, and #Dlamini took pop shots at #BhekiCele about the alleged assassination plot by the IFP on #FloydShivambu. #Cele in return told us that there had been a meeting with the #EFF where they asked him to confirm spurious allegations of such a plot. A meeting where Cele spoke completely incoherently as if he had started sucking helium. All I could translate between the grunting is that he was telling Julius to get knotted. When the President got on stage to give his response to #SONADebate, the #EFF decided not to attend. Why?  Because 99 red balloons need blowing up and that’s actually hard work. By the way, nothing has happened about them storming on the President in the opening, and in fact if you ask Julius you’ll be told it was a peaceful placard protest. And the President knows full well that Julius cannot harm him. All the air has gone out of this puffed-up red balloon buffoon.

Fikile Mbalula put up a meme of himself as an electricity superhero with the words “Minister of Electricity”. SA was unamused. We huffed and hissed at #Razmataz like punctured balloons. Even OUTA has stood up to interdict this state of disaster funding initiative hosted by our still no name brand Minister of Electricity. You see, we all have PTSD from Covid’s State of Disaster under Nkosozana Dlamini #StillAZuma. We are still shell-shocked and if she is involved here, then let’s stop it immediately. Ever the optimist, and possibly naïve, I’d like to think that this might be a genuine attempt to get money that will fund the big coal smoke back to some sense of stability. The pessimist in me says, #DeRuyter told us that this corruption and turf warring over Eskom is unfixable and as much as I loathe the man, I suspect he is right. Oi Cupcake, please don’t take our money unless we have an open audit by the public.

It wasn’t all bad, the #SonaDebate had a few classics and one that was worth rewinding because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The leader of the #ACDP, Kenneth #Meshoe, told us in no uncertain terms that #Ramatress is working with the #NewWorldOrder to help Satanists take over the world and that only Christians will be saved. Does he think there are lizards ruling the world too? What is going on? Moving along to my favourite SONA moment; another politician said that the opposition are just small barking dogs. “ChiHoohaHoohas” he said they were. I laughed, you would have too if you had subjected yourself to hours of people letting off steam. #BustedBalloons

The President’s response was to tell Julius he is well protected and to others that they have conveniently ignored the good work done under great duress. He left out key elements, things like 40% of our women report a rape in our country; one in every three girls will experience sexual assault; 68 people will be murdered in South Africa today and 150 women will be raped. #ConvenientTruths and #HotAir.

Now that’s enough of that, let me torment you with the Public Protector’s Madam Busi’s #ImpeachmentEnquiry which was a farce this week. Dali didn’t turn up for two days and when he did it was with his chommie Julius. Apparently, uDali hasn’t been paid, well he has been paid, millions and millions, but it’s not enough. It is rumoured that the PP’s office is bankrupt due to these enormous legal fees. This is certainly the most expensive item under her belt thus far. Dali and the Chair were literally screaming at each other and #Malema was his arrogant and bullying self. There was a repeated reference from #Mpofu about #BlueLies. I thought it was another South Africanism but turns out it means repeated lies – I suppose most liars know a blue lie from a white one or any other colour you can imagine. I don’t know how we got here but the PP’s own subpoenaed witness managed to stop three days of work and incur another huge bill of legal fees. It’s the #Hindenburg in slow motion.

Then, Nhlanhla #Lux left Operation #Dudula, and the #NhlanhlaLuxFoundation was born. I am glad he left that xenophobic movement. And in a podcast, I listened to this young orator; he was gripping, a bit like Julius in the old days, but this time without the prejudice. He said that the black child must stand next to the white child with an equal opportunity. An opportunity to fix this country. All backgrounds, all creeds and we must forget politics and just work from the ground up. I liked that, he also said SA needs a dictator. You hear what you want to hear. The truth is, this is not working, and elections are around the corner offering nothing but a fragmented government. What are we going to do SA? Blow up balloons or do what we do best?

In other news, we had another state of disaster declared as floods swept across the country and Steve #Hofmeyr was booted off a boat because he got canceled, a move he didn’t take kindly to and said, “I will never climb on one of their boats again, I don’t like getting seasick, you can barf in your own garden”. I just work here, don’t shoot the balloons, this is not a fun fair. #Kwathema protests saw local’s storm #DubeNcube, the #Premier’s house. Yip, that’s more like it, instead of burning buses and schools, just remove those politicians that are not working. #AyobMungalee was shot in #EldoradoPark, he was an activist fighting drug lords. #Stellies banned #Afrikaans, and a horrific bus and cash-in-transit vehicle crash left at least twenty dead. Randall Williams resigned after a scathing report from the Auditor General, so now we have no mayor in Tshwane either. I ask again, with tears in my navy blue eyes, do we need mayors? And it was #ValentinesDay, hope you spent it under the stars as one should, maybe you even had balloons?

Across the waters, the death toll in Türkiye added to the horror that fills our screens. The numbers alone are astonishing. Even more astonishing is the world’s response: Britain gave #Ukraine 2.7 billion dollars for arms and sent six million dollars for the hundreds of thousands displaced and tens of thousands dead in Türkiye. Mass graves covered our timelines, and a baby was born with the umbilical cord still attached to its dead mother. Stories of incredible suffering, stories of great courage and the tenacity of the human spirit rising from the ashes!

You’ve seen a ton of balloons across this report and great deal of talk of hot air, well here’s the summit. The US say that these balloons floating around and getting shot down are gathering intelligence on the US and Taiwan. They also said that the USA is ready to ensure Taiwan doesn’t become another Ukraine. They added that cyber-attacks are on their way – so balloons are the least of our problems. I’m confused. How does a balloon replace a hacker? Are we buying this twaddle? Let me cheer you up by telling you that the video this week is going to pop!  #Nena’s 99 red balloons was a prophecy, who would have thought?

Oh wait, a large chunk of the sun broke off this week, but you know, whatever. May I take the weekend off please, this has been a dark and deflating report. I’m Tonya Khoury and thank you for scratching the surface with Acumen Media.


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