I was expecting a massive build up to #SONA22, and I wasn’t disappointed. What struck me immediately was the lack of hope amongst the anchors, their guests and certainly social media. The same President who said #ThumaMina; the same President who waved in a #NewDawn was the same President we expected nothing from at all for #SONA2022.
We were wrong! I’m delighted to tell you good people that our President is back. Short of listing a set of names and telling them to exit left to meet the NPA at the door, he delivered this exact message with a little more decorum. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
The ceremony kicked off with a great deal of fanfare. Marching bands, the army, planes flying overhead and even the bagpipes were out (I don’t get that bit). The #Sona2022 theme colour? A gluttonous gold draped across the City Hall in Cape Town. The red carpet was swollen with outfits that cost far more than R350, and we felt that! #StateOfOurNation.
A quarter of a million people engaged on social media about #SONA2022, and they weren’t happy from the start. The President arrived in an enviable motorcade and made his way with pinpoint timing to the lavish event. His opening line was directed at the RET. He called our Constitution “The most beautiful Constitution in the world.” And with that gave #LindiweSisulu and her #RET crew a jab. It was at this point that my eyes left twitter and actually focused on the screen. What was this guy doing? Was he doing exactly what we were begging for – a huge cull of the rot and a set of orange overalls? Surely not? Was he actually going to put the #TenderSwindlers behind bars? #SaveTheSoulofSA
In a marathon speech that lasted for almost two hours the President gradually built his narrative up with charming success stories; tales of gallant efforts made by the government in the past year. We didn’t buy these anecdotes of achievement; they paled in comparison to the devastation that disfigures the country. #StateOfOurNation. And then a smile crept over his face… He made a massive announcement stating that South Africa was going to pioneer the hemp industry. That’s right, basically weed was going to save us! Twitter laughed, but at the same time applauded. A standing ovation for what is a natural and much needed resource suddenly taking front and centre at the SONA address. So, we have a plan guys; we’re #GonnaSellWeed! The audience was still giggling, but the President’s wry smile was gone as he dropped the first in a set of humbling grenades on his own team. He said that it was time for big leadership changes. He said that the Cabinet was responsible for the #JulyRiots! I almost spat out my coffee, and so did the audience. No one expected that. He repeated it, and said that it was time to take action against the Cabinet and to offer serious protection for whistleblowers. #SOS South Africa.
And he wasn’t done He said that those implicated in #PPETenderFraud will be severely dealt with. He said that #StateCapture did happen and there will be justice for our country. You could hear the unease amongst the benches. He also admitted, for the first time, that there was a #BattlefortheSoul of South Africa and he needed all the help he could get. And just like that, our President was back!
However, there were some other interesting bits. He apparently was wearing #Foschini and shoes from a local shoe manufacturer. He said that #LocalIsLekker and to support local enterprise. He told a somewhat ridiculous story of how someone had saved their R350 grant money and started a small street food stall and made their way out of poverty. That was a line too far, and we didn’t believe that and even if it was true MrP, was that something to crow about?
He came out with some downright weird stuff too. He said that 95 bridges will be built this year, isn’t that random? Well wait until you hear who’s building those bridges – the SANDF. What? He went on to say the SANDF have great engineering minds. Um, really? Anyway, I’ll take your bridges if you bring on the consequences for the plundering of my country. #StateOfMyNation
He said that there was far too much red tape in our country and the SMME’s should be paid on time. He appointed #MrNkosi to be the “red tape cutter”, but that sounds like someone who has been hired to slice through ribbons at the opening of the bridges, doesn’t it? But I’m going to let it slide, after all, there is the #BattleForTheSoul of SA at stake.
He said the State of #NationalDisaster would be lifted, but did not commit to the date. I got that, because the minute he announces a date we have to start repaying debt. Money we simply do not have. He spoke of #Hydrogen as a resource and took a swipe at greedy #GwedeMantashe by saying that all projects would need to consider the strict environmental regulations, and would have to use green technology.
He ended by taking a good hard look at the audience as he said, “Looting time is over, it’s time to take control.” I pray this wasn’t lip service; it didn’t feel like lip service. I heard a man in control, and even his tie, the red tie of the power hungry hung easily around his neck with a badly tied knot; a symbolic gesture. We’re taking back our power and it won’t be easy. But is it also not a noose around our necks? #SOS SA
Outside of this event: a fire started in Durban at a liquor store and one can only imagine the destruction as flames flew high up into the night… We all know what happened there. We will not be played.
There was huge news all week, and I could barely keep track. Last week we followed the #JSCInterviews which culminated in an attack on #DaliMpofu for his infantile behaviour in the courtroom. The attack came from all quarters: including media and from within the ranks of the Judiciary themselves. Of course, #HandsOffDaliMpofu started to trend. Yawn! This was after Adriaan Basson called #Mpofu a nincompoop. It’s a cool word, right? But not for a Silk. Look Dali is ridiculous, but he’s a SILK, and as such Mr Basson, it was not your place to launch an attack on his credentials. What saved you was that your thoughts, or for arguments sake let’s say our thoughts, were the thoughts of the entire higher echelons of the judiciary. A nincompoop indeed.
Enter the #JulyRiots report. I refuse to call it the #JulyRiots, but instead I call it what it was: a #CoupDeTat, an #Insurrection. Riots somehow implies that South Africans were willing participants, yet nothing can be further from the truth. #WeWerePlayed. The report reads like a bad #tellaNovella. Lack of resource, snail paced responses to a third force, in-fighting, a dramatic lack of action by #KhayaSithole that was so outrageous one could call it treasonous. In fact, the misbehaviour of the internal faction of the ANC should be tried for treason. Yet we are still watching little fires everywhere. The #Bluetrain was set alight this week along with another pesky homeless person breaking into the #SSA. Someone else stole hard drives from City of Joburg; Lethabo Power Station was sabotaged, and these are just the stories we are aware of. The #StateOfTheNation
In other news: That woman who got a bonus (not bonus) from #Nsfas was found guilty and has to pay back the money. But what was she thinking? #Marraphones, the only South African mobile producer, went bust. Social Media pointed fingers at #ChanteJantjies, but no one looks to the IDC. #Tshwane, devastated by flooding, had its electricity turned off in most government departments. This is our capital city’s government office that is now thrown into darkness because they didn’t pay their bills. That’s the #StateoftheNation
My favourite story this week is likely to be the best feeling any entrepreneur can wish for: #Makate’s #PleaseCallMe case against Vodacom. The court ruled that he was entitled to 5% of all Vodacom revenues for a ten-year period. Vodacom have rebutted, obviously, but Makate has won, and the little guy got justice against the giant. #MakateWeSeeYou #Amandla
The death of #KuliRoberts shook the nation. An unexpected and traumatic loss for our country.
The #TinderSwindler took over social media feeds as it opened on #Netflix, especially here at home as the culprit made reference to being in a South African jail. South African’s have made a meal of #SimonLeviev by using his Whatsapp conversations to take over advertising specials and it was so fun! Check out Checkers’ #Sixty60 captions for #PeterHurt. So clever.
Across more waters we saw the #WinterOlympics, the #BritAwards and the #Oscars make an impact. The Queen celebrated #70years on the throne and announced that Camilla would be referred to as Queen when Charles was announced King. Who cares; where is Andrew? You’re not going to believe this, but as part of his defense Andrew is stating that the image of him with #Epstein #Ghislane and an underage girl was photoshopped. He claims that there was a painting done of the teen which was then manipulated to include Andrew with his hands around a child in the picture. I kid you not that is his defense. They don’t even care do they #Predators?
We saw the death of #Ryann, and the whole world wept for the toddler as he lost his life under the ground where his family couldn’t get to him. To God we return #Ryann may your family find ease.
The most ludicrous thing I’ve seen this week, and I’ve seen a lot, is the #PregnantMan emojj. I hate to tell you good people of Apple, but men can’t get pregnant and I don’t care which personal pronoun you use.
On a lighter note, I’m taking a break next week. I’m going diving where the biggest concern is how close you can get to that shark. If you celebrate #VDay, enjoy, my date is with a #RaggedTooth and she’s beautiful!
I’m Tonya Khoury and you’ve just #ScratchedTheSurface with Acumen Media