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Category: Acumen News | Featured

South Africa: The #SuicideSquad

Date: 07.17.2024

Written By

Tonya Khoury

Every day, every news channel carried a major suicide or an untimely death. Back in the awful time of apartheid we heard stories of how people “slipped on a bar of soap”, “fell off a building” and other stories we knew were not true and… here we go again. This country is divided again, this time not based on race, but on class and anyone who questions it suddenly dies.

Great opening to the weekly report; I am going to seep myself in satire, so scratch the surface with me on a scary and sensational week in the media.

Cholera. More water testing than John can hop, skip, jump, or throw a hissy fit at a plane, took place this week. Basically, don’t drink it, anywhere in SA, well except for beautiful Sodwana where the water from the ground tastes like honey. As for the rest, buy #BonAqua (not Valpre because if you remember that’s just tap water). I say buy bottled water, but if you listen to the President, you should boil the tap water in #Hammanskraal. He forgot a small thing. Hammanskraal is without electricity most of the time and boiling anything is a luxury most can’t afford. Cyril, the squirrel, might as well have said, “Let them eat cake”. #OutOfTouch and insulting. He also went on to say that R4BN is needed to fix our water. It was at that time #EdwinSodi woke up; he was the guy who had all three companies who tendered to fix this issue in the first place. He should be jail in Siberia, not in a Burberry, but it’s all about the threads, isn’t it good people?

Remember how I told you to ignore the #ThaboBester case because it was all a load of sensationalist rubbish? Well I was wrong because the chief investigator went to his car and “shot himself” in the head. That’s a pretty serious story right there. Who is Thabo Bester ‘eintlik’? Look, I would drive myself crazy if I had to try and unravel what the real story is here. So much cloak and dagger and now people are dying. There’s something big here, do you think #Teffo knows because at this point I am willing to listen to any theory. #ThaboBester. The media are using the tag line #BestEscape when they talk about this story, I think some ponytail thought that was cute but people are dead and the look in Bester’s eyes is numb and these quirky headlines are dumb and threadbare.

Last weekend, after this report, we saw headlines break with “leaks” from Madam #BusiMkhwebane, the public neglector. Her husband, David, has texts which implicate Penny #Majodina, #Dyanti (the chairperson) and Tina #JoematPettersson of attempting to bribe the PP. This broke on Sunday, and by Tuesday, Tina was dead. They still haven’t told us how she died, but because that is so secretive, we all suspect suicide. I watched #NomvulaMokanyane give a heartfelt speech on how we must give the family privacy and she even had a tear or two to shed. I was struck by how beautifully she spoke and I even thought there might be something here, but then I remembered who Nomvula is. She’s the same woman who was in charge of our water and sanitation and is likely to be singled out as the person who started the collapse of our water supply. She also, and this is true, said she would defend #Zuma with her backside, not sure how and the image is frightening, but that’s how much she had faith in him. I digress, Nomvula told us that there will be a “hanging of the blouse” ceremony for Tina. I’ve never heard about that before so I googled “hanging blouse ceremony” and all I found was an array of tops on offer at Woolies. Maybe I’m out of touch, but if I die, please don’t hang a blouse on a tree for me, give it to someone who needs it.

I was scratching my head trying to find room for all the headlines being forced into my brain and then I saw the only story that actually holds water, not clean water mind, but holds water nonetheless. #Putin. I saw something I thought I’d never see. I saw OUTA asking what was on #LadyR, the ship that is meant to transport weapons for Russia. I didn’t expect it, because OUTA always focus their efforts at a grassroots level; they actually resurrect municipalities to the point that they are functional, and in certain areas, their efforts are so admirable that the water becomes drinkable. Yet, here they are meddling in a story that’s far too big for South Africa let alone civil society. Ask the average citizen if he cares about Putin and Lady Ra, the answer is the average citizen wants electricity and drinking water. A bit of food would be good too. Russia is out of our league. I was reassured by #KgalemaMotlante when he said Putin was not going to come to SA, he failed to add we’ve suffered enough and we are already Russia’s (and China’s) puppet. #BRICS, the clue is in the name. Do not act like food and you won’t be food. Step back from the great white shark called #MotherRussia and let #Biden paddle his way through this rough sea. As for civil society: feed and clothe our children. We need help not headlines.

Then it turned out that #DaliMpofu was a big girl’s blouse and lost the #Zuma case against #Maughn and #Downer. Maybe Dali is a good oke, and I’ve been giving him a hard time for too long. He’s actually making sure the crooks lose and he drains their bank accounts at the same time. He’s not a bad advocate, he actually might be a superhero in a cloak. Do not fear an appeal is near #CaptainMpoof. I’ve lost it haven’t I?  Well it was bound to happen, I read the news so you don’t have to.

Words are few now so I’m going to rattle them off like a snake in a box. Shake this box and you’ll find your anger. #FortHare’s violent protests resulted in thirteen kids standing in front of a judge armed with legal aid (and not petrol this time). They cried, “wailed” (one report said), regardless, this is madness. There is a taxi war against e-hailing services that brought #MaponyaMall to a violent standstill. And here’s the one story, that should be our top story, but we are busy with Russia and Thabo. Hold your breath because this is going to hurt my dear South Africans: Over the past three years eight hundred babies died at #TembisaHospital. Eight hundred small tiny souls that were ours to care for. Nothing has happened, it’s just a sick statistic and we’re still worried about Lady R? Come on civil society, there is so much work for us.

Look I can tell you that Herman High Horse Mashaba got grilled by #MacG about his #BUYOgraphy or that #Gayton has been running around trying to remove foreigners. I could tell you that #ThuliMadonsela got scammed on WhatsApp or that #Woolies was under fire for both #Pride and for a fake news ban on Muslims. I could also tell you that chief crook (with a whip) #Manyi joined the #EFF or I could mention that the #JoburgMayor was rushed to hospital and, somehow, that is #Gordhans fault. Or that Putin caused a humanitarian disaster by destroying a dam in the Ukraine. This, termed by #Zelensky as #Ecocide. But I’d rather tell you that #BanyanaBanyana have made the cut for the women’s cup. I’m not talking about clothes, our ladies are due $30,000 and if they win, $270K. Please win! We need you to win for #Zitha, your sister who was doused with petrol and set alight and is now fighting for her life. We all need this win ladies. Sport is all we have to unite us.

I tried my best to keep this a light-hearted report, but the truth is guys, there is nothing light-hearted this side of the pond. If you want a giggle or just a smile, check out #Kanye’s (or Ye’s) wife’s outfit at a church ceremony this week; she looks like a human microphone. What is wrong with this lot? Money makes you crazy, hey? And if you really want to laugh, check out the most watched documentary in history. #WhatIsAWoman, with 170m views, carries all the stuff a good doccie should, you’ll laugh, your jaw will drop and you’ll be horrified and then when you’re done, grab the closest person on the street and ask them, “What is a Woman?”. I was lucky enough to ask #BruceWhitfield this question and his response left me laughing for hours.

I’m Tonya Khoury, you’ve scratched the surface of a pretty hectic week in the media. So, take the weekend off. I have a date with a Moray eel, and he told me his name is Willis. So, Willis and I are due to have a chat under the water this weekend and it won’t be about Russia.

suicide squad

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