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The South African Media Run – #Standby #Go

Date: 07.17.2024

Written By

Tonya Khoury

For the first time in my life, I turned my phone off completely, never listened to the news, never spared a care for humans. I joined the greatest shoal on earth and dived headlong into the #SardineRun. I am conscious of the enormous privilege I have been given; I am aware that many will not see what I saw in the sea. The most important lesson that this adventure taught me is … that we are insignificant. When a humpback whale swims up to you and is as docile as a cat, then you understand that everything else is mere folly.

But I’m back, and alas, the news is dreadful and I’ve been watching it so you don’t have to. But for a little while I didn’t even #ScratchTheSurface because I was beneath it. Which means you and I have some catching up to do.

I learnt several things during my trip, one of which was to listen to my leader with great attention. When he says “Standby” you better be ready and when he shouts “Go” you jump in that water quietly and with purpose. Look down and the magic begins. I put my magical experience down to our magnificent country and a fearless leader who has your best interests at heart all the time. That is such a contrast to our three big stories that dominated timelines whilst I was away. #SenzoMeyiwa, #PaulMashatile’s #VIPProtectionUnit and #Explosions in Johannesburg.

I have not watched every minute of the #SenzoTrial, but that that I’ve seen intimates that there is definitely something off, something rotten and something wicked. #ZandiKhumalo took to the stand and she was incredibly rude and her testimony was mordantly unhelpful. You’d think after the turmoil this country has been through with the death of Senzo that she’d show some respect for the court process. Not Zandi, her arrogance knows no boundaries. She refused to demonstrate how the “perpetrator” wore the hoody because it would “mess up” her hair. She also told one of the advocates to watch his tone as she was not his wife. What does that even mean? #Mshololo, the defense’s advocate, took to questioning the local celebrity. We love Mshololo in our YouTube Court, she’s our superhero. While #Zandi and Mshololo were going at each other there were over 120 thousand people in the live chat on the SABC page. We are hungry for justice, we want justice for Senzo at the very least. We’ve been robbed and battered but we want to see justice served for our slain football captain. So when #Mshololo stood up, we grabbed our popcorn and the seat of our pants. Incredibly, the judge took all the spark from the people’s advocate, he railroaded her and told her off more times than you can count. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it’s not right. #Mshololo was seen close to tears while simply doing her job. I don’t like this judge. He seems capable, but he’s just not a nice person. I suppose we have to leave that at the door when you’re seeking justice and perhaps he is just being pragmatic, and my questions behind his reasoning and my raised eyebrow is unwarranted but, in my opinion, Mshololo was picked on. Not only her but most of the advocates were bullied by the judge. #Mnisi, one of my favourites, looked at the judge incredulously when he got barked at for asking how wide the road was around the neighbour’s house. Then the stories changed. There was a conflict about what cars were parked where and who the neighbours saw running out of the house. The crime scene was also compromised by one of the neighbours as she went to get a “glass of water” in the same kitchen where Senzo was shot. She was either nosey or paid, but her testimony doesn’t stack up and the advocates made that clear even though the judge made that difficult to get across. There really is something wrong here my friends. The intruders resembled #OscarPistorius’ intruders – fictional.  There was more, #Standby, #KellyKhumalo is not taking the stand. You may ask why, well go on then. Why? Ungaaz, I don’t know. We do know though that Kelly called Chicco #Twala after the shots were fired. Chicco is Longwe’s daddy. So there’s that. Keep finning I’m sure there’s action ahead.

Remember that #VIPProtection unit that beat a man unconscious on the side of the road, well #Standby. Those guys belong to our deputy president #PaulMashatile and according to one of the “protection” perpetrators, no assault took place. You read that right, they were merely doing their job and were invited by the people in the car to remove them from the car. #Standby … Go? NO! This is not a joke, this is not a #ChairmanMao recording, this is what I read so you don’t have to. The entire unit has been charged and we await their day in court where we will ask them what that performance was on the video we all witnessed. It was clearly an assault. There is no question. But #Kojoana, one of the accused, was asked if he was denying the video and he said, “Yes, I’m denying the video”. Oh, there’s more. Standby … there is a Whatsapp group filled with ANC members who wanted to print t-shirts with the slogan #HandsOffMashatile. I’m serious. #FikileMbalula, who now seems to have moved from #MinisterOfAlles to our President, I mean really this guy’s is working hard, speaking through a snorkel on a #SardineRun, said that no ANC member should do that but that if they want their t-shirts they can have them. Yes, this is what we are prioritizing this week, t-shirts. Serious business, though, so don’t standby, nothing to see here, the waters are murky.

Then #JoburgExplosions began. It started in #BreeStreet, the Heathrow of taxis in Johannesburg: a massive blast that tore the road apart, sending taxis into the air …and then the roads started to sink. One man, in a viral video, showed us that you can be saved from absolute horror by half a step to the left. South Africa joked that this was #RoadShedding because we always have, when all else fails, our sense of humour. And then a few days later we were told that there was a gas fire in #Chloorkop which was not so funny anymore. A couple of days ago (and you probably missed it) there was a raging fire at a plant in Selby. Want to know why you missed that last one? Because this is now considered normal and we always look away to miss the breaching whale. We’ve already given the #Zamas free reign so we can always blame the foreigners. And South Africans are mesmerized by the bait ball without realizing they’re inside it.

I’ve got to speed up, it is called “the run” after all. There was a witness shot in #SkunkHead #Gumede’s case, which was subsequently postponed. #JubJub was arrested for rape and attempted murder. #ANCWL elects one of the oldest members I’ve seen, but at least Bathabile Dlamini got a tenth of the votes. That made me happy even though we have clearly sacrificed our women for another year. The look on #Bathabile’s face was a good minute though. Her face looked like a spanked rear-end. The EFF turned 10 – a friend said they act like it. Ha, that’s funny, and #Standby because #Julius can’t slaughter the cow but he can milk it. Then #Ramokgopa says Komati was closed deliberately for financial gain and once reopened will solve all our loadshedding woes. Really? Don’t standby then, #GO. Legend to many #DerekWatts left #CarteBlanche. #DigitalVibes story keeps changing and there’s no sign of our former #HealthMinister #ZweliMkhize. Watch the horizon, there’s nothing to see or hear folks. Hang on, I almost forgot: #Putin’s not coming! Pedophile #GerhardAckerman was charged and found guilty of 700 child abuse cases, and subsequently found to be unable to be rehabilitated (if there is such a thing). Seven hundred lives he mutilated and he is considered beyond rehabilitation. That man should be handed over to the families of the victims. He shouldn’t enjoy the luxury of prison.

There are a few more big headlines so hold on tight as we beach this report: #Buthelezi is in hospital; the #PostOffice is officially bankrupt (so how do we return to sender); the #JulyUnrest / #Insurrection instigators are in court … no, not the #Zumas. Just the small herrings trying to escape the swooping birds. Two buses collided in Johannesburg injuring 75 people and #Steinhoff is about to be dissolved. Are you ready for good news? #Standby…

#Mkhwebane’s impeachment process moves forward but it’s the principle that is important to me now. Her job ends in October, but I’ve watched too many hours of parliamentary teevee not to jump when we have the GO. And then, on a different note, there was sport adding colour to the grey: The #WorldChampionships saw #Schoenmaker swim her way to victory and #Banyana kept playing with our emotions. Then there was #Barbie fever.

Personally, I used to play with Cindy dolls not #Barbie but that’s because I’m old and Cindy could bend her fingers and everything. However, I am definitely in the minority as #Barbie has painted the world pink. And advertisers are having a field day. There are some treasures out there in memedom. Check out #OumaRusks #GlamGran Barbie, and HeineKEN’s play on words for some clever creatives. Or check out what one man can do with one of the largest social media platforms in the world. #Musk has destroyed the platform formerly known as Twitter. Now called X, with a logo that a three -year -old drew (probably his son). And according to the unhinged billionaire Twitter/ X will become a place for everything. Huh? Wasn’t it that place anyway. Look #Twitter was not for sissies, it was a cesspit of hate and vitriol but it was the great citizen journalism showcase and the truth seeker. Twitter will find you and expose you. X is just lame and perhaps he did it because of #Zucks’ now failing #Threads. Who knows, I just think we should #TakeBackTwitter with all its nastiness because we need keyboard warriors. They never give you the #Standby holler though and have been known to make or break brands in seconds. The apex predator just got hammered. #Xed.

And then my tragedy of the year, our precious #SineadOConnor died this week. A Muslim revert with a voice of an angel. She had always been too good for us. We didn’t listen. We missed the #Standby when she was on the #Go.

I’m Tonya Khoury and thank you for scratching the surface with me. #NothingCompare2U.

Senzo Meyiwa

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