This will be a short blog this week – trying to finish the fifth Kubu mystery this weekend. Two chapters to go!
There were four items in the South African news this week that attracted my attention.
On top of the list is, of course, the Oscar Pistorius trial. I think of it as OJ2. All that appears to be missing is a glove. The trial is the first to be televised in South Africa, and I remain very ambivalent as to whether that promotes or hampers the process. There are some restrictions on what may be shown, but for the most part it is the same media circus that surrounded OJ’s trial so many years ago. For the record, I am not watching it, nor am I watching any reruns of it, nor am I tuning in to hear daily summaries. However, since every news channel in the world is carrying it, it’s hard not to see something.
|Oscar Pistorius (Getty Images)|
Second, was the cricket series against Australia, South Africa’s arch-rivals in everything. Australia thrashed South Africa in the first 5-day test match. South Africa thrashed Australia in the second. And the third, which ended yesterday, was a nail-biter, with Australia deservedly triumphing with only minutes to spare. What is of interest to me is how many people I spoke to think, given the huge discrepancy of performances between the first and second test matches, that the bookmakers are also part of the series. How sad.
|Tempers flare at the end of match 3|
Third was the fact that at a friendly football (soccer) match yesterday, Brazil thumped South Africa’s Bafana Bafana (The Boys The Boys) team by 5 goals to 0. Nobody expected South Africa to beat Brazil, but few people anticipated that the country’s president Jacob Zuma would be booed when he walked onto the field to present the trophy and various commemorative plaques. This is the second time it has happened – the first was at the commemoration of Nelson Mandela. This is interesting stuff because our general election are in a couple of months. For the first time since South Africa became democratic 20 years ago, the ruling ANC party is coming under a great deal of criticism from both left and right.
|President Zuma under siege|
Finally, there is another court case, barely noticed by many and probably ignored by most whites. In it, Julius Malema, the leader of the newest political party – the Economic Freedom Fighters – is challenging a ruling by the Independent Electoral Commission that his party would have to pay between R500,000 and R800,000 ($US$ 50,000 and US$80,000) to participate in the election. He is arguing that such high fees discriminate against parties that represent the poor. Personally, I think he is right, even though I think he poses a danger to the stability of the country. I would like to see the EFF field candidates in the upcoming elections. It would really shake up the ANC some more. It’s always good to have ruling parties shaken up.
|Protesters at the Independent Electoral Commission hearings|
So there! There is always something interesting going on in this country.
Stan – "And that's the way it is," Thursday, March 6, in Cape Town, where it is hot and sunny.