Friday, 25 May 2012


If I had a rand for every time I've heard this, I'd be sitting on some exotic island sipping Pina Coladas. Every now and then, something is said, or written, that galvanises racists or borderline racists into justifying their racism. We feel better about ourselves because someone has articulated our feelings and sugar coated the very thing we often deny about ourselves. I'm sure that the gates of vitriol will open and all those people that like to hide behind their anonymity will speak their mind. I suppose this veil allows for the true reflections of those that, in more civilised interaction, would never dare say the things they say. All I ask is that before we spew our boiling bile, that we make the effort to think a little, before we say those things.

The recent events of the last week have brought all this hatred out into the open, with the most awful things being said from both sides of the divide. Is it not time that we realise that this moral vacuum that we as a nation have slipped into, crosses all races, black and white and all the colours in between? For instance, I often hear people complain about how lawless taxi drivers are. Well, they are, but at the same time, those people are quite happy to break the law themselves. The aggression, and recklessness I see on our roads are committed by the very people who stand around their braais on a weekend, relating stories about what taxi did what. Yes, white people. Those same people complain about how corrupt the ANC is, and it is, but neglect to complain about white South Africans in business who are guilty of the very same thing. The ANC has unravelled everything that people like Mandela had brought about and continue to polarise race groups against each other. They are like the National Party in a different guise. Given the opportunity, many of us, regardless of race, would take that bribe, break that traffic law or be violent. The point I am trying to make is that it is not a race thing, but a South African thing.

Many of us are angry, but I find that my anger has dissipated into sadness. I'm afraid to think back to those heady days in 1994 or the world cup. It feels like some dream, that I might never have again. It also shows me, however, that it IS possible for us to work together. I only hope that it is not too late. The government has it's own agenda, but let's forget about them for a little while. Let's look at ourselves, and ask what WE are doing to turn back this tide. They say a fish rots from the head, can't we, as the tail, try and take it back?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Presidential head removed!

Before anyone gets too excited, this is not about some faction of the ANC getting rid of President Zuma, but the continuing drama of "The Spear" The latest news being of course that the painting was vandalised by a professor and an assistant. In dramatic fashion and typical South African irony, this act of destruction was caused by a white man. I expect the ANC will be incensed, that with all it's rhetoric about the supposed  racist undertones in connection with this painting, that it took a white man, with a black helper to finally depenisize (a new word) the object of their anger. Their only saving grace perhaps is that they chose black paint and not the other hue. Dismembered but not forgotten.

Frankly, since this story first broke, it was the only time that I saw the presidential pecker. (I'm really not complaining)  It has since been sanitized for viewing pleasure in all publications that I have seen. So is media self censorship rearing it's ugly head again?

 Instead of having risen to the occasion, the ANC has once again exposed itself as an immature government. The Canadians have had their own version of their Prime Minister depicted in rather unflattering form, with nothing but a tuft of hair pointing to the spot where something more substantial could have been lurking. I'm sure the Canadians had every reason to be upset for being sold short, but no, they have laughed about it.

If Zuma had any sense, he would have posted this, by all accounts flattering, rendition of himself on Facebook. We could then be reading about new nuptials every weekend. The other nude painting of Zuma, by Ayanda Mabulu, hasn't raised the ire of the ANC in any way that I know of. For those who haven't seen it, it has a chastity belt- like iron ring around it, supported by a Salvador Dali-like crutch. Talk about support for the President! In comparison to Brett Murray's painting, hers is positively limp in comparison. Double speak, 1984 comes to mind.

Coming back to the Proff and his sidekick, there will be conjecture as to their motives : Is he an envious struggling artist, a man with penis envy, or someone looking for a place at the ANC feeding trough? Only time will tell, but with our ever efficient judicial system, we will have to wait with bated breath. On the positive side, we are, rest assured, that the rainbow nation is still functioning, albeit in criminal form. I wonder if the German buyer of the painting will want a refund, or treasure it more because of the extra material used in its creation. In any event, as smudge as some would see this painting now, they are no longer permitted the freedom to see it's original form.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Drivers who remove their licence plates are criminals

While I find the campaign against drunk driving commendable, I wonder why an equally despicable crime has not been addressed. I refer to the increasing number of drivers who remove their licence plates to avoid detection by speed cameras. I wonder if people have really thought about the impact that this has on road behaviour.
For instance, when I see a drunk driver on the road I phone and report it to authorities. On many occasions I've been unable to do so as the person responsible has removed their licence plates. I have seen reckless driving, excessive speeding, road rage, illegal dumping, all committed by these people who do whatever they want. They are unidentifiable and there are no consequences to their actions. I’m sure the increase in “hit and runs” is a direct result of this. Not only is the traffic department losing out on revenue, but its worst traffic offenders continue to cause havoc on our roads.

 Before people jump to the conclusion that it is taxis that are guilty of this, I can say that I have only seen one taxi without plates, the majority of these offenders are the drivers of luxury vehicles. Demographically, they are people who would never drive or own taxis.They are also the same people who love to complain about how corrupt our government is (yes it is), and how taxis never obey the rules of the road. What did they think when Julius Malema was found driving around without licence plates? 

The ridiculous R500 fine they could possibly incur is a drop in the ocean compared to the thousands they have ‘saved” in fines.

The other aspect is that these people ‘assist’ criminals by their actions. The first thing criminals do after having committed a crime is to remove the plates from their vehicle. If it was the only vehicle doing so, it would make it that much easier to find.

JP Smith said on Cape Talk more than three years ago, that this issue was his bugbear and that he was going to do something about it. How much longer must we wait? In Kwazulu Natal, if your vehicle is found to be without plates, it is impounded, and until you can present those plates, your vehicle will not be returned to you. When I have visited there, people seemed to obey the speed limits, and all of them had licence plates.

The Traffic Department doesn’t seem concerned about this from what I’ve experienced. I have often seen Traffic Department vehicles driving behind those unidentifiable cars and ignoring them. I have spoken to Traffic officers and all of them smile and say "Ask JP Smith just how many fines have been issued for this offence." 

JP Smith and Robin Carlisle are forever going on about the new trapping methods that have been installed, but they're not catching the real perpetrators. By nature I'm quite cynical and would never have entertained the thought that maybe they don't really want to do anything about this, because the great majority of people doing this are the very people who vote for the DA. Do they want to keep them happy? I only say this because I know that they know about it, and have known about it for years. I've written to the papers, Talk Radio, all the heads of Traffic Departments and no-one is interested.

 All the police have to do is walk around a parking lot to find these vehicles. There are also thousands who have altered their licence plates by either defacing a number or breaking off part of the plate. The other problem, is that this behaviour is emulated by others, with the typical South African response of : "I'm going to do it because he's doing it". We also have the next generation, their children, seeing that it's "OK" to break the rules YOU choose to break. It's about time the authorities did something about this scourge, because the people who are breaking this traffic law are able to break all traffic laws. They will continue doing so for as long as they're allowed to.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Zuma painting lets it all hang out

I am utterly disgusted, no, revolted, that the painting depicting our President, Jacob Zuma, with his tackle hanging out, was called "The Spear". Nothing about it resembles a spear, in fact, I would be so bold as to suggest that it more closely resembles a knobkerrie, and an upside down one at that too.

 I have listened to talk radio today, and all anyone wants to talk about is this painting. White men seem to think he is depicted as generously endowed, black men might think that the depiction is short an inch or too. Who cares? I don't see why people get so excited about a penis, it's not as if most of us haven't seen one before. Vaginas are ok, you could have a warehouse full of vaginas and no one would say anything. But show a penis, unless your'e Michelangelo, and everyone goes crazy.

I'm more surprised that no-one has complained that it isn't erect. It could be that people realise that with all the action that Zuma has been getting, that one wouldn't expect it to be at full tilt. Maybe people sense that the drooping of the presidential knobkerrie is just that-that it represents an impotent president. I'm not a cheese and wine art critic so I'll leave the "reading" of the painting to those "sniff at the ceiling" sorts who seem to know better.

 What I do know is that Zuma has brought all this upon himself. If he was doing his job, if he did have respect for what our constitution stands for, and if he had a little backbone, hell, even if he had a personality, I'm sure that people would be more circumspect with their criticism. I don't believe that anyone would present someone like Mandela in this manner, for the simple reason that there IS no reason to. He has done nothing to invite ridicule, unlike our current leader. I think Brett Murray has been rather tame with his painting. I would probably have included a sensor in it, so that, upon approach, the presidential peccadillo would rise at one's presence. Or I would have made into a clock, not that it would have worked of course, knowing the ANC's record of timekeeping. For all we know, it may not be a penis at all, but one his kids hanging from his trouser fronts. (It's something about the head.)