Bob’s Weekend News Wrap – 12 December 2016
As we wrap up 2016, we can be sure that some of this weekend’s headlines will follow us into 2017. This past week, South Africans of all walks of life came to terms with a constitution that turned 20 years, and I am not convinced that we all agree with all its contents – albeit one document that the world is apparently envious of.
The Sunday Times has a few stories worth looking at, and the first is a report of how Higher Education and Secretary General of SACP, Blade Nzimande, has thrown shade at President Zuma. Quotes attributed to him go along the lines of, “The President can’t be seen to be siding with a faction;” “the ANC must learn how to manage transition of leadership;” and “I am not looking for a job by being in government”. Speaking at a Young Communist gathering in Soweto over the past weekend, Mr. Nzimande apparently said a leader who could be bought was not fit to be at the helm of the ruling ANC government. With this turn of events one cannot help but wonder if the communists and unions are starting to prepare divorce papers for Msholozi. 2017 is going to be a very stressful year for the alliance, I think.
Also in the Sunday Times is a piece about ANC Treasurer General, Dr Zweli Mkhize. This is a man who when last month, President Zuma was addressing ANC cadres in KwaDukuza, instead, chose to speak in a dialogue on education in the same province. More and more, it seems as if office bearers in the ANC are positioning themselves as the inevitable “lame duck” period approaches for Msholozi. The previous page of the same paper talks about Cyril doing extremely well with COSATU and the SACP. Are we going to see Cyril as President and Zweli as his deputy? Well, not if the so called Premier League have a word in edgewise.
And finally, the City Press reports a litany of violations by the SABC and its executive in a report by the Auditor General. Some of these are startling and very serious, and they include a sum of about R141 million in irregular spending, appointments being made without advertising; an unauthorised salary increase of R500 000 to he who has “THAT THING”; unreasonable and unfortunate vacancy rates; and so the list goes on. Keep in mind that this past week, SABC bosses snubbed the parliamentary inquiry, claiming that the hearing was a predetermined affair and a kangaroo court. What is impressive about this affair is that it seems parliament is working very well together to solve this quagmire.