Bob’s Weekend Newspaper Wrap – 21 Nov 2016
Let’s take a few steps back and look at some of the big stories from last week. State Security Minister David Mahlobo was linked to a rhino poaching syndicate by Al Jazeera; EFF leader Julius Malema appeared in the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court on charges of incitement; the SABC Board had only one board member as two others tendered their resignations; the racist Mpumalanga coffin case bail hearing was conducted last Wednesday with bail for the two accused being denied; and President Jacob Zuma requested reasons from NDPP boss Shaun Abrahams as to why he should not suspend him. And finally three things happened in radio last week – Aldrin Segale Mogotsi was laid to rest in the North West; John Robbie announced his retirement from radio; and the Radio awards got a new sponsorship from a financial services provider. Of course there were other stories but that just about covers it.
In the Sunday newspapers, the Independent carries a story on what will probably be today’s big story – the showdown between President Zuma and the 101 Veterans of the movement. Earlier this month, the veterans; including the likes of Ahmed Kathadra, Cheryl Carolous and Andrew Mlangeni, spoke out about their concerns, calling for Msholozi to step down and the ANC to hold an early conference to elect new leadership. The minimum expected outcome here is that the National Working Committee at least give the 101 veterans (not to be confused with the cook by the way) a fair hearing. What amuses me about this meeting is the insistence by this group and others such as the SACP for the president to consult his conscience. Let me repeat; the 101 veterans are asking a politician to engage his conscience! I shall leave it there, but no doubt Tuesday papers will report on the outcome of this crucial meeting.
The Sunday Times front page story is the usual Des Van Rooyen murky underworld slime but I want to focus on the page 4 story, which had social media in this country buzzing on Saturday. Addressing ANC cadres forum in Pietermaritzburg on Friday night, President Zuma made some startling revelations. Our president claimed to know people who are stealing from the state but he was willing to just watch from a distance and do as the Sunday Times has written – NOTHING!!! Twitter was asking the obvious question after that statement and one of them was “if the President knew who was stealing, is it not his duty as CEO of SA Inc, to blow the whistle and have the thieves brought to book?” I fear that this is a classic case of dereliction of duty on his part to not hand over names of people that he confesses to know as thieves to the authorities. But then again, when it comes to Msholozi and public speaking, I am quite sure that he was quoted out of context. Let’s see what happens this week as we prepare for ratings and may organizations do some soul searching.