Bob’s Weekend Newspaper Wrap – 24 October 2016
A whole basket of typically South African stories of fraud, lies, backstabbing, subterfuge, theft, entrapment, larceny and revenge, is what this past weekend’s reads comprised.
Start with the Sunday Times front page story of boring intrigue. A whistle blower has made all sorts of toxic allegations about #NeneGate and I have to say, my skin crawled, and my stomach was wrenching, and a dark cloud of sadness and indignation covered my study yesterday. The State Capture saga which involves Trillian Capital Partners is so riddled with wanton subversion that to detail it, might deny you a good breakfast. In strict summary, Trillian is link to an elaborate and nefarious plan to rig tenders, run the treasury to the ground from some smoky rooms, and defraud the State. Add to this the allegation by The Sunday Times that it is possible that Prosecutor Shaun Abrahams may have gotten orders from Luthuli house to prosecute Pravin Gordhan…
But wait, that’s not all. Take a sip of your coffee for this one; ANC Youth League boss – hold on, let me take a sip of my Oros – Collen Maine wants The ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu to be fired. Why you may ask; well, simply because Jackson publicly supports Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. In response, the Chief Whip quipped back with a phrase once used by Former President Nelson Mandela on George W Bush, “go jump into the nearest hell”. It’s not only Jackson Mthembu that Maine – please excuse me, my Oros is a bit weak – is gunning for. He also wants the scalps of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Trade & Industry’s Rob Davis, Public Works’ Thulas Nxesi & Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla. If you think the Sundowns game had drama or the upcoming Derby is going to give you ulcers, wait until the end of the week for the verdict.
There’s also this Wednesday to consider. Our beleaguered Finance Minister delivers his mid term budget policy statement, an event which up until last year, was just an academic presentation. If your Afropolitan memories can stretch to last year this time, you will remember that former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was disrupted by protesting students who were storming parliament. The fees challenge still exists but this time around the biggest challenge is finding money from somewhere to fund the bloated public sector and more austerity measures – the economy’s growth isn’t in his hands and its not growing at a desirable rate. Good luck to Minister Pravin Gordhan.