Weekend news wrap up with Bob Mabena – 11 July 2016
A few very strong stories were trending this weekend, including the police killings in Dallas; Serena Williams; and a curious story of former president Kgalema Motlanthe visiting DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s father. It seems the ANC big guns are putting their personal feelings aside and helping the party at least retain the tough Gauteng province. Visiting Maimane’s father was a bit theatrical but it’s all politics anyway. Mmusi’s father, Simon Maimane refused to speak to Motlanthe and Gauteng Chairman Paul Mashatile in front of the media, but the conversation apparently did take place behind closed doors. Needless to say, Mmusi’s spokesperson, Mabine Seabe critically described Motlanthe’s moves as “an act of desperation”. What we have learned, though, from this bold ANC move is that former president Thabo Mbeki will be hitting the campaign trail to help his former party as well. I wonder where Mbeki will be deployed to – perhaps, Polokwane to visit the Malemas?
Next up is a story that should be on the front page of every news paper this week. A little Indian township in Vereeniging, and belonging to the Sedibeng Municipality, has been declared self sufficient. Let me give a few facts about the residents of Roshnee: they have about 1 200 residents and only 700 contribute to the following – fixing potholes, erecting speed bumps, running an effective and active neighborhood watch, an on–call 24hr clinic, their own security company, a community garden that feeds indigent family inside and outside of Roshnee, and so much more. Go ahead and ask the question – why are they doing this themselves without any help from now the government? Simply put, they borrowed from that kwaito song “uzoyithola ka njani, uhlel’ ekhoneni?”. The residents of Roshnee do not know, nor do they care who their councillor is, these folks just get things done – period. One would think because of the struggles of most municipalities, this story would make it to the front page and on TV and radio but…..DOLOLO. Take a bow residents of Roshnee! As tax payers, you shouldn’t have to do all of the things that you do with pride, but you do it anyway. And let me conclude by saying my dear Afropolitan friends; just because they act as their own municipality, doesn’t mean that they don’t pay for municipal services. No Sir, the residents of Roshnee continue to pay this government for services. I think Msholozi can learn something from these citizens.
And finally, let’s pause for a second to send prayers and messages of support to the people of the country north of our border – Zimbabwe. The hashtag #ThisFlag was trending last week and we saw the kind of citizens’ revolt that we haven’t seen in Zimbabwe in the longest time. May the will of the people prevail in Zimbabwe; perhaps it is about time. Whilst we are thinking of Zimbabwe, let’s also send some good vibes to every black male in the USA. The message to our black brothers who are being killed by law enforcement officers who are supposed to protect them is simply this, “we are with you and we know what it’s like to own the government without economic power. There is nothing Obama can say or do to make the sad hashtags stop – nothing! We here in Africa, have the same situation; hate crimes and no power to counter the onslaught. Be strong; #WeAreWithYou.”