Weekend news wrap up with Bob Mabena – 13 June 2016
In this weekend’s edition, the City Press attempted to answer a question I have recently found difficult to answer. With the recent deadly scuffles of candidates in the lead up to municipal elections; why are so many desperate to be councillors? On reading the article in that paper, I believe I am satisfied with the contents. A full time councillor, as in a mayor, gets upwards of a million as pay, and the lowest – R680 000! On a part time basis, the highest paid mayor pockets just over R600 000, and the lowest, just over R300 000. Allowances, which form part of the package for both full time and part time councillors, include pension fund; risk cover as a result of riots; cell phone; R300 for data; and some other allowances such as capacity building – read education and training. With the rate of unemployment and the constantly rising cost of living, most people will go to great lengths to be at least even a shoe–in to be a councillor – even resorting to harming the competition. The perks I have mentioned are not all there is to it; I have not mentioned paid–for accommodation if their property is damaged, and vehicle maintenance. Even the poorest municipalities have these perks as well. All of the wonderful perks also come with power and influence, and I cannot help but wonder how many people will perish in this battle for councillor positions. The blood has already started to flow.
On to a more positive story; I was invited by the BMF to join in the 40th anniversary celebrations. Yes indeed, 1976 didn’t just bring us the winds of change in the student revolt and subsequent massacre, but the Market Theatre was born that year too; and so was the BMF. Past Presidents such as Nolitha Fakude, Goerge Negotha, and Lot Ndlovu were celebrated with pride; and the organization also emphatically claimed its position as midwife to BEE and EE. The night, however, belonged to 4 people – the gorgeous MC Lebo Mashile for consistently doing a fantastic job by getting with it and not telling suspicious jokes. She also rendered a fantastic Poem that had the whole house nodding with pure glee. She made a gorgeous mother–to–be too. The night also belonged to Mncane Mthunzi who wears his title as President with poetic ease and clear understanding – we are going to have a fantastic year at the BMF with this man who has served at conceivable structures of this noble BLACK organization. Up next was the celebrity of the evening – Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was seated right next to my table and the poor woman could hardly eat – everyone who was everyone wanted a selfie with – and that includes Mrs. Mabena. I am sure that in her quest to make a difference in the lives of South Africans she will soon be eligible for Chief Justice and by that time; no one will remember Bathabile Dlamini. And then came the key note speaker – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. I am not even going to try explain how he spoke from the heart without even once peeking at the notes he had written. Let me give you some sound bites from him on that beautiful BLACK night ‘Mogoeng: Stop fighting for positions. Be a functional leader, let it not be about you but about the people’ ‘Mogoeng: Stop being overly diplomatic when frankness is required.” And then the coup de grace – Quote of the evening, “Be prepared to be deliberately misunderstood”. At this stage; with so many scandals and escalating strife, one might come to the conclusion that the world is broken and needs fixing. Well, astute people like Chief Justice Mogoeng give me tremendous hope!!
And finally, here’s a story that I never expected to make headlines but for the benefit of the 180 faithful I, I shall mention it anyway. Staff here at Kaya have had the pleasure of working with a radio wonder woman. Plenty times you have heard us refer to our producer; Mathapelo Monaisa. Well, she has left us now and gone for another exciting opportunity. In honor of this fantastic radio lover, I want to say “thank you for making us love radio over and over again Mathapelo.” AND Godspeed!