The Brits are voting today. Probably to vote out Gordon Brown, and new (now old) Labour, and to vote in David Cameron as their new leader. Although there is a strong possibility of a hung parliament. Hey, what does it matter to me. I was in the UK when Blair was elected, and it was a wonderful time there then. The economy was booming. People were happy. It was the time of Blur, Radiohead and lots of other marvelous Britpop. Damian Hirst was having a wild time showing off his art. It was a Cool Britannia.
Things have changed since then. And the Brits feel the need for a new government. They do so every 10 to 12 years. So it’s nothing unusual.
More about Britain though: that story this morning reporting Zuma’s expensive stay in London reminded me of a story I heard recently about my grandmother. Zuma and his entourage spent more than R5m on accommodation. Most of them stayed at The Dorchester, a five-star hotel in central London.
My uncle told me about a lunch he had with my visiting grandparents – his in-laws – at the Dorchester Hotel. My delightful grandmother was wearing a white pants suit. When she arrived at the hotel she was told she couldn’t wear pants. No problem she said. And off my granny went to the powder room where she removed her pants. She emerged wearing a very elegant but short jacket-dress.
The staff were aghast at her audacity. My uncle amused.
It annoys me that while Malema has been let off the hook, and while our country’s leaders backtrack and contradict each other, people are living in these “homes”. Shouldn’t really be calling them homes should I? One resident told the British tabloid The Sun that “It’s like living in a concentration camp – and we’ve been dumped here because of the World Cup.”
The ANC has dropped all disciplinary charges against Malema “following a sudden change of heart by President Jacob Zuma”, says The Times.
Nomboniso Gasa writes today in the Sowetan that “We are a constitutional democracy that protects cultural freedoms of all, including those of the president. But the choices of the President of the Republic concern all of us”
She argues that “according to the cultural milieu, to which Malema refers, leadership is earned every day. Ukuzeyisa nobungcathu – self-control, discipline, modesty about one’s desires are critical qualities of leadership. The revelation of yet another child fathered by the president in one of his many sexual liaisons has been described by the ANC as his private life and something on which we should not comment. Yes, the president or any human being has a constitutionally protected right to privacy.
In the same vein, we must accept that the president of the country, by virtue of his position, has to exercise caution and inspire certain norms, values and principles.”
Read her full piece here.
You seem busy. But very busy with the wrong activities.
I hope you find the time to do the work we desperately need you to do.
It’s none of my business, I know, but you don’t seem to be condomising. Isn’t this a problem?
Today’s Sunday Times reveals that our President Mr Jacob Zuma has fathered his 20th child. The mother is the daughter of his friend, Irvin Khoza – “Iron Duke”. The daughter is Sonono Khoza, a 39-year-old divorcée.
I am not sure how I would feel in twenty year’s time about a good friend of mine fathering my grandchild. I imagine I’d be pissed off. Very very much so. I would feel betrayed too. I know she’s an adult but certain boundaries have been disrespected here. And what about our first ladies? How do they feel about this child?
I enjoyed Charles Molele’s story in yesterday’s Sunday Times. But found it rather alarming that I had to read Professor Shadrack Gutto’s quote: “They are human beings and have feelings too. Juggling this can be a real headache.” Juggling what? Your women? Your sex life? Of course, juggling a polygamous love life and lots of women must be a hard. Especially if you’re anything as demanding as me. Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, in her new book book Committed says that “I require an amount of devotional attention that would have made Marie Antoinette blush.” I get that.
But juggling wasn’t the issue here though. Was there any doubt in anybody’s mind that women are not human beings with emotional and sexual needs? Fancy that…
Pierre de Vos on Constitutional Speaking spots the similarities between Alaska’s Sarah Palin and our Zuma:
“Last night while watching the ETV interview with President Jacob Zuma, it suddenly dawned on me: maybe President Jacob Zuma is our Sarah Palin! Like Palin, President Zuma has charisma, glamour and the common touch. Like Palin our President is much loved by his core supporters who believe that he is being victimized by snooty (or even racist) elites with no respect for traditional values. Like Palin, President Zuma can charm individuals when he meets them. Like Palin, Zuma has an interesting family life. And like Palin he looks completely and embarrassingly out of his depth when confronted by an intelligent and probing interviewer on TV.”
I WOKE on Friday morning next to a 40-year-old man: my husband. It was his birthday. And as usual on a birthday in our household, it was a morning of present wrapping and unwrapping, flower picking and drinking tea in bed.
I reached this birthday milestone a few years ago, and have since been fairly smug about my younger husband. Having a 30-something man made me feel, well, kind of young.
But his turning 40 doesn’t bode well for my sense of youthfulness. I no longer share my bed with that young man.
Although technically you could say he is still younger than me, my husband is now 40-going-
on- 50. He is middle-ageing. Well on his way to being old. Read More…
This was in my inbox from the weekend. It’s a bit old, but forever hopeful, positive so thought you might like to read it too:
STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE MDC FOLLOWING SADC TROIKA SUMMIT IN MAPUTO MOZAMBIQUE ON 5 NOVEMBER 2009
The SADC Organ Troika has concluded with the resolution and directive that the party representatives must meet discuss, debate and negotiate the implementation framework of all outstanding issues within 15 days to the 20th of November 2009 and thereafter in the following 15 days the Organ Troika and the South African facilitator in the form of President Jacob Zuma will enforce compliance.
This directive and resolution allows all the issues to be now resolved once and for all and in addition if fully implemented will restore credibility and legitimacy to the shaky and limping transitional government. Read More…