January 19, 2010

The Opening Monologue – Tuesday the 19th of January 2010
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

Congratulations are in order. We’ve all made it to week three of what has already been a year of good ideas, bad ideas and ideas that would leave even the most cynical person saying, “Oi vey, you must be joking.”

So let’s get started.

Caster Semenya can’t compete till the IAAF and Sascoc say so. It would seem that the International Association of Athletics Federations still isn’t done determining whether or not Caster can run for South Africa on the global stage.
So… Just so we’re clear on this, its six months later and they’re still trying to fix this. Is Home Affairs helping you or did you think Santa was going to leave you the answer in a stocking.
Gentlemen, this can’t be so hard. Caster still has her medal and her record still stands so this would seem to be a moot point
And where is Athletics South Africa, the ASA? These are the guys to whom discretion and decency seem to be dirty words. They’re out of the picture, been replaced by Sascoc – The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee – and have distance themselves from the whole affair.
Thus proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks. As long as you fire the old dog’s entire board first and play fetch with a new guy with a new shtick.

Zwelinzima Vavi, Cosatu’s general secretary, gets my vote for dumb idea of the past week. Showing solidarity with striking ABI workers, he stated that if their demands are not met, he called on ALL South Africans to boycott all SAB products…

No, no, it’s okay. I’ll wait till you stop laughing. I needed a moment myself.

I can understand Vavi saying what he said. It probably doesn’t affect him. Those at the top tend to drink Johnny Walker Black now don’t they?

It seems the SABC board can’t do math. At the start of the furore, the SABC was R900-million in debt. Then it announced that it had a secured a loan of R1-billion from Nedbank to add to the R1,4-billion guarantee it got from government last year. Now they’ve announced that they plan on showing a R21-million profit by March.

How? They’ll still be R2-billion in the red. Officially, Nedbank and government now own the SABC. So, get ready for really early election ads and a whole lot more Nedbank ads. However, no longer will they say, “A bank isn’t a bank isn’t a bank.”

No sir. Now they’re public broadcaster too.

Ied Mahmet – the man that shot Pope John Paul II – is to be released sometime this coming week. He has said that he will answer all the press’ burning questions in the weeks that follow especially the big one:

“Why did you shoot The Pope?”

Some fundamentalists also want to ask, “Why are you such a bad shot? Did the voices in your head teach you nothing?”

Some might question why they would release him. Three reasons have been put forward:
1. Pope John Paul II met and forgave him in 1983.
2. His sentences are up.
3. With Pope John Paul II already dead, it’s unlikely he’ll re-offend.

The hearings into Eskom’s proposed 35% tariff hike over three years have been a truly unifying experience for all South Africans. Everyone, from every corner of the social and political landscape thinks that this is the worst idea since the Blitzkrieg. Eskom seemed surprised at this saying that it was better for South Africans to swallow this bitter pill now rather than later.
With 105% tariff increase, I don’t think it’s a pill we’ll be swallowing. Whatever happens, it’ll involve South Africans bent over a table with Eskom standing somewhere behind us.

This concludes this week’s edition of The Opening Monologue. See you next week and remember, you haven’t heard it all till you’ve heard The Last Say On Sunday.