December 22, 2009

The Opening Monologue – Monday the 21st of December 2009
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

Christmas is four days away and with it – according to all the advertising I’ve seen – a period of peace, tranquillity and goodwill should have blanketed the land by now.


There are a few people that have used up just about all the goodwill we can spare. I refer to those wayward souls that seem content to ride the goodwill bus till it runs out of fuel, rolls to the shoulder of the freeway and detonates with all the spectacle of a Guy Fawkes Celebration.

To start off this merry edition…

“How much more proof does the minister need before deciding to act against (this) convicted fraudster?”

This was the question posed by DA spokesperson for Correctional Services, James Selfe. He was referring to mounting evidence against the veracity of Shabir Shaik’s repeated parole violations. With increasing evidence showing up in the local and national press about the constant gallivanting of the supposedly dying Shabir Shaik, the pressure has built to a fever pitch with even the most passive correctional services staffer having to admit that something is very wrong.
Sunday saw civil rights group, Agriforum, lodge a complaint with the Parole Board after Shaik was yet again sighted doing extra-curricular activities well outside the scope of his parole rights. I.E. the man is taking the piss. From golfing to shopping, Shabir Shaik has been documented violating his parole with not a even a peep out of the parole board. Now we’re all reasonable folk. I’m willing to meet the parole board half-way. I think we would sleep easier at night if we could know the name of whatever disease it is that Shaik is supposedly dying of.

The last time I checked Gravy-trainitis and acute Truth Failure are not diseases.

Eyebrows and ire were raised on Friday when the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (Saccawu) accused Pick n’ Pay of racism in the company. Company chairperson Raymond Ackerman was “outraged” at the statement. In response to this, Ackerman reminded Saccawu that:

“Both the company and I suffered significant abuse at the hands of former politicians for our stand on human rights for black South Africans.

“We were harassed for our decision to violate the Job Reservation Act and promote black South Africans to positions they had earned in Pick n Pay,” he said.

Two weeks ago Saccawu members at Pick n Pay embarked on a one day strike, accusing the company’s CEO Nick Badminton of racism but gave little evidence regarding the incident. The only evidence they sited was a comment allegedly made by the CEO over a decade before. This naturally raises the question, why the long wait fellas? Did the incident slip your mind till now?

Some of the more cynical among you might think it has something to do with the upcoming wage negotiations between Pick n’ Pay and Saccawu, an attempt to gain some sort of leverage over the company. But they wouldn’t do that… would they? An underhanded union? Say it ain’t so!!

Julius Malema is once again prepared to go to war. This most recent declaration came after the SACP meeting where he was booed off the stage by SACP members and was not allowed to speak.

“If that booing was a declaration of war, we are accepting that invite,” said Malema.

He continued saying that the ANC Youth League would fight any attempts by “greedy yellow communists” to control the (ANC) party. He also lashed out at Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande for saying nothing in his address which preceded the booing incident calling him a “master character assassinator.”

And just to round up his rant, Malema admitted to sending a sms to the man whom he dubbed the SACP’s “white messiah”, Jeremy Cronin in which he said “If you thought you have taught me a lesson, wait until you see what is coming your direction,”

With all this fur flying it is no surprise that on Tuesday deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe stated that he had no doubt that these two would face disciplinary action. Now you see what you boys have done. No Christmas presents for you. Go stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done. And not another word or it’s off to Black Peter’s mine with you.

South Africa will become the first country in history to deploy HIV-positive troops to active duty. Though they will only serve in a support capacity and would not be deployed on the front lines it’s a worldwide first which we can all be very proud of. In addition to this, Zimbabwe has already shown interest in adopting the same framework since they have the same issue of HIV-positive troops in their ranks. Proving that fighting a common enemy can bring people together.

You heard it here first folks. Speed traps are not just for making money according to Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele.

“It is to promote compliance with the road traffic rules and regulations,”

“By penalising errant road users, there can be greater awareness of compliance, thereby reducing offences, crashes and casualties.” the minister said in a written reply to Inkatha Freedom Party member Peter Smith.

Smith had asked whether municipalities focus on speed fines to the exclusion of other traffic offences and whether this was because of the ready income stream generated from speeding fines.

A fair question. It makes shrewd business sense to focus on what makes the most money. And let’s be honest. The fact that speeding fines generate a convenient revenue stream for municipalities is just a side effect. Sure. And speed doesn’t kill either. Stopping very suddenly on the other hand…

Unless you’ve been asleep for the last five days you’ll know that former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang died on Reconciliation Day of complications arising from her liver transplant. Before anyone else flies off the handle or decides to say another bright comment – Gareth Cliff – please make peace with the following:

1. A memorial service will be held for her.
2. She will be remembered as a struggle hero.
3. Her history in dealing with the AIDs pandemic will be spoken of in hushed tones by some at first, loud tones by others later on.
4. She will be receiving a state funeral with military escort – to guard against invasion I suppose.
5. Some people – Gareth Cliff – will be rather vocal of their dislike of her.

I will say this. One of the few positive points that will be raised at her funeral will be her contribution to the struggle.

Now, I don’t mean to sound like one of the cynical horde but if the only good things people can remember about you are actions you took 15 years ago… I think the record will speak for itself. Rest in peace Minister Msimang.

Staying briefly with the cheery subject of death, Hollywood actress Brittany Murphy, 32, died Sunday after she went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead on arrival at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre. She had collapsed in her bathroom; LA City Fire-fighters were called to “a medical request” but could not revive her. Murphy starred in films including “Clueless,” “8 Mile” and “Don’t Say a Word.” And leave us not to forget “Frank Miller’s Sin City”. Farewell Miss Murphy, we hardly knew ye.

And finally, my Douchebags of The Year award for 2009 goes to the people that stole the sign above the gate to Auschwitz. That’s right. On Friday last, a group of moronic throwbacks thought it would be a good idea to steal the sign that stands above the entrance to the most notorious Nazi Death Camp in history. Marked with the phrase “Arbeit Macht Frei” or “Work Sets You Free” over R 1 million people, mostly Jews, passed under these words and marched to their deaths. What a jolly Christmas present that will make.

With that I’d like to amend an earlier statement I made. Mr. Malema, Mr Cronin, you’re free to go. You Nazi-loving, right wing, skidmarks? Into the mines you go. You boys remember how to march don’t you?

This concludes this week’s edition of The Opening Monologue. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best for Christmas. I’d like to but I don’t what you’re getting me.

Just kidding.

See you next week and remember, you haven’t heard it all till you’ve heard The Last Say On Sunday.