January 5, 2010

The Opening Monologue – Monday the 28th of December 2009
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

The New Year is upon us and from the get go it’s been a fun start. From former masters of apartheid era atrocities to paranoid tourists, we have them all so hurry, hurry, hurry folks! Come on down!! The freak show is about to begin. Let’s see what’s behind curtain number one!

On Sunday it was reported that President Zuma may be considering a pardon for former Vlakplaas commander Eugene De Kok. Yes indeed, the man that washed Frank Chikane’s feet, the man that was a head of a hit squad base wants to be pardoned. These details were apparently discussed at a secret meeting at Pretoria Central Prison between De Kok and Zuma in April of last year. To sweeten the deal, De Kok gave Zuma the names of those apartheid hitmen that got away “scot-free”. He had also said that if pardoned, he would help in any future investigations into Apartheid-Era crimes including the locating of the many missing dead.
Now, the only difficulties he may face are that many will want to know why he withheld this information for so long. What with him wanting to be forgiven and all. Also, since the President just got married… again, he may have to wait till the honeymoon is over. So at least for now he and his cell mate can still be “just friends”.

Civil rights group Afriforum have stated it is all important that parents enrol their children in schools where they can be taught in their mother tongue. Studies show that learners do better when doing so. A crafty move I say since those same students will not be able to leave S.A. with their knowledge and skills to work abroad since they’ll have difficulty doing the job in the global language of business – English. Nice work lads, let’s keep those skills at home.

The SABC board says it will challenge the appointment of former Telkom Media chief content officer Solly Mokoetle as its group C.E.O. according to an anonymous board member. Their main point of annoyance is that they were not allowed to choose a C.E.O. themselves.

“This means that we won’t be able to appoint our own CEO, as boards usually do… Their appointment was very unfortunate and a flagrant disregard of due process,” the anonymous board member said.

No offence lads but the last time we let YOU choose a C.E.O., Dali Mpofu walked off with R11 million of our money. You’ve officially lost your privileges till further notice. Sorry.

The strike warm-up season is in full swing with strike action against A.B.I. and Sun International continuing. On Friday, Numsa (The National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa) complained about the calling in of Police air support by A.B.I. officials, air support that the police officers knew nothing about. Gents, this isn’t a run into Mogadishu, it’s a wage negotiation. I know some strikers got out of hand – as almost always happens – but really, was the big, noisy whirligig necessary? Methinks you should learn that you’re not going to get your way on this one, now have a Coke and a smile.

Also Sun International employees continue to strike for better wages, living conditions and the dismissal of their boss, C.E.O. David Coutts-Trotter. After making light of union leaders by showing up empty handed and then going on holiday during the wage deadlock, the man hasn’t enamoured himself to his employees. Whatever happens, Dave needs to remember that Sun City is the chosen home of FIFA for the world cup. What could possibly go wrong if your employees are unhappy? I can’t imagine. Let’s find out.

Ever thought that you just don’t matter to your doctor and that he doesn’t really care about you? Well one patient in the Eastern Cape may know how that feels. The decomposing body of a 60-year-old man was found at St Elizabeth Regional Hospital in Lusikisiki after he had been missing for five days. He was checked in on December 24th, was seen by a nurse and a doctor and then simply disappeared. Authorities found him five days later, dead, locked in his doctor’s consulting room. He was found with bread and the key to the room.
An investigation has since been launched. I have to ask, who’s his doctor, Jigsaw? Or was he you simply auditioning for SAW VII?

The police were getting off the year to a flying start with two operations across Gauteng. In Ennerdale, 51 people were arrested on the long weekend for crimes ranging from drinking in public to housebreaking and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm. Not to be outdone, a police operation in Katlehong netted 129 people for charges including drinking in public, theft, rape and murder.

Now folks, there’s a message here, if you don’t play well with others, you will eventually be sent to a place where large, hairy people will not play nice with you. But don’t you worry, I’m taking up a collection and we’ll be sending you a consignment of lotion very soon.

And finally… With the world cup just around the corner, The Department of Tourism has made an appeal to accommodation vendors to not overcharge tourists. Apparently no one knows what the vendors’ responses were. Their laughter drowned them out.

Sticking with the world cup, Saturday saw the release of the UK’s tourism advice to soccer fans visiting during 2010. It’s loaded with tons of information on what to look out for like from armed muggings, card cloning and fake soccer tickets to the prevalent HIV/Aids pandemic, cholera flare-ups, and inflated accommodation prices. One piece of advice given is for tourists to avoid Berea and Hillbrow. Darn! I was so looking forward to hooligans trying their luck in an area that won’t take their crap.

This concludes this week’s edition of The Opening Monologue. I wish you a happy new year and if you’re heading back to work, please remember, it’s only the start of the year so don’t kill anyone. See you next week and remember, you haven’t heard it all till you’ve heard The Last Say On Sunday.