November 23, 2009

The Opening Monologue – Monday the 23th of November 2009
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

It’s been said that music can soothe the savage beast and nowhere was that more evident than when South Africa played France last week. The crowd was treated to a remix of our National Anthem by a supposed South African. As usual, the incident was nobody’s fault with the singer, Ras Dumisani, blaming his poor performance on the sound equipment, the French said he’d sounded fine in rehearsal and the South African Embassy said he was just a name on a list they’d given to the French.

To sum up, Singer Ras Dumisani’s rendition of “Die Stem” was… different. Footage of the Bokke during the performance shows Morne Steyn and Brian Habana trying to suppress their laughter as the singer warbled through. Dumisani’s performance made it obvious to all within earshot that he didn’t know the words to what he was supposed to be singing. Either that or he was trying to yodel the anthem while passing a kidney stone.

Donovan Moodley has started his appeal process this week. He is hoping to gain leniency on his life sentence. Among his many pearls of insight, Moodley has blamed the media for blowing the case out of all proportion and therefore making it impossible for him to receive unbiased judgement. It was also the reason he couldn’t release Leigh Matthews unharmed. This is despite the fact that her family delivered on the requested R50 000 ransom demand. That’s right, it’s the media’s fault that a kidnapping, extortion-using, greedy murderer could neither spare a life nor receive clemency. What next? Was your sound equipment faulty too, Mr. Moodley?

The dynamic duo – Police Commissioner Nathi Mthethwa and his Deputy Fikile Mbalula – were in fine form on Wednesday. Firstly, the police commissioner dispelled rumours that the two were at odds with each other by saying:

“Bee-bop Mbalula
He’s my deputy!
Bee-bop Mbalula
There’s no discrepancy!

He then went on to defend the purchase of a R150 million jet saying it was necessary to fight crime. This left many wondering if the police were now employing the X-Men or The Fantastic Four since both groups have their own plane. Deputy Police Commissioner Mbalula also reiterated that it was inevitable that civilians would die in the crossfire of the war on crime. So the next time you hear the sirens of police cars, look up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s our Deputy Police Commissioner! Now DUCK!!

There was a bit of excitement in the Jackie Selebi trial this week as an opportunistic lawyer tried to serve papers on a witness. He entered the courtroom and tried to serve a summons on Billy Rautenbach for tax evasion. Ironically, Mr. Rautenbach had been giving testimony about how he had tried, through Glen Agliotti, to get Jackie Selebi to keep the cops off his back for tax evasion. Lawyers’ in the court were most annoyed with the intruder saying, “If you want to prosecute anyone, get in line! There’s a queue!!”

Sticking with the courts, the Jurie Els/Robbie Klay case is drawing to a close and still everybody’s talking angry and the judge can’t tell whose fibbing. The State closed its case on Thursday leaving the judge to quiz Klay on several items in his case. These included the lack of physical evidence showing Klay’s abuse and why it was that if it wasn’t about the money, then why had Klay accepted R10000 from YOU/Huisgenoot for his story. I guess it’ll come out in the end… So to speak.

There’s too much sex, violence and bad language on TV. That was the opinion of President Zuma as he addressed a meeting of entertainers at Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday. The president wanted to remind all the artists present that they had a social responsibility when producing any content. He also alluded that violence on TV could lead to violence in reality. Really? That’s so eighties. He also cautioned against local content that misrepresented South Africans.

“Any misrepresentation of our culture for commercial gain is harmful and unacceptable.”

That’s very true. And as an example, I present a certain rendition of our National Anthem by a certain questionable artist.

The Department of Correctional Services is scrapping overtime in a move that will save the department an annual R1.2 billion. In light of this, prisoners are advised that should they need to riot, office hours are between 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. Make an appointment and please be prompt.

Our country’s mortality rate has been released and there is much confusion as to how many people have died in the past year. The figure stands at between 600 000 and 750 000 deaths in 2008, depending on who you ask, which some analysts say it makes South Africa look as though an AIDS bomb has gone off. When asked about the figures Dr Debbie Bradshaw, head of the Medical Research Council (MRC), said dyslexia must have caused someone to transpose the numbers. Department of Home Affairs spokeswoman Siobhan McCarthy blamed some of the discrepancy on the late registration of deaths that should have fallen under the 2007 statistics. That’s the trouble with the dead; they’re lousy at keeping appointments.

And finally, the beach can be a dangerous place with blue bottles, broken bottles and… artillery shells. So far, seven artillery shells have washed up on Durban’s beach. Apparently the source of these incendiary explosives is a 60 year old World War 2 munitions dump off our coast. Changing ocean currents have caused the deadly flotsam to end up on our shores. So this summer, wear sunscreen, play nice and mind your step. Or your song of the summer may just be Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay!

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.