5 November 2018


Gigaba nightmare continues …

Another day, another horror show for Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. After a week in which a sex tape featuring him – and him alone, we are told – surfaced and the public protector found he had lied under oath, he woke today to grim news in Business Day. The newspaper reported that Gigaba was among 44 people that a draft parliamentary report into the shenanigans at Eskom had recommended should be criminally investigated. Former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown was also among them, the newspaper said. The parliamentary probe, which will be made public on Wednesday, also recommended that 25 companies be investigated. At the weekend Gigaba blamed the treasury, public protector and the Oppenheimers for his troubles. He is scheduled to meet President Cyril Ramaphosa in the next few days. (See What We Say)

Malema’s assets to be seized

AfriForum has obtained a warrant to seize more than R300,000 of EFF leader Julius Malema’s moveable assets, according to several reports today. Eyewitness News said the North Gauteng High Court issued the warrant and AfriForum will hand it over to the sheriff to seize and auction the assets. This follows a case in which AfriForum took Malema to court for allegedly encouraging people to seize land. In March the court ruled in AfriForum’s favour and said that Malema should pay the organisation’s R337,000 legal costs. He has failed to do so and now presumably faces losing at least one of his cars. Or a watch. Or his prized collection of berets. Or some other bling.

Fires still going

The fires in the George area are still burning after 13 days, and authorities are reporting that over 90,000 hectares of vegetation has been razed. There are 323 firefighters and 39 vehicles still working in the area and a relief team was being sent in from the Free State to assist. A bit of rain and cooler weather is expected to help today but authorities are expecting the danger to return later in the week when high temperatures return.


Tito’s SAA comments don’t fly

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has stirred up a hornet’s nest with his comment that loss-making SAA should be closed down. The EFF said he had ‘chicken audacity’ – whatever that means – for making the remarks in New York and that he was ‘right wing’ and ‘reactionary’. The ANC national executive committee urged him to ‘stick to the resolutions of the African National Congress and make sure that through our patience and in our deeds we continue to affirm those policy positions of the movement’. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said SAA was a good airline but was being run badly as a business. Bloomberg reports that SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana said the airline has seen cancellations since Mboweni’s statement.

Petrol price unchanged

The good news is that petrol prices will not be going up this week. The bad news is that diesel will go up between 47 and 50 cents a litre and illuminating paraffin by 37 cents. The Department of Energy also announced that the wholesale price of paraffin would go up by 28 cents a litre on Wednesday but LP gas would cost 61 cents a kilogram less.

R1-million to break bread with Cyril

Business leaders who go to dinner tonight with President Cyril Ramaphosa will be forgiven for expecting something exceptional from the evening – they have been invited to cough up R1-million for a double ticket at the President’s table. A chit-chat with the deputy president, David Mabuza, will set them back a bit less, at R600,000 for a pair of seats. Organised by the ANC Progressive Business Forum, the invite reportedly offers 100 business leaders the chance to interact with party heads at a 2019 election fundraising event called the ‘ANC Stimulus View Dinner’. Ramaphosa will speak on the ANC’s stimulus plans for the economy – and the role of corporate SA in helping with a fix. It is not known how many people have taken up the offer.


Coming and going

Malusi Gigaba is hanging onto his post – as it were – by his fingernails. The good news, though, is that when President Cyril Ramaphosa gives him the boot he could have a new job in porn. The home affairs minister’s home sex video is one of the trending searches on PornHub, the world’s biggest porn site which has more members than South Africa has citizens. In news from the y-front, Business Insider reported that the dishonourable member’s member has made it on to five of the site’s top-10 searches – ‘Malusi gigaba sextape’ was the second-most searched term, followed by ‘melusi gigaba’ in fourth place, ‘malusi gibaba sex tape’ sixth, ‘gibaba sextape’ eight and ‘melisa gigaba’ tenth. The clip received a 40% negative rating by users so perhaps becoming a porn star is not for this menace after all. He needs a job that is more hands off.


Saffer off to Sarries

Stormers and WP rugby captain Chris van Zyl is in England for a stint at Saracens. The former Lions lock is providing cover for the English Premiership champions during the end-of-year internationals while Maro Itoje and George Kruis are with the England national team.

Serero forgiven, Baxter not so much

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter this morning named his squad for the penultimate African Cup of Nations qualifier on November 17. Controversial midfielder Thulani Serero, who had refused to be part of the Bafana squad unless he was guaranteed game time, has been recalled. With a slew of injuries hampering Baxter’s preparations, Serero has been forgiven. If South Africa beat Nigeria they will qualify for Afcon, but a loss will probably mean a winner-takes all match against Libya in March. Sport 24 is reporting that Wits coach Gavin Hunt is being lined up to replace Baxter if South Africa fail to qualify.

Taylor steps down

Sandpapergate continues to rack up the victims with former Australian captain Mark Taylor opting to step down as a director of the Cricket Australia board. He said he was doing so to give Australian cricket a chance to restart with a clean slate. Taylor, who served 13 years on the board, is the third major figure to step down from the administration after chief executive James Sutherland and chairperson David Peever. Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for trying to alter the ball with sandpaper in  South Africa in March, and the resultant independent review into the governing body has led to the resignations of the three administrators.

‘Verbal diarrhoea’ makes Warne puke

Shane Warne is no fan of coach Justin Langer’s attempt to ‘buzzword’ Australian cricket out of their slump. The former spinner criticised Langer’s use of buzzwords in the Australian changeroom, including the phrase ‘elite honesty’. Langer, appointed after the disastrous tour to South Africa exposed a win-at-all-costs culture in Australian cricket, had the phrases stuck up in the changeroom before the ODI match against South Africa on Sunday. The Aussies lost the match heavily and Warne said during his TV commentary stint: ‘Forget all the words, forget the verbal diarrhoea… that’s just rubbish… seriously, it makes you want to vomit.’


Here is a completely delightful line rider animation of Beethoven’s 5th that took creator @DoodleChaos over three months to create, drawing everything by hand. This is longer than our usual video links – at 4mins25 – but a real treat.


Coming or going?

President Donald Trump used a meme inspired by the Game of Thrones to herald the reintroduction of US sanctions on Iran today. The image features Trump and the words ‘Sanctions are coming – November 5’ in the same font used by HBO to promote their fantasy show. Apparently no one explained to him that in the series, ‘winter is coming’ is an expression that means something terrible is on the horizon. HBO, which was not so happy with the president, tweeted: ‘How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?’ Among a number of outraged responses was that from @kirbyjwilson, with ‘Indictments are coming – Spring 2019‘. And then there was Jon Cooper, of #Resist, who responded with this tweet: Mueller is coming.


We return to the so-called poet laureate of Twitter Brian Bilston (@brian_bilston) for today’s drollery, a poem written in honour of National Sandwich Day, which is apparently a thing:

Baguettes, I’ve had a few
but then again
too few to munch on

I bit what I had to chew
saw it thru’
it was my luncheon


Today’s rather timely clue is:  Plotting chap few ask for change tonight? (3,6)

The solution to Friday’s clue,  Part of SA gets sun and zero water — zero! (6) is SOWETO (‘a place in South Africa’), which is made up of S (‘sun’) + O (‘zero’) +  WET (‘water’) + O (‘zero’).


The Daily Maverick’s J Brooks Spector points out that the US’s mid-term elections – which take place tomorrow – ‘usually don’t ignite quite the kind of intense, takes-up-all-the-oxygen attention that this one has been getting from the media, politicians, and the population as a whole’. Read his excellent piece here to find out why and what the midterms are all about.


President Cyril Ramaphosa appears determined to be his own person and not to be swayed by popular sentiment. This is obviously commendable, but it can have a downside: some critics are suggesting he looks indecisive or weak. Malusi Gigaba’s nightmare week-and-a-bit presents Ramaphosa with an opportunity to address this perception, as does the home affairs minister’s defiance of court and public protector findings that he is a liar. Ramaphosa and the ANC hierarchy had reportedly been expecting Gigaba to fall on his sword as the controversies mounted, but his public utterances in the past few days suggest he has no such plans. Yesterday a national newspaper felt emboldened to call Gigaba a ‘wanker’ and today another one reported that a draft parliamentary report into Eskom had named him among 44 people who should be criminally investigated. He needs to go now and Ramaphosa should deliver the coup de grâce himself.

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