Not weak at the knees but a week in the news…

We might be down, but not out. Our Safrea News Editor takes a light look at the news of the week….

Make mine a double…. I mean, just fill the boot.

Bottle stores reopened in South Africa this week to almost universal applause after the government eased Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Some, like a certain amatueur videographer in Centurion, were nearly as excited as the men and women waiting in the queues for the bottlestor doors to open.

Excuse me while I light my spliff

So much for booze, now the public focus shifts to ‘baccy. British American Tobacco SA, Japan Tobacco International SA and eight others, IOL reported, on Monday served notice on the government that it was filing court papers to challenge the continuing ban.

BAT chief executive in papers wondered where the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, gets off with clamping down on ciggies merely because some people share them like so many zol-smokers passing around a roach, spreading disease.

Meanwhile her boss, Cyril Ramaphosa, says he and NOT NDZ should have announced the re-banning of cigarettes. You can’t make this stuff up.

Back to school. No – don’t

Never mind Tekkie Tax, the education department should pay a special flip-flop duty for its last-minute reversal of a decision to send Grade 12 and 7 pupils back to school this week. The grovelling and recriminations followed sharpish the following morning.

“Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Monday morning apologised to South Africans for the inconvenience caused on Sunday when her department announced at the 11th hour that the phased reopening of schools would be postponed to 8 June,” Eye Witness News reported, as they drafted in their entire staff for the the important work of crowbarring as many “When” references as they could into the intro.

The rest of the media weighed in thick and with middling speed, with plenty of detention notes for the minister.

She had shown “general disrespect”, opined a Daily Maverick columnist. Mandy Wiener, the News24’s education reporter wasn’t impressed with the Monday morning address either.  “When she did speak, she said very little at all,” said Mandy of the Minister.

Motshekga told the Monday conference that the first week of June must be used for: delivery of PPE (as many in the government and the media love to call masks and soap); washing down schools (which may somehow have become infected with the virus despite being deserted for the past two months following their closure); and reminding everyone (especially those who might not have been paying attention over the past two months) that Covid-19 was seriously infectious.

America burning

America is led by a crass populist unable to take the nation into his confidence, who instead tweets up a storm while Rome – as it were – burns. Riots and conflagration were sweeping through cities big and small and the US was a broken, deeply flawed, divided country that has yet to come to grips with it past and present race politics, says the Guardian‘s entire foreign desk and all its columnists. The Grauniad also reported that the Chinese were revelling in the US’s misfortunes, likening the protest in the US with those in Hong Kong, and accusing Washington of hypocrisy.

Meanwhile news comes from China, via London’s Mail on Sunday, that the coronavirus didn’t start in Wuhan’s market. The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said no viruses were detected in animal samples at a Wuhan seafood market initially suspected as a possible source of the disease. The virus was only found in environmental samples, including sewage at the market. So all right then. Did the disease instead leak out of a top-security Chinese test facility? The insinuations flow thick and fast…


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