“Is it possible that Trump is getting/taking lessons from Zuma? Wonder how much Trump is paying him for his ‘trailblazing’ role?” – Commentary by reader Kanu Sukha on Ferial Haffajee’s Daily Maverick story about how our ducking-and-diving former president is moving to give the Zondo Commission a miss.
Who’s misleading who?
Did Eskom chief executive Andre de Ruyter deliberately mislead his board when he pushed for them to dump a contract to buy fuel oil through a middlewoman, former acting judge and businesswoman Nothemba Mlonzi, who has supplied Eskom since 2003?
You might well leap to that conclusion if you scanned the headline and first few paragraphs of an Independent Media’s Special Investigations Unit story, “De Ruyter ‘misled’ Eskom board to cancel R5.2bn tender”.
But if you keep on wading through the same Monday, 5 October story by reporters Ayanda Mdluli and Aishah Cassiem you will get to the part that quotes a forensic report completed for Eskom by advocate Wim Trengove in July. It found the claims against De Ruyter to be “baseless and irresponsible”, concluding that De Ruyter did not mislead the board.
Does that make the Indy story baseless and irresponsible too?
Far be it for a Weak in the News to snipe at other struggling hacks, but Eskom aren’t as charitable.
Moneyweb carried a report on 9 October, wherein Barbara Curson reports that Eskom released the full Trengrove report on the same day as the Indy story came out, stating it was doing so in response to disinformation “contained in some articles recently published in titles associated with the Independent Newspapers Group”.
If ever I would leave you/ How could it be in springtime?*
“If the ANC continues to allow cadres that they deploy in government the gains of the national democratic revolution and the hard won gains of the workers, we shall make a decision who must come and be government, replacing the ANC that does not value our contribution to make this country what it is today.” That’s Zola Sapetha, general secretary of the Cosatu-aligned National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union, as quoted by the Daily News on Thursday, 8 October. This was as unions across the country marched over corruption, economic management and “pursuit of anti-poor policies”.
It’s the familiar, unappreciated lover’s refrain. After all, little has really changed. And is there even a ghost of a chance of Cosatu ditching the ANC come next year’s municipal elections?
Will it vote for the SACP, which itself has long claimed it would be going on its own to contest the elections? Yes, it is remotely possible and is likely to happen just as soon the following words fall into their correct order: over, hell, freezes, when.
So let’s have it from the top from the union boys… If ever I would leave you… Oh, no, not in springtime, summer, winter, or fall/ No, never could I leave you at all!
Bhisho goes Down Under for top tosh
If you’ve ever wondered where government officials or their hired consultants get the piles of piffle they stuff into their policies and planning documents, wonder no more.
They get it from the same place we all do… from the internet, of course. Algoa FM and the Daily Dispatch carried reports at the weekend that the Eastern Cape Government has been forced to scrap its provincial information communication and technology strategy after it emerged that most of the document previously adopted, had been plagiarised.
It was copied, almost word-for-word from a presentation made by the Australian government in 2015, it seems.
Now Bhisho has ordered a new strategy be drafted and that those responsible for the plagiarism be disciplined.
“Systems are being explored by the Office of the Premier to make it easy to pick up plagiarised documents,” an Eastern Cape government statement says.
Systems? Exploring? No need for all that. Simply do to the next draft what the plagiarist did the first time around… Google it.
Big appetite, nothing to eat
“What bothers me most is what I refer to as the hippopotamus’s mouth … where revenue is declining while expenditure is going up. [We] have to close this mouth of the hippo.” – That was Tito Mboweni again referencing hippos (and citing Argentina as a warning) during a Stellenbosch University webinar, as reported by Moneyweb.
The Finance Minister said tax revenue for the year is expected to contract by over R300 billion.
Mboweni will be delivering his medium-term budget speech on October 21. The budget, he says it “will not be a popular one” in the context of “dealing with things like SAA and other state-owned enterprises”.
Big daddy doc
A Dutch gynecologist who artificially inseminated patients with his own sperm, without their knowledge, fathered at least 17 children.
A hospital in Zwolle, in north-eastern Netherlands, made the case public last week after some of the now adult children went in search of their biological father. He has since died.
It cannot be ruled out that the doctor had fathered more children, the hospital said, as reported by the Deutsche Presse-Agentur and others.