Political war talk is not unique to South Africa. It is a normal part of political discourse in any society where there is contestation.
War talk is designed to display power, to rally the troops and to attempt to mentally defeat opponents.
However, in a society as violent as ours, with high levels of intolerance for differing political views, the line between normal political war talk and reckless and dangerous statements is thin.
The latter often carries potentially devastating consequences.
Today we report on the savage attack of Port Elizabeth man Elridge Williamson, 27, who was assaulted by a group of men wearing ANC T-shirts, in what a witness and friend, Walter Harmse, believes was a politically motivated tragedy.
The motive behind the attack can only be conclusively proven by a court of law.
However, Harmse’s belief that Williamson was assaulted because he was wearing a blue T-shirt, similar to that of the DA, among a sea of yellow ANC T-shirts, is reasonable.
So far, there is no evidence that the group knew Williamson such that they would have had a prior motive to attack him.
Nor is there evidence that he had provoked them in any way.
What we know is that without saying much, the group in ANC T-shirts yanked him out of the car and severely assaulted the only person who was wearing a blue T-shirt.
For this, these thugs must be hunted down by the police and brought to book.
It must also be noted that this incident, while shocking, did not happen in isolation, but within a context of a politically charged environment where tolerance among political opponents is increasingly diminishing.
The incident happened just minutes after President Jacob Zuma told supporters that he would crush the opposition, especially with no speaker of parliament to call him to order.
And then Zuma said: “I get shocked when I see our people wearing that T-shirt with that colour I’m not going to mention, and I think to myself, eish‚ hard times don’t end.”
Granted, it would be disingenuous to suggest that Zuma said this to incite his supporters to attack the opposition.
However, he must be held accountable for making reckless political statements that fuel a view that regards association with any opposition as offensive.
Such statements undermine the spirit of our democracy and therefore undermine the right to a free and fair election.
Great wine, gourmet food and the opportunity to witness a raw, natural talent in the form of a young chef who climbed the ranks from porter to chef de partie awaits guests at next weekend’s Weekend Post, Radisson Blu and Simonsig Wine and Dine event.
Radisson Blu executive chef George Foley is promising an evening where class and imagination clash with cooking that, in parts, can be replicated in the home.
The Silwood-trained food fanatic will be assisted by a young chef named Sunshine, in everything from the conception of the food to the design on the plate.
Young up-and-coming talent Mthobeli “Sunshine” Ndaleni will, alongside Foley, plate-up dishes ranging from a kingklip starter to an intermediary grenade, a hearty fillet main and a panna cotta to finish.
Foley said he and Ndaleni, who started at the hotel as a porter and gravitated to the kitchen, sat with the Simonsig wine’s to be showcased at the event, tasting them and picking up flavours to come up with the delectable-sounding menu.
“It’s not rocket science,” Foley said.
“We sat down with the wines, tasting them, recognising flavours, and went from there.”
The kingklip starter will incorporate a Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2016 and will be served with “curry bubbles as it [the Chenin Blanc] tasted a bit spicy”, Foley said. Incorporated in the dish, which will take the form of a fish cake, will be vodka and citrus.
The main fillet dish will showcase two red wines, the Simonsig Tiara 2011 and the Simonsig Mr Borio Shiraz 2013, which according to Foley are “both pretty amazing”. A braised mushroom ragout – a side to the fillet – will include the Tiara.
The shiraz will be used in the jus to complement the caramelised red onions, potato rosti and stewed green beans.
The dessert wine, a Simonsig Vin de Liza Late Harvest, is very sweet, according to Foley, with the grapes being left on the vine till the last minute.
It will be enhanced by the orange panna cotta, honeycomb, and vanilla and orange puree.
It, promises Foley, is “funky and flavoursome”.
He said while he obviously hoped the evening would be a big success, he also hoped guests would be able to go home thinking that the food was not “just big hotel food, but something memorable, something that, with the right questions, they will be able to go home and make themselves”.
That is why he plans to keep it simple, yet very classy. And, said the chef who brims with pride when speaking about Ndaleni, he hoped his young protegee would take centre-stage, as it was not often one came upon a youngster who “wows you”.
“He has this raw, natural talent and he deserves to shine.”
All in all, Foley hoped the event would be “Sunshine” on a plate.
The Weekend Post, Radisson Blu and Simonsig Wine and Dine event takes place next Saturday at 6 for 6.30pm. Tickets cost R380 per person.
It is not often that the entire staff of a high school is involved with a stage presentation, but that is the case with Westering High School’s, Ipi Tombi, set to run at the Savoy Theatre in Port Elizabeth next month.
The show’s liaison officer – teacher Yvonne Smith – said the idea to revive the classic South African musical came right from the top – from headmaster Stuart Hayward.
Ipi Tombi will run from Wednesday to Saturday, August 3 to 6, at 7pm every night and in addition to 60 pupils in the cast, every single teacher and administrative staff member has been given an assignment.
For example, photographers Yolande Bezuidenhout and Anne-Marie Nelmapius (a past winner of Clover Showtime Junior Theatre Awards for creating and writing past Westering musical revues) production manager, Lizel Feltham, and vocal repetiteur, Elbé Coetzee, are all contributing greatly to the fun and hard work.
The school boasts a fully multi-cultural pupil body, so a purely South African musical seemed a good idea and with creative arts teacher, Akhona Nkumanda, tapped as director, he set out on a search for the rights for the show.
Nkumanda, in his late 20s, wasn’t even born when Ipi Tombi was created by South African mother and daughter Bertha Egnos and Gail Lakier, in 1974.
He tracked down the rights and obtained them from Johannesburg, with the priceless unexpected bonus that a production consultant – affable and knowledgeable, Andy Chabeli, who had appeared in the original production – would come to Port Elizabeth to advise on the show.
Ipi Tombi is a musical telling the story of a young black man leaving his village – and young wife – to work in the mines of Johannesburg.
Originally called The Warrior, it uses pastiches of a variety of South African indigenous musical styles in its musical score, some of the more notable hits being the title song, The Warrior, Shosholoza and Mama Tembu’s Wedding.
The show, which starred Margaret Singana, enjoyed major success in South Africa and toured Europe, the US and Canada – to critical acclaim.
After its SA premiere, it played seasons in London’s West End at Her Majesty’s Theatre in late 1975, where it was nominated for an Olivier Award as Best New Musical and had a short Broadway run at the Harkness Theatre in 1977.
That Westering is excited to be reviving it, was clear from the passion that prevailed when, during a break in rehearsals, I visited the school for an enthusiastic chat with Nkumanda, along with musical and vocal director, Amanda Engelbrecht, and Yvonne Smith. Nkumanda, who joined Westering High in 2014, is an experienced performing arts man. He is also a member of NMMU’s highly-rated choir, which he joined as a student seven years ago.
“I am really enjoying handling the show and to have Andy around to advise on a current approach has been tremendous,” Nkumanda said.
“The fact that he was involved in Ipi Tombi from the beginning has added a dimension we could never have hoped to apply without him.”
He then took me through the two-hour show (including interval) scene-by-scene, excitedly pointing out how the numbers fit the narrative, while
Engelbrecht said the idea of involving the entire staff had been really worthwhile, as it gave everyone a reason to want to see it succeed.
Westering is one of many PE schools who stage major productions every two years and, arising from these, several of their pupils have gone on to appear in the annual Clover Showtime Young Talent Revues, but their last full-scale stage musical was the stage version of the hit movie and TV series, Fame.
Tickets for Ipi Tombi are R50 (R30 for pensioners and pupils) and on sale at the school. Inquiries: (041) 360-7805.
Not only is he one of the funniest men in Port Elizabeth but he also has a giving heart to go with that enormous sense of humour. Roland Gaspar along with Bay entertainers Niqui Cloete-Barrass and Annaline Stiglingh, Gaspar will be bringing the Humour with a Heart Comedy Fest to the Amphitheatre at the Boardwalk on Friday July 29 to raise funds for the Smile Foundation.
The Smile Foundation works with the country’s academic hospitals to assist children with free, corrective facial reconstructive surgery and treatments.
Roland said the idea of the fundraiser came about when he was chatting with some performer friends about the possibility of putting together a show combining cabaret, comedy and music.
“Often these things stay just as ideas until someone drives the show and makes it happen. Niqui and Annaline were those people who also decided to make it possible which is how Humour with a Heart was born,” Gaspar said.
The comedian said it was a great fit to make the beneficiaries of the fundraiser children – those who should be laughing the most.
“I was privileged when I worked with KingfisherFM to be part of the annual Smile Week. I got a chance to meet some of the children and their families which left a lasting impression on me,” Gaspar said.
The creator of the popular Port Elizabeth comedy improv show Whose Line PE? which used to be held at the Music Kitchen in Newton Park, said he was looking forward to sharing laughs with fellow comedians in aid of the little ones.
Joining Cloete-Barrass, Stiglingh and Gaspar will be winner of the Coca-Cola East Cape Comedy Collective Joke Challenge 2013 Francois Scholtz, as well as Thembinkosi Dike better known as T D Jokes. The latter comedian is nationally known for his unique blend of clean comedy derived from his childhood, current experiences and his hilarious outlook on church dynamics.
Dike said he was more than happy to share his skills, time and lend his name to the Smile Foundation.
“I’m more than happy to support a cause such as the Smile Foundation as jokes bring smiles to people’s faces and laughter is definitely the best medicine. I think what the Smile Foundation does for children in need is absolutely amazing,” Dike said.
Gaspar added since the Whose Line PE? show started last year, it has been well supported by Bay comedy fans and sustained a weekly audience for a year and a half, which is “unique in South Africa as improv groups in other cities only perform monthly or by special appointment”.
“We are officially South Africa’s best weekly comedy improv show, especially since we are South Africa’s only weekly comedy improv show. But jokes aside, we are grateful for the amazing support comedy fans in the city have shown us to keep the show going strong so often for so long,” Gaspar said.
According to the Smile Foundation’s Tanya Jackson, the timing of the fundraiser is great as “every contribution we receive is crucial”.
“The Humour with a Heart fundraiser is great because our next Smile Week is happening from August 15-19 and during that week, several children get reconstructive surgery of which the average costs are approximately between R15 000 and up,” Jackson said.
“Please support the show on July 29 and people are guaranteed great fun,” Gaspar said.
“And remember, every ticket bought means one has contributed to a lifetime of smiles for someone who needs it the most.”
Tickets for Humour with a Heart Comedy Fest are R100 per person at Computicket. Doors open 7:30 pm.
As election fever hits South Africa‚ one burning question had to be answered – will the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) allow people to hunt Pokemon at voting stations?
In America‚ US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wondered if people would Pokemon Go to the polling stations in November — a question that also applies to South Africa’s local municipal elections.
The IEC has already released a statement barring people from taking selfies at the polling stations – but there was a bit of uncertainty around the eponymous pocket monsters.
So TMG Digital contacted the IEC to ask‚ with the rather amused answer being a flat “no”.
So even if you see that Charizard just begging for an EFF red beret by the side of the line‚ or an ANC-yellow Pikachu‚ or DA-blue Blastoise‚ you are sadly not allowed to catch it at your polling station on August 3.
– TMG Digital
The post It’s Pokemon ‘No’ on election day as IEC outlaws virtual hunting appeared first on HeraldLIVE.
A baby girl was born on the M7 freeway before St John’s Bridge in Durban early on Monday.
Netcare 911 paramedic Chris Botha said the ambulance crew was at a service station in St Johns Avenue in Pinetown when a person ran up to them for help as a woman had gone into labour in a taxi that was on the M7.
“Paramedics raced to the scene and assisted the female with the birth of her little daughter. After the birth‚ both baby and mom were treated in the ambulance and then transported to a nearby hospital for further care‚” he said.
– TMG Digital/Durban Newsroom
The Labour Court will on Tuesday hand down its decision on whether to grant an interdict to set aside the dismissal of four journalists who opposed controversial editorial “censorship” policies at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
Trade union Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann tweeted: “SABC 4 judgement postponed till Tuesday 26 July‚ 10:00‚ in Cape Town Labour Court.”
The four journalists – Foeta Krige‚ Suna Venter‚ Jacques Steenkamp and Krivani Pillay – were notified by e-mail of their dismissal for failing to comply with the broadcaster’s policies.
They were among staff who spoke out against a decision by chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng to ban news coverage of violent protests.
The Independent Communications Authority of South African (Icasa) has already ordered the SABC to reverse its decision to ban footage of destructive protests.
Hermann said last week that the SABC should welcome the journalists back to work after the Icasa ruling. They approached the court to set aside their dismissals on Friday.
“We are extremely disappointed that the SABC still wants to carry on with the case. It is now common cause that the instruction to exercise censorship was unlawful. It follows that all actions arising from it would also be unlawful‚” he said.
“The right thing to do‚ morally and juristically‚ would be to welcome back the journalists at work and to allow them to inform the public about news events especially regarding the upcoming local government elections‚” he said.
The post Labour court judgment on axed SABC journalists set for Tuesday appeared first on HeraldLIVE.
The Table Mountain Cableway will be closed down for maintenance from Monday until August 7‚ but those celebrating their birthday during this time will still be able to enjoy a free ride.
A blog post on Cape Town’s well-known tourist attraction’s website said that the cableway will be shut down for its annual scheduled maintenance.
“This shutdown period will see the replacement of the Top Station generator‚ maintenance of the 11kV electricity line‚ cleaning of the ropes‚ slack rope tests‚ renewing switches and bearings where necessary‚ servicing of the main gearbox‚ generators and backup generators‚ as well as general electronic component changes and control checks‚” the post read.
Some infrastructure refurbishment will also take place‚ including resurfacing of the top station pathways‚ toilets and retiling the departure and arrivals platforms at the lower station.
“Measures are also being put in place to introduce a virtual queuing system at the top station later this year.”
In addition‚ the Table Mountain Café will also be revamping its menu.
Table Mountain visitors are offered a free ride on the cableway on their birthdays. The post advised that those celebrating their birthday during the shutdown are still eligible for a complimentary ticket.
“Should your birthday fall within this annual maintenance closure period‚ you are entitled to redeem your complimentary cableway birthday ticket one week before (July 18 – 24) or one week after (August 8 – 14) annual maintenance‚” the post said.
“Annual maintenance is carried out in order to meet the highest global cableway standards set by the Swiss Governing Body for Cableways (BAV)‚” said the cableway’s technical manager‚ Gaziem du Toit.
“Not only do we want to ensure that best practice safety measures are met and maintained‚ but we also aim to continuously better the visitor experience and improve our Cableway offering‚” he added.
– TMG Digital
Newclare twins Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie‚ arrested for their alleged involvement in a suspected terror plot‚ will spend at least one more night behind bars.
This after their matter was postponed at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday‚ where the 23-year-old brothers had been expected to apply for bail.
Advocate for the twins Annelene van den Heever asked for the postponement in order to take further instructions.
She had earlier asked the court to compel the state to disclose certain documents relating to the charges against the Thulsie brothers.
The brothers face three counts of terrorism relating to their alleged attempts to travel to Syria to join Islamic State and alleged plans to attack US and Jewish interests in South Africa.
Van den Heever — who has previously been in the news for representing Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir‚ as well as her own legal woes for once representing a man allegedly killed on Krejcir’s orders — said the documents were needed to proceed with the Thulsies’ bail application.
But magistrate Pieter du Plessis said the state had no obligation to disclose the documents at this stage and that he did not have the power to order it to do so.
“More often than not at bail there isn’t even a completed charge sheet‚” he said.
The twins waved at family from the dock during proceedings. Their mother‚ who was surrounded by family members in court‚ broke down in tears after proceedings wrapped up.
Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee‚ who previously had aspirations of being actors according to their social media accounts‚ were arrested earlier this month in Newclare‚ west of Johannesburg.
Brother and sister Ibrahim and Fatima Patel‚ charged with illegal possession of explosives and ammunition relating to the alleged terror plot‚ have been released on bail of R5000. The siblings were arrested in Azaadville on Johannesburg’s West Rand.
The twins will return to court on Tuesday.
– TMG Digital
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane says he supports former president Thabo Mbeki’s decision not to campaign for the ANC.
Maimane made the remark while launching the party’s election poster near the Union Buildings in Tshwane on Monday.
Addressing a crowd of no more than 100 people‚ Maimane said the ANC was contradicting itself.
“I support President Mbeki. He must not campaign for a parasitic ignoble organisation‚” Maimane said.
As the local government elections draw closer‚ with just six days to go starting with special votes‚ Maimane accused ANC veterans Mavuso Msimanga and former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe of having double standards.
“I don’t understand Mavuso Msimang [and other stalwarts] who are busy doing door to door campaigns for the ruling party.
“Last year they were busy saying ‘Zuma must fall’ and now they are campaigning that he [Zuma] must grow. How do you trust people like that?” asked the DA leader‚ who was flanked by Tshwane mayoral candidate Solly Msimang.
The poster‚ which reads “Honour Madiba’s Dream. Vote DA”‚ was unveiled by Maimane and Msimanga.
The leader said the poster resembled what the first democratic president Nelson Mandela stood for.
“That is why we acknowledge when we say celebrate the legacy of Madiba‚ we are not saying he belongs here or there.
“We are saying his values of freedom‚ constitutionalism‚ understanding of addressing historical legacy is something we will continue to fight for‚” Maimane said.
The post Maimane lashes out at ANC veterans for ‘double standards’ appeared first on HeraldLIVE.
Have you tried: Travelling to South Africa?