A Facebook video mocking an Eastern Cape Xhosa praise poet’s tribute to the Indian prime minister visiting South Africa this weekend has gone viral, with more than 1.7 million views by 4pm this afternoon.
Singer and actress Jessica Mbangeni, 37, one of South Africa’s most sought-after praise singers, was reduced to a meme through the video posted on the Facebook page of All India Bakchod.
It posted the video of her praising Indian premier Narendra Modi at the Dome in Johannesburg with the caption (apparently referring to Modi’s expression) “That awkward moment when you don’t know what to do. Who’s that one crazy friend of yours?”. The video was framed with sub-title “When your drunk friend is acting crazy and you just stand there wondering what the f*** am I even doing here.”
Speaking to The Herald today, Mbangeni said it was unfortunate that “a small minority” did not see the value of her performance.
“The whole reason for the performance was to embrace each other as people, each other’s cultures and each other’s difference because that is why the prime minister is here,” Mbangeni said.
She would have appreciated the fame “more” if people had more pleasant things to say about her performance or even constructive criticism as she worked “very hard on writing that poem”.
“I tried my hardest to make my country proud and I feel those ignorant people have undermined and degraded my people, my culture, my nation and our traditions by making those ill-informed and uneducated comments on that page,” Mbangeni said.
One user, Haider Ali Khan, wrote: “Bruhh I cant stop laughing.. The Modi’s expressions LOL. He can make you laugh just by staring.”
Mbangeni responded to a few comments on the post and received praise from those who had been at The Dome and said she gave an exceptional performance.
Facebook user Vidhu Ishiqa came to Mbangeni’s defence and posted: “I am not a person who is very much into rights and wrongs, but I believe its not an appropriate gesture to mock someone’s culture. The lady is Jessica Mbangeni and it was a praise song for the prime minister by the South African beauty.”
An annoyed Hemang Gandabhai Desai Nayak asked the administrator to take down the offensive post, saying: “I am African and this our traditional way of welcoming royalty. We accorded Shri Modi the highest respect with this. AIB you are showing nothing but the ignorance of other cultures”.
Mbangeni, nominated for a SA Traditional Music Award, said she commented on the posts to show the trolls her “politeness and their ignorance”.
“I want them to know more about our culture and us to know more about theirs. I see myself as a human … and that performance was entrusted to me to bring unity, power and love,” Mbangeni said.
Racial tensions continue to simmer in the US following the killing of five police officers by a gunman in Dallas last week – a massacre, in turn, prompted by the death of two black men, ordinary citizens, at the hands of gun-toting police.
Protests against police brutality have now been staged in many cities, not all of them peaceful, and support for the Black Lives Matter campaign shows no signs of diminishing.
The crazy acts of violence being seen in a country that promotes itself as the very model of peace, democracy and unity to the rest of the world are deeply troubling.
It is clear that racism remains very much a fact of life there, never mind that slavery was abolished centuries ago and that the civil rights movement achieved the outlawing of racial segregation some 50 years ago.
Many Americans are already fearful and jittery over increased terror attacks on their home soil.
The newest race-driven incidents on top of that will have done little to reassure them. And the more afraid Americans get, the more they seem to want their guns; the more many insist on their right to arm themselves.
It is no wonder that gun control remains a very touchy subject in the States.
Here in our own country, however, we have first-hand proof that gun control works.
An SA Medical Council study published last month showed fewer people are being shot dead here, thanks to stricter gun legislation.
But, while we have come a long way, South Africa, for all its Rainbow Nation selflabelling, is far from perfect when it comes to national unity and tolerance.
Ugliness like the Penny Sparrow incident continue to remind us deep divisions remain and that much more introspection still needs to happen for us to become a truly unified nation.
We’ve also had to deal with the issue of excessive force by police. Marikana may have happened nearly four years ago, but for many the wounds remain fresh.
Port Elizabeth police have warned motorists to take extra security precautions when parking their vehicles following a spate of motor vehicle thefts.
The warning come after 91 people were arrested for various crimes over the weekend including murder, abduction, drunken driving, domestic violence, theft from motor vehicle and house robbery.
The arrests were part made in Algoa Park, Bethelsdorp, Kabega Park, Walmer, Humewood and Gelvandale policing areas.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said there had been an increase in the number of older model vehicles including Toyota sedans and VW Golfs – most without alarm systems – being stolen.
The suspects are expected to appear in the various courts soon.
A set of identical twins have been charged under South Africa’s anti-terrorism laws for allegedly trying to aid the cause of the Islamic State by conspiring with others to blow up targets inside South Africa.
Brandon-Lee Thulsie and Tony-Lee Thulsie appeared briefly in a packed Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Prosecutor Chris MacAdam‚ reading the charge sheet into court‚ said the neatly dressed pair faced three counts relating to plans to carry out terror attacks on South African soil.
The case has been postponed to July 19. The twins will remain in custody until then.
The brothers’ preliminary charge sheet alleges that their plotting occurred between October 2015 and July 8 this year.
“The accused unlawfully and intentionally conspired to commit the crime of terrorism by planning to cause explosions at a mission of the United States of America and Jewish institutions (all such structures located in the Republic of South Africa) in order to endanger life‚ cause death and/or serious bodily harm and the destruction or substantial damage to such structures‚” the charge sheet states.
– TMG Digital / The Times
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Oscar Pistorius is a lot calmer in prison this time than when he was first convicted‚ according to a prison official at Pretoria’s Kgosi Mampuru II prison where the Paralympian athelete is serving a six-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend‚ model Reeva Steenkamp‚ three years ago.
Pistorius, as the prison’s only double amputee, has been confined to a single cell in the hospital wing.
The official‚ who spoke on condition of anonymity‚ said Pistorius was well adjusted to his new conditions and although he was based in a single cell‚ he did interact with other prisoners.
“When the gates open for prisoners to leave their cells‚ he comes out as well‚ but we don’t allow people to leave their cells and interact with others‚” the official said.
The official would not be drawn on whether Pistorius received any preferential treatment or on his other prison conditions.
Other prisoners said they had not seen Pistorius‚ but they knew he was there.
Pistorius‚ who shot Steenkamp dead through a toilet door on Valentine’s Day in 2013‚ claiming he mistook her for an intruder‚ was initially convicted of manslaughter. But the charge was later upgraded to murder and he was sentenced to an effective six years in jail.
He will be eligible for parole after serving between half to two-thirds of his sentence.
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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has ruled that the SABC has to rescind its ban on showing protest footage and communicate that it has done so within the next seven days.
ICASA found that the decision to ban violent protests was in breach of the SABC’s licensing conditions and the Broadcasting Act.
SOS Coalition National Coordinator Sekoetlane Phamodi says the coalition has been “vindicated” by the ruling.
However‚ he was “sceptical” that the SABC would comply with the ruling as it has ignored court orders in the past.
Thandi Smith from Media Monitoring Africa said it was “hopeful” that the SABC would comply and it was willing to take the matter to court if it didn’t.
In May‚ Media Monitoring Organisation of South Africa and SOS Coalition complained to ICASA that the decision was a clear violation of the Broadcasting Act and illegal ‚ and violated the SABC’s licence conditions and its revised editorial policies.
The SABC also suspended three employees who questioned this decision and started disciplinary procedures against four others. The fallout also led to the public broadcaster’s acting chief executive officer‚ Jimi Mathews‚ resigning‚ saying on a television show with Eusebius McKaiser that the SABC would be better off without chief operating officer Hlaudi Motoseneng. .
If the SABC does not want to comply. it needs to approach the high court to appeal the regulator’s decision.
TMG Digital/The Times
I am sitting on the stoep. The sun is low. The afternoon is setting in. Dusk will follow soon after. The land is dry – drier than I have ever seen it in the nine years I have been coming to this stoep, this farmhouse, in the Free State.
The winter has been harsh. The rains have not come. The grass is dry. It is tinder.
The farmers here have been praying for rain for more than a year. It has come only in dribs and drabs.
This is beautiful, harsh country. Not much by way of trees, but wide swathes of grass, mielie plants and grazing land.
In summer it is hot. In winter a cold wind batters the land. It is JM Coetzee’s heart of the country – harsh, brutal, wild and lonely.
I have been sitting on this stoep on and off for nine years. This is my last weekend on this stoep.
The farmers always drive by in their white bakkies. They hoot. They wave. They rush by.
I don’t know a single one of them. Not a single one has ever stopped and said hello.
I know of the dairy farmer down the road. He speeds by and waves, too. The milk truck speeds by morning and evening.
The farmers are always white. There are no black farmers here. It is the Free State after all, someone jokes at me.
Oh, there is the chicken farmer down the road, they remember.
I have never seen him. We have never had trouble here except the odd white couple who will come to check out the weird Joburg people who have done up a dilapidated farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.
So, on Saturday, I sat on the stoep and saw the white bakkie approaching. It was just another afternoon in the long, lazy days that we have on the farm.
The farmer would normally just wave and pass on. This one stops. There are two of them in the white bakkie.
From the passenger side, a man walks out and asks after Kapok, the worker on this farmhouse.
Kapok has gone walk-about. We call on his cellphone. He is at the next farm. He will be here in 10 minutes. So we wait.
Not everything about this story is straightforward. The man driving the white bakkie is black.
He walks over to where I am now talking to his colleague, trying to locate Kapok. He is leisurely. He clearly wants to talk. He knows who I am, greets me by name. I am reminded of a poem by Robert Frost, Time To Talk. It reads, in part: “When a friend calls to me from the road And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
AI don’t stand around On all the hills I haven’t hoed, And shout from where I am, What is it? No, not as there is a time to talk. And so we talk.” Times are tough, says the black man. He rents land from a white farmer to graze his cattle.
“The grazing grass is running out. The ground is hard and parched. There is no rain or water,” he says.
“But that is not the problem, really. The problem is greed and selfishness.
“Greed, sir, which sees opportunities given to a few politically connected people while the rest of us real, hard-working farmers get nothing,” he says.
I demur. I say: “There is so much that government is doing to help black people get access to land, receive training and ensure restitution and reform.
“It might not be enough, but there is a lot happening.” He looks at me with pity. “Of course that’s true. But nothing ever gets to the real black farmers,” he says.
“Every restitution goes to a friend of so-andso. Farms are lying fallow. still and look
“I get many offers from white farmers to buy land from them at very good prices.
“I go to the government for funding and there I get told to get in the line.
“You know what? The line doesn’t move because the politically connected are taken by the hand and they get to the front of the queue.
“They get the farm and they hold parties with young women there every weekend.
“They know nothing about working the land,” says the farmer.
He is 35 years old. He never inherited a thing. He has two children.
His father, a farmworker, taught him three values – hard work, educate yourself about your industry, and frugality.
“But I worry about my kids,” he says. “Under the ANC, my daughter will have to sleep with someone to get a job.
“It is happening with teachers and it will happen elsewhere. So who will I vote for?
“I have voted for the ANC my whole life,” he says. “This time? I don’t know. The greed is too much.”
The farmer leaves. He is going to check on his cattle.
He leaves me with a few pearls of wisdom: “This business is for people who are prepared to get up at 3am and work. It is not for politicians.”
That is what I remember from my last weekend in the heart of the country that I love.
The positive momentum in global markets triggered by strong US jobs data on Friday boosted the JSE on Monday‚ with the all share index rising 0.82% to 51‚696.30 points by lunchtime as investors accumulated recently beaten down shares.
The upbeat US nonfarm payrolls report has helped improve the global market mood‚ which was undermined by the Brexit vote late in June. “There is a lot more thought-through behaviour now in the markets than the initial reaction to Brexit that was marked by panic‚” said Nilan Morar‚ head of trading at GT Private Broking.
The US economy added 287‚000 jobs in June‚ beating market estimates which ranged from 165‚000 to 175‚000.
Europe’s leading markets were firmer at midday‚ taking their lead from Asia‚ where Japan’s Nikkei 225 settled a mighty 4% higher.
US stock futures suggested another positive session on Wall Street‚ after leading stock indices there finished more than 1% higher on Friday.
This week also marks the start of the US earnings sessions for the second quarter of 2016.
Among individual shares‚ Anglo American jumped 6.06% to R148.59‚ with Glencore picking up 5.11% to R32.90
Kumba Iron Ore added 4.49% to R123.30 and Exxaro Resources gained 5.55% to R75.30.
Transport and logistics group Imperial gained 2.73% to R148.44 and Barloworld firmed 4.1% to R79.
AngloGold Ashanti was up 1.78% to R303.77 and Harmony rose 1.77% to R63.10.
Nedbank regained 1.75% to R187 and Standard Bank gained 1.97% to R126.54.
Sanlam recovered 2.18% to R59.88 while The Foschini Group gained 2.85% to R140.37.
SA Airlink has blamed an “anomalous hi-jack alert” that was broadcast from an aircraft carrying more than 70 passengers and four crew members for a hijacking scare on Monday.
The aircraft was flying from Cape Town International Airport to Pretoria’s Wonderboom airport when rumours flooded social media that it had been hijacked.
The airline posted messages on its Twitter account saying: “We have been in contact with our pilots & can confirm that no hijacking has taken place. We are investigating the matter further.”
Airline spokesman Karin Murray explained that a transponder had incorrectly broadcast the hijack alert.
“Airlink confirms one of its aircraft‚ an Avro RJ‚ operating as flight SA8678 on 11 July 2016 from Cape Town to Pretoria’s Wonderboom Airport with 72 passengers and four crew on board‚ this afternoon emitted an anomalous hi-jack alert through its transponder.
“The passengers‚ crew and aircraft are all safe and on the ground at Wonderboom Airport where authorities have held the aircraft as a prescribed precautionary measure while they verify that all is in good order‚” she said.
“Airlink will assist the investigating authorities with their inquiry‚ which is a mandatory step following such incidents. Airlink has also initiated an internal investigation into the erroneous transmission.”
Actor Roelof Storm‚ who was aboard the aircraft‚ said in Afrikaans on twitter that the aircraft had been parked on the runway for about 70 minutes and there was definitely no hijacking.
The rand was marginally softer against the dollar at midday on Monday‚ although still in firmer territory after solid US nonfarm payroll jobs numbers on Friday triggered global risk-on trade.
The rand gathered steam against the greenback on Friday despite stronger-than-expected US jobs data‚ as investors did not expect the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates anytime soon‚ despite the solid jobs number.
The US economy added more than 120‚000 more jobs in June than economists and investors expected.
Payrolls increased by 287‚000 jobs in June‚ the US labor department reported‚ more than the 165‚000 that was expected by economists and market participants‚ while May job numbers were revised down to 11‚000 new jobs‚ from 38‚000.
These numbers showed that the US economy was not slowing down‚ but was not strong enough to warrant an interest-rate increase anytime soon.
At 11.36am‚ the rand was at R14.5995 to the dollar from R14.5652 at the previous close.
It was at R16.1032 against the euro from R16.0894 previously‚ and at R18.8139 against the pound from R18.8598 previously.
The euro was at $ 1.1031‚ from $ 1.1050 at the previous close.
TreasuryOne’s chief currency dealer Wichard Cilliers said the global economy looked to be “a rosier place” on Monday morning than it did on Friday morning as the US Job’s number for June was remarkably better than expected‚ which has managed to relieve recent qualms the markets have expressed.
“Add to this that prospects are improving that the Bank of Japan will launch additional stimulus of $ 120bn‚ and you can see why risk assets are trading firmer‚” he said. – TMG Digital/BDlive
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Have you tried: Diving with Sharks?