#Omicron. What a word! It sounds like a three-year old’s pronunciation of Unicorn. South Africa is filled with extraordinary people. Many of our scientists are the best in the world, and we discovered this variant of the virus that mutates like a boss.
Imagine the lab where this happened, scientist pouring over samples and documents and having that #Eureka moment when they realized this is the most vicious mutation so far. We immediately notified the world, we raise the alarms, “be vigilant” we said, here’s our records so you are prepared. On any other day we would have been called heroes for several reasons. The discovery, the early warning system, our transparency (yes in SA, our transparency) and the clever minds that discovered it. Not today though, we were immediately the villain across international news media. #WordsMatter
“South Africa discovers new variant of Covid19” the headlines read and within minutes we were #RedListed across the world. At the time of the discovery there were 200 cases in Tshwane and a few thousand in Belgium and Holland. Did Belgium or Holland get instantly sent to the naughty corner? No, only us. Headlines littered our timelines of one country after another banning SA from travel. SA Tourism must have had a moment when they wanted to shout at those scientists: “why did you tell anyone?”. We did though, it was a good deed and no good deed goes unpunished. #RedListSA
We held our breath as the President called a #FamilyMeeting. Why do we even call it that? There’s nothing personal about it, Ramaphosa takes hours to make a simple point. His one hour airtime could have been put into a single sentence: “Congrats to the scientists, you shouldn’t be punished for good work. We aren’t in a crisis yet, please be careful, the fourth wave is nigh”. (Less than 30 seconds and out). #WordsMatter
Here’s the worrying thing about #Omicron, vaxxed people die too. This variant doesn’t care if you’re a Pfizer of a JNJ loyalty card holder. Maybe it is a Unicorn afterall. It is so vicious that the word “mandatory” has entered our vocabulary. #DavidMakhura said it clearly this week, this was after the President told us no one would be forced to take the vaccine. #WordsMatter!
For the most part SA has done its bit, despite all the conspiracy and naysayers, we rolled up our sleeves and took the shot for the team. It’s an expensive shot too, cost our country billions. I guess that we will be re-punching our #VaxLoyaltyCards very soon. Even if this time it’s not mandatory, you’re going to start to see things like in Germany where if you are not vaxxed you can’t enter anywhere or buy anything. You can’t buy food, you can’t get government assistance and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to move freely from town to town. It doesn’t have to be mandatory to force you to take it. I was still trying to get my head around the money we had shoved into our arms that was now useless against this monster variant, only to hear that both #LindiweZulu and #SihleZikalala have either got the virus or are in quarantine. #Dezemba is here
I’ve been binge watching the #SAHRC inquiry into the Insurrection. Oh wait, it’s not an insurrection anymore it’s #JulyRiots, nope also wrong, it’s not called #JulyUnrest, oh wait #EWN are calling it #CivilUnrest – any minute now they’ll call it the #DubanJuly and get done with it. What a farce!
Police commissioner Nhlanhla #Mkhwanazi disputed #MapisaNqakula’s testimony. Mkhwanazi said that #Nqakula lied under oath about the number of troops on the ground. I was glued, but then he also went on to prove himself incompetent. The prosecutor asked him if he thought his inaction during the attempted coup d’état deserved the position he held, he said, “well I’m still here”. When he was asked who the instigators were, he said they were dealing with nine people. Not one of them has the surname #Zuma and even if they did, they wouldn’t turn up. What is the point? A waste of resource and my valuable telly time.
#SphithiphithiEvaluator one of the influencers identified by Acumen Media as an instigator of the insurrection, is now suing the police. That’s right folks, she’s suing for trauma and loss of earnings. Imagine, a nation shell shocked and now we are meant to cough up for her trauma. What nonsense is this.
#ArthurFraser, remember him, he’s the one who gave the OK to #Zuma’s #MedicalParole. He decided this week to challenge the #StateCaptureInquiry. I’m not sure why, I mean the prime suspect didn’t testify, failed to appear, was arrested and never spent a day in prison, and then you Arthur, you sent him home. Why are you worried Fraser? #ZondoHater. Honestly, the #ZondoCommission did nothing at all. Even #Bosasa didn’t get to court.
Talking about #Zondo, he is one of the finalists for the Judicial Service Commission, our new Chief Justice. Last held by #MogoengMogoeng, who this week claimed he cured two people from HIV through prayer. Um, through prayer? Do you mean God healed them? Or has your #GodComplex reached new levels. #wordsmatter
And then this… ATM (a political party true to its name) put forward a motion of no confidence against Ramaphosa. Thandi Modise said the vote should not be in secret, but the SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal) has set that aside. The speaker, no other than #MapisaNqakula, the insurrection denier, must make a fresh decision. Are we being played again?
This is how ridiculous politics in SA has become, what I’m about to tell you is true. You’re not going to believe it but it is true. The toss of a R1 coin was the decider for Limpopo’s political fate and it’s heads I win, tails you lose for the voters. The DA won the toss, I’m still waiting for the kickoff.
#NatashaThahane and #MacG had an interview and Natasha (Tutu’s granddaughter) dropped a clanger. She wanted to study in New York (as you do) and so she put a shout out to “MaBaleka” (that’s Baleka Mbete to you and me). #MaBaleka, hit her up, she gave her R1m from the bankrupt Arts and Culture Department. After that interview she definitely got a phone call, a strong worded one because later #Natasha released a public statement on social media to say that she had only met #Mbete once and they were not close. She was schooled on that phone call, so don’t bother calling MaBaleka now for your study loan ok, even if you’ve met her once.
MacG is making a name for himself as he appears in timelines twice this week. This time he was interviewing #JubJub on GBV! I’m not surprised after the stats I shared with you last week, we don’t care about femicide and the like, it’s just click bait. #AmandaDuPont took to twitter to talk about how #JubJub raped and abused her for two years. There was no mention of the pics of #KellyKhumalo nor did #MacG touch on #SenzoMeyiwa.
In other GBV news, a cop shot his girlfriend nine times and then himself. The man who brutally murdered his girlfriend, dismembered her and shoved her in a suitcase got 25 years. I have an idea, it’s a wild one, so hold onto your seat. The next child rapist who walks through the door gets medically castrated. Just one. And you’ll see the tide turn on the 600 nine-year-olds that were raped the past year.
Shell says that our human rights stand against destroying our coastline is “nothing short of abusive”, please don’t talk to this country about abuse Royal Dutch Shell. Protests are taking place across the country this weekend and Sodwana, our little town will be out in force to protect our magnificent ocean and its natural inhabitants. #ToHellWithShell
Rage was off and now it’s on. Question: Why would you call the event to celebrate a brand-new chapter of your life #Rage? Words matter.
My story of the week, Texas governor #GregAbbott said that South African illegal immigrants are making their way into Texas from the border. Clearly no one showed the man a map. Let’s work this out, so we climb on a boat (stowed away for sure) and got to Mexico, then when we disembarked (under cover), we traipse all the way up to the Texas border and sneaked across. Look we’re pretty desperate but that’s just a fantasy, a #Unicorn if you will. Unless… wait… perhaps we sailed on the Metaverse Yacht that sold for $650k! Yes, some pixels got sold for almost 10m rand and it looks like it was drawn by that three-year-old. I thought the idea of #metaverse is that could make these things unrealistically cool, nope but maybe it will get us to Mexico. No one wants to go to the US anyway.
I’m Tonya Khoury and you’ve Scratched the Surface with Acumen Media over seven days.
Tonya Khoury is a regular news analyst on the Morning Mayhem, Get her report every Friday just after 8am (GMT+2)