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15 Apr 2004 00:00
The Raj still in a minority
A South African election wouldn’t be an election without the Raj. For as long as Oom Krisjan can remember Amichand Rajbansi — or Rugbansi to the crueller, follically superior types in piesangland — has been on the campaign trail.
And the Bengal Tiger is a survivor: from the tricameral Parliament to our current democratic system, he’s always kept in the good books of whichever party is in power.
So the Raj, now a member of piesangland’s provincial legislature, should know a bit about how to phrase things to make yourself look good. www.mf.org.za) rather curious. The poll, on the site in the days before the election, asked whether minority rights are protected in South Africa. Lemmer presumes everyone was supposed to answer “no” and rush off to vote for the Front. However, the results of the poll did not augur well for the party’s fortunes. When Oom Krisjan last checked (around noon on voting day) 210 people believed that minority rights were quite adequately protected, thank you, while just 121 felt that they weren’t.
Demand a recount
Speaking of numbers, Lemmer is glad that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and not e.tv is overseeing ballot counting. Just before the 8pm news on Monday night the channel’s election countdown indictator insisted there were still THREE days to go until the poll.
At least the manne at the Dorsbult watch e.tv. Lemmer was very disappointed to note that most of the foreign media covering the election from the IEC’s headquarters in Pretoria followed the story on the BBC.
Can do attitude
As Oom Krisjan has mentioned previously, party posters have given these elections at least some entertainment value. They also gave some insight into what the parties really think. One example is of two posters on a Jozi streetlamp: The first read: “Vote ANC” and just below it, Inkatha’s effort says: “The IFP Can”.
Does it mean the Inkatha Freedom Party can vote for the African National Congress?
Before the election, much was made of how cash-strapped the ANC was. But instead of raising funds, three senior leaders recently found themselves doing quite the opposite.
While canvassing near George, Deputy President Jacob Zuma, Western Cape leader Ebrahim Rasool and national executive committee member Naledi Pandor took time out to chat to a 105-year-old woman over coffee at her home.
Touched by her hospitality, Zuma handed over R200 for the refreshments. The elderly lady pointedly looked at the other two and said: “Qabane [Comrade] ...” — setting off an embarrassed scramble for wallets.
One sharp senior citizen, if you ask Oom Krisjan.
It’s something Lemmer suspected long before the war with Iraq, but now it’s official: George W Bush is bad for the planet. Bushbaby has had a “devastating impact” on global sustainable development and set the world back more than 10 years, Tony Blair’s senior adviser on the subject, Jonathon Porritt, said this week. Writing in The Guardian, Porritt said it was hard to exaggerate the damage done to the planet by Bush’s drive for a “new world order”.
The manne were perplexed when they saw that Alyona Pisklova was the runaway favourite to become Russia’s entry for the Miss Universe contest. The Russians recently decided to drop the traditional selection jury and rely on Internet voting, so we were amazed to see that Pisklova — whose figure is generous, to say the least — had more than twice the number of votes of her closest rival. It seemed a country that treats beauty contests with undue gravity had finally rejected the standard image of female beauty — an angular frame, protruding hips and visible ribs — and struck a blow for the more amply endowed.
But, The Guardian reports, it appears Pisklova’s surprise lead in the poll was down to a website, stopbarbie.org.ru, that had been drumming up votes for her.
The website calls a vote for Pisklova a vote against “beauties who do not look natural and who cannot be distinguished from each other” and rails against the “imposed standards” of 90-60-90 vital statistics, and “cigarettes without nicotine and coffee without caffeine”.
Organisers then had a stroke of luck: competitors were required to present their passports to show they were older than 18, Russian and not married.
Pisklova’s showed that she was only 15. She was disqualified on April 5 — her birthday — and offered the compensation of being named the “voters’ sympathy choice”.
Up to Mo good
Oom Krisjan was interested to hear that one Mo Shaik was seen hobbling on crutches into a conference hosted by the Africa Institute at the Pretoria City Hall recently. It was assumed that certain members of the public had resorted to physical tactics to try to stop Mo from making a fool of himself in public.
However, this seems to have failed since, having insisted on having a final question despite the floor being closed, he then proceeded to respond to some delegates’ criticisms of South Africa’s immigration laws as a self-appointed representative of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
A number of South African delegates couldn’t help thinking that an open-border policy wouldn’t be so bad if it only meant that we could ship Mo off somewhere else ... anywhere else!
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