The weekly pop sack: Legal battles, factory faults and the end of Hannah Hovarth


The quest for relevance seems to be a major driving force these days. We live in precarious times, when everyone wants to be associated with scandal, be it as critic or a trouble seeker. Scandal is attracting an inordinate number of followers. This is also the age when things are not what they seem. A stronger rand doesn’t shift the narrative or the price of bread. It’s a weird hour. We have Ayanda Mabulu’s art and rapper Nasty C’s award nomination for female artist of the year. Everything must be questioned. It’s a time of suspicious minds.

Making nice on Instagram

It looks as if the public feud between former sports minister Fikile Mbalula, sometimes known as Razzmatazz, and sports journalist Robert Marawa is finally over.

Mbalula wanted Marawa to apologise for remarks he made about the minister over the past two years, one of which was reportedly likening Mbalula’s sports department to Tarzan after South Africa lost the bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The minister consulted lawyers to seek legal redress for the longstanding feud.

But now all that spice is firmly back in the jar, thanks to an intervention by musician and producer Oskido, who claims Marawa and Mbalula as close friends.

In Instagram posts on Monday, the news of the reconciliation was shared, with Marawa captioning one of the pictures: “We met. We spoke. We resolved. We shook hands. Thank you @OskidoBelieve for the intervention. Let’s fight crime @MbalulaFikile.”

Scandalous cricketer

Another South African cricketer has been caught in scandal. Lonwabo Tsotsobe was regarded as a future talent for some years. Now he’s been slapped with several charges under the Anti-Corruption Code, most of which amount to allegations of influencing the outcome of matches. There goes a whole career.

Huffs and white male privilege

Marius Roodt, a researcher in Johannesburg who posed as feminist Shelley Garland to make a point about the weaknesses of South Africa’s media, has made his point.

Even as we mull over its implications for our media, and reel from the resignation of Huffington Post SA’s editor-in-chief Verashni Pillay, there is a danger that the racial and gender imbalances may now be blurred.

Yes, Roodt wanted to make a point about the media — score one for him — but there’s something else he’s achieved: delegitimising the debate about racial and gender inequalities.

Goodbye Girls

The popular HBO series Girls has come to an end. And not a moment too soon. Regarded as ground-breaking by some critics, the series has done little more than add to the sea of non-starter narratives of white people’s problems against the backdrop of privilege so wild, it distorts the entire message.

Creator, star and outspoken feminist Lena Dunham seems to inhabit a version of her true self in the main character, Hannah Hovarth, a New Yorker living her life in the middle of diverse Brooklyn surrounded by friends, one-night stands, suitors and exes, most of whom are white except for a token role by Danny Glover.

If you never got past the second season, consider your series watching mileage spared.

‘It wasn’t me’

Triple murder accused Henri van Breda has pleaded not guilty to murdering his mother, father and brother. He is also charged with attempted murder and of defeating the ends of justice.

Mali, his younger sister, suffered a brain injury but has recovered — except she can’t remember what happened that night.

The axe attack on the family took place in their home near Stellenbosch in January 2015.

Appearing in the Western Cape High Court this week, the 22-year-old’s plea explanation, read by his lawyer, told of an axe-wielding attacker, who wore gloves and something like a balaclava, laughing as he attacked Van Breda’s father.

Van Breda said he disarmed the attacker, but the man had a knife and slashed his arm and chest, and then fled. He apparently later woke up on the stairs, but did not know how long he had been there.

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Kuntha Ndimande
Guest Author

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