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

OPINION

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.

Subscribe to the M&G for R2 a month

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

And for this weekend only, you can become a subscriber by paying just R2 a month for your first three months.

Kuntha Ndimande
Guest Author

Related stories

The weekly pop sack: Winter is here

"And while the weather makes for soul-crushing small talk, it’s far better than the 'mansplaining' and defensive debate that’s been going on online"

The weekly pop sack: Ninety-nine problems and a win

"But wait, there’s more to cringe over."

The weekly pop sack: An unbelievable world of unbelievers

Surely you guys are jealous of Barack Obama's post-presidency glow?

The weekly pop sack: Wheelers, dealers and foot-in-the-mouth tweeters

“Famous people are normal people that are tragic and problematic in front of everyone.”

The weekly pop sack: It’s a movie

"The South Africa we’ve come to know, love and loathe is back for another season after a riveting 2016."

The weekly pop sack: Bring back the spotlight

"If they aren’t excluding black Hollywood, they are highkey stealing the credit and the spotlight"
Advertising

Subscribers only

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my...

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

More top stories

DRC: Tshisekedi and Kabila fall out

The country’s governing coalition is under strain, which could lead to even more acrimony ahead

Editorial: Crocodile tears from the coalface

Pumping limited resources into a project that is predominantly meant to extend dirty coal energy in South Africa is not what local communities and the climate needs.

Klipgat residents left high and dry

Flushing toilets were installed in backyards in the North West, but they can’t be used because the sewage has nowhere to go

Nehawu leaders are ‘betraying us’

The accusation by a branch of the union comes after it withdrew from a parliamentary process
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…