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Terror of the SABC Finally Blackballed

Updated on December 18, 2016
MartieCoetser profile image

Martie Coetser is a freelance writer from South Africa. She has a keen interest in a variety of topics.

SABC (South Africa Broadcast Corporation)
SABC (South Africa Broadcast Corporation) | Source

Crisis at the SABC

Following the live broadcasting of the Parliamentary ad hoc committee's inquiry into the crisis at the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), and also the broadcasting of the DA versus Hlaudi “Cloudy” Motsoeneng case in the Western Cape High Court, was surely the most fascinating but also upsetting experience since December 7th.

This misconduct in the SABC reflects the misconduct in all of SA’s parastatals, but this is beside the point. Fact is the SABC with its three television channels and eighteen radio stations is at present the proverbial open can that contains ugly, stinking worms. (And this is not the first, and surely not the last, actus reus at the SABC.)

What the outcome of the parliamentary ad hoc committee’s inquiry will be is still to be seen, as their work is not yet finished. So far it is clear as daylight that Hlaudi Motsoeneng and Minister Faith Muthambi - both of them serving President Zuma instead of the people of SA - are not the only reasons of the crisis at the SABC. Parliament has delayed filling vacant posts on the SABC board, leaving the board weak and inquorate.

But, hallelujah, after almost three years’ legal efforts to remove the terror, Hlaudi (Cloudy) Motsoeneng, from the SABC, we can at last know that the major cause of the current crisis is out and gone. On Monday, the Western Cape High Court finally ruled that Motsoeneng may not occupy any post at the SABC.

After an almost five-year reign-of-terror, Motsoeneng may not set foot at the SABC, unless the ruling of the public protector – that he may not occupy an executive position at the SABC - is set aside by the Supreme court. (Of course, no court will be able to set it aside. All the findings about maladministration, systemic corporate governance deficiencies, abuse of power and the irregular appointment of Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng, cannot be challenged, as it was and still is the truth. However, Motsoeneng has the right to give it a try, and if he succeeds, he may ask to be reinstated as Chief Operational Officer at the SABC.

According to the Public Protector -

  • The allegation that the appointment of Mr Motsoeneng as the Acting COO was irregular is substantiated.
  • The allegation that Mr. Motsoeneng’s salary progression was irregular is also substantiated.
  • The allegation that Mr Motsoeneng committed fraud by stating in his application form that he had completed matric from Metsimantsho High School is substantiated.
  • The allegation that Mr Motsoeneng was appointed to several posts at the SABC despite having no qualifications as required for such posts, including a matric certificate, is substantiated and this constitutes improper conduct and maladministration.
  • The allegations of maladministration, including financial mismanagement, at the level of the SABC management are also substantiated.
  • The allegation that Mr Motsoeneng irregularly increased the salaries of various staff members is substantiated.



Focus on Motsoeneng’s “pathological” management style

In her report When Governance and Ethics Fail, released in February 2014, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found all allegations against Hlaudi (Cloudy) Motsoeneng substantiated. She characterized his management style as “pathological”.

Let’s focus on some of Motsoeneng's recent misconducts -

Aside from his superficial decision – and successful bullying of fellow-decision makers into agreeing with him - that all radio stations must implement 90% local music, and his many attempts to prevent journalists from portraying the ANC, President Zuma, and South Africa in a poor light, Motsoeneng's decision in May 2016 to ban footage of protesters burning public property seems to have taken the cake.

It all started in May 2016. Triggered by the decision of the ANC to replace Tswane’s popular mayor with a less popular mayoral candidate for the August 3 local government elections, angry citizens torched buses and cars, looted shops, attacked seven journalists, and killed several fans of the new mayoral candidate during only one week. This inspired “Father” Motsoeneng to lay down a new policy at the SABC, which bans showing footage of protesters burning public property.

That this policy is in violation of Chapter Two of the Constitution of South Africa (the Bill of Rights), and also in violation of the Broadcaster Act, is beyond Motsoeneng’s comprehension. He simply cannot understand that he violates the right of all South Africans to be informed. The fact that millions of people rely completely on the SABC for information (and entertainment), as they can’t afford MultiChoice’s Digital Satellite Television (which offers hundreds of private channels, including a couple of 24/7 news programs) doesn’t bother him at all.

”Visuals of violent protests would lead to more violence, given the nature of people; they “act up” when they see the cameras…” Cloudy Motsoeneng asserted during an interview with eNCA. When challenged, he yelled at journalist/author Glenda Daniels and media lawyer, Dario Milo: “I don’t know what kind of parent you are! … Everything to you is politics… you only know theories…”

Apparently the kings of the Vhavenda and the Amazulu commended the SABC... or shall we rather say the Motsoeneng Broadcasting Corporation's decision to ban footage of violent protest (which normally occurs in the metropolitan areas), as the people in the rural areas haphazardly follow suit.

SA’s broadcasting regulator, Icasa (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa), requested reasons for the new policy. Motsoeneng argued that the SABC is censoring content to “protect SA’s economic outlook, maintain political stability and to keep SA’s international image polished to protect investor confidence.”

In other words, according to Motsoeneng the SABC is supposed to mislead the people of South Africa as well as foreign investors?

Fact is, South Africa is a democracy. People have the right to know the truth and nothing but the truth. What they do with it, and how they react to it, is their business. Law-enforcement is in place, tasked to control demonstrations of protests, and there are laws in place, which are supposed to deal with those who damage public property during legal protests.

The SABC has a mandate to inform and entertain the people of South Africa. And this is what the SABC should do.

Let's hope the next COO understands how the cookie crumbles.

Hlaudi Cloudy Motsoeneng
Hlaudi Cloudy Motsoeneng | Source

Motsoeneng's “pathological” management style led to the suspension of eight journalists

Eight journalists were suspended when they opposed the ban on violent footage. Following lengthy Labor Court battles, they were reinstated. Since they announced that they had filed papers at the Constitutional Court asking for an inquiry into the issues plaguing the broadcaster, they are being intimidated with death threats. Various frightful attempts to prevent them from reaching their goal still justify police protection.

On Monday they painted a bleak picture as they gave their testimonies before Parliament's ad hoc Committee.

The death threat that was sent to former contributing editor, Vuyo Mvoko after he testified on behalf of the SABC8 on Monday:

“Traitors. Protecting your white friends in parliament who started this‚ telling lies about your comrades. You are warned. We don’t kill blacks‚ but sit and watch the blood flow.”


Motsoeneng's “pathological” management style led to the resignation of senior employees -

Acting Chief Executive (CEO) and Head of News, Jimi Matthews, resigned at the end of June 2016.

“The prevailing, corrosive atmosphere has impacted negatively on my moral judgment,” he explained.

Others complained anonymously, or not at all, fearing retaliatory action against them.

“People are operating in a climate of fear,” said one of those who insisted on anonymity.

“…. the SABC newsroom has itself become a psychological war zone. A minefield of uncertainty. Of threats. Of buried expectations and “directives” that will blow your head off if you disobey them – even if you did not know they were there. Even if you could not believe it, they were there. Because, at the SABC, nothing is on paper….” wrote a senior editorial staffer.

Motsoeneng's “pathological” management style led to the resignation of members of the SABC board -

One after another non-executive members of the SABC board have resigned due to Motsoeneng’s reign of terror. Only the partially blind chairman, Professor Mbulaheni Maguve, remained to testify before the parliamentary committee on Thursday after the professor's illogical and unsuccessful efforts (on behalf of an inquorate board) to prevent the parliamentary committee from demanding relevant documentation.

During the inquiry it became clear that the professor had no clue as to what’s going on at the SABC. He was apparently appointed to act like a mushroom, unable to oppose the shenanigans in the SABC. (NB: Mushrooms are kept in the dark and fed with sh#t.)

If you have another minute or two, read the track record of Hlaudi (Cloudy) Motsoeneng, or simply skip it and read the opinion of this owfma-sa

The most controversial employee of the SABC, Hlaudi (Cloudy) Motsoeneng, was born in 1968 in Eastern Free State, South Africa. He is a member of the Sotho ethnic group. He attended Metsimatshu High School, where he allegedly struggled academically and quit before passing matric (Gr.12).

According to a source who was interviewed by Makhudu Sefara (former editor of City Press), Motsoeneng was spotted at a talent show and recruited to work for the SABC as a Chappies Little League sports announcer on a freelance basis in the early 1990’s. Not very sophisticated, Cloudy did not lack initiative. He volunteered to write news stories from QwaQwa and surrounding areas as they did not have reporters in that area.”

In 1995 he applied for a full-time reporter’s post at Lesedi FM radio station in Bloemfontein. This is when he lied for the first time about being in possession of a matric certificate – that most precious qualification that unlocks the first door to a career worth mentioning. Being a victim of Apartheid, he could have easily, sponsored by the SABC, obtained this certificate. Sadly, he decided to change his status from ambitious opportunist to a sham conning his way to the summit of success.

As a reporter at Lesedi FM, he met and befriended politicians, including Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, who paved his path to the VIP's in parliament. In 1999 he was praised by the ANC: "... a journalist who had put QwaQwa on the map.."

But slandered by his colleagues ".... he is abusive of power and only tolerated because he is the only employee who can get Jacob Zuma on radio at short notice, and almost without effort..."

In 2006, at the age of thirty-eight, he was firmly in the position of Executive Producer when Deloitte & Touche - one of the "Big Four" accounting firms and the largest professional services network in the world, ‘certified’ him as a “semi-literate journalist, inexperienced and not able to communicate in English.”

In the same year he was charged by the SABC with racism, dishonesty, disruption of relations, intimidation and contravention of the SABC rules, and dismissed.

In April 2008, after the then CEO was pressured by the Zuma faction of the ANC, he was reinstated and later promoted to Group Executive of Corporate Affairs.

In 2012 he was appointed into the position of acting COO (Chief Operating Officer) after the recruitment process was being gerrymandered to ensure that he, as an unmatched ANC praise poet, gets the job.

In this position he initiated the first (but not the last) illegal axing of highly qualified personnel at the SABC as well as members of the SABC board because they stood up against his misconducts. He also increased his salary of R1.5-million per year to R2.4-million, and awarded himself with a R33-million bonus after selling the SABC archives (the country's crown jewels!) for R533-million to MultiChoice.

Let me explain the value of South Africa’s Rand to my non-South African friends: Hlaudi's annual salary of R1.5-million was R125,000 per month, which he had increased to R2.4-million (R200,000 per month) – a salary increase of 60% in only one year.

Presently in SA, R2,423 per month is the minimum salary to be paid to a domestic servant working in a metropolitan area. (Less for those who work in the much larger non-metropolitan areas!) With this very meager income (though not as meager compared to the average income of non-executives) a person can buy about 303 loafs of bread. In other words, in his capacity as acting COO of the SABC, Motsoeneng raised his salary from equivalent to the salary of 52 domestic workers to the equivalent of 83 domestic workers. His bonus of R33-million is equivalent to the salaries of 13,619 domestic workers.

Hlaudi (Cloudy) Motsoeneng's arrogant and inappropriate doings were brought to the attention of SA’s Public Protector, who is tasked with the investigation of misconduct in any state affairs and all spheres of government including that of public administration in SA.

In her report called ”When Governance and Ethics Fail”, released in February 2014, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela confirmed Motsoeneng's improper conduct. She characterized his management style as “pathological”.

“Mr Motsoeneng has been allowed by successive Boards to operate above the law, undermining the GCEO among others, and causing the staff, particularly in the human resources and financial departments to engage in unlawful conduct.”

Among other remedial actions, she recommended that the appropriate disciplinary action be taken against Motsoeneng. (According to the Law the public protector’s recommended remedial actions are legal and binding and can only be set aside by the Supreme Court.) The SABC had 180 days to apply for a review of the report and its recommended remedial actions by the court.

In July 2014, despite the fact that the public protector's report explicitly stressed that Motsoeneng doesn't have the qualifications required for any executive post, the SABC board appointed him to the position of permanent COO. (During the parliamentary inquiry of the past two weeks, evidence was submitted that the meeting was in violation of the SABC policy and several regulations, and that Motsoeneng's appointment was pushed by the Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, who happens to be one of President Zuma’s leverages.)

An inquiry in writing from the public protector was apparently ignored.

The DA (political opposition party) took the matter to court in November 2015. Judge Davis found that Motsoeneng’s promotion from acting COO to COO was “irrational”, and he ordered a disciplinary inquiry against Motsoeneng.

The SABC board's statement - that they conducted a disciplinary inquiry and found Motsoeneng not guilty of misconduct and fit and proper to be the SABC's COO, sent the DA back to court, demanding that the findings of the disciplinary inquiry be set aside, as Motsoeneng is still guilty according to the findings of the public protector in February 2014.

The SABC then indicated it would take the public protector’s report on judicial review. But first they had to appeal the November 2015 ruling that Motsoeneng’s promotion was “irrational”. On September 19th, the Supreme Court of Appeal rejected Motsoeneng’s bid to appeal the Western Cape High Court’s November 2015 ruling.

Beyond the comprehension of Motsoeneng and his pawns, is the fact that ALL LEGAL FEES, EXCEPT THE LEGAL FEES OF THE DA, HAS TO BE PAID WITH MONEY THAT BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH AFRICA. The entire SABC belongs to the people of SA! Legal fees to the amount of R28-MILLION was spent on Motsoeneng's cases, said the chairman of the parliamentary ad hoc committee, Vincent Smith, more than once during the past week.

How many houses for the poor could have been built with R28-MILLION? How many poor students could have obtained university degrees free of charge if R28-MILLION was allocated to 'free education'?

Anyway....

The SABC board decided to move Motsoeneng from COO to the position he was in before he became acting COO: Group Executive of Corporate Affairs. Again in violation of the public protector's ruling that he may not be appointed in any executive position, as he doesn't have the required qualifications.

Again the DA took the matter to court.

Finally, on Monday, December 12th, the Western Cape High Court ruled that Hlaudi (Cloudy) Motsoeneng may not be appointed in any position at the SABC. He may, in fact, not set a foot at the SABC until the Supreme Court has found him not guilty of the allegations that were found to be 'substantiated' by the public protector in 2014. And this will never happen.

Yesterday, December 17th, The Organisation Against Tax Abuse (OUTA) opened a criminal case against Hlaudi Motsoeneng and several SABC board members on charges including fraud, misrepresentation and racketeering.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng
Hlaudi Motsoeneng | Source
Martie Coetser
Martie Coetser

The opinion of an owfma-sa

I have a friend on Facebook, David Stillwell from California, who has the same advice for all my complaints about South African shenanigans: "Shoot them!"

So, while following the doings of Hlaudi (Cloudy) Motsoeneng, David's advice kept ringing in my mind and made me smile. So, I am able to testify that smiles prevent a person from losing their mind.

I also asked myself ‘what’s new at the SABC?’. It has been an ill-managed, political tool of the ruling party since before the launching of television in 1976. That it looks like a ‘normal’ and successful service to the public is thanks to hardworking announcers, journalists and technicians running the show while the chiefs in charge and the members of the board wage war against each other.

By the way, sighing also prevents a person from losing their mind. Especially when this person is an owfma-sa (ordinary, white, female, middle-aged, South African). That would be me.

Let's enjoy a performance of one of my favorite orchestras -

© 2016 Martie Coetser

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    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 7 months ago from Norfolk

      I sometimes wonder how these people are appointed to positions without the qualifications to do the job! Does this ruling change anything? I wonder. I wish I could feel more hopeful for the future of South Africa.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      Hi Sallybea! With Hurricane Cloudy no longer there, and with a brand new board about to be appointed, let's hope we are finally at the beginning of honest and excellent governance at least at the SABC. I wonder what state-owned enterprises is next in line to be distilled? Even the ANC is fed-up with corruption. Thanks for your positive wish. I do believe all best wishes form a mighty positive source of hope :)

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 7 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      For the record, I can take all the sighing in the world from you - and please never resort or even tease about that other "s" word, dear Martie.

      Your elaboration on the worth of the rand puts 'Hurricane Cloudy's' actions in context and perspective. "...does not lack initiative" - I guess this is a strength in a sociopath these days.

      I love and share your optimism for the future at the SABC. After reading this 'almost' anything has to be way better... :) Love you, mar

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It would be easy for me to say that your country is a mess...except that I live in the U.S., and look what we're doing! Let's face it, these are tough times around the globe....and honestly, I'm not sure what the solution is, but I do know that monumental change comes very slowly...so more suffering is around the bend, I'm afraid.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 7 months ago from Texas

      Dear Martie, I am sure that you have heard about the chaos in the USA and know there is the same kind of chaos in all countries, like the protector's ruling that Motsoeneng, may not be appointed in any executive position, as he doesn't have the required qualifications.

      The same can be said of our President Elect. except that there is no ruling against him for any reason.

      Blessings my friend

      Smile: it makes people wonder what you are up-to.

      Laughter: It is the music of the soul.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 months ago from TEXAS

      Dearest Martie, oh my. What a mess over there. Could be a forecast of things to come over here. I cringe.

      But, yes, smiling and sighing do help keep one’s perspective from being totally usurped by the usurpers. I’ve thought since I was much younger that the main war would be for people’s hearts and minds, which are governed by their own wills and choices as to what to give themselves over to and how they’re given over when allowing forces of evil to invade and usurp our personal ‘in there’, - as well as wherever else they’re invading and usurping.

      Arousing resentment, fear and anger IN PEOPLE is a powerful and a monstrous tool, and is what is always wielded first and foremost by despots constantly, in order to evoke real CHANGE. If they can rile people up enough to mimic any of their own ugliness, they've won, no matter who grabs control by those methods. So the despots’ further reigns result from those very changes in the hearts and minds of those they're trying to rule.

      They’re master salesmen! But it takes a salesman AND a buyer to complete the exchange, and the buyer needs to recognize exactly what is being peddled. Despots first try to buy the people’s emotions and fears, their angers and retaliation reactions. They, themselves, are at the advantage because they’ve planned out a strategy before the buyers became fully aware of the whole plan. So they’re almost sure of winning if the buyers hand over their own character and principles in a desperate effort to resist, when doing so just wins more for the despots. The alarming part is that there are so many others buying - in! But for one’s own sanity and peace of mind, the ONE that matters is oneself. Unless one has a better real strategy than being sucked in to changing oneself and spinning one’s wheels, it’s better to deny the despot the satisfaction of changing oneself and enjoying the wheels spinning ineffectively. For sure, it will not improve things to lose one’s mind, just when all the sanity is so vital!! Hugs.

      I so love Andre Rieu and the Bolero has been a favorite since I was in Junior High in Music Appreciation class! And the movie “Ten” only increased me love of it! Thanks for sharing this and for keeping us informed of what is happening there and for the hopeful tone, as well. Love you!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      marcoujor – It is so important to me to explain and describe things in such a way that people can clearly comprehend. Describing the value of our money by explaining what we can do with it… What could be more comprehensible? The SABC has survived a lot of misconduct and mismanagement since I can remember. But this Hurricane Hlaudi was surely the worse. Good riddens! I am afraid we’re going to say the same of our current president. BTW, I hope I am very-very wrong when I see a lot of Cloudy in DT. Love you lots, my dearest Maria :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      billybuc – When I review the history of mankind I cannot see any emotional and mental growth. Resources have grown; life has become more comfortable, but we are still the same creatures we were in the Stone Age and prior. History and Future are twins. Every country/nation gets their turn to enjoy prosperity, and then comes their turn to suffer adversity. My heart goes out to Syria.

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      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      Shyron E Shenko – Yes, I am keeping myself informed, and wonder if we will see a miracle tomorrow, the 19th? Most probably not. So, I wonder what will be. He is so impulsive, with no experience of politics. I mean, being a brilliant businessman doesn’t make one a brilliant politician. I am really worried, because whatever happens in the USA affects the entire world. You say no ruling against him? What about Trump University, now covered with $25-million? If that is an example of his ‘abilities’, I can but only hold my breath. Please convince me that I have no reason to believe that he’s going to repeat his mistakes of the past? But no! Let’s be positive and focus on whatever we can improve in our personal zone, and let’s do everything in our power to turn bad into good, and good into better :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      Nellieanna – I think SA is entering the next phase of democracy. During the past 22 years she has grown from baby to teenager, and now she is ready to enter adulthood. Unfortunately, criminals on all levels of society are an obstinate plague that has to be dealt with. Once those who are supposed to deal with it…. sigh… smile…

      Your description of the despot is spot on. They have the qualities of a sociopath, but just enough to keep them inside the free space between the borders of ‘normal’ and ‘crazy’ where they can’t be touched.

      I’ve decided to use my library of CD’s more effectively. Not only to keep the negative out of the atmosphere, but out of my soul. This means I have to lie down and close my eyes and LISTEN to the music – let it fills me and wipes out the negative that seems to grow like plaque on teeth. I really hope I will stick to this decision. I just never have enough time to satisfy all my personal needs!

      Take care, dearest Nellieanna, and thank you so much for being such a perfect role model :)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 7 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Martie, my friend & Aries sister.....When I read your pieces on the various troubles of your beautiful country, it's clear I must face the facts that it is our entire world that is in a continual state of turmoil, corruption and chaos.

      What is most evident to us is that the vast majority of this insanity is based in~beginning with and created by, with & because of either or both, Religion & Politics. ! This is an indisputable reality.

      Religion & Politics are the body of these monsters, the arms & legs of which are money, greed, power-madness, bigotry, ruthlessness......must I go on? I have no doubt you can add to that list.

      We, the people who must live with this, exist in fear & often oppression of sorts, have little power or voice? You have hit on a serious need we all have and that is to preserve our souls and struggle for inner peace. We must take care that we don't despair & lose all hope. I am with you completely. Martie, I too make my attempts each day to maintain a positive state of mind. Only this and our mutual concern and support for one another, are positively necessary. I am grateful we have each other....all of us!! Hugs, Paula

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      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      fpherj48 – You’ve hit all nails on their head. Really, I cannot agree more with you. The fact that we know that there are people who care, people who wish us only peace, luck, happiness and all of the best, most certainly keeps us strong. What kind of person can fall to pieces, knowing that their friends and beloveds will be shocked, concerned and miserable because they can’t do anything more than wishing and hoping that you will be okay? What kind of person will not do their utter best to recover when they know many wish them a speedy recovery? Am I deriving? Lol!

      I guess shenanigans will always exist to be a living example of what is wrong and disgusting.

      Your presence in my life means the world to me, thank you, fpherj48.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      After reading this, it does seem that things are looking better, at least in the broadcasting field. It appears that trouble and corruption is rampant throughout the world. Your reporting is excellent. One step at a time is my moto. Take care my friend. Hugs...

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      I echo Shyron's comments. People with no real qualifications in leadership positions. Hate of the free press. Dark days but it is important to keep speaking out.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      always exploring – I’m asking myself why am I doing this reporting. My answer: First of all, it is actually the summarizing of a zillion reports in order for me to understand what the hullabaloos are all about. Secondly to keep a journal or rather a list of references – although I pick only one topic a week while ignoring many other important events. Thirdly I love to share information, and I am thrilled when others are interested in what I’m sharing. I just watched a report on CNN – about Trump’s reckless tweets. Really, the man has no idea what a president is supposed to do or not. He holds the entire USA in the palm of his hand, and now he is ruffling China’s feathers? Is he not irresponsible and reckless? Hugs to you, Ruby!

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      FlourishAnyway – Go figure, our president has no formal education. Fortunately he is not an autocrat and he does rely on his advisers, ministers and other leaders in the ANC. When the minister of finance delivers his budget speech, our president falls asleep. Politics is actually a reality show, swinging from comedy to horror.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 months ago from England

      Hi Martie, first of all well done for all the 'reporting' I have learned more about South Africa from you than in my whole life. what to say really, its so confusing and sad. not sure what the answer is over there, I just hope your county will be lead into a good stable routine soon, and keep everyone safe too.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 7 months ago from Northern California, USA

      I wonder if there is anywhere we can go where we won't see such corruption. The corruption here in the U.S. is just as bad. What can the people do to thwart this sort of activity? When one is put down, another one pops up. Excellent reporting on this subject, Martie.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 months ago from TEXAS

      Thank you, dearest CD. I’m far from perfect in any sense, but doing my best, usually. haha

      Yes, your plan to minimize the negatives is very wise. You can do it!

      I guess over the past many years I’ve developed a kind of inner buffer zone toward taking negatives inside. There have been some extremely challenging situations in which my choices were clear. Another path would have destroyed me, quite honestly. In some cases, the causes still exist and assert themselves from time to time and in various ways. One needs a soft heart and a tougher skin.

      But present national events have imposed themselves more. I’m concerned for my country, and am determined to keep up with what is happening almost minute by minute, especially in hearing the first-hand words from those who concern me, since they’re often denied or twisted in the next moment or two, by themselves or others. So ever since the election primaries last spring, I’ve had news on almost full-time at home, so as not to miss major developments, and in order to be as informed as possible about what is quoted and/or twisted - by whomever. These are very significant times & events & soon we all will begin to learn the full significance of it. I’m hoping it is far better than my guts have told me it may be. It’s a case in which I much prefer to be wrong!

      BUT, for myself, before I head for bed, all distractions are turned OFF and I switch ON my music in my iPhone and listen to it as I finish up the downstairs bedtime chores. Then the iPhone lights my way upstairs, playing lovely music. When I turn off the music and approach my bed, I’m spontaneously saying out loud, “Thank you!” and truly feeling my blessings of the day and of my lifetime, not focused on negatives. When I awaken in the morning, I turn the music back on as I get ready for the day till I turn on the news. I keep my mind as positive as possible, even then, though I’m known to shout at the screen. (blush)

      I’ve tried to limit my public remarks and opinions about it to when and if there is a possibility of adding productive thought more than exacerbate division. Even so, there has been an instance of being unfriended by someone dear to me. I find it further proof of the very sad state of affairs.

      But not only is life short, but it consists only of existent alive moments in progress. One has control of one’s own moments and how they get to affect one where it matters.

      Past is gone and future is - future, not yet alive and in progress. I know, I know. That sounds too elementary, but that is what LIFE is: - elementary. And much of it is real in how it’s experienced - a personal choice or decision. Of course, I’m concerned about all the situations here and atrocities going on all around the planet. The future for everyone and for me will unfold. But when it does arrive, it, too, will be in the form of moments ticking along and needing choice about how they’re permitted to lodge in oneself and affect oneself. The more one can be positive in the present, the more positive will be one’s influence on it, which is what reverberates and makes some kind of difference.

    • MartieCoetser profile image
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      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      Nell Rose – I realize that we have nothing to complain about comparing to what’s going on in Syria, whose problems started 4 years ago after the president was criticized by a child. Down here we are allowed to criticize the president and leading party (ANC) as we please. What a horrible thing just happened in Berlin!

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      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      MarleneB – Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is an indisputable fact. Perhaps one day scientists will discover a way to eliminate the gene that contains the evil in humans. Thanks for the visit, Marlene. Congratulations with that performing hub of yours. Shows how many people suffer toothache.

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      Martie Coetser 7 months ago from South Africa

      Nellieanna – It was actually your election campaigns that triggered my addiction to news. For the past months I am swinging between local and international news all the time, following only one half-an-hour soapie in the evening. I have lost interest in the rest. I wonder if my favorite comedy is on again - ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’. True, one has to maintain and strengthen that inner buffer zone all the time. However, the war in Syria breaks my heart. How can people be so destructive, and so absolutely careless about life and the consequences of war?

      The USA, I believe, is in the beginning of a new era. But you know, Nellieanna, perhaps it is time for politicians to learn from a seasoned businessman. Who knows what new form of governance may arise from a coalition of businessman and politicians? Fortunately, your government will not tolerate any autocratic moves. Or am I naive?

      You are always on my mind, dear Nellieanna :)

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      Linda Crampton 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It's so sad that there are even problems in a major broadcasting company in South Africa. So many of us rely on television for our news. It's important that this news is as accurate as possible. Thanks for continuing to keep us informed about the situation in your country, Martie.

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      Martie Coetser 6 months ago from South Africa

      AliciaC – To be honest, I don’t know of any government-owned company that is functioning according to the expectations of law-abiding citizens. Corruption and incompetence reign. And so sad, because there are many people of all races who are highly competent and qualified, but somehow only the corrupt, or the inclined to be corrupt, manage to hi-jack the managerial chairs. Let’s hope that the SABC’s new board and chief operational officer will be an epitome of excellent management.

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