Constitutional Hill

Racist yes, but not because Mugabe is “President”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advert for Peach Mobile depicting “President” Robert Mugabe as a caged gorilla. The advert shows Mugabe’s face superimposed on a gorilla’s body. He sits in a cage at the “Zim Zoo” wearing pink sunglasses and holding a sign that says “Keep me in”. Then a woman is heard screaming: “Hey wena, hey wena [hey you], answer.” Mugabe then sings: “Hey robber Mugabe, you rob-a my country, you rob-a the money, you rob-a the people,” with engorged eyes.

According to The Times ASA argued that:

The tone of the commercial is disparaging and insulting to Robert Mugabe and as such is demeaning and lowers his dignity… A hypothetical reasonable person would be offended on viewing the commercial. There is nothing light-hearted and humorous in depicting a human being, especially a president of a country, as a gorilla.

I agree that the advert is beyond the pale. In the context of deeply entrenched racism and xenophobia in South Africa the depiction of a black man as a gorilla must surely be offensive to any decent and right thinking person. It perpetuates deeply offensive and dangerous stereotypes about Africans as animals. Even if it was supposed to be funny, I cannot see how such an advert can ever be acceptable in South Africa where incidents like the Reitz video shows how many whites still do not respect the inherent equality and dignity of Africans.

That is why I also feel uncomfortable with the Vodacom advert which makes fun of an African dictator, who is so stupid that he pretends to have all the Vodacom advertised goodies like special ring tones, by ordering his minions around him to produce them manually.

But I must say I find the reasoning of ASA as reported in The Times quite absurd.

The problem is not that the advert lowers the dignity of Mugabe, or that it lowers the dignity of a “President”. (Should all editors not now insist that when writing about Mugabe the word “president” be placed in inverted commas, given the fact that he was not legitimately elected as President of Zimbabwe?)

The advert is offensive because it perpetrates stereotypes of Africans in general. Its only redeeming feature is that it might lower the dignity of Mugabe as a person and might offend him. And the fact that he is the “President” of another country should also really not be relevant. In a country based on the Rule of Law, Presidents do not have more right to dignity than the rest of us because we are all equal before the law.

Mugabe is a dictator and it should be perfectly acceptable in an open and democratic society to make fun of or ridicule – even in quite a harsh manner – the murderous dictator of another country. An advert showing Mugabe with blood dripping from his hands, for example, will lower his dignity, but should surely be acceptable as long as the subtext of the advert is not that all or many Africans share the murderous inclinations of the “President” up North.

When one becomes a dictator one surely gives up the right to have one’s dignity respected by the inhabitants of another, democratic, country. In fact, in a democracy it should be our duty to mock and ridicule dictators like Mugabe. Given the fact that dictators like Mugabe are often quite thin-skinned and vain, mocking them is rather emotionally gratifying and also helps assert the notion that dictatorship is wrong and democracy is good.

It all depends on the context in which the mocking is done. Mocking a dictator in a way that merely perpetuates stereotypes about Africa or Africans are therefore beyond the pale. It is sad that ASA cannot see this distinction.

  • Samaita

    Put plainly, while mocking Mugabe and lowering his dignity (if any) is not deplorable at all, the entire gorilla, monkey, ape, baboon or chimpanzee characterisation of Africans is racist. This is plainly why I as an African get angry when I see cartoonists like Zapiro portray the worst of us as apes. It demeans all of us Africans. Have you ever seen a cartoon depicting a white “bloody idiot” (Bob would say) as a gorilla?
    We were insulted through this characterisation for many years. I think Mugabe deserves many insults, but none that demeans the rest of the members of his race.
    Pierre, it is not simply demeaning because it portrays Africans as animals. No. It is demeaning and gravely offensive because Africans are portrayed as still millions of years behind in evolution. I have a totem as an African. Samaita is a zebra. Call me a zebra…I am proud. I can even recite my totem in fluent Karanga praising its endowment, its beauty, its body, strength etc. I am proud of that animalistic association. The Ncubes are from the totem of monkeys and baboons. They proudly call themselves thieves who survive from pillaging other people’s fields in their poetic praise.
    Please do not call Africans apes or gorrillas. Not even in a Zapiro cartoon depicting the dislikeable Julius Malema! Trevor Ncube, the M and G publisher, from the monkey tribe must appreciate the difference.

    Samaita or Zebra if you like!

  • http://mhambi.blogspot.com Wessel van Rensburg
  • Pierre De Vos

    Samaita, you wrote: “it is not simply demeaning because it portrays Africans as animals. No. It is demeaning and gravely offensive because Africans are portrayed as still millions of years behind in evolution.” I agree hundred percent. Well put.

  • lindelani maseko

    White people should never be allowed to rule our land never ever again.

    We should continue to treat them like tenants because in actual fact they are tenants in our land.

  • Frank Shearar

    What about all those lovely cartoons of George “Dubya” Bush portrayed as a monkey? Are those also racist?

    How about the interpretation of Mugabe-as-gorilla being about how stupid he is? Or how about Mugabe-as-gorilla being subhuman?

  • z

    I despised that Mugabe picture from the moment I saw it, and not because of some defensive white stance.

    But I have mixed emotions on this ape/baboon characterisation thing depending on context. In Afrikaans I have heard the word ape (aap) or baboon (bobbejaan) applied to white people on many occasions and I don’t know how many black people realise this. It is often used when someone does something considered stupid and often used by those who dislike using what is referred to as swear words which are thus culturally unacceptable (like asshole) in certain circles.

    But as has been pointed out there has been some history of using that characterisation in blanket application to blacks.

    The mail and guardian depiction of Malema is once again one of context. It was clearly referring to the theory of evolution, with all the people in that cartoon being black, meaning it does not in any way denote black people in general. Unfortunately that theory of man’s evolution is going to be used in many jokes to come to make fun of people and it will be not be restricted to blacks.

    The web is full of cartoons depicted George Bush as an ape or chimp. Here is a website dedicated to showing the similarities between bush and chimps:
    www DOT bushorchimp DOT com/

    Also see:
    www DOT uncuriousgeorge DOT org/linksprimates.html

    I’ve seen more than just what I dug up in a quick search..

    I hardly flinched at the Malema depiction yet was appalled by the Mugabe one. This does not make my experience somehow morally right though. Context and intention is important, but even more it has to do with the way you see things through your cultural spectacles (as in all levels of culture from nation, tribe, broader family, immediate family).

    I personally love the Vodacom dictator ad and so does my black friend from Kenya (and not just because the actor is Kenyan). Though it stereotypes a dictator, hinting in many ways at Idi Amin (although they say they didn’t have someone specific in mind), you have to remember that dictators usually benefit but a few and are despised by many.

  • z

    I am keen on getting our black commentators views on the vodacom ad. What you guys think?

  • khosi

    z,

    I am porting my number as we speak.

  • z

    Khosi

    Really? If so, could you explain your feelings on the matter?

  • Samaita

    Frank Shearar,
    There is a core-settled meaning if your subject is black and you depict him/her as a gorilla. There is of course as always, a penumbra of uncertainty in the meaning. Some of you may be aware of incidences in English football where bananas were thrown at players like John Barnes! If you observe it plainly, it is a simple act of missile-throwing mischief common at soccer matches. A dietary suggestion?
    When Dubya is depicted as a monkey, the meaning is plain and settled. Is it any wonder that a Black American is happily called a “nigger” by another black person but seriously offended when so called by a white person?
    With matters of race, great care and sensitivity ought to be exercised particularly when the subject is a person of a historically despised group. It may be hard to impose an objective test for all races and classes, but surely an objective test amongst the race so targeted is easy to settle.
    Maybe half this world does not understand what offends the other half!

  • Anonymouse

    Doesn’t putting a particular face to the gorilla (or an ape, or a baboon, or a demon, or a showerhead, or …) give the depiction an identity of its own? Why must the mere fact that the specific person ridiculed by a cartoon belongs to a certain race always have a despicable ‘racial’ connotation? I think it would be extremely inhibitive to the right to freedom of expression/speech if that were to be the case. I can’t agree that there is “a core-settled meaning if your subject is black and you depict him/her as a gorilla”, especially if the subject is idenitified as a person that is notoriously stupid, in this case, Mugabe. If that were the case, then all black people should feel offended at the fact that Zapiro sometimes depicts JZ as a ‘shower-head'; and, even using the phrase ‘Banana Republic’ to describe a backward (African) state, must have a similar effect. The evolution thing [" because Africans are portrayed as still millions of years behind in evolution" if 'any' black person is depicted as a gorilla] also does not hold water, because I have seen many e-mail attachments circulating in government offices (with the full knowledge and concurrence of office managers) depicting a gorilla turning into a white male – with the title: “The origin of ‘Mlungu.” It is therefore a mutual form of ridicule with which the ‘other race’ is sometimes laughed at.

  • Anonymouse

    Doesn’t this phrase also unjustly stereotype [black] Africans (even taking the context into account): “The pigs have been let loose and are now sullying our Constitutional Court.”?

  • Samaita

    Anonymouse,

    You miss the point. Freedom of speech is not absolute. If you depict Zapiro being sent to a gas chamber for cartooning Zuma, you will understand my point. The Jewish flock will be on your doorstep pronto. The object of your caricature must not carry connotations that insult a particular race. It must remain targeted at the particular individual and his or her behaviour. The race may feel insulted simply because of the previous common use of the imagery. Simple.

    A banana republic is not a racial connotation check the history of the phrase. Zuma’s showerhead is related to his specific behaviour as revealed in the rape trial.
    In your reference to a gorrila turning into a whiteman, I am not sure what the circulation of the email in government offices have to do with the offence of a particular race. But I must add that the joke in the email (which I have not seen) may lie in the fact that the ape ancestry is shared by all races including those that consider themselves superior. The exact location of this gorrilla debate.

  • Pierre De Vos

    Annonymouse, racism must always be judged in context. Where there is a master narrative which suggest one race is inferior to another, words or actions that reinforce that narrative will be problematic and offensive. In this case that narrative is that black people are not fully human and have not fully evolved into human beings worthy of equal dignity and respect. Gorillas or apes are seen as the forbears of humans in terms of the theory of evolution and depicting black people as gorillas or apes are therefore deeply offensive. The same narrative does not exist for white people. There is also no narrative that says black people wear shower heads on their heads or roll around in the mud. That would be the distinction, in my view.

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    I knew the Add was going to be removed the moment I saw it. Highly offensive..

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    About the evolution cartoon by Zapiro, it borders on being offensive because of the apes, but Zapiro was clearly trying to depict how evolution seems to be going backwards. I also got upset seeing Peter Mokaba depicted as an ape but with more scrutinity I saw why it cant be seen as offensive.

  • Mpho

    Personally, I did not take any racism from the Zapiro cartoon, and merely saw it as the depiction of the decline in intellect from the great days of the birth of the ANCYL to the half-wit in charge today. That we all derived from apes (black, white, yellow) means that whether he had drawn the Chairpersons of the ANCYL or the heads of the Apartheid State, were he trying to show an intellectual regression he would have used the same model (I am sure).

    But I agree that in general such depiction would be derogatory without being satirical.

    My very white, normally racist friend thinks the Dictator add is great, so despite never having seen it, I think I’d find it offensive!

  • Anonymouse

    Prof de Vos – see lindelani maseko’s query on the ‘pigs’ post below. Furthermore, I do not know whether my previous answer got lost in Eishkom’s 20 x 5-second load-shedding exercises in my area or whether it is being moderated before publisj=hing, but I’ll wait until tomorow before I try to repaet it.

  • Clara

    Will you all just please leave gorillas out of it. Gorillas are, in fact, peace-loving herbivores and would never dream of behaving like rogue mammals, aka humans. We, with our big brains, must be the stupidest creatures this planet has ever seen. The behaviour recently witnessed at the ANCYL meeting (the one with the buttocks) almost exactly mimics what happens when opposing chimpanzee clans meet. Ask Jane Goodall, or Jackie Selebi.

    “We should continue to treat [whites] like tenants because in actual fact they are tenants in our land.” Lindelani Maseko, I am offended by this comment. Didn’t someone – I think it was Le Grand Fromage, Thabo Mbeki – once say that South Africa belongs to all who live in it? Care to tell me when you plan to give me notice to vacate the premises?

  • frank cobain

    In all fairness I think gorillas should sue for defamation of character or something.
    With regard to the Vodacom, it’s brilliant because it plays on the stereotype of the “African dicatator” at his most ludicrous. And yes there have been an over-abundance of such creatures and are thus fair game.

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    I’m black and I love the Dictator ad and so do all my friends. I don’t see which racial stereotype it could possibly perpetuate? Care to enlighten me?

  • Linda

    As much as most of us may agree that Mugabe is a bit delayed ( in evolution terms), the cartoon may be used to reinforce stereotypes to societies that still consider black people as apes….People especially in media and politics have got to understand how their words and actions are being interpreted by the ordinary person. There are many africans who are still sesitive to these issues, and if the excuse of freedom of speech is entertained one should ask whether it the freedom of the cartoonist or the public that is being expressed..

  • khosi

    It has just gotten worse. The is shamefully racist.

    http://www.thetimes.co.za/OnCamera/Article.aspx?id=753689

  • khosi

    Oh, hey Lindah!

  • Linda

    Hi khosi

  • Mpho

    Khosi, did I miss the sarcastic tone? Coz I’m certainly missing the shameful racism!

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    I fail to see any racism in Khosi’s link.

  • Mpho

    What do you think of this one? I’m not sure I like the depiction of Mugabe as Hitler. But again, I don’t see racism.

    http://www.thetimes.co.za/OnCamera/Article.aspx?id=753689

    If Khosi wasn’t joking, I think Lindelani is masquerading as him!

  • Mpho

    But the real Khosi won’t like this one!

    http://www.thetimes.co.za/OnCamera/Article.aspx?id=753689

  • Linda

    ironic maybe sarcastic no

  • Mpho

    Linda did you know Mugabe sat and passed all the exams for 7 University Degrees? As a first year student, that should give you some indication that he is not intellectually challenged!

  • Linda

    Mpho

    wat would i be without a daily dose of mpho …i love you more each day….u seem to bring out my inner bitch….

  • Mpho

    Ok, I watched the Dictator advert on YouTube. I don’t think it is racist at all. I think it could be viewed as relevant political comment on the fact that our leaders do not appreciate the ICT needs of the people because they live in an elitist bubble. Samaita, is it true that in Zim everyone has free or at least uncapped internet? Can you imagine the difference that would make in South Africa if our schools had uncapped internet access at the US or UK rate of payment? Hell, even if they kept charging us so much but gave free connectivity to the schools I would be happy.

    With regard to the ad and how it reflects on Africans (as opposed to bad African leaders) I think that there comes a point in time when we have to stop being thin skinned and appreciate that we can be miserable when pointing to real problems or light hearted.

    (ps I love Thabo pushing the mobile tv!)

  • Mpho

    See, Linda, I can hear the sarcasm in THAT, but I really missed it in Khosi’s post.

  • Samaita

    Mugabe’s best degree remains the Fort Hare one! The rest were passed with variable struggles while in detention. Eddison Zvobgo who had an LL.D from Harvard used to laugh at him for failing several law subjects in jail. His favourite joke was that he struggled with the “hear say rule” in Evidence like a woman!
    He has claimed a degree in violence but he yet to graduate in this one. All we have seen is his outstanding thesis or is it dissertation…all we can pray for his desertion from the post he holds.
    By law, he is the Chancellor of every state-owned university in Zimbabwe!

  • Mpho

    Do you have cheap and uncapped internet access?

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    , I co-sign

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    I’m not familiar with all the technology jargon, what’s the meaning of “uncapped”?

  • Mpho

    You know how we have to buy 1 gig or whatever of internet access? Well other countries whose telecommunications companies don’t have a monopoly over internet connection give unlimited access. For example, in the UK you get limitless mobile internet connectivity for GBP15. In South Africa it costs you more than that to get 500 mb on contract!

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    Oh I see,, thanx for the info Mphoza

  • khosi
  • Mpho

    Oh my goodness Khosi! We need to give you a quick lesson in cross-examination techniques and attempts to impeach a witness. Let’s see if Wim Trengrove feels the need to re-examine before we decide if Pikoli was “on the ropes”. Also, why are you so excited about cross-examination on the Selebi matter when Mbeki et al said repeatedly that this was not the reason for his suspension?

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    Man, Seth Nthai is so hardcore, is it really necessary to be so hostile? When they televised an excerpt of the enquiry , Nthai was throwing his hands in the air in a violent manner while grilling Pikoli.
    He even looked like he had a few words of profanity on the tip of his tongue..
    Somebody tell this man to cool down

  • Mpho

    Do you all know about this project?

    http://openlawproject.org/about/

    The aim is to create a wikipedia for RSA Law. I think some of the collaborators here could assist with content.

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    So Mpho, you belive this whole “breakdown in the realtionship between Pikoli and Mabandla” claim?

  • Anonymouse

    Pikoli: Such kind of cross-examination is improper and gains nothing really, which is why it would not be allowed in a court of law (which the Ginwala Commission isn’t). What Seth Ntai should remember is that sometimes, if not most of the time, the case of the opposition gets stronger because of the cross-examiner losing focus as a result of his/her emotions. I agree with you Mpho.

    Mugabe as an ape: It seems that my two comments of yesterday evening and this morning got lost on the cyber web, and I am not going to repeat it here in all detail. Samaita, if you look on Wikepedia, ‘Banana Republic’ does sort ofd have undertones of the superiority of one race above the other. Prof de Vos, I still do not see how other members of a race group (in this case black), are justified in feeling offended by the depiction of a specific individual (Mugabe) as an ape, just because pre-1994 naratives compared blacks to apes. The context here quite appositely describes Mugabe, no one else. Clara and Frank Cobain, I agree, it is the gorillas that have been shamed here, not the black race. Khosi, Mpho, Bongani and others, guys I thoroughly enjoyed the cartoons in the link you provided. Lastly, read this commentary http://www.news24.com/News24/MyNews24/Your_story/0,,2-2127-2128_2353236,00.html

  • Anonymouse

    Pikoli: I must agree however that the court which sanctioned the plea bargains of Agliotti and Nassif made a mistake in rubberstamping the plea agreements between the parties involved. I would not have held the respective sentences to be ‘just’ in the circumstances. However, Seth Ntai’s stance here quite creates a dilemma for the state’s case – why was Mbeki and Mbandla so defensive of Selebi in the first place?

  • Mpho

    I believe that Mbeki’s need to micro-manage came to a head just before Polokwane and in typical TM style, he cast Vusi aside (who had been his loyal supporter) because his ego would not allow him to believe the accusations about Selebi. That is why Nthai is hammering him about the Selebi arrest warrants, etc., and has nothing to say about the alleged breakdown in trust.

  • Anonymouse

    However, saying that I don’t agree with the NPA’s plea agreements, not even in the Vlok et al saga, does not imply that I am of the opinion that Pikoli is unfit to be the NPA boss, merely that he has made a mistake – but that was never the reason for suspending him, was it? Neither could that hae been reason enough to justify a suspension – remember Selebi has been placed on leave, despite the mentioned lenient approach to Agliotti and nassif, and despite being criminally charged, while Pikoli was suspended, and not crimially charged.

  • Mpho

    Mouse, I’m still waiting for you to take up Setumo’s challenge a la JZ Indictment.

  • Anonymouse

    Mpho, I agree totally.

  • khosi

    Mpho, Rattus Magistratus

    What is at question is Pikoli’s fitness to hold office. He made grave errors on the plea bargains and that is one of the reasons enough to question his fitness for office. As for Seth Thai, Trengrove was just as belegerent on Simelane. So please stop trying to play the man when it suits you and acknowlrdge Pikoli’s apparent screw ups.

  • Anonymouse

    Khosi, but Tregrove was to the point, Nthai not. Remember the initial decision to suspend Pikoli was because of a ‘breakdown in trust’, unless Mbeki and Mbandla have lied to us again, and this kind of cross-examination has nothing to do with Pikoli’s fitness to hold office – it is a fishing expedition to try and get something against him.

    Mpho, I have already indicated below that Setumo’s challenge regarding the charge sheet is no real challenge, as the allegations are pretty straight forward and, if proven, JZ must be convicted.

  • Mpho

    No Khosi, Just Administrative Action requires that reasonable decisions are taken. Therefore, Pikoli was suspended due to a breakdown in trust between himself and the Minister of Justice according to the person who suspended him. THEREFORE the reasons which informed that decision need to be substantiated.

    The whole point of this is to prevent sitting Presidents throwing their toys out of the cot (and their Heads of the National Prosecution Authorities out of their jobs) on a whim where they later scurry around digging up dirt to substantiate their decision AFTER THE FACT.

    They can’t have denied the Selebi matter was the reason for the suspension and now point fingers as to his conduct in relation to it.

    If Mbeki brought this matter to the local CCMA I’d hate to tell you of the hounding he’d get from the Commissioners!

  • Mpho

    Mouse, I shall trawl the boards in search of it. Thanks

  • Mpho

    And Khosi the reason we are pointing to the manner that Nthai conducted his cross-examination is because you are claiming that the words which come out of the cross-examiners mouth are somehow more important than the witnesses. Now surely you can see that this cannot possibly be the case.

  • Anonymouse

    Khosi, many other DPP’s (not necessarily NDPP’s) have made blunders as far as plea bargains are concerned, but that has never justified their suspension. That is why the courts have a discretion whether to confirm the plea bargain. Pikoli’s predecessor made an even bigger blunder by not trying JZ with Shaik, but he was never suspended. The real reason for Pikoli’s suspension was his obtaining warrants against Selebi, who should have been arrested and made to walk off in chains for being involved with racketeers and skelms.

  • khosi

    Mpho, Rattus,

    I do not know how you can find Trengrove any different from Nthai, except maybe the words are more marauding since they come from a black person. Mouse remember the car door blog.

    Secondly, if there was a ‘breakdown of trust’ reasons for such need to spelt out. Please tell me that the careless plea bargains could not have been a reason for such a breakdown.

  • Mpho

    NO KHOSI THEY SAID AT THE TIME THE REASON WAS THAT PIKOLI WAS NOT REPORTING TO THE MINISTER AS HE HAD BEEN INSTRUCTED TO. SO IF THAT WAS THEIR REASON THEN THAT IS ALL THEY CAN ARGUE THEIR CASE ON!!!!!!

    I apologise for shouting everyone else, but Khosi clearly didn’t clean the soap out of his ears this morning. Or perhaps is your new love for Linda clouding your better judgement?

  • khosi

    Mpho,

    Hey, Linda how are you breezing, love!!! Can I just qoute the Rattus: – ‘the case of the opposition gets stronger because of the cross-examiner losing focus as a result of his/her emotions.’

  • Mpho

    See! Even you can agree with him sometime!

    Mousie, I can’t find your discussion re Setumo’s points on JZ swaying Thint off the back of his struggle credentials. But I did wade through a long argument between you and Khosi on ZIm and Mbeki which I really wish I hadn’t! hahahaha

  • Anonymouse

    Khosi, of course I remember the car door blog, which is why I do not agree with the argument that depicting Mugabe as an ape is racsist, and which is what this blog is all about. The fact that Trengrove is a white man, and seth Ntai black, has nothing to do with the argument concerning the Pikoli matter. I can think of a number of other black advocates that would have done just as good a job as Trengrove (Patrick Mtshaulana SC, for example), without having to resort to the politically loaded antics of Seth Ntai – such clownery usually does not win a case, but often irritates only the presiding officer because it beats about the bush instead of focussing on the real issues and does not really assist fact finding.

  • Anonymouse

    Mpho, my response to Sethumo was the (currently) last one under the Hulley letter blog – next page.

  • khosi

    Rattus,

    ‘politically loaded antics ‘, care to ellaborate.

  • Anonymouse

    I’m glad you waded through our argument on Zim though. As Khosi has done in this case, however, the blog (Zuma’s application eing dead in the water) was side-tracked by Mqo, which led to that argument besides the point.

  • Anonymouse

    Oh come on Khosi, even you should be able to see that Seth Ntai’s screeching, hands ablaze, have no real legal motive, but only to try and score political points with the viewers (and, hopefully, the government and presiding officer). We get that type in normal courts as well, only aiming to get clients for their robust treatment (shouting and bawling) at witnesses, but they seldom win cases.

  • khosi

    Is Mqo back from Zim yet?

  • Anonymouse

    Khosi, I don’t think so. Hope Bob’s apes (sorry, henchmen) did not get hold of him.

  • khosi

    I do not think we should be prescribing how one should put their point across. If it works for Nthai, so be it. So far I think its working because it has exposed flaws in the way Pikoli conducted the business of the NPA.

  • khosi

    Rattus,

    Funny, I was hoping they at least took away his non-functional internet line.

  • Anonymouse

    What, with an economy in such shables, fat chance!

  • khosi

    Rattus,

    I said ‘took away’.

  • Mpho

    Khosi for the very very last time.

    The point was not to see if Pikoli was the best possible Head the NPA has ever seen. The point was to see if FOR THE REASONS STATED Mbeki was correct to suspend Pikoli.

    An employer, even if that employer is the President, cannot suspend or sack an employee without giving reasons and for the employee to be given the right to give their side of the story. That situation is even more apparent inthis case as the Constitution precludes Mbeki having the right alone to remove Pikoli from his post. Now Mbeki said that the reason for the suspension was that there was a break down in trust between Pikoli and the Minister. THAT IS THE ONLY THING THAT IS RELEVANT HERE unless he wants to re-instate Pikoli and then re-suspend him on new grounds. The employee cannot be running around counteracting accusations which were never originally stated. And it was PIKOLI who said that his suspension related to the Selebi matter, and Mbeki and the Minister who said oh no it wasn’t! So to see the State’s counsel seek to harass Pikoli on Pikoli’s own assertions must lead Ginwala to conclude YES HE WAS SUSPENDED BECAUSE OF THE SELEBI CASE! If that is the case, then Pikoli’s suspension must be set aside on the basis that it was unjustified (meaning it was not reasonable).

    What is your profession Khosi?

  • Anonymouse

    Khosi, ‘took away’, as in ‘steal’ (or, as it is also known in these states as far as land is concerned, ‘dissappropriate’)? You just made the case against the Mugabe Banana Republic.

  • khosi

    Mpho,

    No No No. The commission was constituted to probe Pikoli’s fitness to hold that office. Do not come here with unsubstantiated stories.

  • Anonymouse

    Mpho, once again, I agree totally. At least as far as the Vlok plea bargain is concerned, the Reverend testified (only to be discredited in cross examination by Trengrove), but as far as the Agliotti and Nassif plea bargains are concerned, no one from the government testified (remember, Mbeki and Mbandla did not testify), and cross examination tereon amounts to seth Ntai’s own folly.

  • Anonymouse

    Khosi, as far as unsubstantiated stories are concerned, see my last remark above concerning Seth Ntai’s cross examination.

  • khosi

    Rattus,

    I mean save us from more folly, much like the type Mpho is spewing today. But I must say I am impressed by your arguements, the break must have done you good.

  • khosi

    Is Mqo the Zimbabwean lover that Mpho speaks about?

  • Mpho

    No my darling. His name is, ironically, Khosi too!

  • khosi

    You must be joking!

  • Mpho

    Khosi, I’m not.

    The Constitution empowers the President to appoint a NDPP, but the National Prosecuting Authority Act states that an enquiry must be held before a DNPP can be suspended, however, the President can immediately suspend the DNPP pending the Enquiry. Now the rules of natural justice (now codified in Just Administrative Action legislation) state that an administrator must make reasonable decisions. Mbeki and the Minister are now gathering reasons for claiming that Pikoli should be suspended ergo they did not have the reasons at the point of the immediate suspension and are now desperately trying to find them.

    You ignored my question as to your Profession I see. But surely anyone who is employed can see that it is simply not acceptable that an employer suspends an employee and then runs around trying to dig up dirt on them in the hope of justifying the suspension after the fact. As mouse has already said, much of their dirt has stuck to the State’s own hands. So it was not a reasonable action on the part of Mbeki’s.

    You can’t accuse someone of spewing just because they understand the legislative framework and disagree with your lionizing of Mbeki, Khosi.

  • khosi

    I was talking about this reply:-

    ‘No my darling. His name is, ironically, Khosi too!’

    Calm down my darling, its just a discussion.

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    Khosi why do you keep saying the words “Rattus” before each post? Whats that?

  • Mpho

    I know what you meant. That’s what the first sentance was in reply to.

    Bongani, he calls Anonymouse “Rat.” As he’s a Judge he now calls him Rattus Magistratus or something like that. He’s quite witty really!

  • Mpho

    Khosi, what is your profession please.

  • Anonymouse

    Mpho/Bongani, it was actually Clara that first called me that, and Khosi jumped on the bandwagon

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    Mouse you’re a judge?
    Man, am I the only academic in this place?

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    Damn I just realised how wide the interpretation of the word “academic” is, what I meant to say was student (penultimate year)

  • Mpho

    Linda is also studying. Are you reading Law?

  • Anonymouse

    Bongani – no I am part not of that exalted brotherhood (they used to refer to themselves as ‘the brethren’ – now they should think of a name to include the sisters too) called High Court Judges, but am one of those lesser (lesser in learnedness and slightly lesser independent) beings called ‘magistrates’. I am however also a serious academic busy reading (no writing, finished reading) towards my LLD in international criminal law (ultimate year). You see, as a result of my office, which I did not want to be disclosed (for I am a mouse rather than a man), I used to blog as ‘anonymous’. Khosi then used to call me ‘the faceless one’ and dared me to use a pseudonymn. That, and Clara’s remark once that there seemed to be more than one anony’mice’ on the blog, made me use the extra ‘e’ at the end, to spell ‘anonymouse’. Khosi then started calling me ‘faceless rat’ or just ‘rat’ (come to think of it – just as degrading as ‘gorilla’ – got you all there! How’s that for returning to the topic?). At one stage, I’m not sure when, someone found me out as a regional magistrate, which is why Clara once addressed me as ‘Rattus Magistratus’ (you guys still do Latin?) that appealed to Khosi, hence the ‘Rattus’. (However, when he is angry, he still calls me rat – and I enjoy needling him until he does exactly that.) So my secret is out – however my name and exact posting remains a secret because I don’t trust the bullies in the executive. Just see what they did to poor Pikoli. (Now I’m right back on the side-tracked topic.)

  • khosi

    I think Mpho should ask about the history of the name Rattus Magistratus before misinforming others.

  • Anonymouse

    Hey all, check out the new post.

  • http://www.legalbrief.co.za Bongani

    Mpho

    yes I’m studying law at UNISA and work part time for an Intellectual Property Firm.
    What year of study is Linda in?

  • Mpho

    Linda is a first year.

    Khosi has a bit of an attitude going on there bhuti!

    Mouse thanks for the lowdown. I’m sure I am the first and last to mistake Clara for Khosi!

    Clara I apologise!

  • Anonymouse
  • Anonymouse

    “By law, he is the Chancellor of every state-owned university in Zimbabwe!”

    What cheeck?!

  • http://www.top-10-unlimited-web-hosting.com Jonathan Williams

    Robert Mugabe is a snail of Africa, my heart really goes when I think of those poor Zimbabweans. I am Zimbabwean living in England and I used to live in Harare, I must say that my country has been ruined by world’s biggest terrorist which is Mugabe, look at the exchange rate, poverty, economic conditions of Zimbabwe. When I think about it my heart really goes, I wonder why Mugabe does not let citizens of Zimbabwe decide the future of the country and also Mugabe must realize that he is in power since last 30 years his mind is getting old and he cannot think the same as young generation can think, so he must resign for the better of Zimbabweans. Cheers

  • AliBama

    Good that someone new from abroad found PdV’s blog, and that discussion is not limited to
    what immediately comes into peoples minds, so that the debate must run like a ping-pong game:
    finished without chance for participants to ponder and add substance.
    This and recent posts, makes we wonder if/how I’d be able to arrange these [2 so far] competent
    female writers to ‘edit’ my written argument/s, on a cash-payment-into-an-account per task
    completed ?

  • zoso420

    4 years later … hi