WELL, yesterday was a big day for the country and voters were out in their numbers to place their X on the ballot paper. At the time of writing, we have no idea who has won, if provinces have swung to another party or whether some parties have done better than anticipated in the polls. However, with all the electioneering over the last few weeks it will be good to get back to some level of normality (normal being a relative word for us in SA).
IT was interesting to read the comments from the readers in our vox pop section regarding whether a major shift in the political scene was likely as a result of the elections. There didn’t seem to be much hope that things would change for the better, although it was generally felt that a change of government (or, at least, the political leaders) would be the best option. However, whether this sentiment was expressed at the polls is still to be determined.
THE BLF (Black First Land First) party, contesting their first national and provincial elections this time around, was found guilty of hate speech by the Equality Court on Monday for its campaign slogan “Land or Death”. The party was ordered to apologise to the country within a month of the verdict but, as expected, defiant BLF leader and founder Andile Mngxitama said that the ruling was biased and that he will not apologise. At the same time, the case against Julius Malema over his WhatsApp message condemning veteran political journalist Karima Brown and posting her cellphone number, prompting like-minded people to send hate speech messages to her phone, was heard in the Johannesburg High Court on Monday. The court reserved judgment on the case (as the courts have done with every previous case brought against Juju). Hate speech has no place in SA and these two individuals, along with any others from any ethnic or political group who advocate violence as a legitimate method of getting their point across, should be prevented from participating in the elections. But, as is the perennial problem in this country, many such cases take so long to come to a conclusion that most have forgotten what happened by the time any resolution is reached.
HAPPY birthday greetings and good wishes to everyone celebrating a special day in the week ahead, especially Nicole Norden, Rafe McKinnon, Edward Donaghy, Vicky Nelson, Connie Abbott, Beryl Bentley, John Gaylard, Antjie Rodgers, Jannie Malan, Stewart Kemp, Lauren Pretorius, Sonja Blenkinsop, Cheryl Larson, Ralph Clegg, Lynn Roberts, Donné Mather-Pike, Kristen Wilson, Clint Roesstorff, Debbie Axe, Cally Garden, Malcolm Noel, Nolungile Gula, Ronald Jones, Angus Schlemmer, Almarie Garner, Carmantha Barkhuizen, Nan Robinson, Wayne du Plessis, Quinton Ruiters, Marion Cleugh, twins Carter and Freya Prince, Hein Swart, Bev Scoble, Michelle Seegers, Terry Brickhill, Chris de Wet Steyn, Margaret Frances, Brian Kibby, Colleen Wood, Lêlin Frankenfeldt, Kristin Waters, Rowan Haller.
IN MEMORIUM: Val Kilian and her husband, Peter, retired to Port Alfred from Gauteng in 1993. Val soon settled into village life, becoming a member of many clubs and societies, as well as being very active in the Anglican Church where she served and ran the youth group for many years. An active member of the Woman’s Auxiliary, Val shared her many talents which included knitting and baking with fellow members. She was roped in as judge at the Bathurst Agricultural Show for many years, judging the baking and icing. Val was also very involved with Boy Scouts in the East Rand, and often helped out at the scout group which was run by Dot Fetherstonhaugh. Val would often visit the TotT office for coffee and a chat, so we decided to rope her in and she worked for us as a reporter for many years. She spent many an evening with us at the office submitting her stories, or just keeping us awake with her many interesting tales of her youth, sipping coffee, and having a good laugh. When Barbara and Mauneen sold TotT, Val decided it was time for her to retire from reporting, and concentrated on her baking and icing, which was phenomenal. Although retired, Val remained friends of the original TotT staff, especially with Anneli Hanstein who she often joked about, saying she was the daughter she never had, and to whom she passed on her icing skills. Val passed away peacefully after a long illness bravely borne, on Friday May 3. She will be remembered with fondness and love by us all, as well as Mauneen and Barbara’s children with whom she had a special rapport. A memorial service will be held this Saturday at the St Paul’s Anglican Church at 11am.
OUR sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to Val’s husband, Peter, her sons, Gareth and Bryan, and daughter-in-law, Laura, as well as her many family and friends.
BUSINESS anniversary congratulations followed by good wishes for continued success go to the following businesses and organisations – Kowie Key (in Van der Riet Street), St John’s Anglican Church (181st anniversary in Bathurst).
THE rand is probably in for a rough time following the elections as some foreign investors (that we desperately need to stimulate the economy and create jobs) are concerned with the nationalistic and anti-West agendas of many political parties. Brent crude oil was at a 2019 high at the end of last week, but dropped down below $70 per barrel for a time due to the lifting of certain restrictions in the Opec monopoly. Retail sector figures are down, mostly due to a dearth of expendable income among citizens and mining is also dragging the economy down. So, with 2018’s figures in brackets to compare against, the rand was trading at R14.48/$ (R13.52), R18.96/£ (R17.48) and R16.21/ß. Gold is trading at $1,281.97 per ounce ($1,225.58), platinum was trading at $879.00 per ounce ($909.10) and Brent Crude Oil at $70.65 per barrel ($49.19).
SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk who are not well, having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. “Sterkte” to Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Jenny Groenewald, Chris de Wet Steyn, Marian Eaten, Martin Bekker, Trish Solz, Brenda Shelton and Theo Snyman.
CONGRATULATIONS and continued happiness to everyone celebrating a wedding anniversary in the week ahead, especially Shane and Chelsea van Eeden, Okkie and Chantelle Goosen, Tony and Trish Versfeld, John and Karen Kew, Cliff and Jacqui Tutton, Peter and Edna Smethurst, Bruce and Gwen Venters, Gary and Theresa Smith.
THOUGHT for the week: “Mothers hold their child’s hand for a little while, but their heart forever” – we wish all mothers a happy and peaceful day on Sunday.
BEST regards as always,