10 December 2006

Point Man Missing The Point

The Saturday Star carried a story headlined “Mixed news after Mbeki, Bush meet – Follow-up meeting fails to yield substance”. Their story is not on the Internet. The South African president flew to Washington and back for a 50-minute meeting with US President George W Bush and a half-hour meeting with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. President Bush can’t quite cope with the difference between Darfur and Dohar, as you can see from the mercilessly verbatim White House transcript of the remarks made at the subsequent photo-opportunity, linked below and worth reading. While he was in Washington, or perhaps while he was flying around in his personal Boeing, Thabo Mbeki despatched his (ANC) President’s Letter to the online ANC Today publication. This was an attempted (but fatally flawed) defence of the Ministers and other government functionaries who have been caught owning shares in the Bombela Consortium, successful BEE boondoggle bidder for the R23 billion elitist Gautrain project. Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya has today brutally taken apart the hypocrisy of this document, and set his sharp columnist Hogarth on to it, as well. See the linked document below. Amy Musgrave covered the story in Saturday’s Weekender. Her story is also linked below, as is the President’s Letter itself. Meanwhile Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka blew another R4.55 million of taxpayers’ money on a shopping trip to England. This is a new record. Last year’s notorious Phumzile “crane trip” to the United Arab Emirates only squandered R700,000. Minister of Excuses (formerly “Terror”) Lekota says it’s a shocking bad thing but there’s nobody to blame. See the linked story below. It would not even cost a fraction of this sort of money to recognise the Transport and General Workers Union’s right to organise the locally-employed workers at the South African High Commission in London. Rights that are guaranteed to South Africans are denied to their overseas employees. Comrades who fought in solidarity so that South Africans could have those rights are now treated with contempt. What a scandal and embarrassment! See COSATU’s Press Release and the IOL article linked below. Click on these links: Remarks by Bush and Mbeki at Photo Opportunity, White House (787 words) Lonely at the top, Mondli Makhanya and Hogarth, Sunday Times (1084 words) Racism behind Gautrain saga says Mbeki, Amy Musgrave, Weekender (518 words) The ANC, ANC leaders, BEE, and corruption, T Mbeki, ANC Today (2611 words) Mlambo-Ngcuka UK trip costs taxpayers R4,55m, IOL (218 words) COSATU Statement re T and G dispute with SA House London (398 words) SA High Commission embarrassing, IOL (149 words)

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