Publication: The Star Issued: Date: 2003-09-15 Reporter: James Clarke

Government Officials Take Things as they Come



The Star

Date 2003-09-15


James Clarke

Web Link


Only 6% of Britons, according to a poll published in Time, believe what their government is telling them about the Iraqi situation. I am sure many parliamentarians must have been flattered by this figure and rushed home to tell their spouses.

As a result the Stoep Talk Organisation held a similar poll, to find out what South Africans think about their government's assurances regarding crime and corruption.

We first asked the 37 500 respondents (Note: this figure has been rounded): "Do you trust the government with your tax money?"

(Note: this adds up to 165% because the figures have been rounded.)

Asked if they were convinced that the ANC government was seriously concerned about crime:

(Note: figures rounded to nearest 0,5).

Given a choice of three figures, respondents were asked to guess how much the minister of safety and security, now that he has made South Africa so much safer and more secure for everyone, spends annually on his own bodyguards, bulletproof cars, burglar bars, alarms, radio links, high walls and razor wire:

The Stoep Talk Organisation followed up with interviews.

Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula said his personal security measures were necessary because the United States thinks he looks like Osama bin Laden and chase him all over the place trying to capture him. (Note: he does in fact look a bit like Bin Laden but only if Bin Laden's figure was rounded.)

The public works department has suffered R2 045-million in losses through theft of goods ranging from a medium-sized government garage complete with cars to 87,75-million Bic pens from its various offices. These rounded off figures are just for March 1999 (the latest available).

Asked why he wasn't worried by such losses, the department's spokesperson was philosophical. He said: "When in government you take things as you find them."

The defence force is offering a reward for anybody who can help it recover its Daphne class submarine carelessly left unattended during a scrap metal merchants' conference in Cape Town. Rumours are that it was melted down and made into millions of long-legged metal birds now being sold at Johannesburg traffic lights.

With acknowledgements to James Clarke and The Star.