Publication: Sunday Times Issued: Date: 2004-03-21 Reporter: Hogarth

Aside from the Graft, It was a Clean Deal



Sunday Times

Date 2004-03-21



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Audit-General Shauket Fakie is to be commended for clarifying his report "clearing" the government of wrongdoing in the arms deal.

Fakie, speaking at a conference on combating corruption, was reported by Business Day as saying: "Decisions were rushed through and corners were cut."

Said he: "Certain government principles were flouted, proper signed minutes were not available, [there were] failures by members to recuse themselves and conflicts of interests."

More: "Certain policy and procurement procedures had so many holes, or were not followed, making it impossible to hold someone accountable."

Hogarth's report card: "Shauket is making steady progress and is beginning to grasp the fundamental principles of auditing. Soon he will be ready to offer an audit opinion we can all take seriously."

First baby kissed

Four-month-old Ndumiso Ngcwabaza became the first baby to be kissed by a politician in the 2004 election campaign.

Ndumiso was kissed on his right cheek by Deputy President Jacob Zuma during a house-to-house campaign in KwaNdengezi, KwaZulu-Natal, this week.

The event was recorded by the press.

The cost of apple pie

Since all political parties are promising motherhood and apple pie to the electorate, Hogarth has calculated what this would mean for the budget.

Motherhood is free, but a slice of apple pie a day at R7,50 a slice for 45 million people would cost no less than R337,5-million. That's why there will be no apple pie, whatever the politicians might say.

You knead it

Did you know that you can relieve the strains of opposing the ANC by buying the amazing DA Stressball?

Seriously. It's on sale on the DA's election website for just R13 (postage added at checkout).

The sales pitch? "Feeling the pressure? (Squ)ease it out with our cheerful yellow stressball."

Parable One

An old man called Sponono Xabanisa was waiting for the President Mbeki election roadshow.

No longer able to wait, he asked a nice man in his house: "Where is he? Where is he?" He pointed to a picture of Mbeki on an ANC T-shirt as he spoke.

"But I am here," replied Mbeki, who had been in his house all along.

Later the man asked Mbeki for a R1 coin, saying that he had no food. "This is Xhosaland. We don't eat pap, we eat meat," he said. Mbeki gave him R10.

Parable Two

Later Mbeki went unto another pensioner's house. The old man spoke to Mbeki in Afrikaans, which was translated.

Ten minutes into the conversation, the old man's friend interrupted his host, saying: "I don't know why you keep speaking Afrikaans when the President is Xhosa like you."

From then on the conversation proceeded in deep rural Xhosa.

A slip of the tongue

A certain Business Day writer's Freudian slip was showing this week.

In a report headed "ANC women beat quotas on poll lists", Hopewell Radebe observed that "Manne Dipico is in the 10th position on the national lust, making him one of the top contenders for a Cabinet position".

So who's number one on the lust?

With acknowledgements to Hogarth and the Sunday Times.