It started off with a brawl in January at #KyalamiEstates where we saw drunk, rich, white people fight like amateur wrestlers (both men and women). That should have been our first warning of what was to come. Ah 2020 you biscuit! Get thee behind me!
This article started with 66 pages (apt!) so you are lucky I’ve taken an axe to a lot of the trauma you’ve suffered during this year as we close down for December. Yes it’s early in the month to close off, and no, I don’t care.
The news broke internationally of the #coronavirus, a pandemic in our lifetime, and with it being such a big story, it was soon followed by a myriad of fake news. It was all 5G they said; it was the New World Order they said, (New World ORDER, that’s a laugh, I’ve never seen so much chaos in my life) and apparently in South Africa if you drank koeksoda you would be just fine.
The President has had an unbelievable year; he had moments where he made superhero status in memes and filled the country with pride as we begged for #lockdown. (Yes, WE begged for this). Our national pride was at an all-time high as the #SANDF hit the streets and we had a 21-day countdown, and we were held steadfast by an outstanding leader at the beginning of the lockdown process.
But soon after that, so many wheels fell off one would swear we were at (the almost bankrupt) Bridgestone.
#Covid hit South Africa; we were, and still are, in lockdown. We brought our South Africans home from Wuhan and the President couldn’t quite work out how to fit a mask. We saw the best and worst of South Africans during the hard lockdown. The selfish piling up trolleys of food without a single thought for the sister standing next to them with a loaf of bread. The #covidders rose among us and humanitarian efforts from ordinary South Africans made (probably) the most important impact on our country.
And then there was the #KFCWedding, a massive show that large organisations, with little effort, can make dreams come true and can work together. That was so special, but what happened to #MzansiCouple? I’d forgotten about our #MzansiWedding.
#WooliesChicken was important to the tone deaf and the ban on alcohol was unbearable for many; #PineappleBeer became a thing and then they banned cigarettes, moving my status from patriot to hypocrite, criminal and almost anarchist overnight. #NDZ walked in and trampled all my patriotic dreams and with that, *poof, our President disappeared from our screens for what felt like an eternity.
We all smoked and drank though, and we all became petty criminals, and the coffers of illicit trade were filled. Our President did return and when he did it was all about the Benjamins, not the Madibaz; we’re talking dollars baby. We saw that rich men can drop billions in ‘relief packages’ but actually they were only loans. Ah bless #MonopolyCapital, we didn’t expect anything but opportunism anyway.
Ramaphosa’s chess game
Just when we thought we had done the frying pan and fire thing, the master plan started to unveil itself. The PPE corruption allowed the thieves to steal from the sick and the dying and the President announced an open audit on the funding abuse.
I always said that Ramaphosa plays chess; it just feels like he takes forever to make his move, but the truth is that it’s a game of intense skill and requires slow and deliberate movement. Name after name came out in relation to the Covid theft including the greedy and relentless #SihleZikalala who called for “calm” as a chunk of his team was arrested for corruption. The President’s very own PA was implicated and #Ace hopped on a plane. #Ramaphosa made the details of the #ZimbabweFlight open to the public as he published all the details behind #Nqakula’s (read Ace’s) jaunt.
Then the President called the #ANC #AccusedNumberOne and the sweep on corruption began. Our President is back, everyone, and it appears this was his plan all along. He threw the shade of a baobab tree over his own party and particularly #JacobZuma’s very public (private) letter. #Zuma was put in the naughty corner and with that, the dance began.
Right in the beginning of the year #Zuma tried to dodge the man who is saving South Africa, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, certainly the hero of South Africa who deserves our utmost respect. This man has been a constant spirit of justice and calm throughout the year, #UncleRay (as those in the YouTube chatrooms refer to him) has been spectacular.
We have seen him actually turn the wheels of justice and now, at the near end of 2020, he has finally got warrants out for #Zuma and #DuduMyeni. In addition #Mokonyane is in a great deal of trouble because of #UncleRay and #Ace playing hardball as he tries to escape damning testimony from the #StateCaptureCommission.
I have the watched the #DCJ keep his calm in the most infuriating of testimonies; I can count on one hand the number of times he raised his voice and on the other hand the number of times he has been brought to tears. Thank you #DCJZondo for being a shining light through a dark (including #Eskom) year.
Speaking about the #StateCaptureEnquiry, one cannot leave out the incredible advocates who’ve entered the room over the year; here is a place where sterling examples of our humanity try their best to take down the lowest form of mankind – including those who use examples of vetkoek or the term “I will not answer unless I incriminate myself” or the best used yet, “I don’t remember”.
Minister lucky star
There have been many shining lights during this dark time, another is #TitoMboweni, dubbed minister #luckyStar; his hemp farm and Twitter account have kept us in stitches, we love him and often he makes our jaws drop. He’s been in the principal’s office more times than I could count for his ‘shoot from the hip’ narrative. He even tweeted that he was not allowed to tweet. I love minister #ShaSha, #BeLikeTito.
Malema stayed in the headlines for so many reasons, he told Parliament that he had the house by the “scrotum” when he realised #DeKlerk was sitting in a seat he shouldn’t be in 30 years later and he has a vendetta like no other for #jamandas #MinGordhan.
He is also responsible for two of the largest stories this year, the first is #Clicks and #Tresemme where he caused chaos with people who weren’t the perpetrators, left carnage in his wake and ended up with a bunch of tampons and a few days embargo on the sale of a hair shampoo. The second was #Brackenfell, he caused the country to hold its breath and pray that we didn’t end in civil war, but as it is with Julius, he walks in, causes chaos and then leaves the room with zero accountability and little actual impact apart from mayhem. The by-election speaks for itself, not a single seat to the EFF.
Zille broke the DA, we all knew it was coming as the great DA exodus happened as if someone with #Covid had sneezed in the boardroom. The DA are now firmly competing with the #FF+ and South Africa is left with no opposition apart from Herman ‘high horse’ Mashaba.
The school year has been absolute chaos with schools opening and closing like the rotating doors at Eskom’s board. Teachers and children were put at high risk, distance learning was added to our vocabulary and parents struggled to help where they could but it was a hot mess. The reward for all this angst from our Government? A leaked set of matric papers and an extra 5% for effort. I mean we did have 1 500 of our schools vandalised during hard lockdown, we can’t complain.
Our fragile state
The country is still in a very fragile state as South Africans try to reinvent their lives to cope with the terms that our now part of our daily vocabulary: The #NewNormal, #LevelWhatWhat, #FlattenTheCurve #AdvancedLevels #SocialDistancing #WashYourHands #Quarantine #Sanitise #StateOfDisaster #StockPiling #LiftTheBan and other hashtags we have never used before.
Job losses are enormous as over three million jobs leave the market and over half of our nation is unemployed. For many of us, though, the new work from home movement, #WFH, taught us that this is exactly what business needs: zero traffic, no heavy rental fees, no wasted meeting times and that you can do an awful lot on your phone.
SASSA came under fire more than once and the R350 grant was more difficult to get your hands on than keeping Bushiri captive. As for the Bushiris, what a story; it’s like a bad script. What an embarrassment to South Afria and our President, it seems
Waterkloof is still a controversial destination; Ace also hitched a ride to Zimbabwe from there. Maybe people should have to use their passports there? Just a suggestion.
#MinisterFearFkl showed he feared the taxi association but not Ace’s cronies; I still find #FikileMbalula very entertaining. Taxis had to have 5cm gap-makers installed during one of the coldest winters as our country went back to work.
#MduduziManana and #StellaAbrahams in one photo showed us that #Lockdown and the alcohol ban were optional for government.
#NicholasNinow thought taking drugs meant you were unaccountable for raping a child, the judge, rightly, disagreed.
#EnochMpianzi, the loss of a child and the debate of how much money his life is worth, still persists today and no one went to jail.
#NathanielJulies, a 16-year-old boy with Down Syndrome, was killed by SAPS and his fight continues still today. It has set #Eldoradopark alight with an angry set of residents calling for a specific cop, ‘#Scorpion’s’ head. The courts did well despite the horrific legal teams and their performance.
Gordhan made SAA disappear and reappear like an accounting magician and Mboweni ended up funding an airline that doesn’t exist or is brand new. I hate accounting; funny numbers they make for the Steinhoffs and Ecsponents of the world.
What happened to #MarcusJooste by the way? Nothing. He paid a fraction of the money he stole and is living in the lap of luxury. #Gordhan also said he was too busy for #Zondo and then pitched up to deliver fiery testimony. He was cross examined by an arrogant and really quite useless Dali Mpofu; it was like he was holding an EFF rally…The more things change…
Moments of comedy gold
There were moments of comedy gold in South Africa over this year. You’ll remember that the Communications Minister hasn’t been to Switzerland but has been to #Geneva. Then #SindiswaGomba farted on TV and said the SABC used a farting machine. #MaxHurrell released #WhenPeopleZol and #Jerusalema became a worldwide sensation.
The world stopped for #GeorgeFloyd and #BLM movement made its way to international waters; of course the #AllLivesMatter crew stood up and I’m not going there because as if to prove our point, the death of #CollinsKhoza just made us acutely aware of just how ignorant America is.
#BhekiCele was working hard with the alcohol ban and keeping people indoors, and in true #CeleStyle, he continues to crack skulls and take names. #LiftTheBan was a thorn in his side though as he made it quite clear that he would be happy to have an #AlcoholFreeSA as SAB poured millions of litres of booze down the drain.
Femicide and GBV have and continue to be a constant narrative in 2020. There are too many brutal stories to share but here’s the bottom line: nothing changes. We sisters have to do this ourselves. There is no help, we are #JustAnotherHeadline. We are not like #GeorgeFloyd, the world does not stand still for us, we don’t have a minute’s silence. All we have is another docket to add to the overflowing pile.
#FarmMurders became a massive story across South Africa, and when it di,d there actually wasn’t a story to be told. Today there is a massive story to be told as we are still dealing with the aftermath that was #Brackenfell. Racists and the EFF have a co-dependent relationship, that’s for sure.
We saw the worst of the Western Cape, with zero water to Khayelitsha during hard lockdown and then the forcible removal of people from shacks in winter without anywhere to go. The story and images that were #BulelaniQholani will never leave my mind.
We experienced great grief with so many deaths I cannot possibly name them all here, but I will say that #ZindziMandela, #AndrewMlangeni and #GeorgeBizos’s deaths left the tears just rolling down my cheeks.
Another story that doesn’t stop here is the #CharlKinnear case which reads like a bad spy novel.
ATM brought a motion of #NoConfidence against our President which just further entrenches what we already know: the ANC has a massive problem; there are two parties, maybe more under the same banner.
I suppose I must cheer you up, well there was #MyKreepyTeacher a spoof on #MyOctopusTeacher that was very clever and super cheeky. Exactly how I like it. Nando’s came out with an add that said it seemed like “finger-licking” wasn’t so good after all. Just genius. Then to counter that because, well it is 2020, we were affronted by #CloverBlue probably the worst campaign in South Africa’s history.
As I close, I’m not going to wish you at all. I’m going to pray that as the reader you are safe now and that you find your joy now. If we learnt one thing from this year, it’s that every second matters. Use them wisely.
An Acumen Media Annual Report by Tonya Khoury
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