Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mess ups, stuff ups and the weather

First thing this morning I was briefed to follow up a story running on radio. Some guy had apparently been hijacked a week ago by seven guys who kidnapped him and took him off to Hartebeespoort Dam where he then bravely fought all of them off and stabbed one of them in the face. It was helluva dramatic stuff, despite the fact that it was week-old news. So I called the cops to find out more. They had no clue what I was talking about. So I called the reporter who did the story and he sent me the guy's blog details, cell number and a warning that I was going to be dealing with one wild and weird character. I asked who he had spoken to for confirmation of the alleged incident and he admitted that, like me, he had spoken to all the talking heads at provincial headquarters and encountered glazed stares and no information. Fortunately he had a contact in Hartebeespoort who gave him the information he wanted, but this was his own private connection who would not speak on the record. That meant I could not confirm what already appeared to be one supremely dodgy story.
Ah well....
There's always the weather. So a weather story it was - today is apparently cold, tomorrow colder and Jozi is likely to see -2 - that is MINUS TWO DEGREES people! - on Friday. And severe frost on Saturday.
Then I got sent off to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. To cover the Health Minister's announcement on what his plans were to increase doctors salaries like immediately to avert the looming massive health professions crisis that would no doubt transpire if doctors were to go ahead with their threatened strike action.
ChiefPhotographer and I headed off, signed our way in, produced press cards, had our bags x-rayed, walked through metal detectors and made our way past the giant structure that was built on the hill for the April presidential inauguration bash. It is still in the process of being dismantled!!
I sat through the media briefing in which the minister promised raises - as big as government could possibly offer. I took down the new salary scales and filed my story, realising that one of the figures quoted did not make sense. Crisis! I found another journalist willing to share info and we checked the numbers - she had exactly the same figures. Eish. Double crisis! We checked with a third - again the same mistake.
Ah man! What to do, what to do?
I got back to the office and found a statement from the health ministry. The figures had been corrected. The minister had made a mistake. Not me. Thank goodness!
I downed a bottle of fruit punch mineral water. It's called 'revive' and apparently what is recommended for freaky situations. Such as waking up with whipped cream in your hair and the phone number of someone called 'baksteen' written on the inside of your thigh. It's supposed to be awesome enough to bring back 80's TV, mixed tapes and chopper bikes.
I dunno hey. I felt better for a while. But then I heard that the Metro boss had agreed to make some concessions to renegade taxi drivers in regard to their objections against Operation Nomakanjani. I CANNOT believe they caved to men who recklessly run red lights, drive in the safety lane and use oncoming lanes for their convenience when traffic slows down. Even if they are caught doing this, respectful traffic cops may no longer impound their taxis.
Shocking! Shocking! Shocking!

1 comment:

  1. The taxi industry is South Africa's own mafia, and it doesn't suprise me at all that they caved.