Monday, June 22, 2009

Taxis, doctors and Egyptian soccer players

Today was nothing more than a tedious quest for information. No big stories on the agenda.
First mission: find out whether Operation Nomakanjani is or is not continuing. Various spokespersons for the Metro police have said that the immensely successful crackdown on lawless taxi drivers has been been suspended. The reason? They have arrested and fined so many taxi drivers that the taxi associations are now quite annoyed and threatening to strike. And we all know what happens when taxi drivers strike. So the Metro cops said they would suspend Operation Nomakanjani pending a peaceful meeting with taxi bosses to discuss their grievances with the ongoing actions. But the traffic boss was having none of it, and released a contradictory statement to say that they would not be held to ransom and Nomakanjani was indeed going ahead and they were planning to add to their impressive record of 2000 or so arrests and impounding of taxis. First one story, then the other, then they were in a meeting, no decisions....
Second mission: is the wildcat doctors' strike over salaries going ahead? Some say yes, some say no. The Health Department says they don't know - call back at 10am when we have a picture of what is happening, please. Difficult when deadline is 8,30am at the very latest! Grrrrrrrrrr.
Third mission: Apparently the visiting Egyptian soccer team's claims of having been robbed during the early hours of Friday are a tad dubious. Detectives, it seems, found no sign of forced entry at their hotel rooms, their safes were not tampered with and weekend papers claim that the players had enjoyed the company of some ... erm ... ladies of the night who may possibly have been the ones to walk off with the pile of dollars after the party.
My task? Find the team, talk to them, get the latest on the investigation, find out when they are leaving the country, what their embassy is saying and whether or not they will be interrogated by detectives today. Not surprisingly the hotel was not willing to divulge gues information, nor was Egypt Air forthcoming on their national soccer team flight bookings and their appointed spokeswoman could not be reached on either of her two cell phones nor her e-mail. The Fifa guys had no clue what was happening. The cops were annoyed about an "anonymous source" talking out on behalf of detectives. The embassy was tightlipped. Well and truly stumped.
So while I was waiting for the overly numerous phone messages I left with the gazillion or so people I had phoned I googled my name on the image setting to see what came up. Turns out I share the same name as a much older woman preacher who is going to spread God's word in Kenya next month, and in Spain in September. She sings too, and has written a religious book with an eagle on the cover. Go figure!
Then I phoned murdered Dr Sprenger's family to find out how they are doing and if there is an update needing to be done on the story. They were too sad to talk. So I went home.

1 comment:

  1. Well heaven forbid we expect the taxi drivers to obey the rules of the road!