Monday, September 14, 2009

The Presidential Hotline launched while Julius Malema is not shot.

Today President Jacob Zuma launched his Presidential Hotline. At 9am that toll free number was opened up to anyone who wanted to call it with their complaint-of-any-kind about government. Not surprisingly the lines went berserk as soon as they were opened up - in the first hour they received 2000 calls before it increased to an average of 2 200 calls an hour for the rest of the day.
Being a good sport and all, President Zuma decided to answer a couple of calls himself. It must have been interesting being the irate taxpayer (presumably) whose call was picked up by Jacob Zuma. Can you imagine?
His first caller was a widow who had been unable to convince Home Affairs that her husband died in 2006 and had been badly treated when she went to her local court for help. Wonder how he's going to fix that one. The second caller was a guy from Boksburg who had been unable to get his local council to address a sewerage problem which has dogged his area for months on end apparently. Another challenge for JZ!
I tried over 20 times to get through to the Presidential Hotline but got an engaged signal every time. I am wondering if cross South Africans are not going to just get crosser because they now have yet another call centre offering assistance, but is impossible to get through to.
Ah well, time will tell. The spokeswoman from the Office of the Presidency who I spoke to seems upbeat and positive that the call centre will be running without a glitch or a hitch by the end of the month. We live in hope!
My colleague The Brat had an interesting day following the ongoing saga of poor Caster Semenya's gender controversy. It seems Julius Malema and his ANC Youth League have not abandoned their support for the embattled young woman, and once again taken her cause as an opportunity to spout out some imaginative statements.
"Even if a test is done, the ANC YL will never accept the categorisation of Caster Semenya as a hermaphrodite, because in South Africa and the entire world of sanity, such does not exist," was one of their charming utterances.
This was followed by: " The ANC YL is also very concerned by the fact that all the media reports about Caster Semenya are generated in Australia, which is the most lucrative destination for South Africa’s racists and fascists, who refused to live under a black democratic government."
And then the ANCYL took exception to rumours that their leader had been shot by somebody. And so their spokesman, one Floyd Shivambu, issued a clear directive that "Julius Malema is not shot and will not be shot by anyone".
These rumours had apparently upset Julius Malema, and Floyd put this neatly into perspective:
"No one likes to hear that they have been shot," he said.

1 comment:

  1. Oh lawdy... and I thought it was only Malema who could come up with gems like those!