Does the commander-in-chief want to throw the election?

2014-01-20 11:45

Sunday morning. It’s early. I’m on the couch reading the papers. I’m more sober than most judges.

Saturday night was spent on the couch. No bender with the Ghenginator. Just that warm glow from two bangin’ Santi Cazorla goals at the Emirates. The satisfied feeling that comes from being top of the Premiership towards the end of January. The Gooners are looking good. Unlike the Buccaneers. Games in hand or not.

We’d made it back from Newcastle in time for kickoff. The Croc and I had taken the Golf for a last road trip before it gets scrapped. From Durban to Newcastle. Via Ndwedwe, Tugela Ferry and lots of other places we’d no good reason to be in. In a heat wave. With no aircon.

Ndwedwe was cool. We’re doing a project where we follow a matric kid through the year. A sweet gig. I’m following Nontobeko Tau. Nontobeko’s this shy but brilliant 16-year-old at Lihlithemba Technical High School. Quiet and respectful but also kind of self-assured. The sort of kid who is going to be something special.

Newcastle was also like that. Inspiring. In Newcastle we got to hang out with Paulo Cardoso. Paulo’s the cat who discovered CR7. That’s Cristiano Ronaldo, if you don’t speak football. Or live on another planet.

Paulo’s like the Jesus Christ of football scouting. A messiah of mentoring.

Paulo’s strategy is to identify youngsters at the age of six. Groom them at school. Take them to academy by the time they’re 13. Keep them there till Under 19. There you educate them, mentor them. Teach them football and about life and how not to die broke. Then sell them. In the process, everybody gets paid. Even the coach who first unearths them.

Paulo’s here for five years to set up an academy based on the Sporting Lisbon model he helped create. Before it existed, Portugal had been to the World Cup finals twice: 1966 and 1982. In more than 100 years of Portuguese football.

Since 1996 they’ve featured in every European Cup and since 2002, every World Cup. The reason – at least in part – the sporting academy turned out more than 100 professionals in leagues around the world and 30 Portuguese internationals in 10 years. This can only help our footie, so the academy gets my vote.

Getting out of Newcastle hurts. Nearly 90km of roadworks. Speed bumps every 50m. The Croc isn’t pleased. Neither is the Golf. Lucky we’re dumping it.

We miss Gwede in Maritzburg blaming Thuli for Thulas delaying her report. We’ll get over it. One day.

Back to Sunday. And the couch. I’m reading the papers and I start choking. The commander-in-chief has given his colleagues in top office a R45 million pay increase. Backdated to last March. Just in case the wheels fall off in May?

It’s a weird move for the commander-in-chief to make on the eve of an election. Especially when your own advisory board tells you not to increase the salary of anybody earning over R1 million.

And you’ve ordered the private sector and everybody else to stop giving themselves fat pay cheques and bonuses. (Even if you pass on the increase and settle for the fire pool.) It may be cementing the loyalty of the cadres in office for the big push ahead of voting. But it’s telling the rest of the punters to go and f**k ourselves.

Unless this is a fiendishly clever public relations stunt engineered by Mac Mirage and the whole lot of them turn it, I can see only one explanation. The commander-in-chief wants to throw the election. The commander-in-chief has to be a DA plant. An agent provocateur working for the Wicked Witch of the West to turn voters against the ANC.

Why else would the CiC pull such a move?

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