One trend to feel good about

2014-03-24 10:00

My apologies. The Oscar Pistorius trial, an exciting election campaign season and the run-up to the release of the report into the spending at the president’s residence have kept me busy.

I should have explained earlier that our iMag will, as of next month, become a new section.

It’s called #Trending. I loved iMag but it became too expensive to publish.

The economics of our industry are being reshaped almost every day, and while we want to bring you three glossy magazines (like the London Sunday Times delivers each weekend), we can’t.

But until we can (and I have every hope we will), I know you are going to love #Trending. It is a weekly dose of beautiful writing, travel, fashion, TV, radio and blogs. There’s also recreational sport: running, cycling, yoga (my passion). What’s your sport or fitness thing?

Our team is hard at work putting it together for you. We launch on April 6, two weeks from today.

But we do have some questions. I love TV, but I don’t watch, based on the listings pages. I do so by word of mouth and by what’s trending.

This is how I came upon what in South Africa is called The Fixer, the political drama series starring Kerry Washington. Monday nights have me glued, though I’ll admit the Carte Blanche Oscar Pistorius trial channel has me glued too.

We won’t have traditional TV listings unless you insist upon it. But we will have excellent TV coverage because our research shows readers are staying home more now as a tough economy bites. Am I right?

Another question, if I may. How do you want us to cover food (eat in or eat out)? And what about travel? Will you write up your holidays for us? Let me know.

It seems so trite to say I wanted to cry after hearing the ANC’s response to the Nkandla scandal.

I want to cry when I look at my payslip and know some of my hard-earned bucks paid for that folly of fire pools and bling cattle culverts. I have no problem with MaKhumalo’s tuck shop because she seems like a lovely lady.

Also, I learnt from The New Age this week it was her shop that kept the Zuma family going when her husband was fighting for our freedom. We cut our leaders some slack because of where we come from and how far we’ve come.

But now there’s no more slack. This is scandal number five the party has weathered with our president.

There was the arms deal bribe allegation, the spy tapes saga, “babygate” (the president’s extramarital affair and consequent love child with a friend’s daughter), the Gupta plane landing, and Nkandla. It’s too much. History cannot judge his administration well, despite the many good things he has done.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is our makhadzi and her findings are quite clear. There are things that must happen to make right on Nkandla. Parliament must be recalled so the ministers who shorted the system can account.

So must the president, who is the ultimate custodian of public goods and the public good. President Jacob Zuma breached the Executive Ethics Code.

On Friday, the ANC sent out a statement that made me feel like Alice in Wonderland. Its summation of the report is this: “...?the report acknowledged that the president and his family paid for their dwellings and everything occupied by the family”.

It’s a really tiny part of what the report found. Its main finding is that our funds were blown along with our trust. But nothing is going to happen. So that makes me want to cry.

Get in touch with me via Twitter @ferialhaffajee or email

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