The weird world of politics: Auto-incorrect

2013-11-17 14:00

Beware the auto-correct.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba learnt this the hard way, with his office telling MPs in a reply on locomotive procurement that he was buying “fuel weapons” and an “automotive weapon”.

He meant wagons. Fortunately, SAA spokesman Tlali Tlali was more vigilant.

The other day, Tlali stopped short of calling his boss, Monwabisi Kalawe, “babe” in an SMS, meaning “baba”. Maybe it’s safer to revert to the Thabo Mbeki-era “chief”.

Cut out the poetry

The report writers of the joint standing committee on intelligence learnt nothing from Thuli on creative titles.

They called their recent one the “Report on Prestige Project A: Security Measures at the President’s Private Residence: Nkandla”.

But their prose might get them a job with Top Billing.

Nkandla is “where the president takes a break from a hectic government schedule to go to relax, as well as spend quality time with his family, attend to his guests and private engagements”, are just some of the report’s poetic prose fit for a president.

Beware the outside world

Some time ago, President Jacob Zuma told the National House of Traditional Leaders that “the overwhelming majority of the 52 million South Africans are peaceful, caring, law-abiding citizens”.

This is in stark contrast to what his government’s security people found, according to the parliamentary report on security considerations at Nkandla.

It said crime is on the rise (to such an extent that people have to employ “security dogs, high security fences, burglar doors”).

On top of that, residents in rural communities are soft targets and rape is on the rise. Just as well for the Nkandla upgrades then.

Historic 11/11/11

The ANC isn’t known for its timekeeping, but some cadres must have been watching their clocks closely on Monday, also known as Armistice Day, when North West leaders gathered to discuss how to get everyone in the ANC to play nicely with each other in the province.

“What makes this meeting special for the ANC is that the meeting will take place on the eleventh month at eleven hours commencing at eleven seconds. This is a historic moment for the ANC because it is uncommon to experience such a synchronisation of the calendar month and the time zone,” the press release gushed.

Just as well. The North West needs all the help it can get.

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