Hlaudi vs Trump

2016-10-04 06:00

A FASCINATING experiment would be to have United States presidential hopeful Donald Trump and SABC’s “all-rounder” Hlaudi Motsoeneng go head-to-head in a debate about who is the greatest of the two. Well, perhaps not really fascinating as a clash of two such gigantic egos could set off a gaseous explosion of sorts.

Humankind has had its share of self-obsessed people with stupefying egos but these two men are truly in a league of their own.

Trump participated in the first presidential debate with Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton this week. For the first time, the world had the opportunity to see the two contenders for the White House debate national and international issues face to face. Some commentators and election watchers genuinely believed the debate would see Trump graduate from schoolyard bully to be more “presidential”.

But it proved to be yet another showcase for Trump’s enormous ego and belligerence.

On what made him a worthier candidate, Trump had this to say: “I also have a much better temperament than she has, you know … I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament. I have a winning temperament.”

In a burst of sexism, he proclaimed that Clinton “doesn’t have the stamina” for the job. “To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina.”

It has emerged that Trump had decided to “wing it”, skipping out on mock debate preparation that are conventional for such events.

His ignorant comments bore testament to this: “Look at what China is doing to our country. They are using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China.”

It still beggars belief how Trump made it this far in the campaign and is now a heartbeat away from the most powerful position in the world.

In South Africa, we can hardly afford to be derisive of the U.S. campaign process when we have our own egomaniac who continues to beat the system.

After the Supreme Court of Appeal set aside Motsoeneng’s appointment as chief operating officer of the SABC, it looked as if his days of being the supreme leader of the public broadcaster were numbered — even though he believed he could stay on as an “ordinary employee”.

But Motsoeneng has bounced back, returning to his old job as group executive of corporate affairs.

This is despite somebody else being appointed to that post two months ago.

Celebrating his new job at an SABC media briefing, Motsoeneng unleashed a self-aggrandising rant that was over the top, even by his standards.

“In my view Hlaudi Motsoeneng is Hlaudi Motsoeneng and there is only one Hlaudi in South Africa. It’s this one called Hlaudi, and no one else.

“Everywhere I go, people love me,” he gushed. “I cause havoc everywhere I go … Everywhere I am, I do miracles. I am going to do miracles in my position.”

His third-person references to himself could be comical were they not coming from someone earning a taxpayer-funded salary of R4,19 million a year.

“I want to applaud people who recognise this wonderful person called Hlaudi. Because when I came here there was no SABC. People will tell you there was no SABC. When I came here, there was just a disaster.”

The scary thing is Motsoeneng is not alone in believing he is somewhat of a broadcasting genius. It emerged this week that Motsoeneng received an R11,4 million bonus from the SABC for “single-handedly” negotiating a deal with MultiChoice.

The SABC must believe Motsoeneng pulled off an extraordinary feat to be so handsomely rewarded. The ANC and Cabinet denounced the SABC board for reappointing Motsoeneng to his old job, saying it showed disrespect for the rule of law.

But like Trump, Motsoeneng has the inexplicable ability to survive even though they both defy all sense of rationality.

It is a signal of a world gone mad that megalomaniacs can rise to the top and have so many people fall for their idiocy.

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