For those who have the same warped sense of humour this Letter can also be had in French.
(Complaints can be addressed to the Blog Council, your nearest newspaper, radio or TV station and when you leave this blog remember to pull the chain)
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You’ve really got South Africa’s ruling party the African
National Congress (ANC) in a twitter, especially its male Members of Parliament.
stand the fact that you are cleverer and more articulate than they are.
Worse still you are a Black woman who is supposed to know her place as
subservient to them.
Worst of all at 33 you are the Parliamentary
leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA),
the ANC’s main opposition party and
its sworn enemy.
It’s a sure sign of mental inadequacy
when a person has to resort to insults in a debate when they are being
outwitted by their opponent. And that’s just what has been happening to certain
ANC members who have found you too quick witted
How many of
these loud mouths would have dared to appear on BBC’s Hard Talk. None of them I bet, least of all South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma.
It’s not called that for nothing as you know because the interviewer pulls no
Yet you came through the cut and thrust
of that encounter superbly. Nobody, except your brainless ANC opponents, could have been anything else but impressed by your
self assurance and political nous.
must have been delighted with all the praise you got on social media.
Of course it’s nothing new for you to be
personally insulted by members of the ANC. One
of the first was that uneducated upstart Julius Malema
when he was President of the ANC’s Youth League.
As you know he delighted in saying of
you, "She’s the
tea girl of the Madam, and her rolemust remain there."
He was talking about your relationship with Helen Zille,
the White leader of the DA.
But while your star has continued to
rise higher and higher in South African politics
he has been kicked out of the ANC and is
struggling for recognition in the wilderness.
Lindiwe with the Madam by her side
More recently, when you were
highlighting the many flaws in President Zuma’s leadership
during his budget speech in Parliament, some of his underlings felt they had to come to the rescue of Number 1.
The best John
Jeffery could think of was, "While the Honourable
Mazibukomay be a person of substantial weight, her stature is questionable."
Encouraged by this Buti Manamela piped up with; "Honourable Mazibuko hasbad fashion taste
and has been arrested by the Fashion Police. Blame Zuma, everything must be
blamed on Zuma."
I accept you could improve your dress sense
but what you were wearing – a red jacket over a black and white dress with
black tights – was by no means the worst fashion crime in the house. In any
case all that the dress code stipulates is that it must be in accordance with
the dignity of Parliament, something that would be hard to fathom at times.
subsequently refused to withdraw its claim that you were inappropriately
dressed but apologised for saying you were overweight.
No Books Angie
No wonder, it has had heavyweight
problems of its own. And boy did the Minister
of Basic Education AngieMotshekga
and her ANC get their knickers in a
twist when a very large pair labelledAngie’s knickerswas
carried through thestreets by protesting teachers.
The members of the South African TeachersUnion were threatened with "the full wrath of
ourjustice system"(Toothless at the best of times). Quite
justifiably they want the Minister, who is in
charge of the worst education shambles in the world, to resign.
It was ironic that in a letter to the Union she wrote that the
panty protest "signified
that women cannot be fully human
and so society has every right to poke fun at women in very denigrating ways."
South Africa's new National Flag
course that’s exactly what the two faced ANC has been doing to you.
Ever the optimist Angie maintained, "Not only do they owe an
apology to me, but the rest of South African women."
Lindiwe there are lots of other ANC
members who would tip the scales in their favour with you on the other side.
But when it comes to well
articulated, intelligent debating ability they would have a job finding someone in your league.
So laugh off these ANC barbs because far from
diminishing your stature they are actually enhancing it and getting your name
up in lights, which is just what you need in politics.
Keep punching well above your weight
and those ANC smart alecs could
have egg on their faces if yourStarperformerandBlack, young and giftedtags
eventually help to ensure that your DA
becomes thechampion that governs
the entire country.
Best wishes from a Huge Admirer,
VIVA LA DA (I speak isiZulu)
P.S.I see you went to St Mary’s
that posh school in Durban. Isn’t that another
one of the ANC’s gripes, that you speak English too well to be one of us Blacks? St Mary’s schools produce real class. I should know.
I am lucky enough to be married to an old girl (she’ll kill me for saying that)
of the Johannesburg St Mary’s where Helen Zille
went to school (Nothing like name dropping to enhance my career).
African Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is there to police the
advertising industry. But in my experienceit is a toothless and an extremely incompetent organisation, staffed by people who haven’t
a clue about what they are doing.
What’s more it advertises its
inefficiency on its website with an out of date 2007/8
to it were relatively simple. I will deal with them in two parts.
Part 1 concerned three small ads that appeared in
the Sunday Times towards the end of 2011. They containedunbelievable, get-rich-quickpromises that so often dupe pensioners and the less
well off into losing their life savings.
I had been campaigning (See:Noseweek exposes Dearjon letter) to get this paper to stop
running these ads (see example) as I believed that by doing so it was helping
crooks to fleece people.
But as my efforts had so far been
unsuccessful I decided to try and get theASA to
rule against these ads.
I had every reason to have confidence
in the ASA as it maintains that it regulates all
advertisingand that alladvertisements should be
legal, decent, honest and truthful.
Another of its impressive claims is that no advertisementshould bring advertising into disrepute or reduce
confidence in it.
What happened after that was hard to
believe. The ASAitself blew my
confidence in it sky high and made nonsense of its boast that it was there to
ensure that all ads arehonest andtruthful.
30/1/2012: Leon Grobler:Manager Dispute Resolutions confirmed he had
received my three complaints and
added that if an ad appeared in a newspaper they were empowered to have it
removed even if the advertiser refused to do it himself.
I'm sure you've heard the expression, 'If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.' Well in the investment world, I say, 'If it sounds too good to be true, it definitely is.' 1997 Washington Times
3/2/2012: Phumzile Mhlonngo: Adminstrator
Complaints Assessment, emails me with
these reference numbers 19581, 19581 (should have been 2) and 19583 and this
nonsensical statement: We note that your complaint
refers to a SundayTimes advertisement. Please
note that the ASA deals with and investigates specific advertisements.
She went on to say they couldn’t
investigate my complaint because I
had not made it clear as to why I thought the ad was misleading and not true. I then
sent a revised complaint.
7/2/2012: Lindiwe Hlatshwayo tells me they areproceeding with their investigation.
29/2/2012: A very
official letter arrives signed by Puseletso Mahlangu, Consultant: Dispute Resolution,
telling me among other things that my complaints,
with the same numbers as I had originally been given, had been sent to the
advertisers for written
Part 2:This concerned the Sunday
Times’ own WARNING ad (see
example) that it carried next to the get-rich-quick ads.I felt it was
hypocritical of the paper to
tell readers to carefully
scrutiniseads offering investment opportunitiesas the paper
could not vouch
for the claims made by advertisers,when it continued to carry ones that were clearly dishonest.
That elicited more ASA gobbledegook with Clinton Chetty: Administrator Assistant replying: Please note we donot deal with Business practice issues or ‘warnings’.
We can only deal with content of a specific advertisement. We suggest you
address your concerns with the newspaper directly.
I then asked Grobler for the email address of his
Chief Executive ThembiMsibi and
he gave it to me. But when that didn’t work I went back to him and he
replied that that was the only one he had, but I could try her PA RebeccaMotubatse.
to pass on the email I had been trying to send to Msibi.
It said, Some members of your staff don’tunderstand certain complaints
and dismiss them out of handon the grounds
that they do not comply with your
mandate when they clearly do.
After several requests for an answer Rebecca
replied a month later saying she will investigate my complaint
tomorrow with the relevant individuals before giving
it to the CEO.
I don’t know if it was ever given to Msibi, but
if it was she did not contact me. I got an email from Mahlangu
apologising forlack of correspondence.She told me that they had to contact the advertiser before they
could make a ruling and these cases often took a long time to resolve.
It hadn’t dawned on anybody at the ASA that if crooks are involved they will never get a
She added that they had approached the newspaper for aresponseand that they held the advertiser andnot thenewspaperresponsible.
with their crazy system a crook can go on promoting
a dishonest investment scheme in a paper while the ASA takes no action if the
advertiser hasn’t replied to a complainant’s
allegations. One investor was Veronica Diedricks , a mother of two, who put her R250 000
pension pay out into Whoopee (see advert above) and lost the lot.
Nobody seemed to have realised that one of
my complaints concerned the Sunday Times’ own ad.So in that case the advertiser and the paper were one and the same.
were then misfiled, ignored or lost for almost a year. I had forgotten all about them when suddenly, out of
the blue, I got an email dated 22/5/2013 fromMahlangu.
This took the ASA’s gobbledegook prize of
the year in spite of stiff competition.
She once again apologised for the delaysand
blamed them on changes
in staffand misfilingwhich resulted in someofthe files loosing
Her other excuse was that they had not
received a response from the advertiser.
then came up with these gems that showed that if the ASA has any standard at
all it is at rock bottom.The letters of complaint
clearly identify the aspects of the advertising that you find objectionable however;
you offer no grounds of complaint as
far as the advertising is concerned.
In each case you highlight the areas where you believe that
the advertiser’s operations are untrustworthy. It is for this reason that we
cannot rule on the matters and our files will now be shelved.
In desperation I complained
to Kate O’Regan, the former Constitutional Court Judge who is now the
President of the ASA. I said I had come to her because I had found thatto get any joyout of the CEO is hopeless.
She replied that she had no effective executive rolein the ASA but she would pass on my
email. And she certainly got some
Grobler replied to me full of apologies saying
that because of the delays they were unable to procedurally finishwhat we started.He said my experience was
the exceptionrather than the ruleand as thebuckstops with him he was leftwith my foot and a healthy slice of humble pie in my mouth.
And while Grobler must be lauded for his frank
admissions and determination to see that this does not happen again I can’t
agree that the buck stops with him.
The buck stops with the Chief Executive
Msibi. I’m not sure if she was told about what happened, but if she
wasn’t then her role as CEO needs a lot to be desired. And it’s even worse if
her PA told her about it as she promised.
Jon, the Poor Man’s Press Ombudsman & Consumer Watchdog.
P.S. The ASA is a self
regulating body, but when you have the police, policing themselves it is most
P.P.S. In spite of the ASA’s
total incompetence it looks as
though my campaign has worked, although the Sunday Times
will never admit it.I haven’t seen
one of thosedubious investment ads
in the paper for ages, but the ridiculous WARNING
is still there.