Monday, October 18, 2021

Sunday Times reveals the BIGGEST MAMPARA OF THEM ALL

 Dear Readers,

Sunday Times Editor
          The Hogarth column in the Johannesburg based Sunday Times has made a name for itself by embarrassing the rich and famous with its MAMPARA OF THE WEEK selections. And if you happen to be singled out for this dubious honour it’s not something you can easily keep secret when it appears in this weekly paper with a readership of nearly 4-million.

          Finding somebody to brand as a fool of this calibre on a weekly basis is a dangerous game. It requires top notch reporting and editing if the paper’s reputation is to be maintained otherwise it’s like playing with a gun, it can so easily backfire.

          It was hardly surprising then that when Oscar Mabunyane the Eastern Cape Premier appeared in Hogarth this week as the Mampara there was not so much as a word about the other far bigger Fool in the column that ran down the entire side of  page 23. We couldn’t have that could we? That would have been far too embarrassing.

          However on page 25 the MAMPARA OF ALL MAPARAS was named under the tame headline Hogarth was wrong: it’s OK to drink the water.  The backfire I mentioned earlier had happen. In a 15 paragraph backtrack that was almost as long as the entire Hogarth column we were told that the KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala had been incorrectly called a Mampara. He had been ridiculed for tasting the water to show it was safe to drink while handing over boreholes as part of a multi-billion rand water scheme.


Sihle Zikalala Premier of KwaZulu-

           The paper evidently felt it could not risk suffering another Fool on its staff to produce an impartial apology to the Premier so it accepted Lennox Mabaso’s version. He is head of communications in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government.

          And he sure gave it to the Biggest Fool of them all.

          “The Premier was demonstrating that the boreholes are about free, safe, drinking and cooking quality water,” he wrote. “In Hogarth’s world, this water would be for the poverty-stricken Gin Lane as well as the affluent Beer Street.

          “Water is life. The Premier drank the water to celebrate freedom for rural communities, but Hogarth clearly was parading his drunken stupor as he penned his hogwash."

          He went on to say that the next time Hogarth sobers up he should remember that “Operating from the context of a single story line prevents us getting a more truthful view of a situation.”

          Who has just earned the title of the Biggest Fool of them all? It must surely be S’Thambiso Msomi the editor of that esteemed publication that has just shown it doesn’t know a Mampara if it sees one. Msomi was the same Mampara who published his personal email address in his weekly column and then didn’t answer the email I sent him.

          This week’s Mampara in the actual Hogarth column was…… well I’m not sure if I should tell you. I can’t be certain if the Sunday Times got it right and I don’t want to have to be forced by a lawyer to get Lennox Mabaso’s equivalent in the Eastern Cape to compile an apology for my blog.

          Anyway here goes. It tells us that the Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane was awarded the title for the little matter of helping himself to funds meant for the memorial service of Winnie Madikizela Mandela and that he used R450 000 to renovate his home. He claimed this was actually a loan he got from the ANC provincial treasurer Babalo Madikizela.


Jon, the Poor Man’s Press Ombudsman.

P.S. One thing the Editor has definitely established and that is that the sub heading It takes one to know one that appeared with the Premier of the Eastern Cape’s elevation to Mamparadom does not apply to him.

P.S.S. The paper’s lack of impartially was shown by the fact the latest Hogarth did not contain anything to refer the reader to that huge Mampara apology a couple of pages further on.


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