Eish!!: October 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday SA Music Spotlight - Matthew Gair

Yet another Cape Town artist finds the spotlight this week.
Matthew Gair, is a perfect example why I started the Friday SA music spotlight. There is so much talent in this country just waiting to burst into the 'big' time.
However, one almost doesn't want someone of Matthew's caliber to be discovered. Once you hear his compositions you want to keep them in a safe place, ready and waiting for that discussion when you can show those around you, what you have or know that they don't.
To describe his music and give those who have not heard it a reference, think Glen Hansard's 'Once' soundtrack, beat David Gray down to his most raw or imagine Jack Johnson after he has spent a few years in the mother city.

I can't wait to catch his next gig.

As an extra bonus SA's Overtone music (a great site btw) is offering his album 'and She whispered I Told You So' for free download. I strongly suggest you do so, enjoy it and go out and get the next one he is currently working on immaediately it is available. Then you can say, I knew of Matthew Gair before he was a mega-star!

Links galore :

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thabo's letter to JZ

Below is the text of the letter addressed to Jacob Zuma from Thabo Mbeki. It gives an interesting insight to the our ex-president, one that does change my opinion of him and JZ, just a little bit.

Comrade President, I imagine that these must be especially trying times for you as president of our movement, the ANC, as they are for many of us as ordinary members of our beloved movement, which we have strived to serve loyally for many decades.

I say this to apologise that I impose an additional burden on you by sending you this long letter.

I decided to write this letter after I was informed that two days ago, on October 7, the president of the ANC Youth League and you the following day, October 8, told the country, through the media, that you would require me to campaign for the ANC during the 2009 election campaign.

As you know, neither of you had discussed this with me prior to your announcements. Nobody in the ANC leadership - including you, the presidents of the ANC and ANCYL - has raised this matter with me since then.

To avoid controversy, I have declined all invitations publicly to indicate whether I intended to act as you indicated or otherwise.

In truth your announcements took me by surprise.

This is because earlier you had sent Comrades Kgalema Motlanthe and Gwede Mantashe to inform me that the ANC NEC and our movement in general had lost confidence in me as a cadre of our movement.

They informed me that for this reason you suggested that I should resign my position as president of the Republic, which I did.

I therefore could not understand how the same ANC which was so disenchanted with me could, within a fortnight, consider me such a dependable cadre as could be relied upon to promote the political fortunes of the very same movement, the ANC, which I had betrayed in such a grave and grevious manner as to require that I should be removed from the presidency of the Republic a mere six or seven months before the end of our term, as mandated by the masses of our people!

Your public announcements I have mentioned came exactly at the moment when Comrade Mosiuoa "Terror" Lekota and other ANC comrades publicly raised various matters about our movement of concern to them.

I have noted that some in our broad democratic movement have spoken publicly, unfortunately, and wrongly saying that Comrade Terror has acted as they have, driven by their loyalty to me as an individual.

During the decades we have worked together in the ANC, we have had the great fortune that our movement has consistently repudiated the highly noxious phenomenon of the "cult of personality", which we saw manifested in other countries.

It therefore came as a surprise to me that anybody within our revolutionary democratic movement could so much as suggest, and therefore insult somebody like Terror Lekota that he could act as he has, whether rightly or wrongly, driven by attachment to a personal cult!

In this context, given that I have worked longer with you than I have worked with Terror, I would be interested to know your view of any instance in our movement during which it fell victim to the noxious phenomenon of the personality cult, as a result of which it ceased to think, content to act in the manner of the "anointed personality", such as the late Kim Il-Sung determined to the people of North Korea!

Personally, I've been privileged to interact with such varied titans of our struggle such as Oliver Tambo, Moses Kotane, JB Marks, ZK Matthews, Yusuf Dadoo, Mark Shope, Leslie Massina, Duma Nokwe, Moses Mabhida, Frances Baard, Steve Dlamini, Lilian Ngoyi, Walter Sisulu, Gertrude Shope, Govan Mbeki, Julius Nyerere, Raymond Mhlaba, Kenneth Kaunda, Helen Joseph, Trevor Huddleston, Agostinho Neto, Robert Resha, Jack Simons, Seretse Khama, Ray Alexander, Ruth Matseoane, Sam Nujoma, Fish Keitsing, Kate Molale, Ahmed Kathrada, Nelson Mandela, Joshua Nkomo, Samora Machel, MB Yengwa, Ruth and Joe Slovo, Robert Mugabe, Mpho Motsamai, Bram and Molly Fischer, Mike Harmel, Brian and Sonia Bunting, Andrew Mlangeni, Liz Abrahams, Joe Modise, Florence Mophosho, Alfred Nzo, Beyers Naude, Albertina Sisulu, Thomas Nkobi, Sophie de Bruyn, Ellen Khuzwayo, Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela, Wilton Mkwayi, Alfred Hutchinson, Rusty and Hilda Bernstein, Jack and Rita Hodgson, Cedric Mayson, Thomas Nkobi, Tiny Nokwe, Albert Nolan and many others.

All these, and many others I have not mentioned, were and are true heroines and heroes of our struggle.

I have omitted to mention others among these such as Albert Luthuli because I cannot claim truthfully that I have interacted with them in the context of the struggle.

I have mentioned the people I have to make essential and crucial points, central to the value system of our movement and struggle, that none of these heroes or heroines ever sought adulation in any manner that would turn them into cult figures.

They never did anything, nor did we act in any way as we grew up in the liberation movement, which would result in our movement being enslaved in the cult of the individual.

In this regard there were exceptional circumstances attached to Comrade Nelson Mandela, which were not of his making or will.

In the context of the global struggle for the release of political prisoners in our country, our movement took a deliberate decision to profile Nelson Mandela as the representative personality of these prisoners, and therefore to use his personal political biography, including the persecution of his then wife, Winnie Mandela, dramatically to present to the world and the South African community the brutality of the apartheid system.

The beginning and the end of this particular discourse is that both of us have grown up in a political atmosphere that we fully respected and honoured our leaders, heroes and heroines without reservation.

However, for me personally, at no point did this translate into "hero worship" and therefore the progression to the phenomenon of the "cult of personality".

I know this as a matter of fact that all the heroes and heroines I have mentioned would have opposed the emergence of such a cult with every fibre in their revolutionary bones!

For this reason I find it strange in the extreme that today cadres of our movement attach the label of a "cult of personality" to me, and indeed publicly declare a determination "to kill" to defend your own cause, the personal interests of "the personality", Jacob Zuma!

When we last met, on September 19 2008, at the Denel buildings adjacent to the Oliver Tambo International Airport, I restated to you the incontrovertible fact that you knew that our engagement in the struggle for the liberation of our people had never been informed by a striving for personal power, status or benefit.

In this context I told you that should the ANC NEC, which was meeting from that day, decide that I should no longer serve as president of the Republic, having been the ANC presidential candidate presented to the Second and Third democratic parliament in 2004, I would respect this decision and therefore resign.

I have been informed informally that you reported this to the ANC NEC at the conclusion of the discussion about this particular matter. I take this opportunity sincerely to thank you for communicating my views to the NEC in this regard.

I mention all this in the light of what I cited earlier - the statements made first by the president of the ANC Youth League and later yourself, concerning the role I would play in the forthcoming 2009 election campaign, which has not been discussed with me.

For some years now our movement has had to manage an immensely challenging and unprecedented situation, occasioned by the criminal charges preferred against you by the National Prosecuting Authority, and related matters.

I state this as a matter of fact with no comment about the merits or demerits of what may have been said and done by anybody or institution in this regard.

I also mention this fact in this letter because, despite our best efforts, many in our movement and our population at large have refused to believe the sincere message both of us strived to communicate, that there were and are no divisions between us, and that nobody should use our names to incite or perpetuate division in the ANC and the country.

When the December 2007 Polokwane ANC National Conference elected you president of the ANC, and responding to Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe's suggestion, I walked with you to the platform, publicly to demonstrate my acceptance of that outcome, as did other Comrades who had been defeated in the electoral process.

When, more recently, the ANC NEC decided that it no longer had confidence in me to serve as its preferred cadre to occupy the position of president of the Republic, I made it a point not to contest this decision, and therefore resigned.

When I addressed the nation on September 21 2008, announcing that I had tendered my resignation as president of the Republic, to the National Assembly as the elective body, I said that I have been a member of the ANC for 52 years.

There is absolutely nothing I have done through this half-a-century of struggle of which I am ashamed. Above all, I know of nothing I have done which, to my knowledge, constitutes a betrayal of the interests of the masses of our people and their confidence in the ANC.

Despite all this, I have taken note of the campaign that some in our ranks, supported by some in our media, have waged for many years focused on discrediting me in particular, given the senior positions I have occupied in the ANC, and the ANC in general.

I have constantly been acutely aware of the fact that this campaign has been based on outright lies and deliberate and malicious distortions.

For many years I have refused to stoop to a public debate driven by these fabrications, which would demean and destroy the dignity of the ANC, its leadership and me personally.

I must admit that this posture might have produced results we never intended, specifically as it might have suggested that we could not contest the lies that have been told.

I know that now there are some in our country and elsewhere in the world who appear on television programmes or contribute newspaper opinion columns as "experts" or "analysts", simply on the basis of their readiness to abandon all ethical considerations and self-respect, to propagate entirely fabricated and negative notions about what our national democratic revolution means to our country and people.

Because of the services some of these have rendered to the opponents of the national democratic revolution, the "experts" and "analysts" and others who market themselves as "intellectuals/academics" have been handsomely rewarded with material possessions as embedded opponents of the national democratic revolution.

Yet such is the malaise that has entrenched itself in our democracy, including our movement, that we do not ask the obvious question - how can such "intellectuals/academics" have come to accumulate such wealth?

Bearing in mind everything I have said, let me then address the immediate matters on the national agenda, which relate directly to me.

(1) Comrade Lekota and others have not engaged me in any of the actions they have taken, to secure my approval or otherwise.

(2) The ANC leadership has not engaged me in any of the responses it has taken in this regard, to secure my approval or otherwise.

(3) Informally, I have communicated my view to both these contending groups, members of the ANC, that they should address all matters that might be in contention.

(4) In my President's Political Report to the Polokwane 52nd National Conference of the ANC, presented as prescribed by the ANC constitution, I warned of the grave challenges our movement was facing. I suggested that the conference should discuss these. This was not done. Ten months after this report was presented, I still stand by what it said.

Following the developments of December 2007 and September 2008, relating to tasks I had been given by the ANC, I have considered carefully what I should do as a private South African and African citizen.

Currently I am working as speedily as I can to elaborate the substance of this work, which will ensure that whatever I do in no way involves me in the internal politics of the ANC or the functioning of the government of South Africa.

As the saying goes, I refuse absolutely to rule from the grave. History will judge whether what I did during my political life, until September 25 2008, is worth anything.

Given the December 2007 and September 2008 outcomes to which I have referred, I trust that you will take the necessary measures to:

Remind all comrades that everything we have done since 1994, to advance the national democratic revolution, has been based on collective decisions of our movement, without exceptions;

Encourage all Comrades honestly to confront the real problems, challenges and opportunities that the ANC, the broad democratic movement and our country face; and,

Convince these Comrades to desist from abandoning their revolutionary democratic obligations by falsely and dishonestly pretending that the goals of the national democratic revolution have been frustrated, if they have been, through the actions of one individual - Thabo Mbeki.

I would like to believe that you and I have devoted out adult lives to the victory of the national democratic revolution, and nothing else.

Similarly, I would like to believe that we have always understood that this revolution has as its principal focus the upliftment and empowerment of the millions of our working people, including women, who constitute the overwhelming majority of our people.

Accordingly, we have understood that this revolution has absolutely nothing to do with the personal fortunes of those who might, by virtue of historical accident, be its leaders at any particular moment.

I would like to believe that in this context we agree that the strategic and historic task facing the tried-and-tested leaders and cadres of our movement is to determine what needs to be done, next, to advance the goals of the national democratic revolution, focused on advancing the interests of the millions of the working masses.

In my view, with which you are free to disagree, the revolutionary tasks we confront are to:

Recognise the various factors that have militated against the achievement of the unity and cohesion of the ANC in the recent past;

Defeat the actions prevalent in our governance system, especially the provinces and municipalities, to remove from their positions Comrades who are perceived as belonging to factions different from those which currently serve as elected leaders in the current elected ANC structures;

Renew the democratic movement on the basis of:

opposition to the cult of personality

the defeat of careerism and opportunism;

the defeat of the use of violence in the ANC and the rest of the democratic movement to impose particular leadership cliques interested in winning government tenders for themselves and their friends;

the defeat of bureaucratic parasitic tendency leading to the abuse of state power for self-enrichment;

the rejection of the phenomenon of the emergence of a black compradore bourgeosie which, in the context of BBBEE, is ready to front both for the domestic white and international capitalists;

commitment to the implementation of a socio-economic programme focused on economic growth and development, the restructuring and development of our economy, reducing unemployment and poverty, and sharing the wealth of our country in terms of our national, class and gender categories.

Nobody, and I believe the leadership of the ANC above all others, can ignore the conclusion that today our country stands at a particular crossroad.

This means that the decisions we take today will impact on our country and the masses of our people for a considerable number of years.

I am confident that the decisions the leadership of the ANC will take in this regard, with you at its head, will indeed advance the goals of the national democratic revolution to which so many of us, led by the veterans of our movement, have dedicated our lives.

As a small plea in this regard, I appeal that nobody should abuse or cite my name falsely to promote their partisan cause, including how the 2009 ANC election campaign will be conducted.

Amandla! Matla!

Thabo Mbeki

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday SA Music Spotlight - Autopilot

I first came across Autopilot on the disappointing SABC tv show Pump up the Volume. Their slightly alternative rock sound was probably the best thing the 'show' had going for them.

Shane Coomber, Kevin Sykes, Brigette Greybe, Nicholas Oebell & Wihan Pretorius make up this Cape Town band that has been around since 2005. There sound has changed a bit over time particularly since vocalist Brigitte joined. To be honest I haven't heard the pre-Brigitte Autopilot, but am extremely grateful that her beautiful, but sufficiently raw voice has been given a platform.

They have gradually been growing their fan base and importantly for Eish!! have really being using the internet. They have songs available to podcasters to play and promote at the Podsafe Music Network, the obligatory MySpace page and are using Facebook to communicate to their fans.

As luck would have it they, have just updated their own website this week! It's a great improvement on the previous version and I will be popping in from time to time as I am particularly interested to see what appears on the promised Media page.

They are currently in line to be included in the massive Virgin Festival in December, so if you enjoy what you here click here and give them a vote.

Links :

Labels: , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SABC News Blooper

I couldn't help but watch this over and over again!

Labels: , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Dear Dr Ruth

Dear Dr. Ruth,

I am a crack dealer in Kempton Park, Gauteng. I was recently diagnosed as a carrier of the HIV virus. My parents live in Hillbrow and one of my sisters, who lives in Benoni, is married to a transvestite.

My father and mother were recently arrested for growing and selling marijuana. They are financially dependent on my other two sisters, who are prostitutes in Brakpan. I have two brothers; one is currently serving a non-parole life sentence at Leeukop Central Prison for the murder of a teenage boy in 1994. My other brother is currently in jail awaiting charges of sexual misconduct with his three children.

I recently got engaged to marry a former prostitute who lives in Yeoville. She is now a part time "working girl". All things considered, my problem is this. I love my fiancé and look forward to bringing her into the family. I certainly want to be totally open and honest with her.

Should I tell her that my cousin is Luke Watson ?

Signed Worried About My Reputation

Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blogger Bake-Off - Eish's Beer Pot Bread

The Worldwide Blogger Bake-Off is an internet initiative aiming to raise $1 million for Breadline Africa.

Breadline Africa is an internationally registered charity that seeks out partnerships of hope and growth in Africa. It seeks to connect people who are struggling to achieve the most basic living conditions with others who are more fortunate and in a position to make a difference. Breadline Africa supports ground level African charities that are trying to help the communities around them realise their full potential. It's about offering a helping hand to the people who are dedicating their lives to smaller charitable
Eish!! is getting into the spirit and is not only spreading the word, by publishing this post, adding the widget on the right, but have even added my own (OK, borrowed from a fellow camper) recipe.

Here's what you can do. Click on the 'Help end poverty in Africa now' button the right and donate a little to this ever increasingly important cause.

Oh, and give the recipe below a vote or two while you are at it!

Beer Pot Bread

It's easy, great for the braai, barbeque or when out camping.


500g self raising flour
500ml buttermilk (can add a can of room temp beer instead if you want)
1pkt white onion soup
1 egg (beaten)
1 onion grated
Some cheese about a cup
herbs and cayenne pepper, salt, garlic / what ever else you want to add.


Pour into tin / pot
Sprinkle with cheese
Mix all together bake in the oven at 180' for an hour or on the coals ( +- 8 underneath and enough to cover the lid) for about an hour.

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Corporatocracy alive and well in SA?

It was with great interest I read a comment posted at the 'Living in Jozi' blog today. A seemingly innocuous, albeit valid , rant about the inability to view the IEC's elections.org website using anything else but "Microsoft Internet Explorer V4 (and upward) on the Windows operating system" to be able to access whatever information may be available on the site, seems to have unearthed a far greater issue than simple ineptness.

The anonymous commenter claims to be contractor within the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) and while he points to internal systems problems, it is the alleged 'control' and resource 'milking' of the commission by Accenture that peaked my interest. I am just about finished John Perkin's best seller, Confessions of an Economic Hitman and the it must be said these allegations have a very familiar sound to them. The American corporatocracy culture appears to have become so instilled in the large companies that claim that "IEC is run by Accenture" ,while truthfully remains an unsubstantiated musing of a faceless anonymous internet commentator, has a fateful ring to it.
To take a half step back; Wikipedia describes Corporatocracy as a "neologism that describes a government dominated by corporate influence, banks, and governments." Perkin's claims that American corporates are a front for the USA's march towards global colonisation. They get their tentacles into their target country's halls of power through various means, that I won't go into here as the book is a good read, and eventually when the time is right the strings are pulled up and big daddy has one more puppet.

I have always happily lived under the hope that South Africa is not strategic enough to warrant this from happening here ... perhaps I was wrong ... or perhaps this is just one of those conspiracy theories ....

Labels: , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday SA Music Spotlight - Mimi Ntenjwa

Deciding what or who to select for any week's week's Friday SA Music Spotlight is difficult as there is so many talented musicians in this country and so many different genre's in which individuals and collaborators excel. Having said that, this week I have decided to stick with the Afro-Jazz genre, because highlighting my chosen artist will hopefully assist her in gaining a few votes. More about that later.

Although Verity has long been the darling of the online world and was first featured in this feature six months ago, her story is currently been told all over South African mainstream media at the moment. A by-product of her success is the funding received by the Live Your Dreams Foundation from her Lucky Packet Project. 5.3% of every cd she sells goes to this project which in turn currently funds the foundation, providing financial assistance SA musicians realise their dreams. The first recipient of this assistance was Mimi Ntenjwa exactly a year ago.

Mimi's silky smooth voice (to use an old cliché) fits the jazz genre perfectly, taking you to a place where you are sitting in a cane chair with big comfortable cushions, cocktail in the hand and a white sandy beach just a few steps away.
Mimi is starting to become a star in her own right and I have noticed how many other musicians have mentioned playing with her on their online cv.s. Being recognised by your peers in this industry is something not many achieve in such a short period of time.

So how can you help her gain votes?

She has been nominated in no less than three categories in this years Metro FM music awards. These awards allow for public participation, so you can sms your vote to, hopefully, influence the outcome. Click the Myspace link below, and should the sound of 'Goodbye Loneliness' resonate with you follow these instructions (SA Only) before the 22nd October.

Categories : Best Female, Best Newcomer, Best Jazz
To Vote SMS: Category (eg Best Jazz), Mimi to 34764.

  • Take a listen here (Myspace)

Labels: , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday light relief

I have long not only been a fan of Jeremy Nell's work, but they way he has cleverly used the online world to further his reach. This offering from early this week really struck a chord.

Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Watch the Markets Online

If, like me, you have followed the recent global economic movements with great interest, you have probably wanted to keep up with trends of the various indicators on hourly rather than daily basis. Of course the catch is to do this from a South African perspective.

I have found the best place to do this is Moneyweb.co.za. While the broadcast arm of the Moneyweb company has had a checkered past, channel-hopping as they have been given the run-around be SABC's radio executives, their online offering remains a great resource. But click on the the 'Daily Indicators' link on the frontpage's menu bar and the usefulness jumps as you get slightly delayed positions of all the major indexes, exchange rates and commodity prices.
Combine this with a litle intra-day graph you get a fantastic picture of the what the current days movements are. More than sufficient for the amateur market watcher.
An additional option which creates an interesting picture is the little menu under each graph which allows you to get a graphical view of whatever indicator you are currently analysing over various time spans. On the left you can see graphs of the JSE All Share, Rand/Dollar exchange rate and Brent Crude Oil price over the past 3 months. Interesting.

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday SA Music Spotlight - Black Porcelain

It's been a while since I shared a South African musical gem. The irony been that along worth 'real world' work pressures, much of my free time has been taken up with experiencing various of our country's crop of talented musicians live. No regrets there.

Unfortunately I have not experienced this week's featured artist live ... yet. I have been following Black Porcelain's journey on her blog Music, Life and Music for a long while, and it was with great excitement that, after not visiting for too long, I read that she has posted a few singles from her EP "Green" @ Myspace for us all to hear.

I have been struggling to categorise her music style, especially as her musical inspirations seem rather diverse, and really don't want to compare to Lira as this may be a little unfair. The sound is a little afro-jazzy, but with a hint of hip-hop here and there and there is just a small bit of pop infused in there as well... ok, if you enjoyed Lira (and I know many readers did!) then you will appreciate Black Porcelain's compositions. I capitulate!

Links :

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bank failures in Japan from Dawn

Following the problems in the sub-prime lending market in America and the run on HBOS in the UK , uncertainty has now hit Japan .

In the last 7 hours Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.

Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.

Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.

Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.

When times are hard …..keep your sense of humor and laugh it off!!

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Zeitgeist - Addendum

A year ago, nearly to the day, I stopped short ... just ... of imploring you to watch the controversial and thought-provoking Zeitgeist.

Now a year later the producers of this free web based documentary have released a 'sequel.'

"The second film, Zeitgeist: Addendum, attempts to locate the root causes
of this pervasive social corruption, while offering a solution. This solution is not
based on politics, morality, laws, or any other "establishment" notions of human affairs,
but rather on a modern, non-superstitious based understanding of what we are
and how we align with nature, to which we are a part. The work advocates
a new social system which is updated to present day knowledge, highly influenced
by the life long work of Jacque Fresco and The Venus Project."

Download here

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, October 3, 2008

South Africa's Electric Car

I sincerely hope that this makes it into production. Optimal Energy, a privately owned South African company based in Cape Town, plans to start selling their electric 'baby' Joule in 2010 for between R200 000 and R250 000, and while locally this is a wee bit pricey it should be seen as a precursor for future, more affordable vehicles with more of a mass market appeal.
While we naturally suspect that we will not have the electricity to recharge our newly purchased Joule, we must remember our electricity shortfall only happens during peak usage hours, so we can happily plug our car in overnight with the knowledge that we are not over-burdening the national electricity grid.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button