3 signs of the end-times

My mother always claimed that bad events arrived in clusters of 3. Or maybe it was good things. Either way, the principle – however silly (my logician-brain immediately notes the self-sustaining nature of this hypothesis, in that a careful selection of beginning and end-points to a cluster would make the claim unfalsifiable), came to mind just now when catching up on some local news.

3 recent signs of moral, cultural and political decay in South Africa:

  1. The NNP (New National Party) have hired Juan Duval Uys as their media liason.

Mr. Uys has been accused of being behind the SA Male Prostitute blog, where a male prostitute named Skye provided details of his liaisons with famous South African politicians and sportsmen. Skye’s disclosures would either be slander (if false), or a gross invasion of privacy (if true). But that’s not all. Uys is also alleged (a word that must precede any mention of him, in any context) to be Neil Watson, the man behind Crime Expo South Africa, a website that attempted to paint the gloomiest picture of SA possible, often using dodgy stats and false testimony to do so. The website has since been suspended, due to allegedly containing abusive content.

Having said that, I suppose the NNP wouldn’t see any of this as a problem.

  1. New Contrast

New Contrast used to be – and sometimes still is – a fine local literary journal. They have, however, allowed their domain registration to lapse, and it’s now the home of some fine link-spammage and advertising for mortgages and other tawdriness. I’d provide the link, but I fear I may be putting money in the pocket of Juan Duval Uys by doing so – it’s journalname.org if you want to check it out, though.

In a further indictment of our literary culture, the burgeoning local-lit site Book.co.za links “New Contrast” in its sidebar.

.org registrations cost $8.99 per year.

  1. And, yesterday in Parliament, an opposition MP was thrown out, then today suspended, for asking of our Health Minister whether she was convicted of theft in 1976, while working in a hospital in Botswana. I’ve heard the recording of the session, and many of the news reports don’t do justice to the extreme intolerance for debate demonstrated by the Speaker, a member of the ANC majority. As you’ve no doubt read elsewhere, there are various significant concerns regarding the Health Minister – not least that she may be utterly insane. More prosaically, she may have jumped the queue for a liver transplant, which she needed due to her alchoholism. She may also be a kleptomaniac. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the new liver is taking strain, but I have no new news on her (alleged!) acquisitive tendencies.

Anyway, I think asking for confirmation of these allegations of theft is a fair question for an opposition MP to put to the Health Minister. If not such questions, it’s unclear what the opposition is supposed to do.

By Jacques Rousseau

Jacques Rousseau teaches critical thinking and ethics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is the founder and director of the Free Society Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting secular humanism and scientific reasoning.