Wednesday, March 17, 2010

All the President's Wives

I know. I said I would leave South African politics behind. But so much is going on!

We've got Steven Pienaar saying he doesn't think England is all that hot, which is interesting because he plays for Everton in the Premier League -- and also is South Africa's best player. He likes Argentina, Brazil, Germany or Italy. Becks is devastated he can't play in the World Cup, but he may still have a role as a good-will ambassador. Beefy midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, who wants to play for Ghana in SA12010, hasn't been cleared by Fifa yet and may not make it; he was born in Germany and played for German youth teams in international competition, which used to mean you were stuck but that process is becoming, oh, elastic. And that's most of the pressing soccer news.

And now back to the soap opera that is the South African government.

The New York Times has noticed.

NYT correspondent Barry Bearak writes that the nation always has wondered how its leaders live so lavishly on modest salaries. And "lifestyle audits" are turning up big numbers. One of those being examined is the infamous Julius Malema. And Jacob Zuma, of course. Bearak notes which sort of BMW the humble public servants prefer.

We also have this piece in the Johannesburg Times about how the government gives president Jacob Zuma's wives more than $2 million a year (once we convert the total from Rand) to ... just do what they do. It wouldn't be so expensive if the country weren't supporting three Zuma wives. And some of his children, too.

Have we mentioned lately ... it's a mess down there?

Well, it is. What these guys do year in and year out would get a guy chucked out of office in most of the First World ... but everyone is just truckin' along, in SA.
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