Poison Ivy is dead cartoon

Poison Ivy is dead

Goodbye Poison Ivy

The Sunday Times published a scathing but most appropriate orbituary for dead telecommunications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri last weekend. Seat-warmer president Kgalema Motlanthe said she was an extraordinary woman – and that she certainly was: a member of Thabo Mbeki‘s so called dream team after the 1999 election, she set South Africa back by at least 10 years during her tenure.

Instead of opening up the market and encouraging competition to make telecom costs cheaper and facilities more accessible for South Africans, Ivy was set on protecting Telkom’s monopoly. Apparently, according to Motlanthe, she was a ‘paragon of ethical virtue’ so lets not venture into speculating what she got out of that move. Hopefully the ANC keeps their paragons out of technically challenging posts in the future.

So here we are – it is currently cheaper for people in India to make international calls from the mobile phones than it is for South African to make local calls on theirs. While broadband penetration has sky-rocketed in open markets, in South Africa because of Ivy’s incompetence and lack of vision bandwidth it is prohibitively expensive here. No doubt the chairman of the broadcaster SABC at the very least, will be glad Ivy will not be present to literally nod off during their meetings when she was being informed of the deteriorating situation there. We’d say more, but best we restrain our fingers until we find out what new paragon is going to replace her.

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  1. This is a below the belt strike Sizwe! This is mean, and really distastefull to make fun out of the passing away of a person. I cant even think of making fun out of the death of PW Botha, who was a real oppressor of the majority of South Africans.
    We are a society driven by morals and values, and we must respect the death of a person. We cant afford to create laughter on something so sensitive. Remember, there is a family that is still in pain, weeping and mourning her passing. We cant be so heartless. Sorry, this one is not for me.

  2. Bobo – I hear you and I agree the article appears harsh. May Ivy rest in peace.

    I do want to point out that the article is not making fun of the minister’s death – just her alleged achievements during her tenure in government. It is quite inappropriate to give undeserved praise to someone who has made a mess of one of the most important developmental building blocks required for growth in South Africa. Appointing her in a role in which she was totally out of her depth is squarely an unmitigated mistake resting on the shoulders of Thabo Mbeki. Wonkie only hopes Mr Zuma has a clearer vision when it comes allocating the telecommunication portfolio during his term.

  3. Just as it is imbecilic to think that an appropriate reprimand for naughty behaviour on Zuma’s laughable antics is antirevolutionary, I also think that the extremely bad legacy that Matsepe-Cassaburi left for this country in the telecoms sector needs to be said precisely as it is.

    I personally think that she set the country back twice the 10 years that intimate she did in your article, Sizwe. This FACT has NOTHING to do with the mourning and appropriate conveyance of condolences for her passing away. THAT, her passing away, is another topic altogether, and Sizwe NEVER commented in THAT context.

    I don’t what it is with Black People (and I am one thoroughly black person) and the death of fellow black people such that the truth of an ugly matter cannot be told on the very grave of our source of grief while the deceased yet lived.

    As is the case with Zuma, Black People have an unhealthy “respect” for elderly people. As long as one is considered old enough to be a parent, one gets away with all sorts of crimes because it is considered rude to confront elderly people for misbehaving like teenagers.

    I will repeat myself: let it be said precisely as it is. Sizwe, feel free to take this whichever way you please, but your sentiments echo mine 207%.

    “[The] truth is marching on…!”

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