Dumping DSTV

David Bullard writes on where to go for news, and the ANC's favourite South American country



I finally terminated my contract with DSTV last November. It really didn’t offer anything I wanted to watch at around a mind boggling R900 a month. I’m not a huge sports fan although I did enjoy a few years of Le Tours de France and the last few days of Wimbledon but it was a vast price to pay for what was mostly a load of unwatchable garbage. I think I may have regularly accessed less than 3% of what they call the DSTV “bouquet” over the past five years and that was mostly the news channels.

Happily, if you still pay for Multichoice/DSTV you can take comfort in the fact that your subscription is helping to fund Hadspen House (Google it) in Castle Cary, Somerset, UK where Naspers supremo Koos Bekker is wisely creating a safe offshore refuge where he and his family will be forever protected from the more lunatic elements of SA politics.

Since I discovered Netflix at roughly a sixth of what my patriotic local provider charges I have never looked back and am now guaranteed many evenings of high quality binge viewing. I’m astounded that DSTV can turn a profit but I put that down to sports crazy South African addicts paying dearly for their daily fix.

The major challenge that came with the dumping of DSTV was where to tune in for news. That’s when I discovered Euronews Live which I pick up at no cost via YouTube on my Smart TV. If you don’t have a Smart TV then you can access Euronews on your laptop, smart phone or iPad.

Over the past few weeks one of their correspondents, Anelise Borges, has spent time in Venezuela (once the richest country in Latin America) and produced an excellent in depth report on the country’s decline from being a major oil producer to a basket case country with an astronomical inflation rate and with violence and starvation stalking what was once a rich land of plenty. Just think how quickly things can change.

The Venezuelan economic model is something the EFF openly aspire to and the late Hugo Chavez was gifted with a visit from EFF CinC Julius Malema back in 2010. When Chavez snuffed it in 2013 JuJu paid effusive praise to his deceased idol thus “Despite massive resistance from rented imperialist puppets, President Hugo Chavez was able to lead Venezuela into an era where the wealth of Venezuela, particularly oil, was returned to the ownership of the people as a whole”.

Great stuff, so what went wrong? Well firstly, as we have learnt in SA, before any wealth can be returned to the people it has to go through the hands of approved party cadres who need to buy BMW’s, Mercs , Porsches and Maseratis and if there is anything left it might filter down to the proletariat. Venezuela under Chavez became predictably corrupt and Chavez’s chosen successor Nicolas Maduro, the chubby faced ex bus driver president of this dog’s breakfast of a country, seems determined to carry on the rot.

Maduro is currently under a bit of pressure from Juan Guaido, a charismatic opposition leader who seeks to overthrow the despotic rule of Maduro and his dwindling band of military supporters and restore some semblance of order to his tattered country.

Many countries in the world, including many Latin-American countries, support the removal of the despotic (and probably psychotic) Maduro and the installation of Juan Guaido as legitimate president pending credible democratic elections. The USA have gone as far as not ruling out military intervention. It is evident that the shops are empty, the currency is worthless, the people are starving, the economy is stagnating, unemployment is soaring, violence is rife, hospitals cannot function and there are no medicines and yet the South African government support the despot Maduro.

In fairness, this is true to form because the ANC have a proud record of supporting some of the more nauseating thugs and bullies of the late twentieth century such as Gaddafi, Mugabe and other lost causes. It’s a perpetual national embarrassment that, while most nations support democratic process and the will of the people, our own government prefers to back the proven crooks and scoundrels. Qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicubus surgent.

So, it should came as no surprise that the squeaky clean Ace Magashule is leading an ANC delegation to Venezuela (at our expense) to learn more about the situation in that pitiful country. No doubt Mr Maduro has access to all sorts of tasty comestibles and, unlike his countrymen, his guests will not go hungry.

They will be treated to the best hospitality that Venezuela has to offer and will almost certainly return a few kilos heavier and utterly convinced that the media have painted a distorted picture of socialism under the benevolent Maduro and that all is well. Fortified with this fiction they will have renewed vigour to enforce the Venezuelan economic model on a future SA.

The great tragedy with SA is that the Venezuelan writing is already on the wall. The hole in the Eskom balance sheet stands at R420billion, municipalities owe R144billion, tax revenues are falling as disillusioned tax payers emigrate in their thousands, pretty well all state owned enterprises are bankrupt and we have a deputy president who last week announced that load shedding was good news because it was a sign of economic growth.

Is there such a word as “moronocracy”? If not, maybe there should be.

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