They do things differently in the UK

David Bullard writes on Matt Hancock's recent defenestration in the light of the Digital Vibes scandal


Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary has been forced to resign this week for getting into a groping clinch with an aide of his during lockdown. The sin here was that he was urging everybody else to observe social distancing and to avoid spreading the dreaded COVID-19 virus. It was a classic example of ‘one rule for thee and another for me’.

Lest any of you should be a tad ignorant of the way the Brit political system works let me inform you that the position of Health Secretary doesn’t mean that he just takes the minutes during health related meetings. It is the equivalent of our Minister for Health and means that Matt Hancock was the equal of our recently suspended (note: not sacked or resigned) Dr ‘Sleazy’ Mkhize.

Oh what these former colonialists could learn from us. Just because married with three kids Matt Hancock goes into a tight clinch with a married woman with three kids who has mysteriously appeared on his departments’ payroll surely shouldn’t mean he has to resign. Isn’t that a bit OTT?

After all, our own Min of Health’s family have been caught receiving funds from a dodgy bunch of tenderpreneurs with the unlikely name of Digital Vibes in a R150mln departmental swindle. He now has to catch up on Netflix at home on full pay (around R2mln p.a.) while the ANC try and decide whether he has really been a naughty boy. The number of suspended ANC worthies currently sitting at home on full pay might help to explain the ANC’s current financial woes.

While Matt Hancock’s political career may well be over the same certainly cannot be said for Dr ‘Sleazy’. Meanwhile his hapless acting minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane seems to be taking the job seriously.

Nobody would want to be parachuted into such a lousy ministerial post, particularly at this time, so all credit to her for coming down strongly on the EFF super spreader event to put pressure on the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to allow for general consumption as yet untested vaccines from dubious sources who just happen to be communists. 

What has surprised most thinking South Africans is that the EFF demo last Friday was able to go ahead unhindered. With between 2 000 and 2 500 scarlet clad attendees one might have expected more of a reaction from the authorities. After all, far less crowded and peaceful demos in Cape Town have required water cannons to be used to quell the mob. ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

Since a sound stage was set up for the event one might have hoped that the cops would have moved in and told them to take it down. But that clearly didn’t happen. So we were treated to the sight of a large crowd who could hardly be said to be social distancing while the CinC and his equally absurd deputy grabbed the microphone and leapt about on stage in what has become known as the Diarrhea Dance.

This involves jumping agitatedly from one foot to another on the spot and is so named because it resembles the movements one might perform after a particularly vengeful chicken vindaloo upon finding all the stalls in the toilet were occupied. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives.

As new lockdown measures come into force this week it will be interesting to see if the organisers of last week’s SAHPRA rabble rousing are prosecuted under the Disaster Management Act … or is that just reserved for white people whose kids have strayed onto a beach?

I have suggested previously that the EFF should be de-registered as a political party and forbidden to stand for parliament. That was purely on the basis of race baiting, threatening violence to women, fraud and corruption though.

Surely a political party leader who openly gives the middle finger to the president and encourages his supporters to break the law is totally unfit for public office.

If the EFF is allowed to stand as a political party then I suggest that some of the Cape Flats gangs might also like to register ahead of the local elections. At least they know how to run a profitable business and have a strict code of discipline, albeit a rather unorthodox one.


The pressure on the health system at the moment, particularly in Gauteng, is immense and many consultations and surgeries are having to be postponed because of the COVID-19 virus.

Scheduled operations which would bring much relief to those suffering from any number of serious ailments are having to be cancelled and some experts are suggesting that the fatalities from ops that haven’t been allowed to go ahead may well surpass COVID fatalities. Not that we’ll ever be told.

So full marks to Deputy President David Mabuza for volunteering to take the pressure off the SA health system and pop over to Russia for a medical check-up. According to News24 reports the deputy president is in good health and this is just a routine check up. Which is probably just as well because the last thing you need are chest pains at three in the morning and the prospect of a long flight to Moscow to see your quack.

Right wing malcontents and white supremacists may well suggest that this is further evidence that the ruling party have no confidence in the public health system they have helped cripple over the years but nothing could be further from the truth.

With an alcohol ban looming a tax-payer sponsored junket to Mother Russia for medical reasons makes perfect sense. The healing qualities of vodka should never be underestimated.


I have been intrigued by an ad running on Cape Talk and I assume also on Talk Radio 702. It is for a company called OVEX dealing in crypto currency and it makes the enticing claim that, due to a price difference between Bitcoin in the US and in RSA, it is possible to buy Bitcoin in the one market and sell it in the other for a guaranteed arbitrage profit. Apparently thousands of investors are getting returns of 4% a week which, even without compounding, comes to over 200% a year. Good for them I say.

It’s been some while since I was active in financial markets and perhaps things have changed dramatically but my memory of arbitrage is that the price gap closes as soon as too many people spot it. If it was really possible to consistently buy in one market and sell the same instrument at a guaranteed profit in a parallel market do you not think everyone would be in on the deal?

I went on to the company’s website to check out more details but under “About Us” there is no mention of who the director’s might be although there is a lot of puffery about the sophistication of the AI trading model which can process trades at lightning speed…. all of them profitable.

Neither is there a physical address or any means of contacting the company other than a request to open a trading account. This is a pity because I had hoped to discuss any potential tax implications with one of the company directors.

Should you wish to remain a little more cautious you can open a crypto interest account which pays up to 20%pa on amounts of more than R500 000. Oddly enough, my private banker has never mentioned this to me.

Thanks to a bit of light detective work on Google I have managed to establish that the founder of this company, one Jonathan Ovadia, is proudly South African and, according to an old news report from News24, coincidentally shares the same uncommon name as a young white man who was named by Julius Malema as his protégé back in 2012 when he was still a very bright schoolboy at King David’s in Johannesburg.

Unfortunately the company has chosen the same trading name as a medicine designed to rid human digestive systems of parasitic threadworms.

As my ‘off with the fairies’ friends might say…maybe the universe is trying to tell us something. On the other hand this could well be the investment opportunity of the century.