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Another week and another 350 days before the end of this year! It is sweltering hot for the past couple of days (30 to 35 degrees Celsius) with very little to cool us down. Sitting here tonight sipping an excellent Bergsig Cape Vintage. Since the world complained about names like Port, this is what we call it now. The first batch of wines arrived from the Cape. Much more convenient to have it delivered instead of straining my poor little car. And yes, I did take some pictures for those on other shores to see what a lovely country we have (most of it anyway). Will be posting some photos at a later stage.

Seems it not just "us" who's been spending some money over the festive season. The outspoken and very critical "mouthpiece" for Mugabe spent quite a bit here in Jo'burg. The Sunday Times reported Jonathan Moyo's spending spree on the front page past Sunday. This Minister of Information stayed in a hotel in Bedfordview between Christmas and New Year. This man packed his Pajero, his Merc and a 'bakkie' full. With a big screen TV, a home theatre system and groceries before thrashing (for which the cops were called) his hotel room and rushing off back to Zimbabwe.

This is the same man who claimed a year ago that the Zimbabwean black is better off than the South African black. Of course the DA had plenty to say but strangely enough our government has been very quiet.

Then Moyo did the unthinkable -

In his words to the Zimbabwean Herold newspaper : "I have always had a nagging feeling that for all their propensity for liberal values and civilised norms, these people are dirty." He carries on - "If these people, in the name of South Africa, believe they can lead the African Renaissance, the God help them because they are joking."

Is this not plain enough? The man is embarrassed that he got caught indulging in obvious luxuries while his people are starving. He refuses to take any criticism and it's the old case of do as I say and not what I do. So much for quiet diplomacy on Zimbabwe. Will Mbeki and his government never learn? The only response from their side was that they need to see the full text on Moyo's statement. Ah, and then what?

Then there's the cricket debacle. The ICC (in their wisdom) decided to include Zimbabwe (as a so-called co-host). This apparently has been planned since 1994. Talk about incompetent planners? Anyway, what do one say about all this? I'm in two minds - during the apartheid era we had the so-called 'rebel' tours. Watched a story on rugby a couple of nights ago. The poor All Blacks had hell to pay for their tour of South Africa at the time. Who can really blame them for wanting to play us? No-one on earth (at least in those days) could claim to be world champions if they didn't beat the Springboks. It was something that had to be done. But Zimbabwe? I'm not dismissing their cricketers, they have a very good team but obviously not in the same class as the South African Proteas. Not to mention Sri Lanka, the Aussies or the Pakistanis (oh yeah, then there's the Poms).

Our government is obviously pro the matches to be played in Zimbabwe. In spite of the fact that it was the ANC who was behind all the sanctions against South Africa in the 'old' days. They brought politics into sport! Typical Moyo - not? . What is going on? Who knows. Personally I feel that these matches should not take place. If the British Royal family could stuff up Diana's life the way they did, then why can't Tony Blair tell the cricketers to butt out? And if the ICC wants to impose penalties, withdraw from the World Cup totally. Pay the penalty (which government should shoulder). The same applies to the Aussies. These two countries are the only ones to openly criticize Mugabe's government. Methinks the fact that both teams agreed to play in Zimbabwe is a slap in the face of their respective governments.

Nobleness, honor and respect for the sport has nothing to do with this. What is important here is what we feel as human beings. Respect towards those wronged at the hands of a lunatic. There is absolutely no justification for supporting the Mugabe government. And who is going to guarantee the safety of the players and support personnel? Mugabe? Tell me another one.

So early in the year there are so many pressing issues I need to get of my chest. But hopefully I'll get into these matters as we go along. I hope that your year has started well, and that it will continue that way.

Thank you for your comments and wishes and feedback and remarks and challenges. Some of the mails I've received this past year (especially from those South Africans in other countries) has brought a smile to my face. But sad to say, more often than not a tear. I wish you well.

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