The BEAT editor, Johnny Masilela.

A weekend characterised by generosity of spirit from the ANC


Johnny Masilela   l   Views: 113

Monday week started with the lot of us scrambling to finalise packages for the 2018 leg of the coveted Caxton Awards.

The awards are hosted by the nationwide newspaper group, with titles ranging from us at the BEAT, to The Citizen in the commercial heartland of Johannesburg.

That meant that we had to lose upwards of two hours, to allow not only the reporters, but the entire newsroom value chain to round off their entries.

If I was a brutally brave editor, I would dare you to watch this space.

But then this is for the first time we at The BEAT, and sister newspaper, Die Pos/The Post, are entering these massive awards.

Call it a learning curve, if you like.

I personally emerge from an eventful weekend, in that two Sunday mainstream titles – one English language, and the other Afrikaans – commissioned me to write an obituary for the late former Bophuthatswana President Lucas Mangope.

This required of me to write the same story with completely different angles, something from which I hope The BEAT reporters can draw inspiration.

The approach for the Afrikaans press was based on Mangope’s sharp differences with the late Kgosi Lebone Molotlegi, erstwhile leader of Africa’s richest tribe, the platinum-belt Royal Bafokeng, a narrative which gave the obituary much more oomph.

The fight between Mangope and Molotlegi was a question of political power for the former, versus loads of platinum proceeds for the latter.

Mangope’s political power won the day, with the moneyed Molotlegi having to flee into exile in Botswana.

For the English-language title, the approach was based on rare praise for Mangope from certain quarters, such as that the “Tautona” (Lion King) used Apartheid money for the development of the poor. Makes you think, ain’t it?

The forthcoming weekend is also an eventful one, whereby I am personally very much likely to attend Mangope’s burial in the Zeerust village of Motswedi, and then drive back in time for the David Mabuza roadshow at Modimolle on Sunday.

We are nudging Mzamane Ringane – with my personal back-up, of course – to tease out the ANC deputy president’s speech, and what it tells us and you the reader, about the change of guard at the glorious movement of Madiba, Langalibalele Dube and James Moroka.

Busloads of ANC supporters were expected to arrive at Ephraim Mogale Stadium, and the small business sector needs to take full advantage of the visitors.

We anticipate the sale of foodstuffs, bottled water and ANC paraphernalia to fly off the shelves, giving the local business community a positive kick-start into the new year.

And, as a direct result of the so-called renewal at the ANC, the price of fuel was anticipated to drop once again next Wednesday.

Good news don’t come in huge supplies, do they?   

We also plan to pack this particular edition – the one in your hands – with news, sports and entertainment, continuing to up the ante for your favourite read.

3 months ago       26 January 2018