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January 5, 2010

The Opening Monologue - 04/01/2010

The Opening Monologue - Monday the 28th of December 2009
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

The New Year is upon us and from the get go it's been a fun start. From former masters of apartheid era atrocities to paranoid tourists, we have them all so hurry, hurry, hurry folks! Come on down!! The freak show is about to begin. Let's see what's behind curtain number one!

On Sunday it was reported that President Zuma may be considering a pardon for former Vlakplaas commander Eugene De Kok. Yes indeed, the man that washed Frank Chikane's feet, the man that was a head of a hit squad base wants to be pardoned. These details were apparently discussed at a secret meeting at Pretoria Central Prison between De Kok and Zuma in April of last year. To sweeten the deal, De Kok gave Zuma the names of those apartheid hitmen that got away "scot-free". He had also said that if pardoned, he would help in any future investigations into Apartheid-Era crimes including the locating of the many missing dead.
Now, the only difficulties he may face are that many will want to know why he withheld this information for so long. What with him wanting to be forgiven and all. Also, since the President just got married... again, he may have to wait till the honeymoon is over. So at least for now he and his cell mate can still be "just friends".

Civil rights group Afriforum have stated it is all important that parents enrol their children in schools where they can be taught in their mother tongue. Studies show that learners do better when doing so. A crafty move I say since those same students will not be able to leave S.A. with their knowledge and skills to work abroad since they'll have difficulty doing the job in the global language of business - English. Nice work lads, let's keep those skills at home.


The SABC board says it will challenge the appointment of former Telkom Media chief content officer Solly Mokoetle as its group C.E.O. according to an anonymous board member. Their main point of annoyance is that they were not allowed to choose a C.E.O. themselves.

"This means that we won't be able to appoint our own CEO, as boards usually do... Their appointment was very unfortunate and a flagrant disregard of due process," the anonymous board member said.

No offence lads but the last time we let YOU choose a C.E.O., Dali Mpofu walked off with R11 million of our money. You've officially lost your privileges till further notice. Sorry.


The strike warm-up season is in full swing with strike action against A.B.I. and Sun International continuing. On Friday, Numsa (The National Union of Mineworkers of South Africa) complained about the calling in of Police air support by A.B.I. officials, air support that the police officers knew nothing about. Gents, this isn't a run into Mogadishu, it's a wage negotiation. I know some strikers got out of hand - as almost always happens - but really, was the big, noisy whirligig necessary? Methinks you should learn that you're not going to get your way on this one, now have a Coke and a smile.

Also Sun International employees continue to strike for better wages, living conditions and the dismissal of their boss, C.E.O. David Coutts-Trotter. After making light of union leaders by showing up empty handed and then going on holiday during the wage deadlock, the man hasn't enamoured himself to his employees. Whatever happens, Dave needs to remember that Sun City is the chosen home of FIFA for the world cup. What could possibly go wrong if your employees are unhappy? I can't imagine. Let's find out.


Ever thought that you just don't matter to your doctor and that he doesn't really care about you? Well one patient in the Eastern Cape may know how that feels. The decomposing body of a 60-year-old man was found at St Elizabeth Regional Hospital in Lusikisiki after he had been missing for five days. He was checked in on December 24th, was seen by a nurse and a doctor and then simply disappeared. Authorities found him five days later, dead, locked in his doctor's consulting room. He was found with bread and the key to the room.
An investigation has since been launched. I have to ask, who's his doctor, Jigsaw? Or was he you simply auditioning for SAW VII?


The police were getting off the year to a flying start with two operations across Gauteng. In Ennerdale, 51 people were arrested on the long weekend for crimes ranging from drinking in public to housebreaking and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm. Not to be outdone, a police operation in Katlehong netted 129 people for charges including drinking in public, theft, rape and murder.

Now folks, there's a message here, if you don't play well with others, you will eventually be sent to a place where large, hairy people will not play nice with you. But don't you worry, I'm taking up a collection and we'll be sending you a consignment of lotion very soon.


And finally... With the world cup just around the corner, The Department of Tourism has made an appeal to accommodation vendors to not overcharge tourists. Apparently no one knows what the vendors' responses were. Their laughter drowned them out.

Sticking with the world cup, Saturday saw the release of the UK's tourism advice to soccer fans visiting during 2010. It's loaded with tons of information on what to look out for like from armed muggings, card cloning and fake soccer tickets to the prevalent HIV/Aids pandemic, cholera flare-ups, and inflated accommodation prices. One piece of advice given is for tourists to avoid Berea and Hillbrow. Darn! I was so looking forward to hooligans trying their luck in an area that won't take their crap.


This concludes this week's edition of The Opening Monologue. I wish you a happy new year and if you're heading back to work, please remember, it's only the start of the year so don't kill anyone. See you next week and remember, you haven't heard it all till you've heard The Last Say On Sunday.

Goodbye.

Posted by vittorio at 2:01 AM | Comments (0)

January 8, 2010

Stand-up Comedy @ The Supersport Bar, Carnival City

Friday the 8th of January, 2010
The Supersport Action Bar

Carnival City, Cnr Century and Elsburg Road, Brakpan, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, 1540.

Carnival City URL: http://www.suninternational.com/Destinations/Casinos/CarnivalCity/Pages/default.aspx
Telephone: (+27 11) 898 7000
Facsimile: (+27 11) 898 7024

Parker Leisure URL:
http://www.parkerleisure.co.za/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=91633385882

Line-up: Alain D. Woolf (MC), Dale Amler, Nqoba Ngcobo and Vittorio Leonardi.

Show Starts: 21:00
Entrance Fee: R50 and includes entrance to the dance show at 20:00

Posted by vittorio at 9:00 PM | Comments (0)

January 9, 2010

Stand-up Comedy @ The Supersport Bar, Carnival City

Saturday the 9th of January, 2010
The Supersport Action Bar

Carnival City, Cnr Century and Elsburg Road, Brakpan, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, 1540.

Carnival City URL: http://www.suninternational.com/Destinations/Casinos/CarnivalCity/Pages/default.aspx
Telephone: (+27 11) 898 7000
Facsimile: (+27 11) 898 7024

Parker Leisure URL:
http://www.parkerleisure.co.za/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=91633385882

Line-up: Alain D. Woolf (MC), Dale Amler, Nqoba Ngcobo and Vittorio Leonardi.

Show Starts: 21:00
Entrance Fee: R50 and includes entrance to the dance show at 20:00

Posted by vittorio at 9:00 PM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2010

The Opening Monologue - 11/01/2010

The Opening Monologue - Monday the 11th of January 2010
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

This past week certainly started off with a bang. Our president took another a wife and many starry-eyed Grade 12s' discovered if the fates were rolling the dice in their favour. With that and a few other stories found along the way, let's begin.


President Zuma's wedding to his fifth wife on the 4th garnered its fair share of criticism.

If I may throw in my 2 cents here...
.
How can we as a society fighting the AIDS virus promote a lifestyle encouraging one sexual partner when our president is taking his fifth wife with another waiting in the wings?

A loud voice of derision came from the head of the Christian Democratic Party, Reverend Theunis Botha, describing Zuma's traditional African wedding as a "giant step back into the dark ages."

Another point raised is that this wedding will have dire financial implications for tax payers. However, I wonder if anyone has considered the other side of the coin. If this marriage doesn't work out, it could mean dire financial implications for Jacob. Ah yes, there's that silver lining. How do you say pre-nuptial agreement in Zulu?


Government's road death stats are wrong. This was gist of the statement from managing director of driving.co.za, Rob Handfield-Jones. He claims that the statistics the Department of Transport are using are contradictory. They claim the December 2008 death toll was 1348, when it was actually 908. The death toll for December 2009 is 1050. A 16% increase. Ouch.

If he is right then 142 more people died on our roads compared to last year. This is despite the fact that 285 000 speeding tickets were issued. Two fines that stood out were late to the party, being caught on the 5th of January. Their fines were R20 000 and R16 000 respectively.

"Speed control has once again been shown to be ineffective at reducing road deaths." He added, "Across the world, people only drive as badly as their governments permit them to."

True. Perhaps it's time for hallucinogenic tranquilizers to replace speeding tickets? After all, you can't speed when you're watching your road turn into a lion and scamper away.
One thing is clearly evident: More people died though fewer went on holiday. Proving that speed doesn't kill, but it helps.


Our airports will not be equipped with full body scanners in the near future. This was despite the stricter security checks requested by the U.S. after a Nigerian man attempted to detonate explosives on a flight to Detroit on December 25th. He was over-powered by passengers before he could do so thus proving that you don't mess with people during the Christmas rush.

So far, no order has been issued by the SA Civil Aviation Authority regarding the stepping up passenger screening. Some would say this is unwise since the world cup is 5 months away and we are still regarded as a gateway country for terrorists. In the meantime, security stays as is, no scanners.

So for now at least, all heavily pierced people will still have to bring their own extraction tools if they intend to fly. Fun times ahead for you. You usually have to pay for that kind of action.


The KZN Health department has banned nurses and doctors from moonlighting. They say that the practice is being abused. Health workers unions have rejected this stating that their members receive such a poor living wage that they have been forced to find a way to supplement their income.

The current policy states that workers can't moonlight during department hours, only on their own time. However, according to the department, there have been instances of abuse thus the departments ban while they review the system.

Isn't that convenient for them.

Unions retorted saying the department has dropped the ball and should have investigated the individual incidents rather than simply blanket-banning the issue.
Add to this that some senior doctors receive less under the government's new salary structure than the old system and you can see why Dr Akhtar Hussain of the national council of the SA Medical Association says that many doctors work after hours because "they earn peanuts."

If all this keeps up we'll have some highly skilled beggars manning the traffic lights of KZN. At least help will be on hand if there's an accident. For a price.


The matric results for 2009 came out on Thursday. A shocker of a year as 18 schools posted a zero percent pass rate. President Zuma dropped his own depth charge stating that township schools could learn from the "old white schools" where teachers work for 7 hours a day while township schools teach for 3 hours.
But in the end it was the learners' day. Tears were shed, cheers were screamed and there were smiles of joy for some and sighs of relief for others. There was also tragedy as one girl took her own life upon hearing she had failed. Sadly, had she waited a few more hours, comprehensive results would have shown she qualified for the re-writes she needed to pass the year.

Adding to this was the debacle of leaked papers - 5 of them - in Mpumalanga and the holding back of the provinces results while investigations continued left 60 000 learners twisting in the wind. Even The Hawks were brought in to investigate in the hopes of adding more culprits to the 13 already caught. Also, Wednesday it was discovered that the matric math marks were pushed up. It was also discovered that our Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has can't do basic math when she announced on Thursday that 32% of matrics qualified for higher education, although the matric pass rate fell from 62.5% in 2008 to 60.7% in 2009. The department later acknowledged that the correct figure of those who qualified for higher education was in fact 19.8%. The standard DA rain of fire and brimstone followed.

DA shadow minister for basic education Juanita Kloppers-Lourens stated:

"It beggars belief that the department of basic education could not even do the basic arithmetic needed to calculate the matric exemption rate,"

"Cabinet ministers in other countries have been sacked for far less. It is frankly staggering that the minister has spent the last 48 hours blaming everyone but the ANC administration for another year of disgraceful matric results, when evidence abounds of the basic education department's utter incompetence in the performance of even routine tasks," she said.

With all this going on, the strangest part of the tale came when the SA National Defence Force announced that 4463 post matriculants would be joining the military. On purpose.

I guess they fell for that old Army ad campaign.

"Join the Army and visit strange exotic places. Meet new and interesting people... And kill them!!"

Now if only we had an enemy to fight... Hmm... Lesotho? How about round 2?


And finally... Children are wonderful and can bring great joy to your life. However, as a dagga dealing couple recently learned, never let your child know where you've hidden your stash.

After receiving an anonymous tip about drugs being dealt to Nellmapius township children, police came-a-raiding. The couple, naturally, refused to give any information. Their 4 year-old daughter, thinking mom and dad were being forgetful, led police to the drugs hidden in a cupboard and in her dad's boots. She also told them that a large number of bags of electric spinach had just been taken away from the house.

There's a moral to this story: If they'd spent a bit time with their daughter and a lot less time dealing, perhaps they'd still be free. There's no substitute for quality time. And a Malibu Barbie.


This concludes this week's edition of The Opening Monologue. See you next week and remember, you haven't heard it all till you've heard The Last Say On Sunday.

Goodbye.

Posted by vittorio at 4:26 AM | Comments (0)

Stand-up Comedy @ Cool Runnings, Victory Park

Tuesday the 12th of January 2010
Cool Runnings

Shop 28, Victory Park Shopping Centre
Rustenburg Rd, Victory Park

Tel: +27 (11) 888 7633/4
Fax: +27 (11) 888 7628

Join me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=91633385882

Line-up: Vittorio Leonardi and Conrad Koch

Show Starts: 20:00
Entrance Fee: FREE!!

Posted by vittorio at 8:00 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2010

Stand-up Comedy @ Tony's Spaghetti Grill

Wednesday the 13th of January 2010
Tony's Spaghetti Grill
The Leaping Frog Garden Centre, Corner of Mulbarton Avenue and William Nicol, Lonehill, Johannesburg, Gauteng.

Directions:
Travel north on William Nicol Drive, past the Fourways Mall Shopping Centre, until you reach The Leaping Frog Garden Shopping Center, on the right hand side, cnr Mulbarton Avenue, Lonehill.

Join me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=91633385882

Line-up: The Godfather of S.A. Comedy, Mel Milller (MC) and Vittorio Leonardi.

Show Starts: 20:00
Entrance Fee: FREE!

Posted by vittorio at 8:00 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2010

The Opening Monologue - 19/01/2010

The Opening Monologue - Tuesday the 19th of January 2010
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.


Congratulations are in order. We've all made it to week three of what has already been a year of good ideas, bad ideas and ideas that would leave even the most cynical person saying, "Oi vey, you must be joking."

So let's get started.


Caster Semenya can't compete till the IAAF and Sascoc say so. It would seem that the International Association of Athletics Federations still isn't done determining whether or not Caster can run for South Africa on the global stage.
So... Just so we're clear on this, its six months later and they're still trying to fix this. Is Home Affairs helping you or did you think Santa was going to leave you the answer in a stocking.
Gentlemen, this can't be so hard. Caster still has her medal and her record still stands so this would seem to be a moot point
And where is Athletics South Africa, the ASA? These are the guys to whom discretion and decency seem to be dirty words. They're out of the picture, been replaced by Sascoc - The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee - and have distance themselves from the whole affair.
Thus proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks. As long as you fire the old dog's entire board first and play fetch with a new guy with a new shtick.

Zwelinzima Vavi, Cosatu's general secretary, gets my vote for dumb idea of the past week. Showing solidarity with striking ABI workers, he stated that if their demands are not met, he called on ALL South Africans to boycott all SAB products...

No, no, it's okay. I'll wait till you stop laughing. I needed a moment myself.

I can understand Vavi saying what he said. It probably doesn't affect him. Those at the top tend to drink Johnny Walker Black now don't they?


It seems the SABC board can't do math. At the start of the furore, the SABC was R900-million in debt. Then it announced that it had a secured a loan of R1-billion from Nedbank to add to the R1,4-billion guarantee it got from government last year. Now they've announced that they plan on showing a R21-million profit by March.

How? They'll still be R2-billion in the red. Officially, Nedbank and government now own the SABC. So, get ready for really early election ads and a whole lot more Nedbank ads. However, no longer will they say, "A bank isn't a bank isn't a bank."

No sir. Now they're public broadcaster too.


Ied Mahmet - the man that shot Pope John Paul II - is to be released sometime this coming week. He has said that he will answer all the press' burning questions in the weeks that follow especially the big one:

"Why did you shoot The Pope?"

Some fundamentalists also want to ask, "Why are you such a bad shot? Did the voices in your head teach you nothing?"

Some might question why they would release him. Three reasons have been put forward:
1. Pope John Paul II met and forgave him in 1983.
2. His sentences are up.
3. With Pope John Paul II already dead, it's unlikely he'll re-offend.


The hearings into Eskom's proposed 35% tariff hike over three years have been a truly unifying experience for all South Africans. Everyone, from every corner of the social and political landscape thinks that this is the worst idea since the Blitzkrieg. Eskom seemed surprised at this saying that it was better for South Africans to swallow this bitter pill now rather than later.
With 105% tariff increase, I don't think it's a pill we'll be swallowing. Whatever happens, it'll involve South Africans bent over a table with Eskom standing somewhere behind us.


This concludes this week's edition of The Opening Monologue. See you next week and remember, you haven't heard it all till you've heard The Last Say On Sunday.

Goodbye.

Posted by vittorio at 1:49 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2010

Stand-up Comedy @ Champions

Sunday the 24th of January 2010
Champions

Silver Oaks Shopping Centre
Corner of Von Backstroom Boulevard and Hans Strydom Drive, Silverlakes

Join me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=91633385882

Line-up: Nicky Van (MC), Hannes Brummer and Vittorio Leonardi.

Show Starts: 19:30
Entrance Fee: R30

Posted by vittorio at 7:30 PM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2010

The Opening Monologue - 26/01/2010

The Opening Monologue - Tuesday the 26th of January 2010
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

Another week went by and, once again, Mother Insanity was kind enough to let her gerbils of doom run free. And with so many to choose from, I thought I'd start with a voice few have heard in an age.


The P.A.C. has spoken for the first time since... Well, if you want to think back that far you might to nap a while. However, they have been making up for lost time and came out swinging. But not in a gay way. Oh no sir. It would seem that the P.A.C. and its crèche, The Pan Africanist Youth Congress of Azania or Payco - no relation to Paypal - have decided to fire up some support on the anti-gay ticket by calling for the abolishment of homosexual practices.

In a statement released last Monday, they said SABC 1's soapie 'Generations' has "declared war with African cultures and practices" and that "Africa is not the home of gays and lesbians."

The clincher came on Wednesday when league president, Pitso Mphasha, said in an interview that "We are saying to hell with the SA constitution for giving rights to gays and lesbians."

One question: What hairdresser flamed this guy's do and forgot to apologise?

To those of you still in the closet, brace yourself. It seems Narnia's about to be invaded.

Twitter has done many things.

Besides revealing just how dull some folks' lives are, it seems to have joined in the fight against terrorism.

Here's the deal: Be careful what you post for you are being watched.

This was recently proven when Paul Chambers was arrested and detained for seven hours as a suspected terrorist over a joke he made about blowing up an airport. What follows is why he is a royal Charlie.

He tweeted the following after it seemed his planned trip to Ireland, departing from Doncaster's Robin Hood Airport, would be snowed in.

"C**p! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your s**t together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"

Here's my favourite part. When the police came to arrest him, he had to explain to them what Twitter was because THEY'D NEVER HEARD OF IT! Now there's police training in action.

And after they keel-hauled him and let him loose, the authorities sang their customary "It is the world we live in and that's why this is happening to you" song. I've heard this song before although the last time I heard it, it was being sung in German from a Nuremberg balcony.

I don't think alQaeda ever envisioned spreading a tweet of terror.


Avatar has claimed its first victim.

A Taiwanese man with a history of high blood pressure was admitted to hospital after suffering a stroke while watching the James Cameron blockbuster in 3D. He later died of a brain haemorrhage.

I guess we'll never know if he died because he was over-excited at the sheer spectacle of seeing what can easily be described as Mr Cameron's opus or if he was enraged at the realization that he was watching a graphically stunning and beautifully presented re-telling of Disney's Pocahontas.


Staying with blood work for a moment, the SA Blood Service is seeing red and not from their stock in trade. It seems our state hospitals owe the life giving organization some currency to the tune of R170 million.

Taking the lead is Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital owing the paltry sum of a mere R15 million.

I guess Suzanne Vega was right. Blood makes noise and that noise is CHA-CHING!


The WWF has come to the Eskom price hike party and not with a steel chair and intro music either. The South African branch of World Wide Fund for Nature has questioned the integrity of the public hearings into Eskom's proposed price hike.

How does one question something that isn't there begin with?

Their case is that on December the 31st of last year, the Government Gazette contained a decree that the Kusile power plant - which is part of what we'll be financing if Eskom gets its way - will be completed as per the original spec. If that's true, the price tariff hike will be 45% and not 35% as previously advertised.

Which begs the question: "If government has already made up its mind, then why the hearings?"

That's easy. Till now politicians thought no one read the Government Gazette. Also, when politicians pay us lip service, they hope we can't read between the lips to see the teeth about to bite us in the ass.


And finally. On Wednesday the 13th, a young boy returning from his first day of school got lost after boarding the wrong bus. Two days later, his grandmother reported him missing. The 6 year old boy, Knowledge Tshabalala, was eventually found in Lenasia at a place of safety and on Monday the 18th, was re-united with his grandmother.

Thus proving that there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is knowing that you have a home. Wisdom is knowing how to get there.


This concludes this week's edition of The Opening Monologue. See you next week and remember, you haven't heard it all till you've heard The Last Say On Sunday.

Goodbye.

Posted by vittorio at 2:37 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2010

Stand-up Comedy @ Tings an' Times

Wednesday the 27th of January 2010
Tings an' Times

1065 Arcadia Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.

Join me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=91633385882

Line-up: Chris Forrest (MC), Vittorio Leonardi and Darren Maule.

Doors Open: 19:00

Show Starts: 20:30
Entrance Fee: R30

Posted by vittorio at 8:30 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2010

Stand-up Comedy @ Thornfest

Thursday the 28th of January 2010
Thornfest

Route 28 Resort on the R28 past Westonaria, Jagfontein +- 55km from Johannesburg North.

Official Website: http://www.thornfest.co.za/
Join me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=91633385882

Directions:
From Johannesburg take the N12 to Potchefstroom. Travel until you see the R28 intersection. Turn left onto the R28 and travel for +- 10 km's. Take the slip road left and carry on for +- 400 metres. You will see signs directing you to the festival gates.

GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 26°24'56.47" S, Longitude: 27°43'6.58" E

If you still need more info regarding directions please contact us:
info@thornfest.co.za

Line-up: Melt Sieberhagen (MC) and Vittorio Leonardi.

Show Starts: 20:00 in The Lapa.
Entrance Fee:
- Normal Ticket: R300 (1st November - 28th January 2010)

- Tickets at the Gate: R350

- 1 day ticket: R200 (only available on Sat, 30th January 2010).

- VIP: R450 (limited to 2000)

Tickets are also on sale at The Black Dahlia in Boksburg and Cool Runnings in Fourways.

Posted by vittorio at 8:00 PM | Comments (0)