Much Ado About Nothing – South Africa and WikiLeaks

Much Ado About Nothing – South Africa and WikiLeaks

It has taken a while, but finally, earlier this week, South Africans awoke to the announcement that we had our very own Wikileaks scandal, at last. To add to the wonder, it all happened at the very same time when the country has been trying to process the news that the President’s second, current, but least favorite wife has harbored the evil desire, and has been assisting our President against his will, in a poison plot that will have him shuffling off this mortal coil. Simply put, she wants him dead.

South Africans have long been accustomed to being a season behind. The whole Southern Hemisphere inverted year thing plays havoc with a focused retailer’s buying plan, and it seems that in the consumable area of “spies and spooks”, we lag just that little bit behind the global leaders in the field. In fact even according to this universal calculation, the Southern Hemisphere countries should have been hit by our very own Wikileak some years ago. And now that it has happened, I am not so sure that anyone really cares. Wikileaks, it would seem, is so very 2010 (ok, maybe 2013) and we are way beyond that.

To refresh our overburdened and news-saturated minds, the whole messy business started with Julian Assange, that pesky Australian who started releasing confidential documents on his site WikiLeaks in 2010. He is currently enjoying his days in the confines of the Embassy of Ecuador in London in the United Kingdom. For Edward Snowden, the American citizen who revealed classified documents in 2013, life has been a little tempestuous and Russia (the bastion of free speech – remember the Pussy Riots?) is his temporary asylum. The Americans, it would appear, are ones to hold a grudge and there appears to be no forgiving and forgetting at this point. Bygones are certainly not.

So, this is what we have learned from our very own adorable little scandal. South Africa has an Intelligence Agency (cue the comments below). They spy on basically everyone, and they trade information with other intelligence agencies in order to stay ahead of their game. Tell us something we don’t already know. It seems that they spoke to Mossad and Iran amongst others. And, that they listened to phone our calls. And this is where my heart goes out to them. Given the horrible standard of our cell phone networks, one can only imagine the terrible frustration of those listening in to discussions had to endure. It’s almost worse than working for Eskom or as “The Scrambler” at the State of the Nation Address. No one deserves that. Really, no one does.

That said, I am kind of proud. For once I feel like we are a real country. Like we are all grown up. We finally get to have our own little WikiLeaks story and even if its basically just a story about a story and there is nothing in it that we didn’t know or didn’t suspect or hadn’t heard or hadn’t imagined or hadn’t already read elsewhere, well, its still nice. It’s a feel good story that we just don’t get to see that often. With the bad news that we are confronted with on a daily basis, isn’t it wonderful, that just for once, South Africans stand alongside the rest of the world in our very own leak.

We have grown up so fast.


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