10 years ago

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - OPINION -

WHILST one of the world’s hand­ful of flamingo Ram­sar sites is un­der threat in Tan­za­nia, fol­low­ing se­ri­ous con­cerns re­gard­ing the well-be­ing of the flamin­gos at Kam­fers Dam in Kim­ber­ley, the re­cent in­au­gu­ra­tion of the Sol Plaatje’s newly elected mayor, who seems to have a stronger stance to­wards con­ser­va­tion than his pre­de­ces­sor, has pro­vided a flicker of hope with re­gards to sav­ing the flamin­gos.

All this fuzzy talk of the restora­tion of the ri­valry with the All Blacks is great but it should not cloud the fact that the Boks blew it at Loftus. Un­be­liev­ably so.

They thought they had won it. In­stead of keep­ing their eyes on the road and their hands upon the wheel, to bor­row from Jim Mor­ri­son in Road­house Blues, they started fo­cus­ing on the score­board, and they liked what they saw, they thought the job was done...

If not all of the play­ers, for Mal­com Marx did not look pleased to be jerked, then cer­tainly the coach.

And the job should have been done. The Boks may have to wait a long time for an­ther golden op­por­tu­nity to put the All Blacks to the sword, and they could have done it hand­somely if they had just kept the foot on the throat.

Some have said the Boks choked. I don’t think that was the case ... it was not a lack of self be­lief or fail­ure in con­fi­dence that was the prob­lem, it was the op­po­site. They choked on their ar­ro­gance in be­liev­ing they had won the game at the three-quar­ter mark.

The big ac­cu­sa­tion from an­noyed fans is that Rassie cocked it up by emp­ty­ing his bench when the coast seemed to be clear for the Boks at 3113 with 15 to go. Quite pos­si­bly, but to my mind the sub­sti­tu­tions is­sue is only part of the wider malaise that hit the Boks — the fa­tal be­lief that they were over the hills with the spoils and far away.

It could prob­a­bly be summed up by the big grin sported by Faf de Klerk when he came off, his hands aloft clap­ping the crowd. Yes, he had played an ex­cel­lent game but you don’t ex­ude an air of tri­umph un­til the cham­pagne is popped in the change room, es­pe­cially against the All Blacks, the masters at shift­ing up a gear in the last ten.

There was also sloppy play from the Boks in the clos­ing min­utes — such as the for­wards trip­ping over each other in fum­bling the re­ceipt of a kick-off — which was not there for 65 im­mac­u­late min­utes; dis­ci­pline on de­fence went AWOL, with both wings fall­ing into the old trap of leav­ing too much space on the out­side, and El­ton Jan­tjies got his tack­ling tech­nique all wrong in try­ing to stop an All Black charge on the line.

Which bring us to the sub­sti­tu­tion busi­ness. Not one sub­sti­tute played badly when he came on, in fact they looked sharp, notably Damian Willemse and Em­brose Pa­pier. But what hap­pened in those fi­nal mad min­utes at Loftus is not about how in­di­vid­ual Spring­boks fared, it is about how the team dy­namic changed. Even if it is only in the team’s sub­con­scious, some­thing changes when a win­ning side un­der­goes mass changes at a vi­tal stage of the game. There can be a shift in fo­cus and con­cen­tra­tion. The col­lec­tive eye can move off the ball, the dis­trac­tion can cause the foot to come off the pedal.

The thing with sub­sti­tu­tions is that the coach does not have to make them. If the ship is charg­ing full steam to safe har­bour, then let it steam away. You bring the sub­sti­tu­tions on to change the game when you are los­ing, and to give play­ers game time when the game truly is won on the score­board, which is never the case against the All Blacks. Bring­ing on the bench is a gam­ble, so don’t gam­ble un­less you have to.

I think Rassie bought on the bench be­cause he be­lieved the game was won, and per­haps also be­cause he was sen­si­tive to the fact that he had started the match with only three black play­ers, and his bench hap­pened to be black.

This makes sense if we go back to Rassie’s post-match press con­fer­ence af­ter the vic­tory over Aus­tralia in Port El­iz­a­beth. He did not empty his bench that day, and he was asked by a re­porter why he had not given game time to Damian Willemse and Em­brose Pa­pier.

Eras­mus was clearly ir­ri­tated and for the first time since he has been coach he an­swered a ques­tion tersely. He said: “You don’t have to make sub­sti­tu­tions. Some­times it is not nec­es­sary.”

A week later, Eras­mus, prob­a­bly hav­ing stewed on that per­ceived crit­i­cism, makes sweep­ing changes when he did not have to...

It is hardly in­con­ceiv­able that Rassie felt pres­surised into mak­ing the changes. There are re­al­i­ties that chal­lenge the Bok coach all the time, re­al­i­ties that no other coach in world sport has to face. THE MU­NIC­I­PAL of­fices in Phok­wane, Ganspan and Pampier­stad were closed yes­ter­day af­ter the Phok­wane mu­nic­i­pal man­ager, Ad­vo­cate Mat­shidiso Mo­gale, was served with a sus­pen­sion let­ter.

She was sus­pended dur­ing a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing that was held on Septem­ber 30, but later re­turned to work fol­low­ing meet­ings be­tween the ANC Re­gional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee and coun­cil, where­upon she was re­in­stated.

Mu­nic­i­pal work­ers and com­mu­nity mem­bers handed over a mem­o­ran­dum to an ANC Pro­vin­cial Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (PEC) rep­re­sen­ta­tive yes­ter­day, in which they are de­mand­ing that the mayor and Speaker be re­moved.

“We are all here to sup­port the mu­nic­i­pal man­ager. There were about 100 work­ers from the sur­round­ing ar­eas as well as, eight taxis from Jan Kem­p­dorp, five taxis of sup­port­ers from Hartswa­ter as well as peo­ple from Kutl­wanong. Mo­gale’s sus­pen­sion is in de­fi­ance of the de­ci­sion of the REC to re­verse her re­moval.”

They be­lieved that the spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing that has been con­vened for to­day to ap­par­ently ap­point an act­ing mu­nic­i­pal man­ager, would not go ahead.

The mem­o­ran­dum re­quests the ANC and the MEC for Co-op­er­a­tive Gover­nance, Hu­man Set­tle­ments and Tra­di­tional Af­fairs to in­ves­ti­gate whether Mo­gale was sus­pended in line with pro­ce­dures.

The com­mu­nity is also an­gry over a R1,7 mil­lion project to in­stall 248 taps, where only seven taps were in­stalled, as well as un­fin­ished projects where the money was ap­par­ently used by top mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials to build man­sions for them­selves and their rel­a­tives.

They be­lieved that the mu­nic­i­pal man­ager was the tar­get of a plot as she was in­tent on fight­ing fraud and cor­rup­tion.

“She re­quested the mayor to make the se­lec­tion process of mu­nic­i­pal work­ers more trans­par­ent and is mon­i­tor­ing projects to make sure that they are im­ple­mented prop­erly.”

Res­i­dents claimed that more than R1 mil­lion was de­posited into the ac­count of a ser­vice provider that in­stalled the flawed billing sys­tem when the mu­nic­i­pal man­ager hap­pened to be out of town.

“This faulty billing sys­tem is the rea­son why ratepay­ers are re­fus­ing to pay their ac­counts be­cause they do not know what they are be­ing billed for. As a re­sult the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has not been able to pay Eskom and the Vaal­harts Wa­ter Board.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Phok­wane mu­nic­i­pal­ity, a let­ter of sus­pen­sion was sent elec­tron­i­cally to Mo­gale on Tues­day.

“She has been sus­pended with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The charges are out­lined in the charge sheet.”

It con­firmed that a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing was con­vened for to­day.

“The agenda will be dis­trib­uted dur­ing the coun­cil meet­ing.”

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity stated that work­ers downed tools yes­ter­day and that po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence was ham­per­ing the op­er­a­tion of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

ANC pro­vin­cial spokesper­son, Naledi Gaosekwe, said they ac­cepted the mem­o­ran­dum and would ex­am­ine the griev­ances, while the ANC REC had not re­sponded to me­dia en­quiries at the time of go­ing to press.

– Sandi Kwon Hoo

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