Reading Stephen Grootes’ tweets this morning while Jacob Zuma was delivering the Political Report at the ANC NGC was a little like listening to soccer on the radio – you had to rely on the noise level to guess at what was happening.

Grootes’ excellent commentary during the presidential address gave lots of attention to how loud the audience clapped.

Here’s one from about 11h30 this morning:

#NGC Zuma “Leagues subject to ANC discipline.” Huge applause. Malema sinks lower in chair. Something could happen here.

Or a little earlier:

#NGC JZ Also angry at people speaking publically un-mandated. Biggest applause so far.

And then near the end:

#NGC Zuma – juniors must respect seniors. Huge huge applause. ANC junior structures must respect senior structure. More clapping

I love this new world. I sat toting up the claps and concluded that both Malema and Cosatu had a bigger fight on their hands than either seemed to have bargained for.

My amazement and delight deepened when I was interviewed over Skype instant messaging by a senior business journalist about my interpretation of the vulnerability of the Rand given some of the agenda points at the NGC. Turns out she was sitting next to Stephen Grootes, and a group of other people whose tweets I was following. I suppose this could be either farcical or fabulous, it depends on your perspective.  As it was we laughed together briefly, and electronically, which is to say there was a bit of lol and rofl on the side.

One other thing that delighted me about the cauldron of the meeting of the electronic universe and the flesh and fabric one, was this little set of Verashni Pillay’s funny and clever tweets:

I was in a student political body with Floyd Shivambu back in the day. I tried to get them to call me comradess. Didn’t take

And then a little later:

Gill Marcus wanders past, her trademark kaftan a sombre black. A statement on demandes to nationalise the reserve bank?

Verashni Pillay also noted that the Zuma’s Political Report seemed to have hit the ANC Youth League hard:

Cabal of youth leaguers laugh outside the venue but refuse interviews after the whipping they got. Lungisa conspicuously absent

And then, with guiless charm, she went on to say:

I’ve got to say ANCYL spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy was looking very pretty today. Pity she’s gone So Very Quiet tho

Catch Stephen Grootes’s (apologies; the perils of editing under the influence of germs) Phillip de Wet’s review article in the Daily Maverick here – (I like the article and the headline.)

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