Trainer Lorenzo Robinson had the unique distinction of winning races in separate countries yesterday. MR DOITBETTA romping home by 13 lengths in the inaugural running of the Simply Magic Cup over 1820 metres at Caymanas Park and a 70-1 outsider to victory at Woodbine racetrack in Toronto, Canada earlier in the day. Robinson, a noted owner, trainer and breeder, was not present at Caymanas Park to see his fast-improving 3-y-o gelding, MR DOITBETTA (9-2), make hacks of his seven age-group rivals in the Simply Magic Cup to make it two in a row, but the news was music to his ears. Instead, Robinson was at Woodbine to lead in his other winner, having obtained a licence to train at Canada’s premier racetrack a fortnight ago, Speaking from Canada via telephone shortly after his double victory, Robinson said he was on top of the world. “Judging from the manner of his two recent wins, MR DOITBETTA, who, I understand, won in good time of 1:57.2, could develop into a live classic contender with the Derby, St. Leger and next month’s Lotto Clasic (Governor’s Cup) fast approaching. “The plan is to commute between Jamaica and Canada and, having started with a bang in Canada, it could open doors for me in no time up here,” he added. Ridden by the promising claiming apprentice Hakeen Pottinger, MR DOITBETTA was held off the early pace as the 7-5 favourite MY WAY led under pressure from ANOTHER FURY (5-1) approaching the final bend. By then, MR DOITBETTA had made rapid headway and, coming three wide into the straight, quickly disposed of MY WAY to win by a wide margin from 2-1 chance DR TRAIN. In the absence of Robinson, MR DOITBETTA was saddled by stand in trainer Lincoln Lungs. A roan gelding by Vibank out of Olympic Advice, “DOITBETTA” is owned and bred by Robinson as well. On a day when second-race winner, 3-2 favourite BARS OF GOLD was disqualified by the stewards for causing interference at the start, the nine-race programme proved challenging for punters. The upsets were provided by MIRACLE RECOVERY (made all) at 19-1 in the first race, KIRI at 7-1 in the third and TARANTINO at 9-2 in the fifth. Champion jockey Shane Ellis rode two winners in BAD BOY JUSTIN (3-1) and SURE MAN (5-2) in the sixth and seventh races, respectively.
Ntsieni ‘Big Daddy’ Ramabulani of Capricorn FM; Limpopo MEC for Safety and Security, Joyce Mashamba; Elvis Masoga, political analyst; Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha; Percy Mongalo, President of the Polokwane Chamber of Business; Nompumelelo Runji, Sowetan Dialogue Coordinator; Mercy Senyatsi, PYP Ambassador; and Lorraine Mofokeng The Sowetan, in partnership with Brand South Africa, held the second of its six-part Sowetan Dialogues series aimed at promoting civic pride and the pillars of the National Development Plan.The dialogue was held at the Ngoako Ramatlhodi Sports Complex in Seshego in Limpopo on 6 March 2014.It focused on whether President Jacob Zuma’s 13 February State of the Nation address’s (SONA) reflection on the past 20 years of freedom was “fact or fiction” to the public. In the State of the Nation address Zuma did not mention the state’s intentions for this fiscal year, but spoke of previous achievements.Radio personality, Ntsieni Ramabulana, also known as Big Daddy at Polokwane’s Capricorn FM, facilitated the discussion.The panel included Limpopo Province premier, Stanley Mathabatha; political analyst, Elvis Masoga; and Percy Mongalo, president of the Polokwane Chamber of Business.PLAYING HER PARTMercy Senyatsi, a Play Your Part Ambassador and a teacher with more than 30 years’ experience, addressed the gathering on the importance of civic participation in a democracy.“I’m a teacher but I’ve learned that the greatest lessons are those learned outside the classroom,” she said.Senyatsi cares for vulnerable, destitute and orphaned children in Seshego. She advised people at the dialogue to not look down on others and to not see children described as problematic as failures.“I took in a girl who was described as problematic because of her drug use six years ago. She came from a family of misfits but she had potential. This year she has registered for a degree in engineering at the local university. This shows how we should never give up on people,” she said.She added that as a community, especially the black community, people had to work together to see their children become people who would make South Africa a better place to live.BUSINESS EXPECTED MOREMongalo said the business community in Limpopo accepted the SONA but had expected more from it.“We welcomed that the SONA spoke about the challenge to eradicate poverty, unemployment and inequality.”He added that he believed centralising tender procurement offices would not end the rise in corruption in tenders but would leave those businesses outside Gauteng at a disadvantage.“By having the tender offices in Gauteng, this renders those outside the province at a disadvantage as those in Gauteng will have an advantage of handing in their papers timely, while others would have to travel hundreds of kilometres before they could submit them.”Mongalo also believes the address should have mentioned measures to relax some business regulations.“There should be tax leniencies for SMMEs and other businesses,” he said.“As business, we bemoan the low survival rate of SMMEs in SA. We recommend more tax breaks and less regulation to encourage [the growth of] SMMEs.”Mongalo also said violent service delivery protests crippled businesses, and that often hawkers and shopkeepers were most affected.A NEED FOR MORE ACADEMICSMasoga believes the country needs more academics and expressed disappointment that youngsters now see business as a better option and school as not that important.“If you look at all the professors in academia, most of them are ageing and it doesn’t look like there are youngsters who will replace them in the near future,” he said.He added that in the future the country needed solutions from South Africa and not “some professor in Germany who doesn’t know the life of a South African”.“We need to quote the Professor Mathabathas of South Africa in the near future and forget about the Karl Marxes and Lenins of this world.”He believes the address should have placed more importance on education as that would ensure the survival of future generations.“We must not just invest in basic education; we need a stronger production of supreme knowledge,” he said.GLASS HALF-FULL OR HALF-EMPTYMembers of the public attending the Play Your Part / Sowetan Dialogue also had a chance to express their views on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address (Images: Ray Maota)Premier Mathabatha said that if South Africans look at the past 20 years from a pessimistic perspective they will disregard achievements in many fields.He defended the address, saying: “The president couldn’t really at the time give … a detailed account of the ruling party’s plan for the country … as elections are soon and this will be the job of the elected government at the time.”Mathabatha said this 20-year-old democracy was a participatory one; that “every citizen was supposed to do their part in seeing it become better”.“In 1994 when the late Nelson Mandela was inaugurated he said ‘Amandla’ and we said ‘Awethu’. This was the day we undertook to be active participants in this democracy, so civilians need to sometimes do things for themselves first and ask help from government later as government will never really know the plight of everyone at the same time in the country.”PUBLIC PARTICIPATIONThe audience at the dialogue also had suggestions for the government.Mofenyi Senyatsi said that for a graduate, job opportunities in his hometown were scarce and that funding for ideas was minimal.“I’m a qualified industrial engineer and now I’m doing civil engineering; I once asked to see the previous premier of Limpopo to talk about my research into geothermal energy but was never given the time of day; but when we get funding from somewhere else and they help me fulfil my dreams to help the community with energy, Limpopo will want to take credit of me,” he said.Other audience members gave their input, with one saying that post-graduates also needed help with landing jobs in provincial government, to strengthen academic experience in the province rather than taking their skills to other provinces.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Thursday filed her nomination from Rae Bareli with her son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Vadra Gandhi by her side. After a brief roadshow, the Congress leader went to the Collectorate to file her papers with a large number of Congress supporters carrying party flags and banners cheering her all along the route.Offers ‘puja’ Before starting the road show, she offered ‘puja’ at the Congress office where her son-in-law Robert Vadra and grandson Rehan were also present. The former Congress president is aiming for a fifth victory from the parliamentary constituency, in a straight contest against Dinesh Pratap Singh, who recently joined the BJP after quitting her party. Polling in Rae Bareli will be held in the fifth phase on May 6.