Yerrigadoogate: Unsung heroes versus shouting brigade

Avec le soutien de
Nad Sivaramen, Axcel Chenney and Yasin Denmamode ‘‘made history in their own way, by giving a new impulse to our dormant journalistic style’’.

There’s a lot going on in paradise right now, keeping everyone’s emotions on a roller coaster. We are so busy reacting to this or that, that so little thinking is left for anything else… This is why I am choosing to think aloud with you and, after decades of reading journalists, to finally put pen to paper.

For once, I do not wish to remain a spectator. I want to be an actor – so as to #fightfortruth alongside my preferred newspaper, l’express, and its genuine seekers of information.

As far as I am concerned, as a faithful reader of La Sentinelle products, Nad Sivaramen, Axcel Chenney and Yasin Denmamode will go down in history as being the three journalists who smartly uncovered the unthinkable Yerrigadoogate. Whether you like it or not, they’ve made history in their own way, by giving a new impulse to our dormant journalistic style.

In terms of retaliation for their groundbreaking story, we have to go back to 1984 and 1994 to see the police chasing down journalists. Come to think about Yerrigadoogate: could you imagine an Attorney General indulging in illegal betting alongside a self-confessed swindler?

Both Ravi and Rahim tag teamed with a lawyer with strong ties with SMS Pariaz/Lee Shim and Co Ltd and a General Manager of Dry Cleaning, whose rise to power is more spectacular than Rakesh Gooljaury… We still do not know if Rahim-Kwan Tat-Sundanum, using Yerrigadoo’s clearance to go overseas, were in Dubai, and illegally in Geneva, to open bank accounts so as to launder unexplained wealth.

However, we do know – thanks to a private radio and its bunch of shouting brigade – that Nad, Axcel and Yasin went too far. Really how far is far my friends? What about the documentary evidence that they’ve produced in l’express? Should they have been more lenient and diplomatic so as to allow Yerrigadoo to save his seat and his tears (shed live and direct)?

I am flabbergasted by the fact that some past journalists and editors (many from l’express, I wonder why?), who no longer have hands-on experience, did not come forward to congratulate our trio. Instead, because of their alleged vested interests, they were giving their views on ethics (forgetting that La Sentinelle remains the only press group with a Code de déontologie) based only on allegations of a self-proclaimed swindler.

Those wise men probably did not see the big picture and did not (want to) realise that the whole Yerrigadoogate is most probably the tip of the iceberg of corruption in Mauritius. Let’s be honest and practical over here. Can people who have exercised journalism in the 70s and 80s understand how WhatsApp and Facebook operate these days?

Can some people who left l’express and are obviously still holding a grudge (that’s the only reason probably why this particular private radio called them) be objective and honest in their analysis? Or did they all think it was règlement de comptes time? They thought that l’express was à terre and that it was time to pil enn ross lor zot!

As the Yerrigadoogate unfolded these past days, the same shouting brigade, who were boasting like lions, had to make a full 180 degree turn! I felt sad for them. When the readers and the people conveyed their messages of sympathy to Nad, Axcel and Yasin, they had to swallow the flow and follow. And now there are bleating like sheep.

To comment on a past Chairman’s surprising statement that journalists need to remain spectators (which is not logical in today’s world), I would like to boast like a lion and ask everyone reading this article. Are we all mere spectators of the dirty politics unfolding around us, only able to cheer and shout out disagreement, or are we actors on that stage, with the ability to effect change, like Nad, Axcel and Yasin recently did?

Are we cheering and resisting in our own echo chambers or radio stations? Or are we able to build something together with the citizens so as to truly challenge the status quo? For years now, my wife and I have been toying with the thought that we are all either actors or spectators of our own lives. We can choose, like one said, to be a spectator and just let others make decisions for us.

For instance, accepting an appointment as Chairman of the Media Trust under the Jugnauth regime. We could also let ourselves go where our life leads us. Or we can be actors and choose to take an active role in our lives by consciously deciding where to lead our lives ourselves.

For a very long time now, we have felt like spectators in our life. We’ve let ourselves get carried along by the tides. We wake up, do our things, read l’express and its courageous stands (we love the editorials!), go to work, make dinner and take care of things around the house.

Please note that we do not listen to the radio – after what happened, the probability is even smaller. Everyday seems to just be the same variation on one unique theme: papa-piti-fami.

But after what we saw and how they treated our favourite journalists, we no longer want to be passengers in our own life. We want a change. We want a better country. We want an independent police that will arrest the bad ministers as opposed to the good journalists.

The first step is this article. Every big thing only starts with a first small step. Keep it up l’express!


Il s'est retrouvé impliqué dans une affaire de blanchiment d'argent allégué. En trois jours, les révélations de Husein Abdool Rahim ont eu raison de Ravi Yerrigadoo. Le Premier ministre n'a pas eu d'autre choix que de demander à l'Attorney General de step down, le mercredi 13 septembre. Mais le «dénonciateur» est revenu sur ces propos accusant l'express et Roshi Bhadain d'avoir initié un complot pour faire tomber Ravi Yerrigadoo.

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