Every time I pick up a newspaper or turn on the television I am confronted by a special report on the highlights of the year gone by. Quite frankly, I have had enough of it. For a start, we know what happened in 2011. We were here the whole time. And there were no highlights. Do we really need to be reminded that BBC journalist Jonah Fisher has rubbish in his trouser? Have our memory banks been robbed by alcohol and drugs to such an extent that we can’t remember being mugged by Bryce Lawrence at the Rugby World Cup or that the climate change conference changed nothing at all and, more importantly, that white girls can still be crowned Miss South Africa?
Tell us stuff we don’t know. Some people say it is impossible to predict the future. What nonsense. There is no easier thing to predict. You turn up the music, open a bottle of Real de Magueyes Silver Mezcaland start predicting. It really is that simple. And if your predictions fail to tally with events, it is not your fault. The Adjustment Bureau has made it difficult for all of us to nail down the future with any real degree of accuracy. But it’s still worth a shot. So here we go. Salt. Shot. Lemon.
President Zuma opens himself up and shows the nation what he is made of. Meat and bones mainly, but, astonishingly, also a tiny Chinese puppeteer squatting in his chest cavity.
In line with el presidente’s method of random selection, he offers the post of deputy chief justice to an elephant from the Knysna forest. The elephant accepts the position and alterations are made to the bench. He also tries to hire Inspector Clouseau to head the Special Investigating Unit after watching a video of The Pink Panther.
He has a wife-swapping party with Swaziland’s King Mswati III that lasts for six months.
Khulubuse Zuma, Zondwa Mandela and Michael Hulley buy a uranium mine and have a yellowcake sale to raise funds to buy a Maserati and a loaf of sliced white bread for each of the 700 destitute miners at the Grootvlei and Orkney mines. The cars go missing but, luckily, the bread gets through. Unsliced.
Trevor Manuel returns to his Cape Flats roots and starts carrying an Okapi knife to defend himself against critics of his master plan for the country.
After a record 36 months’ of inscrutable smiling and nodding, Kgalema Motlanthe finally tells South Africans what he is thinking. This is swiftly followed by a nationwide outbreak of indifference that fails to capture the attention of our baton-wielding riot police.
Julius Malema takes up a position as senior car guard outside the Polokwane Spur and changes his name to Captain Fantastic. He is assisted by The Brown Dirty Cowboy, formerly known as Floyd Shivambu.
The ANC’s national conference at Mangaung sees the party emerge with a generational mix of leaders. The new minister of mines, a nine-year-old from a village in northern Mpumalanga, changes the face of the mining industry after threatening to hold his breath until all the mines are nationalised. Plans to begin confiscating farms are hampered by efforts to find someone in land affairs who can spell “expropriation” without crying and stamping their feet.
Safa livens up the premier league by allowing players to undergo military training and bring concealed weapons onto the field. Orlando Pirates get outside help from Somalia and win the league after holding Kaizer Chiefs to ransom.
Jackie Selebi enters the Schabir Shaik Hall of Fame, an honour reserved for medical miracles who defy all prognoses and continue to live full and healthy lives even though doctors swear they should be dead. Independent studies reveal evidence suggesting that Selebi has transmogrified and become immortal. The former police chief denies being a vampire.
Beijing declares Squirrel Ramaphosa an honorary Chinese.
The first bottle store opens in Fish Hoek. God retaliates by sending a plague of fire, locusts and Congolese drug dealers into the town. This is followed by a general smiting of the firstborns. Local residents report conditions to be vastly improved.
Al-Qaeda renounces Islam and embraces the Jehovah’s Witness denomination. After a global campaign involving pre-dawn doorbell-ringing raids on homes everywhere, the United Nations steps in and appeals to the group’s leaders to revert to their previous affiliation.
Lady Gaga discovers her inner Stalinist and performs at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang wearing an outfit designed by Kim Jong-un’s Cuban catamite. The outfit – shaped like a nuclear missile – is impregnated with flesh-eating bacteria in accordance with the Mother Monster’s wishes. North Korean timing ensures that only her skeleton remains by the time she sings the last note of the final verse of her third encore. The pop diva is buried in a shallow grave in the foothills of the Rangrim Mountains and millions of North Koreans are encouraged at gunpoint to display appropriate levels of grief.
Apple brings out a smart phone that is smarter than 94% of the developing world. Sales are badly affected and the company releases a new version called iMoron.