Dear President Ramaphosa…

Congratulations on your successful mission to Europe. You have shown the world that South Africa is even able to unite countries that are at war with one another. Both Russia and Ukraine now agree that we are ridiculous. Thanks to your visit, hostilities were briefly paused to allow the combatants on both sides to laugh at us. Once the general hilarity had subsided, they resumed killing one another with renewed gusto.

It was devilishly smart of you to travel in one plane with your elite bodyguards and favourite ministers and arrange for a decoy plane full of expendable counter-revolutionary journalists, paramilitary car guards and crates of weapons of mass distraction to be diverted to Poland.

Everyone knows Poland is overly sensitive when it comes to strangers arriving at their borders unannounced. They have never quite got over that nasty business in 1939. And while the contingent on that chartered SAA plane wasn’t exactly Sturmtruppen, there were reporters who had run out of alcohol and the mood was ugly.

On board were crates stuffed with armaments that were presumably too late for the Lady R. Stapled to the crates were handwritten letters from Dirco, or maybe some ou called Dirk, reading: “These gunz is legal and hearby allowed.”

I believe there were sniper rifles on the plane. Of course there were. The reporters, had they ever made it to their destination, would have needed to eat too and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of fresh weasel or badger to keep the spirits up. Ukraine even has something called an edible dormouse, but your snipers would have to be pretty damn good to take one of them out. They’d make a nice starter, though.

You have trained General Wally Rhoode very well. Your man was quick to accuse the Polish government of racism for placing the passengers under aircraft arrest. Inexplicably, Warsaw failed to immediately apologise and provide the captives with free szarlotka and bottles of Sobieski vodka.

Instead, they simply denied the accusation. When your government denies something, we generally assume the opposite is true. I don’t know if it’s the same with Poles. They are very strange people at the best of times. I suppose there’s a slender chance they might not be all that fond of us knowing that, if the ANC had its way, Putin would take over the world and we’d all be speaking Russian by Christmas.

Speaking of denials, your loyal sockpuppet Vincent Magwenya did a truly spectacular job on this trip. Only a South African bureaucrat could get away with saying that the delegation didn’t hear any explosions at the very moment his boss was being shepherded into a bomb shelter and the world media was reporting another Russian missile attack on the capital.

The Kyiv Post described our Vince as “The Biggest Liar in the World” in the headline of their report on the denial. With all the flexibility of a Russian gymnast, Vince then denied that he had denied anything. All he said, he said, was that he hadn’t heard any explosions or sirens or seen any missiles, going on to admit that he was, at the time, on the 11th floor of his hotel, a location favoured by foreign correspondents for reporting from war zones.

Comrade president, you might have noticed that some people are calling the mission “chaotic”, as if that’s a bad thing. The attainment of peace is a messy business fraught with peril. It needs chaos to thrive. Chaos was one of the first Greek gods, emerging at the dawn of creation. He could whip anyone’s ass. Okay, maybe not Chuck Norris, but anyone else.

Your mate Putin must have been outraged that you visited Zelensky first. Is that why he bombed Kyiv on the day you arrived? He doesn’t strike me as a man who is prepared to play second fiddle to anyone. This is, after all, a man who rides Siberian tigers wearing nothing more than short pants made from the skin of wolves he slaughtered with his bare hands.

I suppose you had to do it that way around. There’d be no point going to Moscow first and then Kyiv. Zelensky already knows what Putin wants. By the same token, Putin also knows what Zelensky wants.

Put simply, the entire mission could have been reduced to a couple of phone calls. But then we would have been denied the spectacle of African leaders leaving a continent riven with corruption, poverty and violence in order to improve things on another continent that’s in far better shape. Well, give or take the odd megalomaniacal dictator.

I heard reports that you asked Putin to return the children that were abducted from Ukraine and moved to Russia. Nice work. A child’s place is in the middle of an armed conflict. It builds character and teaches them things. Like how to tie a tourniquet around a severed leg. I’m sure Vlad the Impaler will accede to your request. He likes children. Especially on a rotisserie, lightly drizzled with bear bile.

8 thoughts on “Dear President Ramaphosa…

  1. Frances says:

    Ahhhh Ben, what a ray of pure unadulterated sunshine you are in this circus, filled with clowns, we call politicians in this country!🤣

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      That’s me, alright. A ray of fucking sunshine

  2. Carole Edmunds says:

    Truly the master of satire … I salute you, Ben, for so eloquently expressing the comedy of our Africa in-pieces mission

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      Thanks Carole. I return your salute…

  3. Tim Dowd says:

    Absolutely fantastic work!

  4. Valerie says:

    How I enjoy your satire Mr Trovato !If you don’t laugh,you cry!

    1. Ben Trovato says:

      Ain’t that the truth

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