I thought I was hallucinating when I heard Jacob Zuma’s uniquely soporific drone on the telly, bumbling along at his usual three words a minute and setting off polygraph machines across the country.
“What fresh hell is this?” I moaned. The cat wandered in to see if I was okay. I pointed weakly at my glass. “More gin. Quickly.” The cat ran off to the kitchen.
What could be so important that he’d be given live coverage on a national news channel? He was like the ghost of Christmas past, present and future rolled into one terrifying apparition. Surely Zuma wanted to announce his discovery of the elixir of life. What else could explain Teflon Man’s miraculous recovery from a terminal illness that got him sprung from jail?
Nah. It was nothing so dramatic. He simply wanted to tell us that he wouldn’t be voting for the ANC next year. Back of the line, old man.
He said his conscience wouldn’t allow him to lie to the people of South Africa. I couldn’t decide which was more hilarious – the fact that this on its own was a lie or that he had developed a conscience.
At the start of the “briefing”, Zuma said he had been feeling ill all week, “which started with coughing in a very funny way”. I sat up. This could be good. And yet he chose not to demonstrate. Pity. We could’ve done with a laugh.
This was followed by one of his light-hearted throwaway lines: “I have enough time next year to tell the story of how many people have been sent to my house to kill me.”
It’s obvious what’s been happening at Nkandla. An old mate will suddenly look out the window and shout, “The Hawks are here!” Jake clutches his chest and fails to appreciate the joke.
“Are you trying to kill me? Who sent you?”
Anyway, to me, he seemed well enough for a man born in the same year the Allies were kicking Rommel’s ass at Al Alamein. However, his eyes do seem to be growing further apart. Give it a few months and he’ll basically be a hammerhead shark.
Our politically polygamous former president said his new crush was uMkhonto Wesizwe, a new party that has registered to contest next year’s foregone conclusion. The casual observer might be forgiven for thinking this party is somehow related to the ANC’s former military wing, which is spelt uMkhonto we Sizwe. Also, the new logo has been tweaked. In the original, the warrior is aiming his spear at his opponent’s head. The new kid on the block has his spear aimed at the testicular region. Different enough to perhaps avoid a copyright lawsuit and further confuse the already confused voting cattle.
The real MK was disbanded 30 years ago. The leaders of the genuine article were trained inside China. These neophytes were trained inside Checkers.
Because of his humourous cough, and, presumably, his inability to pronounce words of more than two syllables, Zuma said he would get Duduvanka to read whatever it was that someone smarter than him had written.
Electra complex notwithstanding, Daughter #1 did a reasonable job of putting across her father’s Dear John letter to the ANC.
Zuma stressed that he wasn’t leaving the party and that he would “die ANC”. This could also mean die from the ANC, since it genuinely has become a diagnosable illness. Symptoms among those who suffer from incurable ANC include a lack of food, water, jobs and an overwhelming ennui that leads to depression and, for the lucky few who can afford it, emigration.
He said he would help to establish a “patriotic front” to “steer the ship of total liberation”. Sounds like something Thabo Mbeki might have written while under the influence of ancient Greece. Watching on his phone in the parking lot, Carl Niehaus jumped up and down with excitement.
“Even if I am just a deckhand, I must be on that ship!” he shouted, weeing a little in his cheap camouflage broeks.
Zuma said he aimed to steer the ship of colonialism back on course by uniting Africans across the country, continent and diaspora. Good luck with that, mate. Just don’t try it on a payday weekend.
“The turning point for me was the misguided statement made by the ANC president that the ANC is accused Number 1 for corruption in South Africa.” The cat returned, pulling a tiny trolley with my G&T.
“This is going to be good,” I said. “You should watch.” The cat rolled over and licked its bottom. Lucky for some.
I heard the words in my head: “The title of Number 1 for corruption in South Africa is mine! You hear me? Mine!” Perhaps, as a modest man, he felt the credit was not his to publicly claim.
Zuma complained about the ANC having stood idle when hundreds of people were killed in KZN after his fleeting incarceration. The irony of having these words dribbling from Duduvanka’s pretty, inciteful mouth was too much for the cat and he left the room.
I could almost hear Ramaphosa shaking his big, worthless head: “You get a man out of jail and this is the thanks you get.”
“The ANC of Ramaphosa has declared war against progressive black professionals and intellectuals,” said the man who excoriated what he termed “clever blacks” in 2012.
Also, the last time anyone in the ANC declared anything at all was when Fikile Mbalula came back from Dubai and accidentally strayed into the red channel.
Zuma’s final gripe with the “ANC of Ramaphosa” is that it has “plunged the country into darkness with load shedding”.
Ah, Jake. I was trying to remember the word for the inability to remember. It escapes me now. Whatever it is, it seems unlikely the entire country is afflicted with it. After all, your presidency was one that South Africa will never forget. Or recover from.
Zuma said discussions around the formation of the new party – a Trojan Horse manoeuvre by a Machiavellian master – were conducted underground because of the “toxic atmosphere caused by our captured media, judiciary and the other arms of the state”. That’s a big group to capture. It pretty much only leaves dentists and the unemployed.
Also, underground? That would be the Nkandla wine cellar, I imagine.
This is Shady Jake’s Hail Mary move. Ramaphosa is holding a royal flush. Will he fold?