Watching The Defectives

The ANC has once again dipped its grubby little paws into a Checkers bag full of recycled careerists and come up with an interim board for the SABC.

“Comrades, we’re offering you this chalice.”

“What’s wrong with it?”

“Nothing. Well, it’s poisoned. Apart from that, it’s fine.”

“Great! We’ll take it.”

The previous bunch of rats jumped ship when the broadcasting behemoth began listing dangerously to port. One of them, scurrying to catch the remnants of summer in Sea Point, paused only to bite Helen Zille on the toe.

I was reminded of the SABC recently when I tried to buy a television set without providing a salary slip, proof of political affiliation, original birth certificate, tax clearance, police records and a report from a mental health practitioner.

Nobody in their right mind would give the SABC any personal information whatsoever. To avoid a lifetime of being tracked down by the bounty hunters over at VVM Attorneys, all I had to do was find someone with a TV licence.

One option was to go around the neighbourhood pretending to be a licence inspector. I would explain that the Broadcasting Act entitled me to shoot them in the face if they refused to accompany me to Game to verify the validity of their licence.

Luckily, I didn’t have to go to those lengths.

My father is an old school anarchist and will jump at any opportunity to break the law. But he is also scrupulously honest. I don’t know why he’s not in jail.

“Here’s my licence,” he said to the salesman. “But the TV’s not for me, it’s for my son. That’s him over there, trying to put a remote control down his trousers.”

SABC board chairman Ben Ngubane and deputy dawg Thami ka Plaatjie – better known as Ratman and Nobbin – were first to bail. A trio of white women – one of them with actual broadcasting experience – was the last to go.

Suzanne Vos blamed the debacle on both Ratman and communications minister Dina Pule, whose academic achievements are roughly on a par with mine. If only I could say the same for our pay cheques.

Pule’s story sounds like a Shakespearean play written by one of Isidingo’s scriptwriters. I cannot even begin to unravel the convoluted plot involving a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, a dodgy weave, serious buck-passing in the digital migration debacle and the hiring of an incompetent chief financial officer for the SABC, who, to be fair, wasn’t so incompetent that she wasn’t able to sign off on a sponsorship deal that helped make the minister’s boyfriend several million rand richer.

And when it comes to Telkom, Pule’s machinations make Hamlet seem like an episode of Friends.

I suppose it’s a hard tradition to break. Anyone who has ever been in charge of information in this country, going back to Rupert van Riebeeck’s time, has lied, schemed and connived. It’s what they are paid to do.

Is there a country anywhere in the world where the information minister speaks nothing but the truth? Maybe in the Netherlands, but only because you can get sodium pentothal in the Dutch parliament’s cafeteria. For weed, you have to go to Amsterdam. It’s only 50kms from The Hague, for heaven’s sake. Stop complaining. If I could do it, so can you.

President Zuma reluctantly accepted the board’s resignation – his first choice was to have them shot as part of the entertainment on Human Rights Day – and the ANC cherry-picked a fresh batch of sacrificial lambs. And these baa-baa black sheeple will report for duty with a yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir. One for the master, one for the minister, and one for the New Age reporter to make it look less sinister.

While we taxpayers were being taken roughly from behind, DA MP Marian Shinn politely raised her hand and pointed out to her fellow lawmakers that many of us had been scarred and embittered by political interference in the SABC and suggested that it come to an end. I suppose if one has never experimented with powerful drugs or threesomes that have gone horribly wrong, the occasional ministerial intervention in the affairs of the national broadcaster may well leave the more sensitive parliamentarian traumatised.

Personally, I don’t give a damn. I watch eNews Channel Africa for my news because I would rather be subjected to an endless loop than poorly pronounced propaganda.

Someone called Zandile Tshabalala is the ANC’s choice for board chair. Isn’t he the striker for Bafana Bafana? No, hang on. It’s a she. Don’t look at me like that. We whiteys recognise names like Betty and Beauty. We can’t tell our Zandiles from our Zwandiles. Give us time. It’s only been 700 years.

Tshabalala has extensive experience in banking and business, which makes me wonder if the ANC has trouble with its acronyms.


It’s all the same to them. Let’s make Riah Phiyega chairman of the SABC and put Oupa Magashula in charge of the police. They could hardly do any worse.

The ANC wants Noluthando Gosa to be deputy chair. This would be her third stint as a member of the board. I am almost certain that if she were allowed to decline the “offer” without fear of reprisals, she would. On the other hand, she seems to be some kind of high-flying estate agent and is probably impervious to threats and insults of any kind.

A lot of very bright people applauded Zuma’s decision in 2011 to appoint a commission of enquiry into the arms deal and only now are they beginning to realise it was a monumental set-up right from the start. I knew this all along, and I only have a matric. Thank god I didn’t waste any more time studying.

And it’s the same with the SABC board. The ANC will toss in one or two nominally independent names to appease the slavering dogs of democracy, but the rest will be the same malleable stooges they have always been.

And so the scene will be set for yet another gripping episode of Lawless & Disorder.

There is only one way out of this mess. Make me chairman of the board. I don’t give a hot damn who the minister is. I would tell him or her to fuck off every time he or she contacted me. I do that anyway, regardless of who is calling.

I wouldn’t even want a salary. They can put me on the dop system. The opportunity to broadcast real news, good movies and decent porn would be reward enough.

If Robert Mugabe can shake Pope Francis’s hand without one of them bursting into flames, anything is possible.

Advice For The Doomed Generation

So you’ve just finished matric and are looking for a job.

The first thing you need to do is drop a few kilos. School-leavers are getting more corpulent by the year. Sure, some are pregnant, but the other ten per cent are just plain lard-asses.

There are many weight-loss tapes on the market, but I recommend the duct tape. Tear off a strip and put it over your mouth, you big fat pig.

Employers would rather hire thin people. It’s a fact. And if it’s not, it should be.

Thin people have more energy, take shorter lunch breaks and have fewer moral qualms about sleeping their way to the top. Bosses appreciate these qualities in a worker.

My advice is, don’t rush into a job. Take your time. Look around. Drink a lot, blow up ATMs, have lashings of casual sex. This brief period of unemployment could be the happiest time of your life.

Once you get a job, marriage won’t be far off. Everyone wants to be married to someone who has a job. The taxman will be first in line to savage your salary. Once he has eaten his fill, the banks and the insurance companies and the medical aid schemes will sink their claws into you. Then the scavengers at the municipality will have a go. Finally, your horrible children will suck up any crumbs that might still be lying around. That’s the next 45 years taken care of.

But at least you can look forward to retiring on a pension that will cover the rent on a bachelor flat for two years. And if you eat only once a week, you should be able to afford three days in Margate before you die. It will be the holiday of a lifetime. Literally.

If, however, you simply cannot wait to become an insignificant cog in this great wheel of misfortune, and you choose not to seek psychiatric help, then this is what you need to do.

Apply for every job you see advertised. It doesn’t matter if it’s a filing clerk at a panel-beaters or director-general in the department of education. You have just as much chance of getting one as the other.

Very few jobs in this world require skills that can’t be picked up off the internet in an afternoon. In the majority of cases, you really only need the ability to manufacture an impressive CV.

If you can write and you don’t have foetal alcohol syndrome, you stand a very good chance of getting a top job in the private sector.

When it comes to the civil service, however, brain damage can work in your favour. I don’t mean it helps to be retarded to work for the government. That would be rude.

I’m talking about their policy of hiring people with disabilities. But be careful. It’s a bit of a grey area.

For example, the SA Post Office will still invite you for an interview, but you might not get the job of postman if your CV says you have no legs. On the other hand, you could always say they grew back while you were having breakfast that morning. Post office staff have seen some amazing things – most of them inside parcels that never reached their destinations – and they will believe anything.

There is fierce competition for jobs, so be prepared.

Tuck your shirt in, make sure your nails are clean and carry a Z88 9mm pistol. It’s a very effective tool when it comes to convincing prospective employees that you’re the right man for the job. If you’re a woman, you might want to try the smaller, more feminine Glock 26.

But feel free to use something else. The Musler pump action riot gun is very effective in reducing the number of job applicants in any given situation. And it’s proudly South African, too.

If it’s queues you’re worried about, get there early and cordon off the area with razor wire. The one thing we learned from Marikana is that we no longer have to use our hands to set up the barricades. That’s right. Razor wire can be dispensed from an armoured vehicle. Pick one up on Gumtree. Make sure you’re on the inside when you seal off the premises.

A career in the air force has become a popular choice ever since Prince Harry single-handedly killed half the Taliban from inside his helicopter.

He compared being in charge of the Apache’s weapons systems to “playing Xbox”. You can have just as much fun in the SAAF. The only difference is that none of our choppers are airworthy. And we can’t afford Xboxes. You will, however, get authentic combat experience on your unit’s PlayStation 1.

The KwaZulu-Natal road traffic inspectorate would sooner kill you than hire you, so I’d suggest you stay away from them.

If you lack the courage of your convictions, you could always get a job at First National Bank.

Here’s the catch, 22 or otherwise. The problem you jobseekers have – apart from being too thick to go to university – is that you don’t have any experience.

Smoking weed and losing your virginity in grade eight doesn’t count as experience. Well, it does in my book. But I’m not currently hiring.

You might have to take a poorly paid job.

In my opinion, all jobs are poorly paid. None of them are worth a damn. Jobs are evil. They take away your freedom and destroy your health. They turn you into something you never wanted to be and they fill you with self-loathing.

I know what I’m talking about. I have been there. My eyesight is ruined and my ass is sore.

If you’re offered an unpaid job-shadowing opportunity, don’t turn it down. Take notes. Make maps. Forge keys. Learn the security codes.

When you are thanked for your free labour and told there are no vacancies, return late one night and put all that knowledge to good use.

Ngikufisela inhlanhla!