Orcas, Putin and the real Godzille

This pandemic malarkey is starting to get old. It’s all a bit 2020, really. Lockdown, schmockdown, right? Been there, done that. I mean, let’s be honest. When last were you shocked by any of the Covid-19 statistics or graphs trotted out each week by one or other government agency?

It’s been over a year and we’re bored. We need something new. If the media hope to keep our attention, they are going to have to come up with something altogether more captivating.

Hold on, what’s this? CNN is reporting that Russia’s developing something called the Poseidon 2M39 torpedo. This nuclear-powered beast is capable of carrying a multi-megaton warhead. Defence officials say it is designed to annihilate US coastal cities with radioactive tsunamis.

Yes! This is what I’m talking about. Regular tsunamis are one thing, but radioactive tsunamis! Now that’s something worth watching on the telly. I like to imagine that once Miami has been rendered even more uninhabitable than it already is, Vladimir Putin would appear shirtless on the back of an orca to survey the sheer awesomeness of his power.

While we’re waiting for climate change to melt more ice in the Arctic so that Vlad can create increasingly fabulous weapons of mass destruction, here are some other events I hope to see before the ANC’s internal squabbles finally drive me to pick up a pair of scissors and stab myself repeatedly in the eyes so that I never again have to read about them.

* Scientists at Wits University manage to successfully insert genes from the Melanorosaurus into Helen Zille’s genome. The Melanorosaurus lived in South Africa during the Late Triassic period, an era from which Zille draws many of her ideas. A herbivore with a large body and sturdy limbs, (the dinosaur, not Zille), Melanorosaurus means “Black Mountain Lizard” in ancient Greek. Analysts said the new species, Helenoboreus, meaning “White Beach Lizard”, could have a positive impact on the political landscape in that it wouldn’t be physically equipped for social media. It would, however, require its own seating arrangements in parliament and a fairly large salad bar.

* Researchers in the Transylvania region of central Romania discover a hairy-legged vampire bat that cures Covid-19. Patients infected with the coronavirus need to bite the bat and ingest at least 5ml of its blood. Side effects include an inexplicable desire to fight crime. The cured are advised to avoid joining the SA police as they will find themselves alone in their desire.

* Elon Musk renounces his American citizenship and moves to Gqeberha. He turns the Eastern Cape into a global powerhouse by growing and exporting the finest marijuana in the world. When police try to stop him, he buys the police. And then the army. Musk makes electric vehicles mandatory in the defence force. Eskom finally collapses and troops are issued with bicycles. Eswatini invades South Africa and two days later King Mswati moves into Mahlamba Ndlopfu and takes nine million new wives. Musk returns to America and is arrested as an illegal immigrant.

* To encourage creative thinking and a spirit of competition, the government abolishes salaries in the civil service and legalises the solicitation of bribes. Service delivery improves overnight.

* The conspiracy theorists are proven right about vaccines changing your DNA. Babies start being born with elephant trunks instead of noses. Old people begin barking like dogs. In Benoni, a diesel mechanic sprouts wings and flies out of his workshop and into a bus. 

* The Kraken turns out not to be fictitious and wakes on a Thursday afternoon off the coast of Norway. Half-crab, half-octopus, half-David Attenborough, it ambushes and kills the Norwegian and Icelandic whalers before swiftly moving through the world’s oceans. On its way to Japan, it stops off in the Faroe Islands and murders the men who slaughter hundreds of pilot whales each year. He also destroys bottom trawlers and visits the homes of executives who certify tuna to be dolphin-safe when they know it’s not.

* Ace Magashule abandons his political career, becomes a pastor and starts his own church. On The Run Ministries offers redemption and new identities, baptisms in holy revenue streams and a range of services that come with a 10% tithe. Confessions are not encouraged.

* Cannibalism is legalised, allowing the very poor to eat the very rich. Tuesdays only. Due to limited resources, the state will not assist the poor in catching their prey although exceptions can be made for the disabled. Hunting must be done on foot. No weapons permitted.

* With the government out of ideas on how to remedy the imbalances of the past, they reintroduce apartheid, with black people being reclassified as white and white people, black. There is mass confusion, but once the nation is properly informed about what is happening, everyone is happy. Everyone apart from the white people who are now black.

* A gecko has just fallen into my gin and tonic. This is not a news event. I apologise for the abrupt ending, but this requires my urgent attention. 

Officially opposed to the official opposition

So Mmusi Maimane has, with rat-like cunning, jumped ship and left his party floundering like a stranded snoek. We knew this was coming the moment he held Herman Mashaba’s hand aloft and declared the former Joburg mayor a hero for stabbing the Democratic Alliance in the ribs.

I was going to write a fresh column but I am currently having a little trouble giving a fuck.

Here’s something I wrote to the pastor eighteen months ago.


Dear Mmusi Maimane, Bleeder of the Opposition.
Congratulations on finally getting rid of your mayor in Cape Town. Patricia de Lille is extremely dangerous and I’m not saying that just because she is a woman. She was born in Beaufort West, for heaven’s sake. It was only a matter of time before she started selling crack and bludgeoning councillors with her mayoral chain.

You’ve had a rough time of it lately. There will always be barbarians banging at your gate, but more worrying is the enemy that lurks within. The old Democratic Party should never have allowed the New National Party to wheel its Trojan horse into what is now your house. Not your fault. You were fresh out of school at the time. Sometimes I forget how young you are.

You addressed a rally on Freedom Day and made the rookie mistake of suggesting that white privilege was getting in the way of ending black poverty and needed to be addressed. This might have gone down with the great unwashed, but not so much with some of the senior members of your party. By senior I obviously mean white.

Your remarks struck a jarring chord with your silver-tongued shadow minister of public enterprises, Natasha Mazzone, who held up her father as an example of why not all whites were privileged. You’ll be familiar with her tweet but here it is again, just to give you one more sleepless night. “My father arrived from Naples in Italy, he was dark, and could not speak English or Afrikaans, but he was a great chef. He built himself up from nothing to make a good life for his family.”

She has a point. I remember seeing the signs along Durban’s beachfront in the 1980s, “Whites Only – No Blacks or Italians”. It was a struggle for those Napoleons, or whatever the hell people from Naples are called. A new kid appeared in my grade eight class after the second term and didn’t seem to speak any language at all. I liked him. A couple of days later the history teacher threatened to kill him if he didn’t provide his name. It was Giovanni Aquavelva or something. The teacher excused himself and ten minutes later the alarm went off and everyone ran outside into what appeared to be some sort of police ambush. The last I saw of Giovanni he was being carried off in the jaws of an Alsatian dog. He’s probably still trying to get his matric at a school in KwaMashu.

Not being able to speak English or Afrikaans clearly counted in the Mazzone patriarch’s favour. Whoever hired him and helped him on his way to becoming a great chef must’ve mistaken him for a well-tanned mute from Margate. If word had got out that he was Italian, he would have been lucky to find work at the Soshanguve Wimpy.

There seems to be a pattern here, comrade. May I call you comrade? I know the honorific is generally reserved for active members of the league of revolutionaries, but as a white man I find it prudent to call all black people ‘comrade’. Unlike AfriForum, some of us think it a bad idea to continue hammering nails into our own coffin.

But getting back to the pattern. Most of your problems seem to be caused by women. Who among us can forget Lindiwe whats-her-name who claimed to have been human trafficked into the DA and was eventually granted asylum by Harvard University?

You also tried to muzzle your predecessor, Helen Zille, who seems to have developed either a drinking problem or a thinking problem. She does have her moments of lucidity, but then gets onto Twitter and all hell breaks loose.

Then you had Dianne Kohler Barnard sharing a Facebook post by a flaming cockwomble who suggested that life in South Africa was better under the Fuhrer PW Botha.

And Phumzile van Damme resigned as the DA’s spokesperson earlier this year to spend more time “studying” and starting a “family”, which is political code for “I can’t be around these people any more”.

So, in the end, it was De Lille’s radio interview with Eusebius whats-his-face that enabled you to sever all ties with her. “I will walk away from the DA once I have cleared my name,” she said, recklessly violating section of the party’s code of conduct.
Big mistake. Firing her on those grounds, that is. What you should have done is gone around to her house with a baseball bat and made it clear that even if she did succeed in clearing her name, she wouldn’t be walking anywhere anytime soon. You want to leave the DA? Fine. But you’re gonna have to crawl on broken legs, baby. Get Mazzone’s people to do it. They know. Then again, Mazzone and almost everyone in your party has a lot to learn about omerta. If there’s one thing the DA could benefit from, it’s the Mafia’s code of silence. Do your people ever shut up?

Because nobody really knew why you wanted De Lille out so badly, the charge sheet was released this week. It seemed a bit limp, to be honest. I’ve been accused of way more serious stuff over the years and have never been asked to leave anything apart from a couple of pubs and one or two marriages.

People say the DA is misreading the mood of the voters. They are only half right because fifty percent of your voters are preoccupied with menstruating and menopausing and you’d be a fool to guess what kind of mood they might be in. As for the men, well, it’s hard to say. When South African men get in a mood, they don’t necessarily blame their political party and change sides. They might murder their wives and girlfriends or drag the family off to Perth, but it would take more than a palace coup in the mayoral chambers to get them to vote for the ANC.

Besides, a thundering tsunami of fresh crises and scandals will crash down on us between now and the next elections. The dogs will keep barking for as long as the caravans keep coming and going. It’s when the dogs fall silent that we need to start worrying.
Speaking of baying hounds, I see the media has begun turning on you almost en masse. I can’t understand it. You were their darling for years. It’s becoming increasingly clear that you need a big move, and the sooner the better.

I suggest you declare the DA a guerrilla movement and start wearing camouflaged battledress. Get yourself a pair of aviator sunglasses and a beret. No, not a beret. A top hat. Instead of going to the bush, you hole up in the coffee shops. There’s a fabulous steampunk outfit in central Cape Town called Truth. The baristas look like insouciant rebels who travel through time and, best of all, they’re black. It’s perfect for your headquarters. You could be the Jonas Savimbi of our time, but better dressed, more eloquent, clean-shaven, slimmer around the hips and, when things get tough, you reach not for an AK-47, but for a mug of gourmet home-roasted coffee. In no time at all, you’d win back the white voters you’ve lost in the past few weeks.

By the way, condolences on what President Ramaphosa did to you in parliament the other day. “We will be the first to defend Mmusi Maimane against those in his own party who deny racial inequality,” said the wily coyote. It was like handing a thirsty man a poisoned chalice. Ancient tactic, divide and conquer. Instead of simply sitting there looking forlorn, you should’ve leapt to your feet and told him in no uncertain terms where he could stick his Machiavellian strategies.

On the other hand, we all welcome a kind word when days are dark and friends are few.

Helen of Troyeville – The face that launched a thousand tweets

Dear Madam Premier Helen Zille the First, Grand Panjandrum of the Western Cape and Lady of the House,
When I read your tweets suggesting that colonialism wasn’t an entirely bad idea, I immediately suspected your phone had been stolen by an erudite thief whose idea of fun was to hijack politicians’ social media accounts and destroy their careers. On closer reflection, this seemed unlikely. Our phone-snatchers are of the common or garden variety who wouldn’t recognise erudition if it bit them on the bum.
A more plausible explanation was that you had succumbed to the curse of the legendary Singapore Sling and, finding yourself hysterically drunk inside an opium den at 3am, you went berserk and tried to call for help via Twitter but somehow ended up defending colonialism.
Apparently, though, you weren’t off your well-preserved face or even temporarily insane when you implied that were it not for the Europeans of yore popping over for a spot of the old rape and plunder, the natives would still be hacking paths through the bush, drowning people who claimed the earth was round and relying on lightning strikes to start the cooking fires because even cannibals enjoy a hot meal now and then.
You’ve had a chance to have a bit of a think and hopefully understand by now that there wasn’t a benevolent bone in colonialism’s bloodless body. Those early invaders brought guns and disease, slavery and Christianity. Sure, they also brought tobacco and alcohol. But is this enough for us to condone their war-mongering, land-grabbing ways? Almost, but not quite.
On the other hand, your ability to look on the bright side of one the most organised crimes ever committed is commendable. A lot of bad stuff happened in the past. It still happens. And it will continue happening. But is it really all bad? I’m sure if we dig a little deeper, we can find a silver lining around the most gloomy of clouds. Let’s give it a shot.
War. On the surface, war appears to be a negative thing. Particularly for those who get shot or blown up. But did war ever really hurt anyone’s feelings? No. Being told by an airline that you have to pay for two tickets because you’re massively fat is a lot worse than being on the Syrian frontline. War also gives people a chance to travel for free. And who doesn’t like free travel? I certainly do. Without war, thousands of Americans would have been denied the opportunity of a lifetime to visit exotic countries like Vietnam, Haiti, Guam, Iran, Afghanistan and even, for a lucky few, Somalia.
Hitler. A monster or simply misunderstood? Have you heard Germans talking among themselves? Not even they understand what they’re saying. It’s just one of those languages that sounds like everyone is planning a weekend of genocide. Hitler had his bad points, sure. For a start, his art sucked. But he did bring people closer. Or, in the parlance of his times, “rounded people up”. Then he put them on trains and sent them off to concentration camps, which, according to historian David Irving, were treatment centres for attention deficit citizens. Also, large parts of London were flattened during the Blitz, which saved on demolition costs when it came time to put up fancy new buildings.
Stalinism. Forget, for a moment, the millions of people Uncle Joseph ordered executed in the purges and focus, if you will, on the enduring magnificence that is the Moscow Subway. Let us not even speak of the glories of Stolichnaya vodka. Ah, yes. Socialism. What’s not to love?
Apartheid. Millions of black people were spared the indignity of having to go to school and the army. The benefits of this policy didn’t end there, either. There were also laws keeping black people safe from whites, a surly tribe isolated in their own suburbs with their own facilities. With the end of apartheid this protection was withdrawn and black people today still risk being abused by caucasoid neanderthals everywhere from public beaches to Spur restaurants.
Paraplegia. One word – wheelchair. No more walking means enormous savings on shoes. Also, no more sitting down and standing up hundreds of times a day, something that leaves non-paraplegics drained and miserable.
Hijacking. In a country that desperately needs employment opportunities, every bit helps. The man pointing a gun at your head and stealing your car is doing a job. He is self-employed and showing initiative. He isn’t hanging about the robots with a piece of cardboard covered in illegible scribbles, making you wind up your window and feel like a tight-fisted bastard until the lights change.
Alcoholism. The body’s way of letting you know that you’re still alive. Well done on not being dead. Alcoholics and their “social drinking” cousins keep the breweries ticking over nicely. Countless jobs would be lost and millions of lives destroyed if everyone had to stop drinking.
These, Helen, are just a few examples that tie in with your refreshing new way of thinking. Feel free to use them at your disciplinary hearing. Well, I say hearing, but it’s really going to be more of a medieval scheissesturm of monstrous accusations, desperate denials and multifarious explanations. You’re going to need to suppress your inner Attila for this one. Avoid stamping around the room barking at everyone. Your enemies in the party smell blood in the water and they’re not going to let an exposed flank go unsavaged.
If you do get fired, there are plenty of other opportunities out there. Afriforum, for instance, would be keen to have you. Their reputation as a coven of white supremacists is improving, thanks in part to that prosecutorial pit bull Gerrie Nel, and you will be among like-minded folk who believe that “speaking while white” is not, in fact, one of the deadly sins of democracy.
Your days at the Leeuwenhof palace do seem numbered, though. It’s a good thing you have mastered the power of positive thinking. You’ll probably need to leave Cape Town for a while. Property is dirt cheap in Orania, a town where “critical race theory” relates to strategies in the wife-carrying event on their annual sports day. You’d like it there.
As for that leadership baton you passed to Mmusi Maimane not even two years ago? There’s a good chance he’s been whittling it into a sharp point all this time. Watch your back, madam.

Knee-deep in whackos and nutjobs

The first time I heard the term “cray cray” I was in Paternoster, the West Coast centre of operations for petty pilferers, tik monsters and venal property owners. The person shouting “cray cray” at me was a kid of about nine. He had a plastic bag full of undersized crayfish. I bartered him down to almost nothing, then went to the beach and threw them back into the sea.

The next time I heard the term “cray-cray” it had a hyphen in it and was clearly meant to indicate that a couple of buttons in my brain were missing. Not because of what I did with the crayfish, if that’s what you’re thinking. In Paternoster, the bar for insanity is so low that sausage dogs step over it.

Watching the political phantasmagoria of the last few days, I began wondering if the likes of Helen Zille and Mamphela Ramphele had not, perhaps, gone completely bonkers. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

According to the department of health, one out of four South Africans has been or is affected by mental illness. That means around 500 employees at Addington Hospital alone are not well in the head. Going by what I can remember from my stay there a few years ago, they all work in the kitchen. With the possible exception of two, who might still be working in the orthopedic ward.

It also means that six or seven cabinet ministers are barking mad, but this comes as something of less than a shock to us.

More worrying is that thirteen million South Africans are on nodding terms with mental illness. This includes around a million white people, most of whom I expect live in Pretoria.

Oddly enough, the statistic of one in four doesn’t apply to ex-girlfriends. Certainly when it comes to women with whom I have dallied, that figure jumps to three in four. The deranged have always been drawn to me. Or perhaps it’s the other way around.

What this country needs more than anything, apart from state-subsidised beer, is a method of mass diagnosis. Forget the census. It would be far more helpful to have psychologists going from house to house identifying the nutjobs and dishing out useful drugs. Of course, you’re going to get a lot of people pretending to be unhinged just to get their hands on a bag of free pharmaceuticals, but psychologists are trained to weed out the imposters.

October is Mental Health Awareness Month. We can’t wait that long. By October, we might all be wearing straitjackets. We need to act now.

It’s important to remember that mental illness manifests itself in many forms. It can range from voting for Agang to putting an ad on Gumtree for someone to sever, cook and eat your willy free of charge. That’s more of a German thing, though.

There are certain illnesses common to all South African. If, for instance, you regularly read the newspapers, watch SABC or saw the photograph of Lindiwe Sisulu kissing Blade Nzimande, you almost certainly suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Millions of us also suffer from depression. But, thanks to the government, there are treatment centres in every city, town and village. The only link I can find between alcohol and depression is when you drive to one of these centres on a Saturday afternoon and find it shut. Luckily, the townships are full of informal treatment centres that stay open until the early hours of the morning.

We need to start diagnosing our politicians because the combination of power and insanity is a dangerous one. Once we know what they are suffering from, we can treat them by spiking their food with the relevant medication. On second thoughts, voting them out is probably easier. And cheaper than meds, too.

Here are some snap diagnoses based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition).

Jacob Zuma – Narcissistic personality disorder with hyperactive sexual desire disorder.

Kgalema Motlanthe – Catatonia.

Helen Zille – Dementia with delusions.

Mamphela Ramphela – Dependent personality disorder with delusions.

Fikile Mbalula – Tourette’s with hallucinations.

Tina Joemat-Pettersson – Histrionic personality disorder.

ANC backbenchers – Narcolepsy.

Civil service – Factitious disorder.

Julius Malema – Disruptive behaviour disorder.

Gatsha Buthelezi – Paranoid personality disorder with delusions.

Boeremag leader Tom Vorster – Intermittent explosive disorder with delusions.

Dr Wouter Basson – Dissociative amnesia.