Well, that was a weird attempted coup

Halfway decent insurrectionists generally target government facilities and take over the state broadcaster. Ours targeted Shoprite and took over the bottle stores. Also, coup plotters usually rely on the support of the broader populace. “Help us get into power,” is the rebel cry. Here, the streets rang to the sound of, “Help us get into Tekkie Town.”

If your coup stands a chance of success, it’s also important to make sure that everyone got the memo. One looter who was interviewed said, “We are here to protest the unjust incarceration of our brave leader, Jacob Zuma.” Another intervened, “What? I thought we were protesting the unjust system that condemns us to live in poverty.”

In an inspiring display of whataboutism, state security minister Ayanda Dlodlo castigated the media for only focusing on the shops and malls that were targeted. “What about all the stuff that’s still standing?” she demanded, claiming that the intelligence services had prevented the really important infrastructure, like airports, power stations and the SA Breweries, from being destroyed. She’s a teller of industrial-strength porkies, that one.

But what if the sloppy seditionists had, in fact, succeeded in toppling the government? Ramaphosa is under house arrest and his Thuma Mina loyalists have been rounded up and are being held at undisclosed locations. Courts are shut down and the generals, not wanting to lose their jobs, pledge their support to the insurgents. What now?

Lockdown, being a Western construct, is ended immediately. The state of disaster is replaced by a state of freedom. No more restrictions on anything.

With the ANC firmly in the hands of the radical economic transformistas, an NEC meeting is called. Sheep are slaughtered, fires are lit, champagne corks are popped. Friends, relatives and comrades are invited to join in. The venue is changed to the FNB Stadium to accommodate 50 000 new members. With no agenda and drunken arguments about who is in charge, the meeting drags on.

It finally emerges that the ANC Top 6 is now the Top 12. Coincidentally, it’s the same 12 people named by the former regime as having instigated the insurrection. Somebody remembers that Jacob Zuma is still inside Estcourt prison and a car is sent to pick him up.

Zuma’s friends and family are invited to a lavish soiree at Nkandla where they are given goodie bags and positions in the new administration. The party continues for two weeks, during which the country is without a government. Nobody notices.

Carl Niehaus appears on Newzroom Afrika, the only broadcaster still permitted to operate, and informs the nation that SA will henceforth be a parliamentary kleptocracy instead of a constitutional democracy. He also announces the new cabinet.

Jacob Zuma is declared President for Life. This is an honorary position. He has no real power or duties but is entitled to a salary of his choosing. He chooses a fat one.

His Excellency Elias Sekgobelo Magashule is declared Supreme Leader, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas, Conqueror of White Monopoly Capital in General and Cyril Ramaphosa in Particular.

Duduzane Zuma – Governor of the Reverse Bank. First order of business is to oversee the nonstop printing of money. New R5 000 notes feature his father’s face.

Malusi Gigaba – Minister of Sartorial Elegance and Pornographic Affairs. Responsible for overseeing SA’s contributions to Pornhub and ensuring that comrades are given equal access to designer clothing.

Tony Yengeni – Minister of Correctional Services. First, release all prisoners. Second, convert prisons into a chain of upmarket spaza shops.

Carl Niehaus – Minister of Sport and Recreation. Moves to lobby the Olympic Committee to accept the toyi-toyi as a competitive sport. Arranges the recreation of historical events such as the Battle of Mooi River Plaza and the Skirmish at Maponya Mall.

Bathabile Dlamini – Minister of Bottle Stores. With Edward Zuma as her deputy, she is responsible for nationalising all liquor outlets and ensuring they remain open around the clock.

Busisiwe Mkhwebane – Minister of Adult Reeducation. Tasked with confining journalists and political analysts to internment camps where Nomvula Mokonyane teaches the real history of South Africa e.g. the looting started in 1652.

David Mabuza – Minister of Health and Overseas Travel. Responsible for arranging flights to Russia for members of the new administration who may or may not be unwell.

Des van Rooyen – Finance Minister. A part-time position (weekends only). Complies with demands for money by members of the executive. Reports to Duduzane Zuma.

Ayanda Dlodlo – CEO of the Human Riots Commission, responsible for instigating unrest in order to give the security forces a pretext to arrest DA supporters and other dissidents.

Zandile Gumede – Minister of Municipal Malfeasance. Tasked with rewarding councils for coming up with new and creative ways to fleece taxpayers. Also responsible for ensuring that municipalities conform to the lowest possible standards to avoid elitist tendencies.

Atul Gupta – Chairman of the board. All of them.

Mzwanele Manyi – Minister of Truth. Responsible for delivering government fabrications, falsehoods and fibs with a straight face.

Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla – Minister of Tweets and Retweets. A home-based position, supportive of those who do the dirty work.

A darkies’ guide to whiteys

White South Africans, much like white sharks, are one of the most misunderstood animals on the planet. They have a reputation for unpredictable behaviour and non-Caucasians are often afraid to venture into their territory for fear of being attacked.

Some, however, are merely inquisitive and will circle warily before racing off in their Range Rover. Others, perhaps sensing their way of life is under threat, might go on the offensive. A lot of the time, though, this will be nothing more serious than a mock charge. Stand your ground and they will more often than not back off.

White people, particularly alpha males, are easily enraged. They have been bumped from their slot at the top of the food chain and are struggling to adapt to their new position.

In many instances, they can be calmed down with offers of raw meat and brandy. There is nothing a white South African likes more than a chunk of charred cow and a bottle of cheap liquor. If he has just eaten and is already drunk, he might show no interest in your offer. This is when he is at his most dangerous.

The best way to ward off an attack, verbal or physical, is to threaten him with charges of racism. He will retreat faster than Khulubuse Zuma confronted with a salad.

When the EFF says whites need to come to the party or their land will be confiscated, they are forgetting one thing. White people don’t just rock up at a party. They need an invitation. They also need directions. And even then, they are going to want to know who else will be there. I think if the EFF had to put white people on the guest list and tell them there would be snacks, spare girls, a free shooter at the door and a DJ playing hits from the 80s, they would almost certainly come to the party. Unless it was raining, in which case they wouldn’t.

We already have a fairly good idea of what white people don’t like. In the interests of fostering better race relations, let’s take a look at some of the things they do like.

Queues

White people like nothing more than an orderly queue. There are two rules governing the queue: no eye contact and no talking. Do not be alarmed if you are standing somewhere with your hands in your pockets idly wondering what to do with your day and white people spontaneously begin forming a line behind you. They will be too polite to ask if you are in the queue and will happily stand there for hours waiting for some of whatever it is they think you are waiting for.

Hiking/jogging/cycling

Even though every white person owns at least three cars, a boat and a private plane, they rarely use them for transport, preferring instead to get something they call exercise. If you see a white person running, do not assume he has been hijacked. Your offer of a lift to the police station will be misconstrued and things could end badly.

4x4s

Now that sjambokking the staff is frowned upon, white people have to get their jollies elsewhere. Riding roughshod over the environment has become the new urban aphrodisiac. White people also enjoy taking their 4×4 to the carwash, even though the trophy wife has only ever used it to drop her Aryan offspring at the private school on the corner. Don’t bother asking for a lift. There is never room because the back seat is for the Borzois. You would be missing the point if you mentioned that the dogs aren’t even in the car.

Sea views

White people have such a yearning for sea views you could be forgiven for thinking that if some of them were a bit brighter, they could be related to dolphins. But with burglaries and rates and taxes on the increase, second homes at the coast are becoming, much like the South African passport, a crushing liability.

Classical music

Apart from sausages, Vienna – the home of classical music – has little in common with Africa. White people are drawn to classical music for two reasons. It places them above the middle class – who spend their evenings listening not so much to the sound of Mozart as they do to the sound of gunshots and screaming – and it places them under no pressure to get up and dance.

Horse riding

Although horses are useful only for transporting marijuana out of Lesotho, many white families keep racehorses as a means of getting to the nearest airport in a hurry when the EFF take over the country and nationalise all private vehicles. In white culture, a pony for the youngest daughter is often a traditional gift. If you encounter a lady of the manor astride her mount down a leafy lane in, say, Noordhoek, doff your cap and fall to one knee. As they pass, you may want to whisper: “Neigh, my bru.” Unlike dogs, horses owned by white people have a fine sense of humour.

Wine

Wine was invented by white people for white people. They have much in common – both can be petulant, bitter and easily spoiled. And the cheap, nasty ones always worsen with age. If you find yourself at a wine-tasting on a farm in Franschhoek and a foreigner mistakes you for the sommelier, you might say: “I would recommend the Augusto Pinochet, madam.” Alternatively, you might want to say: “Go fuck yourself, madam.” Your call.

Complaining

We live in a country run by a government that makes it exceptionally difficult for those who don’t wish to complain. Over the past 20-odd years, complaining has developed into a lifestyle. White people love complaining almost as much as they love rugby and Woolworths. If you find yourself pinned down by a complainer, don’t be reckless and say something like, “So what are you doing to change the situation?” Rather smile, nod and back away slowly.

Weather

You might think they would be used to it by now, but white people spend much of their time talking about it. Being born in Africa with European genes plays havoc with their internal barometers. Deeply conflicted, they complain endlessly about the heat, the cold, the wet and the dry.

Pets

Because their families are frequently dysfunctional, white people collect cats and dogs and treat them as if they were the fruit of their own loins. Many white people even train their dogs not to attack strangers, but to rather sit at the table and eat with a spoon. Cats don’t care much for table manners, let alone white people, and they may well be the downfall of this great nation. If a white person’s dog goes for you in the street, tell him the animal has character and he might pay your medical bills.

Schedules

The only reason World War II was a success was because Germany invaded Poland on schedule. One of the reasons an African country has never tried to colonise the world is because most people don’t have watches and it would be impossible to coordinate anything. White people grow restless when things don’t happen on time, such as government programmes to house, educate and employ millions of people who might otherwise start blaming white people.

Minimalism

When Robert Browning wrote the immortal lines, “Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged” in his poem Andrea del Sarto, he wasn’t to know that 150 years later, pseudo-Italian architects with Arabian catamites and coke-encrusted nostrils would use it as a haute monde design philosophy. If you visit a white person’s home and they have very little in it, compliment them on their interesting use of space. If they say they have nothing because they’re poor, you should leave.

Antiques

White people like old things more than they like old people. They spend a fortune putting their parents in old age homes and then spend a bigger fortune putting old stuff in their houses. They think that having a 17th Century Parisian douche bag on a pedestal would be more rewarding than a father who can’t remember his name. If white people visit your home and take an interest in your furniture, tell them the chairs were carved by Taharka, King of Kush. They will probably think this is a drug reference and try to buy weed from you. Add on 25% and give them whatever they want.

Eating out

White people go to restaurants even when they have food in the house. This is because an entire generation of white mothers failed to teach their daughters to cook. The daughters don’t see this as a failure. They see it as a step towards the total emancipation of women. Really, darling? You won’t cook and you want to be free? Fine. See ya. Have a nice life. Hello, Mr Delivery?

KKK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Jacob Zuma

I never thought I would write you another letter, and yet here we are again.

It is truly sad to see an innocent old man being so unjustly hounded by judges, magistrates, prosecutors, non-governmental organisations, foreign agencies, commissions of inquiry, debt collectors, opposition parties, former friends and comrades, police with grudges, at least one ex-wife and 92% of the population. Are these people not listening when you say you have done nothing wrong? Are they all on drugs? My theory is that they have you mixed up with another Jacob Zuma. An evil twin you don’t know about. Use it, don’t use it.

Even the Constitutional Court has turned against you. How dare they rule that you have to appear before the Zondo Commission if you don’t feel like it? We live in a free country. This means you are free to do whatever you like, take whatever you want and behave however you please. That’s the very definition of a free society and I am shocked our judges aren’t aware of this.

Even worse, they said you don’t have the right to remain silent. That’s outrageous! A man’s right not to answer awkward questions is a basic human right afforded to all men at birth. I have often refused to answer questions in my life and lost nothing more than a couple of wives, a house or two, dogs, cats, visitation rights, career opportunities and so on. Well worth it.

I blame the Romans. And the Dutch. Brutal nations who liked nothing more than getting high and putting people to death. As president, you had the opportunity to introduce a legal system influenced by Zulu law. In the spirit of King Shaka, you could have had attorneys, journalists and anyone who disagreed with you tossed off a cliff. Zuma’s Rock. It has a ring to it. Then again, Shaka’s Rock these days is better known for good snorkelling and even better weed. You might not want that kind of legacy.

Speaking of which, it could be time for a change in strategy. Even the Germans eventually gave up on Stalingrad. Your tactic of attacking while simultaneously retreating left your enemies scratching their heads. You kept taking people to court to stop them from taking you to court. Aware of the ease with which South Africans are bamboozled, your cunning plan worked rather well. Until now.

Apart from the backsliding fifth columnists on the Constitutional Court, serious spanners have been thrown into your works by one Sydney Mufamadi. As you know, Mufamadi was a Cabinet minister under Mandela and Mbeki but hit the eject button before you could take power. Those were the bad old days when communists had principles.

When Mufamadi’s report into the State Security Agency named your consigliere David Mahlobo as the equivalent of a personal banker to what I can only admirably describe as the impressively extended Zuma crime family, I was stunned. Then I remembered Mahlobo was linked to rhino horn traffickers operating out of a Chinese brothel in Nelspruit three years ago and became considerably less stunned. Nevertheless, good man, that Mahlobo. Trustworthy to the end. Dumb as a bag of hamsters, but trustworthy. You eventually made him energy minister so he could sign a nuclear deal with Russia but he couldn’t find a pen in time and everything fell apart.

It’s clear now that when he was your safety and security minister, Mahlobo wasn’t shovelling money into the SSA projects fast enough. When you have unlimited access to vaults stacked with banknotes, you don’t go home early. Or at all. Ever. You shovel. Around the clock.

I’m curious to know where you keep all the cash, Jake. Sure, you’ve spent a bit on lawyers and the odd flight to Russia to have your blood pressure checked, but there must be piles upon piles of crisp pink notes stashed somewhere. Under the fire pool? No, too obvious. Safe in an offshore account in the British Virgin Islands? Nah. Not if your financial advisors are on a par with your legal advisers.

Anyway, you would never be comfortable having that much distance between yourself and your hard-earned spoils. People think it was easy doing what you did for nine years, but it wasn’t. It must have been damn hard work. And I’m not even talking about the other business of running a country on the side, which you understandably never got around to. Nobody’s criticising you for that.

Mufamadi told Judge Zondo, who the Constitutional Court weirdly reprimanded for being unnecessarily soft on you (something that might change in the near future), that the SSA gave Iqbal Surve’s African News Agency R20-million to pay reporters to write good news about you and your government and bad news about the enemy. Surprisingly, a few of them are still at it. I didn’t even know you could get brown envelopes that big.

I see your favourite offspring were quick to jump for you when the apex legal weasels said that avoiding Zondo wasn’t among the multitude of options you imagined were available to you in your fight to have your day in court by avoiding it with every means at your disposal.

Duduzane tweeted that his daddy would “never surrender to bullyism”. I enjoy that he makes up words. I do it myself all the time. Sure, I don’t own a Porsche and I’m not likely to face corruption charges any time soon, but apart from that, me and your boy, we’re not that different.

Then Edward said something like, “Go ahead, arrest my father.” Sons, eh. You never really know what they mean. Until you do. And by then it’s too late. Eddie seems to serve no discernible purpose apart from being trotted out as the only Zuma who isn’t being actively pursued by the law. Fair play to him. Every South African family needs an Eddie. A decoy. An escape goat.

Under the circumstances, you did good, Jake. Nobody can take everything. You’re only human and you only had nine years.

In 2014, when every ANC member of parliament sent you back to the presidency for a second term, you were in control of a country worth $350-billion. I don’t even know what that is in our money. Nedbank estimated that your second term cost the economy R470-billion, which isn’t very much if you convert it into euros and take a sleeping pill.

My point is that the SSA never stole nearly enough. R9-billion’s worth of assets went missing? Amateurs. Don’t ever work with anyone who talks in single figures. I thought Schabir Shaik would have taught you that.

Loved your statement on Monday, by the way. Who wrote it? A gypsy juggler flipping between first and third person with a head full of the stuff Lewis Carroll ingested shortly before writing Alice in Wonderland while clutching a law degree from Trump University? 

If your statement were a fishing net it would’ve been so full of red herrings that you’d need a bulldozer to move it. If it was a taxi packed with bravado it would have been impounded for overloading. And that smell of desperation? You want to watch that, my friend. Starting to whiff real bad. Other than that, good statement.

You established the Zondo Commission, Jake. Now you’re claiming it was specifically established to investigate you? I don’t mean to pry, but do you take a lot of Zolpidem? I had a wife who loved the stuff and she hallucinated magnificently. Ended badly.

I liked the bit at the end of your statement where you said, “I do not fear being arrested, I do not fear being convicted, nor do I fear being incarcerated.” Right up there with Martin Luther King’s “I had a dream”.

Is there nothing you’re afraid of? What about spiders? Or getting stuck in a lift? How about answering questions about state capture while stuck in a lift and covered with spiders? I bet you’re scared of that.

If you were still in charge, I’d form a company, put it in my gardener’s name and get a tender for vaccines. Get a shebeen licence to store the filth in my bar fridge. Saturday special. Two zamaleks and a shot. Best price. Pull a string, comrade. I’ll cut you in for 10%.

Final suggestion: the next time you have Julius Malema over, slip a little sodium thiopental into his tea. I know Nkandla is a truth-free zone, but it would be interesting to see what comes out.

Jacob Zuma – On The Run

I usually avoid watching the Zondo Commission because I find it triggering. Evidence leader Kate Hofmeyr reminds me of an Afrikaans girlfriend I once had who interrogated me relentlessly if I failed to come up with a plausible explanation for something I might or might not have done. And the head of the legal team, Paul Pretorius, reminds me of a PT instructor in the army who did his best to kill me because I was from Durban and seemed not to care that we were at war.

I did catch a bit of the show on Monday, though, but only because Jacob Zuma was due to make a rare appearance. It was like getting the chance to watch an alpha lion sneak into another alpha lion’s den. Anything could happen, especially when the one lion has been doing everything it can to avoid encountering the other lion and is only there under tremendous duress and is massively grumpy as a result.

It’s as close as we can get to the good old days when gladiators fought, red in tooth and claw, before the roaring crowds in the Colosseum. Sadly, Hillside House in Parktown is a poor substitute for the Flavian Amphitheatre. It might be a bit of a circus at times, but it’s a far cry from the Circus Maximus. And cheap nylon suits are no match for the deadly tridents and golden armour worn by the likes of Spiculus and Spartacus.

Also, and I hate to say it, Judge Zondo is no Julius Caesar. By the looks of him, it’s unlikely he has even seen a Caesar’s Salad. Actually, that’s not right. I do apologise. It was Emperor Joaquin Phoenix who gave the thumbs-up to the Hispano-Roman soldier Maximus Decimus Meridius, known by his slave name Russell Crowe.

I don’t want to get too heavily into it, but there are distinct parallels between the Zondo Commission and Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. I must say though, the commission could do with a Juba. And I don’t mean iJuba, although that wouldn’t hurt either. Juba was a fierce Nubian gladiator who … ah, forget it.

There’s something very soporific about watching Zondo go about his work. He is a master at lulling witnesses into a false sense of security. He is also a master at lulling people to sleep. It’s an interesting tactic, because if everyone falls into a vegetative state, we can be done with this filthy business before another generation of lawyers is unjustly enriched.

I would have loved to have had Raymond Zondo for a grandfather. Of course, he would have had to make sure he was out of Durban North and on the bus to Umlazi before sunset. Unless he worked for my parents, in which case he would be able to stay overnight in the kaya if his papers were in order. But if he was my grandfather, that would have made my mother or father black, in which case they’d have been living together illegally and … and I might have gone on to host The Daily Show and never worried about money ever again.

Anyway. Monday wasn’t as wild as I was hoping. Zuma sloped in and sat down. Two hours later he stood up and sloped out again. He didn’t have his umshini wami face on, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t have liked him for a grandfather. Not with that look. Or that many children. I already resent having to share my paltry inheritance with my sister. I can’t imagine how I’d feel having to share the spoils with a couple of soccer teams worth of siblings and whatnot.

I couldn’t help feeling a bit sorry for advocate Muzi Sikhakane. He was admitted to the Bar in July 1992. I was admitted to sixteen bars that very same month. Okay, I was thrown out of most of them, but still.

Zuma’s hired gun seemed ill at ease. Perhaps he sensed that everyone already knew that he knew the outcome before the charade even began. He was quick to remind Zondo that he was under instruction from his client, the subtext being that he’d sooner be nursing baby sloths in Costa Rica if it paid equally well.

He also pointed out that he and the judge hailed from the same village. In the treacherous swamplands of the law, this could just as easily have been a threat as a display of collegiality.

Like Sikhakane, I too have feigned docility and deference while playing the long game against a superior adversary. In my case, almost always women. And almost always they never fell for it. I got the feeling the honourable Zondo was seeing right through Muzi and Muzi was seeing Zondo seeing through him and so they bared their teeth at one another knowing that a zero-sum game is sometimes the only game in town.

Sikhakane swore that his client had no intention of defying the commission. In fact, Zuma had been looking forward to it for a very long time. Super keen to appear.

“Yessss,” said Zondo, nodding sympathetically, pausing monetarily to fill in his state-issue sudoko.

Sikhakhane’s ultimatum was clear. If the deputy judge president fails to … stand down? Be more sensitive? Give Zuma a cuddle and a back rub? Stop hearing the testimony of anyone who can put his client at the heart of the state capture project? Failing which, Zuma will either clam up like Dudu Myeni or it’s Stalingrad all over again.

Sikhakhane did suggest there was something to look forward to. He said, “If you blow us today, what happens?” Well, I imagine the ratings would go up considerably. I would advise, though, that we wait until the children are in bed before we reach that stage of the proceedings. It seems unlikely, though, that Zondo will be open to granting this kind of relief.

  • This column first appeared in The Citizen on 18 November.

* UPDATE: Judge Zondo has ruled against recusing himself. After making the ruling, he nipped off for a quick wee and when he came back Zuma had disappeared. Went AWOL, just like that. Zondo, who had performed well under pressure up to this point, lost his nerve and blew the dismount by not sanctioning Zuma. The former president is a walking sack of contempt and I’ll pay a handsome reward to anyone who makes a citizen’s arrest.

Dear FW de Klerk …

Congratulations on officially achieving the rank of Most Hated Man in South Africa. This is no easy feat in a country like ours. Coming in second is Jacob Zuma. In fact, it’s almost too close to call. In the interests of fairness, I think you and Jacob should share the honour, like you did the Scandinavian prize with that other black guy.

What tipped the scales in your favour is that you are now hated by people across the political and racial spectrum, whereas Jacob is hated by all white people and only some black people.

It wasn’t always this way. Until quite recently, you were only properly hated by white conservatives for selling out and giving the country to the communists. White liberals thought you were quite a good oke for releasing Mandela. Black people, on the other hand, didn’t think you should get any credit at all because they reckoned Mandela should never have been locked up by your people in the first place. Unreasonable, I know. But that’s darkies for you.

Then you went and said that apartheid wasn’t a crime against humanity. That was a bridge too far, even for the liberals. Suddenly you were no longer such a good oke. And if there were any black people who still thought you weren’t too bad, compared to, say, Hitler or Kim Jong-il, they turned against you, too.

I don’t really care what you think about apartheid. You became my personal hero when you had an affair with some or other Greek tart married to a shipping tycoon who helped fund the National Party. A friend of yours, I understand. He was basically paying you to shag his wife behind his back. Classy. The cherry on top, pardon my French, was when you waited until Valentine’s Day to announce your intention to trade your wife in for a younger model. That magnificent act of unparalleled evil completely overshadowed apartheid and boosted your ranking in the patriarchy.

Anyway. The bigger point is that in 1966 the UN General Assembly declared apartheid to be a crime against humanity. I was still too young to dispute this. For me, not being allowed to wee in my bed was a crime against humanity. You must have been in your late twenties then. Probably studying Dr Guido Landra’s Manifesto of Race and hitting on your brother’s girlfriends.

The next thirty years were spent clawing your way up the political ladder, hanging out with chums like John Vorster and PW Botha and making sure that separate development meant that the whities got the development and the darkies were kept separate. Fair enough. A policy is mos a policy.

Then Margaret Thatcher advised you to throw in the towel and you turned the country over to the communists – who turned out not to be communists after all. In 1998 a Truth and Reconciliation Report endorsed the UN position that apartheid was a crime against humanity and said you’d been a very naughty boy. You were understandably outraged, having only just discovered at the TRC that “rogue individuals” had for years been killing, incarcerating and torturing anyone who didn’t agree with your government’s notions of white supremacy.

At the time, you also said this: “I reject the contention that apartheid was a crime against humanity, notwithstanding the serious injustices which occurred and for which I have sincerely apologised.”

Flash forward 22 years to last Thursday. When I saw you and the Hellenic home-wrecker lurking in the peanut gallery in parliament awaiting our sloth-like leader’s blindly optimistic State of the Nation address, I suspected trouble could be brewing.

You had, after all, just days earlier said in an interview with the SABC that apartheid was not a crime against humanity. You must have known you were putting a match to a block of political Blitz.

But even so, when Kiddie Amin initiated his increasingly predictable Meow Meow Uprising, all eyes were on Pravin Gordhan. So it must have come as something of a shock when the jabbering infant in the red onesie pointed in your direction and shouted, “We have a murderer in the House!”

That couldn’t have been fun. Nobody wants to be called a killer on live television. At home around the braai, sure. But not in parliament.

In the good old days, it would have taken a single phone call to make the entire EFF leadership disappear overnight. I don’t know what torture methods you would use on them today. Give them Highland Queen instead of Johnnie Walker Blue? Make them wear denim shorts from Mr Price? Crocs instead of Ferragamo loafers?

I bet your trophy wife wasn’t keen on going in the first place. Women can sense these things, you know. You marry a nice prematurely balding guy who once led a vicious regime predicated on violence and racial superiority, you think twice before going out in public with him. Especially to the very place where apartheid was spawned and suckled. Talk about returning to the scene of the crime against humanity.

Of course you were upset. Who wouldn’t be? But where most men would go home, get drunk and take it out on their wives, you went home and, through your FW de Klerk Foundation, released a statement saying that fewer than five thousand people had been killed by security forces between 1960 and 1994. Your proud Boer heritage kicked in and you doubled down.

“The idea that apartheid was ‘a crime against humanity’ was, and remains, an ‘agitprop’ project initiated by the Soviets and their ANC/SACP allies to stigmatise white South Africans by associating them with genuine crimes against humanity …”

That might have been a bit of an oopsie. Then again, your defence of apartheid did succeed in uniting South Africans of all races. It’s usually only the Springboks who can do that. Sure, it united them in their hatred for you, but still. It’s the unity that’s important.

Later, Thabo Mbeki asked you what the hell were you thinking and you told him you hadn’t been aware of the UN convention. Not quite true, as it turns out, but then again you are getting on a bit and it’s easy to forget what you said in 1998. Anyway, Mbeki still can’t understand how a virus can cause a syndrome so don’t worry about him.

At the end of it all, you apologised and said that apartheid was, in fact, a crime against humanity and not, as you mistakenly imagined, a minor inconvenience. I can imagine how much that must have grated. Here you are, with the world’s top peace prize sitting on a crocheted doily above your fireplace, below the flying ducks, and you still have to say sorry for assuming that a system which dehumanised a mere forty million people wasn’t all that bad.

Patriots like you should never have to say sorry. Your father served as interim State President in 1975, for heaven’s sake. Okay, so it was only for nine days. He was the original 2-minute noodle. You were also the Minister of Mines and Energy for a year. Eskom was one of your responsibilities. Sooner or later, you’re going to be accused of having caused loadshedding.

If I were you, I’d get in early and apologise now.

A requiem for Gavin Watson

The news that one of South Africa’s best loved white-collar criminals has died in a car crash reminded me of a letter I wrote to him and his brothers earlier this year.

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Dear Gavin, Ronnie, Valence and Cheeky,

This is mainly a letter to Gavin, but I didn’t want any of you feeling left out.

Is it true that your father was a lay preacher? Given the size of the Watson family, he almost certainly got laid more than most men of the cloth. Maybe it’s a Port Elizabeth thing. Anyway, the world needs fathers who understand the importance of instilling solid Christian values in their children.

I believe congratulations and condolences are in order. Congratulations on proving that whities can be just as innovative as darkies when it comes to tapping into arteries of untold wealth using nothing more than a wink, a nod and a bag full of cash. Some of us were beginning to wonder whether white people could even get it together to plunder on a governmental scale. We were brilliant at doing apartheid, but then democracy happened and we all became a bit pathetic. Thanks to Bosasa and the ANC’s flooding of the civil service with an army of conscience-free cadres, our race can once again take it’s rightful place in the pantheon of villains.

Condolences, however, on getting caught. What the hell were you thinking when you hired an Italian? Couldn’t you find anyone more trustworthy? Was Glenn Agliotti busy? On the other hand, Italians do make the best mafioso. Also pasta. But when they squeal, and so many of them do, the reverberations are felt far and wide.

Angelo Agrizzi looks like a man made entirely out of Play-Doh who was once pushed off a table by a cat and landed face-first on the floor. He claims to have suffered a crisis of conscience and that’s why he decided to rat you out at the Zondo Commission. We now know that’s not true and he in fact suffered a crisis of being fired for stealing company money. He could hardly go to the CCMA so he reckoned the best way to get rehired would be to threaten you, Gavin. He didn’t just want his job back, though. He wanted the entire company for himself. He said unless you complied, he would tell everything and destroy you. And, in the process, himself. Like a bee. Or a horny male praying mantis. I’ve been married twice and I never came close to being as hated as much as Angelo hated you.

Did you think he was bluffing? Did you think that because you played rugby with black people in the 1970s you were untouchable? Struggle credentials can only be stretched so far before they snap. No, of course that wasn’t it. You thought you were untouchable because your pockets were bulging with politicians and prosecutors. My first wife once described me as untouchable but I couldn’t fathom out how to monetise it.

When you consider the full frontal horror show unfolding at the State Capture inquiry, I bet you wish you had never given Mr Potato Head the boot in the first place. Seems a bit odd that you fired him in 2016 for stealing. After all, corruption formed the very foundation of your business. I’m not judging you. I did a bit of shoplifting myself when I was younger. Perhaps, as a born-again Christian, you interpret the eighth commandment to mean that you shouldn’t steal from your employer. Everyone else is fair game.

You must surely be regretting not having taken the duplicitous deep throat’s “offer” (the things that throat must have seen). As far as offers go, it was a pretty good one. This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill blackmail job. He was offering you ten million rand a month to never come in to the office again. You turned it down. There’s your insanity plea right there.

Mr Fatty Goombah told the commission that Nomvula Mokonyane, one of our favourite Teflon-coated ministers, was among the multitudes who lined up for their monthly benediction of the unholy sacrament. I understand that her blessing came in the form of R50 000. And she never even had to pick up the rand because it was delivered by you, Gavin. I like that. The personal touch is so often lacking in today’s corporate culture.

You also generously gave her a complimentary Christmas hamper every year that included four cases of whisky, eight lambs, forty cases of beer and 200kg of beef. She probably ordered extra if she had guests over.

When the Italian Rapscallion complained that Bosasa wasn’t getting much value for money from Mokonyane, you pointed out that she had a lot of clout and the company would find itself in trouble if it stopped the payments. That’s why I love this country. Bribe, by all means, but there will be hell to pay if you stop. Malice in Wonderland.

I laughed out loud when il ratto, a man weirdly unfamiliar with the noble concept of Omertà, told the commission that the bribe to correctional services went up from half a mil to R750k when Tom Moyane was appointed commissioner. Fair enough. Quality costs extra. Someone by the name of Sesinyi Seopela apparently distributed the cash among the more ethically challenged members of his and other departments.

Bosasa captured the prisons, man. That’s so cool. Big up to you. If there was a glossy magazine for criminals, you’d be a regular in the style section.

So, Gav. I understand you’re still open for business as African Global Group. Bosasa’s evil twin, basically. And you’re still leading the staff in daily prayers? That’s impressive. Even more so since your only defence, apart from insanity, is that the devil made you do it.

One thing I’m a bit curious about, boet. Did you or your corpulent whistle-blowing weasel ever encounter anyone in the public sector who refused one of your, er, incentives? Must’ve happened. There’s always one who wants to spoil the party for the rest of us. I think you should name and shame him. Or her. We don’t need their kind in this country. They can take their non-profit integrity and tedious moral rectitude and stick it up their permanently struggling fundamentals.

Funny thing is, the testimony of this double-crossing blabbermouth ratfink snitch bastard would be enough to bring down most democratic governments, let alone the god-fearing Watson dynasty. Luckily for you, Gav, our handful of incorruptible prosecutors will spend forever sloshing about waist-deep in denials and deviations and anything that does make it to court will be bogged down for all eternity in the mires and marshlands of the law.

Imagine if, at the end of it all, you and this backstabbing bean-spilling tattletale narc were allocated the same cell. Nah. Wouldn’t happen. There’s still too much Bosasa baksheesh floating about the system for that to happen.

Anyway, comrade. I’m missing happy hour. You might be a terrible Christian but you’re not a bad person. Maybe you are. I really don’t know. I’ve been married twice. I’m not the best judge of character. For that, you’d need a real judge. With any luck you’ll get one who’s on the payroll.

An open letter to our shiny new president

Dear Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa the First, Defeater of Zuma, Shuffler of Cabinets, Player of Golf, Shaker of Hands, King of Venda Financing, Stepfather of the Nation, I hereby greet you.
I wanted to be the first to congratulate you on your ascent to the highest office in the land, but on the day it happened I assumed that I was hallucinating and didn’t want to say anything for fear of alerting the drug squad. Nobody needs the cold, wet nose of a sniffer dog in his crotch first thing in the morning.
So I do apologise for the tardiness of my felicitations. It’s important to get in early before the names of all the fawners and flatterers blur into one. I want to be among those who stand out in your mind. Not because I want any special favours, but because … okay, it is the favours. I won’t list them now. That would be crass.
Comrade, you sure give good reshuffle. It’s as if an integrity bomb fell right into the trough while the Guptas and their pet weasels were in mid-snout. Actually, the timing could have been better. It was very accommodating of the Hawks to make sure the three stooges from India were safely out of the country by the time you slipped between those 500-thread Egyptian cotton sheets at Mahlamba Ndlopfu for the first time.
I don’t understand why people are complaining that you didn’t fire the likes of Bathabile Dlamini, Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyani and that other one with the face. They are obviously there to make your new people look good. Diamonds always shine brighter when juxtaposed with gravel.
There are also complaints about you appointing DD Mabuza as your deputy. Something about him being involved in tender fraud and political assassinations in Mpumalanga. Hey. Times are tough. Everyone needs a side gig these days. Glad you gave the man a break.
It was also an inspired decision to appoint Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as Minister in the Presidency. Every henhouse needs a fox. Keeps the chickens on their toes. I was, however, a bit surprised to see the minister of tweets get the boot. Fikile Mbalula was at least good for a laugh. Did you know he tweeted me a death threat the other day? Something about me losing an arm and a leg. He deleted it, though, which was nice of him. I must say I feel a lot safer now that he doesn’t have the entire police force at his disposal.
Bheki Cele is his perfect replacement and I’m not only saying that because we share a birthday. The original cat in the hat is an intimidating figure. If he walked into my house right now, I’d confess to stuff that I haven’t even done. And unless he killed Senzo Meyiwa himself, my bet is that he’s going to find out who did. Keep him away from lease deals and he’ll do just fine.
It was also a good move bringing Derek Hanekom back to head up the tourism ministry. Tourists from Europe like to know that a white man is in charge of that side of things. Nobody wants to go on holiday if it means having to watch their family being boiled up and eaten by cannibals.
I’m going to miss Lynne Brown and not just because I have a thing for lesbians, either. She reminds me of the cuddly aunt I never had. Sure, an aunt corrupt and incompetent in equal measure, but cuddly nevertheless.
The moment I saw Malusi Gigaba playing Candy Crush in parliament, I knew he was out. Brilliant move sending him back to home affairs to revoke the citizenship of that unholy triumvirate of Dementors from Saxonwold. After all, he granted them citizenship in the first place. It’s obvious that he has to fix what he broke. For us ordinary mortals, to visit home affairs is to visit hell. Gigaba actually has to work there. I couldn’t think of a more fitting punishment.
I don’t know much about his replacement, Nhlanhla Nene, except that he was finance minister once before. Anyone who got fired by Jacob Zuma during his nine-year reign of error is almost certainly a hardworking, honest person. Victims of the Msholozi purges should be given the Order of Mapungubwe, don’t you think?
I imagine Nhlanhla’s counterparts from first world countries might struggle to pronounce his name. Perhaps he could use his middle name, Musa? No, wait. That sounds too much like Musi. How about Mufasa? Everyone loves The Lion King.
Speaking of Musi, isn’t it hilarious how the DA fell for the EFF’s romantic advances only for the lady in red to start making moon eyes at their former lover. I foresee a cosy quadripartite arrangement in 2019. A foursome, in other words, with the SACP and Cosatu swinging both ways.
I’m going to miss David Mahlobo. He was quite possibly the worst spymaster in the world. Everyone could see him coming. And I mean everyone, not just Chinese Chelsea at the Mbombela massage parlour.
It was devilishly cunning of you to make Bathabile the Minister of Women. It’s a ministry that, like so many of our women, can be quietly ignored and then done away with when nobody is looking. There are, of course, women who objected to her appointment. One said she no longer identified as a woman and would henceforth consider herself a cat.
Hang on. What’s this about the Hawks searching author Jacques Pauw’s house? This is excellent news. I shoplifted Pauw’s book, The President’s Keepers, and it left me thoroughly depressed. There is no place for whistleblowers and investigative journalists in a democracy.
As you said in your State of the Nation address, “We should put all the negativity behind us because a new dawn is upon us.” Jacques Pauw needs to be put behind us because new dawn raids are upon us. He is guilty of committing the crime of journalism in the third degree and must be rendered to New York to plead his case to the hanging judges of the Pulitzer Board.
By the way, seven rhinos in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve were slaughtered in a single day recently. Imagine if a school lost seven of its pupils in a day. You might be forgiven for thinking it was a badly run school. The poachers are obviously timing their raids to coincide with the live Lotto draw. Or perhaps the afternoon siesta. If you don’t do something about the management of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, there’ll soon be more poachers than rhinos in the park.
Speaking of solitary, thick-skinned brutes, I’m a bit worried about the way Jacob Zuma is carrying on. If I were him I’d be in the firepool with nothing but a snorkel sticking out. Instead, he has been swanning about like some kind of national hero. He arrived in a motorcade to the opening of the KZN Legislature and got out of the car laughing. These are not the actions of a man recently fired and one press conference away from 783 counts of corruption. Does he know something we don’t?
Before I forget, I have some land I’d like to donate to the underprivileged. It’s not much but I dare say you’d manage to squeeze four people and a goat onto it. Right now it’s just lying there unused and fallow, like me. Feel free to send your men around to expropriate it any time. I don’t want compensation. A position in your cabinet might be nice, though. I was thinking a new portfolio – the Ministry of Bacchanalian Affairs – would suit me well.
Anyway. Best of luck. Those of us not trying to get into Australia are counting on you.
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Throw them to the lions

I was woken by church bells last Thursday morning. The sky was a brilliant shade of blue and the birds seemed happier than usual. I could hear the sound of children laughing. It felt as if I were living in a village in Palermo and the Godfather, a ruthless man disliked by all, had died during the night.
Post-celebratory hangover notwithstanding, waking up to a South Africa without Jacob Zuma was intoxicating. Then, later in the day when Cyril Ramapahosa was sworn in as president, the sense of a fresh beginning was overwhelming. It was like the birth of a new nation. I got a glimpse of how lapsed Christians must feel when they return to the fold after running out of money for drugs. We are born-again South Africans. Halleluja.
Even the Hawks have discovered, to their surprise, that they were capable of removing their blinders all along. Their wings have grown stiff over the years but it seems they still remember how to fly.
Zuma was pushed onto his sword, an unusual way for any president to leave office. Then again, he was hardly a conventional president. For a start he showed no obvious interest in politics, which is rare for a politician. We know what made the man happy. Sex, money and overseas travel. The same goes for all of us, I suppose, but we’re not in charge of running a country. Most of us couldn’t have done any worse than Zuma, quite frankly.
I believe him when he says he doesn’t know what he’s done wrong. The ANC won’t tell him and nor will they tell us. The ex-president’s pet poison dwarf, Jessie Duarte, told journalists during her post-resignation hagiographic eulogy that she wasn’t going to give reasons for his recall because the media is “not known for being sensitive” and for caring about the feelings of people and their families. I laughed so hard that beer spurted from my nose.
The fact that Zuma is genuinely puzzled about his recall was evident when he chose to go on live television and complain to an SABC reporter about his unfair treatment. He seriously believed that he could win support by whining to the nation. That’s us, by the way. The people who have wanted him gone for far longer than his own party has. He was appealing to the most hostile audience imaginable, which supports my theory that he honestly believes he is loved by everyone apart from a handful of dissidents led by Cyril Ramaphosa.
There has been so much lyin’ going on lately that at some point my attention turned to lions, who hardly ever lie. They pretend a fair bit, though. Nothing to see here, Miss Springbok. I’m not a lion, I’m a termite mound. Zuma, on the other hand, has been pretending to be a lion and it turns out that he was a termite mound all along. Full of venal, corrupt termites, some of which managed to gnaw their way into the cabinet. This is why it’s full of dead wood today.
We all know about termites like Bathabile Dlamini, Malusi Gigaba, Faith Muthambi, Lynne Brown, Mosebenzi Zwane, the list goes on, and it’s only right that the cabinet be fumigated to rid us of their insatiable ilk. But there are others who aren’t necessarily chewing their way through the fabric of our body politic. These ones are just as dangerous. They are, simply put, not very bright. I suspect this was part of Zuma’s strategy. Deploy the sluggish termites to slow bureaucracy down not so much that the economy grinds to a halt, but just enough to allow the industrious termites to latch on to the money streams and start the pilfering process.
To be honest, I don’t know if they work in concert. There are many perfect examples of the Dunning-Kruger Effect in almost every government department, but it could be that these deployees aren’t necessarily corrupt. They’re just morons. One of these happens to be our environmental affairs minister. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know her name. It’s only because she’s not overtly a part of the state capture brigade. She’s one of the other termites. Edna Molewa is there to think slowly, act slowly and take decisions based on how she’s feeling that day.
She’s keen on selling our rhino horn stockpile, has granted emissions compliance exemptions to dozens of companies, including Eskom, and, in her previous portfolio, blamed wet coal for the electricity blackouts which, as we now know, was caused by the Guptas. My fear is that in Cyril’s rush to get rid of the rapacious termites, he will overlook bumbling imbeciles like Edna.
In terms of importance, the government ranks environmental affairs down there with sport and recreation. Edna seems to think it’s lame to protect stuff like animals and the climate. Take lions, for instance. I’ve never met Edna but from what I have read it seems unlikely she’s a cat person.
Members of the Arizona-based Safari Club International and Dallas Safari Club are also not cat people. They are not even animal people, unless by animal people you mean people who pay money to murder animals just for the hell of it. And yet both organisations recently condemned the hunting of captive-bred lions, something they had no problem with for years. I don’t know why the sudden change of attitude. A lot of states are legalising weed these days. Maybe they were high.
The SCI banned the marketing of canned lion hunts through the organisation and notified its hunters and clients that trophies from captive-bred lion hunts would be ineligible for the club’s macabre Record Book which lists members who have killed the biggest/smallest/most species.
The equally bloodthirsty Dallas Safari Club said there was no evidence that captive-bred lion hunting contributed to the conservation of wild lions. So there it is. Even Donald Trump’s people think it’s wrong. Not our Edna, though.
“A barbaric and morally repugnant relic of colonialism that is out of step with 21st century forward thinking.” No, former Australian minister Greg Hunt wasn’t describing Helen Zille. He was talking about canned lion hunting.
Confronted with a global backlash against the practice of domesticating lions, then shooting them in the face when they come up to you for a cuddle, our Edna gave it some thought. Her mouth fell open and her eyes rolled into the back of her head. A passing tick bird landed on her nose and gave her teeth a quick clean. Her think over, she decided that all lions were fair game and it didn’t really matter that their bones were being sold to criminal networks in Asia.
Responding to questions from Durban-based journalist Simon Bloch, Edna’s spokesman Albi Modise said the department had no intention of stopping hunters from shooting tame lions at close range.
“In light of the fact that South Africa has legislative protection in place for endangered and threatened species and subscribes to the principles of sustainable utilisation of natural resources, there is no reason to prohibit the breeding of lions in captivity for hunting purposes,” he said.
And while our caged lions might be safe from American hunters, there’s a whole new bunch of good old boys with big guns and tiny willies waiting in the wings. They’re going to be coming from Russia, China and Eastern Europe. At least the Americans were only doing it so they could hang a head on their wall. These guys are going to want to eat their kill. Wash it down with a Lion lager.
The Free State is a haven for the captive breeding of lions. Ace Magashule’s province. What a surprise. It was a vile province during apartheid and it’s not much better now. I think KwaZulu-Natal should invade and annex it without delay.
I also think the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa and the SA Predator Association should try to be less neanderthal about the issue. Be less blinded by greed and more open to conservation.
Now that we seem to have found our moral compass after nine lost years, perhaps President Ramaphosa could use it to help civil servants like Edna Molewa find their way out.
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Number One, your time is up

Dear Comrade Jacob Zuma, Prince of Patronage, Fighter of Crime Fighters, King of the Courts, Defender of Lawsuits, Ambassador of Appeals, Bête Noire of the Bench.
I get the feeling you might not be around for too much longer and wanted to thank you for everything you haven’t done this year. You haven’t, for instance, declared war on any of our neighbours. Nor have you managed to turn South Africa into a united economically strong well-run country. The last thing the world needs is another Australia. You also haven’t succeeded in butchering the economy beyond the point of no return. Never mind. You still have time.
Speaking of dejection and despair, condolences are in order. I was watching the heavyweight fight in the North Gauteng High Court this week and was disappointed when your opponent Judge President Dunstan Mlambo won on points after going the full distance. I suppose some of his points were valid. “We are of the view that the president was ill-advised and reckless in launching a challenge against the remedial action of the Public Protector.” Who the hell is advising you? Steinhoff’s people? Lawyers on weekend pass from Weskoppies?
Other points weren’t at all valid. “His conduct falls far short of the expectation on him as the head of state to support institutions of democracy.” I don’t agree. When it comes to you, we the people have no expectations whatsoever. We don’t even expect you to support your family, let alone run a government. That’s what the Guptas are for.
To make you pay for the fight out of your own pocket seems damnably unfair. It’s not like you started it. Well, I suppose you did. But still. If you’re short of cash, my advice is that you put the wives in a cheap hotel and stick Nkandla on Airbnb. You could also borrow from your boy Duduzane. He’s like human bitcoin. Get in now before he moves to the emirates. Or Pollsmoor.
Quite frankly I don’t know why you appointed Mlambo as a judge in the first place. Were you not aware that he comes from the same stable as legendary southpaw Dikgang Moseneke and slugger Mogoeng Mogoeng? These guys are old school. They still believe in frumpy concepts like truth and justice and will never throw a fight no matter how much you threaten or pay them.
Didn’t you lose another fight against Mlambo just the other day? Yes, you did. He ordered your pet bipedal ruminant Shaun Abrahams to be put out to pasture and a proper chief prosecutor to be appointed by deputy president Squirrel Ramaphosa. True to form you have now demanded a rematch. Please stop doing that. Your Stalingrad defence has collapsed like a two-legged dog with a middle ear infection and you’re going to reach a point where all this appealing starts to look like begging. It’s unseemly. And if you get slapped with another bunch of legal bills you’re going to have to borrow from your ex-wife. There’s nothing worse than that.
Unless you appeal the latest judgement – it’s becoming hard to keep track – you have 30 days to appoint a commission of inquiry into state capture. Thanks to Mlambo’s inexplicable attachment to ethics and the law, the judge presiding over the probe will be appointed not by you but by the indecently honest Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Imagine if he appoints Mlambo? You might as well cancel everything and report directly to Zonderwater Prison. And if Shaun the Even-Toed Ungulate is ousted and replaced by, say, Thuli Madonsela, you’ll soon enough have those 783 annoying counts of corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering to deal with.
Anyway, you might be bruised and battered, but as long as you remain president of the country there is still a chance of escape. By now I expect you’re no longer capo dei capi of the ANC. This must be quite a relief. The party is suddenly awash in rats scrambling for the moral low ground. It’s unlikely they will ever make it to the high ground, but you’ve probably noticed that a lot of colleagues have already started avoiding your calls. You might have to do the same to Atul and the lads at some point. I can’t see the bromance continuing for much longer. For a start there’s hardly anything left that’s worth stealing. I suppose they could still dismantle Table Mountain and move it to Dubai. I’d rather you gave them Limpopo.
If your ex-wife becomes president, you’re going to have to get her to abandon this Roman Dutch law business that’s causing you so much trouble. It’s a ridiculous concept. Have you been to Rome? They toss Christians to the lions, for heaven’s sake. That’s incredibly cruel. Lions belong in the bush, not the Colosseum. As for the Dutch, they smoke so much weed it’s surprising that they can come up with anything more complex than a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich.
Big weekend for you, this is. Massive. Big weekend for all of us, I guess. The only difference is that our personal freedom and finances aren’t dependent on the outcome. Not to the extent that yours are, anyway. If Nkosazana wins, investors will abandon South Africa but the stock market will go up as the rand weakens and all the rand hedge stocks gain value. I don’t know what this means, either. I read it somewhere. I don’t suppose you get much time to read anything apart from legal documents, although even then it’s more likely you have them read to you. By one of our grade four pupils, it would seem.
It’d be a shame if Squirrel had to win. And not just because you’d probably have to go to jail or into exile. All those ANC cadres who have worked so hard for so long to find ways to screw the system will be out of work. There’s a lot of competition in the private sector and professionals like the Stellenbosch mafia have pretty much cornered the market.
In Joburg alone a newly formed unit has recorded over two thousand cases of corruption involving almost R15-billion. More than 450 officials linked to bribery and corruption have been arrested and dozens more suspended. If Squirrel comes in and helps the DA to clean things up, a lot of institutional expertise in the specialised field of white collar crime will be lost.
Truth is I’m not wild about either option. I don’t trust anyone who is prepared to spend R18-million on a buffalo. Beer, yes. Buffalo, not so much. And he’s tight with Coca-Cola, a company with a worse record than my ex-wife when it comes to mistreating people. On the other hand the economy could do with some Venda financing.
I don’t like Nkosazana very much either. She’s short and surly and reminds me of my old woodwork teacher who used to beat us with a cricket bat. I’m also not convinced of her ability to exercise good judgement. I’m not talking about her marrying you, but there is that matter of cigarette smugglers contributing to her campaign. Smuggling I don’t mind, but cigarettes are the devil’s work.
Anyway, comrade, have a good Christmas. If someone gives you shares in Oakbay, get them off your hands as soon as possible. Or use them to start a fire. Burn your house down. Claim the insurance. Move to Mexico. That’s what I would do.
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Amazing Grace

Dear Comrade Grace,
Congratulations on achieving what nobody else has been able to in 37 years – get Robert Mugabe to stand down. This is especially remarkable at a time when it was becoming increasingly difficult to get him to stand up.
Looking back, it might have been a tiny miscalculation on your part to get your husband to fire vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa. Who would’ve thought a war veteran with strong military ties would have had the army in his corner? I’m no political strategist, but it seems to me that you might have moved a little quicker with your plan. If Bob had abdicated last week and installed you as president, you could have had your defence force rounded up and jailed by now. You could have borrowed our army to imprison your army. We’re not using ours at the moment. Give our soldiers a mutton curry pie and a Coke and they’ll do anything.
I was astounded that half a dozen armoured personnel carriers could simply drive into Harare and instantly put an end to life as you know it. Is it possible that Bob himself was behind the coup-that’s-not-really-a-coup? I read somewhere that you had started beating him. I always assumed he enjoyed it. Perhaps he only said he did to keep you happy. Some husbands are like that.
When President Zuma called for calm and restraint, do you think he was talking directly to you? After the awkwardness of having South Africa captured by an overweight immigrant family from Uttar Pradesh, the last thing the region needed, as the Zimbabwean army gently eased the passage of the new national democratic project, was to have you burst from state house shrieking and swinging a nine-plug extension cable at anything that moved.
I believe Zuma is sending his state security minister, Bongani Bongo, to have a chat with Bob and the new boys. Try to get in with Bongo. He’s a good man to have on your side. His predecessor loved massages. You must have all manner of oils and unguents lying about the palace. Bob doesn’t get to look like that without lashings of intensive skin care. Roll up your sleeves and give Bongo a bit of a rub. You don’t even have to pretend to enjoy it. Talk about espionage when you’re doing it. He likes that. Slap him around a bit. We’d like that.
Apparently Zuma spoke to Bobbles this morning. He said he was fine. Or fired. Or on fire. It was a bad line. I don’t suppose his health matters much to you any longer. What a tremendous weight off your mind, let alone your hips. It couldn’t have been easy being married to a 138-year-old man. Does he still wake up in the middle of the night and order Winston Churchill to be shot?
I hear you’ve, er, gone off for a bit of a holiday. You certainly deserve a break. One minute you’re shaking your booty to a North Korean marching song on ZBC while picking out an outfit for your inauguration and the next you’re in the boot of a loyal lackey’s car racing for the Vic Falls border.
Apparently you have a farm in the south of Namibia. You’ll love it there. Okay, Keetmanshoop isn’t exactly Singapore in terms of shopping and health care, but there are a lot of bottle stores and, well, that’s about it.
Do your two gorgeous boys realise they’re going to have to get real jobs now? Poor little things. They must be devastated. Still and all. Keetmanshoop is a far healthier environment for Robert Jr and Bellarmine than, say, Chikurubi Prison. Try to interest them in sheep farming. It’s better than alcoholism. Not really, but don’t tell them that.
Anyway. Don’t let the fire go out of those crazy black eyes of yours. I’m a big fan. Not big enough for you to come and live with me, I should point out. I am partial to the mad ones, but, Grace, you’re next level and I’m just not ready for that right now.
Pamberi ne chimurenga! Pameberi ne karakul farming!
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