Guns don’t kill people. Arseholes kill people.

Don’t get me wrong. You won’t catch me hugging any bunnies, but that’s largely because I’m afraid of them. It’s not funny. Leporiphobia is a real thing. I don’t come around to your house and laugh at your phobias, but I will if I have to. Actually, no, I won’t. I will come to your house with spiders and snakes and black men wearing balaclavas and force you to confront your fears. I might also laugh.

So, anyway. We have established beyond doubt that shooting deaths are caused by aresholes with guns, whether it be the paranoid 26-year-old arsehole who killed nine people at an Oregon college or the 28-year-old arsehole who killed Reeva Steenkamp.

Then there are the tens of thousands of people around the world walking the streets today who have shot and killed people. Some of them even got medals for it. They are soldiers, former soldiers and that guy at the end of the bar who you really don’t want to bump into. Are they all arseholes? Of course not. But mostly, yes.

I like the idea of guns more than I like guns themselves. They’re a bit like women, really. And I don’t mean loud and capable of going off for no good reason at all. I mean you feel invincible when you have one, but take it away and you spend your nights in the foetal position crying yourself to sleep.

Guns are weirdly supernatural. I don’t understand how they work. I also find television and electricity weirdly supernatural. Did you know that Superman is the only person who can travel faster than a speeding bullet? It’s no wonder we haven’t seen him in ages. He probably overshot Hillbrow in the 1960s and has been trying to find his way back from the Andromeda galaxy ever since.

The idea of being able to kill someone sitting on the beach a kilometer away is one that I find strangely compelling. You needn’t even have to stand up. Simply put your beer down, rest your rifle on a small child’s head, aim and pull the trigger. Bam! One less person on the beach.

History has shown that hostile forces tend to gather at the seaside. The Germans killed thousands on the beaches of Normandy. Of course, you’re going to need more than a sniper rifle if you hope to match figures like these. And you’re going to have to wait until December.

Google spits up 381 million results if you search for “guns”. I googled “sex” and got 1.6 billon results. Then I got distracted. Later, I googled sex and guns and got 96 million results, one of which was a story out of an American town called Blacksburg. “A small community in Virginia mourns as a man dies after having sex with his revolver.” It got worse after that. The next few results pointed me to sites about Guns N’ Roses, a band that toured Europe in the late 1940s, precipitating the early surrender of the Nazis.

I prefer knives to guns. When you’re not stabbing someone, you can use it to put Marmite on your toast. Try doing that with a gun.

Perhaps I need to learn how to love guns. Embrace them. Not in the way the guy from Blacksburg embraced his, obviously. Besides, I’d have a hard time inserting my … never mind.

I’m not a complete stranger to guns. When I was a kid my father would take me and his Walther PPK pistol down to the mangroves near Blue Lagoon. The first time it happened I thought he was going to kill me. Especially when he sat down and polished off half a dozen beers. Instead, he lined up the empties in a row. Then he put the gun in my little hand and told me to pretend the tins were communists. If this was a rite of passage, I failed miserably. “Go a bit closer,” he said every time I missed. Eventually I had the barrel pressed up against one of the cans. It was like an execution.

If I do get a gun, I’ll probably order it from America. You get two-for-one Tuesdays, plus a Happy Meal voucher, and they all have their serial numbers intact. I found Springfield Armory online. I liked the sound of it because the Simpsons come from Springfield. If it’s good enough for Homer, it’s good enough for me.

According to their website, in 1777 George Washington “ordered the creation of Springfield Armory to store revolutionary ammunition and gun carriages”. I won’t bore you with the details of what happened between then and now. There’s a saying that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I failed to learn history and got 17% in matric. I was damned if I was going to repeat it.

Their website says, “Let us help you find the firearm that fits you best.” Fair enough. Who among us hasn’t seen a toddler struggling to load her AK-47 and thought, “If only she had gone to a shop that cared.”

They have seven categories of guns including competition, concealed carry, home defence and short to long range. We don’t mess about with categories in South Africa. We just go a township and ask around. Or take one off a sleeping policeman.

I was immediately drawn to the concealed carry category because I have always liked hiding things. This probably explains my two failed marriages.

They offer 19 handguns. “Whether you’re looking for the most possible capacity or the deepest possible concealment, you can find it here.” I suppose one shouldn’t expect impeccable grammar from arms dealers, but how deep is the deepest possible concealment? And if we’re talking womb or lower bowel, how would you get it out in a hurry?

The multi-purpose category has 25 handguns to choose from. “Perhaps you want something to put on the nightstand after spending the day with it on the range. Or maybe you want something that you’ll shoot as often as you carry it.” I don’t understand what any of this means. I want to be able to pull the trigger and have a piece of lead ejected at 1000m a second. That’s all that matters. Forget all this talk of nightstands. You don’t want your gun reminding you of bed – you want to be reminded that it makes living things dead.

Home defence, or defense as they say, because Americans can’t spell, has 26 options. “The good news is that Springfield Armory produces several ergonomically pleasing and feature-rich firearms with plenty of capacity and power.”

This is good news for victims. Imagine the indignity of dying in a pool of your own blood after being shot with a firearm that was less than ergonomically pleasing. What a horrible way to go.

It’s not all handguns, of course. “When it comes to long-range sustained fire, you can do no better than the M1A.” Sounds a bit too close to MIA for my liking. There’s only one situation I can think of when an ordinary person might need a weapon capable of long-range sustained fire and it involves Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I’m disappointed that the shape of guns has barely changed since they were invented. Look at the range of bubble guns in toyshops. I saw one the other day shaped like a seahorse. Why can’t we do the same with real guns? I, for one, would be far more inclined to arm myself if I could buy a pistol shaped like a mongoose or a dolphin.

Come on, gun people. Let’s put the fun back into fundamentalism.

Lastly, I agree with those who say that mental illness is to blame for all the mass shootings in America. The National Rifle Association alone has five million mentally ill members. In 2013, a proposal on gun control was torpedoed when 45 mentally ill senators voted against background checks and a ban on assault rifles. Half of America’s adult population opposes stricter gun control laws. That’s 120 million mentally ill people right there. With that many crazy people on the loose, no wonder everyone wants a gun.

South Africa has never looked more sane.

We need guns to prevent dolphins from taking over the world-2

We need guns to prevent dolphins from taking over the world.

 

Hey Oscar, how’s the reception in Cell C?

Howzit Oscar, Congratulations, boet. You’ve got to be the luckiest oke alive. Okay, maybe not the luckiest. But still. For the judge to have bought your ‘intruder’ story was a miracle on its own. And then to get what could amount to nothing more than ten months in the cushy hospital section is the cherry on top. How’s the food? Worse than Uncle Arnold’s, I bet. Although I must say, Arnold strikes me as someone who’d rather be making money than casseroles. Have you joined a gang yet? My advice is to avoid the 26s, even though they are known as the cleaners. White South Africans know very little about domestic matters and there’s no reason to think you’re any different. But I’d advise you to do it yourself rather than hire one of the 26s. These people are criminals and can’t be trusted. However, you may find that cleaning is something you have a natural talent for. In which case, you might want to sign up. A word of warning. The 26s don’t encourage their members to interfere with one another’s bottoms. I’m not saying it’s something you’d be interested in, but stranger things have happened to men behind bars. You may find that prison appeals to your aggressive nature. If you want to dabble in a spot of violence, you’ll have to upgrade to the 27s. They like nothing more than a bit of the old stick-a-shiv-in-your-throat. They, too, frown on bumming among the membership. Also, they are the most secretive of the gangs and are the ones who communicate between the 26s and 28s. You have a few secrets of your own, right? It must be said, though, that you fall down a bit when it comes to communication skills. For instance, most people would make an effort to communicate with their girlfriend, if, for example, she was in bed and they, say, had to get up to shoot an ‘intruder’. The 28s are really only an option if you find yourself attracted to another inmate. Isn’t Radovan Krecjir just a few doors down? I’ve always liked a big man, myself. I imagine he’s very good with his hands. They also work in the kitchens and never seem to go short of food. It might be worth it for the odd chop. On the other hand, there are bloodlines in the 28s and it starts getting a bit complicated with military wings and civil wings and who’s a ‘wyfie’, who’s a ‘soldier’ and so on. Also, an ambitious person like you will want to be promoted. This might entail having to stab a warden. Gun people are generally useless with knives and you’d probably do yourself a mischief. Since you’re in a section inhabited solely by the sick and disabled, you might want to consider starting your own gang. You could call yourself the G4K4s. That’s an old army reference, in case you didn’t know. What you need to do as quickly as possible is get the respect of the other prisoners. Most of them won’t be impressed that you can run 400m in under 45 seconds. They’ll only say, “Hey Orska, if you so fast how come you got caught?” Actually, if someone says that, whip off one of your legs and stab him in the face. You’re standing on a couple of deadly weapons and would be crazy not to use them, especially after your buddy on the bench made it clear that they weren’t to be taken away from you. I’m surprised you didn’t tell your lawyer to use the Nike defence. There they were, your sponsors, telling you to, “Just do it.” You were contractually obliged to act without thinking. If their slogan had been, “Check before you do it”, you might still be out there chatting up the chicks and shooting through someone’s sunroof. If you hear an intruder in the bathroom, at least this time you can be absolutely certain that it’s a murderer, rapist or housebreaker in there. Whatever you do, don’t scream like a woman. It would be like shouting, “Free wine!” at an AA meeting. However, it’s something you might want to look into as a means of making a bit of extra cash. You go to someone’s cell and scream like a woman for five bucks a shot. Use it, don’t use it. You could also be the main supplier of Rizla papers. Presumably you know that, on the street, they’re called blades. Then you could keep your name Blade Runner. How cool would that be? Say howzit to Eugene de Kock for me. Then skop him in the nuts. He has killed more people than you have, but he wears glasses and will never win a world record that doesn’t involve torture. You da captain now. Stay away from that Polish prick, Anus Walus, or whatever the hell his name is. Unless, of course, you want to get dronk in die tronk. He probably imports crates of filthy rotgut vodka from the home country. It’s funny to think that if your fans want to write to you, they need to send their letters to Pretoria Central Prison. It’s even funnier to think that you still have fans. Actually, it’s not funny at all. It’s just weird. You’ve got more fans than I have and I haven’t even killed anyone. Oops. Pretoria Central is the old apartheid name for your new home. What’s it called now? Kgosi Mampuru the Second or something. Who the hell is this Kgosi oke? I tried googling him but it didn’t help. Odd business, hey. They rename a prison after someone who was presumably a struggle hero, but nobody can find out who he was because your name keeps coming up. If the DA is stupid enough to want to rename a major boulevard after FW de Klerk, there’s no reason to think correctional services isn’t brazen enough to rename the prison after you. A lot of people would commit crimes just to be able to say they served in Oscar Pistorius Central. I wouldn’t mind having that on my CV. But I prefer women to guns. You liked both and now you can’t have either. I said to someone the other day that if private ownership of guns were banned as it is in countries like Britain, Australia and Japan, Reeva might be alive today. He called me an idiot and said that if Reeva had had a gun that night, things might have turned out very differently. Perhaps. But if everyone in the country had a weapon, you’d have to shout to be heard above the gunshots. It would sound like Dewali every night. Now that you can’t have a gun, you are going to have to rely on new skills to defend yourself when you get out. You could try talking, although I don’t know how effective that’s going to be when you bump into the likes of Mikey Schultz at the VIP Room on a Saturday night. Anyway, china. Hang in there. I mean it.  Literally.

A letter to the horn-happy hunters

Dear Dawie Groenewald and your gay brother, Janneman. Sorry, Janneman. Maybe you aren’t gay. But what the hell kind of name is Janneman? It’s fucked up, that’s what it is. You got the good name, Dawie, no doubt about it. A real South African name. The kind of name you want to have if you’re going to grow up and rip people off and kill rhinos and cause all sorts of shit. Janneman probably mixes the martinis while you’re out there hacking the horns off. I hope you don’t split the money. Although I must say it’s a helluva lot harder to mix the perfect martini than it is to shoot a drugged rhino from nine metres. So you hunt in Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and right here in South Africa. Your farm, Prachtig, is 60kms south of Musina in Limpopo Province. I’m just pointing this out for the benefit of hunters and not so that normal people can find out where you live and burn your house down. The US government has charged your ass with conspiracy to sell illegal rhino hunts to American hunters, money laundering and secretly trafficking in rhino horns. That’s some pretty badass shit, my bru. An 18-count indictment. Sounds heavy. Of course, that means shit out here. Get the right lawyer and the right judge and you’re home in time for sundowners. In America, I reckon it might mean something else. Americans aren’t big on mercy. They want to nail your ass. And if they can’t, they will grab someone else’s ass and find a way to call it yours. That’s where you went wrong. You were so focused on rhino horns that you forgot to lay a false trail for the Feds. It happens to the best of us. The only reason I heard about you was because I bought a local paper that had used an AFP story out of Washington and noticed the headline, “US charges SA duo over illegal rhino hunts.” It was a small piece buried on page seven, which means that, at most, nine people know about what you and your brother have been up to. You’re safe. Fourteen million people know what Jacob Zuma and his handlangers are up to, and we don’t really give a damn. I’m going to be frank, bru. You blew it. But you blew it right from the start. If you’re going to be helping Americans kill rhinos with the express intention of fucking them over (the Americans – the rhinos are already fucked), then you shouldn’t have called yourself Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris. It’s a ridiculous name. You obviously saw the movie with Robert Redford and Meryl whatshername. But if you’d read the book, which you wouldn’t have done because I would willingly have my left leg chopped off if it could be shown that you and Janneman had read anything more complicated than the K53 driver’s license manual … where was I? Anyway. I checked out your website. It’s like a wet dream for people like Oscar Pistorius, although not really because wildebeest will hardly ever break into your toilet. “Bring a bolt action or a double rifle (muzzleloaders are welcome). For Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant, a minimum calibre of 375 is required. All calibres bigger than this are welcome. For Lions, Leopard, Antelopes and other medium game a calibre of 300 or 30-06 will be sufficient. For dangerous game, 40 full metal-jacket cartridges as well as 40 soft-point cartridges are required. For medium game you will need at least 80 soft-point cartridges. Fit your rifle with a good quality scope with variable power; 1.5-6 x 42, 2.2-9 x 42 or the like. For transportation of your rifle between hunting areas, a soft case per gun is required.” You don’t regard lions and leopards as dangerous game? I suppose if they’re on anti-depressants, I guess they ain’t that dangerous. You’re asking $25 500 for a ten-day buffalo and sable hunt? That’s insane. I can go to a game auction and pay less for a buffalo and a flock of sable and put them in the back of my car. Take them home and scatter them about my yard. Your price for a three-day “rhino darting safari” starts at $10 000 per hunter. That’s, like, R100 000. It seems a bit fucking steep to play darts with a rhino. Still and all. You’re a high stakes, classy outfit, even offering “green” hunts that involve the more sensitive hunter firing a tranquiliser into the rhino and then letting him pose with the sedated animal for a tastefully lit photograph. After which you send him to the bar for a gin and tonic while a sweaty brute hacks the horn off and you ship it to Hanoi a day or two later. But to get back to your price list. To gun down a lechwe in Mpumalanga costs a mere $3 950. Lechwe, and I mean no disrespect to lechwe, are lazy. If there were traffic lights in the bush, lechwe would be the first to hang around waiting for a handout. Shooting them is probably doing them a favour. I only hope their families get some of the money. What else do you have on your menu? A baboon in Limpopo goes for $200. Really? I know baboons who will sell their young for a quarter of the price. And a bushpig for $600 is just silly. You can sit in your car with a beer between your legs and a carrot in your hand and a bushpig will walk right up to you. If he could talk, he would say, “Six hundred dollars? You’ve been had. I’m a pig who lives in the bush. I wouldn’t pay twenty dollars for me. Anyway. At least let me eat the carrot. Then you can blow my brains out.” I don’t know, Dawie, but $3 800 for a giraffe seems unreasonable. It sticks its head into your rondavel looking for an apple and you put your 9mm against its temple and pull the trigger. You don’t even have to get out of bed. I’m not saying it’s unsporting, but in terms of effort versus expenditure, there’s a bit of a gap. Your price of $350 for a porcupine strikes me as fair. These little fuckers walk about as if they own the place, but the moment you pick him up to put him on the barbecue he shoots a million quills into your face. Fuck him. Zebra seems a tad overpriced at $1800. They’re just gay horses, really. And they know it, too. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell them that stripes went out in the 80s, they just love to be stroked and admired. And when it comes time to kill them, they prefer it to be done at sunset with a crossbow. While Frank Sinatra plays in the background. You might have to explain to your zebra that the real Frank Sinatra wasn’t available. Don’t tell him that Frank is dead because he will probably kill himself, which will deprive everyone of an income. I was intrigued by your list of supplies that you recommend clients bring with them. Two pairs of hunting trousers? What the hell are hunting trousers? Two pairs I can understand, because one might soil the first pair should an impala spring unannounced from the bush. A pair of gloves I can understand. You are, after all, running a criminal enterprise and the last thing you want is the FBI lifting a clean set of prints off a warthog gunned down under suspicious circumstances. I am, I must say, mystified by your requirement of “1 razor with blades or batteries”. Is this to shave a dead animal? Kudu can be hairy, yes, but why would that offend you? And if not for the animals, do you prefer your hunters to be clean-shaven? Perhaps Janneman insists upon it. I know a lot of men who have had bad experiences with scratchy beards. Actually, that’s not true. I just don’t want Janneman to feel like he’s some sort of freak. The last thing we want is Janneman building a nuclear weapon, right, Dawie? LOL. So you pulled the wool over the South African police’s eyes for all these years. I expect it wasn’t that difficult. But now you’ve discovered that the US Fish and Wildlife Service are/is bit brighter than our boys and girls. America wants to extradite you. Nou is julle in die kak. Although not necessarily. It depends on who you know in the government. Do you know people in the government? Of course you do. You wouldn’t have got yourselves this deep in the shit if you didn’t. Can they get you out? Maybe. Your biggest mistake was ripping off the Yanks. They don’t care if other nationalities get fucked over, but don’t mess with a US citizen, even if he is a brain-damaged intra-bred redneck from, well, he could be from anywhere. “Good shot, Tex!” “So ya’ll gonna wrap up my horn or what?” “No can do, Tex. You aren’t allowed to take rhino horn out of the country. But you can take a picture of it!” Tex goes home and the horn goes to Vietnam. Everyone’s happy. Except the rhino. You found a loophole there, Dawie. But you forgot one thing. Never bullshit an American who carries a gun. He’s either gonna kill you, fuck you or take you to court. You fucked with the wrong people, Dawie. You can’t charge for the hunt and then sell the horns on the sly. If there’s one thing Americans hate, it’s double dipping. Alabama’s US Attorney, George Beck, said: “Not only did they break South African laws, but they laundered their ill-gotten gains through our banks here in Alabama. Jesus, bro. You could’ve gotten away with poaching rhino and ripping off Americans. You could’ve got away with almost anything. But did nobody ever tell you not to fuck with the banks of Alabama? Did you think you’d be alright because you’re white? Those days are over, my friend. Say howzit to Oscar.

Ways to leave your lover (without going to jail)

It is not uncommon for a man to find himself in a situation where he has to get rid of a wife or girlfriend at short notice. There are several ways of accomplishing this. Personally, however, I wouldn’t recommend the Pistorius or Dewani options. It’s just not worth the risk of having to listen to probation officer Annette Vergeer. A feral version of one-time pop star Limahl, she is the most effective deterrent against violent crime I have ever come across. Had the Enola Gay flown low over Hiroshima playing her voice through powerful speakers mounted on the undercarriage, the Japanese would have begged for the atomic bomb.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but if you want to regain your bachelor status, you don’t always have to use a gun or hire a hit man. Here are a few helpful hints on how to break up without getting twenty years in jail. Or, if the right judge is on the bench, a month at home watching television and an afternoon sweeping a corridor in a government building.

The Face-to-Face Method

Old school. Practiced mainly by the aristocracy and younger men who have not lived long enough to grasp the dangers inherent in the situation. Women do not, as a matter of course, appreciate the direct approach as much as one might think. Taking her to the Wimpy and encouraging her to order the most expensive item on the menu (the 600g ribs & chips for R125) while intending to break her heart over the Schweet Cinnamon Donut™ is neither courageous nor honest. It’s just plain dumb. If you’re going to do it face-to-face, stay away from places that offer easy access to knives. Wear protective gear. But make it discreet. It you pick her up dressed like an ice hockey goalkeeper, she’s going to know something is up. This method works best if you retain the element of surprise. Lose that and you could lose your testicles.

The Electronic Method

No mess, no fuss. Popular among older men who have been slapped, headbutted, bitten and kneed in the groin more times than they care to remember. There is a school of thought that says it is unethical to break up with a woman via e-mail or SMS. Quite frankly, that’s ridiculous. Avoiding public humiliation and personal injury is paramount. The only inconvenience is having to change your number when she begins sending you death threats on the hour. When ending it via a text message, keep it short. “Sori bt cnt do ths enimor hve a gr8 lfe” will do just fine. There is no need to get poetic or melodramatic. This is an ending, not a beginning.

The Telephone Method

There is really only one thing to remember when you make that call. Never use the line, “It’s not you, it’s me.” This is like throwing a chunk of raw meat to a crocodile. She will pursue you with all the single-minded zeal of a sniffer dog pursuing a black man wearing a hemp suit. You might think your words will convince her that she’s the normal one and you are the sociopath but you would be wrong. At around midnight, she will be banging drunkenly on your door with a blunt instrument. When you let her in, she will smash the first thing she comes across and shout, “So what’s wrong with you what the hell’s wrong with you tell me tell me you bastard are you going to tell me what’s wrong with you?” Even if you could think fast enough to come up with a pack of remotely plausible lies, she wouldn’t believe you. Your best bet is to start crying while edging towards the front door. Then take off. Let her keep the apartment.

The Cut ‘n Run Method

Simple in execution. Come home from work and follow your normal routine. If you usually open a beer and lie on the couch, don’t suddenly change all the broken lightbulbs and offer to make her dinner. She will smell a rat and hide your car keys. At around 8pm, say you’re nipping out to buy a box of cigarettes. If you use this line but don’t actually smoke, you’re an idiot. Improvise. The important thing is that she thinks you’re only going to be gone for a few minutes. Drive to the airport and get on the last flight out of the country. The only problem with this method is that she will come looking for you. Next to revenge, women want closure most of all.

Closure

Men are quite happy to get closure by means of a last pangalang. But don’t be the one to suggest it. For most women, closure involves a combination of shouting, crying and hitting. Sometimes they laugh. That’s when they are at their most dangerous. The best thing you can do is stand there shaking your head sadly from side to side. Try to roll with the punches. Avoid eye contact. Do not say anything. Do not make any sudden movements. If you are very lucky, she will suggest a last pangalang. Be cool. This is not normal sex so forget the box of tricks and the Batman outfit. It is vital that you remain submissive. I find it helps to pretend that you are Dian Fossey and she is a silverback. You may wish to try something else.

The important thing to remember is that she is doing this so she never has to think of you ever again. At this point you will realise that nothing makes any sense whatsoever. Congratulations. You’re ready to go back out there and begin the whole harrowing cycle all over again.

 

Just another bank robbery

I’m good at handling money in much the same way that Oscar Pistorius is good at handling guns. But at least nobody dies as a result of my negligence. Well, I probably will, but that’s my own damn fault.

I have only recently begun saving for a time when I will no longer be able to earn a living from writing, which, the way I feel at the moment, should be around Thursday. If I had to retire now – not that retiring is an option for people like me – and live for another ten years, my savings would provide me with an income of 2.7 cents a day. By the time I reach 60, and if I have been diligent about saving, this will have risen to around 19 cents a day.

I had heard good things about money market accounts – that banks will give you ridiculous amounts of interest, free holidays and even send around a manager-approved harlot should your balance be of a certain disposition.

However, none of these generous perks were on offer when I prodded my damp wad of cash across the counter. The cadaverous misanthrope sighed heavily and reached for the forms.

Don’t look so sad,” I said. “It’ll grow in no time at all.” It sounded funny using that line outside the bedroom and I stifled a giggle. No, I didn’t. Real men don’t giggle. They guffaw. But it seemed the wrong moment for a full-throated guffaw. Besides, the security guard had his eye on me. Perhaps he was gay. Perhaps he thought I was looking at him because I was gay. It’s more likely, though, that he suspected me of being one of those weird-assed kleptos who make off with the bank’s pen when they think nobody’s looking. That’s right, mister wannabe cop. I have a tiny pair of bolt cutters secreted upon my person. The moment your attention is distracted by someone who walks in wearing a crash helmet and cradling what appears to be an AK-47 beneath his overcoat, I shall slice through the chain, grab the pen and make a break for the door.

I don’t check my balance every month because if I want to get depressed I’ll go to a bookshop. I made an exception the other day, though, and was intrigued to see that a couple of unauthorised deductions had been made. By intrigued I mean I drank heavily and kicked a hole in the bedroom door.

Not even I can take money out of that account without giving the bank a sworn affidavit, a DNA sample and my first born. The only people with that kind of power had to be working on the inside. Armed with my miniature bolt cutters, I returned to the scene of the crime.

A receptionist with a latex face told me to take a seat on the couch while I watched the cadaverous misanthrope repeatedly explain a very basic banking procedure to a client whose family should be jailed for allowing her out on her own. The couch was deceptively comfortable. I felt the fight drain from me. I thought of curling up and going to sleep. By the time the slack-jawed mouthbreather in tracksuit pants shuffled off, I had almost forgotten what I was there for.

I want to know who stole my money,” I said. The theft was described on my statement as a “unit reduction” and a “switch out”. The consultant did what all consultants do when confronted with an angry customer. He reached for a gun. No, he didn’t. He reached for the telephone, got someone else on the line and passed the buck.

I took the receiver. Her name was Palesa and I was clearly not her first of the day. It was almost as if she were reading from a script ha ha ha. I understood very little of what she was saying. From what I could make out, though, Stanlib had siphoned off a section of my savings because a posse of reckless renegades had run African Bank into the ground.

I don’t care,” I shouted. “Where’s my money?” She remained calm and embarked upon the official explanation. She said I had been exposed to African Bank and that when they went belly-up, share points had plummeted, money markets were impacted and side pockets were created. She might as well have been speaking Mandarin.

So the money is in my side pocket?” I gave myself a quick pat. Nothing, apart from a condom that had been there since 1984. My money is apparently in the bank’s side pocket. “But you haven’t lost it,” Palesa said brightly.

So I can access it?” Er, no. Apparently it’s a bit like Schrödinger’s cash. It exists and yet doesn’t. It’s mine, but not.

It was late on a cold winter’s night when Stanlib met African Bank on the frigid fringes of the fiscal market, where only the rats run, and flashed a bag of cash that wasn’t theirs to start with. African Bank fondled its assets and smirked.

Hey, babe. You wanna invest? C’mon. Give it to me. You know you want to.”

But, sir, this is other people’s money. I really shouldn’t.”

Trust me. I’m an African bank.”

Okay. But you must promise to call me in the morning.”

Lumbering to my feet and yanking his pen off its chain, I demanded to know why the bank hadn’t notified me before ransacking my account. “Everything happened very fast and we had to move quickly to protect our clients”. Oh, I see. Why didn’t you say so?

The next time I see a man in a good suit walking down the road, I’ll hit him with a bag of rocks and grab his briefcase. “I’m doing this to protect you,” I will shout over my shoulder as I run off down the road. I might even expose myself to him.

Should I never get my money back, there are two gentlemen I’d like to have a word with. One is Leon Kirkinis. Founder and CEO of African Bank, he made around R40-million in ten years before cutting his losses and quitting. He appears to own a sea-facing mansion in Rooi Els worth around R50-million.

The other person is Tami Sokutu. A man who apparently wouldn’t know risk if it came up and bit him on the arse, his position at the bank for twelve years was chief risk officer. He milked this toxic cash cow of more than R50-million in share options and another R35-million in salary and bonuses.

Asked by a local hack if he felt sorry for the millions of mainly rural people who were drowning in debt thanks to the bank’s reckless lending, Sokutu reportedly said, “Fuck them.”

African Bank was South Africa’s biggest microlender. Sokutu, I’d venture, is South Africa’s biggest douchebag. In a letter published by a Sunday paper last week, Sokutu apologised. “I shouldn’t have agreed to the interview in my state at the time.” This is code for “tired and emotional”. Which, in turn, is code for – well, to use a rugby term – off his face at the breakdown.

On its website, the bank says, “Applying for credit with African Bank has never been easier. Complete the form below to check what credit you could qualify for in just three easy steps.” What? That’s insane. It takes me more than three steps to get out of bed in the morning.

When you walk into one of our branches, you can walk out with credit on the same day.” Listen, you morons. This is what caused all the trouble in the first place. Stop it. Right now.

Application to the SA Army: Training Programme

 

Dear Madam,

I am certain you are a madam because the army would never allow a man to open the mail. However, with this new-fangled, touchy-feely, homo-friendly vibe going around, you may well turn out to be a man. In which case, I meant no offence. I am sure you are a real man in other ways.

Watching the Oscar Pistorius trial has reawakened my love of guns and violence. In fact, if it weren’t for Oscar, I would eventually have become one of those crazy people who think disputes are best resolved through talking. I didn’t even know I was becoming like that. It just creeps up on you, hey. One day you forget to go to target practice. The next day you forget to clean your gun. The day after that you forget where you put your gun. And from there it’s a slippery slope to watching reruns of Friends, helping your wife mow the lawn and using your camo makeup to paint a vase of flowers.

All this talk of cricket bats and Black Talon bullets and shots being fired into toilet doors and out of sunroofs and into restaurant floors made me realise that I was hopelessly unprepared for war. I went on to the department of defence’s website to see if I could buy some secondhand machineguns but I found something much better – the Military Skills Development System. I could hardly believe my eyes when I read that you are offering citizens an opportunity to be in the army for two whole years! This used to be one of the perks of being a white South African in the old days.

I have already done two years in the army and I can’t wait to do another two. I have a lot of unfinished business in Angola. I also left a pair of boots there. I won’t need to do basic training again because I can still remember many of the commands, like “Attention!” and “About turn!” and “Run away!”

Your advert says “the army’s mandate focuses on the provisioning of combat ready forces and plays a leading role in landward operations”. I don’t really understand what that is, but it sounds like you mean business.

I see one of your requirements is that applicants must have completed Grade 12. I don’t mean to be rude, but, quite frankly, that’s ridiculous. In my day, the army didn’t care how educated you were. I had people in my bungalow so stupid that they thought the earth was six thousand years old. You only have to pick up a newspaper and look at the date to know how old the earth us. I checked this morning and it’s two thousand and fourteen years old.

Before I sign up, I want to make sure of one thing. We are going to be killing people, right? I don’t want to get there and then spend the next two years practising how to kill people. I am not interested in military theory. I want to get out there and stick a bayonet through someone’s face. Preferably someone who doesn’t look like me.

Who is our enemy, by the way? Just so you know, I don’t mind killing white people. I am not a racist. If you want to send me to Paris to kill the French, I am happy to do it. Everybody is fair game. And when I say fair, I mean people in wheelchairs can get a head start.

There is no shortage of countries to attack. For instance, we need to stop pretending that Lesotho and Swaziland are real countries and take them for ourselves. Put me in charge and Maseru will be ours by next week. Mbabane might take a bit longer because the Swazis will make our troops smoke dagga and they might forget what the mission was. It wouldn’t be the first time.

It’s a pity Lindiwe Sisulu isn’t in charge any more. She’s such a babe. Fit, too. I would like to see her running for president. This other one on your website looks like she got her physique from running for the buffet. No wonder people are saying that right now the Salvation Army could kick our asses.

By the way, I want to volunteer for jungle training in Port St Johns. Shooting civilians is the best way to prepare for battle. I am very familiar with the vegetation that grows in that area. Give me the rank of brigadier and cut me loose.

Once we have the Transkei back under our control, we need to move on the Chinese. I am less familiar with these people, but most of us already know how to pronounce words like ‘chow mein’ and ‘chop suey’. It can’t be that hard to learn simple phrases like, “Stop bribing government officials and pillaging our resources.”

Once the Chinese are taken care of, we can turn our attention to matters closer to home. The government keeps cutting military spending. It is criminal that health, housing and education are getting a bigger slice of the budget than defence. What will happen if we spend all our money on the sick, the homeless and the stupid and then, when we least expect it, we are invaded by Zimbabwe?

As a disciplined and loyal soldier, I will never use the words ‘coup d’etat’. But I think we both know what I’m saying here. Anyway. Let me know when you want me to start. I have a camo-print shirt and matching broeks. I just need guns and a moving target. And, if I get the Transkei posting, maybe an SABS-approved bong.

The Fear Factor

Comrades, we have new things to fear.

Russia provoking world war three. The Oscar Pistorius trial dragging on for months. Protein.

Let us begin with the first. It’s the least likely to affect us directly because South Africa won’t be invited to participate in the third world war. We never get invited to anything. And when we do, we don’t pitch up. Besides, by the time we have fixed our submarines and found someone to drive our warships, a consortium of American businessmen would have turned Crimea into the world’s biggest theme park. And McDonald’s would have bought the Kremlin and turned it into their new eastern European headquarters.

The other scenario is that American schools would be teaching Russian and the White House would be owned by the Stolichnaya company. Leased, I should say. There would be no such thing as private property in the event of a Russian win when the final whistle is blown at the end of WW3.

Even though Vladimir Putin is currently channelling the ghost of Josef Stalin, I’m finding it difficult to worry about what’s happening 9 419kms away. I know I should. But it seems wrong to care about people in the Ukraine when there are people in a township 3kms from my house who I don’t care about. If I’m not going to care about someone, my fellow countrymen should come first.

I’m a bit concerned about Crimea, but only because it’s a really cool name and whoever wins this war will probably want to change it. I doubt I would feel the same way about it if it were called, say, the Autonomous Okrug of Krasnovorskashtanerova. Or, should there be an upset, Californiobama, America’s 51st state.

Wait! I’ve changed my mind. It has since come to my attention that Crimea’s currency is called the hryvna. There is no way that a country with a currency called hryvna should be allowed to survive. Was their first finance minister a five-year-old with access to fridge magnets? It gets worse. The hryvna is made up of a hundred kopiyok. And they want us to take them seriously? Please.

Right, I’ve had a few beers and a bit of a lie-down. Maybe they deserve a second chance. Let’s see what they produce. This is what I found on the website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The enterprises of Crimean food industry produce meat products, animal butter, dairy products, cheeses, oil, can foods, confectionary, groats and flour, alcoholic beverage, tobacco wares.”

I don’t know if you’re meant to eat, drink or snort a groat, but I want no part of it. And what the hell kind of animals do you make butter from? Mmmm. Creamy Crimean butter produced from only the freshest of field voles. With added epizooties! Yum yum.

We are assured, however, that “the tourist industry is very perspective”. Visitors can look forward to “mounting-foot, research, walks on yachts and car tours”. The cultural life of the Crimea consists of their many festivals and competitions, including Bilya Chornogo Morya, Zirky Planety and Artekivski Zori.

“Hurry up, honey! We’re going to be late for the Zirky Planety.”

“I thought we were going to the Artekivski Zori this year!”

“The Zori is too expensive. I’m not paying five billion hryvna to watch dancing voles being turned into butter.”

Let us now turn our attention to the second latest thing to fear – the unnecessary prolongation of Oscar Pistorius’s trial. Defence lawyer Barry Roux is so adept at badgering witnesses that I have come to believe that he is, in fact, a badger wearing a human bodysuit. There is evidence.

Badgers are short-legged omnivores. Roux is a short-legged omnibore. Badgers belong to a branch that includes polecats and weasels. Roux belongs to a branch that includes advocates and attorneys. Both are distantly related to the Asiatic stink badger, a member of the skunk family, which is often found defending Crimean voles on charges of treason.

I, for one, cannot listen, let alone watch, the Badgeroo go about his unpleasant business of forcing ordinary folk to the brink of confessing their own dark secrets. The biggest mistake these poor people ever made was to live within screaming distance of Oscar’s house. Now they are paying for it.

This case sends a valuable lesson to potential witnesses everywhere. Do not ever admit to hearing or seeing anything. Ever. I live at the coast and even I was woken by Oscar’s shrill girly screams. I heard his cricket bat spontaneously detonating three minutes later. I also thought I heard him ordering pizza but that might have been the neighbours. But did you see me put my hand up and volunteer to testify? Hellz, no.

Where there are cameras, there are politicians. Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane sat with Reeva’s family in court this week and told them that “even real South African men are ashamed”. Am I real South African man? I hope not. Am I ashamed? Yes, I am.

When I was but a pup, my father grabbed his Walther PPK pistol one Saturday morning and took me down to the mangroves near Blue Lagoon. I thought he was going to murder me. Instead, he set up a row of empty Black Label beer cans. Well, they were empty by the time he had finished with them. Then he put the gun in my hand and said, “Son, shoot those cans.” If that was some kind of rite of passage, I failed miserably. “Go a bit closer,” he said every time I missed. Eventually I had the barrel of the gun resting against one of the cans. It was like an execution.

So, yes. I’m ashamed that I can’t shoot accurately with a handgun. But put an R1 rifle in my hands and oh, baby, I could hit you if you lived in the next province. That should go some way towards redeeming me in the eyes of the premier, surely.

Now on to the third latest new thing to fear. Protein. Meat, in case you haven’t heard, is the new Marlboro. Cheese is a death sentence and eggs will kill you quicker than heroin. That glass of milk? Why not just drink cyanide?

We have been eating protein ever since we split from the monkeys two million years ago. And only now they tell us it’s bad for us? What the hell have they been doing all this time?

But not all protein is bad, apparently. The protein in beans and legumes is fine. Okaaay! Bean party this Saturday, your place! Bring your own beans. If someone pitches up with a bag of legumes saying that he wants to party, don’t let him in. Those legume fiends are nothing but trouble.

This new study reveals that middle-aged people who eat a lot of animal protein die younger. But the same diet protects a person’s health in old age. Man, my 70th is going to be one helluva cheese ‘n meat party. Bring your own sheep.

These findings have emerged from a study of six thousand people aged 50 and over. I don’t know anyone over 50 who tells the truth. Once you reach a certain age, lying becomes your default position. Most of them probably just wanted someone to talk to.

“Yeah, I eat a lot of meat and I have this thing growing inside my brain. So what? Sit down. Let me tell you about the time I caught a whale shark on a trout rod in the Drakensberg.”

I don’t know what to believe anymore. I’m scared of carbohydrates and now I’m terrified of protein. These scaremongering killjoys are telling us that we should restrict ourselves to no more than 0.8g of protein for every kilogram of body weight. Well, let me tell you something, Mr Smartypants scientist. We don’t all have brains that work like computers. We don’t know what we weigh. We also don’t know what 0.8g of anything looks like. Apart from maybe cocaine or weed. Rather tell us that if we hold a piece of meat against our leg, we shouldn’t eat beyond the knee.

And it’s no good telling us that we need to switch to a diet where nine or ten percent of our calories come from protein. Calories sounds like a made-up Crimean word. I cannot picture a calorie and therefore it does not exist. Stop playing mind-games with us.

You know what else they said? “Spend a couple of months looking at the labels on your food.” Idiots. Do they not know we also have to go to work? Besides, the human body cannot go more than 40 days without food. You have more chance of surviving by licking at the labels on your food.

There’s only one thing I want to know. What can I eat that will help me live forever? There has to be something, right? Look at Robert Mugabe. He’s at least 184 years old and he still won’t go down. I want some of what he’s having. Fuck death. And if I can’t have that, I’m moving to Simferopol and switching to a diet of Slavic whores, cheap vodka and lashings of vole butter pudding.

 

An open letter to Henke Pistorius, father to Oscar, defender of the faithless

Howzit Henke,

I feel like I know you already. Did we meet around a braai sometime? Or maybe it was on a hunt. I think I saw you there by the Kruger Park last year. I shot nine elephants, six hippos, three giraffes and about 450 springbok. And a tortoise. Jislaaik, this hunting business is fun!

What did you get? Must have been a lot because you have more bigger guns. I only had a pomp-action shotgun. Gives the lions a big skrik but doesn’t actually kill them. Which is a pity. I wanted to have a whole bunch of lion heads on the wall behind my bar.

Maybe I will put one of the hippos there. I can chop out his top teeth and stick a couple of those awesome tot dispensers from Makro in their place. Maybe also make his mouth big, like he is yawning, and then keep the bottles in there. Don’t steal my idea, hey!

So, ja. I just wanted to send commiserations. I know what it feels like to have your family turn on you. My father only reads Shakespeare and when I started writing for the Sunday Times he said he didn’t have a son any more and my mother died of shame.

I can’t understand why your family would stab you in the back, especially when they have so many guns. Sorry, boet, that was a bad joke. There is a time for stabbing and there is a time for shooting. There is also a time for drinking. And sleeping.

You were doing the right thing when you told those Bolshevik scribblers in Britain that Oscar needed guns because the ANC government had failed to protect white people. I was surprised your boy wasn’t acquitted straight afterwards. I bet you thought the family would hold a moerse braai in your honour, with sperm whale on a spit and a crocodile on the coals and enough brandy to kill the Taliban.

Instead, the family thinks you are actually harming Oscar’s case. What? I have never heard such radical propaganda in my life. It’s like some kind of communist plot they are busy with.

If the ANC cared about white people for real, they would form a special task force to sit with us in our homes and escort us to and from our places of work. They would also give us our own province, although some say this has already happened in the Western Cape. And maybe our own beaches. And restaurants.

White people have special needs. You only have to look at us and listen to us to know that. Minorities are rare things that must be protected. It is even written there in the Convention on International whatwhat for Endangered Species that the government has signed.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I heard your brother, Arnold, telling everyone that your interview was not approved by the family’s media liaison team. Your own brother. Sies, man. Did they even tell you the family had a media liaison team?

People like you and me, Henke, we don’t mess about with liaison teams. For a start, liaison is a foreign word. I reckon Portuguese. That’s how it starts. The next thing you know, you can’t go for a kak without getting approval from the family ablution team based in Lisbon.

Arnold is your brother. I can’t tell if he is older or younger. You people all look alike to me. You need to discipline him as Abraham disciplined his son in the Jesus time. Arnold needs to be reminded that we are God’s chosen people. If Abraham had said he would check with the family liaison team and get back to Him, God would have just sommer given him one smote-klap right there.

Ja, I don’t know about Arnold, hey. If your family owns 55 guns, you can’t tell those drunken liberal whores in the media that they are used purely for sport and hunting. It makes Oscar sound like he thought a gemsbok was in the toilet.

It also sounds like something a mad English woman would say. Like the Queen, maybe. “We only bring out the guns when the horses and hounds are gathered for an afternoon frolic with old foxy-woxie.”

I don’t know what Arnold means by sport. When I think of sport, I don’t think of guns. I think of rugby and sex. Often at the same time. I can be watching the Bulls play the Sharks and suddenly I will want to fornicate. Does this happen to you?

What Arnold should have said was that the 12 big guns were for hunting, the 42 small guns were for self-defence and the pellet gun was for getting rid of Jehovah’s Witnesses on a Saturday afternoon if there was a game on. Then we would have believed him.

What if an intruder broke into Arnold’s house? I can see it now. “Go away,” he would shout. “I have guns but I can’t use them because they are purely for sport and hunting. Go away or I will scream.”

When Arnold said your interview doesn’t represent the views of Oscar or the rest of the family, you must have felt like that oke in the Bible who was cast into the wilderness with nothing but a technicolour dreamcoat and a bagful of fish. Can’t remember his name.

Point is, you have been sold down the river for twenty pieces of silver. On the upside, you run a sulphate mine. I first experienced sulphate in London many years ago. Wow. I didn’t stop talking for three days. No wonder you’re shooting your mouth off, pardon my French.

And now you have gone and upset the ANC. Instead of them agreeing to provide white people with their own private army, spokesman Jackson Mthembu said your statement was a racist slur. That’s rich. If there is one person in this country who knows about slurring, it’s Jackson.

I can understand why Oscar might be anxious. What if the judge is an ANC man? There are a lot of them about these days. He might get life just for babysitting your .38-caliber ammunition. I suppose with all those guns, you wouldn’t have room in your house for the bullets as well. You should build a granny cottage.

Anyway. Good luck with the family. If they throw you out, you can come live by me. Bring your guns, if you like. Or you can just sleep with my shotgun. It has a very big barrel. You will like it.

Shootin’ From The Hip With Dead-Eye Dickhead

If your husband or boyfriend goes shopping and comes home with, say, a slow cooker, you stand a chance of getting supper. If, on the other hand, he comes home with a gun, you stand a chance of getting shot.

Me, I’d rather take my chances with a slow cooker type of guy any time. Not that guys are my thing. No, really. They aren’t. I swear.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the idea of guns. I like the idea of twitching my index finger and a split second later, 300m away, a paedophile’s head explodes like a pumpkin. Not that pumpkins explode. Although it’s not impossible. Perhaps exploding pumpkins are the Pentagon’s new secret weapon in the war on terror. Cheaper than drones but slower and not as manoeuverable.

Speaking for myself, because nobody else will let me speak for them, I would prefer to see a situation where we returned to throwing rocks at one another.

Our penchant for resolving disputes through the hurling of projectiles began two hundred thousand years ago when we evolved into Homo sapiens. Or, as the lunatic fringe would have it, six thousand years ago when an invisible policeman made a man from dust and a woman from the dude’s spare rib.

Sure, I’ve thought about getting a gun at different points in my life. I grew up around guns. No, wait. Those weren’t guns. I don’t know what the hell they were, but I still see their rat-like faces grinning at me when I close my eyes at night.

My father had a gun. Two guns. He was known as Tommy “Two-Guns” Trovato. No, he wasn’t. His name isn’t even Tommy. I don’t know why I said that. But he did have two guns.

One was a .22 rifle and the other a Walther PPK. He told me it was the same gun James Bond used. So when he first invited me to join him on a shoot, I almost wet myself with excitement.

Would the girls have names like Pussy Galore? I hoped so. I also hoped they would be gentle with me. Even though I was big for my age, I was still only nine.

The shoot turned out to be three Castle beer cans against a sand dune near the mouth of the Umgeni River. He hadn’t brought the rifle because he thought me too weak to lift it. I still am.

“Here,” he said, thrusting the Walther PPK into my tiny hand. “Pretend those cans are Soviet troops trying to outflank the German army at the battle of Stalingrad.” He’s a bit of a Nazi at heart. But then, deep down, aren’t we all?

I pulled the trigger and the metal beast barked and bucked, almost breaking my delicate wrist. It felt good. Not because I was shooting, but because it was such an exhilarating example of cause and effect.

Pull on this little thing and, instantaneously, something wild and inexplicable happens. It’s why boys love magic. It’s also why they love masturbating.

“Stand closer,” he said. I kept missing. It was ridiculous. I was wasting the entire month’s food budget on ammunition but my father wouldn’t let me stop.

“Squeeze the trigger, don’t pull it!” he shouted, steadying my grip. “Let’s try a bit closer.”

With the barrel eventually resting lightly against the can, I pulled the trigger. This wasn’t target practice. It was an execution. He never took me shooting again.

Years later, I redeemed myself by killing half a million FAPLA troops while parachuting from a burning helicopter and then, riding down the Kunene River on the back of a crocodile, I drove the Cubans out of Angola and brought the National Party government to the negotiating table. You can thank me later.

You know what I really like? Knives. Throw a gun at someone and you’ll just make him angrier. But throw a knife and there’s a chance he will think you’re some kind of Triad-trained knife-fighter and take cover, giving you time to run away and hide.

Also, knives are shiny. I like shiny things.

We are all capable of killing. Some, like the British royal family, do it for sport. Which is silly, really. Foxes contribute more to the economy than some of the yobbos who sponge off the welfare system.

Don’t give me that. They are not victims of circumstance. They are fat, lazy bastards. I know because I spent a fair bit of time in the UK doing jobs they didn’t want to do because the dole paid more.

We need to ban guns. Yeah, yeah. I hear you. Do that and them yellow-eyed motherfuckers are the only ones gonna be left holdin’ guns ‘coz they don’t care for no motherfuckin’ bans.

What you do, then, is ramp up the sentencing laws. Whether you’re bust for housebreaking, speeding or littering – if you’re found with a gun, you go to jail for 25 years.

We might need another 30 or 40 prisons, so build them in the Karoo. There’s nothing else going on out there. Shell can put them to work in the fracking fields.

Or don’t ban guns. Instead, the government embarks on a campaign to arm the nation.

Indigent families and the mentally handicapped qualify for state-subsidised guns. Government schools offer weapons training as part of the curriculum. Death skills, perhaps, as a counterpoint to life skills.

Bottle stores run mid-week specials. Trigger-Happy Tuesdays! Buy a .38 Special and get a bottle of Klipdrift free!

Forget about background checks. If you can tie your shoelaces, you’re eligible to own a gun. If you don’t have shoes, you will have to perform some other competency test.

You could be asked to count to ten, for instance. If you can’t get further than five, you’re fit only for a small caliber pistol. Go all the way to ten and you can have an AK-47.

Shooting someone when you’re drunk will be considered a premedicated act and no charges will be pressed.

Similarly, murder and homicide cases will not be prosecuted if the suspect uses the infallible “I-thought-you-were-a-burglar” defence.

In the interests of justice, this will apply to everyone.

For example, a bank robber shoots a security guard and is arrested. If the robber says, “I thought he was a burglar”, the police will be compelled to release him.

Let’s start by making Mshini wam our national anthem.