Application for the position of Public Protector

TO: Vhonani Ramaano, Secretary of the Ad Hoc Committee to Nominate a Person for Appointment as Public Protector

FROM: Advocate Ben Trovato

 

Dear Sir,

I assume you are a sir and not a madam because I imagine the government has had quite enough of madams fannying about in the office of the public protector.
However, if you are, in fact, a woman, which you may well be considering that you hold the position of secretary, then please accept my apologies. Do not misconstrue this as an act of weakness. I am not grovelling. Do you hear me? This is one of those apologies that men utter beneath their breath as they leave the room, head held high.
I am eminently qualified for the position of public protector and you need look no further. For a start, I am a man. The smart money says the next public protector will be testicularly enhanced. Advocate Thuli Madonsela ruined it for female successors through her pig-headed independence, relentless hard work and refusal to be intimidated.
I can assure you, sir/madam, that I have the balls to be bought many times over.
If, by some act of gross competence, the ANC has not rigged the process and is looking for someone with feminine qualities as well as a backbone, then I am prepared to undergo hormone treatment and develop a firm set of principles. Both scenarios, though, seem unlikely.
Justice is often portrayed as a blindfolded lady holding a sword in one hand and scales in the other. But ask yourself one simple question. Who blindfolded her? A man. Who made the sword? A man. The scales are irrelevant since they represent the weighing of ingredients of a recipe and have nothing to do with the law.
When I am public protector, my first act will be to create a new figure representing justice. It will be based on me, obviously. I don’t care what Lady Justice got up to in her private time, but I won’t be needing a blindfold.
Justice is not blind. You know who is blind? Blind people. None of whom, I might add, are judges or magistrates. Is this blind prejudice? Probably.
It doesn’t matter. Unlike Thuli, I will not bother myself with matters of prejudice when I am public protector. Prejudice is healthy.
Instead of a sword, I would like a Kalashnikov. Swords are gay. When it comes to the brisk dispensing of justice, you can’t go wrong with an AK-47. I don’t mind keeping the scales as long as people understand that they represent the weighing of marijuana and not flour.
On closer scrutiny of your advertisement, I discovered that my office is established in terms of something called Chapter 9 of the constitution. This is unacceptable. It’s no wonder people don’t take the public protector seriously. The only book anyone in this country has ever read beyond chapter 1 is Fifty Shades of Grey. Either we sex up my responsibilities or we move me to the front of the constitution.
The Bill of Rights, for heaven’s sake, comes in at Chapter 2. The only Bill South Africans have heard of is married to Hillary.
I see one of the requirements is that the applicant be a judge or an advocate. Well, you’re in luck. I am quick to judge all sorts of things. Several times a day, I use the phrase, “I’ll be the judge of that.”
Furthermore, I am an advocate. Of all sorts of things. For instance, I advocate the use of recreational drugs and violence against violent people.
I also know many legalistic phrases such as “habeus porpoise” which is Latin for the right to be free like a dolphin. Let me know if you want more examples.
Apparently, I must also be a “fit and proper person”. What the hell does this even mean? I can tell you right now that I am not fit. When I sat down to write this, naked, my belly unfurled like a landslide, crushing entire communities of bacteria nestled in my pubes. I could almost hear the screams. It was horrible. I had to chain-drink a six-pack just to steady my nerves.
I don’t understand why the public protector has to be fit. Unless, of course, you mean in the British yobbo sense of the word. As in, “Phwoar! Look at her. She’s well fit.”
In that case, yes, Thuli is rather fit. Nice smile. Soft voice. But that’s women for you, innit? They start off all giggles and whispers but give it a couple of years and they’re melting your eyeballs with their voice.
As for the other thing, I can assure you that I am a proper person. What else could I be? A man with the hindquarters of a kangaroo? A three-legged homunculus with the face of a chicken? Don’t be ridiculous.
I understand that I am to be appointed by the president on the recommendation of Parliament.
This works well for me. The ANC, with its majority, has shown that it brooks no interference in how the legislative branch of government conducts itself.
Democracy comes in many guises and we must be prepared to fight this insidious evil wherever it rears its ugly head. I don’t know how Thuli slipped through, but I’m willing to bet the voting cattle won’t make the same mistake this time around.
I know the job is a poisoned chalice and I don’t care. I have been married twice. Poisoned chalices and I go back. I also don’t give a damn what breed of unprincipled boot-licking freeloaders endorse me.
Although I was trained as a journalist, my years of worrying about integrity and ethics are behind me. All I care about now is money.
I am prepared to come to work five days a week, but this might not be in everyone’s best interests. Do you understand what I’m saying here? Let me spell it out in case you’re a bit slow. The more time I spend in the office, the more chance there is that I will be forced to investigate Someone Important. Perhaps even someone who occupies the Ovaltine Office.
In other words, it would be better for all concerned if I stayed at home. And when I say home, I mean travelling around the Caribbean with no way of being contacted. Should this not be an option, I suppose I could pop in two or three days a week. I am not a morning person, so this will be restricted to afternoons.
Quite frankly, the workload scares me. Thuli says there is a problem in this country and it’s getting worse. More and more people are coming forward with complaints about corruption.
I will do what I can to quash these complaints. If that doesn’t work, I know people who can quash the complainants themselves. This will be for your account, not mine.
We will also need to review my seven-year term of office. I am not a rusher. I have spent several seven-year periods in my life accomplishing very little. I prefer to lie down and think. And laugh. And, I suppose, drink. But they all go together, do they not? Think, drink and laugh. This is what god really meant when he talked about the Holy Trinity.
We might have to change the designation, too. The name “public protector” is wide open to misinterpretation. The last thing we want is ordinary people thinking that my job is to protect them. Protect from what? Have you seen ordinary people? They are appalling, with their tatty children and outstretched hands, always wanting electricity and jobs and flushing toilets and teachers with diplomas.
The public protector shouldn’t have to protect people. Guns protect people.
The advertisement clearly states that I will have the power to investigate shenanigans in any sphere of government and “take appropriate remedial action”. Remedial action might, I should warn you, involve emigrating.
One can, after all, only take so much.

 

Real feminists stand by their men

Dear ANC Women’s League,

I apologise for addressing you as a league and not as an individual. Women are so much more than mere leagues these days. My non-sexist sensibilities are telling me – well, shrieking at me, really – that it would be highly inappropriate to continue referring to you as some sort of collective rather than a warm flesh and hot-blooded woman with big … I beg your pardon. That’s the medication talking.

My point is that I cannot find a name by which to address you. My limited capacity for research unearthed Lilian Ngoyi, although she appears to be more of a fisheries patrol vessel than a leader of sorts, so I shall call you Mary after one of my heroes. I’m not talking about the Mary who had a little lamb, although that was certainly a biological feat of note, but rather Queen Mary I of England. She got the nickname Bloody Mary after waging a brutal campaign against prostitutes. It’s my favourite morning-after drink. They might have been Protestants.

Anyway. Enough of that. I am writing to congratulate you for so resolutely standing by your man, Jacob Zuma. I have known women, biblically and otherwise, who do not seem to understand this concept at all. When the legendary women’s rights activist Tammy Wynette released her seminal protest anthem, Stand By Your Man, in 1968 in support of real men like Charles Manson and Ted Kaczynski, we applauded her. We sang along and danced and fought like lions, then went home to our wives and god help them if dinner wasn’t ready. Just kidding. Not really.

I see you have been very busy issuing statements. Well done, Mary. I like a woman who can make a statement. In the old days, women were only good for making fashion statements. Sometimes they made fashion faux pas, but we forgave them. Or not. I have a friend who said your statements are a faux pas. Ignore him. He is one of those men who think women should automatically defend truth and justice. This should be rejected for the sexist filth it is. Women are nothing more than men without willies and they are entitled to act accordingly without being judged as traitors to their gender. Or, for that matter, their country.

A long queue is developing for the moral high ground and, much like you, I cannot abide queues. Especially when they come stacked with shiny eyed opportunists pretending they’re not desperate to suck on the hind tit of … whoops. Sorry about that. I was talking fiscal rather than physical. Let’s just move on.

You say you are critical of the Public Protector but respect her office? I know what you mean. I have worked for unimaginable arseholes over the years, but I have always been humbled by their offices. The counterfeit oil paintings, the crystal dolphins, the coke chopping boards made of Burmese teak. And while I was quite prepared to cut their throats during the tea break, you showed admirable restraint by demanding “a more objective and less populist person who will campaign against government and its people but defend principles of the structures”. Would those be ANC structures? Viva objectivity.

Quite frankly, the structures seem a bit wobbly right now, Mary. What the hell is wrong with the Gauteng branch that they want Mr Big to resign on the spurious grounds that he gives the appearance of being a semi-literate, corrupt scumbag dragging South Africa to the brink of disaster? Are they on drugs? I heard the Nigerians were bringing in some kind of truth serum. If that’s true, then Paul Mashatile seems to have made an early start.

Can you believe that the Public Protector said you should rather focus on fighting for gender equality and inclusive development? What the hell does that even mean? She also said “women should be fighting to make sure that South Africa was advancing everyone, because when the state fails, it’s women who pick up the burden”. This is a pack of lies and she ought to be jailed at once. I have had two wives and several girlfriends and the only thing any of them ever picked up was a knife or a bottle of gin. Sometimes both.

To be honest, Thuli Madonsela doesn’t bother me as much as she does you. Sure, she talks a little slowly for my liking, but she has the eyelashes of a camel and that’s all that really matters in these days of miracles and wonder.

In your statement on Wednesday you said you would “lead at the front to protect the ANC”. I like it. Everyone knows that Germany only lost the war because they sent men to the front. And let us not even speak of the Russians. You, Mary, have a weapon that men don’t have. I can’t imagine how and where you would use it to protect the ANC, but I’m sure you will find a way.

“For how long should we keep quiet?” you asked. I didn’t know the answer so I asked my so-called friend Ted. He said, “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned. Only then will we realise that one cannot eat money.”

I deployed a stranglehold I learnt in the army and accused him of perpetuating a quite possibly fictitious Red Indian saying. He accused me of using outdated racist terminology and kneed me in the nuts. I was incapable of speech for an hour or two, something you wouldn’t have experienced in your life.

You also took the whip to ABSA, Anton Rupert, Trevor Manuel and his squeeze Maria Ramos, Thabo Mbeki, the Rothschilds, Barclays Bank, the Oppenheimers, the World Bank and the Easter Rabbit. Maybe not so much the rabbit.

Hang on. You’re not Mary at all. You’re someone called Meokgo Matuba. I can’t say I have ever heard of you. This is not my fault, even though I am a white man. You have been very quiet since getting the position. Well done. I like women who keep a low profile. The world doesn’t need more Angela Merkels or Margaret Thatchers, that’s for sure.

Bits of your statement are right up there with Martin Luther whathisname’s speech about a dream he once had. “We have forgiven our leader, Comrade President Jacob Zuma. We will not be shaken by songs of disrepute, clatter of confusion, misinformed quotes by the mainstream media, and its originators, false religious prophets and veterans who have been fed to their stomachs by our former oppressors. Our people are most welcome and liberated to derive their opinion, but we urge all not to be hasty, but rather search within the deepest of secrets to unravel the truth.”

Are these your own words or did you hire Thamsanqa Jantjie to translate from the original? It doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you continue defending men at all costs. By men I obviously mean one man in particular. The mother of all patriarchs is a man who stands head and shoulders above other men, thanks to all the lawyers and cadres who moved in to break his fall when the Guptas ran away.

Listen, please don’t get involved in the uranium business. It’s very unladylike. If you really have a thing for mining, go for diamonds. They’re a girl’s best friend. Well, Zuma is a girl’s best friend. Then diamonds. And maybe a contract to build nuclear power stations.

So, anyway. All this fuss just because the Constitutional Court found that the president violated his mandate. So what? Boys will be boys. You can violate my mandate any day, baby.