The Namibian government announced earlier this week that English will, from next year, no longer be the language of instruction from pre-primary to Grade Five. On the same day, the government strung up a banner in Windhoek’s main street reading: “Namibia celebrate 14 years of Indepence”. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Closer to home, public protector Thuli Madonsela said on Wednesday that there was no evidence the president had deliberately misled parliament. His lips were moving. What more evidence did she need?
Perhaps we should give her a break. It couldn’t have been much fun spending the last couple of years searching for kernels of culpability in that labyrinth of lies.
Right off the bat, and I do apologise for mentioning a bat at all, I found it interesting that in the 1980s, former president PW Botha spent just over R20 000 (R173 000 in today’s terms) on security upgrades at his house. This, at a time when thirty million people wanted to kill him.
President Zuma spent R200-million on security upgrades at his house and nobody wants to harm him. As far as I can ascertain, the only people who visit him at Nkandla want him to sort out disputes over who stole whose cow and whether or not he can lend them fifty bucks until the end of the month. I shouldn’t think there’s a bunch of assassins clogging up the visitors’ centre every week.
Since I partially paid for this centre, I might pop in one of these days and just sit there for a couple of hours. As a shareholder, I might even knock off a few quick laps in the fire pool, wander about the amphitheatre and spend a bit of quality time with the chickens in their magnificent five-star run that I helped pay for.
The code name for the Nkandla upgrade was Project Creep. I like it. So much more dramatic than Wouter Basson’s Project Coast. I think Project Coast might have been more expensive than Project Creep, but it was probably also a lot more fun in that Wouter’s boys got to make mandrax and ecstasy and teach Swapo prisoners how to skydive without parachutes.
The initial price tag of the Nkandla upgrades was R27-million. Then the department of public works appointed Zuma’s private architect, Minenhle Makhanye. I like a man who has his own private architect. That alone makes me want to vote for him.
Comrade Minenhle is clearly a man of taste. Why have stainless steel taps when you can have 24-carat gold? Why give your chickens grain when they can have rocks of crack made from the purest cocaine? Why give your cattle water when they can have troughs overflowing with Dom Perignon? Of course costs are going to go up by nine million percent over four years.
But Makhanye is not a greedy man. Having been given a free hand to turn two rondavels and a pig pen into a glittering palace that would have driven Kublai Khan demented with envy, he walked away with a paltry R16.5-million for himself. This noble man is the Mahatma Gandhi of South Africa. Mother Teresa with balls.
He gave so much and expected so little. If you see him standing on a street corner in designer rags, do the right thing and hire him. Allow him to turn your bachelor pad into a 15-bedroomed mansion with indoor fire pool and sweeping sea views. Even if you live in Joburg, he will bring the sea to you. All he asks in return is money.
Makhanye, the people’s architect.
The public protector found that Zuma had failed to apply his mind and was wearing two hats at the time his humble home was being transformed. I think she’s being unduly harsh, here. As a man who is on a nodding acquaintance with headgear, I have to admit that I once put a hat on my head when there was already one there. Almost instantly, I became confused and disoriented. In fact, if a girlfriend hadn’t snatched the second hat from my head, I would probably be in a mental institution today.
“What’s wrong with that guy?”
“Two-hat syndrome. Trust me, you don’t want to go near him.”
“Afraid he’ll apply his mind?”
“That’s our greatest fear, yes.”
Now there is talk of impeaching the president. I don’t like it. The word ‘impeach’ make me think of fruit, which in turn reminds me that I haven’t exercised since 1994. And even then, it wasn’t so much exercising as it was running away from an angry mob of black people. It turned out they weren’t really angry, but were simply celebrating democracy, and then I got angry for having been made to run for no good reason so I shouted at them and then they did get angry so I had to … anyway, I’m straying from the subject.
And who is behind all this talk of peaches? The DA, obviously. I’m all for a bit of parliamentary showboating, but when a motion has to be adopted by a two-thirds majority and there ain’t a snowball’s chance in hell of there being a palace coup in the ANC, let’s not fanny about.
The Public Protector said she had avoided mentioning sanctions in her report but hoped that those implicated would do the right thing. Yes, I can see this working across all forms of law enforcement.
Cop: “You broke the speed limit, went through a red light and ran over a cyclist.”
Me: “Sorry about that.”
Cop: “Well, I’m going to wag my finger at you and hope you do the right thing.”
In similar vein, she said the president should repay a portion of the cost of all those things that only a dribbling idiot would believe had anything to do with security. Zuma, sitting in front of the telly, heard this and licked his lips.
This is a man who is unable to coherently verbalise a number longer than six digits. To him, a portion means chips or ribs. Don’t give him wiggle room.
“Mmmm. Wiggle room.”
Now that the Public Protector has forced the government into a corner with only three exits, there are two strategies they can adopt. One is the buffalo horn movement. It worked for Shaka because his warriors were superbly fit. By the time Gwede Mantashe gets the troops waddling off into pincer formation, Helen Zille will be president.
The second strategy, which the ANC has opted for, is borrowed from the Boer generals. The way the party has closed ranks around the president is the same way the Boers formed a laager at Blood River. The ANC will win the Battle against Ethics and Moral Values and there shall be a public holiday known as the Day of the Vow.
“We vow to change the Constitution so that it goes straight from Chapter Eight to Chapter Ten.”
Moving on to 6.30pm on February 13, when Oscar Pistorius picked up his iPad and googled “youjizz”. Less than three hours later, he was looking at websites for second-hand Ford Rangers. What sicko would do such a thing? On the eve of Valentine’s Day and he’s looking at pictures of Ford Rangers? Do you have any idea what kind of people drive Ford Rangers? Nor do I.
Unlike Oscar, I have a confession to make. Research in my profession is vital. So I visited the youjizz website to see if it made me want to kill someone. I don’t have a gun. It would have meant hitting them repeatedly with the remains of the roast chicken in my fridge. It’s the hardest thing in the house. Well, it was until I googled … never mind.
The first thing that popped up on youjizz is a banner ad offering “Free Brutal Porn!” that can be watched on punishtube.com. Am I the only journalist to have discovered this? I doubt it.
I can barely stand the brutality of orthodox porn, so I hurriedly shut it down. Checking my emails, which are only marginally less violent, I found a piece of spam with the subject line, “Women love well hung men.”
So let’s bring back hanging. It’s the least we can do for them.