I have been intrigued by many things this past week, one of which was the headline: “JSC to grill Mogoeng.” I always thought lawyers would taste better fried up with garlic butter and a handful of roughly chopped onions, but I suppose the Judicial Service Commission knows what it’s doing. After all, they spend much of their time cooking up all sorts of wild and crazy things. Like the notion that South Africa needs more women judges. That’s just silly. This country is full of them. They’re called wives.
“I’m not drunk, honey.”
“I’ll be the judge of that!”
More interesting, though, was Julius Malema’s parody of a disciplinary hearing for bringing the ANC into disrepute which, ironically, has ended up bringing the entire country into disrepute. I’m fine with this. Being a citizen of a disreputable country means people expect so much less of you.
Ted came around early on Tuesday morning so we could catch the festivities from the start. We are both firm believers in chaos theory. The more chaos, the better. That’s the theory, anyway.
There’s nothing we like more than switching on the telly, cracking a case of beer and watching a mob of angry juvenile vulgarians running amuck. It’s much more entertaining than rugby. But not for us the denture-sucking, head-shaking murmurs of disapproval so typical of the older generation. We mute the hysterical reporters, put Jimi Hendrix on the stereo and drink heavily. We leap to our feet when things turn violent and shout words of encouragement, sometimes for the police, but mostly not. And we don’t even know where our passports are. We’re staying. This is too good to miss.
I have always loved a decent riot. Even as a child, I would stage suppertime protests by pulling one of my mother’s stockings over my head and riding my tricycle into the legs of the enemy while she was trying to cook. To this day I remain a committed opponent of organised eating.
I must say, I do like the colours of this revolution. So much brighter than anything being worn in Tripoli this season. The vigorous, optimistic tones put one in mind of an early spring. Hang on. We may be on to something here. The Prague Spring was a glorious period of reform in Czechoslovakia before Russia put the boot in. Julius Malema’s eventual seizure of the reins could have a similar theme. We might call it the Joburg Spring – a glorious period of political persecution and economic devastation. After which there will be dancing and balloons.
Tuesday wasn’t really a riot, though. It was a good laugh, but not a riot. Even the cops were having a giggle as they hid behind their Perspex shields satirically marked “Police”. Do they know we can see them through their shields? And even lip-read what they’re saying?
“Why can’t we just shoot the little bastards?”
The hairless boy wonder, it must be said, knows how to play it. Unlike that pushy young Austrian’s failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, our lad’s Shebeen Putsch in 2012 will probably be a winner. He may even write a book about his Machiavellian ascension to power. He could call it: Mein Kampf (für Ihr Geld).
When Juju’s inquisition took a short break to allow the cleaners in to mop up the blood, he chose not to join his lawyers for a ritual sacrifice on the fourth floor. Instead, he went down into the sputum-stained streets to speak to his people. He wore a black beret set at a jaunty neo-Marxist angle. Ted laughed so hard that beer spurted from every orifice in his body. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Juju and Che Guevara. Twins separated at birth. But where Che once exhorted his followers to rise up and topple the dictator Batista, Juju told his rebel army not to litter, be nice to the media and please don’t burn the flag.
“You cannot throw stones at journalists because journalists are just messengers,” he shouted. That shut Ted up. WTF? This was clearly a body double sent down to appease the rabble. The real Malema would never go from calling us counter-revolutionaries and bloody agents with rubbish in our trousers to describing us as nothing more than human carrier pigeons. Then he finished his sentence. “If you attack journalists you will lose public sympathy.” Aha. That’s our Juju, make no mistake. None of this namby-pamby “if you attack journalists you will go to jail” business.
Ted said he believes Malema has the capacity to eliminate the gap between the rich and the poor. I began slapping him to bring him to his senses but stopped when I saw he was enjoying it.
“By nationalising the mines and redistributing the land,” Ted explained, “Malema will turn the country into a gibbering basket case.” Apparently this was a good thing in Ted’s warped mind.
“Everyone will be equal because nobody will have money or a job. There will be no crime because nobody will have anything worth stealing. It’s the perfect society. Give me another beer.”
He could be right. It’s so simple that even Jacob Zuma will be able to grasp it. And he’ll be looking for things to grasp when he runs out of straws. If he hasn’t already.