Month: April 2013

The Chicken Who Cried Fowl

I had a birthday this week. Many of you failed to wish me well. Fine. Don’t expect me to be there for you when days are dark and friends are few.

Out here on the North Coast, in the 4399, the days are darkening earlier than they are in, say, Muizenberg. And as for friends being few, I know homeless lepers with wider social circles than me. I throw cocktail parties and mingle with myself. I get to play my own music and I’m my own bouncer. I’m not saying it doesn’t turn ugly on occasion, but at least nobody calls the cops.

The thing about living in Durban is that you can’t lie in bed at night and read with your windows open. By the time you get to the second chapter, you’re covered in housebreakers, mosquitoes, feral moths with wings the size of hang-gliders and praying mantises big enough to claw your eyeballs out. That’s at night.

During the day I have to keep everything closed to prevent the monkeys and the chairman of the body corporate from getting in. I can hear something on the roof right now. It’s probably a hit man. Or a hit monkey. They charge less.

You live in a complex in the middle of the bush, that’s what you are going to get. Monkeys wanting a banana and the body corporate wanting a word about the goings-on in your unit. That’s what they call it. A unit. What unit are you in? Is your unit bigger than my unit? Residents are complaining about the state of your unit.

One of these days I’m going to do a Wee Willie Winkie and run naked through the complex, tapping at the windows and crying through the locks. I’ll show them the state of my unit, alright. I’ve been single for a long time. My unit is not a pretty sight.

Anyway. Let’s move on.

People with faces like diseased gallbladders have been complaining about a radio advert for a company that sells security gates. The type you slam shut in the nick of time, leaving the murderer to rattle the bars helplessly. He knows that if everyone had a gate like this, he would have to move to Australia. But he has seen Border Patrol and knows they will arrest him at the airport because he can’t spell Kiwirrkuua and has a packet of wine gums he didn’t declare.

The ad goes like this:

Voice 1: “What you inside for, boet?”

Voice 2: “Eish, I was so hungry. So I walk up to the kitchen by the boss’s house and grab a roast chicken. The madam, she slammed the Xpanda door in my face. No way out. That is how I ended up in jail, with no chicken. Eish.”

This has been giving me sleepless nights. If the madam shut the gate before he could get to the chicken, then surely he would have hot-wired the madam’s car and driven away. But it appears he already had the chicken in his possession when the madam shut the gate.

So we have Boet in the kitchen with the chicken. Why did he not simply leave via the front door? And if the gate was on the front door, did this house not have a back door?

What stopped Boet from giving the madam the choice of either opening the gate or having her legs broken? This is standard operating procedure for any self-respecting burglar who finds himself trapped by a cunning madam.

I can only think that Boet, weak with hunger, was shoveling wings into his face when the madam either overpowered him or the police arrived. No, it couldn’t have been the police. They would have been incapacitated by the smell of roast chicken. Boet would have had their guns in a flash while they stood around, heads lowered, drooling down their uniforms. It must have been an armed-response company.

Like the two concerned citizens who lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority, I am also outraged by the advert.

Boet is in jail for stealing a chicken. Not even a raw chicken or a wild chicken, but a chicken that madam had spent hours in the kitchen roasting. She was probably slaving over a hot stove trying to get the trimmings ready before her lawyer husband got home from a hard day of raiding his clients’ trust funds.

Boet doesn’t deserve jail. He deserves to have his hands chopped off. Yes, I know this isn’t Saudi Arabia. But over there, women aren’t allowed to drive. Is that really such a bad thing?

This country could learn a thing or two from the Saudis. For instance, three men were forcibly removed from a festival in Riyadh this week after it was deemed that women could find them irresistible.

“A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome. Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices feared female visitors could fall for them,” the Elaph newspaper reported. The world has a lot to learn from this enlightened nation.

In Britain, the cradle of civilisation, footballers have begun eating each other right there on the pitch. Borat’s people are blowing up children with pressure cookers. Hyundai has just brought out a new model. Will the atrocities never end?

On top of it all, a survey has found that 54% of young black people believe the Democratic Alliance will bring back apartheid if it wins the 2014 elections. What absolute morons. Now wonder unemployment is so high.

I’m talking about the 65% who don’t believe it.

We would be lucky if it were only apartheid that they brought back. With Helen Zille in the Union Buildings, we could expect to see concentration camps springing up around the country. Apostates will be herded together and forced to attend lectures in heavily fortified prefab classrooms. Those who are unable to concentrate will be given Ritalin.

“Repeat after me,” white men with moustaches will shout. “The DA waged an armed struggle to bring freedom to this country!”

Only 19% of whites agreed that the DA would reintroduce apartheid once in power. I don’t think so much agreed as hoped.

In other surveys this week, it was discovered that 602 166 African people speak Afrikaans at home. Of course they do. But a lot of them are speaking it in your home, not theirs.

Maak oop die safe,” is often heard. As is, “Bly stil anders sal ek … hey Boet, what the fuck is the Afrikaans for iron your face?”

See what I did there? I used racial stereotyping to get a cheap laugh. That’s why I love this country. Laughs, like lives, are dirt-cheap.

Besides, we have so many role models in government doing things at our expense that it would be silly to get our knickers in a knot over having a laugh at someone else’s expense.

A Conspiracy of Dunces

So I take the Land Rover for a service. It’s what motorists do, apparently. Sometimes I need reminding. Often it’s the vehicle that reminds me. This time, though, the car wasn’t complaining at all. It just seemed like a responsible adult thing to do.

“I’ll call you if there is anything major that needs doing,” said Sham the garage man. His name could only have been more suited to his profession if his mother had called him Scam.

It wasn’t long before my phone rang. “Heeeey my bru,” said Sham. “Big problems. Beeeeg problems. Better you come this side and all.”

My Landy was up on a hoist with his legs off. Sham walked me around the car, kicking, prodding, pulling, spitting and coughing. He pointed out all manner of widgets, doodads and fandangles that needed replacing. I nodded my head. Sometimes I shook it, but it was mostly nodding.

My level of understanding when it comes to a car’s engine is on a par with that of a nine-year-old girl. I mean no disrespect. Some of my best friends are nine-year-old girls. No, they’re not. What the hell am I saying?

Whenever I find myself in conversation with a mechanic, usually around a car with its mouth open and legs off, I start to feel a bit gay. Not Elton John gay. More Oscar Wildish. I want to bring out a lute, strum a chord and cry:

“I have no store
of gryphon-guarded gold;

Now, as before,
Bare is the shepherd’s fold.

Rubies nor pearls
Have I to gem thy throat;

Yet woodland girls have loved the shepherd’s note.”

The only thing that stops me is a fear that he may misinterpret the words.

“I don’t want your fukken pearls in my throat, okay?” he might say, before ramming a spark plug into my eye socket.

I couldn’t allow Sham to know the horrible truth. I’m talking about my lack of mechanical knowledge.

At the same time, I couldn’t pay untold thousands to repair and replace stuff that, for all I knew, wasn’t terribly important to the general functioning of the vehicle in question.

I know for certain there are things a car can do without. Shock absorbers, for one. Sure, it’ll be a bumpy ride. But so is life.

“Your brakes are shot,” he said. “Forget the brakes,” I said. “Let’s just focus on the important stuff . I need new windscreen wipers and … and …” My voice trailed off. I kicked the tyres a few times and nodded.

He kept the car for three days and charged me R11 000. Now I know why Land Rover drivers wave at one another on the road. It’s a gesture of empathy.

Anyway. Mustn’t complain. Does no good. Especially if you’re complaining to the Office of the Consumer Protector in the Western Cape and you have spent months trying to get them to act against a Supakak garage in Fish Hoek that murdered one’s beloved Hyundai. The mechanic’s incompetence was matched only by the yawning muppets who take refuge in this particular sheltered cove of Helen Zille’s government.

That’s enough about confederacies of dunces. Let’s rather talk about conspiracies.

Have you heard the story doing the rounds? The bombing of the Boston Marathon was the work of the Boston bomb squad. This was a false-flag operation aimed at putting more armed Homeland Security agents on the streets and giving the Obama administration an excuse to hunt down right-wingers, red-blooded patriots and other fun-loving fundamentalists.

This is absolute rubbish. Those bombs were placed by Xenu, ruler of the GalacticConfederacy. In the old days – 75 million years ago – Xenu brought billions of his people to Earth, stacked them around volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. The Non-Proliferation Treaty is obviously making it hard for Xenu to get his hands on weapons-grade plutonium and he has had to go back to using pressure cookers. Quite frankly, I am surprised nobody has thought to question Xenu’s representative, Tom Cruise.

While we’re on the subject, there are a few things I would like to say. I have kept my mouth shut for too long. It’s time someone told the truth and to hell with the consequences.

President Zuma? Just because he looks like one of us – well, close enough – it doesn’t mean he is. I can reveal today that he is an agent of the Lizard people. His extra cranium is not merely for decorative purposes, but is in fact a storage chamber for eggs.

When the time is right, they will hatch and thousands of lizards will crawl out of his ears and slither into the suburbs. They will be able to change our minds. Judging by the number of gekkoes on my wall, this may already be happening. No, it’s not. I take it back. None of this is happening.

And did Zuma really go to Algeria a few days ago for “bilateral talks”? Or was he reporting to his handlers on Alpha Draconis? Does Algeria even exist? Do you know anyone who has ever been there? Oh, sure. There were pictures. But there were also pictures of the “moon landing”. I rest my case.

There is something else you should know. Who is really controlling the weather? They say nature this and nature that, but we don’t know for sure. Who is behind wind, for example? It is more unpredictable than al-Qaeda and more annoying than Steve Hofmeyr.

And who is Derek van Dam? What do we know about this man? Some say he is a missionary sent here by a secret cabal of Christian superheroes. Others say he is the leader of a race of shape-shifting amphibians, similar to the Saurians but more scaly.

His mission is to take control of the Western Cape by sending waves of cold fronts to Cape Town. Soon, people there will be able to talk about nothing but the weather. That’s when he will make his move. I don’t know what happens after that. I’m more worried about the missionary bit.

Speaking of semi-aquatic vertebrates, was Margaret Thatcher a politician and nothing more? For a start, she “died” in the Ritz Hotel. Do you know what kind of people die in hotels? People like Sid Vicious, Whitney Houston, Jimi Hendrix, John Belushi and Janis Joplin, that’s who.

Her death was a false-flag operation. Don’t believe me? Ask MI5 and the CIA what really went down in the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1984. That’s two hotels, right there. And these are just the ones we know about.

Want to know something else? White people are in fact black, and vice versa. Most of us have been programmed into believing otherwise. A brave man by the name of Kobus Myburgh recently exhibited a painting in Nelspruit depicting Zuma and Mandela as white and apartheid leaders as black.

Afraid that their plan to start a race war would be exposed, alien agent Themba Mona, posing as the Mbombela council’s arts and culture head, removed the evidence and locked it away. He will undoubtedly be rewarded with a free trip to somewhere nice in the Andromeda Galaxy.

All this carnage on our roads? They want us to think these are “accidents”. But accidents don’t just happen. They are deliberately caused by a group of militant eco-warlocks on a mission to rid the planet of cars.

Trained by a Moscow-based group of vegetarian terrorists called Veganagetya, they practice mind control on taxi drivers. Tabula rasa. That’s all I’m saying.

Pretoria’s car guards work for the North Koreans and FW de Klerk has been programmed to delete people’s memories of the past. He did himself first and now can’t remember what his mission was. He had a covert meeting with his handler, John F Kennedy, at a safe house near the Camden Town tube station on Wednesday afternoon.

Indonesian pangolin smugglers? I don’t think so. Try human soul smugglers from the Airborne Division of the Great Arcturian Brotherhood. Pangolins don’t roll themselves up like that. Only human souls do. I have seen photographs.

And whales are transmitting sensitive information to the Japanese. Not all of them, obviously. Only the minkes. Humpbacks can’t be trusted. Allowing themselves to be harpooned is nothing more than a very clever cover.

Soon, the Japanese will take over the world. Well, they call themselves “Japanese” but they are really part of a pan-galactic organised crime family known as the Ngirizushi. Don’t believe me? Why do you think they are always taking pictures? That’s not tourism. That’s surveillance, my friend. They are gathering intelligence. Luckily for us, they are fighting a losing battle in South Africa.

I need a beer. Here’s to a brave new world order. Or the people who are behind it, anyway.

Dazed & Confused

Social media is giving me a headache. Literally.

After Brenda went mad and abandoned me last year, a loyal fan of my “work” tracked me down and insisted on comforting me in my time of need.

She comforted me over and over again until I begged for mercy. A man my age can be comforted only so much before he has to get up and stretch his legs with a brisk walk to the pub.

A week ago I went to buy the Sunday papers in Umdloti and when I got back, she was on the point of embarking on a search and rescue mission.

Maybe not so much rescue.

“You’ve been gone for two hours,” she snapped. “Where the hell have you been?” I stood there red-eyed and waterlogged. “Surfing,” I said.

I didn’t call because I didn’t have my phone. But I did have my surfboard. And there were waves.

I was busy explaining how immersion in the sea is a biological imperative for some people when she interrupted me.

“Why are you following so-and-so on Twitter?” I rubbed my salt encrusted eyeballs and took a step backwards. What? How did we go from surfing to this? She didn’t say so-and-so. She named a woman. Not even by her real name, but by her Twitter name. It was something ridiculous, like Jellybean-Moonshadow.

I remembered her. She follows me on Twitter and bought one of my books not too long ago. Out of common courtesy I followed her back.

For those of you who were raised by wolves and have never heard of Twitter, I should probably point out that following someone does not make you a stalker. Following someone, in the renegade realms of Twitter, is … ah, to hell with it. I can barely grasp the mechanics of it myself.

My caregiver, easy on the eye and a teacher by trade, had gone into my Twitter account while I was surfing. I follow 172 people and she chose to confront me about Jellybean-Moonshadow. It would have made more sense to accuse me of having a thing for Ricky Gervais. I admire him far more than I do Jellybean-Moonshadow.

I also follow the M23 Congo rebels, but it doesn’t mean I’m packing my raping boots and sneaking off to Goma.

I follow journalists, writers, atheists, satirists and Pigspotter, all of whom are doing great work but none of whom I wish to see naked. It’s the same with Jellybean-Moonshadow.

Occasionally she retweets me. This, in the eyes of the teacher, is the electronic equivalent of her sending me her panties in the post.

I would far rather deal with a Jehovah’s Witness on a Sunday morning than an angry woman repeatedly shouting, “Why are you following her?” Even though I was innocent, she made me feel like a woolly reject sloping about the suburbs in a semen-stained raincoat peering into bedroom windows and tugging at my crotch. I don’t do that sort of thing any more.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Why am I following my ex-wife?”

“Which one?” she snorted.

I suggested that, under the circumstances, a course of psychotherapy might be beneficial. There are very few women in this world who take kindly to advice of this nature. They don’t hear: “I’m only trying to help you.” All they hear is: “You’re barking mad and belong in an asylum for the criminally insane.”

Any mention of the words treatment, therapy or shrink – no matter how well intentioned – is liable to be met with a reaction that does little to dispel one’s original suspicions.

When that didn’t work, I suggested we spend a few days apart. It was the only way I stood a chance of finishing the Sunday papers.

If a woman thinks spending time apart is a good idea, she wants to be the one to suggest it. My mentioning it first was a clear breach of protocol and therefore carried with it the implication that we either never saw each other ever again or one of us had to die a violent death right there and then. And it wasn’t going to be her.

Moving in a crablike fashion, I edged onto the verandah and sat down. I once watched a documentary in which David Attenborough advised that when confronted by an enraged animal, it was best to move very slowly and quietly to a neutral space and pretend everything was fine. Don’t make eye contact. Don’t say anything. That’s where I went wrong. I mumbled something under my breath.

“What was that?” she shouted from three rooms away. Women develop supersonic hearing when there is an argument in the offing.

“Nothing,” I said. In a flash, she was at my side. Grabbing a handful of my hair, she said: “What did you say?” I had a teacher who used to do that to me. Funny how some things never change.

I have a lot of hair to spare, but I’d rather it were cut than torn out by the roots. I knocked her hand away and went back to the newspaper.

Like most men, I would sooner emigrate to Kazakhstan than have a confrontation with a displeased woman.

My face didn’t even see the slap coming. It felt like it was delivered by Serena Williams with PMS. She followed up with an impressive combination of pinches and kicks.

She’s half my weight and twice as fast. It was like being attacked by Tinkerbell after a night of huffing angel dust with the Lost Boys.

I grabbed a plastic chair and fended her off, lion tamer style. When I reached the front door I dropped the chair and ran away, as any gentleman in my position would.

This isn’t the first time technology has left my head spinning. A few years ago, a girlfriend intercepted an sms from a previous girlfriend. It wasn’t even meant for me, but I got whacked anyway. She was a police reservist and a reformed perlemoen poacher. I’m lucky I didn’t get shot or have my eye gouged out with a tyre lever.

Right now around the world phones are going brrrr or beep or toktoktok. And men and women – but mostly women, Oscar Pistorius notwithstanding – are reacting to the sound with carefully staged disinterest.

There was a time when the words “I love you” sent a frisson of fear down the spines of men. No longer. Now, the most terrifying three words are: “Who was that?”

Why Mickey Mouse Would Make A Better President Than Jacob Zuma

Mickey is black but he has a white face. This means he stands a good chance of being accepted across the racial spectrum.

Mickey is keenly aware of the importance of personal hygiene. For a start, you will never see him without a clean pair of white gloves. He takes precautions to protect his health in other areas, too. Cheddex, the Cheddar-Flavoured Condom for Randy Rodents®, is his preferred method of contraception. Mickey does not believe that a post-coital shower eliminates the risk of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease.

Mickey has mastered the art of getting people to laugh with him instead of at him. Blessed with the ability to sing and dance at the same time, Mickey brings joy into people’s lives as opposed to striking terror into their hearts.

Mickey is an independently wealthy mouse. Worth an estimated $15-billion, Mickey never has to rely on his friends to bail him out of financial difficulties. In fact, it is usually Mickey who lends money to cash-strapped losers like Goofy and Pluto.

Mickey can be trusted implicitly. It doesn’t matter whether you are a dog, a duck or a bird, you can run out of petrol in the middle of the night and one phone call will bring Mickey rushing to your aid. But don’t ask him to lie for you, because he won’t. Don’t call him up and say: “Yo Mick, Donald here. Listen, if Daisy calls, tell her I’m sleeping over at your place tonight.”

Mickey is not a homophobe. In fact, given his predilection for skimpy red shorts, there is a very good chance that he is latently gay. He might not come out openly and condone the homosexual lifestyle, what the prominence of his position and all, but he most certainly would not describe same-sex marriages as “a disgrace to the nation and to God”. And especially not if he happened to be the guest speaker at, say, Heritage Day celebrations in KwaDukuza.

Mickey is a one-woman mouse. Apart from a brief ill-advised flirtation with Daisy Duck in 1968, he has never cheated on Minnie and would never, ever consider bringing another wife into the Mouse house.

Mickey never shows his age. Even though he was born in 1928 and stills turns up for work every day, he always looks fit, young and happy. Almost human, in fact. Just the kind of president we need.

An Open Letter To President Jacob Zuma

Dear Comrade Leader,

Last week I wrote to General Solly Shoke congratulating him on the army’s bold attempt to capture the Central African Republic as part of an ambitious plan to conquer Europe. I must apologise. That letter should have gone to you.

As commander-in-chief of our fabulous war machine, all credit must be bestowed upon your head. And, might I add, what a magnificent head it is, too. I do hope you intend donating your brain to science. It must be the size of a basketball and is surely the world’s most valuable repository of knowledge and information.

While I am always quick to shower you with general praise – by shower I mean no disrespect – today I wish to heap particular praise on your most awesome statement ever.

“The problem in South Africa is that everybody wants to run the country.”

It sounds so simple but, like many of your utterances, your words contain ineffable nuggets of wisdom that are only revealed to the very fortunate. And when I say fortunate, I mean those of us who are perpetually three sheets to the wind.

This is all the fault of the Freedom Charter. “The People Shall Govern.” Really? What the hell were they thinking? How could they not have foreseen a situation arising, say, 58 years down the line, when people would start taking it literally?

A lot of people in this country read the Bible, but you don’t see them taking the Ten Commandments literally. All that nonsense about not stealing or killing or coveting your neighbour’s ass has no place in today’s modern society. The Bible, like the Freedom Charter, was written at a time when rebellion was in the air and wine was cheaper than chips.

I have just noticed that the Freedom Charter also has Ten Demands. Was that coincidence? Perhaps the same people who wrote the Bible wrote the Freedom Charter. No, wait. That doesn’t make sense. No wonder I failed history.

If the ANC hadn’t put “The People Shall Govern” at the top of the list, you wouldn’t be saddled with this problem of everybody wanting to run the country.

Imagine if everyone started demanding a share in the country’s wealth or that they be treated equally before the law, or that there should be work, houses, security, comfort, peace and friendship for all. It would be chaos. Oh, wait.

Like the Ten Commandments, the Freedom Charter must have seemed like a good idea at the time. Both documents were overtaken by events and need to be updated. For a start, I think you need to amend the first demand. Instead of saying, “You shall have no other gods before me” … ha ha. Just kidding. Instead of saying, “The people shall govern”, rather say, “We shall govern on behalf of the people and if they do not like it they can fuck off.”

My advice is that you keep ignoring the opposition. It’s what you do best. Besides, they only represent six million voters. You don’t need them. Actually, you do need them. Get your men to round them up overnight and send them off to the Central African Republic. What we need right now is more cannon fodder. Soldiers are red-blooded patriots. Every death is a vote lost.

Three million people voted for the Democratic Alliance alone in the last election. Put them on the next boat to Bangui. Some would probably prefer to take their cars. You should let them. I rather like the image of combatants wearing floppy hats and sunscreen heading off to battle in a convoy of Volvos and Camrys, singing Kumbaya and rattling their jewellery.

Africa, as a hole, is in deep trouble and it takes a man of your caliber to save it. You are a military tactician by nature. One only has to look at the R200-million strategic security installation at your home in Nkandla to know that.

I hope you have someone competent watching your nuclear missiles. Gatsha Buthelezi wouldn’t like it if one of them accidentally took off and landed in Ulundi.

As far as our operation in the CAR goes, I think it was a smart move to relocate our base from the capital to the airport. Bangui duty free is among the best in the world. If I were a soldier, I’d far rather shop than get shot until I drop. Posthumous medals for bravery are so 1985.

I’ve just heard that we’re pulling out altogether because the African Union doesn’t recognise the rebels – or, as our defence minister would have it, reebils. Is this true? What a shame. The mission had so much promise.

A lot of nosy parkers are still asking why our troops had to die in a country that makes Swaziland look like Switzerland. I liked your answer at the memorial service for those thirteen dead soldiers. “Our servicemen died in defence of the country’s foreign policy. They died defending our commitment to the renewal of the African continent and the promotion of peace and stability.”

I must admit, I shed a tear when I heard those words. I wasn’t the only one laughing, either. The entire neighbourhood erupted in screams and cheers. Perhaps the rugby was on at the same time.

I am your biggest fan, comrade president, but you need to dial it down a bit. This isn’t Vietnam. Our foreign policy is limited to sending car guards back to the Congo. I’m surprised we even found the Central African Republic. Are you sure we weren’t meant to be promoting peace and stability in Zimbabwe and overshot?

As for the renewal of the African continent, didn’t that sweet little fantasy splutter and die with the embers of Thabo Mbeki’s pipe?

The memorial was touching, though. Every country needs images of weeping war widows to bring people together, even if they couldn’t pick out the Central African Republic on a wall map of central Africa.

Commander of the fallen soldiers, Major Stephen Jiyane, said: “They waited like tigers for my command and fought like lions until the end.” Perhaps I am being old-fashioned, but when I accidentally cost us the war during the battle of Cuito Cuanavale in 1988, my commander knew fairly well in advance that the enemy were in the area.

Perhaps the major would be more suited to working with circus animals. I can hear him speaking proudly of his new recruits, “They waited like parabats for my command …”

Replace the major with Trevor Manuel. Do you remember him? He used to be the finance minister and is now something called the minister in the presidency. You might have seen him skulking in the corridors.

Anyway, he seems to have turned rogue and is suggesting the government stops blaming apartheid for its shortcomings. He wants politicians to start taking responsibility. This is ridiculous. The man has lost his mind. Many of our public servants have made a career out of taking bribes and sick leave and it would be unfair to expect them to take responsibility as well. They only have two hands, after all.

Send Clever Trevor to the front, wherever it is this week. He grew up on the Cape Flats. Give him an Okapi knife and he will be fine.

I bet you’re pleased that war correspondents are a dying breed. Who knows what they might have uncovered in the CAR? I met one, once. He was slumped in a bar in Durban’s Point Road filing an eyewitness account of a skirmish in Mogadishu. Okay, so it was me. So what. Everyone does it these days. It’s better that way. People aren’t strong enough for the truth.

It’s important that you keep using our troops to protect your assets – I beg your pardon – our interests. There is nothing more important than money, my honourable friend. Shoprite’s Whitey Basson earned R600-million last year. Nobody would take South Africa seriously if they knew our Chief Darkie earned less than Whitey.

Have you considered art as a sideline? A German bought Brett Murray’s defaced painting of you for R120-thousand. Nkandla should have an artist-in-residence churning out depictions of the presidential love muscle. MaKhumalo could sell them in her tuck shop.

A last bit of advice from a fellow soldier of fortune.

Keep an eye on North Korea. Kim Jong-un might look like a blancmange with a bad haircut, but he has captured the world’s attention by threatening to nuke half the free world. You need to do something big. Launch a pre-dawn assault on Madrid and Spain could be ours by Tuesday.

You’re a big man and you need to start thinking big. Having twenty children might impress your fellow Africans, but it does nothing to get the attention of the Big Five. Just to be clear, I’m talking about the permanent members of the UN Security Council and not rhinos and elephants.

Hillary Clinton wrote a book called It Takes a Village. She was wrong. First, we take a village. Then we take a town, a city and finally the country. Pass it on to your commanders. Not the book. The advice.

Good luck, comrade. I have a feeling you’re going to need it.