Lying by numbers

I am pleased to hear there is talk of putting a cap on lawyers’ fees, although I still think it’s a far better idea to put a cap in lawyers’ asses. Violence is the only language they understand. Violence and money. Most attorneys are fluent in both.

I cannot imagine anything worse than being a defence lawyer. I can barely live with my own guilt, let alone the guilt of my client. Imagine having a job in which you dress up like Batman and perjure yourself day after day.

I have, on several occasions in my life, had cause to utter the words, “I have to be in court today.” The uttering has always, without fail, been accompanied by a churning dread and a feeling that the world was about to fall out of my bottom.

Criminal lawyers say these words every day with a song in their black hearts. I am not being racist. Unlike Steve Hofmeyr, I know that black people do not actually have black hearts. They have dynamos driven by moonlight and mayhem. I am not judging, here. I wouldn’t mind one of them hearts myself.

Did you know that the word dynamo comes from the Greek word dynamis, meaning power? Hence the term ‘black power’.

Anyway. Where was I. Oh, yes. Lawyers. No. I have nothing more to say about lawyers.

Let us rather talk about numbers. The papers are full of them these days. I am not talking about the numbers on the top right-hand corner of each page. Those I can follow. It’s the big ones I am talking about. I’m fine with six fingers. Not fingers. That’s the beer talking. I am fine with six figures. The moment it clicks over, I am lost.

I cannot picture a million of anything, let alone a billion. I think the numerically challenged are not being adequately catered for.

I watched Terror Lekota speaking in parliament this week during the debate on President Zuma’s state of the nation speech. Right away I was impressed by the way he spoke almost entirely off the cuff. Here was a man who knew what he was talking about. Or knew that whatever he wrote down might be redundant by the time he flew into Cape Town. Mbhazima Shilowa was probably waiting in the parking lot ready with his own speech just in case.

Terror was his usual shouty self. Now and again he dipped into the vernacular, causing white viewers to break into a sweat.

“What the hell is he saying?”

“Probably telling the masses to rise up and slaughter us in our beds.”

“Bloody ANC.”

“Nah, he’s Cope.”

“Who the hell is Cope?”

“Dunno. Go check if the chops are ready.”

Terror lost me a bit when he started on the millions and billions that the government had squandered through corruption. He needed to break it down.

Don’t tell us that theft and tender fraud has cost the country R30-billion in the last year. We try to envisage the scale of this heinous thievery and our brains overheat, our eyes roll into the back of our heads and we fall over like fainting goats.

Rather tell us that each year, the government steals the equivalent of seventeen crates of Carling Black Label from every man, woman and child in this country. This, we can understand.

Translate corruption into beer and the streets will be jammed with people marching day and night. I volunteer for the night shift. And believe me when I say that I’m gonna get Ukrainian on their sorry asses. Who’s with me? Nobody? Really? Fine. I’ll just stay at home and get Ukrainian on my own ass.

I shan’t mention asses again in this column.

Another example of numbers that make no sense is the amount spent on celebrations, commemorations, commissions of enquiry and days of this and that.

For instance, by the time Cape Town had finished marking the death of Nelson Mandela, the city had spent R42-million. Mandela’s entire estate was worth R46-million. I have tried half closing my eyes and looking sideways at these figures, but something seems out of whack and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Do you want to know how they get away with it? By telling us that the original budget was R72-million. That’s a massive saving of R30-million, folks! Bonsella! So shut the fuck up and vote DA.

In February 2013, the then KwaZulu-Natal premier, Zweli Mkhize, appointed a commission to investigate the deaths of eight people who took part in a four-kilometre run at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg in December 2012. The run had to be completed in thirty minutes if they hoped to stand a chance of getting a job with the Road Traffic Inspectorate. Never mind that nobody in this country has ever seen a traffic cop running anywhere. Ever. The test should have been to see how long they could sit behind a bush under an umbrella.

The commission was extended to August 2014 because it couldn’t complete its work in eighteen short months. So far, it has cost taxpayers R14-million. The original budget from the treasury was R5.5-million.

The commission will eventually present current premier Senzo Mchunu with the final report. He will then forward it to the provincial legislature for debate. Can you see where this is going?

A giant mooing cow roams this country, idly browsing on our taxes, as commissioners, lawyers and politicians fight to fix their rapacious mouths to the teats of its rapidly emptying udders.

Why did these people die? Because they were desperate for work and had to run against the clock in thirty degree heat. Who is responsible? The people who made them run. There. That took all of twenty seconds to work out. I tell you what. There’s a special on common sense this week. Forget the R14-million. Give me a case of Tafel lager and you can thank me later.

It’s not just commissions and commemorations that are taking giant bites out of the fiscus, either. Do you know how much it costs to mark Women’s Day in this country? No? Nor do I. When I googled cost, women and day, I got an hourly rate. Room not included.

Fortunately, the arms deal enquiry isn’t costing us a thing. It was written into one of the offset contracts. I can’t say which one because a large German man with steel teeth will be hired to kill me. Or worse, I will be called to testify and forced under oath to pretend that the commission is serious about getting to the bottom of this filthy business.

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Lying by numbers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s