Tag: Guptas

A Letter to the Leader

Dear Comrade President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, Corrupter of the Weak, Don of Dubai, Capo dei Capi, Lord of the Beasts and the Fishes, Emperor of Nkandla.

Congratulations on still being on your feet. I mean that metaphorically, of course. I expect you’re probably lying down right now. And who could blame you? These are trying times and a man needs his rest. Besides, lying is your default position. I apologise. White monopoly capital made me say that. I will discipline myself this evening.

I imagine you were as surprised as anyone to learn that there’s a new book out in which you’re portrayed you as a cross between Al Capone and the leader of the 28s. I was outraged by the scurrilous parallels. For a start, Capone wore Brooks Brothers suits, Fedora hats and shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo. You wear Pending Law suits and shoes by Glenn Agliotti. I’ve never seen you in a hat. Is it because they don’t make them in butternut size? That’s headist, that is.

Also, the 28s would never have you because you don’t drink or take drugs and can’t be trusted. You don’t even have any tattoos. But that’s okay because you have your own gang with its own rules. You have to admit that The Cabinet is a bit of a lame name for a gang, but still. It’s the power you wield that counts. And let’s not forget you also have at least 350 loyal foot soldiers sitting in your safe house in Cape Town.

I won’t take up too much of your time. You’re doubtlessly very busy instituting defamation charges against one Jacques Pauw who wrote a scurrilous pack of lies in a fake ‘book’ titled The President’s Keepers, available at all reputable bookstores but selling fast so avoid the Christmas rush and get your copy now. What? Who said that? It’s almost as if Johann Rupert himself is dictating this to me. I shall undergo an exorcism right after disciplining myself.

I have never heard of an author called Pauw. He sounds foreign. Get your man Mahlobo to check him out. No, wait. You shifted Mahlobo out of state security and in to energy. It’s an obvious move as far as career paths go, if you think about it. Or not. Far be it for me to question your thinking when it comes to reshuffling your gang. I am nothing but a voter, the lowest on the food chain in a one-party democracy, and I am lucky to be alive.

So. Back to this alleged book. Pauw, by all accounts a fifth columnist from the fourth estate, claims that for the first four months of your presidency you were on the payroll of your friend Roy Moodley’s security company for R1-million a month, which, after tax, came to R1-million a month. So what? Everybody moonlights once in a while. Security guard wouldn’t be my first choice, but each to his own. Your day job only pays R250 000 a month. Nobody can live on that. Well, I suppose I could if I cut down on drinking during the week, but nobody with four wives and 22 children can live on that.

Pauw’s so-called book also claims that you never submitted tax returns for at least the first five years of your presidency and then put all your pawns in charge of SARS so you’d never have to cough up. If this is true, you have the wardens on Robben Island to thank. They allowed you to play chess, did they not? A harmless board game that teaches strategy. What could possibly go wrong?

Aren’t you glad you don’t live in America where prosecutors aren’t afraid to do their job? The FBI has just indicted Paul Manafort, one of Donald Trump’s former henchmen, merely because he took out a home loan and then mischievously spent some of it on buying another property. Imagine what they’d do to you?

That was a very smart move putting Shaun Abrahams in charge of the NPA. You should probably give him some sort of medal when all this is over. How about the Order of Medusozoa or, in terms that the uneducated can understand, the Order of the Jellyfish. If you prefer, there are many other spineless wonders to choose from.

By the way, your man Gigaba is doing a splendid job of keeping the wolves from your door. One thing mystifies me, though. What’s he talking about when he says we can’t afford a nuclear energy programme? Didn’t he get the memo from Moscow?

His medium-term budget, however, was a master class in deflection. By taking an unprecedented stab at the truth, your flak-catcher managed to distract attention away from you, allowing you to continue working on your retirement plans unhindered.

The ratings agencies seemed their usual gloomy selves after his speech, though. The aptly named Moody’s said the mini budget signalled “a marked credit-negative departure from earlier fiscal consolidation efforts”. What does this even mean? It’s like some kind of weird word salad. Ignore them. Oh, right. Sorry. To ignore and deny are policy mainstays that continue to serve you well.

Thing is, denials can get a bit stale over time. Taxpayers want to be kept entertained by increasingly outrageous claims of ignorance and innocence. That’s why it was such a refreshing change to have you reject instead of simply deny the slanderous filth in Pauw’s bestseller. Well, you didn’t reject all the allegations. Just the ones that dealt with your tax affairs. That’s the most important one, I suppose. It’s what brought Capone down. Then again, he didn’t have the cops, prosecutors and taxman in his pocket.

Your auditor-general appears to have caught some kind of rare honesty bug. You might want to get the exterminators in. He said this week that SOEs (ATMs to you) were “regressing” as a result of inadequate controls, monitoring and oversight. Nobody needs that kind of negativity.

But it’s not all bad news. Irregular government expenditure has increased by 55% since last year. It’s now standing at a healthy R45.6-billion. This must be some kind of record. Your home province has kept the flag flying by taking two of the top three spots in the highest single contributor category. Congratulations, then, to the KZN transport department for taking first place for wasting a breathtaking R3.9-billion. Also, big up to the health department which took bronze for squandering an equally impressive R3-billion.

I hear the ex-wife’s presidential campaign is being funded by cigarette smugglers. Good for her. The country would benefit hugely if more people started smoking. Old people are a drain on the economy. More smokers, fewer old people. Nkosazana is doing South Africa a great service. Please thank her for me.

I also heard that you told the high court you’re willing to establish an enquiry into state capture before the end of the year as long as you can dictate the terms of reference and appoint the chairman. Fair enough. What about getting Comrade Judge Chris Nicholson out of retirement? If it wasn’t for him, you’d be in your thirteenth year of a fifteen-year sentence by now. In theory, anyway. I’m sure if you had been tried back in 2009, you’d have come down with a bad case of the Shaiks and been released after a month or two.

What do you think about this Peter Hain character poking his nose where it doesn’t belong? One minute he’s fighting apartheid and the next he’s trying to bring down the ANC government. Typical bloody liberal. Can’t be trusted. He’s just jealous that you have the Guptas and he doesn’t. And now he wants to destroy a bunch of banks just because they laundered a few billion rands of our taxpayer’s money. Try to get him on the payroll before he causes even more trouble.

Anyway. Must dash. Got to renew my passport in case your ex becomes president of the ANC and then the country. You couldn’t live with her so I don’t see why I should have to.

A loota continua.

Dr Ben Trovato

Whip2

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President Zuma, you have mail

Greetings, Mosholozi, in the name of our patron saint Machiavelli and all those who follow the holy gospels of perfidy and artifice.

Well done on surviving yet another attack by the running dogs of … I don’t know what. Let’s just call them running dogs. They bark a lot, chase their own tails and eventually roll over and lie there panting, trying to look cute and pathetic, hoping someone will come along and vote for them.

The opposition treats parliament as if it’s some sort of clubhouse for over-achievers. For people with a conscience. People who care. Well, it’s not. It’s the headquarters of one of the most powerful gangs in the country.

How dare these shouty arrivistes come to your headquarters and demand you get impeached? When I was small I read a book called James and the Giant Impeachment. It gave me nightmares from which I have never recovered. Nobody deserves to be treated like that.

Cape Town has for years proudly hosted the 26s, 27s, 28s, the Americans, the Mongrels, the Hard Livings and the Sexy Boys, but yours is the only gang with its headquarters in a fancy building right in the middle of the city.

Sure, at something like 243 members, yours is one of the smaller gangs in the Cape Town precinct. But what you lack in numbers you compensate for in influence. The 28s might trade in crystal meth and crack whores, but your members, oh boy, your members get to make laws! That’s pretty wild stuff, my man. I apologise. That was disrespectful. You are nobody’s man. Well, that’s not strictly true. You are Atul Gupta’s man.

You should know, though, that any man of my man is my man, too. Whoops. That sounds a bit gay. I have never forgotten the time some years back when you said, “When I was growing up, unqingili (homosexuals) could not stand in front of me.” A lot of people can’t stand in front of me, too, but that’s mainly because they are journalists who struggle to get to their feet by 11am and are back on their knees twelve hours later.

What I’m saying is that I am not gay. However, if you have changed your position, so to speak, and your gang now embraces gayness, then I am with you. Not physically, of course. I lack the stamina to compete with your sturdily built wives. But if you need me to pay special attention to one of your top people, I shall grin and bare it for the cause of the national democratic revolution. And when I say top people, I obviously mean the top six. I am not a racist but I think I might be a bit classist.

Given a choice, I would rather not have to perform Catholic ministrations upon Gwede Mantashe or Squirrel Ramaphosa. They are hefty men and, despite my advanced age, I have managed to retain my snake-like hips and would prefer them not to be crushed.

Jessie Duarte frightens me, not least because she reminds me of a Lebanese biker who almost snapped my spine in a street fight 20 years ago.

And Baleka Mbete, your fighting general, is out of the question because she doesn’t recognise anyone these days and I fear that in mid-coitus she might mistake me for Steve Hofmeyr and sink her fangs into my throat.

That leaves Zweli Mkhize. He’s a bit of a dark horse, which I might rather fancy if it weren’t for his … I beg your pardon, Brother Leader. This was not what I wanted to write about. Things got away from me. You, of all people, know how easily this can happen. Oddly enough, the Guptas also got away. Late last night, I believe.

Do you have a name for your gang? Yes, I know the official name is the African National Congress. But it lacks the panache of, for instance, the Los Zetas or the Crisps. Wait, not the Crisps. That’s the posse who run the Simba operation. The Crips. And their rivals, the Bloods. Awesome names, awesome people.

Acronyms, like ANC, are not that popular in the field of organised crime. Unless, of course, you’re the IMF, a guileful gang specialising in high-octane extortion. How about something like the Aryan Brotherhood but for black people? I don’t know what’s the antonym for Aryan and, quite frankly, hazarding a guess is more than my job’s worth.

Shouting in parliament on Tuesday, Julius Malema, the leader of the EFF gang, called your gang Bloody Voting Cattle. It has a pastoral yet deadly ring to it. Cows and voting have always scared me and, quite frankly, as a vegetarian anarchist I want no part of either. That could be my gang name. Ben ‘Veggie-Boy’ Trovato.

“My biggest nephew has been named in the Panama Papers? Hehehe. Gwede, unleash Veggie-Boy.” Obviously I would need some sort of eco-friendly superhero outfit, possibly made from hemp with a high THC count so that I could really fly when push came to shove.

Even though everyone recognises you as the capo di tutti capi, the control you exerted over your members on Tuesday by doing nothing more than nodding off was breathtaking. Not one of them voted in favour of that treacherous business instigated by the gangbangers on the other side of the room. You can’t buy that kind of loyalty. Well, actually you can. And you have.

The Democratic Alliance is an even worse gang name than the African National Congress because nobody has ever been afraid of an alliance, apart from maybe a miscreant Francophobe sentenced to a thousand hours of French lessons at the Alliance Francaise.

As a patriot who hopes for great things for his country, but mainly for himself, I am very pleased that you refused to do what the enemy described as ‘the right thing’. Capitulation is for weaklings and quislings and maybe even ducklings.

Speaking of which, I see that Trevor Manuel – I’m not sure if you remember him – has asked you not to bother coming into work on Monday. Or any other day. He’s from the Cape Flats and knows his way around an Okapi knife, so you might want to be careful. Also, he’s the deputy chairman of Rothschild in South Africa, one of the richest gangs around. Watch his hands. He leads with his right and takes with his left. Go for his balls, if you must. He didn’t have any when he worked for you but it seems they might have grown back.

Comrade President, there is something that has been worrying me. Nothing to do with Nkandla – I have also used other people’s money to improve my quality of life and Comrade Jesus has always sent some of his angels to keep me out of prison, as he has done with you – but I read a report this week that said a rat carrying bubonic plague was found in Tembisa.

I don’t want to be alarmist, but my favourite book, the Bible, is full of plagues. I know it doesn’t sound like much of a fun read, and you’d probably be happier with something by Robin Sharma or some other monk who sold his Ferrari and bought a small country. Not that you’re a monk. Heaven forfend that rumour gets around town. You still have many more wives to collect.

Right now, rats are everywhere. The state broadcaster is infested with them. Even the Hawks, who actually eat rats, have been overrun. Some even made it all the way from Uttar Pradesh to 7 Saxonwold Drive, although they seem to have abandoned this particular sinking ship.

Funny things, plagues. They start with rats. Next thing you know, you’re waist-deep in locusts, covered in flies and choking on frogs. This is fine if you’re French but it’s not so pleasant for those of us accustomed to a certain standard of living.

The point is, have you done anything recently that might have offended God or any other of the multitude of supernatural deities? Think carefully. No? Nothing at all? Okay, then. It must be a coincidence.

Anyway, good luck for future brawls. Like you, I would also prefer disputes to be settled in the old ways – with pangas and knobkieries – but I guess we’re stuck with the courts. For now.

Viva the one-party democracy!