Tag: South Africa

A Letter to Kallie Kriel, Caucasian-in-Chief of AfriForum

Hello Oom Kallie. How is it going with Oom? Is it okay with Oom if I call Oom Oom? I believe it is a mark of respect in our culture, although if someone calls me Oom I want to punch him in the mouth. Maybe there is something wrong with us. When I say us, I mean we English-speakers. Not we white people. There is nothing wrong with white people. This is a well-known fact. Even scientists have proven that God chose white people as his number one race.

I just love being white. Don’t you? It’s the best colour. You can wear anything with it and never have to worry about your broeks clashing with your hemp. By hemp I am obviously referring to the marijuana that many young white people carry around in colourful fabric bags these days. Does Oom smoke boom? I hear it is very good for the cancer and also the appetite. Is it true all the Boer generals smoked it and that is why the Third Boer War never took off? Too much sitting around chatting and laughing. Still. It’s probably a good thing otherwise we’d all be speaking Australian today.

Congratulations on your recent tour of America, a country that until recently was enemy territory for you. Now that our hero Donald Trump has made the White House white again, America can once more take its rightful place in the world. Blood and soil, Oom. Blood and soil.

You even got a meeting with the US Agency for International Aid. That would never have happened while the Kenyan antichrist was president. Did they give you money? I bet they did. You should use it to stock up on dog food. When the genocide moves from the farms to the suburbs, you are going to need lots of dogs. As you know, darkies are more scared of dogs than they are of white people. You can thank democracy for that.

I could hardly believe my ears when President Ramaphosa said you and the man who plays Chewbacca to your Han Solo, Robin to your Batman, Donkey to your Shrek, Gollum to your Frodo, Tonto to your Lone Ranger, Gromit to your … whoops. Where was I? Yes. Ramaphosa said that instead of trying to mobilise the international community against your own country, you and Ernst Roets should “come back home for inclusive dialogue”.

Sounds familiar. You probably remember better than I the day that Zulu King Dingane invited Piet Retief and some of his men around for a spot of inclusive dialogue, then shouted, “Bulalani abathagathi!” The Voortrekker leader said, “Two sugars please,” but it wasn’t the right response and they were all killed. If you don’t understand Zulu, Oom Kallie, now would be a good time to learn.

Speaking of which, you need to get your sidekick to change the title of his self-help book. Kill the Boer sounds too much like advice. South Africans take things literally, especially the illiterate ones.

I’m not sure I agree with you that the government is complicit in farm murders. Bludgeoning is heavy work and you’d be hard pressed to find a civil servant prepared to lift a finger, let alone a blunt instrument, for less than six figures and a promise of jobs for at least five members of his family.

I must admit to being a little curious about your strategy for getting the government to reverse plans and policies that might level the playing field and nudge Afrikaners off their perch as apex predators. I’m talking purely in the financial sense, here. I don’t mean Afrikaners go around biting people’s legs off, even though they do share some characteristics of that other apex predator, the great white shark. As you know, most Afrikaners have electroreceptors on their foreheads, much like the white shark has the ampullae of Lorenzini on their snouts. If you stroke them, their mouths fall open and they go into a kind of trance, rendering them quite harmless. By the time they come to their senses, some may find their land has been expropriated without compensation.

Warn your people, Oom. Warn them not to let strangers stroke them on the forehead. By strangers I think we both know who I mean. And there’s nothing more strange in this world than people who aren’t white. Am I right? Of course I am. It’s no coincidence that white rhymes with right. Those people what wrote the dictionary knew what they were doing.

Your organisation – which I’m guessing stands for Afrikaners For Umbrage – only has a couple of hundred thousand members. Even though your motto is, “Laat jou stem hoor”, which apparently means, “Let your guns sound with the roar of a thousand lions”, I can’t see how you can take us back to the good old days through a campaign of righteous Christian violence. Not with those numbers. And certainly not without the help of the police and army. They won’t even help normal people, let alone you guys.

Thing is, I have heard talk among white people, or, as some communities affectionately call us, whypeepo, of a growing discontent within the ranks. The ranks being mostly bikers, diesel mechanics and others unfamiliar with the ways of the common apostrophe. They use cryptic phrases like, “Wait. It’s coming. You will see.” I never ask what it is that’s coming, finding it safer to lower my eyes and back away slowly.

The truth is, Oom, I am a bit of a coward. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not a leftie or a liberal. I am just a simple coward. I know I should be standing shoulder to shoulder with you and Solidarity and the Suidlanders and Dan Roodt and the people who only sing the uit die diepte van ons hemelpart of the anthem at the rugby, but I also know that we are heavily outnumbered and I don’t want to have to fight my way through forty million black people only to get to Simon’s Town and find the last boat has left.

There is a good chance I am wrong because I have been married twice and know all about being wrong, but I would sleep easier at night knowing that Steve Hofmeyr and Julius Malema might one day marry were it not for their height rather than their political differences. Is that wrong? Do I need an exorcism?

This crazy dream of mine is unlikely to come true as long as you keep saying that apartheid was not a crime against humanity. I do agree with you, though. Puffy pants and rhinestone studded denim jackets were a crime against humanity. Having the barman put Pepsi instead of Coke into your brandy is a crime against humanity. But apartheid? Okay, sure. It couldn’t have been much fun not being allowed to visit the beach or a park or cinema, theatre or restaurant, but they had things we didn’t have. Lots of brothers and sisters, for a start. And they weren’t forced to go to school. Or the army. Not a bad life at all.

As you pointed out, the security forces only killed around 700 people while the National Party was running the show. Hardly a crime against humanity. On a good day, the Israelis take care of that many Palestinians before lunch.

And apartheid wasn’t our fault, either. There would have been none of that business in this beautiful country if there had been no black people to start with. But we have forgiven them for making us do the apartheid and it is time they stopped talking about it.

Actually, Oom, there’s something called the Rome Statute that recognises apartheid as a crime against humanity. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking of the marble statute of that kaalgat oke David with the little willy and wondering how a statute can recognise anything.

You and many of your followers are doubly blessed. Not only are you members of the master race but you are also beneficiaries of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. This is what the darkies must mean by white privilege.

Anyway, Oom Kallie, I must go and find my passport in case of the genocide. If the airports are closed, I will see you at the harbour.

Steve:Julius

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And with a lick of her lips, she started to strip (her moer)

Dear Mmusi Maimane, Bleeder of the Opposition.

Congratulations on finally getting rid of your mayor in Cape Town. Patricia de Lille is extremely dangerous and I’m not saying that just because she is a woman. She was born in Beaufort West, for heaven’s sake. It was only a matter of time before she started selling crack and bludgeoning councillors with her mayoral chain.

You’ve had a rough time of it lately. There will always be barbarians banging at your gate, but more worrying is the enemy that lurks within. The old Democratic Party should never have allowed the New National Party to wheel its Trojan horse into what is now your house. Not your fault. You were fresh out of school at the time. Sometimes I forget how young you are.

You addressed a rally on Freedom Day and made the rookie mistake of suggesting that white privilege was getting in the way of ending black poverty and needed to be addressed. This might have gone down with the great unwashed, but not no much with some of the senior members of your party. By senior I obviously mean white.

Your remarks struck a jarring chord with your silver-tongued shadow minister of public enterprises, Natasha Mazzone, who held up her father as an example of why not all whites were privileged. You’ll be familiar with her tweet but here it is again, just to give you one more sleepless night. “My father arrived from Naples in Italy, he was dark, and could not speak English or Afrikaans, but he was a great chef. He built himself up from nothing to make a good life for his family.”

She has a point. I remember seeing the signs along Durban’s beachfront in the 1980s, “Whites Only – No Blacks or Italians”. It was a struggle for those Napoleons, or whatever the hell people from Naples are called. A new kid appeared in my grade eight class after the second term and didn’t seem to speak any language at all. I liked him. A couple of days later the history teacher threatened to kill him if he didn’t provide his name. It was Giovanni Aquavelva or something. The teacher excused himself and ten minutes later the alarm went off and everyone ran outside into what appeared to be some sort of police ambush. The last I saw of Giovanni he was being carried off in the jaws of an Alsatian dog. He’s probably still trying to get his matric at a school in KwaMashu.

Not being able to speak English or Afrikaans clearly counted in the Mazzone patriarch’s favour. Whoever hired him and helped him on his way to becoming a great chef must’ve mistaken him for a well-tanned mute from Margate. If word had got out that he was Italian, he would have been lucky to find work at the Soshanguve Wimpy.

There seems to be a pattern here, comrade. May I call you comrade? I know the honorific is generally reserved for active members of the league of revolutionaries, but as a white man I find it prudent to call all black people ‘comrade’. Unlike AfriForum, some of us think it a bad idea to continue hammering nails into our own coffin.

But getting back to the pattern. Most of your problems seem to be caused by women. Who among us can forget Lindiwe whats-her-name who claimed to have been human trafficked into the DA and was eventually granted asylum by Harvard University?

You also tried to muzzle your predecessor, Helen Zille, who seems to have developed either a drinking problem or a thinking problem. She does have her moments of lucidity, but then gets onto Twitter and all hell breaks loose.

Then you had Dianne Kohler Barnard sharing a Facebook post by a flaming cockwomble who suggested that life in South Africa was better under the Fuhrer PW Botha.

And Phumzile van Damme resigned as the DA’s spokesperson earlier this year to spend more time “studying” and starting a “family”, which is political code for “I can’t be around these people any more”.

So, in the end, it was De Lille’s radio interview with Eusebius whats-his-face that enabled you to sever all ties with her. “I will walk away from the DA once I have cleared my name,” she said, recklessly violating section 3.5.1.2 of the party’s code of conduct.

Big mistake. Firing her on those grounds, that is. What you should have done is gone around to her house with a baseball bat and made it clear that even if she did succeed in clearing her name, she wouldn’t be walking anywhere anytime soon. You want to leave the DA? Fine. But you’re gonna have to crawl on broken legs, baby. Get Mazzone’s people to do it. They know. Then again, Mazzone and almost everyone in your party has a lot to learn about Omerta. If there’s one thing the DA could benefit from, it’s the Mafia’s code of silence. Do your people ever shut up? Even the president is with me on this.

Because nobody really knew why you wanted De Lille out so badly, the charge sheet was released this week. It seemed a bit limp, to be honest. I’ve been accused of way more serious stuff over the years and have never been asked to leave anything apart from a couple of pubs and one or two marriages.

There was this one thing, though. She had a meeting with a certain Anthony Faul in December 2012 in which he demonstrated a device that would automatically put out shack fires. According to Faul, De Lille later appeared to resent the fact that he would be making R10-million out of the deal and strongly recommended that he give her half. Stupidly, he refused and that was the end of that.

If you can prove just this one charge, Mmusi, the Patricia problem will go away. Possibly for fifteen years without the option of a fine.

People say the DA is misreading the mood of the voters. They are only half right because fifty percent of your voters are preoccupied with menstruating and menopausing and you’d be a fool to guess what kind of mood they might be in. As for the men, well, it’s hard to say. When South African men get in a mood, they don’t necessarily blame their political party and change sides. They might murder their wives and girlfriends or drag the family off to Perth, but it would take more than a palace coup in the mayoral chambers to get them to vote for the ANC.

Besides, a thundering tsunami of fresh crises and scandals will crash down on us between now and next year’s elections. The dogs will keep barking for as long as the caravans keep coming and going. It’s when the dogs fall silent that we need to start worrying.

Speaking of baying hounds, I see the media has begun turning on you almost en masse. I can’t understand it. You were their darling for years. It’s becoming increasingly clear that you need a big move, and the sooner the better.

I suggest you declare the DA a guerrilla movement and start wearing camouflaged battledress. Get yourself a pair of aviator sunglasses and a beret. No, not a beret. A top hat. Instead of going to the bush, you hole up in the coffee shops. There’s a fabulous steampunk outfit in central Cape Town called Truth. The baristas look like insouciant rebels who travel through time and, best of all, they’re black. It’s perfect for your headquarters. You could be the Jonas Savimbi of our time, but better dressed, more eloquent, clean-shaven, slimmer around the hips and, when things get tough, you reach not for an AK-47, but for a mug of gourmet home-roasted coffee. In no time at all, you’d win back the white voters you’ve lost in the past few weeks.

By the way, condolences on what President Ramaphosa did to you in parliament the other day. “We will be the first to defend Mmusi Maimane against those in his own party who deny racial inequality,” said the wily coyote. It was like handing a thirsty man a poisoned chalice. Ancient tactic, divide and conquer. Instead of simply sitting there looking forlorn, you should’ve leapt to your feet and told him in no uncertain terms where he could stick his Machiavellian strategies.

On the other hand, we all welcome a kind word when days are dark and friends are few.

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Gimme an issue …

It’s not easy, this column-writing lark.

Well, the actual writing is relatively easy. I’ve been doing it long enough not to have to pace up and down, kick the furniture and scream into the night every few minutes. I do that once just before I start and, if I’m still standing, again at the end.

The hard part is deciding what to write about. That’s a four-beer process right there. There’s no shortage of material, thanks to Twitter’s 24-hour willingness to spread its electronic butt cheeks and allow anyone off the street a glimpse into the alimentary canal of the world. It’s a modern day version of the freak show at Dickensian circuses, except it’s free. But it isn’t really. We don’t know it yet, but there’s a heavy price to be paid for having instant access to every happiness and horror this planet has to offer.

Anyway. Back to me. The difficulty lies in settling on a single issue – preferably one that won’t already have been thoroughly eviscerated by Sunday. The internet has created analysts and comedians out of everyone. It’s crowded out there. When something big happens, it’s a matter of minutes if not seconds before the ravening, babbling hordes descend, ripping and tearing, attacking and defending. I can either join the pack and try to say something that might not have already been said in a million different ways, or I can … well, there usually is no ‘or’.

Adding to the torment, I have had to borrow a laptop from a friend because the charger for my Macbook Pro stopped working a few minutes ago. I bought the charger from a Middle Eastern gentleman who runs a kiosk on the main road. I have replaced it five times in three months. I’m starting to think it might not be a genuine Apple product.

My friend’s laptop is not a Mac. It’s the other thing. It runs on Windows 7 and is loaded with Word 97. The cursor is jumpier than a kangaroo on crack and the track pad is like my ex-wife – it reacts badly to being touched. I never thought I’d hate Bill Gates for anything other than his wealth.

There is plenty to write about. For instance, Kanye West reckons the slaves who were brought to America have only themselves to blame for putting up with it for so long. If they’d read the small print in their contracts they would have seen the opt-out clause. They only have themselves to blame. So that story has been blown apart. I don’t have the stomach for it, anyway, because I’d have to mention Kanye’s wife which I have sworn never to do.

The Boy Scouts of America is changing its name after deciding to allow girls to join. This marks the beginning of the end of the world as we know it but I can’t get into it right now.

Closer to home, an idiot ex-pat from Britain got himself lightly mauled by what he thought was his pet lion. Having been hand-raised from birth, Shamba probably considered Mike Hodge a member of the pride – albeit a pretty pathetic one – and decided for whatever reason to teach him a lesson lion-style.

Hodge’s family described it as a double-tragedy. Indeed. Shamba was hand-reared and Shamba was shot. Those are the only two tragedies I can see.

The only humour in this story came from Field Marshall Floyd Shivambu who said in a tweet, “The whole thing of Caucasians callously killing our animals is out of order and unacceptable. The Brit acted stupidly & now our Lion, which responded acceptably and responsibly, is murdered! The animals, like all land, belongs to indigenous people of Africa and must be defended.” 

Someone I can usually trust suggested I write about an issue close to my heart. My thoughts turned to the great philanthropist, Lou Reed, who famously remarked on his 1978 Live: Take No Prisoners album, “Give me an issue, I’ll give you a tissue and you can wipe my ass with it.”

I imagine Lou was suffering from issue fatigue. That, and possibly too much heroin. There was a lot of it about in the late ’70s. A deeply sensitive man in his youth, Lou was clearly overwhelmed by the many issues of the day – the Vietnam war, Nixon, women’s rights, affirmative action, gay pride, mood rings, lava lamps, Sea Monkeys, pet rocks and that fucking Rubik’s cube.

When it comes to things close to my heart, clogged arteries are second only to the issues that jostle one another for attention, each crying out louder than the other, “Me! Me! Choose meeee!” until I can stand it no longer and bang my head against the floor until the voices die down.

Smoking. Now there’s an issue you can get your yellow teeth into. At some point you might even need a tissue to wipe the blood-flecked foam from your lips.

There’s a new law in the pipeline. If it gets passed, you won’t even be able to light up outside if other people are around. Cigarette vending machines will be banned and all those vaping hipsters will be treated like the vermin they are.

The government expects “push-back” from the tobacco industry. If you’re not a smoker, my advice is that you push them right back.

My mother died of lung cancer six years ago. She also had emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. A small price to pay for many happy years of smoking.

I stopped smoking a few years ago but the damage has been done. I can no longer run the 100m in under ten minutes. Thanks to the makers of Lexington, Chesterfield and Camel, I now have to drive if I want to travel that distance in a hurry.

There are few things in this world madder than repeatedly paying for something that delivers 321 dangerous chemicals directly into your lungs and blood stream without causing you to at least hallucinate or even stay awake for three days talking, laughing and having sex.

I don’t think smoking should be banned because I want to live in a world that affords people the greatest degree of freedom possible. But, as Charles Manson once said, with great freedom comes great responsibility.

When six people sit down at the table next to me and all light up at once, it’s like the death-eaters in Harry Potter have arrived. They are oblivious to my obvious signs of discomfort. One of these days I shall reach down their throats and rip out their diseased lungs, wring them into a bucket and use the tar to fill the potholes in my road.

fish

Run, Caster, Run

Imagine a brain surgeon so good at what he does that people would rather die than take their brains elsewhere to be repaired. Imagine he was in such demand that all the other brain surgeons were forced to pack up their drills and hacksaws and welding torches and become estate agents and drug fiends.

It simply wouldn’t be fair on the competition, would it? The surgeon who was putting them out of business with his massively superior skills would have to be curtailed. He could, for instance, be instructed by the Health Professions Council to conduct surgery blindfolded. By handicapping him, the other surgeons would stand a chance of getting work and making a name for themselves too.

And this is why Caster Semenya needs to be hobbled. If things carry on as they are, it won’t be long before she is the only female athlete in the 800m and 1500m events. Why would anyone else keep pitching up if they knew for certain they were going to lose?

So the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced new rules for athletes with hyperandrogenism, commonly known as Constantly Winning Syndrome. Caster will have to chemically dose herself every day to reduce the testosterone in her body if she hopes to compete in these events.

Do you know who else should take medication to lower their testosterone levels? Men, that’s who. Particularly those on the IAAF committee who can’t live with themselves knowing that a 27-year-old black woman from South Africa could kick their arses with one hand tied behind her back.

In women, hyperandrogenism can cause you to develop acne, hirsutism and a tendency to keep winning the 800m.

In men, excessive testosterone can cause you to develop a tendency to punch people in the face, order missile strikes on Syria and attempt sex with anything that isn’t fixed to the ground.

Testosterone has a direct influence on libido. If I were married to someone who spent the day winning gold medals and still insisted on ravaging me mercilessly the moment they got home, I wouldn’t complain. Especially not if they made dinner afterwards.

I would, however, object if they lay on the couch drinking beer and watching sport all evening and then, when they sobered up at 3am, expected me to roll over and take it like a man.

I should point out that in these fictional scenarios, I have no idea what gender I am.

Anyway, it’s not hyperandrogenism that provides an unfair advantage to athletes. It’s the training. If I spent all day in the gym, I could also run 1500m in under thirty minutes.

If it’s leveling the playing field the IAAF is after, then let’s ban training altogether and throw competitions open to anyone whose body mass index is higher than their IQ. It’s elitist to have only eight people in the 100m. I want to see eight thousand people turn up at the starting line. No dress code, either. Wear overalls or even nothing at all, if you like. And you can eat and drink while you run. Everyone who breaks the 10-minute barrier gets a medal.

If that’s too extreme, then at least give we non-practising athletes our own competitions. Disabled people have the Paralympics so why can’t we have the Drunkalympics? Athletes will be breathalysed at the start of each event to ensure they aren’t under the limit. For instance, if you’re participating in the 20m stagger, you’d need to have a blood-alcohol level of at least 0.2%. Coaches will be allowed to provide their athletes with tequila shooters to ensure minimum requirements are met.

Given that most novices are unconscious by 0.15%, athletes will have to train hard if they hope to avoid the embarrassment of passing out before the starter’s gun is fired.

Athletes in the headline event – the 0.5% – are required to simply turn up and make their way onto the track without assistance. The first person to stay standing for one minute, draw a diagram of a cat and not choke on his or anyone else’s vomit will be declared the winner.

If it’s unfair advantages the IAAF is worried about, then they will have to restrict the high jump to athletes who stand no taller than 1.4m in their socks. People who have been convicted of violent crimes must be encouraged to participate in the shooting and stabbing events and swimmers must make way for aquaphobics in the water events. Dressage and other equestrian events must be accessible to marijuana smugglers from Lesotho while wrestling and boxing should be open to married couples only. Golf will be restricted to residents of squatter camps and members of the 28s.

If we’re going to be interfering, why stop at medical conditions like hyperandrogenism? Indeed, why stop at athletics? What about psychiatric conditions that drive people to accumulate more wealth than they can spend in several lifetimes? Johann Rupert is worth $7-billion American and you can still find him selling cartons of Rembrandt behind the Spar on a Friday night.

Absa CEO Maria Ramos took home R37-million last year. How berserk is that? Then again, she has to work in a bank and is married to a man once feared across the Cape Flats for his mad skills with an Okapi knife so maybe she deserves it. If that were me, though, I’d work for one year and nobody would hear from me ever again.

Oh, look. I’ve just got an email from DStv. Addressed to me personally. That’s a first. “You probably think we haven’t noticed but we know you’ve stuck with us to get the best in entertainment.” It’s true. I do spend a lot of time thinking that DStv hasn’t noticed my loyalty and there are times I cry a bit when the feelings of neglect get too much. Then I brighten up when it occurs to me that they do notice when I stick with them because the moment I don’t, they cut me off.

“As a thank you for the years you’ve spent as a part of our family, we would like to give back with a special offer.” At this, I wept openly. My own family barely tolerates me and now I find out that all along I have had another family. It doesn’t matter that they never call on my birthday, invite me for Christmas dinner or help pay for my surgeries. They were there. That’s what matters. As if that’s not enough, they also want to give me something! Will this run of good fortune ever end?

“If the phone doesn’t ring and you’re having problems during the process, SMS ‘Help’ to 42480 and we’ll call you back with the exciting details.” Oh dear. My phone frequently doesn’t ring. Often for weeks at a time. At what point will I know that I am having problems with the process? Quite frankly, family, I am a little uncomfortable sending an SMS for help to an unknown number. I don’t know who might arrive. It could be the police. Or, worse, Jehovah’s Witnesses.

You seem genuinely grateful for my custom and I’m sure you will find a way to let me know about this exciting special offer. What is it? Can I guess? Is it a new channel of Japanese game shows? A DVD of the mating habits of the common periwinkle? Perhaps, if I’m really lucky, a DStv keyring at a reduced price? I can hardly wait.

12th IAAF World Athletics Championships - Day Five

Send the exorcists to Canberra

Oi! Yeah, you. Australia. I’m talking to you. What’s your problem, mate? A travel advisory? Is this because we caught your cricket blokes cheating? Seems a bit harsh.

Our gummint reckons your advisory deters Australians from visiting South Africa and tarnishes our image. If anyone’s going to tarnish our image, mate, it’ll be us. You won’t beat us at that game. We’ve been working at it for years.

The advisory warns visitors to South Africa to “exercise a high degree of caution”. That’s a mistake right there. We don’t want anyone coming over here with a view to exercising. We’re laid-back and lazy and proud of it. You don’t believe me, check our GDP. You want to exercise, go to Germany.

According to Aussie rules, “This level means that there are more or bigger risks in this location than what you would typically find in a large Australian city.” Don’t make me laugh, mate. The biggest risk in any Australian city is that the pubs will shut before you can get rat-arsed.

You warn of robberies and say that “visitors to shopping malls should remain vigilant at all times”. I fear only two things when I go to the mall. Not being able to find parking is one. The fear of being jostled is another. We have a big emerging middle class and they tend to emerge all at once on a Saturday morning. You won’t get murdered or robbed, but you might get jostled.

You also said the advisory was issued because “there is a threat of terrorism in South Africa”. Ah, come on, mate. Play fair. The last terror attack we had was when Steve Hofmeyr released a new music video. Your National Security website, on the other hand, says, “Credible intelligence, assessed by our security agencies, indicates that individuals or groups continue to possess the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia.”

Chuck in box jellyfish, wolf spiders, cone snails, tiger snakes, saltwater crocodiles and Russell Crowe and I’m starting to think we’re the ones who should be issuing a travel advisory. Perhaps we already do – if you don’t like it here, boet, we advise that you emigrate to Australia right away.

Moving on. Last week I was caught with my pants down in the first harbinger of Cape Town’s savage winter. I had expected to be back in Durban by now but something keeps coming up. Besides, I can’t find my pants. This happens more than you might think to men who live alone. This is because they are either recovering from a break-up or heading for a breakdown and tend to have a lot on their minds.

So I lit a fire with bits of milkwood I found lying around. Most of the bits were attached to the milkwood trees around my shack. Milkwoods love a good pruning and, by the look of them, these ones hadn’t been touched since Simon van der Stel stopped off in Kommetjie for a spot of raping and pillaging.

Anyway. Whatever other qualities it has, milkwood sucks as firewood. Or maybe my chimney’s blocked. Within moments of setting the wood on fire, the shack filled with dense smoke causing me to flee sans culottes, pantaloons or any other item protecting my delicate gentleman parts from hypothermia.

To the casual observer, not that there are any around here, the scene resembled one of Hieronymus Bosch’s depictions of hell. All the elements were there. Smoke, flames, naked tormented white man in a heightened state of agitation unable to reach the fridge for fear of asphyxiation. Everything but the giant blue bird sitting in an armchair swallowing a naked woman while swallows fly out of her bottom.

That this was happening on deadline made it all so much worse. I wrestled with the urge to set fire to my house and the barking dog’s house, buy a kilo of amphetamines and drive for fifty straight hours in any direction, then stop and live right there.

Then, in a moment of divine clarity, I realised this was a malignant spirit talking. Knowing that I had, through a weird set of circumstances involving fire, smoke and no pants, become possessed by the devil, or more likely one of his minor henchdemons, made it easier for me to rationalise the situation and thereby reject arson and a life on the run.

What I needed almost as much as a beer was an exorcism. I looked for a local exorcist on google but where I live, there is no salvation. We are damned. There are no priests in my village but there is a bottle store that doesn’t sell alcohol because the owner can’t afford stock. And there is no deliverance.

I wouldn’t have this problem if I lived in Rome. There are restaurants in the Campo dei Fiori that have been delivering pizzas since the Lions beat the Christians in the Colosseum Cup. As for the other thing, there are more than 400 trained exorcists in Italy alone. They do over half a million exorcisms a year.

If you suffer from demons, Ernest Simoni is the man you want on speed-dial. The 89-year-old cardinal was a big hit at the 13th annual exorcists convention in Rome this week. Seriously. It’s a thing. More than 250 exorcists from 51 countries came together to share ideas on how best to drive the devil from people whom he has possessed, or even just moved in temporarily while looking for something more permanent.

Simoni says he has come face to face with Satan hundreds of times. This says a lot for a man who has never been married. Because he lives in Albania, which is so far away that nobody even knows where it is, he can’t always make house calls. What he does do, though, is four or five exorcisms a day by phone. I imagine it’s like the reverse of telesales calls, where the person tries to plunge you into debit order hell.

Some priests criticised the cardinal’s dial-a-demon method because “the possessed person often writhes and levitates during the extraction of the devil from his or her soul”. I imagine the priest should be there to pin them down in a half-nelson and get them to submit. Given the number of exorcisms being performed, you’d think there would be more levitations on YouTube than just the one performed by Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

Simoni also performs frequent exorcisms on Albanian Muslims who want spiritual liberation from the devil because “the possessed aren’t just Catholics”. I like him, this Ernest Simoni. He doesn’t discriminate. I always thought of the devil as being a bit of a Christian, what with them believing so implicitly in his existence and all.

I wonder what the cardinal would do if he got a call from a member of the Church of Satan saying, yes, I did invite him in and I do have a pentagram tattooed on my forehead, but I’ve just become a father and need to get on with stuff that doesn’t involve sacrificing chickens on a Sunday night.

Simoni told the conference, “There was a very tall woman. It took six people to hold her down in a chair. After hours and hours of struggle, I was able to banish the evil. I cast out the demons.” I don’t know. I’ve been married twice to women who weren’t very tall at all, and I know for sure that six people would not have been able to hold them down when they were angry. They wouldn’t even have tried. They would’ve given me my money back and left. Were they full of demons? Of course they were. It’s one of the reasons I married them.

The cardinal also said that millions of people were possessed by Satan but that “when Satan hears the word of God, he is terrified”. What he seems to be saying is that Satan is a bit gay. That he doesn’t like confrontation and would rather be doing his satany stuff without anyone shouting and making a scene. I find this a bit implausible, to be honest. Ever since Satan was invented, he has been portrayed as a crimson-hued, cloven-hoofed, trident-wielding beast with horns, uglier than Donald Trump but less narcissistic. I imagine that Satan, like Patricia de Lille, is not easily terrified.

The Rome convention included seminars with titles like, “Angels and Demons in Sacred Scripture and the Teachings of the Church” and “People Who Buy Dan Brown’s Books –Mad or Possessed?”

There were also panels on African witchcraft “such as the JuJu curse”. I am not making this up. Their idea of the JuJu curse is probably different to ours, though.

Participants also heard from criminologists, medical doctors and psychologists “to help exorcists discern between genuine devil possession and mental illness or even creative criminals who claim the devil made them do it”. Ah, Hansie. You’re not alone.

Speaking of evil, the convention cost R4 400 to attend and another R3 700 if you wanted simultaneous translation from Italian.

Exorcizo deo immundissimus spiritus, indeed.

witchdoctor

Farmyard follies

So how about them farmers, eh?

I don’t know much about them because I don’t move in crop circles or have any truck with livestock, but I think it’s important to get an insight into their lives. It can’t be easy. The waking up before midday alone would kill me. And there’s always someone or something about to give birth. On the plus side, you can play your music as loud as you like and have as many dogs and guns as you want.

Wanting to learn more about what makes farmers tick without actually having to talk to one, I did the next best thing and bought a copy of Farmer’s Weekly.

There were two cows on the cover, each with a yellow tag in their ears. Something’s written on the tags. Probably their names. If I was a farmer I’d give all my animals names. How else would they know when to come for supper? And when they try to get up on the furniture, you’d need a name to shout at them.

The headline on the cover screams, “BEEF PRODUCTION”. I don’t know. It doesn’t speak to me. The sub-head reads, “Get to know your profit drivers!” I don’t know what this means but it left me feeling thoroughly disinclined to become a farmer or even pay for the magazine so I put it down my broeks and walked out.

“Get to know your cows!” would have been better. Of course, the story would then have to be about getting to know them on a personal level. Their likes and dislikes. What turns them on (probably not the milking machine). Their hopes and dreams. Where they see themselves in the next five minutes (cows don’t understand the concept of years).

Another teaser on the cover reads, “Expropriation Without Compensation”. A hot-button issue if ever there was one. It’s just a pity there wasn’t a sub-head saying, “I’ll give you my land when you take it from my cold, dead hooves.” Which wouldn’t really make sense because those cover cows, as glamorous as they might be, are quite likely by now less than the sum of their shrink-wrapped parts. I don’t eat a lot of red meat so I can look them in the eye and say, “It wasn’t me, girls.”

Inside, there’s a handy diary of upcoming workshops, including one on how to start a poultry business. Beyond getting some chickens, I don’t know what else you’d need. I’d be interested in the Growing Mushrooms at Home course. Where I live there’s a small but very vocal market for liberty cap mushrooms. Well, they’re vocal until the psilocybin kicks in. Then they’re just a happy, smiley pain the arse.

In the last week of May, the World Potato Congress is being held in Peru. It’s an ideal opportunity to bring home some South American ‘potatoes’. If you get searched at the border, tell them it’s Smash.

There a From Our Archives page where they indulge in a nostalgic journey into the past – to March 2, 1990 – with a story that starts, “The common housefly remains a significant problem in South Africa.” It wasn’t long before flies were ousted from their position by the common housebreaker.

For just R28 270, Farmer’s Weekly is offering a package to the AgriTech Show in Tel Aviv. The tour includes airfares, accommodation, a gala dinner and a visit to the occupied territories where the Israeli army will demonstrate, with the use of live ammunition, how to keep Palestinians away from the security fence. I made that last bit up. Obviously an excursion of that nature would cost extra.

There’s a piece on South Africa being slow to expand avocado orchards despite global demand outstripping supply. Apparently it’s due to a lack of breeding stock. Maybe they’ve all turned celibate. Or gay. A warning was issued that “consumer resistance would be encountered” if prices became too high. They already have. It’s time to join the Avocado Resistance Movement. We march on Woolworths at the next full moon.

A game farmer recommends paying up to R5-million for a 48-inch buffalo bull “to service the hunting market which readily pays R100-thousand for a good trophy”. If I had R5-million I’d rather buy a house on the beach than a buffalo, no matter how many hunters he services with that four-foot willy of his.

On the social page there’s a picture of four white men from Monsanto South Africa holding long- service awards. One of them is the Roundup product manager. Roundup is the brand name for a yummy chemical called glyphosate. Police helicopters in the Eastern Cape regularly spray it on marijuana crops and anyone who might be near a marijuana plant. The World Health Organisation has labelled it a “probable carcinogen”.

An article sponsored by the red meat industry says, “The increase in the value of livestock due to the drought means that it is now more profitable than ever to be a stock thief.” My first thought was, “Get in now!” It’s a mistake to tell South Africans about things that have never been more profitable. It just makes us want to finish up our beer and go out and do it.

And there’s a feature titled, “When alcohol disrupts the working day.” Farmers work hard and drink hard. It goes with the turf. And I imagine it must become a problem when you can’t get out of bed and there are several hundred pregnant sheep outside your door waiting for you to get up and declare the lambing season open. Oh, wait. There’s a sub-heading that says, “How to act when an employee is under the influence.” Personally, I’d perform a Monty Python sketch. If your workers are drunk, it’s better to entertain than antagonise them. Maybe even keep them drunk. It’s hard to do a farm murder if you’re legless and laughing.

I came across a snippet called, “Points to consider when selecting a bull.” They are almost identical to the points a woman should consider when selecting a man. For instance, “Fertility is always the number one trait.” The bulls should also be tested for performance. And you want to breed cattle that are the most profitable for you.

Oh dear. I’ve taken so long to write this that a new edition has just come out. The cover of this one is far more dramatic. It’s like the editor was abducted by aliens and replaced by someone who understands the visual impact of two male wildebeest in a clinch. They’re fighting, not hugging. If that’s the kind of filth you’re after, start your own magazine.

I wanted to end it here. I really did. The column, not my life. But then I made the mistake of flipping through the latest issue and my shattered eyeballs came to rest upon an opinion piece written by Dr Jan Venter, a well-fed man nurturing a wildly satirical chin-beard.

The headline – “The true majority must speak up to combat radicalism” – was so overladen with subtext that if it were a taxi it would be pulled over and impounded.

The first paragraph was a quote attributed to EFF leader Julius Malema. “Unlike Jesus, I don’t need a silly cross to save my people. I believe I’m the messiah of our time. I’m gonna save this nation like Jesus saved Christians. Except I’ll be able to save you without some silly cross.”

Dr Venter, a “political analyst at Aginfo”, followed this up with, “No one came forward to criticise (Malema) when he made this statement; as far as I know, no authoritative Christian pastor said a thing.”

My suspicions rose like a regiment of Zulu warriors at Blood River. No one, on the reactionary right or rabid left, had said anything about Juju claiming to be the new messiah? It seemed unlikely.

So I turned to the intergalactic oracle and punched in the quote. And there it was. Dr Venter got it from a reporter called “Patrick”. The story appeared on a website called hinnews.com on March 12. The reason no one criticised Malema for these outrageous utterances was because HE NEVER MADE THEM. I know this because anyone with basic motor skills and minimal intelligence knows that hinnews is a fake news site. Proper fake news. Not fake in the Trumpian sense.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the headline for a story written by hnnews reporter “Prince” on March 5, “Julius Malema allegedly diagnosed with severe listeriosis ailment and he is loosing more weight.”

Also, the hin part of hinnews stands for Happenings in Nigeria. Dr Venter took the clickbait like a hungry mullet.

I have consequently lost all interest in Farmer’s Bleakly, no longer wish to be a farmer, and, listing sharply to starboard, I am proceeding in a crablike fashion to bed.

BenBrand

Oy vey it’s the DJ

Dear DJ Black Coffee,

Shalom and congratulations on becoming a household name across South Africa. Thanks to your gig in Israel on the Easter weekend, even white people have heard of you now. To be honest, I always thought you were a musician. I suppose the letters DJ should have tipped me off, but it could have been your initials. Like PJ Powers.

Perhaps deeejays do consider themselves to be musicians these days. If so, I apologise. When I was a teenager, disc jockey was little more than a fancy title for the neighbourhood geek with a record collection who was sometimes persuaded, usually by threats of violence, to be in charge of the music at a house party so that everyone else could have fun without the hassle of changing the records themselves.

I imagine things are a bit more sophisticated since then, although the basic principle remains the same. You people – deejays, not black people – are like the taxi drivers of the music business. Instead of women saying, “Take me to Verulam and please don’t kill me” they say “Play some reggae or my boyfriend will kill you.

Even the music has changed. It’s all digital and electronic and you have to have an ear for it. You don’t need much of a brain, obviously, but an ear is quite important. I lack the ear, quite frankly. I always seem to miss the moment the beat drops. I don’t even notice when I drop my car keys.

Your job can’t be easy, though, even if it means putting on a clean T-shirt every day. You’re on your feet the whole time and your mission is to keep everyone happy. It’s especially important that we keep the Israelis happy, particularly the soldiers who must have enjoyed your show after being out in the field all day. Shooting Palestinians is hot and heavy work, even if they are unarmed and several hundred metres away. Soldiers are people too. There is a time for shooting and there is a time for dancing. It’s a good thing the Israeli army knows which is which or the carnage at Gan Ha-Slaim (that’s The Rocks Garden to the goyim) would have been awful.

You probably know by now that not everyone is delighted with you spreading the love among the Israelis. The ever charming and always restrained Lindiwe Zulu said in a statement this week that it was “with deep concern that the ANC has learnt of the recent visit to Israel of Mr Nkosinathi Maphumulo, popularly known as Black Coffee.”

It was with deep concern that I learnt Black Coffee is not your real name. I’m not judging. All the best people have pseudonyms. Don’t worry about the ANC, comrade. The party never once noted with anything remotely approximating deep concern that the previous president and half his cabinet were stealing money hand over fist.

I do think it’s damnably unfair of the government not to even mention that your concert was a sell-out. You sold out, Black Coffee. That’s got to count for something.

Nobody could blame you for taking to Twitter to defend yourself. Hell, if you were an Israeli you would have taken to a Merkava battle tank. Your critics are fortunate that tweets do a lot less damage than 120mm armour-piercing rounds.

“Like everyone else,” you tweeted, “I have rights and free will and no, Black Coffee is not a political party. I work as an entertainer to feed my family. To sum it up I’ll take a bullet for my family.”

Funnily enough, 18 Palestinians literally took a bullet for their families on Good Friday. It’s their own damn fault for protesting about something or other instead of entertaining people with music and maybe doing some magic tricks for the kids.

Anyone with an ounce of compassion in their hearts understands that you work as an entertainer to feed your family in much the same way that Syrian President Basha al-Assad works as a warlord to feed his family, Kim Jong-un works as a dictator to feed his family and Jacob Zuma didn’t really work but he still managed to feed his massive family. We understand.

I read somewhere that you’re worth R27-million. I don’t know how big your family is, but I do know that kids eat a lot these days. Nobody wants to see your family go hungry.

You say Black Coffee is not a political party but have you considered going into politics? Now would be the perfect time. The only place to go is up. You could have bilateral relations with the Myanmar government. Set up your decks on the northern border and give the Rohingya a rousing sendoff as they flee to Bangladesh. Or hook up with the Chinese. Play at the Yulin dog festival to raise money for organ harvesting among the Falun Gong. And there are still massive opportunities in Russia and North Korea. What about doing a Taliban tour? Or, closer to home, a benefit concert for the Freedom Front Plus? The possibilities are endless and you’d be a fool to think the world doesn’t need more people who are prepared to do anything for money.

This isn’t your first rodeo in Tel Aviv, is it? You played there in 2014. At this rate you’ll be declared an honorary Israeli in no time at all. If you’re not already circumcised, get it done soon. You wouldn’t want something as silly as a foreskin getting in the way of being granted the freedom of the city.

Back then, a centrist group of left-wing conservatives called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) South Africa asked you not to do it. Maybe you didn’t get the memo because you reportedly feigned ignorance about Israel holding 4.5 million people hostage while slowly stealing their land. It’s okay. Feigning ignorance is an old South African tradition, albeit one that is largely restricted to the white population, especially when it comes to apartheid.

I don’t know whether to call you Comrade Black or Mr Coffee. Nevertheless, I applaud you for your decision not to boycott Israel even though you boycotted the Swaziland arts festival in 2011. At the time you said, “We can’t be happy when Swazi people are suffering. We support the call to boycott the festival and I am not going.” Good for you. King Mswati is way worse than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He refuses to allow his marijuana to flow freely into South Africa, for a start. The man is a monster.

Cultural boycotts don’t work. Imagine if losers like Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Keith Richards and Jimmy Cliff hadn’t pledged in 1985 to never play Sun City while the apartheid government was in power. They’d be rich and famous today. So much for principles.

You probably know that the level-headed and not at all barking mad Lindiwe Zulu also said, “We await an opportunity to engage Black Coffee and the creative sector at large with a view to … creating common cause between all South Africans in rallying behind Palestine.”

My advice is that you tell her you’re already engaged. And what is this creative sector of which she speaks? We’re a splinter group at best. Full of jagged edges and shrapnel. The minister of arts and culture is the former minister of police, for heaven’s sake. You want funding? Come and get it, painter boy. Make my day.

Also, we can’t physically rally behind Palestine because that’s the Mediterranean sea behind Gaza and it’s full of Israeli patrol boats and anyone on the beach is liable to get shot at or blown up because at that distance nobody can tell for sure what kind of shells those Palestinian kids are busy with and I still need my legs so I can get to the bottle store on a Friday afternoon.

You’ve upset some very powerful people. You can either double down like Donald Trump and become the resident deejay at the Orania Home for the Eternally Unrepentant or change your name. How about DJ Caffè Macchiato? Black with a bit of white foam. Or DJ Kafe Shachor? That’s Hebrew for black coffee. Or move away from hot beverages altogether.

Whatever you do, though, don’t move to the ghettos of southern Tel Aviv. Netanyahu just did a big flip-flop after his rightwing homies called him out for being a schvartzer-lover. Go back to Africa or go to jail now seems to be the migrants’ only option.

Anyway. What do you care? You’re off to Ibiza for six months. Keep living la vida loca, my friend.

Mideast Israel Palestinians Ramadan