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We have a problem here

Jeremy Gordin proposes a mutually beneficial solution to the Malema-De Villiers’ dilemma.

So here, friends, is some thinking out of the box.

On the one hand, we have Jacob G Zuma, the president of the republic, who has a problem with the Julius Malema youngster, aka Little Julie.

Ja, I know Zuma read Malema the ANC equivalent of the Riot Act – yussus, these ANC types are gentle with each other, no wonder there was not much of an armed struggle during the Struggle. In addition, Zuma promised everyone that nationalisation is merely Little Julie’s wet dream.

But Zuma’s still going to have hassles with the young fellow.

Then there’s Little Julie himself. He’s made some career-limiting pronouncements, has not endeared himself to the great SA body politic, and has only one chick on his arm, so to speak: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

So he can’t be too happy in his job at the minute.

On the other hand, or on the other foot in the mouth, so to speak, we have Peter de Villiers, the Springbok rugby coach, and his two sidekicks, Gary Glitter and Dickie-boy Muir. Now, to make a long story short – for which many readers, especially my detractors, will thank me – let’s cut to the chase.

Those three seem to be genuinely nice guys and probably are. But when it comes to the art of modern rugby, they’re all prime bozos. I mean, the collective rugby intelligence quotient (RIQ) among Messrs. De Villiers, Gold and Muir is less than my trouser leg length (in centimetres – 79).

Now what Snor De Villiers has obviously done inter alia has been to blame his two sidekicks; because, while SARU (the Seffrican rugby union) clearly doesn’t want to dump someone of colour – Bhutana Komphela, or whatever his name is, would go ape – SARU has allowed De Villiers to stay on but has recommended that he does a bit of shopping for additional deputies.

This, as you may have noticed, has become a trifle embarrassing – because now all the coaches in the country, the likes of Heyneke Meyer and Rassie “flashing lights” Erasmus, are running for cover. Of course they have contractual obligations but the main reason is that they don’t want anything to do with the Troubled Trio aka the De Villiers Disaster. 

In short, as someone or other in the movie Cool Hand Luke remarked, we have a problem here – and, as one of “my” reporters at The Sunday Independent used to tell me repeatedly, “It’s all about politics, stoopid”.

So here’s the Gordin solution to this complex political problem: Julie Malema for Bok coach.

No more “bastard” eighth men; no more “bloody agents” on the blindside flank. What’s more, his hyena financial backers could easily buy the entire All Black row – so no more problems there – and, no offence, but maybe Helen Zille would agree to come in as hooker and Atul “Guppy” Gupta, the budding newspaper baron, could take care of the baggage handling.

What do you think, my brothers? Personally, I think it’s a very elegant solution. Remember, politics is the art of the possible. Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments section below – but please no sexist, racist or anti-Boer comments.

We move on.

And, talking of Guppy Gupta, I see that he recently became a trifle tearful after a short meeting with two of Bheki Cele’s finest on a dark highway. What a girl.

Guppy my china, Africa, and South Africa in particular, and the media in Seffrica in extra-particular, is not a place for sissies. All the okes wanted was a small bribe. C’mon, Guppy, people have families to support and those fellows don’t earn in a decade what you earn in a day. For them the glass is not half-full or half-empty; it’s plain empty.

Jeez, Guppy, you had it easy. These okes once arrested me and wouldn’t even let me go home to put on my under rods – I was nabbed sans culottes – but it doesn’t help to bawl.

And it doesn’t help to threaten them with a phone call to their boss. Though, audi alteram partem, Gupta has denied making such a threat. Nothing personal, but I don’t believe him; if I had Generalissimo Cele’s phone number, I’d threaten the oinkers as well.

According to Gupta’s lawyer, the oinkers also subjected Gupta to xenophobia, telling him to go back to India. Guys, by Seffrican standards, that’s Girl Scout xenophobia. You don’t want to try our adult variety, trust me.

The story gets better, by the way. According to brother Ajay, Atul was given a dirty glass from which to drink water at the police station – “further proof that the police wanted to humiliate him”.

Listen, he was lucky to be given a glass at all. That it was grubby was not personal; it’s just the way we do things in the “justice system” around here. Why should a Gupta receive better treatment than anyone else?

Gupta said that, following his ordeal, he “felt mentally broken”. Oh c’mon man. You had a minor hiccup with the fuzz. You weren’t “mentally broken” or even traumatized. Wait till you see how much boodle New Age is going to siphon from your account. Then you’re going to know all about “broken”. Or wait till you’re forced to go to meetings with our media bosses, local and international.

But, to change tack somewhat, though not really, my favourite story of the month – if not the year – is about the 13 police officers, including one female, who were arrested and held following the escape attempt by some prisoners at the South Gauteng High Court.

The officers, who were initially blamed for conniving with the prisoners (the charges were later dropped), were presumably held at Medium A, Sun City, which is where (male) ATDs (awaiting trial detainees) are held.

They spoke of four days of “hell, humiliation and discomfort”. “Our families,” they said, “had to bring us blankets. The mattress was so thin you can’t really have a good night’s rest on it and now my whole body is sore. You can’t eat the food … it’s terrible.”

“[These police officers],” said their lawyer, “have gone through extreme trauma … being locked up in holding cells with criminals.”

Good morning, everyone. What the hell do you think the Wits Journalism Justice Project, of which I have the honour of being the director, and countless other organisations have been trying to tell everyone about the plight of ATDs for months and months?

Holding cells – especially in the big prisons – and the life of an ATD – some of whom have been in holding cells for seven years and longer – is one of the worst things that can happen to a human being in Seffrica.

Never mind a dirty glass: if you don’t go in with utensils, you don’t eat. Never mind a thin mattress; many sleep on the floor next to the toilet bowl. Never mind the trauma of meeting criminals. Rape is common. Most holding prisons are more than 100 percent over-crowded ….

But I am turning serious; it’s time to go.

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