In an extraordinary show of solidarity with ANC President Jacob Zuma, a poll today* suggests that a huge number of white South Africans want JZ to become President of the country as soon as possible. While this may come as a surprise to many political analysts, there is a very simple explanation: pronunciation.
It seems that many white South Africans have become used to having a president who has an easily pronounceable name, like Nelson Mandela or Thabo Mbeki. The suggestion that Kgalema Motlanthe is being lined up as acting president following Mbeki’s resignation has caused widespread concern amongst paler Saffers.
My wife asked me who was replacing Mbeki and by the time I’d told her, she needed to wash her face and hair. Look, he’s a great guy and all, but I just can’t do a K followed by a G without spitting. In retrospect, I suppose it didn’t help that I was eating a boerie roll at the time.
It was originally thought that the speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, would act as stand-in President until the election next year. And that seemingly wouldn’t have been a problem for most whities:
You can just mutter the surname and then you look all knowledgeable. No-one is going to hear the difference between Mbeki and Mbete after a few beers if you say it quickly and quietly.
Other potential contenders for the post, such as Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (“Phumzile” to the whities) and Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma (“That Zuma woman”) would have caused equal difficulties for white tongues.
What we need now is for Zuma to call an election as soon as possible. And then get elected. We don’t care about his policies. Frankly, it’s just embarrassing not being able to say the name of your country’s leader without covering the everyone surrounding area in saliva.
A Zuma presidency can save us from that.
In related news, ambulance service ER24 has also made an urgent appeal to Zuma and the ANC to sort out the presidential vacuum as quickly as possible, as it was hampering their triage routine in head injury cases. Spokesperson Daniel van Wyk** explained:
When our staff attend an incident in which there has been a head injury, they assess the level of consciousness of the casualty using three simple questions: what their name is, what day is it and who the president of the country is. The current lack of a president is causing our staff difficulties and causing perfectly healthy patients to panic, as they think they are actually much more badly injured than they really are.
More later, sports fans!
* which I just made up.
** more make believe.
I’m a t-shirt, trainers and jeans kinda guy. In fact, throughout winter, you’ll find me in little else, save for socks. Undergarments are a given, obviously – it’s just too dangerous for a bloke of my dimensions not to.
In the summer, I’m more of a t-shirt, flops and shorts kinda guy, but this isn’t a post about summer.
The jeans are invariably Levis, because they’re the only ones long enough. The t-shirts are invariably one of Puma, Nike or Adidas and the trainers have been New Balance since I can remember.
I can like to be a creature of habit.
My latest pair of takkies – as they are called out here – are New Balance 606 Trail Running shoes.
New Balance 606 – I have 2 of them
Of course, I haven’t run any trails in them – they might get dirty. Oh, and because I might get dead.
Because while it quite clearly states “All Terrain” on them upon a silhouetted image of a mountain, they make me look like Bambi on ice as soon as the relative humidity rises above 8%. They’re bloody lethal.
Looking at the sole, one could quite easily believe that they would grip anything, anytime. And indeed, they will – as long as it’s not wet. I can only imagine that they were road-tested in the Sahara.
Sadly, we are still in the throes of an extremely damp Cape Town winter, which has made walking about town dangerous for me, yet somewhat amusing for passers-by whose only concern is avoiding the several hundred invisible ball-bearings that I am struggling with.
I will think long and hard before buying another pair of New Balance “All Terrain” trainers.
Assuming, that is, I live long enough to wear these ones out.
The LHC is the Large Hadron Collider, a big circular tunnel under Switzerland (and a bit of France) full of expensive electronic equipment which scientists are going to switch on tomorrow – meaning that the universe is going to end and we’re all going to die. Possibly, anyway. If things do go wrong, then Jacob Zuma may never get his day in court. Poor bugger – he’s been waiting ages!
Look, everyone’s going to be blogging about this tonight and tomorrow, so I won’t waste too much of your (increasingly) valuable time. But just to explain:
Two beams of subatomic particles called ‘hadrons’ – either protons or lead ions – will travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap. Physicists will use the LHC to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang, by colliding the two beams head-on at very high energy.
To me it sounds like a whole lot of fun. Although if the British hadron overtakes the Finnish hadron on the chicane, it will probably be disqualified.
But anyway, I’ve checked and discovered that if they do accidentally create little black holes which suck the entire galaxy into a point of singularity (or whatever), my mortgage is covered. Happy days.
So if this is goodbye, then goodbye. And thanks for reading. I’ll leave you with some very sound advice:
I can just see that this is going to be a very productive day…
Here in SA, we have big problems with HIV/AIDS. These problems are not helped in any way by our esteemed Health Minister, Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and her wacky dietary suggestions which she claims will prevent and/or cure the infection, nor by her involvement with the Rath Foundation, who claim that vitamins (which they will helpfully sell you) can stop progression of HIV into AIDS.
And who could forget the comments allegedly made by our President-in-waiting, Jacob Zuma during his rape trial that he took a shower after sex with an HIV-positive individual in order to prevent his contracting the virus? Ah… Happy days!
With these figures in authority, it’s sadly perhaps understandable that there is some confusion amongst the masses over HIV and AIDS in general. And that was illustrated by Papi Molimoeng’s letter published in The Times today:
Government should focus on jobs
The government wants us to believe that there is nothing that can be done to minimise the spread of the HIV-Aids pandemic.
Like any virus, the best way of stopping the virus is to encourage prevention.
If more people had jobs they would not be exposed to poverty.
As a result, they get bored and become infected with the virus. The health department and the government needs to make sure research scientists do their jobs, and stop pointing fingers.
I read the letter. Then I read it again. And I too became confused.
Fortunately, working as a research scientist, I rarely find myself bored. Not only will this please Papi, it seems that it will also stop me getting AIDS. Whoopie.
In fact, after having digested what (I think) Papi is trying to say, I am definitely going to encourage the prevention of me getting bored. I will also undertake not to point fingers. Unless I’m trying to indicate directions to a lost motorist or similar. It’s for my own good, after all.
And if all that doesn’t work, I’ll try eating beetroot and garlic in the shower. Messy, but worth it.
You know the problem. You’ve gone and murdered a few thousand ethnically different people and now the nanny state authories are unhappy for some reason and they want to arrest you and take you to Holland.
And we’re not talking special cafes and scantily-dressed ladies in Amsterdam – we’re talking war crimes courts in The Hague, Europe’s third most boring city behind Brussels and Brussels.
The only way to avoid arrest is to hide. By growing a big fluffy beard.
Sad & Rad: Grew facial hair to delay capture.
It won’t work forever, but it will give you an extra few years to pursue your other interests, be they hole-dwelling or alternative medicine. And it’s mobile – you carry your disguise around with you. On your face. Clever.
The trouble is that now both Saddam Hussein and Radovan Karadzic have utilised this method of concealment, the authorities know exactly what to look out for. That being, of course, big fluffy beards. Which makes you wonder – what have Gandalf and Father Christmas been up to and how long before they get arrested?
San & Gan: Possibly guilty of war crimes?
“Sorry son, Christmas is cancelled this year. Remember: Santa is on trial for ordering the slaying of 3,000 innocent muslim men. You can have your train set next year if they haven’t hanged him.”