Will king Zuma shun Thuli the witch to hide the magic beans?
SA's leaders are desperate to foil the evil plot of the enchantress Thuli Madonsela to bring about an unhappy ending, writes Haji Mohamed Dawjee.
Once upon a time in a land that is almost fictional, with roads that the "king" called better than some Malawian back street, there was a wicked but likeable (shhhh, don't tell) witch of the south and her name was Thuli Madonsela. She just also happened to be a significant presence in upholding some sense of democracy – that other almost fictional thing.
Thuli had great powers and great enemies. Her biggest enemy was the ANC, the ruling party in this land. And when I say party, I mean political, and when I say political, I mean they spent a lot of money and had a lot of parties.
The life ambition of the wicked witch of the south was to plot marvellously creative ways in which to take the party down. She would sit in her ivory tower with her crystal ball and involuntarily twirl her wand in her fingers like a drummer, even though she wasn't one. (Let's be honest: if Thuli ever were a band member, she would be a mysterious bassist – lending to the music in a major way, but physically in the background.)
So there she sat and burned flags of yellow, green and black. And in the smoke, she would see visions that would inspire her next move in her plot to completely and utterly ruin the ANC, her nemesis of choice. Because when you're that powerful, you don't have to wait for people to wrong you or the people. You don't have to wait for "kings" to build private residences in a portion of the land called Nkandla, with taxpayers' money, to the tune of R206-million. You just go after them, shouting the magic words "public protector, public protector" repeatedly.
One day (maybe it was raining or something; okay, let's say clouds were approaching in an intimidating sky while Nkandla cows grazed freely and obliviously), Thuli decided to launch what was clearly an unjustified investigation of the elaborately priced homestead. She promised she would release a report on the findings. Hopefully it would be honest. And scathing. But what's hope anyway?
Several of the party's leaders tried in desperation to conjure up conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory. Efforts to discredit the well-known witch's credibility and superpowers with regard to the report and her findings were made at least six significant times.
For example, one of the land's soothsayers, City Press, reported that the ANC would announce to its members that the report should be ignored: "Shun, shun the unfavourable. Point and wag fingers and shun. Don't forget to shun."
A predictable outcry, because obviously every single member of the ANC is extremely wise and can one-up the witch with "shun, shun, shunning" when it comes to a report that could influence the elections.
For those of you who don't know, an election is this land's version of the magic bean. Every few years, the people of this land vote and plant some of these chosen beans and hope a stalk will grow, a stalk that will raise the nation to new heights.
Also, please let's not forget how effective shunning is and how, once it's carried out, it removes all truths. If you shun, it didn't happen. Right? (No. But don't ruin it for them.)
Alas, the moment is upon us. And the witch of the south has persevered. When most in the almost fictional land will probably be glued to a channel that is playing back-to-back episodes of the South African version of a telenovela, starring a tainted athlete with a throwing-up problem, a cricket bat and soap-star legend Barry Roux, the rest of the nation will be waiting. Right there. On the edge of their seats.
"What did it say?" I hear you whisper. "What did the report say? Did the wicked witch destroy the ANC in the end, or did it get to plant its beans again? Did Rapunzel get voted into the tower again, and promise yards and yards of gold?"
First … um, mixed fairytale references there. Also, Jacob Zuma could never be Rapunzel. He knows how to let down his hair, for sure. But not in a literal way because, well, we all know he doesn't have any.
To be continued.
Haji Mohamed Dawjee is the Mail & Guardian's social media editor. Follow her @sage_of_absurd.