Nkandla: Madonsela's great powers and enemies

Thuli Madonsela. (Lisa Skinner, M&G)

Thuli Madonsela. (Lisa Skinner, M&G)

Once upon a time in a land that is almost fictional, with roads that the "king" called better than some Malawian backstreet, 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, a ruling party in this land. And when I say party, I mean ­political, and when I say political, I mean it spent a lot of money and had a lot of parties. 

The Wicked Witch of the South's life's ambition was to plot marvellously creative ways in which to take them 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. (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.) 

Anyway, so there she sat, and burned flags of yellow, green and black. And in the smoke, she would see visions, which would inspire her about what to do next 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 state funds to the sum of R206-million. You just go after them, shouting the magic words "public protector, public protector", repetitively. Just because. Obviously.

One day, maybe, it was raining or something. Okay let's say clouds were approaching in an intimidating sky while the Nkandla cows grazed freely and unaware, and Thuli decided to launch what was clearly an unjustified investigation regarding 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 predicted outcry.) 

Because obviously, every ­single member of the ANC is extremely wise and they can one-up the witch with shun, shun, ­shunning when it comes to a report that could potentially influence the outcome of the elections.

For those of you who don't know, an election is this land's version of the magic bean. Every couple of years, it votes and plants some of these chosen beans and hopes a stalk will grow 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 effectively, it removes all truths. If you shun it, it didn't happen. Right? (No. But don't ruin it for them.)

But alas, the moment is upon us. And the Witch of the South has persevered. While the majority of the almost fictional land will probably be glued to a channel which is playing back-to-back episodes of the South African version of a telenovela, starring a tainted athlete with a throw-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 to the people?" 

First … um, mixed fairy tale 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.

Second ...

To be continued.

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee became Africa’s first social media editor in a newsroom at the Mail & Guardian, where she went on to work as deputy digital editor and a disruptor of the peace through a weekly column. A stint as the program manager for Impact Africa – a grant-disbursing fund for African digital journalists – followed. She now pursues her own writing full time by enraging readers of EWN and Women 24 with weekly and bi-monthly columns respectively. She also contributes to the Sunday Times and a range of other publications. Mohamed Dawjee's inaugural book of essays: Sorry, not sorry: Experiences of a brown woman in a white South Africa, is due for release by Penguin Random House in April 2018.Follow her on Twitter: @sage_of_absurd Read more from Haji Mohamed Dawjee

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