So what is the point, Don and JZ?


We have been supplied by unreliable sources with what appears to be a transcript of the conversation between United States President Donald Trump and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma. It is fragmentary, but we are able to piece together the following.

Trump: “So, looks like you’re close with my man Vlad Putin, over in Russia?”

Zuma: “Oh, yes, very close. He’s a great guy. We’ll be forever in his debt, once our new nuclear build starts.”

Trump: “Great! I’m in Vlad’s debt, too, but let’s not talk about that. The CIA might be listening! Ha, ha. That was a joke.” [Coughing. Bleepy noises on the line.]

Zuma: “And Vlad always shows you a good time in Russia.”

Trump: “Yeah, I’m just dying to get over there. So I wanna go. Soon but you know, as president, your schedule’s always a mess.”

Zuma: “Oh, yes. I never know where my schedule is, heh heh. But I make sure I’m an hour late for anything, in case of protesters. Two hours during election time.”

Trump: “Good thinking – I must tell my press secretary.”

Zuma: “Yes, do.”

Trump: “What you say I come down there to South Africa, a little state visit, sometime? Get a photo with Nelson Mandela.”

Zuma: “Er … He passed away, Don.”

Trump: “He did? Jeez, like that Fred Douglass guy. These guys keep passing away. Just when you want to, like, get to know them, show you’re not a racist – hey, you find out he’s passed away.”

Zuma: “Yes, unfortunate. But do come to South Africa sometime.”

Trump: “I will. We can talk about Agoa. And on that subject, how many stores down there in South Africa are selling my gorgeous wife’s jewellery? She’s a nine, you know, my wife. Maybe even a 10.”

Zuma: “Heh heh, I don’t know … I’ll have to get David Mahlobo to find out. They’ve probably got some at the airport shops, but you know I never go through there … Did you say she’s your wife number nine? Ten?”

Trump: “Er … no, er, she’s number three.”

Zuma: “Right, but you’ve got nine or 10 wives?”

Trump: “No, no! Just the one. One at a time, you know. That’s the American way.”

Zuma: “Ah. I have four. And an ex-wife. She’ll take over the country when I retire. It’s a family thing.”

Trump: “I understand. I really, truly, do understand.”

Zuma: “You know, the Russians saved my life when I was poisoned by one of my wives. Not the one who’s going to take over the country. One of the other ones.”

Trump: “Ah ha! Funny man. Glad I’ve just got the one!”

Zuma: “Heh heh. I suppose we should talk politics. I have a nine-point plan.”

Trump: “Glad to hear it. We have plans here in the You-Ess, too. Big plans. Yuge plans. I can’t say how many points our plans have, but they have points. Lots of points.”

Zuma: “Good, good ... Always have a point, I say.”

Shaun de Waal

Shaun de Waal

Shaun de Waal has worked at the Mail & Guardian since 1989. He was literary editor from 1991 to 2006 and chief film critic for 15 years. He is now editor-at-large. Recent publications include Exposure: Queer Fiction, 25 Years of the Mail & Guardian and Not the Movie of the Week. Read more from Shaun de Waal

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