Dear Cyril, Here are my conditions


Now that the deal is done, we can reveal some of the negotiating positions taken by the former president during the Zexit process. Here is a document, written by lawyer Michael Hulley, as dictated (no pun intended) by Jacob Zuma.

• A golden handshake of 10-million US, minimum. That’s what Robert Mugabe got, right? And there’s no way that I can accept any less — it would be an affront to my dignity and to the reputation of South Africa as a much richer and more powerful nation than Zimbabwe.

In fact, it should be 10 times that amount, because South Africa is 10 times greater than Zim, but I don’t want to be immodest here. Besides, we don’t need any more diplomatic incidents. That Mnangagwa is a crocodile.

• I keep my security detail. That is, 24 fully-armed bodyguards, all dressed in black suits and dark glasses, and preferably with chiskop heads. That is the look I want for my bodyguards. And they must have those little earpieces with the wiggly cables that go into some machine in their suits, because the evil capitalist superpower’s CIA has those, and we have to show we are better than them.

(We also have to show Vlad the Impaler that he can’t just send some agent to inject me with plutonium or whatever because I wasn’t able to action the nuclear deal, even if he gave me a billion ronts — and I gave a few million to the ANC for the local government elections, 
didn’t I? If we do get the nuclear deal going, I can make do with, oh, say 20 bodyguards.)

• Full complement of sangomas and inyangas, in case of another poison plot by one of my wives — or a love potion gone wrong. Or Aids.

• Then, of course, the vehicles — nine Range Rovers, a couple of Pajeros, a Mercedes-Benz with bulletproof windows, 14 motorbikes for the motorbike detail. All of these, including the motorbikes, should have blue flashing lights so that when I go speeding through the city as an ex-president my ex-presidential dignity is not diminished in any way. Oh, and I’ll need a helicopter or three as well. They can have blue lights too.

• The complex at Nkandla is going to need some upgrades. Those mamparas from the department of public works did not do a good job, even with all the orders I gave them through my chief architect Minihaha. The fence is falling down, the fire pool is not pumping well, and there are other little bits and bobs that were not properly finished. I’m sure it’s not a lot of money for the upkeep — no more than eleventy million hundred.

• I can continue to serve the nation as a singer-dancer and I could show that being a very senior citizen is no obstacle to singing, dancing and having fun. (Did you know I always wanted to be an entertainer?) Give me a Strictly Come Singing and Dancing TV show, on which I can be judge and jury as well as the chief performer, and you’ll see how I can wow the nation, all over again, with my extremely sharp moves!

What do you say, Cyril? 

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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.

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