Check, my mate was right

Bengal Tiger: The apartheid-era politician Amichand Rajbansi lived the motto that there was no such thing as bad publicity, and the writer suspects Malusi Gigaba has been taking notes. (Alexander Joe/AFP)

Bengal Tiger: The apartheid-era politician Amichand Rajbansi lived the motto that there was no such thing as bad publicity, and the writer suspects Malusi Gigaba has been taking notes. (Alexander Joe/AFP)

A good few years ago, I was having a chat with a mate of mine, a lawyer I know and respect, about the possibilities of former president Jacob Zuma being convicted of corruption for the payments he received from his one-time “financial adviser”, Schabir Shaik.

I was of the opinion that Shaik’s conviction and 15-year jail sentence for the money he gave Zuma in return for a series of unconstitutional — and in the main, ineffective — interventions on behalf of Shaik’s Nkobi Group of companies meant an automatic conviction for Zuma.

Too much was known about Zuma’s dependence on Shaik’s bank account for him to survive. Daddy, in my book, was a dead man walking, from a legal perspective. In a matter of months, Nxamalala would be joining Schabir at Westville Correctional Centre, Medium B Section.
Done deal.

My lawyer friend, who is way smarter than me, having gone to school and stuff, responded with an adaptation of the old cliché: “It’s not about what you know, it’s about what you can prove.”

My mate predicted that Zuma would not only survive the corruption charges that would arise from Shaik’s’ conviction by Judge Hilary Squires in the high court in Durban, but that he would go on to become president of the ANC and, ultimately, of the Republic.

My mate also predicted looting on a grand scale during Zuma’s term of office, arguing that Daddy would eviscerate the governing party and the state and was quite prepared to run the ANC into the ground in the process.

I agreed respectfully to disagree, somewhat dazzled by the trio of Squires’ judgment, my belief in the criminal justice system and in the former liberation movement. There was no way he could beat the rap. Even if he did survive and make it to the ANC presidency, Zuma’s allies on the left would keep him in check, stop him looting.

It turns out I was wrong. Badly.

Zuma’s still not behind bars, more than a decade later, despite the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to charge him again, so my mate appears to have been right about Daddy’s survival capabilities.

The daily sittings of the Zondo commission into state capture confirm his prediction of looting on an industrial scale.

The ANC leadership spends more time in court than in Luthuli House these days, so my mate’s call on the effect on the governing party also appears to be on the money.

My mate was on campus with Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

My mate didn’t think much of Gigaba, not because he was a Manchester United fan, but because he was, in my mate’s words, a wanker.

My mate reckoned Gigaba was all mouth and suit, a talking head who would say whatever he was told to say as long as somebody else picked up his clothing tab. My mate predicted it would all end in tears for Gigaba, whom he described as “big on form, low on content”.

My mate must be giggling right now. What he has known all along, that Gigaba is a wanker, has now been proven, not by a third party, but by the minister himself.

I wonder what Gigaba was thinking when he hit send? Clearly not about the running of his department. Did Gigaba really think that the video would never come back to bite him on the ass? Nobody could be that arrogant and stupid, could they?

I’m no innocent when it comes to dick pics or masturbation, but
I kicked the habit of technicolour self-flagellation before I got married. I also generally kept my head out of them, focusing rather on my penis, which was the aim of the exercise.

I also avoided public office at the time.

Then again, I’m not Malusi Gigaba.

Perhaps Gigaba is a student of the late Minority Front leader Amichand Rajbansi. Not in his desire to pleasure himself, film it and disseminate the result, but in his approach to publicity.

The Tiger, as he was known, was at the centre of controversy all of his public life. The Tiger, a man with an immensely thick skin, reckoned that, for a politician, there was no such thing as bad publicity.

Perhaps Gigaba’s spin team leaked the video in a bid to divert attention from his more serious legal problems.

Perhaps Gigaba is planning a career as a porn star if he doesn’t end up in jail and figures this is a good way to get a foot in the door in the industry.

Perhaps.

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