December is finally upon us.
A whole 252 days have passed since the head of state placed us under house arrest; declared the Covid-19 state of national disaster; told us to #Ratherstaypozi. Nine months since we were locked down for the first time in response to the deadly virus ravaging its way across the planet.
The second wave of the virus also appears to be upon us. The daily infection rate is now up to more than 4 000. The Eastern Cape is in deep trouble, facing tighter, localised regulations just in time for Christmas, a move that may have come too late.
The KwaZulu-Natal government has — rightly — banned all big public year-end gigs in a bid to stop the province following suit. It will help to a point, but the punters are still gonna go mad after being locked down for the better part of a year.
Nine months is a long time to spend on various levels of being locked down, in anybody’s book.
It’s definitely way longer than Andile Lungisa, the ANC’s House of Truth, spent locked up for smashing DA councillor Rayno Kayser’s head with a glass jug full of water when a council meeting in the Friendly City turned into a brawl in 2016.
Lungisa has been back in circulation since Tuesday, having paid, we are told, his debt to society and having reformed and rehabilitated himself, according to the department of correctional services.
Not that I’m begrudging comrade Andile his early parole, which meant he served about three months of a two-year sentence, after meeting the criteria for a get-out-of-jail-free card.
Jail is no place for humans.
According to the department, Lungisa got a year cut off his sentence in terms of a special parole deal granted by the president last December, when he was out on bail pending his appeal, a free man, grooving nicely, but still, technically, a serving prisoner, so all is legitimate and above board.
Like many of my fellow South Africans, I’m wondering how long it will be before Lungisa loses his shit and smashes somebody else over the head with a glass jug full of water in a heated council meeting, now that he’s headed back to the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality to serve the lucky residents of the metro.
Three months? Six?
None of the bookies is offering odds. I checked straight away on Tuesday morning when I heard our man was getting his belt and shoelaces back. We’re still waiting for our final payment from the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme, so any dead cert is welcome.
Mbanjwa’s fellow councillors must be nervous.
If his televised media briefing is anything to go by, Lungisa must have been sleeping — or daydreaming of himself serving in president Ace Magashule’s cabinet — during the anger management classes they offer inside as part of the parole process.
I wonder what cabinet portfolio Lungisa has been offered in Magashule’s cabinet?
Defence — he’s always hammering on about war, so why not? We do know he’s not shy when it comes to head-busting, so perhaps police would be better? Or correctional services, given his long history as a political prisoner? Perhaps it should be water and sanitation, given Lungisa’s affinity for vessels designed for the precious liquid?
Either way, the House of Truth is still spitting fire, raging, so my money would be on his parole conditions being violated before his term of correctional supervision comes to an end.
We shall see.
Rumour has it that the metro has already started Lungisa-proofing its premises, just in case rehabilitation has failed.
On Monday, when they got the heads up that Lungisa was coming back, the city’s administrators put out a tender for plastic jugs and cups for council meetings, just in case he loses it again.
Workers were seen stripping the council chamber of all its chairs and tables on Tuesday afternoon and replacing them with beanbags and yoga mats. They’re much harder to throw and won’t cut anybody.
The council has also recalled its entire supply of black ballpoint pens and HB pencils, just to avoid anybody from the DA — or Ramaphosa supporters from the ANC contingent — from getting shivved if the wheels come off again.
Crayons it is, at least until Lungisa heads back to St Albans or gets the boot from his own party.
Like many of my fellow South Africans, I’m wondering why Lungisa is so angry with the head of state, given that Ramaphosa cut a year off his jail sentence while he was sitting at home like the rest of us.
Me, I would be grateful to Ramaphosa for the 12-months’ reduction in jail time, and the early ticket home in time for Christmas.
You just can’t please some folks, I guess.