Somizi, will you judge this song & dance?


It’s day 329 of the national Covid-19 lockdown.

Durban’s boiling. I’m not much of a drinker these days, but right now, a beer wouldn’t hurt. I kill the urge. There’s enough old wit ous out there writing shit when they’re drunk already, so I’ll keep my Pauws off the hooch until the evening, when the work is over and done with.

Like many of my fellow South Africans, I’m wondering what it will take to get Jacob Zuma to appear before the Zondo commission again. 

The former head of state appeared a little angry in his letter on Monday night in response to Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s initiation of contempt proceedings against him over his third no-show earlier in the day. Nxamalala appears to be not just unwilling to appear before his “friend” Zondo, but rather lacking in trust of the judiciary as a whole.

I wonder where there this will end.

Zondo doesn’t have a deputy, so he can’t really recuse himself — there would be nobody to direct evidence leader Paul Pretorius in asking uBaba questions.

Perhaps that’s the idea.

Even if a stand-in were to be appointed quickly — if such a thing were actually legal — to hear Zuma’s testimony, which jurist would be acceptable to Nxamalala, given Monday night’s outburst against the judiciary?

Perhaps Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe would make the cut and get the nod from uBaba. 

I’m sure Zuma wouldn’t mind Hlophe presiding over a session. Or maybe even Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, whom he appointed. Apart from that, I can’t think of anybody else. 

Certainly not any of the brother and sister judges from the Constitutional Court (not even the ones Zuma elevated to the bench himself), if Monday night’s missive is to be taken seriously. 

uBaba has deep, deep issues with the judiciary.


The net for a suitable stand-in for Zondo would need to be cast a little wider, given Nxamalala’s previous comments about the judiciary regarding his corruption trial over the years.

Perhaps it’s time to call Judge Judy.

Truth is, apart from Big John, the only judge Zuma doesn’t appear to have a war with is Somizi Mhlongo from Idols. Perhaps the commission should rope in Somizi as a deputy, put him on the bench for a couple of months and give Zondo a well-earned break.

Get the show back on the road.

It could be a hoot. 

Perhaps Nxamalala could sing and dance, perform his way out of trouble, just like back in the day, rather than accounting for his actions, while Somgaga goes “shem”’ and hits the “go home” buzzer and we would all carry on with our lives, like state capture never happened.


Or maybe Nxamalala will change his mind about Zondo and appear eventually. 

uBaba spent nine years saying one thing and doing another — so why the heck should he change now?

Perhaps Zuma’s forgotten that he appointed the commission — he’s been busy, after all — and that he’s already appeared before it to present his version of events with no uncomfortable question time to wriggle through. 

The man is getting on in years.

Perhaps ANC secretary general Ace Magashule will remind Zuma that he, and not Ramaphosa, appointed the commission when he meets the governing party’s top six.

Perhaps Jiggaman will, once more, jigga and head for Braamfies, all smiles and entourage and the contingent outside the pozi can pack up their camos and head home.


Like most of my fellow South Africans, I was rather pleased — elated actually— at the sight of the current head of state receiving his dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, live on TV, on Wednesday afternoon.

Not out of a desire for President Cyril Ramaphosa and Dr Zweli Mkhize to act as human guinea pigs for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, some repressed anti-vaxxer lust to see if they morphed into Beelzebub, or grew horns, after their shot, but because, finally, we have something that resembles a fighting chance of getting through this pandemic with fewer people losing their lives.

I dug the way the vaccine was brought in this time: no cameras, no noise, no convoy of armoured vehicles.

No commentator’s curse.

Seeing the president doing the Jovaphosa thing was lovely, a much needed ray of hope after a year of death and despair, a real antidote for the debacle with the AstraZeneca vaccine the week before. 

Granted, there’s not exactly gallons of vaccine flowing at the moment, but it’s finally here and it’s where it’s supposed to be, making its way into people’s bloodstreams.

The end may be in sight…

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Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper

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