It’s Day 497 of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Not much has changed during the week spent laid low by what — thankfully — has turned out to be some weird, mutant lung infection and not Covid-19.
I’ve never been so relieved — grateful, to be honest — to only have sputum-filled lungs, torn intercostal muscles and a 24/7 hack, and not something far more dangerous in my life.
Two years ago, I would have been cursing my luck — and 30 years as a cigarette smoker — over the condition of my lungs.
Today, it feels like I’ve beaten the house.
Not much else has changed.
Former president Jacob Zuma is still in jail, serving his 15 months for refusing to go back to the Zondo commission of inquiry and face questions about his role in selling the country to the Gupta family.
uBaba will be out of jail on Tuesday, granted, but only for this eleventy-seventh attempt to avoid the day in court he’s claimed to have wanted since his former “financial adviser” was jailed for 15 years in 2006 for acting as his personal ATM and channelling a sweet R500 000 to him from French arms dealer Thint.
Riots, looting, insurgency, insurrection, whatever, Nxamalala will be heading back to the Estcourt Correctional Centre every afternoon when Judge Piet Koen closes up shop at the high court in Pietermaritzburg — with none of the customary song and dance his court appearances have generated over the years — until he finishes serving his contempt sentence.
No inflammatory address to the punters outside the high court.
No knees-up with Carl and the boys.
No mshini wami.
Leg irons in a D-ring in transit to prison.
Orange onesie and off to bed.
Whatever sympathy I had for the former head of state because of his advanced age went up in smoke last month, along with the economy of KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng when his supporters went on the rampage.
It died, just like the 337 people who lost their lives in the week of violence, looting and burning that took place in his name.
Any sense of empathy I had with Zuma and his family vanished — disappeared — along with the livelihoods of about 150 000 people whose jobs they obliterated, whether by design or through sheer recklessness.
Not much has changed.
President Cyril Ramaphosa still hasn’t fired Health Minister Zweli Mkhize for his alleged involvement in the R150-million Digital Vibes rip-off — or reshuffled his cabinet, although the rumour mill has it that he will do so before he appears before Zondo next week. That would be appropriate, given the findings of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which as now asked the National Prosecuting Authority to prosecute over the rigged tender, and wants the Special Tribunal to set the contract aside.
Perhaps Mkhize will do the right thing and resign before the head of state fires him.
It’s not likely — if he were going to resign he would have done so already. So my money is on Cyril eventually going John Wick on Khabazela before his date with Zondo arrives.
The new allegations that some of the money was funnelled to pay for Mkhize’s son, Dedani’s hair salon and his daughter-in-law, Sthoko’s Tammy Taylor nail salon may explain Mkhize’s exemplary grooming regime in the middle of the pandemic, but it can’t be helping the health minister’s case much.
I wonder if the hair and nail salons survived the looting in Pietermaritzburg?
Perhaps they did, with the masses forewarned that neither shop should be hit given that they were owned by kindred spirits.
Brothers and sisters in arms.
Don’t loot, we’re looters.
Perhaps they weren’t spared and they got cleaned out, burned, dealt with like everybody else.
Just this once.
That would appeal to my sense of justice — the looters got looted, a taste of their own medicine. My sense of balance.
Neither shop is very far from the court.
Perhaps I’ll pop in on Tuesday, after Nxamalala’s first court appearance for the week and find out.
Get a pedicure on my size tens, or a head shave, if the SIU haven’t closed them down