/ 13 January 2022

Viva Rastazeneca, viva!

Safrica Politics Anc
Frenemies: Lindiwe Sisulu is rumoured to want to run for ANC president against the incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Gulshan Khan/AFP


Neither the appalling Durban humidity nor the constant din from the industrial sander at work on  my upstairs neighbour’s floors — the bastards have been at it all week — have had the ability to  spoil my currently sunny disposition.

Granted, it’s early in the day still, but the fact  that the powers that be are considering lifting the state of disaster, now that there is a likelihood that we can live with the Covid-19 virus, rather than being wiped out by it, is the best news I’ve heard in more than two long, depressing years.

We’re still far from out of the woods — who knows what new mutations the virus has in store for us — but there’s finally appears to be some hope that we may well be moving out of the pandemic into co-existence with an endemic disease and  something that more closely resembles life.

Cross-border travel.

Call bets at the roulette table.

Life with no mask.

I’ll take that.

I’m equally pleased to discover that research has proved that the #Rastazeneca vaccine I’ve been using since the pandemic began — and for years before it, to be honest — does play a role in stopping the virus from taking hold.

I’ve been smashing the cannabis — oil, flowers, edibles, nomayini — at every possible opportunity, which may explain how I managed to nurse my wife and son through bouts of Covid early in the pandemic without testing positive.

That didn’t stop me getting both my Pfizer shots — I’m raring to go for the booster as well — but it’s rather gratifying to hear that being stoned to the gills for the past two years was actually the right thing to do for health reasons — as well as an appropriate manner in which to defend our Constitution, on a daily basis.

Which is why I was surprised to hear that the cops had arrested King Khoisan, who has been living outside the Union Buildings for the past five years, for growing cannabis where he abides.

The arrest of the king and the confiscation of his crop isn’t just a violation of the king’s right to grow, possess and smoke the holy herb in private — as announced by then-Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on behalf of the constitutional Court back in 2018. 

It’s a direct attack on our Constitution.

I was less than surprised by Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu launching an attack on the Zondo, the Constitution, the judiciary in general and black judges in particular, in her recent opinion piece.

The radical economic transformation (RET) faction in the governing party has made it clear that Sisulu would need to up her work rate — fight harder is the term they are using — if she wants to be their number one candidate at the ANC elective conference in December, so the attack was always going to come.

How better to impress the faction — and launch one’s campaign (word has it that the real reason the president left the ANC Women’s League memorial lecture last weekend was to avoid the league expressing its “preference” for a female president) — than by an attack on it’s favourite whipping boys: the judiciary and the Constitution?

Despite this, I was a tad shaken by Sisulu’s level of contempt for the Constitution, given that she has sworn an oath to defend it and has been collecting a salary for doing so since 1996.

After all, if the Constitution was so distasteful, why spend nearly 30 years getting paid for upholding it?

Unless, of course, she didn’t bother doing so.

Perhaps Sisulu should give back all the money she got paid over the past three decades as an alleged servant and defender of the Constitution.

Perhaps president Cyril Ramaphosa will fire Sisulu and ask for the money back.

That’s what sugar baron Tongaat Hulett has done. 

Tongaat  has gone to court to claim R450-million from four of its former top executives — chief executive Peter Staude, chief financial officer Murrary Munro, sugar division head Sean Slabbert and property division head Michael Deighton — over several years of balance sheet fraud amounting to around R11-billion.

Tongaat argues that because Staude and company — all products of the Old Natal Family network it helped build and sustain —  failed in their job to protect the company, they have to pay back every cent they earned while cooking the books.

Ironic yes, for a company built on land theft to go after the great-grandsons of land thieves, but a long time coming.

All the way back to 1820.