/ 4 November 2022

Mkhwebane poison plot a zinger of a tale

Chickening out: Behind the alleged KFC poisoning plot was a retired colonel of the United States military.


The sun isn’t up yet, but the mind is already racing.

There’s a lot to think about, not least just how much Kentucky Fried Chicken the bodyguard (protector, in English) of the suspended public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane must have eaten for it to have struck the person down — and to have convinced Sis Busi that this constituted an attempt on their lives.

It’s a question the mind hasn’t stopped asking since Mkhwebane’s appearance before parliament’s section 194 inquiry on Wednesday.

The committee heard evidence that the police had investigated the incident and had found that the protector’s protector had been poisoned, not with ricin or polonium 210, but with an excessive amount of the colonel’s secret recipe, the dreaded 11 herbs and spices.

It’s a zinger of a tale, but no laughing matter, especially in a country like ours which has survived a genocide attempt by polony.

Just how much KFC does it take to kill a human, or at least to put their life in danger; how many drumsticks constitute an overdose, especially in a fit, trained individual, a protector tasked with protecting the suspended public protector.

Was it a one person, one barrel, kind of a thing, that brought the protector’s protector to death’s door, a 72-hour bender on dunked wings, mini loaves and fries that put the fear of God into the protector’s protectee — the protector herself — and caused her to blame the incident on her inquiry into the non-existent South African Revenue Service “rogue unit”?

Or was the security threat not an act of gluttony, of troughing, but rather a close call caused by a dodgy drumstick — a breast with botulism — that caused the scare and brought Mkhwebane to believe that she too might be in the crosshairs of the colonel?

Thankfully, Mkhwebane comes from an intelligence background and was able to see this for what it was: a sinister CIA operation by a retired officer from the United States military, which had already floored her protector and was honing in on her unprotected self.

Perhaps it was weaponised KFC that was used in the attempt to poison former president Jacob Zuma and Deputy President David Mabuza for that matter — and that forced the two of them to seek medical treatment beyond the reach of these dastardly imperialist forces — and the colonel.


Wednesday wasn’t a good day for Mkhwebane, whose hearing went ahead without her legal team — which the inquiry heard had cost her office R19-million thus far — a figure that will increase when they return to parliament and the meter starts running again.

Perhaps Mkhwebane’s lawyers were embarrassed to be around when the committee got to hear how much they — and the protector’s paid tweeters — had raked in for “defending” Mkhwebane against parliament and decided to cool off and count the takings elsewhere — at least until that part of the inquiry was done with.

I wouldn’t want to sit there, all teeth and blushes, while the committee and the country heard that I had collected a cool R12-million and counting — coughed up by the taxpayer — for grandstanding, playing to the camera and generally taking the piss in parliament.

Rather head for the east coast — Durban’s beaches are now reopened and are, according to the eThekwini metropolitan council, safe for swimming — and come back to parliament when the heat is off.

I last tasted the ocean the day before the ANC’s eThekwini regional conference in April — a quick dip at North Beach to cool off and pass the time while waiting for accreditation to get sorted.

I’d have stayed in the water for longer if I’d known that six and a bit months later there would still be thousands of litres of human waste pouring into the river running through our fair city and into the ocean.

One minute we had all these beautiful beaches, the next, the golden mile had turned into one big sewer, and wasn’t so golden any more.

There have been beach re-openings on and off since just before the July holidays — and almost as many re-closings after the E.coli levels were tested independently — so for now, I’ll make like Mkhwebane’s legal team and stay away.

Perhaps I’d get back in the water quicker if Durban mayor Mxolisi Kaunda or his deputy, Philani Mavundla, or ANC eThekwini chairperson Zandile Gumede, the

real power in the city, took a dip first, just to show me that the ocean is safe, rather than telling me that it is.

That might help.