Maverick Life


Chewing the fat cats on paper tigers, triggers and Tottenham

Chewing the fat cats on paper tigers, triggers and Tottenham
General views of red carpet ahead of the 2023 State Of The Nation Address (SONA) at Parliament on February 09, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. The address is an annual event, in which the President of South Africa reports on the status of the nation, normally to the resumption of a joint sitting of Parliament (the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces). Image: Gallo Images / Ziyaad Douglas

Tigers, fat cats and hogs, all side by side at the trough.

After the sighting of a second tiger in Johannesburg, an even more dangerous — and rarely spotted — fat cat has been glimpsed after he escaped briefly from stuffing his sofa on Planet Phala Phala. The fat cat, who appears harmless with hollow words about ‘fellow South Africans’ but has not changed his treacherous ANC-first stripes, was shocked to find that the country had slid into a dark pothole during the near decade that he has occupied one of the country’s two top leadership positions.

As a graduate of both the Jellyfish School of Leadership and the Didn’t-See-Didn’t-Hear-I-Feel-Nothing School of Responsibility, the fat cat of Phala Phala has long outsourced the curation of his vertebrae to another growler, Gwede, who earned his stripes by enabling the leopard of Nkandla — and his Bengal (okay, Uttar Pradesh) — handlers to eat. And eat. And cheat.  

The leopard of Nkandla has not changed his spots and continues to roam freely, wreaking havoc as he evades the feeble attempts of the NPA (Non-Prosecuting Authority) to sedate him.

Now the Assembly of Non-Correcting (fat) Cats (ANC) has decided — in accordance with their electoral promise of “A Bitter Life for All” — to declare the country a national disaster as there is no light at the end of the tunnel.  The tunnel was being built on the foundations of Chancellor House — kickbacks, greased palms and backhands — and has now collapsed like an RDP house, taking the light with it.  

Regulations for the National Disaster are still being drafted, but early indications are that to protect national mental wellness, triggering words such as power, light and cooked chicken are to be banned from public discourse. William Blake’s poem “Tiger, Tiger burning bright” will also be removed from schoolbooks and will be replaced by Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind”.

Meanwhile, in a move that has decolonial scholars scratching their heads, the Tourism Authority announced that it will spend a billion rand to attract tourists from the country’s former coloniser to experience our post-colonial national disaster, first-hand. The proposed sponsorship has, however, become a political football with the defunct Women’s League demanding that the funding rather be spent on rebuilding their teams, Bathabile Disunited; NO-MAN City, FirePool and Rock Strikers. Civil society is also trying to move the goalposts closer by arguing that rather than support English referees, funds should be made available to invest in local whistleblowers.

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Encouraged by the South African Tourism initiative, the Tourism Authority of our northern “you-keep-your-Britain” neighbour has approached the South African Football Association (Safa) with a request to advertise the Zimbabwe Ruins on Bafana Bafana’s shirts. Safa has declined the request in favour of Bafana Bafana sporting our own metaphor for democratic decline: the burnt-out parliamentary chambers.

If bagpipes were a person, it would be the windbag, Mbalula, who farts a new promise every time he opens his mouth. Aware of the elections to be held by May 2024, this fat cat — having evolved from a young lion through parliamentary perks and ruling party privilege — has promised that Father Christmas will bring an end to blackouts by the end of December. As they have done with roads, rail and post, the ANC says that it will make crime vanish by 2030, which, given their record of looting the public purse, may be an admission that they will cease to exist by the end of the decade.  

The fat cat of Phala Phala has promised to leave no turn unstoned and the fool might of the law in finding the counter-revolutionaries whose actions have led to the state of disaster. This has been put on hold though while the fat cat of Phala Phala and the leopard of Nkandla — otherwise known as the President and former president of country and party — bear their other-correcting claws at each other in court.

On the subject of deputy presidents, David Mabuza, known as ‘the cat’ for his nine lives having survived various poisonings and motorcar accidents — unlike his opponents in Mpumalanga who had their three-score-and-ten years cut short mysteriously — has indicated that he will ride off into the post-Mangaung conference sunset. This will allow the fat cat of Phala Phala to do his dance of party unity, the cabinet shuffle, in which the F-Team will be tampered with, but which will make no difference other than to the scale and volume of electoral promises. Black lives don’t matter until just before they are required as voting cat-tle.

Any hope that this herd of treasonous fat cats will be caught and caged, has long been subject to the Orwellian not-so-funny-farm principle of ‘all pigs are equal, but the hogs at the trough and who run the abattoir are more equal’.  Which means that we are all the same (but not really) before the law catches up with us, but in the unlikely event of being caught, ANC fat cats will be given medical parole. Or be appointed as ambassadors.  

With that, we can look forward to our national state of disaster shifting to a more serious category, a national state of catastrophe. DM/ ML/ MC


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