Opinionista Brij Maharaj 18 December 2017

The Season of Go(o)d(s) will

The Wise Ones could not follow the guiding Star, as it was invisible because of the effects of climate change. So they switched on the GPS (on their cellphones) – it was the 21st century after all.

And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne (Revelation 12:5).

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

And so in the 21st century the three Wise Ones were seeking the direction to Nasrec to witness the arrival of the new ruler and leader of the flock, and they wondered whether the masses would follow like shorn sheep. This is what happened in 2007 when the people pledged their undying, blind loyalty to the plundering pirates from Polokwane and the Great One, who then went on to capture the state and loot its gold and silver, which was then spirited away to faraway lands, all in the name of Radical Economic Transformation (or to settle scores with Rupert, or to promote personal, private accumulation).

The Wise Ones could not follow the guiding Star, as it was invisible because of the effects of climate change. So they switched on the GPS (on their cellphones) – it was the 21st century after all. Although there was no room at the Inn, the Wise Ones were warned not to accept the offer of free accommodation at the Shebeen in Saxonworld.

There was also angst about the influence of the Three Wise Men from the East on the Great One. The problem was that the Great One had held sway for so long and the influence of the Three Wise Men from the East over many critical levers of power was so strong and daunting that the masses wondered whether another future was possible, even in their dreams.

The fact that some were prepared to kill or be killed to be in the leadership of the organisation apparently vindicated allegations that the Great One was using party members as foot soldiers, very much like sacrificial lambs (or pawns on his chessboard). Paradoxically, those who were prepared to pay the ultimate price to protect the Great One were no longer in the party.

There was some anxiety about how the New One would be selected. Will this be done through a show of hands, the touchscreen of cellphones, or the barrel of a gun (a common practice in most parts of Africa)? What about the role of the army (like in Zimbabwe), or will there be a state of emergency and the suspension of the South African Constitution if the Great One’s preferred candidate did not win? Furthermore, will the outcome be determined by an exchange of brown envelopes, bitcoins, 30 pieces of silver or EFTs (to Dubai).

Moreover, which candidate were the Three Wise Men from the East supporting? If their preferred candidate did not win, then the jet of the Three Wise Men was fuelled for a one-way return to the East, which apparently is the best.

Interviewed on national TV, the Great One said he could not recall any mistakes and emphasised his integrity: “Well, I’m not sure, unless somebody tells me what I have done … I can’t remember a big thing that I can say, ‘I’ve made a mistake’ … I’m a very honest politician.” He was contemptuous of courts of law in the material world, and had therefore avoided appearing before a human judge at all (public?) costs. He was preparing for the ultimate judgement day, and without a hint of irony, the Great One quoted from Proverbs (29:4): “By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.”

The Great One acclaimed his ethnic tribal roots as a proud Zulu and loyal African, who would not denounce his friends who stood by him during his darkest hours, even if some “clever blacks” claimed that they were of questionable character, and could tarnish the Presidency, and bring his government into disrepute. Indeed, ignorance is bliss! He was also annoyed that the foreign-owned media had denounced his sincere attempts to assist poor tertiary students as a cheap publicity stunt to protect his waning legacy.

He emphasised that all his potential seven successors could do the job, (the intense competition itself was apparently an indication of the healthy state of democracy with the ruling party), but denied that they could supersede his reign. However, there was the little matter of the umbilical connection with one of the mothers of his children.

The plot thickens as one of the mothers of the Great One’s children was also implicated in a conspiracy to arrange his premature departure from planet earth. Defending himself against those who accused him of polygamy, especially the mlungus (whites), the Great One quoted the case of Rehoboam who “had taken eighteen wives and sixty concubines and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters” (2 Chronicles 11:21). Hence, there were future possibilities and conquests still to be consummated.

Whenever the Great One came under harsh criticism for decisions that were perceived to be unethical or illogical, he would quote the story of Jacob from the Book of Genesis: “Jacob’s life began with a struggle. As a twin in the womb with Esau, he jostled for position and was born grasping his brother’s heel. Jacob’s name is translated as ‘supplanter or usurper’ (Genesis 25:26). When his mother, Rebekah, asked God during her pregnancy what was happening to her, God told her that there were two nations within her womb who would become divided. One would be stronger than the other, and the older would serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:23).

The Great One conceded, “Failure to confront problems head on and solve them had begun to take their toll on the movement.” The legacy of the Great One, beyond the song and dance routine, may well be that he had weakened the ruling party and conceded political power to the Opposition coalition.

As the flock gathered to celebrate the miraculous conception, and the snow machine in Sandton simulated the northern winter, the three Wise Ones optimistically reminded us that “While God’s people are prone to corruption, God is marked by holiness and grace. (Matt. 1:316). May the force be with you! DM

Brij Maharaj is a geography professor at UKZN. He writes in his personal capacity.

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