Not waiting for Pansy

2014-05-07 15:32

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Wednesday. We’re at Ntolwane Primary School in Nxamalala. The Commander in Chief has turned up to make a cross next to his own head.

The CiC’s wives are here too, so at least he has five votes. Six if you add in daughter, Gugu. If only Zuma’s army of bodyguards hadn’t registered in Gauteng, he would have definitely managed to win back the ward from the IFP. That must be embarrassing for any politician, not being able to win the ward you live in.

The CiC, his wives and his phalanx of minders are here.

Pansy Tlakula, the IEC chairperson, isn’t. She’s meant to be but, like most of South Africa, Pansy thinks the CiC lives in Nkandla. It must have something to do with that bloody report of Thuli’s.

Anyhow, Pansy’s gone to Nkandla to meet the CiC. Except he’s 50-odd kilometres away at Nxamalala, where he lives.

We’re all standing around looking stoo-pid. The cops are pissed. They’re eyeing the trio of EFF observers who rock up armed with these rather pretty man bags with Juju’s head on them rather malevolently.

If the red berets step out of line, they’re getting tramped. You can see the pigs are dying to kick somebody or drag them behind a van.

The one Babylon’s walkie-talkie goes off. The CiC’s tired of waiting for Pansy.

Something like the DA – but they’re waiting for her to resign, not arrive. The CiC’s hauled himself out of the firepool, jumped into his Range Rover and headed for Ntolwane with his entourage in tow. We’re on.

The CiC arrives in a massive cloud of dust. There’s a mad scramble among the shooters. All the ground rules laid down by the ANC ahead of the gig go out of the window.

IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula and President Jacob Zuma’s brief encounter in Nxamalala, KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Muntu Vilakazi/City Press

It’s all elbows and straight-arming and flashes. The CiC gets inked. Grins. Drops his ballot in the box and makes his way out of the classroom to the courtyard where the media’s waiting.

It’s insane. There’s this mass of cameras, microphones, notebooks being forced up against the ring of bodyguards who’ve linked arms around Zuma. There’s a crowd of grannies forcing us forward from behind. The SABC cats are being forced to their knees. They’re used to that, I guess.

The CiC grins again. Gives us the “I hope everybody votes’’ routine and powers off to his wheels. The CiC’s almost in the Rover when Tlakula arrives.

They mumble to each other and the CiC’s off, looking like he’s gagging for a dip in the firepool. Tlakula wanders into the polling station, looking like she’s swallowed a 100-page lease agreement.

We stumble to the car. It’s done.

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