Perhaps Bompi can decode Mbalula’s riddles

2014-04-07 16:43

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Let’s talk about Fikile Mbalula, South Africa’s minister of sport.

It is of course, Mbalula who called Bafana Bafana “a bunch of losers” shortly before announcing his intention to bring the Olympic Games to South Africa in 2024.

Mbalula’s relationship with President Jacob Zuma appears to be complicated.

Earlier this year, he accused detractors booing JZ at the FNB Stadium in Jozi of harbouring “satanist-infused plans” soon after likening Zuma to an invincible tsunami.

He later corrected himself, adding that the president resembled “a hurricane”.

Precise storm topography aside, their alliance evidently went through a cloudy patch two years ago, when Mbalula told journalists: “I have no time for Zuma. He has caused his own problems. He marries every week.”

However, this past weekend the hatchet appeared well-buried when Mbalula leapt to the president’s defence at an ANCYL meeting on Friday, insisting that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report was not the “alpha and the omega” and said that she should “shut up”.

It’s been a topsy-turvy week that saw the Nkandla issue bounce like a big throbbing bone of contention in the pre-election limelight.

So, the ANC applied to the South Gauteng High Court to squash an SMS that accuses Zuma of stealing public cash.

“The Nkandla report shows how Zuma stole your money to build his R246m home. Vote DA on 7 May to beat corruption,” it reads.

On Friday, the court ruled that the message was fair comment.

The ruling party retaliated on Saturday by dispensing its own bit of advice: “Security Upgrades are done for all presidents, PW Botha, FW De Klerk, Mbeki, Mandela and Zuma. ANC fights corruption. Don’t be misled, Vote ANC,” their SMS to the public read.

While confusion reigned, Number 1 somehow managed to perpetuate his air of mystery over it all, insisting that “he didn’t ask for it!”.

Well, frankly, I didn’t ask for SABC1, 2, and 3, either, but I sure pay for it.

Anyway, not even the president’s prized spin doctor Mac Maharaj could shed much light on matters.

(Related: Friends just back from a trip to India tell me they had a Maharaj Mac filled with curried chicken at a McDonald’s in Mumbai. It tasted good, they said.)

The only person who has willingly provided insight into the baffling entirety of it all has been Mbalula.

On Saturday evening, Old Fickles let rip once again, this time on Twitter, leaving the online community astounded. “FACT: ANC is indistractable (sic). Thats (sic) an absolute fact,” he tweeted.

Twitter users responded. One suggested that Mbalula should stop drinking and tweeting, as the two didn’t go together too well. But Mbalula continued to reveal glimpses of the machinery of Public Works. “When I became a Minister, a person called Public Works gave me a house with a furniture,” he wrote.

“Public Works was the 1st to go to media to say I lice (sic) in a R6m house. When it is them (sic) who put me in the house. It is the same as Nkandla.”

Then he came in for the kill: “Percetuting (sic) a President is not like drinking liquor stirring at your wife at home. They will never succeed.”

Admittedly Mbalula learned the hard way about stirring up his wife the wrong way.

His 40th birthday bash in 2011 ended on a sour note when he was forced to issue a public apology to his wife and the nation for bedding a local model.

“I have apologised to my family, particularly to my wife, as I should have known better,” he said at the time.

For the most part, Mbalula’s Twitter insights on Saturday appeared riddled with, well, riddles. Perhaps we could get Bompi to decode?

Allow me to put it to you that there exists a marked difference between “gangster” and “gangsta,” as I’ve spent a fair part of my weekend pouring over dictionaries – on and offline – to research the matter.

Gangster implies organised crime and often violence. The moniker is a sticky toffee and has hurt feelings in the presidency in the past.

Five years ago UCT professor Pierre de Vos’ description of Zuma as a “gangster hellbent on protecting himself and his cronies” – in reaction to the appointment of Menzi Simelane as the director of public prosecutions – elicited presidential ire and De Vos was forced to issue an apology.

Gangsta is more of a lifestyle thing, a somewhat vacuous glorifying of riches gleaned unlawfully, often physically exemplified in expensive clothing, big cars, luxury homes and strings of women – often, but not necessarily – draped in bling.

One could perhaps summarise the above as “opulence on a grand scale” resulting from “looting” – words fairly recently used by Madonsela while compiling her report on Nkandla.

In 1999 notorious American rap group Geto Boys penned a song called Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta. Quite a laugh actually.

Funny guy Loyiso Gola once cited Jacob Zuma as his comedy muse, pointing out that JZ doesn’t even drink. “Just imagine him drunk?” Gola said.

More Dom P for us, bitches.

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