Sugar daddy Glenn and his Jackie

2008-01-21 00:00

After initially petulantly refusing to co-operate with the law, our resident tsotsi-oso, Glenn Agliotti has been singing like a canary, and boy does it make for rivetting reading.

Can you imagine Jackie Selebi walking hand in hand with Agliotti in Sandton City, casually pointing out his wish list for his sugar daddy to buy? Romantic isn’t it. There’s a term for this kind of behaviour and it’s called transactional sex.

Apparently, it’s the norm with our high-ranking officials to benefit financially and materially from a wealthy benefactor, all in exchange for cold hard cash (and lots of it), tenders and the guarantee of keeping people out of jail. Throw in an assisted suicide and you’ve got a match made in political hell.

Zuma has Schabir Shaik, Selebi has Agliotti. Who are we going to unearth next, and how many people in power are actually getting away with it? Nothing is too cheap or too expensive for our esteemed leadership, as gifts range from R10 valets, to private school fees and medical surgeries.

I’m personally insulted that President Thabo Mbeki is pleading ignorance when it comes to having an inclination that his close chommie Selebi has been up to no good. It smells like the typical excuse made by whites regarding apartheid: “I didn’t know.” Give me a frikkin’ break.

I don’t know about you, but if I was running a country and my friend, who just so happens to be the custodian of our law and order and is the leader of Interpol, cantankerously announced to the world that a confirmed thug is his friend, finish and klaar, I would klap that fool right out of his position.

In a country like ours that is besieged by crime and corruption, I would prove to you, my tax-paying masses, that I respect you enough to fire anyone with a penchant for dodgy activities, purely as a matter of principle. But no, to date Manto the kleptomaniac is still peddling garlic, and Jackie is on paid leave.

Now that he’s lost control of the ANC, a visibly depressed and (hopefully) embarrassed Mbeki had to eat humble pie and announce to the masses:

“Eh Polokwane, we’ve got a problem.”

It’s not a uniquely South African phenomenon for rich people to get away with murder and get slaps on their wrists for outrageous criminal behaviour. You don’t even have to search too far when you look at how white people continue to get away with one of the biggest crimes against humanity, apartheid.

The only saving grace about all this rubbish is that there is still enough of a justice system that allows for people to be investigated and charged and it’s only getting better as comrade turns against comrade.

In addition, our media freedom allows for us to report and read about it every single day. I call that progress, even though we clearly have a long way to go.

Convictions may be few and far between, and they may not be as severe as the crimes demand, but we’re not quite in the mess Kenya is in right now.

And that ought to count for something.

• Kgomotso Matsunyane is a partner at TOM Pictures, an award-winning film and TV company in Johannesburg.

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