What have our students become?

2008-03-19 00:00

The recent police attack on student drinking holes in Stellenbosch has left me horrified. The cops swooped on three bars and all they found were two joints and a pill. What kind of students are we dealing with here? If these had been bars frequented by undergraduates from the

University of KwaZulu-Natal, the police would have needed a fleet of garbage trucks to remove the drugs.

Were these Stellenbosch students even drinking? I doubt it. If they had been, surely they would have fought back instead of cowering and whimpering like a litter of freshly whipped puppies. Even the bouncers were curled up beneath the pool tables.

I have seen the video footage and, to be frank, I feel ashamed to call myself a South African. Have we become a nation of craven curs? Where was that indomitable Afrikaner spirit that kept 40 million darkies in their place for all those years?

It’s a damn good thing that Stellenbosch is no longer a breeding ground for the country’s leaders. Imagine that lot in power. The entire cabinet would hit the deck at the first sign of trouble. Malawi would be able to invade us.

A policeman is not, in principle, permitted to shoot you in the face simply because you refuse to listen to him. But if you are a student in a bar at 2 am and you’re not drunk and have no drugs on you, I would say that an officer would be within his rights to shoot you in the leg at the very least.

Given that police are coming into our bars and causing mayhem, we need to go out there and meet them on their own turf. We must not sit back and wait for them to come to us. If you are angry about something or feeling sexually frustrated, go to your nearest police station and ask to speak to the most senior officer there. Once he is within striking distance, slap him hard. If you have pepper spray, use it. You do not have to provide a reason for your actions. If he insists that you explain yourself, tell him that you have reason to believe that there are weapons and drugs on the premises. He will blush furiously and encourage you to leave quietly because he knows you are right and there is nothing he can do about it.

Right now I have more pressing matters to attend to. There is a crisis of terrible proportions unfolding in the Deep South and nobody is doing anything about it. Let me be blunt. Germany has invaded Simon’s Town.

Ted and I discovered this on Thursday night when we tried to get a drink at the Seaforth Hotel. The usually empty verandah was jammed with burly cropped-haired brutes braying and barking in a harsh guttural tongue. A fast-moving pack of Aryans beat us to the last free table.

“This isn’t Poland, you herrenvolk bastards,” shouted Ted. I dragged him back to the parking lot and explained that the German navy had been invited to come over and play with our navy for a bit.

Hungry for revenge, we returned to Simon’s Town on Saturday with the aim of sinking one of their frigates. Ted carried a concealed hammer and I lashed a small screwdriver to my thigh. What we hadn’t bargained on was getting caught in the middle of the South African Navy Festival.

We approached the gates to the base expecting to be strip- searched. Instead, a surly knave thrust a programme into my hands. It warned us not to bring any weapons into the area. From where I stood, I could see two 35 mm twin-barrelled guns, four 20 mm Oerlikon cannons and eight Exocet surface-to-surface missiles. Damned if I was going to surrender my screwdriver.

Some festival it was. Boerewors rolls and battleships. A bagpipe band and a couple of tatty submarines up on bricks. Lots of screaming children.

Millions of blowflies swarming around the ThyssenKrupp signs.

But we weren’t there to have fun. We were there to deal a crippling blow to the German navy. Ted asked a black man in a waiter’s uniform to bring us two cold beers but he claimed to be some sort of high-ranking officer on the SAS Isandlwana and threatened to report us to the military police.

We came across dozens of people queuing to get on board the SAS Amatola and tried in vain to get them to protest. “Don’t you understand,” I shouted. “You helped to pay for this monstrosity. Wouldn’t you rather the government had bought you a house?”

Apparently not. All they wanted to do was see the guns up close. They deserve to be poor.

Eventually we found it. A big humourless gray hulk. The Einsatzgruppenversorger. “Catchy name,” said Ted. At the foot of the gangplank was a mat. The progeny of one of Josef Mengele’s less successful experiments told us to wipe our feet before boarding. I expect the ship would have to be quarantined if a speck of African dirt found its way on board.

There were too many slack-jawed gawkers around for us to scuttle the ship and in the end I had to settle for scraping my car key along one of the metal doors.

We hurried off to catch an event billed as Dry Dock Flooding but it turned out to be nothing more than water pouring into a big hole with none of the screaming and drowning that usually accompanies a good flooding.

After that I wanted to see something called Tug Ballet but Ted said that if the Germans were involved it was probably a euphemism for synchronised masturbation.

Thoroughly miserable, we went back to the main street and holed up in a bar called The Nelson where we were joined by two women with no front teeth, three young girls with five toy handguns between them and a two-year-old who said: “F…ing cops”, when she heard a police siren outside.

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