Zuma’s worthy namesake

2007-12-12 00:00

Dear Jacob Zuma,

I was reading my Bible on Sunday afternoon while taking a break from drinking heavily and abusing the wife when I came across a story involving your namesake. The similarities were startling.

Jacob was the third biblical patriarch. You are likely to be the third democratically elected president.

Neither of you went to school.

Jacob had 12 sons with several wives and concubines. You’re not telling how many children you have, but I’m willing to bet that your strike rate would make the other Jacob look impotent.

Jacob was a gentle man and so, I believe, are you. That business with the machine gun is simply something you have to do to appease the bloodlust of the voters.

One day, Jacob’s brother Esau returned from the field faint from a lack of food. Seeing an opportunity, Jacob offered to sell Esau some lentil soup in exchange for the birthright which belonged to Esau as the older brother.

One day, you returned from the office faint from a lack of money. Seeing an opportunity, you (allegedly) met with Alain Thetard who (allegedly) offered you R500 000 a year in exchange for protection against a probe into arms deal irregularities.

Jacob’s last 17 years were spent in Egypt. Your last 17 years will be spent in the Union Buildings. Or maybe Westville Prison.

Jacob died at the age of 147. It might be best for all concerned if this is where the similarities between you and your biblical counterpart come to an end.

I must congratulate you on getting the ANC Women’s League to come around to our way of thinking. You have done a magnificent job of getting so-called women’s issues off the national agenda and back into the bedroom where they belong.

You, Jacob, are a man of the people. Do you mind if I call you Jacob? Of course you don’t. You are such a grassroots type of fellow that you would probably object to the formality. Jake it is, then.

Jake for president. It has a nice ring to it. And why not? You have demonstrated that you possess what it takes to lead this fine country. For a start, most men are too afraid to have unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman. But not you, Jake. You showed the world that real men don’t discriminate. You showed us that real men treat all women equally. Your disease is my disease. Or, as the Spanish say, su enfermedad es mi enfermedad.

You, more than most, have a firm grasp of the axiom that powerful men have powerful libidos. And you know all too well that the one is meaningless unless used in conjunction with the other. Bill Clinton understood this. So did the Kennedys. Tony Blair, on the other hand, was clueless. This is why his foreign policy was generally a limp, flaccid affair.

You have paid your dues, Jake. You have paid your R12 a year to be a member of the ANC. And you are nothing if not an upstanding member. Sure, there were tough years in which R12 was not always easy to come by. But those were also the good times — times when you knew you could make a call without worrying about whether your telephone records were going to be subpoenaed by the Scorpions. A time when you could ring up an old buddy in Durban and say: “Hey old buddy, you wouldn’t have a million or two to spare, would you?” And your old buddy would say: “Sure thing, Jake. But whatever you do, please don’t use your position as deputy president to secure me an arms procurement contract.”

Everyone has to borrow money at some point in their lives. I’ve borrowed money in the past. Perhaps not on the same scale as you, Jake. After all, R40 for a bottle of Klipdrift doesn’t really compare.

But once again the gods of good fortune smiled on you. The man you borrowed from is spending 15 years in jail. I have to repay my debts or risk getting my legs broken.

Mbeki is clearly jealous of your ability to sing and dance, often at the same time. You stand up in front of thousands of people and sing revolutionary songs about your machine gun. Mbeki stands in the shower and makes up songs about his trip to the World Economic Forum.

You have a pretty Indian girl as an advisor. Mbeki has Essop Pahad.

Your middle name is Gedleyihlekisa. Thabo’s is Mvuyelwa, a full six letters shorter than yours.

You are 100% Zulu. Thabo is 100% Xhosa. I am 60% Dutch, 20% British, five percent Scottish and 15% street.

A last word of advice. Don’t trust Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. She says she is trying to get you and Mbeki to play nicely, but I am convinced that her eyes are on the prize. You can’t trust a woman you’re not sleeping with. If I were you, I would move quickly on this.

Run, Jake, run, 2009 is your year. I’ll be in a bar watching your inauguration with pride, even it does happen to be a bar near my new home in Wagga Wagga.

Yours truly,

Ben Trovato

(shadow minister of information).

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