FICTION: The Bribe, Part two

By Drum Digital
22 November 2016

"I know how this all looks, but it’s not what you think."

By Pamela Muyoba

For months Matomola was a worried man. He sometimes had nightmares about being caught and getting arrested. But a year went by and nothing happened. He began to think there was nothing to worry about.

One day, Matomola received a text message from an unknown number. The person who sent the text wanted to meet him somewhere private. Matomola immediately figured it was a client, and he smiled, thinking how lucky he was, because his cash flow had dried up and he needed money. So, when his shift was over, he immediately went to meet the stranger at the place they had agreed.

"Officer, thank you for coming at such short notice."

Matomola thought he had seen the man somewhere because he looked familiar.

"Have we met before?"

"I don't think so. Why d'you ask?"

"Your face looks familiar, as if I've seen you before."

"Maybe it's because I appear in a lot of financial publications. You must have seen me in one of them.”

The stranger then introduced himself as business mogul Thomas Magugwe. He claimed to have been involved in a sexual assault case.

"I'm a very rich and famous person and the last thing I need is bad publicity. I'm always speaking out against the abuse of women and I support several women's organisations. It would look bad if I'm found guilty of taking advantage of a young woman."

"With all due respect sir, what you did was wrong," Matomola answered.

"I know, but what is done is done, and there's nothing I can do. We all make mistakes and that's why I'm asking for your help. All you have to do is name your price."

Matomola was impressed because most of his clients used to come up with a price. But with Mr. Magugwe he could choose any amount that he wanted. Such opportunities were rare and he had to make the best of it. He demanded R80 000 and the man had no problem in paying it. Matomola then asked his client to give him a little time to get hold of the docket.

His wife was anxiously waiting at home. "How did it go?" she asked.

"It was perfect; Mr. Magugwe is willing to pay any amount."

"It sounds too good to be true. What if this is a trap?"

"You're right, Chuma. What should we do?"

"I have an idea, let's Google Magugwe, check him out on the internet. If he's really so famous and rich as he claims, we'll find something. "

They searched for his name on the internet and the man was indeed extremely rich. He owned a mine, a radio station and a lot more. He was genuine because the information on the internet dated back many years and there was no way he could have made up all the data. And the photos on the internet were a perfect match for the face of the man Matomola had met. He was definitely not an impostor.

Matomola went about things and stole Magugwe's docket. He called him and they agreed to meet at their usual place. Magaugwe was happy to see Matomola with the docket, and said, "I knew you were a fast and reliable man."

"You got that right! Because I've been doing this thing for a while now and I don't intend to stop any time soon."

Matomola gave the docket to his client, who wrote and signed the hefty cheque and handed it over. Matomola took it and gave a big smile.

"I hope that's the last smile I see on your face," said Magugwe, and Matomola was confused. But things were made simple for him when Officer Magugwe pulled out his police ID.

"Call me Skhumbuzo! Internal Police Investigation Department,” he said proudly.

Matomola stammered, "No wonder your face was familiar. But how did you manage to pull everything off? Even a fake name and information on the internet!"

"You're in no position to ask questions. But everything was real. It's a great help to me, having a twin brother who's in business. And as a matter of fact, he's rolling in money. All I had to do was use his name. What you read on the internet was real, and it's a good thing that my brother only talks business in his interviews – never about his family or personal matters. Because of that, many people don't know he's got an identical twin brother."

Matomola knew he had been trapped and there was no way out.

He said:

Skhumbuzo Magugwe laughed. "Even when you're caught you still want to deny everything! When I heard about your case I insisted on handling it myself, because rotten apples like you give the cops a bad name. If the lawmakers can't serve justice, where are the people going to get it? I hope you get a stiff sentence."

Then Detective Skhumbuzo Magugwe handcuffed Matomola and read him his rights.

The End.

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