Once upon a time . . . after 1994 . . . in a land south of the Limpopo, a young princess grew up happy and content in spite of potholes, corrupt politicians, and her jealous stepmother. The princess was called Snow White.
Her stepmother, *Ancilla, was a greedy woman with excellent struggle credentials. Every day she would ask her **magic mirror: "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s got the most tenders of them all?"
The reply was always: "You, your Majesty." Then, one dreadful day, the mirror answered: "Snow White has got the most tenders in the land." The stepmother was furious and wild with jealousy; she accused the mirror of racism, apartheid, colonialism, plotting with the Boeremag, and bringing Malema’s name into disrepute.
Snow White left the castle and moved deep into the Forest of Lonmin; in exile. Lonmin was almost like Sherwood Forest; the home of greedy colonialists, who – just like those in government – stole from the poor to give onto themselves – but that’s another story.
Snow White was all alone on a hill near a mine. She hardly slept a wink because of the noise coming from a nearby mining hostel – the miners were busy with their usual all-night merrymaking.
At last, dawn broke – the hung-over miners left for work – and Snow White decided to visit the hostel. Walking amongst the empty bottles, beer cans, and debris of the previous night’s party, she was amazed at how the miners could afford so much booze on just R4 000 a month.
She peeked into a room with a tiny door, tiny windows and a tiny, overflowing chamber pot. Everything about the room was much tinier than it ought to be. Snow White kicked the door open – just like a real cop.
"I wonder who lives here?" she said to herself. "What tiny TV screens! And fridges! And stoves! With seven dirty little mattresses on the floor! What a mess! There must be seven of them! Enough to start a new trade union!”
Snow White entered the room and passed out from the smell of pot. (Pot, you understand? Not the pot.) She only woke when the miners returned home; with the chief miner slapping her repeatedly.
"Pardon me for asking, Madam, but could you identify yourself?" He asked politely: having studied for his chieftainship in the UK. Snow White told them her sad story, and tears sprang to the miner’s eyes. Then one of them said, as he noisily blew his nose:
"Stay here! Lead us to economic freedom!"
"You can live here and tend to the room while we're down the mine with Zion. Don't worry about your stepmother; we'll take care of you!" Snow White gratefully accepted their hospitality and next morning the miners set off for work. But they warned Snow White not to open the door to strangers. Especially to someone wearing a T-shirt with: “I will die for Zuma,” printed on it.
Meanwhile, the stepmother turned again to the magic mirror. But her hopes were dashed, for the mirror replied: "The tenderest in the land is still Snow White, who now lives in sin with seven miners, seven days a week, on seven mattresses, in a single room in the Lonmin Forest." The stepmother was beside herself with rage.
"Kill the miner! Kill the Boer!" she screamed.
Disguised as an old sangoma, Ancilla told the miners that if they killed Snow White their salaries would be increased to R12 500 per month.
She also told the cops that if they shot the miners their salaries would be increased to R4 000. The cops believed her.
But here, dear Reader, the story deviates a little.
These miners were not so easily fooled – they knew that the sangoma was lying to them. They stoned old Ancilla. They stoned her mirror. They stoned the cops.
Then they went home and got stoned and had an all-night party with Snow White and their seven mattresses.
***Fluit-fluit, THE END.
Happy NUMSA, Sleepy SADTU, Sneezy SAMWU, Grumpy FAWU, Dopey SATAWU, Bashful NEHAWU, and Doc POPCRU
*Ancilla – Latin for "maid"
**magic mirror – spokesperson
***Fluit-fluit – whistle-whistle