‘Nathi, this is your bailiwick. What happened to Marius Fransman and why was it allowed to happen?’
Nathi Mthethwa rubbed his head, his glasses glinting in the harsh overhead light. Gwede Mantashe was angry, and justifiably so. Nathi had hired a group of thugs to break up a DA meeting and they had arrived at the wrong meeting, mistaking Marius Fransman for a DA member. He shook his head, and was thankful he had thought to wear brown trousers today.
‘I don’t know Gwede, I really don’t know. They say that, because he’s a coloured, and Jimmy Manyi said there are too many coloureds in the Cape, he must have been DA.’
‘But there were ANC banners everywhere!’ exploded Mantashe, his little Lenin beard covered in spittle, which had also managed to splatter onto his glasses.
‘They didn’t see the banners, Gwede, they only saw the coloureds everywhere, and remembered what Comrade Jimmy said.’
‘And what about the journalist your policemen assaulted?’
‘Ah, that’s okay. We took the card out of his camera, so he has no proof of what we did.’ He smiled a little self-satisfied smile. ‘And we declared the meeting hall a national key-point, so if he reports on it, we’ll put him in jail.’
Gwede nodded in satisfaction. ‘At least you’ve done something right in this mess. What are the DA saying?’
‘They’re complaining about police brutality again, but nobody listens to them. It’s like complaining about the trains being late; it’s just a fact of life.’
Gwede stroked his beard. ‘Was Comrade Marius hurt?’
Nathi shook his head. ‘The police got there in time and distributed DA t-shirts to the thugs, so now I can blame the DA for sending out thugs to break up one of our meetings.’
Gwede snorted. ‘No-one’s going to believe that!’
‘Except the voters.’
Gwede laughed then, and slapped Nathi on the shoulder. ‘Good one, Nathi, good one! As long as they believe it, that’s all that counts.’
‘I’ve got even better news!’
Gwede looked keenly at him. ‘And what would that be?’
‘I’ve got photos of Helen Zille welcoming the Guptas to Waterkloof Air Force Base.’
Gwede was astonished. ‘How did you manage that?’
Nathi laughed. ‘Photoshop, my friend, Photoshop.’
Gwede shook his head. ‘No-one’s going to believe that!’
Nathis smiled smugly. The brown trousers had not been necessary after all. ‘Except the voters, Gwede, except the voters.’
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