“Come on Mac,” President Zuma said, exasperated at his spokesperson. “It is simple maths. The more children I have, the more nannies we need to hire. The more baby formula we need to buy which means we are creating job opportunities in that industry. The more baby clothes we will need so I am creating job opportunities in that industry also. And so on. You see?”
Mac Maharaj shrugged, his cumulonimbus cloud like eyebrows rising on his forehead.
Zuma continued. “I don’t like doing this Mac. Marrying all these woman. Making all these children. But I am doing it as part of my promise to create 6 million job opportunities. Even Nkandla. Imagine if it was smaller. I would only have a handful of people working in my garden. But now. Now, I must have an army of people to manage it. To clean the Kraal, to clean and feed the chickens. To clean the fire pool. Why don’t the people understand Mac? I don’t do this for me. This house, is not for me. It is for them. In fact, I think we need a fire Jacuzzi as well. For the people.”
Mac Maharaj stood up from his seat and walked over to the window in Zuma’s massive Nkandla office. “I know Mr. President. These people just don’t understand or appreciate the sacrifices you make for them.”
There was a knock on the door.
“Come in.” Zuma called.
The large, mahogany doors were pushed open and in stepped Nazir Allie and Vusi Mona.
“Ah, my friends.” Zuma smiled. “We were just talking about you. I have decided that I need a fire Jacuzzi, and what the hell, a fire sauna too. Where is my money from the E-tolls?”
Mona looked sheepishly and Nazir Allie.
“Mr President. The people are refusing to pay.” Mona said.
“Yes Mr President.” Concurred Allie, who looks like an adult version of one of those children from the film, Village of the Damned. “No matter how much lies we tell them about other people buying e-tags, or how many times we try to bully and threaten them, the sales are not there.”
“But Vusi.” Maharaj added. “Why won’t they believe you? Is it because of your past…discretions that people don’t trust you?”
“You mean the time when I was City Press Editor and I ran a fake article accusing Public Prosecutor Bulelani Ngcuka of being an Apartheid spy, in order to discredit him before he tried to charge President Zuma with corruption?”
“No,” replied Maharaj. “The other reason.”
“Oh,” Mona said, knowingly. “You mean the time when I was a secret shareholder at Rainbow Kwanda and I used my political contacts to get my start up company a R30 million PR tender in Mpumalanga. “ He shook his head slowly. “It can’t be that. Most people have forgotten about it.”
“Then why are the South African people not giving me more money!” Zuma demanded.
Maharaj turned to the snow capped Allie. “And you. Your salary was increased by R1.1 million last year to over R3 million and you got a R679 000.00 bonus. The government gave you people at SANRAL R5.7 Billion, despite you making a R4.7 Billion loss. And the Auditor General highlighted R3.3 Billion in irregular spending by SANRAL. Why…”
“Haai Mac,” Zuma interrupted. “Auditor- General? What does the Army have to do with this? I don’t care how much money SANRAL has wasted. I just want my money. Send these people to jail that don’t want to pay.”
“That is what we are threatening to do.” Interjected Mona. “But they rightly believe that it is logistically impossible to charge and convict all non-payers.”
“I don’t care.” Zuma was livid. “With all the murderers and rapists that we are not convicted and those that we are sending out on parole, there should be enough space for these non-payers. Charge them all.” He paused. “But wait until after the elections…Ahe Ahe Ahe.”