In what must surely be the scoop of the century, President Jacob Zuma has granted me an exclusive interview in his palace at Nkandla.
It all happened as in a fairy tale.
Sakkie hurriedly came up to me, stuffed an airplane ticket in my hand, and brusquely said: “Number 1 is waiting.” He walked away in a sulk (because he had to stay at home). I packed a few things and rushed off to Jan Smuts Airport.
(After implementing a policy of not renaming airports after politicians, the corrupt ANC Government renamed the airport after Oliver Tambo. I do not recognise this name – so stuff them. I shall go to my funeral pyre with Jan Smuts (PBUH) on my lips.)
So, to cut a long tottie short, finally – there we were – Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma and I, sipping 50-year-old Glenfiddich single malt whisky with Umqombothi chasers, and gazing over the green, lush, Nkandla palace grounds, in Natal.
“Mister President, why me? Why did you decide to grant me this interview?” I asked.
“Two things,” he said. “One, the name Irukandji has a nice, Zulu-sounding ring to it. Two, you are well known for your honesty.”
“That is so true. Thank you, sir. May I record this interview for posterity?”
“Sure, my friend. Mi casa es su casa, or as they say in Zulu: Indlu yami uba indlu yakho – my wives and goats are your wives and goats.”
I switched on my little Sony ICDX-2 digital voice recorder and sat back.
“Scrupulously Honest Irukandji, Honourable Speeka of the National Assembly, Chairpessin of the National Council of Proveences; Deputy Speeka of the National Assembly and Deputy Chairpessin of the NCOP; Deputy President of the Republic, Honourable Kgalema Motlanthe; Former Deputy President Baleka Mbethe, Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic, and all esteemed membas of the Judiciary; Honourable Meeneesters and Deputy Meeneesters, Distinguished Premiers and Speekas of our Proveences; Chairpessin of SALGA, and all local government leedaship; Chairpessin of the National House of Traditional Leedas; Hets of Chaptah 9 Institutions; The Goviena of the Reserve Bank, Leedas from Beesness, Spots, Traditional, Religious and all Sectas, Membas of the deeplomatic corps, Special and distinguished guests, Honourable membas, Fellow South African pee pull, Good evening, sanibonani, molweni, dumelang, riperile, ndimadekwana, goeienaand.
South Africa, tonight you are looking at a man who is full of remorse and ashamed.”
(I looked down, and sure enough, the remorseness was running down both legs of his Armani suit. I couldn’t see any ashamedness because his zip was up. But that is not important right now.)
“I have come to realize that I am an embarrassment to the pee pull. And to South Africa as a hole. I am the worst leeda this country has ever had. Even worse than Malema. I am full of sorryness.”
(I looked down at his trousers again, but couldn’t see any sorryness there.)
“Firstly, I have to confess: my Umthondo is not nearly as big as in that painting: The Spear, by Brett Murray. I paid him to make it look much bigger.
Be that as it may.
Investigations have been done and they found nothing against me. This is because the investigators work for me, and I instructed them not to find anything against me. I’m as guilty as sin and I’m going to make amends. Here’s what I’m going to do:
Tomorrow, I’m going to step down as president. Then I’m going to give away all the wives, children, cows, goats, and chickens, mistresses, bodyguards, and concubines (in that order), that are running around the Nkandla palace.
Nkandla shall be turned into a care and support centre for abused women and children.
Then I am going to pay back every cent of the R246 million that I have stolen from the taxpayers of this country.
I confess: I am guilty of all the charges of fraud and corruption that were brought against me. But it’s not 738, it is actually 740 – they’ve miscounted a couple.
Next, I am going to charge those skelms, the Guptas, and fine them R100 billion for their shenanigans. Then I’m going to kick their ingquzas out of this country forever.
Shaik is going back to prison. Together with Selebi, Cele, McBride, and every other corrupt ANC politician in government – in other weds: all of them. They will spend the rest of their miserable lives rotting in jail.
Once again, comrades, I am sorry. The devil made me do it. Please forgive me.
Nkosi Sukkel met Africa. Boohoo! Sob, sob!
I thank you.”
He broke down in tears.
I couldn’t help feeling sorry for the man. I didn’t Boo out of politeness.
Before I left, we spent a pleasant evening sitting around the fire pool – spit braaiing a couple of bovine carcasses – while some of his wives, goats, mistresses, bodyguards, chickens, and concubines, were dancing topless around the fire to the latest hit song, Nkandla Style.
Later Zuma fetched his guitar. He sang “Mshini wami,” and I sang “Hotel California.” We talked about the good old days of apartheid. He called me “Baas Iru,” and I called him “Boy.” The Glenfiddich and Umqombothi kicked in; dronkverdriet overcame upon us, and we had a good old cry on one another’s shoulders. I said I would die for him, and he said that he would kill for me. Or kill me. (I’m not quite sure exactly what he said; things had gotten a bit fuzzy at that stage.) We finally parted company, and I staggered off to bed.
I slept badly – Nkandla has noisy plumbing; and someone was relentlessly taking showers every half an hour, throughout the night…
I flew back to Pretoria – eager publish my exclusive story. But, as luck would have it, the fickle finger of fate had struck again.
When I switched on my little Sony ICDX-2 digital voice recorder, I only heard a faint hissing sound coming from the bloody thing – Zuma’s sophisticated electronic security shield at Nkandla, had erased my recording of the interview. Big disappointment!
Then I remembered JZ telling me to give him a call. So I did.
“Hi, JZ, how’re things, bru?” I asked. “I want to ask a favour. My recording has gone blank; could you repeat some of what said at our interview?”
“By all means,” he said. “As I told you during our interview, I’ve done nothing wrong. Even if they look underneath a tree or a rock they won’t find anything against me. I’m not guilty. Ask Mac. Besides, it’s April Fool’s Day. No one is going to believe your story anyway.”
“By the way,” he continued, “I’m having a big party at Nkandla after the elections, and you’re welcome to join us.”
And he hung up.