Harry Gwala, where are you?

2014-05-01 14:39

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Wednesday. We’re at church. I’m not that pleased. It’s partially because I’m not a church kinda guy.

I guess that comes from having a lay preacher for a grandfather. And being born in a place where people wanted to kill each other because – among other reasons – they belonged to different congregations.

So generally, I only do church for funerals or political meetings. It is what it is. I don’t generally get invited to weddings.

The best political church gig I ever did was one aimed at getting Robert McBride off death row. It was in this church in Durban. Nobody else would supply a venue.

There’s all these church cats praying for liberation. Lotsa hymns. There’s a couple thousand comrades wanting to get stuck in. They’re at church to listen to Harry Gwala. Gwala’s not exactly a churchgoer. The Nats threw him out of jail so negotiations could happen.

Word comes that Gwala’s on his way. The temperature rises. The comrades are kicking holes in the floor. The Lion of the Midlands walks in. The church leaders walk out. There’s pandemonium.

Back to Wednesday. We’re at Regina Mundi church in Soweto. Gary (the pics man) is also not pleased. We’re meant to be following the Commander in Chief during his last week of campaigning. It’s proven more difficult than you’d think.

It should be like falling off a log. Given the massive entourage of vehicles, guns, bodyguards and cats and catesses with T-shirts with his head on them that follows him around, no matter what province he’s in. Not this election.

President Jacob Zuma failed to show up for a prayer service at Regina Mundi church in Soweto on Wednesday (April 30 2014). Picture: Muntu Vilakazi/City Press

In 2009, things were groovy. The CiC was coming off dealing with the former CiC at Polokwane. Zizi Kodwa was running the ANC spin machine. Nkandla was still a town 50km or so from the CiC’s home at Nxamalala.

This time around, the ANC road machine is all 007. The big man’s movements are a closely guarded secret. Programmes go out after dark the day before a CiC gig. Host provinces are sworn to secrecy, if they even know what’s going down. The government handlers can’t help. The Luthuli House ones won’t. Things are bad.

Tuesday. We’re hammering it from Jozi to Mooinooi. The Prez is meant to be there. Just as we’re taking the Rustenberg turn we get the aerials. The CiC’s bailing. Marikana doesn’t want anything to do with him. Strangely enough. The gig’s off. There’s way too many green T-shirts on the ground.

We burn it back to the big city.

Wednesday, we’re up early. The Prez is gonna be at the Zola-Jabulani District Hospital in Soweto. There’s a whole province of resources across the road from the Jabulani Mall. We’re locked and loaded.

I’m getting restless. We need to get to Polokwane by the evening. I text M. That’s 007’s handler. M says the CiC isn’t coming. We hit Regina Mundi.

This is Gary’s gig, not mine. Lotsa stained glass and warm light. Shooter’s paradise. For me, it’s looking swak. There’s lotsa women in Angie Motshekga outfits. They’re singing. They’re even more people with disabilities who have been bussed in. They’re singing and dancing. There’s no CiC.

I get texting. The lahnee’s a no-show. He’s in Pretoria on some IEC gig. The rest of today, an ANC Youth League house handover at Mabopane, has vanished into the ether.

Gary’s still shooting.

All the faithful are milling. I’m standing around like a muppet.

Harry Gwala, where are you?

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.