Was Bheki Cele speaking to the plants?

2014-11-16 06:00

Tuesday. I’m catching up on some reading after a week of higher learning. A pretty damned fine gig. Hanging around Wits, learning shit from cats not much older than my offspring, Small James and Big James.

I’m the kinda old dog who’s always keen to learn new tricks, so I’m good with that.

My academic career was pretty brief. Even shorter than Pallo Jordan’s, I reckon. Two semesters at what was then Natal Technikon.

The journalism department was stashed away in Oldham House near the Warwick Avenue market. Around the corner from City Campus in then Smith Street.

So that the black students with licences to attend Tech blended in. Oldham House shared a wall with the TB clinic, and enough bottle stores and merchants to make sure that my learning was really of the higher sort.

Oldham House now churns out paramedics instead of journalists and secretaries. The TB clinic is still the TB clinic. The bottle stores are still there. The merchants are still there too. Now they sell whoonga.

I never made it back for the final semester of my diploma. The world got in the way. It is what it is.

What it means though is that every time I get a chance to learn something, I do.

Unlike the Cat in the Hat, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Bheki Cele. While I was feeding my brain, Ndosi should have been talking to the plants.

Or getting things ready for when the Ambrosini Bill is passed.

Instead, he was making a pretty cynical bid to get his old job back (he is a former national police commissioner). Using social media and Senzo Meyiwa’s corpse. Not cool.

The Cat in the Hat and I go way back. From when he came out of jail. When he got tramped by the SAP for trying to stop them from shooting people. I have a picture somewhere.

In those days, he spent his time stopping the Babylon, the IFP and the comrades from killing people. He was pretty good at it.

The Cat in the Hat and I shared a bed in Siyabonga Cwele’s house at Gamalakhe. There were sandbags made from Checkers bags packed around the walls to waist height because the IFP were revving the house every night.

The Cat in the Hat looked bangin’ in his general’s uniform. Pity about amaBerete and the “shoot to kill” shit. And the leases.

Truth is, if the Cat in the Hat was still allowed to wear the general’s cap, Zamokuhle Mbatha wouldn’t have made it to the cop shop alive, let alone have been released by a magistrate.

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