Under-standing ‘Zuma-speak’, riveting

ACTING on condition of anonymity a senior party insider has made available to me the ANC’s official decoding manual, titled Gobbledegook Unscrambled: A Beginners Guide to Understanding Zuma-speak, and what a treasure trove of information it provides.

From the humblest and most remote municipalities, through provincial administrations to the highest officials in the land, all contingencies are catered for.

A municipal manager in rural KZN, for instance, announced at a hastily arranged press briefing: “I can categorically and unequivocally state that proper tender procedures were rigidly adhered to in awarding the R357 million roads contract and I reject with contempt all scurrilous suggestions to the contrary.”

Decoded, this translates as: “My wife, under her maiden name, won the contract and will be assisted in the administration thereof by our son, my three brothers and Rufus, the family dog, who will receive R3 m for providing on-site security.”

A provincial MEC, commenting on the umpteenth disclaimer issued to his department by the Auditor-General, said: “Members of the public can rest assured that we will leave no stone unturned in rooting out the corruption and incompetence that has cost the department billions of rand.”

The true meaning of which is: “We will continue to milk the system for all it is worth.”

The presidential section is replete with denials to suit all occasions, and it comes as no surprise to learn that the words “the president is applying his mind to the matter”, actually means “the president doesn’t give a tinker’s cuss.”

But there are, perhaps, grounds for hope. My informant has revealed that the president, each Tuesday afternoon, seeks advise and guidance from two consultant sources he holds in equally high esteem - the Almighty and the Guptas.

john gardener Howick

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
As South Africa faces down the third Covid-19 wave, how are you keeping your family safe ?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Staying at home, isolating and being careful
11% - 9 votes
Sanitising and wearing masks when we go out
75% - 60 votes
Going on as usual, we're not afraid of the virus
14% - 11 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.13
-0.0%
Rand - Pound
19.87
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.11
-0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.93
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.3%
Gold
1,833.68
+0.4%
Silver
27.15
+0.2%
Palladium
2,902.49
+1.3%
Platinum
1,226.94
+1.4%
Brent Crude
67.05
-3.3%
Top 40
60,387
+0.3%
All Share
66,411
+0.4%
Resource 10
68,899
-0.8%
Industrial 25
83,232
+0.9%
Financial 15
12,681
+1.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo