Gifts for the Guptas

2017-06-30 14:14

It’s at times like this that I miss the South African Post Office. Because as many times as I run to check the mailbox there is still no “Thank You” note from the Gupta Family. Which is strange because according to the latest leaked emails, my wife and I did pay for the wedding at Sun City. And quite an affair it was I believe. It was very nice of us to contribute, if you come to think of it. Especially as we are blessed with a number of children of own who are yet to be married and might well have to pay for those celebrations.

And we don’t actually know the Guptas. Not personally that is. And yet somehow they have become part of the fabric of our home and the home of every South African.

We might well have been the only one not invited, considering the amount of people that were carted in for the occasion. It reminded me of that (very) old 1980s Sun City advert, ”Go by bus, go by plane, go by car…. Just get there.” And get there they did. Well, everyone but us.

Which is a relief.

Because I would have absolutely no idea what to have gifted them. What does one give a couple who have stolen everything? Do they have a registry set up with the Department of Mineral and Energy one wonders? Would they like a coal mine in Mpumalanga or rather prefer the country’s power utility? Perhaps a lovely nuclear contract would be just the thing, provided there is no fall-out. My wife thought a train set to be a good option– so long as the carriages fit. But I believe that that option was already secured. Or at least paid for.

I imagine that close family friends would have gone for something a little more extravagant. Like a Minister, or at the very least a member of Parliament. But deciding whether to buy them the country’s Finance Minister (very expensive in my view) or Speaker of the House (also not cheap) is not easy. Perhaps a contract with an international PR firm could be the very thing for a couple starting out, or a few fake Twitter accounts just to get the ball rolling.

The possibilities, it would seem are endless.

Unlike the wealth of the country that has been pillaged.

As the leaked Gupta emails continue to assault South Africans daily, the extent of the rot, of the theft and of the lack of care for the country is almost too much to comprehend. Hardly a state entity has been untouched and has not fallen into the hands of the calculating and heartless group that celebrates at the country’s expense.

The wedding it would seem, was quite the affair. It took place at a time when my wife and I, along with most other South Africans, were young and naïve. And had no idea what was really afoot. But yet somehow South Africans knew that something was wrong with the whole picture even if we couldn’t put our collective fingers on it. Of course the whole Waterkloof Airport Base debacle made us uncomfortable. We knew inherently that some poor official was the fall guy for allowing guests to enter and exit the country without record, and that he did it on behalf of someone else. And yet there was no way that in those young days that we could have imagined that wholesale and cruel theft that was taking place under our noses.

But now we know. Maybe we don’t know it all. And maybe we never will. But there can be little doubt as to the extent and the depth of the corruption. And as parliament readies itself for yet another Vote of no Confidence in the President it is clear that no matter what the Speaker of the House decides, nothing is a secret.

The leaked Gupta emails made one thing very clear. They danced and they fiddled at the wedding.

All while we burned.

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