“Zuma did it again.” Gertruida issues the flat statement with an air of despondency.
Boggel puts down the Cactus Jack in front of her, raises an eyebrow. “Another wedding? Twins? More improvements at Inkandla?”
“No, Boggel. He’ll need the services of an orthopaedic surgeon this time.” She takes a swig, sighs happily, “Boy, am I glad we live in Rolbos. At least we’re too unimportant to notice, otherwise he would have had a dig at us, too.”
“What are you going on about, Gertruida? You don’t make sense…” The question marks in Servaas’ eyes are all too plain to see.
“Our dear president,” she pauses a second to emphasise her point, “has just said that Africans should not have pets. And if they do, they shouldn’t take them to a vet. And may I remind you his massive complex is situated in KwaZulu Natal, one of the places with the highest incidence of Rabies. Oh, and he didn’t stop there. He said Africans should stop trying to be White. Only White Africans are supposed to keep pets – it’s a bad habit. According to him, straightening hair is a denial of their heritage. He wants to implement a program to ‘correct’ the thoughts of the younger generation – so they can learn how to be African again.”
“But that has been the purpose of other governments in the past, as well. I mean: to ‘educate’ the population to think correctly. Go look at the history of Europe, you’ll find it there.” Sammie doesn’t like politics or discussing it. He says Jews have suffered enough – he wants to be left in peace, that’s why he set up shop in Rolbos.
“Yes, and he lashed out at the fashion industry as well. Said women shouldn’t use facial creams, especially if it lightens their complexion. And that young girls should have children, because it’ll teach them to be mothers.”
“That must have been quite a speech,” Kleinpiet shakes his head, “was he sober?”
“Ag man, he usually makes funny statements. A few years ago he said he cannot tolerate gays. I don’t think he always follows a prepared speech – he simply rocks up at a meeting – any meeting – and says whatever comes to his mind. And you know what? People love it. They cheer themselves hoarse and sing his praises. Then they go home to feed their dogs and pets – and put on skin-lightening cream while they straighten their hair. It’s all a show, Kleinpiet. Just a show.”
“So why, Gertruida,” Boggel brings her back to her initial statement, “would he need an orthopaedic surgeon? It sounds more like he needs lessons in diplomacy?”
“It’s called the incurable and highly contagious oropedal deformity, Boggel. It’s an extremely serious condition for people with a high public profile. In fact, it’s often the cause of a spectacular fall from esteem, tending to end up with them flat on their faces.” This, she can see, is way over the heads of her little audience. “It’s a form of foot-and-mouth disease, guys. When it’s in that deep, only a qualified surgeon will be able to dislodge the foot from the mouth. There’s only one condition with a worse prognosis: the infamous cranio-anal malformation.”
Of course, she doesn’t have to explain any further. If you’ve lived in South Africa long enough, the antics of politicians can’t surprise you any more. And we don’t laugh about it anymore, as well.
It hurts too much.