December 28, 2009

The Opening Monologue – Monday the 28th of December 2009
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

Christmas has come and gone. Some got what they wanted and others… not so much.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the continuing saga of Shabir Shaik. On Monday the 21st he was heard to bellow, “Where’s my f***ing pardon?” in reference to the possibility of a presidential pardon that he feels entitled to for staying mum during the Zuma corruption case.

After Afriforum lodged an official complaint with the department of Correctional Services, Shaik received a stern warning (OOOOH, AAAAH), told that if he didn’t play along he’d go back to jail and had his allotted free time shortened from six hours to two hours a day. Some would say that this is a mere slap on the wrist and less than he deserves. However the simple truth is that of the three parties involved in the arms deal scandal, two were never prosecuted. Thint – a French arms company – has access to guns and is overseas so no one’s starting a fight there; and Jacob Zuma – head of the ANC and our president – controls the system keeping Shaik in jail.

I can’t imagine why Shabir hasn’t been pardoned. Class, can we say patsy?

Union “Solidarity” has cried foul of First National Bank’s new bursary scheme for their employees. The scheme offers employees financial aid if they earn R100 000 or less per annum. The catch? You can’t be white. Well done gentlemen. It seems that the credit crunch hit IQ’s as well as bank balances this year. It seems that FNB is in need of a new slogan.

“How can we help… Oh, I’m sorry, you’re white. We won’t help you. Have you tried ABSA?”

Gareth Cliff should be banned from the airwaves permanently. This was the gist of the statement issued by the ANC Youth Leagues’ Mamelodi branch on Tuesday. They feel Cliff’s tweets about now deceased former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang were unwarranted. They are now lobbying for the support of his dismissal and of a possible protest march against the DJ.

Not surprisingly, at Manto’s funeral, nothing was mentioned of her legacy as health minister and her handling of the AIDS virus. As usual, no one spoke ill of the dead. However, Theunis Botha, leader of the Christian Democratic Party and acting chairman of the Christian Democratic Alliance, summed it up rather nicely:

Hundreds of thousands of people died as a result of her “callous disregard for modern scientific fact”, he said in a statement.

“It does appear that hypocrisy is the accepted norm when someone has passed on. History however is not so kind when judging the legacies of those who are no longer around.”

Mr, Botha, I guess Led Zeppelin was right. The song remains the same.

Traffic cops for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro decided to gift themselves and motorists by not showing up for work over the festive season. No reasons were given and the department is still investigating. Gentleman, to you and your families, the people of your jurisdiction would like to say thank you and wish you long life and a very Merry Christmas. However they don’t think you’ll be having a happy new year because unemployment can put a damper on things.

Staying with holiday silliness, about 588 drivers were arrested for traffic offences including drunken driving and speeding during the festive season in Johannesburg. Well done folks, well done, enjoy your traffic fines. And if you leave them for long enough, they do indeed become the gifts that keep on giving. In one instance, a BMW driver (why am I not surprised?) was clocked doing 198km/h. I bet I know what his excuse was too.

“I don’t know what happened officer. I was just cleaning my car when it suddenly went off.”

If you ever wanted to know what… special looks like, you might want to look up local snakeman “Nutty Natie” Swart. He’s currently trying to break a Guinness World Record for living with 40 venomous snakes at the Chameleon Village Reptile and Conservation Park at Hartbeespoort Dam.
That’s right. Someone is willingly living with snakes, the poisonous kind, on purpose. Methinks alcohol may have been involved in this choice of career. Three months ago he was removed from the enclosure for treatment after being bitten by a puff adder named Delilah. Clearly he didn’t get the message the first time round because it’s happened again, with another puff adder, on the same foot!! On the incident, Swart said:

“Since that freak accident with the puff adder, Delilah, I have been watching the puff adders carefully. (Not carefully enough apparently.)
So, as I got off the bed, checking where the puff adders were, I did not realise that Beauty (Beauty?) had slithered underneath the bed. I stepped right on the poor thing’s back,” he said.

Poor thing, yeeees. The silly man stepped on you, yeeees. You didn’t bite him, noooo. You were just cleaning your fangs when they suddenly went off.

And finally, The Mail & Guardian has released its S.A. Cabinet report card for 2009 and our parliamentarians have scored a roaring C. Despite having two A’s and B grade here and there, the overall outlook for this year was average. Well done folks. Now if you can just knuckle down and try harder, you too can experience the feeling of being more than average.


You’ll get more money.


That’s the spirit.

This concludes this week’s edition of The Opening Monologue. I hope New Years Eve is a jail free one and may you wake up with your pants up on a street near your house. See you next week and remember, you haven’t heard it all till you’ve heard The Last Say On Sunday.