Waiting for Godnows: A Tragi-Comedy in One Act

The smoking ruins of a collapsed building. Two loyal comrades, STEADFAST and VICTORIOUS, sit in the rubble. They are on fire. VICTORIOUS: Comrade, I am beginning to suspect that the building may not be structurally sound. STEADFAST: I understand that you are in shock, but we do not air such views in public. Take yourContinue reading “Waiting for Godnows: A Tragi-Comedy in One Act”

Would the Comrades make it past Polly Graph?

“They’ve jogged past Mangaung! They’ve slogged through Polokwane! They’ve sidestepped Nkandla! And now it’s the final sprint towards the Union Buildings! Bob, incredible drama here in the closing stages of the 2017 Comrades’ Marathon!” “Steve, absolutely. “What a race it’s been this – ” “Sorry, Bob, a correction: the Comrades have asked us not toContinue reading “Would the Comrades make it past Polly Graph?”

Time to call things by their name

“Student leader”. That’s what the journalist called Mcebo Dlamini. I reread the paragraph to check if I’d missed a line somewhere, perhaps one in which Dlamini was described as a fantasist who admired Hitler, who called Jews “devils”, who claimed that Wits had head-hunted him to do a “secret” degree in nuclear physics, and whoContinue reading “Time to call things by their name”

The Freedom Charter – Rebooted!

We, the Connected People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know: screw you. We know we once said that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, but that’s obviously a ridiculously naive position, so from here on South Africa belongs to anyone with enoughContinue reading “The Freedom Charter – Rebooted!”

A country of no consequence

As I watched David Cameron resign, I wondered: what would it take for Jacob Zuma to stand on Plein Street outside parliament and resign? Most of us have asked a similar question but I’m not sure how many have pushed for an answer. In this increasingly gloomy society it’s not so much a question asContinue reading “A country of no consequence”

They’ll send your mom a telegram when you die

The Americans counted their bullets, pressed their backs against the stack of Tintin books, and waited. The Japanese army was everywhere. Half a dozen sappers were already crawling through the scattering of Lego blocks on the western perimeter, and there were rumours of a sniper up on the book shelf. Sarge bellowed into his radioContinue reading “They’ll send your mom a telegram when you die”

Dying for Zuma to leave

You know people who know people who can get things done. Like rigging a roulette table at a casino. You don’t know who or how, and you don’t want to know. Plausible deniability. All you know is that it’s Saturday night, the booze is flowing and you’re winning. Not all the time, of course –Continue reading “Dying for Zuma to leave”

Guests of the Godfather

I’m embarrassed. Not because I didn’t know. Of course I knew. I just didn’t know how much I didn’t know. If you’d asked me if everything that happens in this house was legitimate, I’d have hedged. I’d have told you that I’m just one of a few upstairs house guests, and we don’t get toContinue reading “Guests of the Godfather”

Assume the brace position

The cabin crew are smiling tight-lipped smiles but everyone knows what’s happened. You can see it on their faces when they slip out of the cockpit and quickly pull the door shut behind them. The pilot has died. And there’s no co-pilot, because the recently departed was an arrogant dickhead who insisted on working alone.Continue reading “Assume the brace position”

Future shock

The violence of midday was over. The riot police had finished their work. Now, as five o’ clock rolled around, the students were sitting sprawled across the street outside parliament, waiting for the politicians to come out. The police were still there, standing in a line inside the gates, staring dully at the students. Nearby,Continue reading “Future shock”