Run for dear life!

Run for dear life!

A man staggers into a Maseru police station, blood oozing from his head and belly.
He begs to see the officer-in-charge. His plea granted, the man is ushered into an office at the corner of the station.
A chubby officer is perched on a chair behind a pile of files.
“Sit in that corner ntate. I don’t want your blood messing my visitor’s chair. And as you deposit your poor bum on my floor please start telling me what brings you into my esteemed office,” the senior officer says.

“I was having dinner when three thugs armed with machetes barged into my house and attacked me,” the man says as he squirms in pain.
“Oh, I see! So how can we help you if you have not brought either an eyewitness or one of your attackers with you?” quips the irritated officer.
“I am here to report my case and make a statement,” the man says.

The officer pulls out a notepad and then tells the man to start telling his story. Remembering stories of police officers struggling to write statements in Sesotho the man insists that the officer records his statement in English.  And so he begins his story in Sesotho while the officer scribbles furiously in English. All is well until the officer asks the man what he was eating when he was attacked.

“Papa,” says the man. “Ntate, you don’t just eat papa alone. You eat it with something,” the officer shots back.
“Papa ka lepu,” the man says.  The officer stares at the man as he ponders what to call lepu in English.
Unable to find an English word for lepu the officer drops the pen and says: “Ntate, I think you have to change the relish. You can say you were having papa with meat or moroho or eggs. This lepu thing of yours is irritating. I get a feeling that you want to embarrass me now.”

“But that is what I was eating. I am not going to lie because you don’t know English,” says the man.
At that moment the officer jumps off his chair, rolls his sleeves and slaps the man before calling his juniors to teach the man a lesson.
This man, the officer tells his juniors, has come with a story so complicated that it looks dubious.
“I have reasonable suspicion that he is the one who attacked the three men he claims to have attacked him. There could be three dead bodies in a ditch somewhere. Get this man to spit it out.”
So the man is dragged to a cell where he is tortured for hours.

His body numb with pain from the brutal torture, the man eventually changes his story.  “I killed three men then stabbed myself on the head and stomach,” he says.
“Ah, now you are talking. Now let’s get your papa story right. You said you were having papa with lepu right?” the senior officer asks. When the man insists on his lepu story the torture intensifies.
Eventually, he gives in. “No, I never said lepu. I said I had papa with eggs before I attacked the men,” the man says.

“Yes, I knew the true story was hidden somewhere in your bones. It just had to be squeezed out. Here we make people bleed the truth,” the senior officer says, thoroughly pleased with himself.
The case was hurried to the courts where an angry judge dully acquitted the man on account of the violently induced confession and utter lack of evidence.
The man’s attackers still walk the streets, as free as birds.

The police deny that they laid even a finger on the man. Instead they insist he slipped and knocked his head on the floor. As for the man’s confession, the police say he made it after a strong prayer by one of the officers. The story will sound like a silly joke to those who don’t know our police force is infested with some malcontents. As deputy police spokesperson senior Inspector Lerato Motseki, Muckraker’s sister from another mother, belongs to a department that specialises in defending the police against public attacks.
It is not unconceivable that she genuinely believed all those accusing the police of torture and brutality were out to tarnish the institution’s reputation.

But last Monday her colleagues proved her wrong and in a vicious way. For allegedly revealing the details of the case of the late Lipolelo Thabane, Senior Inspector Motseki got the beating of her life.
She claims that seven male colleagues beat her with fists and suffocated her with a plastic. All this happened as she was half naked. Muckraker’s blood was boiling as she read Motseki’s ordeal. Yet that unbridled anger could not blind her to the irony that pervaded her story.
“I broke no law and they are the ones who have broken it,” Motseki said. “I challenge anybody who said I broke any law for making known the RCI number (of the murder investigation).”
In trying to tell her story Motseki was tripping herself. She was insinuating, perhaps unwittingly so, that if revealing the case number was wrong then her torture is justifiable.
The point is that the police have no business using excessive force on suspects, even those caught with hands dripping of blood, was lost on her.
The gem, however, came right at the end of her story.
A journalist asked police spokesman Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli if he is aware that Motseki, his subordinate, had been tortured by fellow police officers. His answer was astounding.
Mopeli said he was not aware that Motseki had been tortured or arrested.
At least Mopeli did not claim that Motseki fell off a chair. He simply said he doesn’t know about the torture. That is somewhat an improvement on the pathetic answers police officers give in court when sued for torture.
There are important lessons to be learnt from Motseki’s tribulation. The first is the obvious one that we should all run when we see the police. It is in your interest to avoid the police because you never know when they can decide to go rogue.
The second is that spokespersons should never deny things on behalf of their organisations because they really don’t know what really happens in corridors when they are sleeping.
The only person you can speak for with confidence is yourselves. There is no need to deny things you don’t know.
If you spin things people will not believe it when you tell them that your head is now spinning after you were clobbered by your comrades.

Muckraker is sick to the back teeth with the nauseating profile pictures women post on Facebook and Whatsapp. In recent weeks she has learned to read between the lines. When a woman says something about loving her husband and family it means there is a storm in the marriage.
When they post some motivational quotation that’s a sign that they are either broke or they suspect that some vulture is after her man. When they say something about God, you should know they have reached a dead-end.
They are now seeking some intervention from somewhere. In other words they are admitting that they are pathetic failures incapable of sorting the mess in their life. A picture of a husband is meant to mark territory.
A picture from a holiday she had years ago is supposed to remind enemies that she once had a good time and they should not write her off as yet.
The point is that there is a sinister motive behind every profile picture or update.
Women, by their very nature, rarely do things for themselves. It’s almost always about the next woman. It’s the same reason why they spend hours in front of a mirror.
The problem with profile pictures, though, is that nobody really cares about your state of mind when you posted them.
So you can insult a sister who rarely looks at your profile.
Or even if she checks it, there is always a possibility that she might not get the subtle point of the message. A majority of people don’t know how to connect events.
For instance, they will probably never pick that the verse you plonked on the profile is related to what they did yesterday or last year.
There are others like Muckraker who just don’t give a rat’s behind about your whinning.
Why bother with women who just don’t understand that this world is not their mother’s island?
So as you rummage through your phone for biting verses and quotes, others are marching on, unperturbed by your pathetic cries.
Which makes profile updates a lazy way of communicating with friends or enemies.
Muckraker prefers to buy Nchoathi and sing profanities to her enemies.
There is no room for misinterpretation when you are insulting a person for more than an hour on a call uninterrupted by the vagaries of a measly budget.

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