The joke about soldiers

The joke about soldiers

A Zebra saw a Giraffe running in the veld.
“What are you running away from,” Zebra asks.
“Ah, the Lesotho police are arresting baboons down there,” says the Giraffe as he gallops.
“But you are not a baboon, so why are you running away,” says the puzzled Zebra.

“Heela, this is Lesotho. It might take me five months to prove to the police that I am not a Giraffe and another two months to get bail.”
Zebra rolls with laughter and says: “You can just tell them you are the Feselady and you get bail instantly.”

Giraffe stops running and curses: “Heela, I can pretend to be anything but not that woman. I would rather rot in jail”.
Of course Giraffe was within his rights to run away and refuse to pretend to be the Feselady.
But perhaps Zebra could have told Giraffe to pretend to be a South African soldier.

After all, the Lesotho police and their government would rush to South Africa to announce that its soldiers have been arrested. A few days later Lesotho would release the soldiers who were instantly airlifted back home.
You get the picture.
Now, here is where it gets complicated.

While Lesotho was scrambling around to release South African soldiers at the combined speed of five dogs, Ramaphosa’s government had been holding on to our two soldiers.
Those two soldiers have been languishing in prison for two months.
Meanwhile, it took us a few days to release their own soldiers.
Hold it right there because it’s about to get bizarre.

As soon as Lesotho arrested the South African soldiers, Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu was instructed by the Prime Minister to sprint across the Mohokare River. We were suddenly told that he was going to negotiate with Ramaphosa for the release of the soldiers.
It was a little bit late but it made perfect sense because we were holding two of their own and they had two of our own. It was a straight forward exchange. Get your rascals and I get mine.

But apparently things don’t work that way in this skewed relationship.
Mokhothu came back home, the South African soldiers were instantly released and whiskered away.
Yet our soldiers are still being held captive in South Africa.
Muckraker suspects this is what happened.

Mokhothu walked into the meeting with Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa asked Mokhothu why he was visiting in these Covid-19 times.
“My boss, I am here because your two soldiers have strayed into my country,” says Mokhothu as he bowed before Ramaphosa.

“So why did you not bring my soldiers with you? I thought you were coming to apologise for your country attracting my soldiers. He batho!” Ramaphosa thunders.

“Boss, as I speak to you those soldiers are being released. But I am also here to tell you that you seem to have my two soldiers in your prison.”
“So?” Ramaphosa quips.
“Well, I was kind of wondering or hoping or praying or begging that you find in your very good heart to release them,” said Mokhothu.

Ramaphosa dismisses Mokhothu after telling him South Africa is still verifying if those two are indeed Lesotho soldiers. The verification continues. Lesotho waits. The soldiers languish in jail. Their families are worried. Basotho are pissed.

The government looks amateurish.
The joke is on us as a country. We are being shown that we don’t matter in the broader scheme of things.

In the meantime, our silly celebrations about the arrest of South African soldiers have been muted.
South Africa has won and we have lost.

All Ramaphosa had to do was to wink and our government jumped like a cat on a red-hot surface.
Tame your anger because you know nothing about the craft of geopolitics. Shhhhhhh, just zip it!

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