Ask the Thokolosi

Ask the Thokolosi

MUCKRAKER wishes you a prosperous 2020 and, maybe, a new government to go with it.
After all, the gods seem to be frowning on this bungling coalition that contrived to deliver a miserable 2019. We are still harvesting the thorns of their breath-taking ineptness and corruption.
Yet we should be thankful that for the whole of December Uncle Tom’s government did not manufacture another scandal. Whatever the reason for the quiet December, Muckraker is grateful for the reprieve.

Nothing is to be gained from asking why a toilet has stopped stinking for a few days.
Having brazenly stolen our Christmas, sparing us of fresh indignities was the least they could do.

They owed us that much and for a brief moment it looked like even the first few days of 2020 were going to be scandal-free.
Little did we know that someone was amassing the dung he has since flung at a fan to make an epic mess. And so here we are: showered in manure we did not emit.
We were still nursing the January 1 hangover when Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli received his first missive, a shabbily written memo that told him to go on leave.

No reason or justification but just an order. It was as if the writer was telling his dog to leave the house.
Someone must have told the writer that he had made a mess of the first letter because moments later the commissioner received a long one replete with a battery of allegations, some of which seemed amateurishly trumped.
And boom! We had entered another year with a bag-full of tosh.

Commissioner Molibeli bolted his bums to his office chair and refused to leave. The man appointed to temporarily replace him stood in the corridor, an appointment letter in hand, as he salivated at the acting allowances and the power he was being denied.

Commissioner Molibeli later brought an order that told the appointee to go back whence he came.
With their plot stuck in high legal humps, Uncle Tom and his people were left to wipe egg off their faces.
The matter is still in the High Court where Commissioner Molibeli has launched a grenade at Uncle Tom.
In sum, the commissioner is saying he is being pushed out for asking Uncle Tom to explain why his phone was calling a person at the murder scene of his late wife, Lipolelo Thabane.

That question is in a letter Commissioner Molibeli wrote to Uncle Tom in December 2019.
“Among other things, the investigations reveal that there was a telephonic communication at the scene of crime in question and that cell phone number 58852877 was involved in the communication with another cell phone, known to the police, at the time of assassination of Mrs Lipolelo Thabane,” said Commissioner Molibeli in the letter to Thabane.
“The investigations further indicate that the aforementioned cell phone number belongs to you (Thabane).”

He then asks Thabane to give the name and details of the person his phone was communicating with well as the subject of the conversation.
Commissioner Molibeli has been in the police for more than 30 years but Muckraker can bet her last penny that he has never written such an important letter.
In fact, he will never write a letter of a similar nature again. He can forget his first letter of appointment, the love letter he sent to his first girlfriend and the one written to his in-laws as part of the lobola negotiations.

This is the mother of all letters.
Muckraker hereby declares it the Letter Of The Year. Yes, both 2019 and 2020. Case closed.
That, my dear bribe-chasing police officers, is how you write a letter. Greet the man and get straight to the point. Don’t ask about the health of his cows and goats. That letter must be framed and placed in the corridor of every police station in the country.

Even the leaking Mabote police station should have one.
It reminds Muckraker of the love letters she received from boys back in the days when letter writing was still an art. Now all we have are Whatsapp messages that don’t make sense.
“Lol”, “luv”, “lolest”, “mxm”, “hie”, “becoz”, “cum”, “U” and “2day”.
It is a mystery how Muckraker’s generation got mixed up with this generation of illiterate buffoons.

Uncle Tom cannot claim that the letter was ambiguous. Nor can he say it was rude.
The simplest questions are the toughest to answer.
Many are probably familiar with such simple questions. Where were you last night? Who is Lerato? Why are there condom receipts in your pockets? Whose make-up is in your car? Simple questions demanding simple answers.

But many will scream, shout, fume and become violent. All to avoid answering. Some men will remind their wives that they are the head of the family, as if that title has been questioned.
Some will demand respect as if those questions are disrespectful.
Commissioner Molibeli asked similar questions to Uncle Tom: Who was your phone calling at the crime scene and what was discussed?
Uncle Tom should have just provided those details but it’s not that easy because simple questions are always loaded. And they always elicit the most outrageous of reactions.

Instead of answering, Uncle Tom concocted a plan to push out Commissioner Molibeli. A question was asked and a long letter of suspension was the answer.
The real question remains unanswered. He won’t dodge it forever though. At some point he will have to account for the “actions” of his phone.
It’s now a matter between him and his phone.
It is important to note that the commissioner wasn’t asking Uncle Tom about his whereabouts on the day of the murder. His concern is with the phone and its use.

In the next eighteen sentences Muckraker will tell you how Uncle Tom should have answered those questions.
For now she will favour you with the story of her cousin Thabelo. It happened way back in Mafube when Thibello and Muckraker were still learning to wear their pants without leaning against walls.

One day Thibello came back home without three of our grandfather’s sheep.
“How did you lose my sheep?” the old man thundered, a freshly pruned peach twig in hand.
Little Thibello was shaking with fear but he asked the old man for a minute to tell his story before he connects the twig to his tender flesh.
“Grandpa, it wasn’t my fault. This morning I was so tired that I slept in the veld. While I was sleeping a long snake came into my dream and chased me across the veld. I was terrified, grandpa. I have never been so scared in my life. When I woke up I thought the snake was still chasing me so I quickly drove the sheep back home. I was too scared to count.
So if there is anyone you should blame, it should be the snake that came into my dream. You know how well I take care of the sheep. It’s the snake that caused this grandpa.”

The old man sighed, dropped the twig and took Thibelo to the veld where they found the sheep safe.
Days later Muckraker asked the grandpa why he had not spanked Thibello for losing the sheep.
“His lie was so big that I lost the energy to beat him. I realised that the boy had punished himself enough by telling such a big lie.”

Now, let’s get back to what Uncle Tom should have said to Commissioner Molibeli’s questions. He could have asked for a glass of water and a foot massage from the Feselady.
Then as the effects of the Feselady’s soft hands sank in he would have started writing the response.
“Dear Commissioner. I understand that this looks suspicious but I can assure you that it’s not as it seems. I can explain why my phone was used. You will remember that this incident happened when we were still staying at the old State House.

My brother, you should know that the old State House has a gang of Thokolosi. Maybe it’s Mosisili who left those thokolosi to make my life there miserable but I don’t want to speculate about their owner. You should know that house is full of thokolosi. I am sure one of those thokolosi used my phone to call someone at the crime scene.
Those thokolosi were so mischievous that they stole our soap, food and clothes. Sometimes they wink at you. I hear they even groped some women. So you can see that these are not normal thokolosi but sophisticated ones that can make calls and write emails.

I would like to inform you that it appears some of those thokolosi have followed us to the new State House and they are harassing us. It is precisely why you saw that video of us pleading with God to help us because we are weak. We were desperate my brother. We cannot fight those evil things without divine help.
The thokolosi kept knocking on our bedroom door and we had not slept for days. In the end your First Lady suggested that we sing a hymn. One of the Thokolosi then stole that video and sent it out. Can you imagine such mischief, my brother?

Commissioner, I hope you understand that we are dealing with wicked creatures capable of causing problems for you as well. On an entirely separate note, I was wondering if you have ever considered becoming a diplomat. Having worked with you for years, I have no doubt that you will make a great diplomat.”

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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