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Festival of silliness at Trade



MUCKRAKER is inconsolable. Once again some spirit has intervened to deny the numbingly bored people of this country a street fight.
Last Wednesday was supposed to be the day when Trade Minister Tefo Mapesela and his irrepressible PS, Thebe Mokoatle, would beat each other to pulp.

They were supposed to take their boardroom squabbles into Kingsway. There they were going to kick, scratch and pinch each other while the people ululated. Business was supposed to come to a standstill as Mapesela unleashed Van Damme kicks on Mokoatle, the man he says has been disrespecting him since he entered office.

We were supposed to marvel as Mokoatle came with his Mayweather blows to knock out Mapesela, the minister who has been haranguing him for weeks. Why that fight did not happen, only Sandawana can say with certainty.
We can only speculate that either Mapesela or Mokoatle chickened out. Suffice to say we have been denied a golden opportunity to witness what would have been a Rumble in Maseru.

Muckraker will keep praying until that fight happens for it is a necessary one. For two reasons. The first is that it could just liven up that dull LNDC Centre. The people there look too busy and too serious for nothing. They seem to take life and themselves too serious. The truth though is that they are just a bored lot.

It must be crushing spending hours working on projects that never get implemented or are instantly sabotaged by politicians who know zilch about anything.  The second reason is that its high time Mapesela and Mokoatle find a physical way to decide who is really powerful in that ministry. It is clear that words and memos have not settled that matter. The doubt lingers.

None of them can claim to have conquered the other. We the spectators have unanswered questions. We just don’t know who is the main man there.
Because we are never there when they dispatch angry memos to each other we will never know who is really the most garrulous. We are not there to judge when they square off in their offices. We are being unjustly denied an opportunity to see where power really lies in that Ministry.
Mapesela says he is the minister and therefore the boss. He also says he has been elected by the people of this country and is therefore justified to have a spring in his step.

Nonsense, says Mokoatle who cannot understand why he should be taking orders from a political figurehead who has read fewer books than him.
Mokoatle says unlike Mapesela he was not hired to give policy direction but to implement policy. In other words he is the doer.
So, according to Mokoatle, the minister should never ever forget that he is the chief accounting officer of the ministry.

Mokoatle is also baffled as to why he has to take instructions from a man who can be reshuffled tomorrow while he has a three-year contract.
Mokoatle thinks he was hired while Mapesela was appointed.
Still their war of words does not assist us in any way. We still don’t have a clear answer as to who is the boss.

If Mapesela was the boss then he should have disciplined Mokoatle by now. That’s what bosses do: they clip wings and get on with the business of managing.
But months later Mapesela is still struggling to get Mokoatle to heed simple instructions like which car to drive. It’s clear that he has dismally failed to put Mokoatle in his place.
Little wonder he had to resort to the old-fashioned tactic of barking instructions at security guards to deal with a problem employee. If he had real power, as he wants us to believe, Mokoatle would have followed his instructions.
If the orders had failed then he could have just kept the Prado’s keys in his office. Yet there Mokoatle was hopping into the Prado and driving it out of the office complex.

That happened for a long time after Mapesela ordered him to keep his behind out of the Prado. The PS was not bothered by the minister’s barking because his chariot was moving. And when the minister eventually ran to the guards the PS was ready to respond with equal mischief.

When the guards became unreasonable, as they are all wont to when under instructions from bosses, Mokoatle simply hopped out of the car and left it at the gate. The result is that there was a jam at the office complex.  If Mapesela has any power he would have simply suspended the PS for insubordination. Instead he grabbed his phone and started whingeing on a local radio station.

By that time Mokoatle had moved on to other issues and was probably rolling on his desk with laughter.
How could he not bellow with laughter after creating such a spectacle that left the minister fuming? He had managed to drive a whole minister up a wall by simply doing what he had been instructed to do: leaving the Prado alone.

In a way Mokoatle was following the minister’s instructions. The minister had said he should stop driving the car and he had just stopped driving it.
Where he had stopped driving it is another matter.
Now we hear the minister has galloped to the Cabinet to report Mokoatle’s tomfoolery. That is not how problems are solved in this country.
That is not how Mapesela and Mokoatle used to deal with disputes when they were herding cattle. The tried and tested solution is to roll up the sleeves and rearrange each other’s faces.

But because Mapesela likes to run his mouth on radio we will never get to witness the fight.

Make no mistake about it. Both men are right. Mapesela cannot be faulted for wanting to save the overtaxed taxpayers a few coins on fuel.
Indeed the Prado is a thirsty vehicle especially when driven in a congested town like Maseru.

Frugal people are always a breath of fresh air in a government teeming with people hell bent on munching every penny.
Mokoatle too is right to reject the minister’s instruction to stop using the car.
The minister has no business dealing with small things like which car should be on the road. It is Mokoatle who is responsible for that as the chief accounting officer of the ministry.

Make no mistake. Both men are horrible wrong as well.
Both have no business arguing over mundane things like cars in a ministry that should be working on bringing investors into the country.
They must be helping the country to trade but they are trading in nonsense. Do they need fertilizer to grow.

Such kindergarten is not fit for even a mom and pop shop.
But their high jinks should not shock us for we know that the elite of this country can be brazenly petty when they want to be. No argument or fight is beneath them.

Every little dispute is a platform to measure strength and acumen. What we are seeing at the Ministry of Trade is just a sneak peek into how people behave in offices. We have small children with big titles. We all have people we would like to avoid in our offices.
Little-minded persons who haven’t conquered their insecurities.

Breasted women and bearded men always on the verge of bursting. You ask them where the stapler is and they think you are accusing them of stealing. You ask them where they had gone and they think you are bossing them around.

Ask them for that overdue report and they think you are out to get them. Announce that you are leaving their company and they think you are being ungrateful and they drag you to court mumbling some mumbo jumbo about some fiduciary duties they hardly understand.
Remember, how two judges fought over seniority a few years ago? Holy crap!



Mokherane’s nonsonso



MUCKRAKER has been waiting for our MPs to explain why they want a M75 000 salary.

She hoped somewhere in the sewage the MPs were spraying as justification for their attempt to rob us blind was some reasonable argument.

Just something to show that there was some sort of method to their rank madness and shameless greed.

Sadly, Muckraker has been waiting for Godot because none had emitted anything showing that they carry a brain bigger than the punctuation mark that ends this sentence.

Instead, we have been treated to some of the most inane arguments proving beyond all reasonable doubt that our parliament is full to the brim with imbeciles masquerading as MPs.

Thanks to Mokherane Tsatsanyane, that one who came into parliament through the window while dressed in DC colours, we now know we are being led by slow minds.

After reminding us that MPs “run this country” and are a special breed, Tsatsanyane went to the meat of his bizarre argument.

“He! He! Mokherane is crazy, he wants M75 000! That’s what people will be saying. But I have just spent almost M5 million in my area. I bought 40 wheelchairs at Moshoeshoe II, one wheelchair costs M3 000, that means I have spent something like M300 000,” he emitted while frothing at the mouth as if someone stole his goat.

It is tempting to follow his argument to its finality just to be sure his mouth has pulled the middle finger on his brain but that is obvious.

His problem is that he just can’t do simple arithmetic.

It is impossible to spend M300 000 after buying 40 wheelchairs at M3 000 each. It can’t!

He was inflating his numbers and ego just like he wants us to pay him an inflated salary. The other possibility is that he was just entangled in the web of his lies. They say liars must have good memories. Muckraker would add that they should learn to count as well.

At that moment, someone should have told Tsatsanyane to stop telling tall tales but the man was now on fire. After all, he thought he had just gotten away with the lie that 40 multiplied by 3 000 is 300 000.

So he pushed on.

“They are happy and celebrating, He! He! Mokherane is donating wheelchairs and food parcels. In a day you can spend around M400 000 when you are an MP helping people. But tomorrow when you want an increment, they complain.”

Muckraker wanted to call Tsatsanyane to deliver some crude words but remembered that his kind is beyond redemption.

The critical question is what kind of grade he smokes. The one from Mapoteng is not that potent. It takes a special kind of high for someone who claims to be spending M400 000 a day on charity to shed a Maqalika of tears over M75 000 per month.

But his lies and hallucinations are not the crux of the matter.

The question is who invited him to be in parliament.

More precisely, who voted for him?

Expect a blank face instead of an answer because he was neither invited nor elected.

The people of Qoaling rejected him in the last election and he only sneaked into parliament via the proportional representation list.

Now this unwanted, unelected, and unelectable nonentity is telling us that M75 000 is “nothing to write home about”.

So why cry for it like a hired mourner?

Even if it’s a small amount, you still don’t deserve it here and in heaven.

Hear, hear, hear, a man who claims to have just spent “almost M5 million” in his “area” is complaining about being underpaid.

You cannot make this up.

Even if his salary is increased to M75 000, Tsatsanyane will not earn M5 million over his five years in parliament. At the current salary of M40 000, he will earn M2.4 million over five years.

There are five logical explanations for his alleged spending habits.

He could be filthy rich, extremely generous, reckless, bad with mathematics or just a pathological liar.
What is clear is that no amount of lying, screaming or flawed reasoning will help the MPs get the M75 000. This time it won’t happen.

Gone are the days when these lazybones would make threats to get away with evil deeds. There will be no increase for those freeloading impostors.

Those who feel underpaid should surrender their seats and leave us in peace. Muckraker can bet her last kobo that their absence will not be missed. Most of them can even be replaced with donkeys and there will still be no real effect on the quality of parliament’s work.

MPs who mourn about being paid less than their counterparts in South Africa are free to cross Mohokare River and contest.

As for those who believe they can jerk up their salaries to recover what they used to campaign, Muckraker says: Go hang! The ropes are on Muckraker.

Muckraker warns anyone who is even thinking of entertaining the MPs’ demands that there will be chaos in this country.

Some furniture will fly, bones broken and someone will run.
This is not a threat but a promise.

Bring it on! We are sick and tired of a few people defecating on us.

Muckraker will not be having a wet weekend because she is going to the gym. You know why. It’s about time we get fit to deal with nonsonso.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu

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Maretlane’s dish rubbish



Muckraker is still recovering from the Moshoeshoe Walk but her fatigue has nothing to do with the 116km she endured. The walk in the mountains – far from the rascals, perverts, thieves and pretenders of Maseru – was fun.

The pain in her muscles was inflicted by the epic incompetence she witnessed over the three-day walk. Someone should tell Thabo Maretlane to either shape up or ship out.

They say it takes at least 10 000 hours to master a skill. Maretlane has been managing the walk for 17 years but has been consistently doing a shoddy job of it. He is dependable like that.

He has one year to organise the three-day event but for some reason, only known to him, he still botches it every time.

This year he bungled spectacularly. It was as if he had spent the past 16 years mastering the art of mismanagement. By the time this year’s walk started, he was ready to deliver some top-notch shit show.

Oh shame! He brought his ‘A’ game to the mountains and stole the show while the world watched. It was a fantastic display of incompetence. 

The kind that leaves you dazed. He pushed the frontiers of mediocrity. 

Even he could not believe he was capable of sinking to such levels. 

Maretlane started dishing it out from day one. Breakfast was a croissant, a small yoghurt and a piece of dry cheese. And that was it. Off you go into the mountains, he said. 

After a few kilometres hikers were stopped for some speeches from dignitaries. 

And so they waited, waited and waited. There is nothing wrong with some delays. 

But it’s bad manners to park people in the scorching sun for hours without any explanation or apology.

Maretlane and his people were behaving as if the tortuous wait was part of the schedule. 

Yet it wasn’t the lack of communication or the roasting that got Muckraker’s goat. 

Ladies who wanted to relieve themselves had to find some hiding spot in the veld because Maretlane didn’t find it reasonable to provide mobile toilets. When nature called they had to visit a gulley or squat behind a rock. There were not many rocks big enough to cover both the face and the big bums. 

If too scared to use the gully or rock you had to ask friends to shield you from the crowd. 

And that was the source of Muckraker’s irritation. Maretlane forced Muckraker and her friends to be toilet walls. That humiliation of having to invite a congregation to a peeing session would persist for the next three days Maretlane unashamedly basked in the glory of having done something as part of our 200th Anniversary. Water was brought in lituntoana so Maretlane could be amused as we behaved like cattle at a watering hole.

Maretlane didn’t seem bothered because he was on a mission to make the most from the least effort. He had promised water and had delivered. 

 If you didn’t like how it was delivered you could tell it to the mountains or go hang. 

March on, this is not your mother’s house. Drink up and move it, lunch awaits across the mountains. After they finally dragged themselves to the lunch venue, they came face to face with the stinker Maretlane had been cooking while they dragged through mountains and valleys. 

Lunch was something that tasted like chicken but could have been easily mistaken for some newly invented type of rubber. It came with five chips, a piece of bread as hard as Weetbix and a salad that looked like it was about to pinch your nose. It was vulgar. 

Next was some fish smaller than the lemon that was supposed to season it. 

It was served with a sandwich that looked like some leftovers from last year’s walk.

The five chips and the threatening salad were there again, warning you against eating them. 

They were back again when Maretlane unveiled the foul-tasting hot dog.  

It was khemere all the way. By the way, there is nothing traditional, organic or healthy about that drink. The salt on the wound is that hikers paid M1 000 for those meals. The message was clear: we make you pay through the nose for kaka and then make you kaka in the bushes. Come again next year for Maretlane will do you dirty again!

Don’t expect Maretlane to have learned anything from that episode. 

He hasn’t learned in 17 years. 

Don’t try telling him anything. He is now too busy preparing to deliver another scandalously shoddy show next year. Muckraker will not be paying to be abused again. Never! 

Maretlane has eaten enough from her. It will take her months to relearn how to use a toilet again.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu


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The market of rascals



THE Market’s management is either high on something illegal or just reckless.
They could also be either proudly incompetent or simply daft.
Muckraker suspects they are high, reckless, incompetent and daft.
That is a heavy burden to carry but self-inflicted and deserved.

Their job is to feed tummies and quench thirsts but they believe they are capable of many jobs. In addition to cooking chickin, they fancy themselves to be detectives, expert witnesses, rape experts, psychologists, communication gurus, criminologists, prosecutors, CCTV analysts and many other things they conjure up in their small minds.
That much is lavishly clear from their crude statement reacting to a woman who alleges she was raped in their toilet last week.
Instead of just acknowledging the alleged incident, The Market was sweating to testify, analyse evidence, scrutinise footage and play judge.
They tell us the alleged victim arrived at the restaurant “heavily intoxicated” as if they had measured the alcohol content in her blood.
They say she had left an “unpaid bill” at another restaurant as if they were the Small Claims Court.
They claim CCTV footage shows the victim coming out of the toilets holding hands with her alleged attacker as if they are certain that the handholding was consensual and not one dragging the other. Make no mistake about the sinister motive behind those salacious details sprinkled all over the statement.
They were gathering wood for a pyre to burn the woman and her allegations.
Their demented reasoning is something like this: she could not have been raped because she was intoxicated, absconded her bill down the street and was holding hands with the alleged attacker. None of those things have been proven and they might be just shameless lies told by uncouth characters.
The point, accepted by everyone else except some nincompoops, is that The Market should not have mentioned anything about a bill or intoxication. They are not just trivialising her serious allegations but also calling her a drunk who dodges bills and lies about being raped.
They do this by telling what they believe to be a cogent tale to illustrate that her story is incredible.
Muckraker read that clumsy statement several times and each time she was further disgusted by both the writer and The Market as a business.
They say the gentleman from another restaurant who is “well known to The Market staff” claimed that the woman had left an unpaid bill. That is not some random anecdote but an attempt to justify why they allowed him into the bar after they had closed.
It could also be a flimsy attempt at saying the man could not have violated the woman because he is “well known” to them.
As soon as the narration started Muckraker knew The Market was on an evil path.
And boy, did they march with vigour.
They say while the two were discussing the unpaid bill, the victim “indicated that she needed the bathroom”. Then comes the killer line in the statement: “Moments later, the said gentleman also walked to the bathroom, where after a while they both emerged holding hands”.
The public is invited to conclude that the discussion about the unpaid bill was resolved in the toilet and the two “emerged holding hands”.
In other words, whatever was said or happened in the toilet was so mutual that a debt was settled and hands were held.
The victim blaming and bashing could have ended there but The Market was just getting started.
After social media clobbered them for their callous and inept statement, The Market came back with a second one pretending to be correcting the first one.
This time they tried to sanitise the first statement by weeding out the offensive parts but avoided withdrawing the first statement and sincerely apologising to the woman.
They forget that people will never unlearn what they learned from the first statement and are most likely to read the second statement as an update rather than a correction.
But just like that, The Market thinks they have dodged the bullet so they can go back to their cooking and notorious upselling.
Their message to women is stinging: “It’s your funeral if you run away from a bill and get raped in our toilets. We will protect ourselves and the suspects at all costs. For good measure, we will tell the public you enjoyed free drinks and got so drunk that you made allegations of rape against our friend who was only trying to get you to pay”.
Muckraker will not speculate on what happened but can say, without fear or favour, that The Market’s management are unmitigated and unrepentant rascals. Only a business managed by accredited scoundrels reacts with such brazen thuggery to allegations of rape on its premises. Muckraker didn’t say CHE accredits scoundrels but that the mischief exhibited by The Market is of such high quality that it deserves a certification of sorts and at a higher level. It’s Level 8 stuff.
Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuuu


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