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Muckraker :Madman on dagga



EVERY morning, for the past three years, Muckraker has been dropping coins into the palms of a mentally ill man who stands at the last traffic lights to the Maseru Border Bridge. It’s a routine Muckraker has never missed unless she is dead broke. Muckraker has a strong bond with the poor man. There is a silent understanding between us even though we don’t know each other by name.
A smile always beams from his face each time he sees Muckraker’s jalopy. Muckraker is his sister and he is Muckraker’s brother. The sister who always leaves something for fat cakes. That’s just how we roll.

But some three weeks ago the relationship took an about-turn. The brother started giving the sister a cold shoulder. When Muckraker tries to give him coins the man would move on to the next car. Then things got worse last Friday. As Muckraker approached the traffic lights the man started running away.

And so for the whole of Saturday Muckraker wondered what wrong she had done to the man. It was so unlike him to refuse money, no matter how small. The answer to that question came on Sunday afternoon while Muckraker was cleaning her car. There they were, the Botswana coins she amassed on a recent visit to Gaborone, overflowing in the cap hole.

Unbeknown to her Muckraker had been dipping her fingers into that cap hole to get some coins for her brother at the traffic light.
So with time the brother had realised that those coins were useless in Lesotho and therefore there was no reason to receive them.
First he tried to ignore Muckraker, hoping she would realise that her donations were useless. When that failed he began to frown.
Still Muckraker did not get the message until last Friday when he decided enough was enough. He simply bolted away from the car.

Where are we going with this tale, you may ask. Well, it turns out that our politicians could learn a lot from the brother at the traffic light.
Unlike our politicians he has learnt the futility of doing things that don’t work. It took him a few days to realise that Muckraker was giving her coins no shop in Maseru was willing to accept. He understood that there was no point in loading his pockets with Pula coins that only work some 600 km away.

He might not know that they are coins from Botswana but he sure knows that he has no use for them. Our politicians are yet to understand this simple logic of life: If it doesn’t work stop it and move on to something that might work.
We live in a country that has been thrust on a dizzying merry-go-round. Things look like they are changing but the reality is that they remain the same.

Muckraker recalled the story of the brother at the traffic light when she read Mothetjoa Metsing’s letter to the government secretary. It was actually a response to Uncle Tom. In it Metsing bitterly complained about the way Uncle Tom’s government has treated him since it came to power.
What triggered the letter was the government’s nerve to ask him to return home from exile and participate in the reforms dialogue.
The pith of his letter was that he will not return until SADC guarantees his security. In making this declaration Metsing was also speaking for Mokhothu and Mokhosi who have also fled the country.

Now, here is the real curious aspect of that letter. Uncle Tom could have written the same letter to Size Two and Metsing some eight months ago.
Metsing’s concerns are exactly the same as the ones Uncle Tom, Brother Maseribane and Aunty Keke raised to Size Two and Metsing when they were in exile. In fact there is no evidence to suggest that Size Two did not receive a similar letter from Uncle Tom back then.
It could as well be that Metsing just took Uncle Tom’s letter, changed a few things and plonked his name at the end of it. There is no compelling evidence to dispute that Metsing plagiarised Uncle Tom’s letter.

The similarities are striking. Uncle Tom used to speak on behalf of his comrades in exile just like Metsing is doing now. Uncle Tom said the same when he was invited to the reform dialogue organised by the government.
Metsing is asking for SADC guarantees just like Uncle Tom did back then. Uncle Tom used to say he doesn’t trust the government’s sincerity in inviting him back into the country. Metsing is singing the same tune.

This boils down to the fact that our politicians never learn from either history or their experiences.
Metsing does not see the irony in complaining about his plight because he has somehow forgotten that not so long ago he was getting similar complaints from Uncle Tom.

He doesn’t see the hypocrisy in demanding SADC guarantees when not so long ago he was flagrantly dismissing Uncle Tom’s demands for the same.
Phew! In the same vein Uncle Tom doesn’t see the irony in receiving a letter from Metsing complaining about the same treatment he was moaning about a few months ago.

He is not perturbed that Metsing is in exactly the same situation he was in a few months back. It doesn’t prick his conscience that Metsing is now clamouring for the same guarantees he refused to give him when he was in Fickburg. It needs no neurologist to know that the reforms dialogue is now being stalled for the same reason it was stalled under the previous government. Metsing is now holding Uncle Tom’s government by the balls because he knows the reforms will haemorrhage credibility if the opposition leaders are not there.

Uncle Tom used the same trick a few months ago. The point here is that our politicians are doing the same thing over and over again but are hoping to get a different result.  The losers are the people who have suffered too long under regimes that insist on repeating the mistakes of the past one.
We writhe because we have politicians who don’t see beyond their noses. It is inconceivable that Metsing did not know that he was going to suffer the same fate when he was arrogantly dismissing Uncle Tome’ security concerns. Similarly, is it implausible that Uncle Tom has not learnt from experience that life is like a wheel. Read your history again: nothing that has happened in this country is new. It’s the same old tosh.

So here we are in a gridlock again. Unable to move beyond the political ping-pong we resort to a mixture of demands and insolence. Metsing is not going to come because coming back weakens his hand.  The reforms are an unnecessary irritant that seeks to undo the system that has benefitted him. Uncle Tom is not going to bend to Metsing’s whims because doing so will portray him as a congress-kisser desperate for unnecessary reforms.
There are hawks telling him that Metsing must suffer for making him suffer. Its tit-for-tat, the game played in the kindergarten playground. Like the pap at Peka High School, you eat what you get. Work done equals zero.

Madness is when a whole parliament fumes to block Zodwa from coming to show off her thighs while citizens take more than ten hours to cross the border. State-sponsored blockade is happening on the South African side of the Maseru Bridge Border but our good-for-nothing MPs keep discussing mundane issues like Zodwa.

It boggles the mind why Speaker Motanyane would allow parliament to be reduced to a crèche under his watch. He has allowed the MPs to wallow in the gutter for too long. There is unconfirmed speculation that he has joined them in the mulch.  The gobbledegook that has dominated those sessions is astounding.

Motanyane should have lost his temper at such tomfoolery. But week after week he sits on that exaggerated chair as if he is marvelling at what a sick joke the sessions have become. “Order, order, order,” he shrieks in his piercing voice while the MPs threaten to rearrange each other’s faces.
Debate on important issues has been shoved aside to make way for utter nonsense.  One of those issues they should be discussing is how South Africa has placed an unofficial blockade on our main borders. We are now marooned in a little kingdom because South Africa just feels like doing it.

Muckraker is stunned that our politicians are on voicemail over the insanity happening at the border.  It takes hours to cross the border and more hours to come back. South Africans have decided they don’t want us in their country and they don’t want us to leave their country once we enter it.

The overrated clerks they call immigration officers behave as if they are doing Basotho huge favours by stamping their passports.
Yet South Africa should not be the target of our anger. It does what it wants with its borders. The people we should blame are the politicians who refuse to do anything about the problem.  Until they get off their bums and stand up to Zuma and his people we are screwed.



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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