IT is never Muckraker’s hobby to fume on behalf of anyone but what recently happened to the King at the border pushed her over the edge.
The story is that some overzealous officials on the South African side rummaged through the King’s car as if they were searching a Golf Velocity owned by a notorious thief.
What they were looking for we will never know.
It is however clear that they knew they were poking their calloused paws into a King’s car.
In so doing they were violating an age-old immigration rule that those with diplomatic passports should not be searched or delayed at the border without justifiable cause.
The search was not routine because it lasted more than an hour, according to some reports.
So the officials were not just searching but turning the car up-side-down.
They probably frisked the king himself and frisked around him.
The ‘frisk’ refers to a body-search which the other means to leap or skip playfully.
You cannot put both past the South African police.
They are brazen when they want to humiliate you and excitable when they think they have you in a tight corner.
It is possible that they went through his bags.
As can be expected, our government has bitterly complained to the South African government. Foreign Affairs Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says she has apologised to her counterpart Lesego Makgothi. She plans to travel to Lesotho to ‘personally” ‘apologise’ to the King.
Muckraker wonders what sister Sisulu will say when she meets the king. She cannot possibly say the officers at the border did not know the rules that apply to a diplomat.
She will be a certified fool if she tries to say that the officials did not know that they were dealing with the King of Lesotho. He is one of the most recognisable faces in Southern Africa, holds a diplomatic passport and his cars are clearly marked.
His drivers and aides might have also whispered to the naughty officers that they were harassing a Head of State.
Either way you look at it Sister Sisulu will not have even straws to clutch on when she comes to Lesotho.
Even if the king, in his usual good nature, accepts the apology there is no way Sisulu can wash away the suspicion that his was a deliberate act to embarrass the king.
It is also not outlandish to assume that after accepting the apology the King can still ask Sisulu other pointed questions at the border.
It is scandalous that Sisulu is now galloping to Lesotho, tail between her yellow bone legs, simply because the border fiasco has now stung the King.
Surely the King knows what happened to him is precisely what has been happening to his people for the past eight months. Because of his renowned humility he probably knows that he is somewhat lucky to have spent a few hours at the border because his people are spending days in a queue.
We are dealing here with a South African government that has a barefaced contempt for other countries, even those like Lesotho that supply water to keep its industrial hub running.
Sisulu is a pathetic soul to think that only His Majesty deserves an apology.
Thousands of Basotho have been subjected to hellish treatment by those matric-less immigration officers who behave as if there is something sophisticated about scanning a passport.
Muckraker once spent half a day at the border as the immigration officials fiddled with their phones, admired themselves in the mirrors and took inordinate bathroom breaks.
One kept licking her fingers after dipping them in a packet full of chips. Why such a bulky woman insisted on stuffing her rotund cheeks with greasy things, Muckraker is yet to know.
What is infuriating is that no one has bothered to explain the delays at the border.
We know its effects but the answer to what causes it is as elusive as professionalism at the border.
Pretoria has proffered some dippy explanation about the new system and the lack of adequate personnel at the border. Those problems can be surmounted by simple solutions. Those who have been to other countries will tell you that the biometric system makes things faster, not slow.
Technology, by its nature, is supposed to increase production by making the system both efficient and faster.
Why the new technology at the border has made things much slower is mindboggling. Before the system it used to take 90 seconds to process a passport but now with the new system it takes nearly ten minutes to achieve the same.
Remember this is the same system used in other countries. The only logical conclusion is that either the immigration officials don’t know how to use the system or someone higher up the hierarchy has tinkered with the system to make it slower. Both are possibilities.
An average South Africa immigration officer is a dunderhead who barely managed three Cs in Matric.
Combine that low acumen with arrogance and contempt for other nationals, and you will see why the system has made things worse instead of better.
It is possible that someone has fiddled with the system to make it slower because despite its pretence at being a welcoming country South Africa doesn’t like poor Africans within its borders.
It is fine with corrupt Guptas. Send it fugitives and it will embrace them. But it frowns when it sees poor Africans crossing its borders.
Time and again we have been told that the biometric system is meant to curb cross-border crimes. The idea being that the system will weed out criminals and terrorists.
Yet, as we know already, Lesotho is not known to supply such malcontents to South Africa. And even if it has those in abundance it will be doubly naïve of South Africans to think they would use proper borders to enter the country. But it is understandable that South Africans would think that criminals are stupid.
After all they just had a pathetic and dimwit of a thief by the name of Zuma.
They therefore measure every criminal according to Zuma’s pitiable standard.
The criminals Lesotho will never disown are those who sell matekoane to South Africa. Most of those don’t use the proper borders to move their contraband.
And even if they use the right borders it’s not as if South Africans are really frightened about having truckloads of matekoane in their country.
Lesotho’s matekoane is probably what keeps South Africans from going berserk.
The officers at the border smoke Lesotho’s matekoane using long pipes. That is why some of them had the temerity to search the King’s car for hours.
Only an official intoxicated with the potent Mapoteng grade would behave as such.
South African ministers are always high on our matekoane. That is why it has taken them over a month to apologise to the king.
Muckraker knows that Sisulu only reacted after the Lesotho government wrote a second letter of complaint. Sisulu is behaving as if she has discovered this matter for the first time yet the president’s office has two letters from Lesotho complaining about the issue. Muckraker is not saying Sisulu is high but she indeed exhibits some symptoms of insobriety.
It might be that she caught a whiff of matekoane. All the same Muckraker hopes she would have regained control of her faculties when she meets the King.
Let them take korobela
Nqosa Mahao has pulled a fast one on his opposition comrades to join Uncle Sam’s government. Muckraker suspected the bromance among the opposition leaders would end in tears but never expected Mahao to do the betraying. The lesson is that there is no honour among politicians and everyone has a price. The BAP’s price is two cabinet seats and some morsels to be flung its way here and there.
The opposition is furious at Mahao for stringing them along for three weeks while Uncle Sam whispered sweet little things in his ears.
They say Mahao attended their nocturnal meetings to plot Uncle Sam’s demise but was busy with a plan to get himself a mok’huk’hu in the government.
Their screams of anger are hypocritical. They too would have been charmed for the right price. Mahao just happened to have yielded earlier than them. None of them can claim that they were not approached by the RFP or its dealmakers.
No one could claim that they refused the RFP’s marriage proposal because they differed on ideology and principle. The only sticking issue was what was offered and what they thought their support was worthy. So let’s bin the hypocrisy and confirm that some of them overreached and overestimated their value by holding out for more spoils. It’s not their business if Mahao sold himself too cheap.
He was smart enough to understand that the market of political support was already flooded. That is being pragmatic.
In the end, it was a simple matter of demand and supply. Uncle Sam played the game well by lodging a scarecrow of a court case to delay the vote of no confidence to buy himself time. That blindsided the opposition leaders and allowed Uncle Sam to counterattack.
So while Lehata was laughing like a hyena in parliament and the opposition congregated at the BNP Centre for drinks Uncle Sam was cooking some delicious dish across town. It was only a matter of time before the aroma reached the politicians’ noses.
So while they were claiming to be united most of them were busy receiving calls to hear what was on the menu. It was a buffet of embassies and cabinet seats. The desserts were deputy minister positions and some small jobs for hungry supporters. The only problem with some of the opposition leaders was that they wanted to eat the whole buffet, including Uncle Sam’s portion.
Meanwhile, Uncle Sam was busy gauging what was enough to satiate the hungriest among the opposition leaders. In the end, he knew he didn’t have to part with much to get the deal and the numbers he wanted. Some politicians are saying Mahao could have asked for more because Uncle Sam was desperate and cornered. Not true!
Your tomatoes do not cost more simply because you worked hard to produce them or you think they are special. It’s the market that decides.
To get more for them you should get the timing right. The same applies to political support. Uncle Sam knew the market of political support would be oversupplied if he waited a few days before buying.
By the time he came to the market the available political support was about to rot and everyone was willing to sell at a huge discount. This is common sense but some opposition leaders want to pretend Mahao ambushed them by selling fast.
Muckraker suggests that next time they plot against Uncle Sam, the opposition leaders should visit a sangoma to give them all a huge dose of korobela so that none is tempted to find another lover. The best love portion comes from the North of us. Mwa, mwa, mwa!
How to share a stolen goat
Those who think Uncle Sam is now safe from the barbarians at the gates are naïve. Mahao’s defection is a temporary setback from which the opposition leaders are plotting to recover.
They are coming because Uncle Sam is holding something they cannot live without: power.
And they will not rest until they get it. Those who believe this fight is based on principle and ideology are unmitigated dimwits. Their claim that Uncle Sam’s government has failed is just a cover to justify their plot. They know they would not do a better job.
Everyone knows that because they have seen their epic bungling when they had a chance to rule.
The notoriety of their thievery, corruption, deliberate mismanagement and nepotism precedes them. They say Uncle Sam has failed to implement his party’s campaign promises but forget that some of them failed several times. If this was about ideology and principle it would reflect in the negotiations for coalitions. In countries where politicians still have morsels of self-respect and specks of shame, such negotiations would be dominated by ideological and policy considerations.
Political parties try to find some common ground on fundamental issues like the economy, education, climate change, trade and foreign policy.
Our rascals here talk about ministerial and diplomatic positions as if they are sharing a stolen goat; I want the head, give me likahare.
My ancestors said I should always eat the testicles. Give me the liver, I don’t have teeth. The heart is my favourite. In a way, our government is like a stolen goat being shared by thieves. Ba ja maleo.
It’s a fat goat stolen from Basotho. The politicians will eat it and not leave even the skin for Basotho to make a mat to lay on when hungry. The thieves are eating while the people watch.
Yet we people never tire to give the politicians the permission to rob and pee on them.
It’s tempting to say we deserve it but no one, not even the Devil, deserves the politicians we have in this country. Some say there is hell somewhere. Muckraker says we are already in a hell of some sort created by our politicians. We are being roasted slowly by politicians and they will never stop.
Does that make you feel depressed and hopeless? Well, you are not alone. There are worse places on this earth. Does that mean we should accept tosh because there is worse tosh in other places?
Well, it’s your choice.
Muckraker wishes you a wet weekend. Let’s hope Uncle Sam throws us a party to celebrate his great escape. You marched for him, didn’t you?
A beer is what you deserve for sweating from Maseru Mall to parliament.
Give Lehata a Bell’s
Mootsi Lehata behaved like a clown in parliament last week. Laughing like he was in a shebeen. Spewing insults as if someone had stolen his goats. He even used the ‘F’ word on Lejone Mpotjoane.
“Moshanyana enoa a se ke a ntella. Se ke oa ntella sonny, f**k you,” he said in response to Mpotjoane. Muckraker doesn’t know Mpotjoane to be a moshanyana. What she knows is what Lehata did to a ngoanana a few years ago.
The girl dropped the rape case on the condition that Lehata builds her a house and pays for the child’s upkeep. So ke eena ea tellang molao. Some might say it’s water under the bridge but Muckraker doesn’t forgive. Never!
For now, we should talk about his monkeyshines in parliament. He looked high on something. Lehata can however deny it. He can say he was shaking because he had spent sleepless nights plotting to topple Uncle Sam. He can claim he was shaking with excitement at the prospect of becoming a minister again. If that doesn’t cut it he can say wasn’t drunk but just suffering from a hangover.
That might work because he could say those who say he was drunk on that Monday should have seen him on Sunday. He could claim he was still suffering the effects of knocking down several bottles taller than him.
But whatever happens, no one can prove that he was high.
Yes, a test could have revealed that he had blood in his alcohol but that is now beside the point because it didn’t happen. In any case, Muckraker has seen worse things in parliament. Remember how some MPs spanked each other a few years ago?
Chairs and bins were given wings. An MP was once captured on camera groping another.
As for insults, worse things have been said. Some of the MPs don’t need to be insulted to feel humiliated. Imagine how it feels to be an LCD MP.
You see it in their faces that they are beating themselves.
No wonder they are not even mentioned as part of the opposition. They are not in opposition, not government and not in the crossbench. They are there, somewhere there.
Muckraker would not sleep well if she ended these musings without mentioning one small thing. During the debate on Lehata’s tomfoolery, one opposition MP said the Speaker should protect MPs so that their images are not manipulated to tarnish their reputation. Yeah, right!
You must have a reputation first for it to be tarnished. Muckraker and 98.9 percent of Basotho know 99 percent of our MPs to be freeloading, greedy and power-hungry charlatans.
That is their reputation. Those who say our MPs are honest and hardworking are tarnishing that sterling reputation.
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