Daddy’s flashy birthday can’t make us for­get

CityPress - - Voices - Paddy Harper voices@city­press.co.za Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Pad­dyHarper1

Thurs­day. It’s the day af­ter Daddy’s birthday and the day be­fore the an­niver­sary of the ex­e­cu­tion of one of my favourite rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies, Je­sus Christ.

“Daddy” is what the faith­ful within the ANC call Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma these days. It’s a bit creepy.

I won­der how Daddy’s 75th went. It must have been weird. Half the na­tion is tak­ing to the streets, say­ing nasty things about your cra­nium and chant­ing “don’t come on Mon­day” in a rather loud voice. The other half is of­fer­ing to fel­late you – fig­u­ra­tively, of course – on Face­book, paid Twit­ter ac­counts and ANN7. Oh, and he’s on that lovely R8 mil­lion stage next to a shack set­tle­ment in Klip­town.

That kinda stuff is bound to make you bipo­lar. Or at least dizzy.

Then again, Daddy’s not ex­actly known for let­ting other peo­ple’s opin­ions get to him. Daddy’s kinda like The Dude in The Big Le­bowski in that way.

I head for the beach to get rid of the day’s grime. The wa­ter’s cleans­ing, but Daddy’s still on my mind. What do you get some­body like Daddy for his birthday? The cat al­ready has a whole coun­try and a for­mer lib­er­a­tion move­ment to play with, so what do you buy him? A pair of socks? An Or­lando Pi­rates replica shirt? A Kreepy Krauly for the fire pool? A third term as pres­i­dent?

I hit the beach. There’s this short, bald­ing cat in cargo shorts with a fa­mil­iar swag­ger and a cigar limp­ing along the prom­e­nade. It’s Sch­abir Shaik – Daddy’s orig­i­nal Sugar Daddy be­fore Daddy be­came Daddy.

The poor man’s Atul Gupta gave Daddy lots of birthday presents. And Christ­mas presents. And Eid presents. And Di­wali presents. All in all, Sch­abir gave Daddy 1 340 000 mil­lion presents, as it were.

Sch­abir’s presents to Daddy got him Daddy’s sup­port. They also got him 15 years in jail (even if he only did 28 months, all of them in hos­pi­tal).

Sch­abir stops. We be­came bras dur­ing his trial. His bru threat­ened to kill my man Ghengis over some­thing I wrote, but we sorted it all out.

Sch­abir is look­ing tired, un­happy. Be­ing stuck in the pozzie with only gold­fish for com­pany all day will do that to you. Then again, Sca­bies, as he used to be known, is look­ing pretty good for a guy who was meant to have died eight years ago (he got med­i­cal pa­role be­cause he had a “ter­mi­nal ill­ness”).

I’m about to ask Sch­abir if he re­grets not tak­ing the of­fer from the Scor­pi­ons to turn state wit­ness against Daddy – af­ter all, he could have changed his­tory. I bite my tongue. There’s no need to be cruel.

‘Daddy’ is what the faith­ful within the ANC call Zuma these days. It’s a bit creepy

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