See­ing ahead to 2012 is a fishy busi­ness

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

THERE’S not much left of 2011. With­out fur­ther ado, we make our way from the Ma­hogany Ridge to the water’s edge and there, loaded on buchu brandy, we poke through fish en­trails with a stick and, by the ghostly light of a moon en­ter­ing its first quar­ter, are able to divine some of the more im­por­tant events of the new year.

The big trend in 2012 will be civil dis­obe­di­ence – thanks in part to Cosatu gen­eral sec­re­tary Zwelinz­ima Vavi’s call for ac­tion against the planned tolls on the high­way be­tween Jo­han­nes­burg and Pre­to­ria.

The strat­egy will how­ever have mixed suc­cess else­where. The an­nual mu­nic­i­pal strikes, for ex­am­ple, will be as chaotic and vi­o­lent as ever, with the usual wide­spread dam­age and loot­ing. But com­men­ta­tors will de­tect a more con­sid­er­ate, re­spect­ful na­ture as mobs ram­page through the streets. Union mem­bers will po­litely of­fer each other a “first go” at smash­ing win­dows and up­end­ing garbage cans. This will be as civil as it gets.

Else­where, the coun­try’s much­vaunted “lost gen­er­a­tion” of youth will fi­nally lose pa­tience with po­lit­i­cal struc­tures that con­tinue to fail them and, in­spired by the events in the Mid­dle East, take to the streets in anger. The so-called Mzansi Rev­o­lu­tion will be short-cir­cuited though as de­mon­stra­tors lose in­ter­est and go home to take in a new sea­son of Idols.

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma will con­tinue to dither along in his own happy, in­de­ci­sive man­ner and star­tle no-one in the run-up to the ANC’S national con­fer­ence in Man­gaung.

The crack­down on the me­dia will in­ten­sify as the new se­crecy laws bag their first of­fender. Re­tired li­brar­ian Mil­dred Pringle, free­lance con­trib­u­tor to a com­mu­nity news­pa­per, is ar­rested af­ter her “Na­ture Notes” col­umn on the squir­rels in Govern­ment Av­enue is found to con­tain clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion re­veal­ing the lo­ca­tion of the Houses of Par­lia­ment. The rul­ing party will mut­ter darkly about the ju­di­ciary fail­ing the demo­cratic rev­o­lu­tion af­ter Pringle is given a sus­pended sen­tence.

Speak­ing of which, prison re­form will con­tinue apace in 2012 as the Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices in­tro­duces a new form of in­car­cer­a­tion for pris­on­ers with cer­tain strug­gle cre­den­tials. In terms of this ground­break­ing de­vel­op­ment, a pris­oner will serve his or her sen­tence in a cell spe­cially con­structed at a lo­ca­tion of the pris­oner’s choice. For ex­am­ple, at home or, if needs be, the coun­try club.

In Pre­to­ria, Aurora Em­pow­er­ment Sys­tems di­rec­tor Khulubuse Zuma will fi­nally make an ap­pear­ance at the Pamodzi Gold in­sol­vency hear­ings. But shortly af­ter the pres­i­dent’s nephew is squeezed into the North Gaut­eng High Court, the five-ton­ner ex­plodes, rather like Monty Python’s Mr Cre­osote, once again stalling pro­ceed­ings.

Due to the toxic na­ture of Zuma’s vo­lu­mi­nous gut and its con­tents, sec­tions of the court will be sealed for safety rea­sons. How­ever – in a de­vel­op­ment not with­out some irony – des­ti­tute min­ers break into the build­ing and cart off bar­rels of lardy mat­ter which they sell as win­ter fuel in town­ships on the East Rand.

In Au­gust, the last of the late Mi­nor­ity Front leader Amic­hand Ra­jbansi’s toupees will be laid to rest. The so­called back­wards- for­wards triple­com­bover – a le­gendary hair­piece that re­sem­bled a sleep­ing badger re­gard­less of which way it was worn – will first need to be drowned in a bucket.

Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Trevor Manuel will fi­nally re­alise, in Fe­bru­ary, that for all their pro­le­tar­ian rootsi­ness, men of a cer­tain age should not wear brown shoes; they are com­mon and def­i­nitely don’t cut it.

Cosatu’s Western Cape re­gional sec­re­tary Tony Ehren­re­ich will on sev­eral oc­ca­sions an­nounce that he in­tends bring­ing hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion charges against premier He­len Zille. Among oth­ers, these will in­clude al­le­ga­tions of glar­ing at peo­ple, hav­ing a cer­tain Ger­man man­ner about her, danc­ing like a white per­son, and some­times sound­ing like a horse.

Zille will have other prob­lems. The DA leader will face an in­ter­nal re­bel­lion as se­nior col­leagues, un­happy with her prodi­gious tweet­ing, de­mand that she stops hog­ging the party Black­berry so they too may have a crack at so­cial net­work­ing and share their thoughts with the rest of us.

Prop­erty own­ers in Som­er­set Rd will throw a party as an­gry mod­els – some faintly smelling of tuna and wasabi mus­tard – torch ty­coon and vul­gar­ian Kenny Kunene’s trashy Green Point night­club.

The coun­try will en­joy a much­needed laugh when mil­lion­aire cat­tle farmer Julius Malema dis­cov­ers, some­what painfully, that it is not pos­si­ble to milk a bull. When he re­cov­ers he will brand the cow an agent with a pro­nounced im­pe­ri­al­ist ten­dency.

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