Seeing ahead to 2012 is a fishy business
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.