Creepy clowns of our own
THERE are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke… and why not? Now he has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, it is entirely appropriate we quote Bob Dylan at some length. Nothing is better, nothing is best.
Even so, and despite this admittedly surprising development in the world of letters, news of an altogether different nature has arrived here at the Mahogany Ridge: the creepy “killer clown” craze is spreading across the world and is likely get worse in the build up to Halloween.
The circus was in town. Rumours of clowns attempting to lure children into the woods first surfaced in South Carolina in August. Within days scary clown sightings were reported all across the US, from Alabama to Wisconsin.
Then it spread to Britain, where police have responded to various clown-related incidents this month. These include a man being chased by a stranger in a clown mask wielding a hockey stick, a woman threatened with a knife by another man in clown mask and, in Wales, an 18-year-old man has been fined for a “public order offence” for dressing up as a clown and scaring children outside his former school.
But who’s this approaching, as the wind begins to howl? Not two riders, but… Batman. Yes, the Telegraph has reported that, in the north-west of England, a man dressed as the Caped Crusader is chasing away the scary clowns and appears in videos on social media reassuring school kids that he is on the case.
There is some opinion, here among the Ridge regulars, that when he’s done with the clowns up there, Batman may want to tackle a few of ours. He’s certainly will be spoilt for choice – it’s pretty much Bozo City in these parts.
Both President Jacob Zuma and Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen spring to mind for their attempts to stop the release of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report.
Desperate men, desperate women divided, as the poet said.
The DA sort of agrees. “We’re of the strong view that this is a desperate attempt by (Zuma) to delay the inevitable,” party spokesman Mabine Seabe has said. “This points to someone who’s been pushed in a corner and is now trying to get out.”
Shame, but maybe Msholozi really does know what it feels like to be on his own, with no direction home.
Van Rooyen is now a greatly weakened Weekend Special. According to the BBC, cellphone records suggest he was at the Gupta’s Joburg home the night before Zuma abruptly dismissed Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister.
What’s more troubling is that Van Rooyen appears to have bizarrely implicated himself in improper conduct – in his own court papers. His documents, according to Eyewitness News, include a letter from Madonsela which suggests that during his four days as finance minister he had irregularly appointed two “Gupta allies”, identified as Mohamed Bobat and Ian Whitley, to the Treasury.
In his affidavit, Van Rooyen argued that were he not afforded the opportunity to “deal with” possible adverse findings, his reputation would be gravely damaged and “will put me in peril of the sanctions appropriate to those conclusions and even to the possibility of criminal charges”.
The matter has greatly vexed the Gupta family. They’re not going lightly from the ledge, babe. Their lawyers have warned Madonsela that should she find the family was “in any way whatsoever involved in inappropriate conduct”, she would be doing so at her “own peril”.
Which brings us to NPA director Shaun Abrahams, whose eyebrows, it must be said, do seem to have escaped from a circus wardrobe department.
Now, too much of nothing can make a make a man feel ill at ease and Abrahams must be distinctly uneasy at the moment.
He’s about to go down in history as the man who laid fraud charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for granting employees early retirement.
Earlier this week, it was reported “there have been 3 000 identical cases this year alone” where public servants were granted early retirement – and all in keeping with guidelines of the Government Employees’ Pension Fund.
If Abrahams really wants the NPA to have the same “respect” as the courts or the public protector’s office, then he needs to get his act together.
Gordhan must be really tired of Abrahams and his silly vendetta by now. The lines of one more Dylan song come to mind: Yes, I wish that for just one time You could stand inside my shoes You’d know what a drag it is To see you.