I saw a Gupta at Taboo, and Ru­pert at a fickle en­counter

Business Day - - Sport -

I’ve been to the Taboo night­club once. No, wait, it was twice. Or was it three times? I don’t much like night­clubs. I don’t like shout­ing at the per­son next to me just to be heard, al­though that seems to be the way of things these days. Shout­ing at oth­ers has never been eas­ier. Find­ing rea­sons to have a hissy fit and to cause pain is pain­less. Click, read, twist and shout, wait for the mob to fol­low.

Wait for a “Matthias, son of Deuteron­omy of Gath to say: “Look. I’d had a lovely”sup­per, and all I said to my wife was: ‘That piece of hal­ibut was good enough for Je­ho­vah’.”

Buy some stones, two with points and one big flat one, and wait un­til the man in charge of the ston­ing for blas­phemy says “Je­ho­vah” again be­fore you put him to death. There are many life les­sons in the Life of Brian by Monty Python. So, just say no to shout­ing at each other, sports fans. It ’ s not nearly as much fun as you make it out to be. In­stead of shout­ing and rant­ing to­day, I’m go­ing to go on a ram­ble of mem­o­ries. This will be a Se­in­feld-es­que col­umn, I fear. Much ado about some­thing and noth­ing at the same time, with a point about to be made but per­haps just out of reach. My few times at Taboo have been for Cricket SA func­tions. I re­call one party there where I saw a young na­tional cricket player who had made his in­ter­na­tional de­but not long be­fore be­ing feted by a group of three or four gentle­men. My mem­ory is a lit­tle hazy. There is some­thing of the Zondo com­mis­sion about it. I asked a col­league who the men where. He told me they were from Sa­hara com­put­ers and were prob­a­bly go­ing to spon­sor the player. I’d never seen a Gupta close up be­fore, but I do re­call they had a fair num­ber of hang­ers on, some of them in cricket ad­min­is­tra­tion. I won­der if cricket will be called to dis­cuss its re­la­tion­ship with the Gup­tas. I was also at Taboo for a wel­com­ing func­tion for the Aus­tralian cricket team. Aus­tralians and taboo – a match made in heaven. Those were the days when Cricket SA had money to burn. They had spon­sors, so many that they could af­ford to treat them badly, as when sim­ply they then ig­nored did with CEO re­quests Stan­dard Ger­ald Ma­jola for Bank meet­ings be­came time with to the dis­cuss bank the when it bank’s spon­sor­ship con­tract. So, the bank ended the deal and walked away. They are back, which is a good thing. Cricket needs the money these days. Spon­sor­ship money is hard to find. I’ve been in the same room as Jo­hann Ru­pert, but it was not at Taboo. It was the pres­i­den­tial suite/room at Kings Park after a Bok Test. Ru­pert was there with his fam­ily, Schalk Burger se­nior, and his wife. We jour­nal­ists were usu­ally in­vited to the VIP suite for a few drinks after Test matches. Ru­pert had also had a few drinks. We dis­cov­ered this when he turned to us and asked which of us wrote for Rap­port. Ah, thought the rest of us who didn’t work for Rap­port. This is go­ing to be fun. The inim­itable Louis de Vil­liers said he was, as did his col­league, JJ Harmse, who now works for Saru. Ru­pert had a dip at them, telling them they should stop their cam­paign against Jake White, who was coach at the time. Louis never holds back and launched a tirade against Ru­pert, which was even more fun. Louis told Ru­pert he cared lit­tle for the man’s wealth and who he was, and he would not al­low him to tell him how and what to write. The two had a lit­tle to-and-fro be­fore Schalk se­nior and Ru­pert’s wife, both of whom were gig­gling along with us, de­cided it was time to go home. I fol­low Ru­pert on Twit­ter. I also fol­low our former sport min­is­ter, Fickle Em­bel­lish­ment, who backed Ru­pert, say­ing he had helped SA get the World Cup. He did not say which World Cup, but you sus­pect it was 2010. Mbalula got some stick for dar­ing to de­fend Ru­pert. He should have known bet­ter. You can build and share and help, but, man, you will be re­mem­bered for that one night with that goat. The taboo will al­ways stick with you.

KEVIN McCAL­LUM

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