It's getting a lot more heated at the Eskom water-cooler
Awkward situations must abound in government offices as the captured and uncaptured are forced to mingle
Pravin Gordhan’s appointment of Phakamani Hadebe to head up Eskom has been claimed by Ramaphosists as another victory for transparency, but it will further worsen a crisis sweeping the top echelons of government: incredibly awkward and confused conversations in office kitchens, as captured Gupta stooges have to share the microwave with increasing numbers of un-captured bureaucrats.
Consider the scene, as the microwave hums and the room fills with the scent of chicken-noodle soup:
“So. You good?”
“You sure you’re OK?”
“No, you just look a bit down.”
“Ag, I suppose I’m just still a bit shocked by the big retirement.”
“Oh geez! Yes!”
“I mean, that guy has been my idol for years, and for him to just retire like that …”
“I feel you. What a player, hey?”
“What a player.”
“But you gotta chase the big money, am I right?”
“For sure. And let’s be honest, we can say what we like about Mzansi but we all know the big money is in India.”
“Hundred percent. But still, I think his timing is a bit weird.”
“Listen. I would never speak against the man but I think it’s fair to say he’s been struggling for a few years.”
“Ja but that series against the Aussies! And the World Cup is just around the corner!”
A confused beat.
“The Aussies. And the World Cup.”
“Wait, who are you talking about? Who took early retirement?”
“AB de Villiers. Who are you talking about?”
The final 30 seconds of the countdown proceeds in silence and sidelong glances, ending with a ping and a hasty exit.
And that’s not even including the passive-aggressive war of handwritten words going on inside the fridge, where Tupperware boxes labelled “HANDS OFF THIS IS MY POTATO SALAD EXCEPT FOR THE TOP 10% WHICH I HAVE TO DELIVER TO SAXONWOLD LATER” jostle for space with new zip-lock baggies covered in Post-Its reading: “Hi guys, this muffin belongs to the South African taxpayer so please don’t steal it.”
Fortunately a captured comrade can always retreat to the toilet for some peace and quiet, to plan how he’s going to get the last of the loot past his un-captured colleagues and out of the building.
For the last 10 years it’s been easy: you could just wheel it out in a large sack, and if anyone asked any questions there was always Mac Maharaj to explain that the sack had been taken out of context or Jessie Duarte to explain that there was no sack at all.
Now, though, it’s getting trickier. So here he sits, sticky-taping a wad of cash to his stomach.
Bugger. Only space for half a wad. Damned chicken-noodle soup. Supra. Oh Supra. Why did you leave us so soon? Shit, I’ve taped my nipple to my armpit. Damn Pravin Gordhan. Damn him to hell.