On becoming a comrade

Chapter II

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The plot thickens (the cabal inspissates)

Oudtshoorn. 19 March 2012. 11h45. Comrade Robert followed up on our ANC membahsheep applications this morning…

Only to be told that the membahsheep processing machinery has been broken since September last – because the comrades leadership have not paid the bills.

An IT company, Gijima, is apparently owed sufficient money for them to have terminated service delivery.

As far as OO can ascertain, membahsheep processing in all nine provinces is affected – including Luthuli House.

The comrades couldn’t run a bath if the taps were opened for them.

Yet… Khuselwa undertook to mail both Comrade Robert and Comrade Drewan (that’s me!) today still. Although she couldn’t say when our membahsheep cahds would be available.

First, lower your expectations

Oudtshoorn. 16 March 2012. 05h00. I can only hope that you will enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it!

My friend Robert yesterday spoke to the political vis-à-vis of that already proverbial FNB anti marketer, Werner, or Steven in English.

Y’all know Werner – the indefatigable telemarketer from Watchimacalit Bank who tries to flog financial services to FNB clients who are deliriously happy with their bank’s superior offerings. But every morning on my way to gym, Werner tries in vain on RSG to cozen Antie Doris into using his bank’s credit card or to inveigle Sannie to use his version of e-banking… and generally fob off dreadfully archaic banking products to ranking people proudly declaring affinity for FNB.

You may think that I am digressing afore I’ve even started, but trust me, I’m getting to, or will be getting to some point…

Robert and I applied for ANC membership in mid January.

And therein is a story to tell.

We couldn’t find anything particularly objectionable in the constitution of the centenary libiraishinmoefmunt and we fixed that, as members, we could convince Comrade Gwede that Oudtshoorn deserves better than a halfwit grade six lapidator with an affinity for sand and stone to run the local bazaar.

So Robert downloaded the application forms and we drove to the CBD where we duly presented ourselves to two FNB tellers, us resplendid with completed memberhip application forms, each with a tenner and a two rand coin and a smile to boot.

No joy.

We needed a branch code. Not for the bank; for the ANC ward – ward 2, where we both reside.

So, with halcyon disposition we gathered round in the street where I telephoned the local ANC office. There was no reply, so I called a cell number I had and was told to wait – someone would call me back. With pollyannaish applomp, Robert and I decided on a Wimpy treat while we waited.

No sooner had we ordered when the appropriate ward number was called in.

We finished our victuals, swallowed a cup of Java each and approached the FNB tellers for another round.

This time fortune smiled upon us with Colgate teeth and minty breath.

Our memberships were conceived.

Yesterday, 60 days later, I convinced Robert to approach our comrades in Thibault Square, Cape Town, with a view to determine the status of our applications. Or, to be truthful, I asked him to find out why the f… why we have not yet received our membahsheep cahds.

Robert called.

A recorded voice announced that the number was not in use.

So Robert, a pragmatic man of affairs not known for tolerating irrelevancies and with a bent for pointedness went straight for the vena jugularis. He called Luthuli House.

The phone rang until Telkom terminated the call.

So Robert tried again. With the same result.

Did I mention that Robert is a no-nonsense fellow, there’s a good chap, with a ready turn for pragmatism?

He proceeded to call the ANC’s Provincial Whip, one Pierre Uys.

There’s no stopping a man with the whiff of prey in his anterior nari and access to a telephone, to be sure.

Now Pierre Uys is an interesting comrade. He is known to have justified his initial ANC membership, as one of the Kortbroek kindred, with a reference to alternative impecuniousness and him with children at varsity and what not.

He was recently asked exactly how many children he has to educate before he quits, but the matter lapsed.

To Pierre’s PA did Robert speak. One Zuki.

Have you noticed how ANC names seem to be sourced from Star Wars scripts? Or from American Civil War libraries?

From Zuki Robert wanted to learn an operative telephone number for Membahsheeps.

O dear.

Zuki told Robert, and it was at this very point that my friend’s healthy helping of sangfroid mule-kicked in, that the Membahsheep Offies had no telephones.

No! Shame on you! I am not, as in not making this up!

But Zuki is not the PA to an ANC functionary for nothing, don’t you believe for a moment!

“Do you know someone in Cape Town?” she enquired of Robert.

Yes, he does know several people in Cape Town, replied the now discombobulated asker.

“Well, why don’t you ask one of them to go to the Membahsheep Offies to enquire about your membahsheep?”

Well, Robert was not entirely enraptured with this particular option and the xyresic Zuki picked up on it: She declared that she knew someone who knew someone who worked at Membasheeps and that she would source a mobile number for Robert to call.

Talk about heeding the call of duty!

So eventually my friend Robert got the “Head of Membahsheeps Western Cape”, one Khuselwa (named for the second cousin twice removed of Princess Leia, killed by Imperial Storm Troopers during the battle of Yavin, when the first Death Star was destroyed) reminiscent of Werner, on the line.

Progress was being made and the sweet odour of impending triumph redolent.

Sangfroid. Great coolness and composure under strain. My friend, Robert.

“No problem, telephones, how about an email address so I can drop ‘em a line?”

“There’s no computers.”

Now by Robert’s own admission, he damn nearly lost it at this particular juncture.

He repeated, at a loss for summat to say: “No computers?”

“No computers.”

“But… But… But…”

“The DG has not paid the service providers since the middle of last year so we don’t have telephones or computers.”

But the ANC chooses its leedahs carefully. And Khufelwa is no exception.

She will, within the next few days, track down and process our membahsheeps.

They’re attempting to run a country…

The pantheons, help us.

And this in their Centenary year, when membahsheep is foremost!

Ye gods and faeries!

Soon, I too, and Robert, will be cahd caraying membahs of the Ei-en-sea.


I think.

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9 thoughts on “On becoming a comrade

  1. Hulle het seker geweet dit is twee groot kakke soos julle wat aansoek doen om lidmaatskap! He he he!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  2. Die membasheep matsjien hy is nie gebreek nie, die process hy is “versadig”. Niemand hom meer wil aanslyt. Die service delivery is te poor, so hulle se maar die matsjeen hy is gebreek

  3. Hehehehehehehehehe… Ek sal hierdie Robert graag wil ontmoet. Moes ‘n byna buiteliggaamlike ondervinding gewees het.

  4. Ons rol op die vloer rond hier in die Marksgebou.

    Uitstekend meneer die redakteur! Uitstekend! Selfs jou grootste “vyande” hier rond skater van die lag.

    Sou dit nie lekker wees om Pierre Uys en Cobus Grobler se reaksie te kon sien ne!

    Daantjie Dinamiet en Karel Kat

    En So-by-So is reg!

  5. “They’re attempting to run a country…”
    mmmmm, …. by when, if ever, you be the judge ! ( By their fruits you will know them)

    “Memba-sheep” – a woolly breed from the country side, never leaders, just followers. Go see for yourself when you visit Memba some day, still rudderless to this day.

  6. Atleast the DA has PC’s ( with “P” being the main word) but thats it, otherwise very much the same.

  7. Absoluut ‘n skryfjuweelstorie. Los jou gesukkel met die klomp van wie die helfte donkies is (let tog, die ander helfte is nie donkies nie) en word voltydse skrywer. Dis jou roeping.

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