Duarte to April… Out! Caught at silly mid-off!

The Ides of March is late arriving in Oudtshoorn – par for the local course

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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 24 April 2013. 08h10. When I was informed on Monday afternoon that the ANC’s National Executive Committee finally removed Oudtshoorn’s mayor, Gordon April, I was merely surprised that it took the NEC such an extraordinary long time to act against a mayor whose main legacy is the embarrassment of his own expediently adopted party as an opportunistic Johnny-come-lately recruit to the liberation movement.

But I was discombobulated by the news that Pieter we-don’t-have-education-but-we-have-wisdom Luiters would replace April.

Discombobulated in my second most favourite word after serendipity and means having self-possession upset; being thrown into confusion.

Yet, I daresay, I was not as bedevilled, befuddled, bemused and bewildered as the couple of ANC’s who came to brief me.

In cricketing terms this political development represents a wrong ‘un – a ball bowled by a wrist-spinner that turns in the opposite direction from usual; a right-arm bowler’s googly or a left-arm bowler’s chinaman.

I called it as wrong as did Mark Keohane the Bulls – Kings game this Saturday last.

I was convinced that April, Luiters, Hendrik Botha, and Hendrik Ruiters were to have been removed from all positions of power.

Yet the NEC is keeping April on the Mayco, as Ruiters is retained and elevated also to Chief Whip.

I expect Botha and Jurie Harmse to be removed from the Mayco and replaced by Eric Ngalo and Nondumiso Gunguluza. At least the NEC may get this right.

My prediction that Carmichael Ngalo, one of the three best local ANC councillors, would be recalled from Eden to bolster the useless caucus, also came to nothing.

So here it is:

Pieter Luiters the Wise is the new Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, complete with keys to the Kuga.

His Mayco will probably consist of Vlancio Donson, April, Ruiters, Lea Stalmester, and Eric Ngalo and Gunguluza.

The Ides of March (Latin: Idus Martii or Idus Martiae) refers to March 15 on the Roman calendar, a day marked by various religious observances. The date is now notorious for the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44BCE. The Romans did not number days of a month sequentially from the first through the last day. Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones (5th or 7th, depending on the length of the month); the Ides (13th or 15th), and the Kalends (1st) of the following month.

So, our Caesar is stabbed in the back. And, not to stretch the analogy too thin, at least one of the religious observances of the Ides is somewhat paralleled: the Mamuralia, which has aspects of scapegoat practices, or the ancient Greek pharmakos ritual – where an old man dressed in animal skins are beaten and driven from the city.

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• 1995. Rundell, Michael. The Dictionary of Cricket. Oxford University Press. Oxford.
• Wikipedia.

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