Friday, November 24, 2006

The Good, Jackie, and Agliotti

It’s time for a new sheriff

He wears a badge, and folks ‘round ‘ere used to respect him. But things have changed some. Jackie, that’s the sheriff, is s’posed to be the sheriff. Yep, he’s the sheriff alright, of Interpol. That’s a mighty big responsibility for a man. And this man also happens to be the law in this country. Now I don’t know what you’ve heard, son, but what I heard is that one of our sheriff’s best pals is what they call ‘a businessman’ in these parts. Some folks be sayin’ that just last year he walked on down to the OK Corral in his fancy suit and gunned down his best friend, Old Man Kebble. Folks say the gunman they saw was this same fancy pants Italian, Agliotti. I guess when he means business he means dirty business. And lately the sheriff’s and he’s bin doin’ plenty business together.

Now I don’t know about you, son, but seems to me to be a conflict of interest. Why jus’ the other day I saw them two eating breakfast together. Both of ‘em eating hash browns and chicken eggs, as chipper as two doggone puppies on a bone. Fancy that. The sheriff drinking coffee with a killer. That’s not how it’s supposed to be son. That’s just not right.

Now folks have been asking the sheriff to hand in his badge, but all’s he could say so far is, “What in heck’s wrong with two decent men having a breakfast time together?” Well, I dunno about you, but two men doing stuff together in the morning like that, like starting out the day that way, it just don’t feel right to me. You know what I mean?

Yeah and the Deputy, man named Nqakula, he’s bin sayin’ people’s around here are talkin’ too much. “Where’s the evidence?” he says. Well, I tell ya, son. A lawman just has no business keeping the company of a killer. Even worse, makin’ excuses for it. This used to be a God-fearin’ town son. People used to be respectable here. Now the wagon’s can’t come into town without the injuns taking off with the loot. And folks are sayin’ the injuns aren’t injuns at all, but cowboys dressed like injuns.

People’ve been chasing the injuns for years. They’ve been shot to hell. Now my experience is the injuns don’t harm us any, less we harm ‘em first, and we done did plenty of that. Now there’s hardly any of them critters left. We’re started thinking it’s bin the sheriff making like all them bandits is the injuns, blaming ‘em, and protecting the real bad apples. Bin getting away with it for years, Jackie has, lining his pockets with loot, and blaming them injuns.

And folks around here bin sayin’ that lawlessness has gotten lots worse over the years. That’s the truth son.
Now, you know, once upon a time all the land here belonged to the injuns. Everything. Then the first of us arrived, and some of us were very ambitious. Some would say jus’ plain greedy. Some folks saw the land and wanted it, and were prepared to get it by fair or foul means. Foul suited some better, ‘cos it tended to be a faster to get what they wanted. Times changed, but some old habits die hard. What the cowboys started doin’, I heard, when a lot of the land was sold up, they’d go dressed up as injuns, ride to a farm, all hollering noisy-like, and burn down the farmhouse, kill the farmer and his wife, making sure they were seen. It was also the cowboys who started ‘scalping’, an ugly ritual that people even today wrongly put down to them injuns. The injuns did scalp their victims, but as an act of revenge, and only after learning it from the ‘pale face’ who did it to them.

What we have in South Africa, seems to me a case of indians (like Agliotti) dressing up as cowboys, and cowboys (like Selebi) colluding with the indians. In this metaphor, the indians are the ‘bad guys’, and the cowboys ought to be the law. But they aren’t. It’s all a deception. The real bad guys, it turns out, are the guys who are supposed to be the good guys. Ah reckon we need to get ourselves a new sheriff, m’boy.

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