Publication: Sunday Independent Extract from The Diary Issued: Date: 2001-03-11 Reporter: Editor: "Karen Bliksem"

How Dare Truth-Loving Maduna Allege he can Trust the Media to get it Sew Rong?

Publication  Sunday Independent
Extract from The Diary
Date 2001-03-11
Editor "Karen Bliksem"

When I was a young woman – and I was young once, you needn’t snigger – if I wanted to do something like, say, smoking dope or staying out all night, and suggested it to my mother in a tone of voice implying that I probably would not be allowed to do so, she used to reply: “ Do as you please, and if anyone tries to stop you, call a policeman.” 

Her riposte, along with others of hers, such as “Yes, today is Sunday, and it will be so all day” and “neither a lender nor a borrower be” have become part of the family heritage. They are summoned up by her children at family dinners and reunions, quaint reminders of those days gone by when there were bobbies on the beat, even in Cape Town’s Adderley Street, Sundays were days of rest when we trooped off to church, not the local casino, and if you wanted a loan, you turned to friends, not to banks that specialise in interest rates that come perilously close to usury. 

But I note with interest that my mother’s riposte about the policeman has now become the stock in trade of our own Penuell Maduna, the minister of justice. Like my mother, Maduna really has become enormously fond of this particular bit of repartee. 

Earlier this week, Judge Willem Heath of the special investigating unit – remember him? – said that he had been sabotaged by the government and Maduna in particular. This had been done, Heath averred, by Maduna seeing to it that the unit received very few presidential proclamations (those things without which the unit could not launch an investigation). Heath also said his telephones had been bugged. 

Maduna’s riposte was that if Heath had had any complaints, he should have laid a charge at his local police station. I also seem to recall that Maduna mentioned during the height of the arms probe brouhaha that if any subcontractor felt aggrieved, he too should go and lay a charge at the nearest cop shop. 

In my humble experience some of the fellows at local cop shops have considerable trouble taking down the details of a car theft. 

So how, I wonder, would they manage with a statement about weapons systems and mine sweepers? But let that pass. 

With acknowledgment to ‘Karen Bliksem’ and the Sunday Independent.