This time around the meeting place of the conspirators was the three star hotel in Empangeni. Bongi was still fresh on the job, but getting tired fast. On the other hand Gapon seemed to carry on a highly professional mould, with the exception of drinking of course.
Bongi noticed that the more they met, the more his handler consumed more by the day. Not that he worried, because it was becoming more evident by the day that Gapon was a consummate drinker. However the fact that Gapon insisted to drive back to Durban after the completion of each meeting worried Bongi. Occasionally Bongi felt that a pep talk regarding drinking and driving would help, but knowing his friend’s demeanour he avoided even mentioning his observation.
Gapon was a mature man after all, and knowing his aggressiveness, Bongi realised that even such an attempt was doomed to lead to confrontation. He smiled when he recalled the didactic outbursts of the handler when mentioning the Agency’s Code of Ethics that demanded a clean living devoid of excesses in regard to drinking and womanising as the security of the country was the paramount imperative of the service. In his state of drunkenness, Gapon sounded lyrical about the agent’s commitment to the country, their duties and responsibilities in protecting the people from the internal and external enemy and all the big words that fill the Green and White Papers and the Service Delivery Outcomes Manuals. In fact sometimes Bongi felt the urge to start taking notes recording these outbursts, but he avoided it because of the fear Gapon he would get offended. Bongi was sure that he would have felt offended. Read more
Gapon did not even have time to look around him. He locked himself into the small study room next to the double garage and he continued changing the length and tone of the letter. Initially he felt it should be long and detailed. He took out his notebook and went through it line by line, word by word. Then he categorised the themes and content and retyped carefully.
Before he completed the fourth version he went out in the yard to have his sixth cigarette. He planned to spend his Saturday in the swimming pool as ORLANDO PIRATES had a bye and he could not stand watching MPUMALANGA BLACK ACES versus AMAZULU. Sometimes he questioned uMsholozi’s confessed undying support for AMAZULU but as the Professor turned informer had told him everything in life is a personal choice and the result of history. Bongi had a point on this one.
As he entered the study he posed for thirty seconds, re-looked at the two page document and tore it apart. He threw it on the floor, but saved it under “CONFIDENTIAL’ in his laptop, just in case. He decided to confuse the Chief with some heavy intellectual jargon.
It took him half an hour to complete the draft. He looked at it and felt proud of himself. He thought the final product was a gem. He read it out loudly:
Durban DATE (to be completed in time)
RE: NDUNDULU INVASION
Dear Comrade Chief
Please accept my humble revolutionary greetings to you and Comrade Mrs. Nomzamo.
I wish to report to you re: the invasion reported to you by Comrade Informer X 24623 QUATRO on 16/8/2009 at 15.30.
I wish to report that a diligent newly recruited Agent, No Z 24624 MFUND has reported the following on 16-10-2009 at 4.15 am.
The Chinese Enemy is not strong enough, yet, to come on openly against the third and final stage of our uninterrupted revolutionary process. Read more
Bongi walked towards the Notice Board hanging from the tree outside the Clinic. He greeted the gogos (grand mothers) selling bananas and bought three for lunch. He joined the queue. After ten minutes his turn was on to browse through the notice. He knew it would be very inappropriate to jump the queue of all sorts of interested people. He took out his note-book before he carefully scrutinized the contents of the Notice
NOTICE NO 121/2009
“Do you want to start your own business but don’t know how or where to begin? Well, help is at hand.
An exciting new project, “Asisebenze”, has been launched by the uThungulu District Municipality in partnership with the Zululand Chamber of Business. From May 2009, business advisers will be visiting each of the six local municipalities in the uThungulu District on an on -going basis until the end of the year and three months into 2010.
Free of charge, they will offer advice on:
- starting a business
- how to access entrepreneurial training
- how to set up agricultural co-operatives
- how to submit tenders
- project management
- business research
- business reporting
No appointments necessary
The business advisors will be available as follows.
Ufuna ukuqala umsebenzi othi wena kodwa awazi uzoqalaphi? Usizo lusentendeni yesandla. Read more
When Gapon entered the room Bongi felt the tension. His handler was always in a rush for answers and activities and he was always meticulous in his questions, monitoring and assessment routine. This was one of the things that Bongi could not argue against.
Gapon was thorough in his job and followed the Manuals to their finer detail. The problem that Bongi found in this type of approach was that the handler did not go deep enough, and this was one of the issues he felt obliged to raise with Gapon. However, he was reluctant to do that because he knew there will be a backlash, and this was the last thing he needed in his life, that was very complicated at the moment, to say the least. If he raised issues of detail, he was sure Gapon would go into a tirade bordering on the hysterical, accusatory and authority-laden attitude that had become his trademark in their conversations .This was the reason Bongi felt that he should have used more strategic and pious attitude in the feed back sessions.
Tonight Gapon seemed to be bothered about something that troubled him greatly and after he pulled the bottle and stashed it in the mini-bar without opening it, he sat on his usual place in the couch. He did not pose for a minute as he seemed absorbed in looking at the painting on the wall. Read more
Sometimes knowing people in a city that is your hide and seek destination for a period of time does not help. People, especially in middle of the road cities become viciously inquisitive when they see a new face they do not recognise. They ask all sorts of questions. This could be the result of a number of reasons, friendliness, warmth, hospitality, even boredom. Some people, possibly equally bored, get enmeshed in such conversations and open themselves to possible dangers, as Gapon officiously declared, time and again. In fact he sounded exactly like a vinyl record stuck on a grammophone.
Bongi realised that it was easier to relate and talk to rural people, because although they were also gossipers, the potential danger to the job at hand was much more limited when compared to opening yourself to urban inquirers. Urban gossipers tended to be slier and more cunning in their approach. They also had a more demeaning attitude towards people doing menial, yet highly useful and productive jobs, like cleaners, petrol attendants and the like. Urban people looked down on such workers, but this was one thing that only well skilled anthropologists would detect. The newspapers would not deal with such touchy human subjects, the Sheik brothers and Julius Malema were much more juicy subjects for first page stories. The shooting of a petrol attendant was only covered in the DAILY SUN, that paper amongst papers.
However , it was always useful for a newcomer to explore some interesting places and happenings in his new destination , observing and absorbing aspects of life that seem insignificant to those rushing to earn a living or madams sipping red wine at the existing malls , if any. Read more
Gapon filled the tall glass to the top.
“Take it easy, Nkosi”, Bongi begged.
“Mind your business, Bongi, it’s my money my J and B green label, my day off, right?”
“Don’t call me Chief, there is only one chief in the country, Mfundisi.”
“Now, tell me, Mfundisi, I need to ask you something but off the record, right? This means it remains only between the two of us.”
“So it won’t be taped, right?”
“Never, it’s too sensitive to be taped, Prof.”
“Too sensitive, Prof. If my Chief knows I talked about it I would be in deep shit. Prof, you know all these things bosses tell you and do when they want you bombed, breaking of trust between employer and employee, bringing the Agency into disrepute, opening yourself to insubordination by talking and discussing things with a paid informer under your command and mentorship, you know what I mean? I don’t know these things, Nkosi.”
“OK, Mfundisi, tell me honestly what do you think of Julius?”
“Julius the maal (mad).”
“I haven’t heard of him, Gapon.”
“That Julius, Mfundisi.”
“Oh, OK, the young one.”
“That one, Mfundisi.”
“What about him?”
“What do you think?”
“What do you think, Gapon?”
“I can’t talk, Mfundisi.”
“Why is he a state secret? No, as far as I know.” Read more