Dear Zandile

I know we haven’t met, but I thought I’d pen you a little note to wish you all the best for the local government elections.

Not that you need it, mind you. Barring a major upset, your bottom will soon grace the big leather chair in the mayoral chambers, once occupied by my old pal, Obed Mlaba.

If you don’t know me, please let me introduce myself: I’m a two-bit hack smacking away at a typewriter in a grubby office in Springfield Park.

For years I penned my missives to your predecessor’s predecessor (Obed) from a grimy cubbyhole in Greyville, but those halcyon days are long since gone.

Obed ran off to London with a bevy of Morningside madams in hot pursuit and I was left miserably alone, plotting vengefully.

Politics is something else, Zandile.

Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine you would one day be eThekwini mayor?

The fact that you are probably one of Durban’s most lackluster councillors has nothing to do with anything, of course.

A faction of the party has anointed you and the citizenry will just have to live with that, yoh!

If Wikipedia is to be believed you will be the 98th mayor of Durban and the fourth woman.

Good luck (to all of us), er, and not because you are a woman, mind you, I just wonder what qualifies you to lead South Africa’s best city. Durban is a glorious place, home to 3,5 million people and thousands of vibrant businesses.

Other than your ability to outwit less cunning comrades, I wonder what special qualities you will bring to the job.

I’m sure the council’s ridiculously over-staffed public relations department will soon pepper the city with photographs of you. I look forward to you beaming down at me from the walls of state offices, taking your rightful place among the pantheon of our glorious leaders.

You are the perfect accompaniment to an Umshini Wami presidency. Well done.

I imagine you are eager to control the city budget of almost R40 billion.  And I trust your term as mayor will not be as rocky as the road to your leadership, marred as it was by internal ANC strife and 11th hour court dramas.

I wonder, Zandile, what your 10 priorities are for Durban?

Please let me know soonest.

Not that anyone really cares. Politicians are rather cavalier about the electorate. I read with glee that Mangosuthu Buthelezi (looking dapper in that airbrushed election poster) went on the campaign trail this week offering youths in Phoenix free pizza.

A press statement read: “IFP president His Excellency Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi will be at Grandmore Primary School in Phoenix…accompanied by Dominio (sic) Pizza, Prince Buthelezi will feed over 700 children pizzas and hand them other goodies.”

Seriously, Zandile, avoid that: pizzas-for-votes is a scandal just waiting to happen.

But that, alas, has been the highlight of the election for me in Durban.

Oh yes, and the fact that a few of my mates got stuck into the DA’s John Steenhuisen on Bookface.

It was a funny exchange that all started when my wife posted this on FB: “So here we are just more than two weeks until elections and, apart from a couple of mugs on posters I have no idea who is standing as ward councillors in my area, what qualities and qualifications they have and what they believe the issues are that need to be tackled. Is this just in my ward? Do they think I will just vote for whoever is standing for my preferred party? I will not. I want a ward councillor who will act in the best interests of my ward, not the party they represent. It really is pathetic.”

So that got them going. My mate Wendy said she saw Fawzia Peer-ing down from a pole, but not much else.

Soon everyone chipped in, including a somewhat snide John, who asked Martin Meyer to introduce himself to my wife and tell her what he’d done for the last five year.

Sarah, from Morningside, joined the chorus, asking why the DA didn’t post its track record online.

“The only person who appears to have made an effort in this regard (Musgrave area) is the ANC candidate who looks like a very competent Muslim woman.”

Zandile what does a very competent Muslim woman look like, I wonder? I must ask Sarah.

Anyway, John said if that was Sarah’s criteria, “vote for her then”.

Well Sarah unleashed holy terror on the poor man. She eventually called him a smug “twunt” and accused the DA of a “grievous lack of candidate information”.  (Twunt, that is a marvelous word!)

Then she added, rather ominously: “I don’t think you have any concept of how angry you have made me.”

Sarah might be a Morningside madam. John best beware.

Zandile, here’s a tip for when you are mayor: be accountable, always.

Politicians are a self-serving lot who need to move beyond pole dancing, kissing babies and dispensing pizzas.