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Culture, Reality

Shower-Time Grudge

by Tsepang Molefe / Illustration by Sasan / 22.10.2013

Alexandra Township, Corner tavern. He stabbed my friend Sgila with a broken beer bottle on the neck. My boy fell to the ground like the twin towers, tall motherfucker that he was. On touchdown, the sound was so loud that the DJ disconnected his headphones and stopped the music. A young woman wearing fake Brazilian hair screamed at the blood that had sprayed across her boob-tube.

We gave chase to the perpetrator but the Zorro eluded us and we ended up chasing our own shadows. We made our way back to the scene of the crime, where an opportunistic whoonga smoking thug under the alias first-aider had made himself the sole and rightful inheritor of my man’s cellphone, his wallet and a few hundred madibas. Who robs a dead man?

By the time the police arrived his soul had divorced the flesh and the warmth left his body. According to one of the boys in blue, they had been held up in the posh suburb of Sandton. There, they had been informed about a black businessman who had slapped his mistress after discovering text messages on her cellphone that suggested he was not the only one enjoying the sweet-cake. The cop’s breath smelt of liquor.

The concrete rangers requested to speak with the tavern owner, Sis Mmako, a well known shebeen queen in the area. She emerged from the crowd with a thick layers of make-up covering her face. She tried to use the make-up to cover the emotional scars left by years of abuse at the hands of her late husband Bra Popie. He once threatened to end her days with a panga in full view of patrons. I could see the shebeen queen’s primary concern was not that my boy’s heart had stopped beating but that her till had stopped ringing.

A crowd had formed around my mate’s lifeless body. Men shaking their heads, women weeping, and kids fascinated by the site of a corpse. I removed two castle laager branded table cloths from the tables inside the watering hole and covered him. Even in death he deserved some dignity. The weapon of choice was of such low standards; my man deserved better than that, I thought to myself. Sgila was no saint, he had a few serious offenses under his own belt. But after spending a few years in orange gear at ‘sun city’, he came back a changed man. He was at peace with the community. He had decided to channel his talent towards petty crimes.

A local hobo, drunk as a lord approached and interrupted the police proceedings. He claimed to know the Zorro and his whereabouts. One of the policemen told him to fuck off. The hobo turned and walked away but his strong stench lingered around for a bit before it followed him to the roadside.

The police asked a lot of questions, and spoke with a few witnesses. Before they left, they told me they had the name of the suspected killer and they also had information that he had been released from a correctional service facility a few weeks ago. Clearly this cowboy values free food, free clothes, and free shelter more than his liberty.

The following day, two snotty little boys discovered a brown broken beer bottle with blood stains on it, while they were playing hide and seek in the nearby bushes.

Word on the street is, the two men knew each other from the cells. Apparently the man had approached Sgila and before stabbing him, he bared his backside towards him and said “Ngibhebhe phela, njongaba wawenza edanyane msunwakho” (fuck me, like you did in prison, you puss).

* Illustration © Sasan

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