Crime-buster Max the natural choice to fill Tokyo's charismatic shoes
DESPITE valiant attempts by the media to have us believe that this has been a cut-and-thrust battle of personalities worthy of a John Grisham novel, the choice of a new Gauteng premier seems to have been a rather dull affair thus far with clear favourite Amos Masondo looking as though he will finally get the keys to the BMW 740.
It has been suggested by some political parties that Mr Masondo lacks charisma and personality, but I don't think that really matters in politics these days. After all, if William Hague can be elected leader of the Conservative Party in Britain, anything is possible. Anyway, maybe it's time we had a provincial leader who shunned the limelight and got on with the job of restoring the country's powerhouse province to its former glory.
The problem with the outgoing premier is that he is blessed with perhaps a little too much charisma and personality, which is why Johannesburg has become a festering crime-ridden refuse dump under his Neroesque stewardship. He has become little more than a politically correct fashion accessory, invited to all the right northern suburbs social events to demonstrate that whites and blacks (particularly those with political influence) can get on after all.
Masondo's alleged lack of personality may mean that he doesn't receive quite so many invitations. So, with any luck, instead of nursing a glass of boxed wine every night and stuffing his face with little pieces of cheese and pineapple impaled on a cocktail stick, he might actually get on with the job of running the province.
Things might have been very different though if the people of Johannesburg had actually had more of a say in who should be premier. One of the quirkier aspects of our democracy is that, once you have elected which party should rule the province, that party then takes it upon itself to make the really major decisions such as which of its favoured sons should be given the plum jobs.
MY guess is that, left to the people to decide, Max the Gorilla would have romped home as premier of Gauteng last week.
His recent stand on crime was impressively unequivocal and, despite taking three bullets, he was back at work within a few days. Clearly a gorilla who stands for a return to old-fashioned family values, his first reaction was to protect his mate, Lisa, when he found an intruder in his night cage. I suppose he could also be described, at 180kg, as a political heavyweight.
Another great advantage in having Max as premier is the potential saving to the taxpayer. Although he would probably appreciate the occasional sponsored trip to central Africa, he is clearly a homeboy and shows no great desire to travel overseas on pointless fact-finding tours every two months at our expense.
His only problem would be getting in and out of the premier's limousine, but as Max's preferred method of transport is swinging through the trees, the limo could be traded in for the equivalent value in bananas, payable in Switzerland of course.
In these troubled times, Gauteng is crying out for a strong leader; someone who people can look up to. Max has appeared on every major world television network this past week. He has become a global hero. He appeals to the nostalgia vote. Who can forget those wonderful scenes in King Kong when the giant ape shins up the Empire State Building with a blonde in one hand and tries his hand at a little air traffic control.
I HAVE it on good authority that Max would be very interested in a political career if it weren't for his wife. She apparently hates the thought of having to make small talk with all those socialites.
I read this week that her majesty Queen Elizabeth II is a "webhead", and regularly sits down at her computer, after a heavy day of waving at the crowds, to surf the net.
Having survived a life of virtual unreality for so long, it must be quite refreshing to step into a world of virtual reality for a change, although it's rather difficult to imagine Her Majesty with a top pocket full of leaking ball-point pens and a pair of spectacles held together by elastoplast.
The prospect of getting an E-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org instead of a telegram on your hundredth birthday just isn't the same, though.