James Clarke Masthead
June 27 2012 at 11:24

Inspector Dlamini, you can forget it. Just because one SA police station has decided to install an alarm system linked to a security firm doesn’t mean we all have to.

After all, our station has razor wire, an electric fence, burglar bars, floodlights, buzzers and our faithful Maltese, Bonzo – all generously paid for by our loyal taxpayers. I will not stretch their generosity further.

(The station commander then crossed his heart and spat on the floor to underline his sincerity.)

Besides, if the security company comes around and finds somebody burgling our station what is it going to do? It is going to call the police, isn’t it?

And we are going to have to tell them we have no men to spare because we are out there selflessly chasing other people’s burglars.

Our best bet is to leave nothing in the police station worth stealing – a scorched Earth policy.

Yes I realise certain elements will want to steal our files to compromise our investigations, so we’ll just have to carry our files with us wherever we go.

Why don’t we have a sentry on duty in a fortified pillbox?

Dlamini, you’ll recall how even the Deputy State President’s house had every fortification imaginable – plus our patrons, the ever-generous taxpayers – may God bless them (again crosses heart and spits) – supplied her with 18 bodyguards and security staff.

Eighteen, Dlamini!

And what happened? Three burglars gain entrance and nick her cellphone and Smarties. Easy as that.

Look at that politician who is practically joined at the hip to his chief bodyguard yet somebody still stole his briefcase with quite a lot of cash he’d received from a well-wisher.

Dlamini, we live in a nation of thieves. In fact it seems that only half the country is involved in honest labour.

The other half steals from them.

And the third half is employed by us and by security firms.

In fact we have almost 200 000 people in the police force at present.

And where, a few years ago, we were spending R90 billion a year on security and defence, now it’s above R140bn.

Mark my words, Dlamini. Soon we’ll be speaking of real money.

Yet still criminals run rings around us.

What do you propose our new police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, should do?

I think, sir, as an interim measure she could try negotiating with the criminals for certain crime-free days – like Friday to Monday say – so that everybody can relax.


In one of this century’s most illuminating cartoons – I think it was from an American newspaper – a small boy is seen saying to his dad: “Dad, I’m considering a career in organised crime.”

The father, unfazed and looking over the top of the newspaper he was reading, asks: “Government or private sector?”

Reader Hugh Farquharson, who sent it to me, says: “Personally I suggest government. They never go to jail.”

DEAF, WHERE IS THY STING?The preacher asked if anyone needed his special prayers. Leroy joined the queue.


The preacher asked: “Leroy, what do you want me to pray for?”

Leroy replied: “Preacher, I need help with my hearing.”

The preacher placed a finger in Leroy’s ear, placed his other hand on top of Leroy’s head and then prayed and prayed and prayed for Leroy and the whole congregation joined in.

After a few minutes the preacher removed his hands, stood back and asked: “Leroy, how is your hearing now?”

Leroy said: “I don’t know, it isn’t till next week.”

Contact Stoep Talk: Fax: 011 465 4564
Write to: Box 876 Lonehill, 2062
e-mail: jcl@onwe.co.za



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