The Trial Was A Circus, Though There Was Trouble Getting The Elephants Into The Courtroom.

(The South Gautrain High Quart is packed with representatives of the ruling class. The GUILTY GUY is carried in, dressed in an orange jump-suit, manacled and shackled, gagged, hooded and fitted with black-painted goggles, and propped up in the Accused bench.)
PROSTICUTOR: The matter of The Ruling Class Versus The Guilty Guy is now in session, so will the bludge kindly look up from that crossword-puzzle?
BLUDGE: Ja, orrait. (Putting black handkerchief on head.) For the crime of irritating the ruling class and being offensively black in high office there is alas no punishment too severe. It is therefore my duty to declare that you shall be taken from this place unto another place, and from that place to yet another place, and from there into all sorts of different places, and the bits be chopped up, and set fire to, and danced upon by duly accredited representatives of the ruling class, and may the Mail and Guardian have mercy on your —
PROSTICUTOR: Sorry, your stupidiousness. Verdict first — sentence afterward. It’s a white-guy kinda thing.
BLUDGE: Well, why didn’t somebody tell me? (Drinks from a bottle of drain-cleaner.)
PROSTICUTOR: Call the first pretext! (UGLI OGGI enters, wearing an oversized two-lapel chalkstripe suit, a very loud tie and matching handkerchief, a Borcelino hat and a bulge under the armpit. PROSTICUTOR hands him a cello-case which he tucks under his arm as the band plays the theme from “The Godfather”.) Do you confess to having an Italian-sounding surname?
UGLI OGGI: Signor, it is just this cosa that nostra happen to have.
PROSTICUTOR: And do you confess to being a member of an international syndicate of Italian-sounding supporters of Silvio Berlusconi?
UGLI OGGI: Signor, if I happened to be such a member then it would be against our code of silence to speak out. So I’m not tellink nuffin.
PROSTICUTOR: Do you know this unspeakable wretch who now prepares for inevitable doom in this court?
UGLI OGGI: Sure, sure I know him. Him and me, we’re just like this. (Stuffs fist up arse.) We go back together, we go forward together, we go sideways together.
PROSTICUTOR: But you won’t go to jail together.
UGLI OGGI: Well, that’s what the Scorpions promised.
PROSTICUTOR: Never mention that name in vain. When did you find yourself becoming corrupted by the criminal and evil practices of the Guilty Guy?
UGLI OGGI: Um, it’s like this. Now and then him and me used to do stuff together. And one thing led to another, know what I mean? Nudge, nudge? Wink, wink? Say no more!
PROSTICUTOR: At what point did you begin paying bribes to the Guilty Guy so as to prevent your miserable carcass from being dragged to durance vile as you richly deserved and he now deserves?
UGLI OGGI: You know, I can’t quite recall.
PROSTICUTOR: Didn’t they give you a script?
UGLI OGGI: It’s in one of the pockets of my other suit. But I remember they said I bought him shoes once. (Panic breaks out in courtroom, chants of “If the shoe don’t fit you can’t acquit.”)
PROSTICUTOR: Are you nevertheless prepared to testify that the Guilty Guy is guilty?
UGLI OGGI: He’s bad, he’s bad. (Moonwalks.)
BLUDGE: This is getting really insignificant. Can’t you liven things up a little?
PROSTICUTOR: I am done and the Guilty Guy is done for. Do your worst, DEFENESTRATOR.
DEFENESTRATOR: Mr. Ugly, tell us your impressions of the Guilty Guy in your own words.
UGLI OGGI: Smashin’ bloke! Bought flowers for his Mum on a totally regular basis! Won’t hear a word against him!
DEFENESTRATOR: Did you ever see him doing anything illegal?
UGLI OGGI: Well, not as such, no.
DEFENESTRATOR: Then what the fuck are you doing as a witness against him?
UGLI OGGI: Well, it’s like this. They was going to frame me for murdering Brett Kebble, when I can find witnesses to say I was somewhere else at the time, except they aren’t prepared to say so ’cause it’s against their code of silence.
DEFENESTRATOR: Can I have a big-screen TV, please? (A big-screen TV is duly brought; the screen displays a poorly-edited video of UGLY OGGI moaning “I wuz framed, I shudda stood in bed!” after which a Scorpion chitters incomprehensibly, a number of Prawns dance about stealing our women and selling drugs and guns to Nigerians, and eventually the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir chants “H – A – S – H; Hash!)
UGLI OGGI: Yes, folks. There’s nothing like the sweet scent of pure Moroccan hash, fresh from the Atlas mountains, prepared and packaged by the finest preparers and packagers in Lagos to sell to you here in Sandton. Just one whack and you won’t go back! (Produces hookah, takes tremendous hit, passes to DEFENESTRATOR who takes tremendous hit and passes to PROSTICUTOR who takes tremendous hit and passes to BLUDGE, who takes tremendous hit and briefly passes out. Hookah remains on BLUDGE’s podium.)
DEFENESTRATOR: So, basically, you have no reason to be here except you would be sent to jail if you didn’t?
UGLI OGGI: Dat’s-a-right! (Representatives of the ruling class shoo UGLI OGGI out of the courtroom.)
PROSTICUTOR: Call the usual suspect! (Enter the MOLL, wearing several kilogrammes of makeup, fishnet stockings and a lurex, sequinned mini-skirt.) For the sake of convenience we will not ask questions. You are free to give your testimony without any preparation of any kind. (A large TelePrompt system is set up in front of MOLL.)
BLUDGE (to usher, sot voce): Go rent me “Anal DPs On Parade III”. (Puts spout of hookah in mouth where it remains. Smoke gradually emerges from ears.)
MOLL (reading haltingly): He was my man, but he done me wrong. (Courtroom groans with sympathy.) I was there when he paid the Guilty Man bribes. He paid him the bribes in envelopes. He paid them in checks from my Dad’s check account. He paid them in rolls of banknotes. He paid them in chests of gold encrusted with precious stones. I saw every one and noted them down on a piece of paper what I have since lost.
PROSTICUTOR: MOLL is all the more credible because she was not in any way aware of what was happening nor is she in any way culpable for concealing the bribing of the Chief of Police of the Republic for five years and nobody has hinted that she is in any way a criminal.
MOLL: (reading haltingly) Also, the Guilty Man shot the Kennedys, shot down Samora Machel’s plane and supplied the gun with which Thabo Mbeki shot Chris Hani.
PROSTICUTOR: Yes, that’s enough —
MOLL: (reading haltingly) And he invented the AIDS virus, dynamited the Twin Towers, shaved Britney Spears’ head —
PROSTICUTOR: Can the DEFENESTRATOR try to shut her up?
DEFENESTRATOR: Certainly. MOLL, I put it to you that you are a witless blonde slut.
MOLL: Bullshit, this is dyed.
DEFENESTRATOR: A palpable hit! But at the same time, I can provide evidence that the only golden chest ever possessed by my client had not a single precious stone on it anywhere.
MOLL: Did, too! Did, did, did! (Representatives of ruling class burst into applause. Some begin laying out article headlined IRREFUTABLE ARGUMENTS OF WISEST WOMAN IN WORLD.)
DEFENESTRATOR: Also, your Dad says you’re talking bullshit.
MOLL: My dad is a stupid old fart. (More storms of applause.)
DEFENESTRATOR: Also, what about all this money paid into your bank account by UGLI OTTI after you stopped being his Moll?
MOLL: Go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut. (The BLUDGE is meanwhile watching the porno DVD on the big-screen TV. Trickles of sperm flow down the BLUDGE’s podium.)
PROSTICUTOR: For no apparent reason — call the MOLL’s DAD! (Three nurses from the frailcare centre wheel a stretcher into the witness-box. The DAD’s face is not seen, but he wheezes faintly.) DAD, can you please confirm what your daughter, that estimable and fuckable fragment of womanflesh has told us?
DAD: It’s all a load of bullshit. I don’t know anything about anything.
PROSTICUTOR: What’s your name?
DAD: I’m not tellink.
DEFENESTRATOR: In that case, can you tell us your opinion of your slut daughter’s testimony?
DAD: My daughter would say anything to anybody for a suck on a crackpipe or a pink piccolo.
DEFENESTRATOR: Thank you very much, most reliable witness for the prosticution yet seen.
(At this point there is a brief interruption. A member of the ruling class has brought the BLUDGE a copy of a weekly newspaper.)
BLUDGE (bursting out into hysterical giggles): Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty! Ha ha, hee hee, hoo hoo hoo!
DEFENESTRATOR: M’Lord, with all due respect and the utmost regret, I must ask you to recuse yourself from your estimable duties due to you being a psycho fuckwit.
BLUDGE (holding up dildo borrowed from MOLL): Sit on this and swivel, suckah! I’m here for the duration!
DEFENESTRATOR: It was worth a try. You got anything more?
PROSTICUTOR: Well — call Extremely Boring Person! (EXTREMELY BORING PERSON appears in witness-box. Nobody can remember what he looks or sounds like.) How guilty is the Guilty Guy?
PROSTICUTOR: How do you know?
EXTREMELY BORING PERSON: I have conducted a forensic audit of the Guilty Guy’s checking, savings, thirty-day, hundred-and-eighty day, special and credit-card accounts. In order to do this I had to get a lot of pieces of paper and read the numbers on them. Then I had to copy them out in my own handwriting. Then I had to get people to type them into computers and put them on screens. Then I had to look at the screens and pretend to be thinking. For this I get paid five hundred rand a minute.
PROSTICUTOR: And your conclusions?
EXTREMELY BORING PERSON: Don’t rush me, I’m still getting paid five hundred rand a minute. Well, after studying everything very carefully for an extraordinarily long time I came to the conclusion that it was very suspicious and he was guilty of everything. (Pause.)
DEFENESTRATOR: This is extremely damning evidence.
EXTREMELY BORING PERSON: Oh, yes. (Very long pause.)
DEFENESTRATOR: Look, sorry to cut back on your income, but what was this thing which was suspicious?
EXTREMELY BORING PERSON: Well, if I must — all of the Guilty Guy’s money was invested in ordinary banking and insurance companies. Whereas, if he had invested his money in the financial services provider for which I happen to work, Madoff and Tannenbaum Enterprises (Melbourne) plc, he could have obtained immense amounts more money except that it’s all disappeared somehow but that does not affect my credibility as a financial service provider because when money disappears that’s a service too. So that was tremendously suspicious.
DEFENESTRATOR: Do you have any actual evidence of any wrongdoing?
EXTREMELY BORING PERSON: I am a financial service provider’s agent. What is this thing called wrongdoing?
DEFENESTRATOR: I’m getting kinda bored with tearing apart the prosecution witnesses. Can we have a few witnesses to prove the Guilty Guy is innocent?
BLUDGE: Whatever.
DEFENESTRATOR: Call the Guilty Guy himself!
PROSTICUTOR: We decline to allow him to give testimony, on the grounds that the evidence which he would give might tend to exonerate him.
DEFENESTRATOR: It was worth a try. All right, call RONALD SURESH MBEKI! (RONALD SURESH MBEKI enters, wearing a Billionaires for Bush and Gore T-shirt.) Right — is this all your fault?
RONALD SURESH MBEKI: Not entirely, as is manifest for all who have read any of my books.
DEFENESTRATOR: Who else was involved?
RONALD SURESH MBEKI: It was the illiberals. And the unconservatives. And the nonmoderates. Especially them, the whiteskinned scum.
DEFENESTRATOR: Is there anyone in this courtroom who is culpable apart from yourself and the Guilty Guy?
RONALD SURESH MBEKI: Yes! (Rising to his full shrimplike stature.) You! You so-called judge! I have been studying contralegal activities and you are Tony Leon and I claim my R5000 bounty!
BLUDGE: Nice try, but no cigar. (Throws off his robes and reveals himself to be HELEN ZILLE. Sensation in court — sensation chiefly of ennui mixed with anticipation of the apocalypse, which duly arrives.)
GUILTY GUY: Mmmmmphhh! (Spits out ball-gag. Uses picklock supplied by RONALD SURESH MBEKI to undo chains. Wrenches off hood and strips off jumpsuit.) Not so fast, everybody! Under the new regulations of the Ministry of Repressive State Apparatus I was a Marshal of Police! And according to the German Criminal Code, a Marshal cannot be dismissed or denied and ranks above the Chancellor, although below the Emperor! (He dons a glittering black uniform with a skull on his peaked cap and twin lightning-bolts on his lapel patches. The band plays the “Horst Malema Lied”.) This trial is null, void and voided nullity! I am in charge here!
SUSAN SHABANGU and BHEKI CELE (swinging from chandelier): Shoot the bastards!
GUILTY GUY: You heard them. Take these representatives of the ruling class outside and . . . (He shrugs. The repressive state apparatus do his bidding. A continual roar of musketry is heard. Soon all the windows of the courtroom have been shot out and the pavements are crowded with the writhing forms of dying toddlers.)
PRESIDENT ZUMA (to CHIEF JUSTICE NGCOBO): Well, everything seems to be going ahead according to the Polokwane Resolutions.
CHIEF JUSTICE NGCOBO (placing hand on copy of FinWeek): I pledge myself to maintain the finest judicial system money can buy.


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