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Sunday Times STLive By Ndumiso Ngcobo, 2011-06-11

Headline Act: How to sort out the nation

Contrary to popular belief, I harbour absolutely no ambitions to be president. Yes, president of the republic. I think it's pretty obvious that I lack all the basic criteria to ever be considered for the highest office in the land.

For starters, I never crawled on my tummy with a Kalashnikov in my hands at Cuito Cuanavale. I didn't hurl Molotov cocktails at General Malan's boys back in the day either. But mostly, I lack the requisite levels of narcissism and shamelessness to tell people I have altruistic intentions to improve their lives when all I probably want to do is roam the countryside looking for podgy women to marry.

Be that as it may, there are times when I find myself fantasising about being president for just one day.

Unlike our most notorious president-for-a-day, Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, I wouldn't waste this valuable opportunity on pointless exercises, such as invading our 10th province, Lesotho. If I was in charge for one day, the horse people would be safe from me, although I might be tempted to raid Mswati's harem in our 11th province.

So how would I spend my day at the Union Buildings, then? Allow me the latitude to provide you with the background.

So I'm crawling home in my 1400cc skedonk around midnight last Sunday when I spot a set of bright lights in my rear-view mirror. Next thing I know, this Einstein is overtaking me over a double barrier line as we are approaching a sharp bend.

If I told you what transpired next I'd be lying. All I know is that he disappeared round the bend and that, after I negotiated the bend, all I could see was a puff of smoke and his Golf V lying on its roof. So I dutifully perform my civic duty, stop and approach the overturned car to see if he requires any assistance.

The wheels are still turning and I can hear the loud thud of the bassline from a Durban kwaito song. "So, what happened?" I ask. He mumbles something that makes absolutely no sense to me.

The good news is that no other car was involved in this near-inferno. The bad news is that he was unharmed and will live on to possibly breed his retarded DNA into our already compromised, shallow gene pool.

This brings me to the point of this particular hallucination. I have it on good Wiki authority that the average IQ in this, our beautiful land, is a shocking and underwhelming 72.

This means that we, the Rainbow People, are borderline cretins on average. If this assertion is true, the behaviour I witness daily makes sense.

If I ascended to the premier office in the land for a day, this would be my area of focus. I would set in motion a sequence of events that would make stupidity a criminal offence.

I'd arrive at the Union Buildings by 5.30am armed with a series of IQ tests and unsigned resignation letters for my ministers.

One has to start at the top. The IQ tests would involve simple questions such as: "Why haven't I been fired yet?" By noon, the tests would have been cascaded to all spheres of the public sector, all the way to the gold-toothed woman with stodgy thighs at the Ekurhuleni municipality offices who served me last Thursday. And everyone who failed the IQ test would immediately be fired.

I predict that most offices would be empty by lunch time. Instead of that pointless presidential hotline, I'd set up a Stupid Hotline, 0860-STUPID for members of the public to rat on their neighbours for general idiocy.

I'd set up a special elite unit to go out into the street to seek out the more obtuse members of the public and perform wanton sterilisations. And I'd be pretty ruthless about it, too.

By midday, the dim-witted would be gathered on the Union Building lawns baying for my blood. But I would anticipate that move and distribute sharp objects in the crowd. It wouldn't be too long before they stabbed themselves to death.

My anti-stupid police would wait at filling stations on the Tuesday before a petrol price hike issuing stupidity fines at motorists queuing for two hours to save themselves R12 a tank.

It's fair to say that my day as president would be epic.

If it sounds like I'm being mean and callous, it's probably because I am. We cannot go on being a nation of people who are regularly found pushing with all our might against doors marked "PULL".

Something has to give.

  • Follow Ndumiso on Twitter @NdumisoNgcobo