Agents Provocateurs

Collection of SA’s funniest columnists irreverent rants

Harry Potter Goes To Seed

Harry Potter Goes To Seed

Harry Potter is thirty-something. The new story by JK Rowling, announced by publishing angels earlier this month to shepherds as they watched their flocks by night, finds the famous Hogwarts chums entering early middle age. Details were few but one stood out: Harry, the reports… Read More →

Assertive Shopping

Assertive Shopping

I wish Parliament had brought Kyalami race track when it was sold the other day. Then the SACP’s Blade Nzimande in his R1million BMW and the EFF’s Floyd Shiavmbu in his Porsche Panamera could compete in the Socialism Grand Prix. Because when you are in… Read More →

A complex problem

A complex problem

The gates to the complex had jammed shut and the residents were getting jumpy. People were late for work and I was late for a surf. Through the trees, beyond the electrified fence, I could see the ocean. The onshore wind was picking up. Much… Read More →

Sh*t the EFF will do: Junk Die Stem

Sh*t the EFF will do: Junk Die Stem

EFF calls for Nkosi Sikelela iAfrika to remain as it was because it is adequate as the anthem of the people. It is an intellectual heritage of liberation and the battle for a more human continent in peace with itself. It prays not only for… Read More →

The other side of midnight

The other side of midnight

It wasn’t a perfect comedy routine, but for a thing prepared in a high school tuck shop queue half an hour earlier and delivered by a teenager whose voice was breaking it wasn’t terrible either. I’d got some laughs and now, as my oral meandered… Read More →

A letter to King Goodwill Zwelithini

A letter to King Goodwill Zwelithini

Dear Comrade King, You, sir, are a true king. You are not only the king of the Zulus, but you are also king of the land claims. While everyone else is pussyfooting around, demanding a farm here or a game reserve there, you are putting… Read More →

What would Nabokov do?

What would Nabokov do?

The editor of the magazine was apologetic but firm. The column I had just sent him, while containing some good bits, was self-indulgent. “Too many notes,” he added, a politic reference to Amadeus that framed him as the tone-deaf Emperor and me as a misunderstood… Read More →

Die Stem And Other Whiny Voices

Die Stem And Other Whiny Voices

Steve Hofmeyr sung Die Stem in Australia. South Africans were relieved, because if he had sung one of his own classic tracks then the world would truly judge us. Die Stem is back in the news because it’s how EFF get to yank the FF+’s… Read More →

High times in Hound City

High times in Hound City

I had my 21st birthday party at a club in Durban. I hired it for the night. It was dangerously cheap. I don’t remember the name. It was down a side street deep in the noxious belly of the beast. It wasn’t one of those clubs… Read More →

Wimbledon for all seasons

Wimbledon for all seasons

Djokovic and Federer were arguing at the net and it was about to get ugly. The problem was one of identity: both of them wanted to be Federer. “You’re always Federer!” said Djokovic with a disconsolate swish of his oversized racquet. “I want to be… Read More →

Feed a child like a dog: Self-righteousness Inc. trips up

Feed a child like a dog: Self-righteousness Inc. trips up

No “we” should be taken for granted when the subject is looking at other people’s pain —Susan Sontag In the unrelenting bout of industrial electroconvulsive therapy that is postmodern capitalist life, everything—from energy drinks to Julius Malema to breast cancer—everything becomes a product. The selling never… Read More →

An open letter to ANC MP Lindiwe Michelle Maseko

An open letter to ANC MP Lindiwe Michelle Maseko

Dear Comrade Lindiwe, You suggested the other day that the SABC should broadcast the national anthem twice a day – at 6am and again at midday – to foster patriotism. Well done! If there is one thing this country needs, it’s more patriots and fewer… Read More →

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