David Mahlobo seemed to be speaking from personal experience when he said he couldn’t be sure if his own wife was a spy.
As former minister of state security, he’s an expert in these matters. He looks at luvvie in the bed beside him and wonders what does she know or, rather, what doesn’t she know.
Did she know, for instance, that he was visiting a Chinese masseuse, Wei Chelsea, who confessed inscrutably “we friends still looking good”, and if so why didn’t she tell him she knew? Or was she keeping her knowledge secret from him, only to wake him up with a shock one morning with the demand: “And who’s still looking good with whom?”
In his evidence before the Zondo Commission, Mahlobo was nervous about letting any cats out of the bag, let alone sex kittens. He kept turning his microphone on when answering questions, or rather evading them, and off when he wasn’t answering questions, or evading them, in case something incriminating escaped his lips while merely listening.
There were people making notes of the transmission, he explained. No flies on old Dave. He noticed.
He hates to admit anything. He wouldn’t admit he had a hand in removing MaNtuli from Nkandla, when they thought she was trying to poison Jacob Zuma. Now that’s a more spy-like thing for a wife to do.
Never mind his own wife, he should have been even more discreet with his employees in the State Security Agency, one whom identified only as “Dorothy”, claimed in a signed affidavit she had brought him R4.1 million in cash to his home.
The ex-chief spy couldn’t answer that one. Too big a secret. Maybe Mrs. Mahlobo could be persuaded to say what happened to the money. Behind her husband’s broad back, naturally.
The problem with spying wives is not so much when they share your bed, but when they leave it and become your ex. As one of Mahlobo’s former colleagues, Malusi Gigaba, can testify. The break-up between Gigaba and his wife Norma was not an amicable affair. She even got herself arrested for allegedly trashing a luxury car belonging to Malusi’s friend. In other words, she was quite cross.
Quite cross ex-wives are not a good thing to have. Norma was cross enough to spill a few beans that Malusi would have preferred to remain tightly sewn up in a coffee sack, or at least hidden under the marital mattress. She told eNCA news about various trips he had made to the Gupta compound in Saxonwold and returned home with bags stuffed with cash. Being curious, she asked why he had thus been rewarded, and was reputedly told he had done the Indians some favours, especially as minister of public enterprises.
The Gupta generosity apparently paid for their wedding in 2014, their honeymoon, and renovations to their home.
Malusi has tried to stop Norma appearing before Judge Zondo, in case she repeated these figments of her overheated imagination. I say let the commission decide whether she’s a spy who came in out of the cold, even if she once shared Malusi’s warm bed.
It’s all so different from the old days when we were warned to beware of a Red under the bed. Most earnest people who took the instruction literally usually saw nothing more dangerous than a chamber pot. Now it’s what’s in your bed that could turn out to be a threat to national security.
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