Some demon had really entered my home. We needed a cleansing! I don’t believe in such things but so far we had stumbled from bad luck to bad luck and only a fool would say that all was well because it clearly was not. I had two options, church or sangomas of which I definitely had to choose one. The thoughts that went through my mind at that moment really. I was just tired of the stress. I wanted Mapula to explain exactly everything that had happened but she was not sure either. All she kept saying was that the police had come to arrest my husband. I woke Sizwe up.
“What time is it?”
He asked me as he groggily sat up.
“The police were at the house to arrest you!”
I said straight up. He looked at me and said he was going to bed. I think he either thought I was joking or he was dreaming. Either way, I shook him until he was up!
“I am serious! The police were at the house to arrest you! Mapula just called now.”
I told him and this time he heard me clearly!
“To arrest me? For what?”
I did not either. I explained to him that it was not about Joseph so it had to be something new. We called Mapula again and she gave me the number of the police man who had been in charge. We called him.
“Yes sir you are wanted for fraud and corruption in the awarding of tenders by Human Settlement!”
He said confidently. These were not the police, this was worse, it was the Hawks!
“I am in Durban right now, I am leaving tomorrow and I will turn myself in for anything you want?”
My husband said confidently which even took the officer by surprise.
“Most people are not so eager to volunteer to turn themselves in. As you are cooperating I suggest you come in with your lawyer once and for all instead of getting stuck in oour cells. I can assure you we have a strong case against you so take this warning seriously!”
The man said. When he hung up there was silence between us for a good five minutes.
“So what we going to do?”
I eventually asked him of which he got out of bed and walked to the bathroom, brushed his teeth, washed his face and then came back without saying a word.
“I will take care of it! Just let me think for a minute!”
He said reassuring me. I did not even want to ask him if he could possibly be guilty because when you are in the tender business corruption is normally right behind you. I never questioned how he got his contracts and to bring it up now would be a low blow. He was still my husband and I loved him. We stand together. He called someone whom I did not know and I heard them discuss. He too was not in town but he had been informed that they had come to his house to to arrest him. It was him who explained that the Hawks were probing into all tenders that were given out the year before and a lot of people had been caught in the net. I could sense the relief in my husbands voice because if they were many it meant that the case was not as strong. Moreover they will focus on the big names and no one will ever hear the names of others long enough to remember them. His friend also recommended a lawyer on this which meant the ball was rolling. My husband was a bit sceptical about having a female lawyer which annoyed me to no end. Most men really still that women cannot do anything and in this day and age that’s disturbing indeed. I told him coldly that she would do and will be probably be better than anyone he could find. Fortunately he listened. When he called the lawyer the lady said she had been expecting his call.
She told him that turning himself was also a good thing because definitely it would show that he had nothing to hide. The sooner he got into court to have his say the better. I agreed with her and it was arranged that tomorrow after we get home we should all go in together.
“We need to have a time for when you will be there because it’s much more controlled like that. So give me a time you can be there so that I arrange it. I suggest early so that we have enough time to make sure you don’t sleep in jail. It will be bad if we don’t make that time so please you have to be hear.”
My husband reassured her. When you are in trouble you say yes to everything and this was us at the moment. We sat down to absorb everything that had been said in the call.
“We can do this baby! Let’s keep the faith!”
I told him and went and lay on his chest. We needed that moment but it did not last long. My daughter came bouncing in and said,
“Mom what’s wrong you guys look down?”
I told her everything was ok. She said that he friends had asked her if they could go to the beach today as opposed to tomorrow and I said no. It was not a good time and much as I wanted to tell her why I just did not know how. How do I tell her that her father is about to go to jail? We were on holiday and if this was the last holiday we would be taking in a while then we must do it right.
Sizwe insisted on us moving our flights to ten in the morning so that he could have a full day to try and work things with the Hawks when we got to Jhb. It was a good idea. Lintle was very unhappy still and said that this not trusting her business was the problem and it was what makes her rebel.
“I don’t mind you going out but who are these people are!”
She would hear none of it,
“It’s because you are prejudiced. If it was not because they are foreign you would not be saying any of this! I did not come here to sit in the hotel room! We must all go out together then if you think I should not be trusted? Last night I did and I was home early and safe! Why would any harm come my way now? Please mum!”
She begged. She was going through begging and anger so was not sure which one to listen but my answer remained a steadfast no.
“We are now leaving tomorrow so in the morning when I say we leaving no stories!”
I instructed her. This child needed to know who the child was and who the parent was. Sizwe was on the phone the whole time so he did not even intervene. It’s my fault though for raising a brat so I should be punished for it. She stood up and she said she was going to bed. I escorted her but she banged her door before I got there and locked. I heard her open the shower.
In the room Sizwe said that from what he had found out the case was not as bad. It was almost as though they were fishing he explained but work will have to be done. I asked him if our finances can take this knock and he said they could. He gave me peace of mind I guess because I drank a glass of wine and I lay down in his arms. At some point I fell asleep. I don’t even remember when and that night I did not dream. It’s as though I passed out.
We could not miss this flight because the lawyer had insisted that the time she gave them is the time we should be there. In the morning we had to get up early and pack. I decided to allow Lintle to sleep in a bit longer. I had to pack and with all the new things we had bought I realised that we did not have enough luggage to actually carry it. Lintle should have space in her bag.
I went to her room and I knocked but she did not answer. I decided to just walk in because this polite business does not really work with teenagers. They sleep like they are dead. I opened the door and that’s when it hit me, she was not there. The bed was unmade. But I could clearly tell that it had not been slept in.
I ran to my room to get my phone called her and guess what, her phone was off. Lintle! This child had a way of bring up your anger levels in an instant. Where the hell was she?
“Lintle is not here and I think she did not sleep here either!”
I told my husband.
“What makes you think that she did not sleep here? Does she not know that we are leaving today?”
He asked me and I told him that she did. I then proceeded to tell him everything that she had done last night and the argument we had had about her going out with those men. He tried calling her but nothing again. He went to her room and I don’t know what he thought he would find but she was not there!
“You can’t miss your flight, I have to wait for her here!”
I told him but he immediately said,
“Bullshit! My family needs me. What if she does not come back! What then?”
He said raising his hands as though I had said something crazy. He was right in a sense but he could not put us first especially at a time like this. I was panicking. What was going through that little girls head. So according to her I should not have said no! That’s what this was all about. She had snuck out!
We all get that thought of, crap I should call the police, followed by a sinking realisation that they do not inspire so much confidence. Funny enough it now felt like time was flying. I was so disappointed. We could not keep on trying to call a phone that was off. Eventually my husband had to go after much persuading. Even the lawyer had called to remind him. That anger and disappointment had now turned to fear and worry!
I did not know any Nigerians bar the ones that I saw through Nelisa. I called her. It was a reach but what else could I do. She said she would ask Thandeka to help with those that she knew but it was obviously a stretch.
Eventually I went downstairs. I had to change my reservation. The lady there asked me why we were extending and if it was because I had had so much fun. She was trying to be nice I guess.
“I am supposed to be leaving but my daughter is missing!”
I told her in resignation.
“Missing? We got a call early morning from… let me just confirm!”
She went through some papers then eventually went to the back where she came back with a piece of paper.
“A man called saying a young lady who was carrying our key card in her pocket was with him!”
It was her! I bet you it was that Nigerian man. He left a number to call on. I dialled it immediately and it rang twice.
The man picked up the phone in the typical hello.
“This is Dr. Makgofa! You called my hotel this morning, where is my daughter?”
I asked him angrily.
“O yes I did at around 3am. I am doctor too. Your daughter is here at Life Westville Hospital and she was badly hurt last night! You better come!”
He said calmly,
The panic that swept through me!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I am a 23 year old young man and I have a problem. I have always been gay and have never acted like other men did. My parents saw this in me and never commented when I never brought a girl home. It was an implied thing. Two weeks ago I decided to come out to my parents andd they both threw me out. My father said he had no idea he just thought I was not ready to date. My mother said she did not raise such a “thing”. It was really a bad scene. They both agreed on the humiliation I had brought on the family as no one wants to be labelled the parent of a gay.
Can someone please advise me on how to reconcile with my parents as well as make them understand?