“You are under arrest!”
Those words rang in my head like that whistling sound you hear when someone slaps you hard on the side of the face.
“There has to be some mistake!”
I said with genuine fear in my voice. Look jail is not cut out for people like me. I am intellectual and in that moment of madness that temporary insanity had made me make a bad decision. I was going to sleep in jail.
“Officer that’s not right, he is my husband and that guy tried to get my husband hijacked! We have proof of that and we reported it. My husband was in hospital a few days ago for it!”
Londiwe explained but the officer could not be bothered.
“Maam I am just doing my job!’
“We are taking him to the holding cells at Langlaagte Police Station because that’s where the case was open!”
He said. I think to police arresting someone is the most natural thing. They were threatening to take my freedom away and neither of them even blinked.
“But I am innocent!”
I told him.
“That’s not my job!”
He reminded me. I was in full panic mode.
“Love what must I do?”
Londiwe asked me also running around like a headless chicken like me.
“Call my mother and tell her what happened. She will get me a lawyer!”
I think in all our years together I had never seen my wife rush so fast to call my mother. As they drove me away in the police van I could see her talking to her. She had picked up the phone so at least I had hope. The cops in the meanwhile where talking about soccer and women. These people are something else neh! The one cop was talking about his wife saying that she is only good for finishing his money but is terrible in bed! This was his wife he was talking about and it was amazing how he could say that to someone else. The friend not to be out done told him of a few girls he knew that he could gladly hook him up with to kgotsofatsa (scratch the itch).
“That woman wa ntlwaela imagine. Last week I ended slapping her after she swore at my mother for asking her when we are planning on starting a family. She told her its none of her business for asking that!”
The guy who was talking the most said.
“Wa dlala wena? She spoke to your mother like that?”
The friend said. They seemed oblivious to the fact that I was in the back of the van hearing their conversation. I had my own problems though and they were vexing me as is.
“Must I give you the girl’s numbers I said I have?”
The friend asked him.
“Of course! I could do with some action!”
He said and he loved.
“Of course give me the numbers. Vusi…”
He said suddenly. It took me a moment to realize he was talking to me.
“Cheri ya gago e jwang ka mpenteng?”
He asked. I might not be Sotho speaking but I know what that meant! How dare he?
“You can’t ask me how my wife is in the bed are you mad? That’s unprofessional, rude and degrading!”
I responded to him angrily.
They both laughed at me like I was the crazy one nagana!
“Dude you must calm down. Let me advise you my friend!”
The rude officer said to me. He was not my friend just another chauvinistic man with a gun on his side given the duty to protect men and women. You wonder why nothing ever gets done about women abuse and rape, the starting point is looking at the calibre of men in uniform sent to protect them.
“Where you are going the animals there don’t care what a gentleman you are. If you enter with that mentality you will become their wife! Toughen up, we are just talking!”
He said when he realized I was annoyed. I was so relieved that he did not speak to me all the way to the station. I still had my phone on me at this stage and he, the annoying cop allowed me to make a call before I handed it. I called my mother who said she was already on her way with a lawyer.
Those were last words before she hung up the phone on the other side. I tried to call my wife but I could not get her. Her phone just rang. Where was Londiwe now when I needed her most? Never underestimate the value of having support structures around you.
“I am going to book you now and take your statement!”
One of the officers said. It was not the one who brought me in. She was pleasant.
“Do I write it down myself or do I dictate to you?”
I asked her nervously.
“You tell me and I write. You will sign at the end!”
She told me. I told her the story as I remembered it. I gave her everything background including how I ended in hospital. I told him that his car had been seen in the area.
“Look you sound like a smart guy so listen to me. That man wouldn’t be lurking around if there was nothing up with your wife. Trust me in this job we have learned that the wife always knows something so be careful who you trust!”
She advised me after hearing my story. My mother had been warning me for years and hearing this woman say it just made it sink in. I had accused Londiwe too but had absolutely no evidence of it.
“I wish you all the best!”
She said to me as she called the next guy who was supposed to take me to the cells.
“How can I get out of this? Do I wait for my lawyer?”
I asked her.
“Your best bet is that the guy accusing drops charges. This way it won’t even go far. Pay him money or something. Give him whatever he wants and you move on! That’s my advice. Lawyers just finish your money for no reason. Half of them aint even that good you end up in jail anyway!”
She advised me. Goodness was she suggesting I had to pay off Vusi. Well I was more than prepared to. I needed my mother even more now where was she.
I could hear Londiwe’s words in my head but looking at myself now she was the only person who could help me in the mess I was in.
“He will take you to the cells!”
The pleasant lady cop said to me. Someone was really toying with me. It was that nasty piece of work cop who had driven me. Should I report him for abusing his wife? He had confessed to it but then again who was going to believe me and what grounds did I have to stand on. I was here being accused of attempted murder of all things.
“Don’t worry prison is like a hotel. It’s like the Four Seasons! You know it right? I bet you have been there like all your other fancy people!”
He said rubbing it in. This was weird guy with a chip on his shoulder!
“This is your cell, meet your new roommates!”
He said sarcastically. Why was he like this? One minute he was nice and the other he was a total dick.
“If you scream here no one can hear you!”
He said and laughed as he walked away. I was not alone in the cell. I swear I felt like crying as he closed the door before him. I sat there waiting wondering what it is I was going to do now. This place was filthy at best and 7 guys, 4 of whom were of questionable hygiene stuck in a small room like this.
“Eh mfethu kopa gwaai!”
One of the filthy looking guys said to me in tsotsitaal. I was sitting here wondering was I in an episode of iNumber Number. I see people saying that gangster guy in it must write a tsotsi taal dictionary, what for? It’s the language of criminals and now you must make it mainstream.
“I don’t have one!”
He clicked his tongue and walked away.
“O mokwele cheeseboi a re ‘I don’t have one!”
And they both laughed. I should not have spoken in English. Now I looked like those overdressed girls in the mall who want to twang pushing a trolley in Shoprite!
“What are you in here for cheeseboi?”
The big guy asked. He was scary and it seemed like these four were part of one gang as they had that familiarity thing about them. I guess they had all been caught.
I said casually. In the movies they tell you to keep to yourself but here I was alone, I was scared and I figured that if my crime was that big they would leave me alone. Instead they best out laughing.
“Attempted murder? Really? Did someone try to steal your ultramel?”
He asked and his friends laughed. I guess amongst his kind ultramel symbolized what being from the suburbs was all about.
“Leave him alone. He is going to keep me warm tonight right cheeseboi?”
One of the smaller guys said. Again the others burst into laughter. For a small guy he was actually scary after those words. Did he say what he had just said? Hell no! I will rather die!
“Stop it! Don’t mind my friends here! I can see it’s your first time. Hang with us and you will be fine. Nothing like that will happen to you in here just stick with us. That is Simon, that’s Peter, that’s John and I am Matthew!”
He said and they laughed.
“You don’t tell anyone you real name in here ok because some of these guys will follow you home!”
He advised me. He spoke to me for a bit and yes he was a thug. They were arrested for hijacking and as he put it,
“This moron decided that it’s a good idea for him to show off on social media the money we got!”
If he was angry at his friend it did not show. About two hours later another cop came to get me. He said my lawyer had arrived but first I had to see someone else. To my relief it was Londiwe. Where had she been? Three hours here already and she only came now.
“Am I so glad to see you?”
I said hugging her.
The cop said.
I said and sat down.
“Where were you?”
I asked her.
“I went to see Simon!”
She told me casually. I don’t think she cared whether I would be pissed off by it or not.
“I want him to drop the charges!”
She told me.
“What does he want?”
I asked her nervously. If it was money I was prepared for anything because having seen these thugs in here I was not going to survive this. I would not last a few days in here.
“Its not money!”
She said looking down. This was going to make it more complicated than I thought. What else could a sleazy bustard like Simon want from me! He had my life in his hands and he was playing games.
“Then what is it? Londiwe this is serious!”
I pleaded with her. I could still hear those guys whistling as I walked past. I was not about to be Yizo Yizo’d in here. Did I look like Chester to them!
“He wants me!”
She said. I stared at her blankly.
“What do you mean he wants you?”
I asked her.
“I don’t know how to say this,”
“But he said if you allow him, he says it has to be with your permission, he says if you allow him to sleep with me twice he will drop the charges!”
I still did not understand what she had just said and I stared at her blankly.
I asked her trying to process what she had said.
“And there is more, he says you have to be there to watch us do it!”
They must throw away the keys to my cell ke!
Was my pride worth more than my freedom though?
******* The End*******
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
Thanks a lot for reading my letter. How are you sir and greetings to all the readers?
I am a 26 year old guy and have been working for government department for two years. I am a fairly good looking guy and I gym. I have a good body etc. At work I work a fairly junior job. Anyway because of the way I look I have attracted a lot of attention from the ladies. Lately it’s the HOD of my department that I have attracted. She is 40 something and on the chubby side of life. At first I thought she was only teasing me until she spanked my ass as I walked past. Please note that I have a girlfriend and we have been together 4 years now. My HOD called me to her office and told me that if I wanted to rise from my junior rank I should consider having an affair with her. She is married to a very powerful man. In my junior post I earn very little and I know there are positions I qualify for academically in the department but maybe not experience wise. My girlfriend is very strict and does things by the book so I have not told her yet. I want to rise at work and a promotion can actually mean I can afford a ring for her and lobola. Is the betrayal I am considering worth the risk then? I love my girl but money is money and if promoted this job will be mine forever.
Is there any advice you can give me on this as I am very conflicted and whilst her husband scares me I think I fear losing my girlfriend more? Also if I spurn this opportunity I might be blackballed at work and be blocked from opportunities.