Controversial former University of the Witwatersrand SRC president Mcebo Dlamini was denied bail in .
Years back I had a particularly brief stint at boarding school that lasted no more than three months. I ended up in a group that was thrown out after a pupils' riot in which teachers were assaulted.
I swear to this day that the teacher who claimed I assaulted him lied. That is just not me.
Besides, he had smokkelled me into the school himself after a pow-wow with my father when admissions had long been closed, so why would I do it? Hell, I stuck out my neck asking my peers to leave him alone, and there he went to court and brazenly said I had waded into him.
Strange that the court decided to believe a six-foot plus, overweight man claiming he was beaten up by a thin, spindly shanked, reedy teenager with tennis ball knees. Mzobi.
Sir has long gone the way of all flesh, and I bear no grudges. I still think fondly of him and my peers at the boys hostel, where I met some smart aleck characters, bullies and pathetic mparas. One of these mparas spent his days reading karate and judo magazines spread out on his bed. He was a quiet chappie everybody thought was dangerous because of his karate literature.
One night as we were doing guard waiting for some local tsotsis to come by so we could ambush them, headlights shone in our direction and we all thought the moment had arrived. Suddenly we heard a thud: Djup!
The karate man, our trusted kung-fu kid, whom we thought would lead the attack, had fallen to the ground and fainted. We had to abort the mission to revive him.
In-between stealing locals' goats at GaMosetlha for communal braais at the hostel, we spent a lot of our time setting up kangaroo court sessions where the bigger boys accused the rest of us of plain shit.
It was at one of these sessions that I heard a boy who had just been "convicted" of having said something stupid that I can't remember, tell his accusers before they administered a sjambokking: "[I said it] . I undermined the value of words."
With all the dignity he could muster, he stepped forward and lay down on his stomach to be sjambokked senseless.
"I undermined the value of words ." What a boy!
I was thinking of this fella the other day and how we as South Africans undermine the value of words.
My most favourite in this genre of abused phrases is when a black person says: "I'm sure."
What they actually mean is "I'm not sure".
So, you can't blame a person for misleading you if they had prefaced their lines with "I'm sure".
So it is a perfectly normal thing to say: "I did not say he is gone. I said I'm sure - pronounced ahm shaw."
My uncle Lefi Malatsi tells me of a pal of his in Mamelodi who is hooked on the line "that's nice", which he pronounces des naes.
So you tell his mate that a cousin has died, and he frowns in disbelief while he goois: "Des naes. When did he die?"
You have obviously heard this one: "Ag shame, your baby is so beautiful."
Oh, the beauty of undermining the value of words.
l Charles Mogale is the editor of Sunday World