Millions intended to be spent on the health needs of Eastern Cape residents have gone missing from d.
One of the best sermons of all time was delivered at my church some months back.
My priest took out a crisp, new R50 note, waved it in the air and asked the congregation if anyone wanted it.
We all raised our hands. He then took the note, crumpled it in his hand, threw it to the ground and stomped on it. When it was all dirtied and wrinkled, he lifted it up and asked the question again: "Anyone want it?"
Once more, we all raised our hands.
"Are you sure you want it?"
Congregation in unison: "Yeees ..."
"But it's all dirty and wrinkled ..."
"It doesn't matter ... we want it."
He then summed it all up: "Before God, you are like this R50 note. You do not lose your value because of the ravages you go through ..."
Powerful stuff, padre. And I repeat this sermon to make the point that although I count among my friends wealthy, whiskey-quaffing high flyers, my childhood friends who have been battered by the storms of life are still dear to me.
They are quite clever with words, these men of the cloth. Recently, colleague and chief honcho Thabo Leshilo attended a funeral in Soweto and came back almost converted.
The preacher, he said, had made an analogy of a phone and a simcard. The preacher told of a man who was busy making an important call when the cellphone fell and broke into several pieces. The man calmly took the damaged phone, removed the simcard, and went on with his life.
Your soul, said the preacherman, was your simcard. When the body goes six feet underground, it is important that the "simcard" is intact.
Why am I preachy today? After last week's column, and a few before that, which took the mickey out of my old mates and acquaintances who have had rotten luck, I realise just how much I love these fellas.
These are the lot that rock up uninvited at your family feast, pitch up the tent, help slaughter the cow and skin it, and even offer to come dig your pithole toilet for a reasonable fee ... "if you can organise a boost."
When the English-speaking whiskey-quaffers have long gone, leaving you stone broke, these chaps rock up to clean the mess, load drievoet pots on the wheelbarrow and take them back to where you borrowed them.
They stay all night at vigils, until early morning when it is time to make the fire, which they make themselves.
They ride on the back of any truck to the graveyard, and make sure there are spades to fill up the grave. They fill the grave while the whiskey lot stand back and exchange notes about their latest BEE deals.
They are the soul of the earth, and although they might be wrinkled and haggard, their "simcards" are kosher.