Sat Oct 22 23:36:28 SAST 2016

Conmen - good talent gone to waste

By unknown | Jul 02, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A couple of columns ago when I wrote that I am fascinated by conmen, not everybody was impressed.

A couple of columns ago when I wrote that I am fascinated by conmen, not everybody was impressed.

There were those who thought I was "encouraging" dishonesty.

Unfortunately I would be lying if I said I did not admire the creativity of con artists - often good talent gone to waste.

Years ago when I was a reporter at City Press, I went to cover a story of a black boy who was thrown out of his school for "sexually molesting" a white girl.

Both kids involved were about 12 or 13 years old and the boy's expulsion divided the Limpopo town into two distinct camps - black and white.

When I hit town I headed straight for the father of the black boy, a well-known doctor the news reports had said.

My knowledge of medicine does not go far beyond Borstol, Vicks and cod liver oil, but even I could smell a rat when I saw the "doctor's" surgery.

He had lined up a couple of bottles - the type used by my grandmother to can fruit - on the shelves, and the liquid inside looked like dirty water, varying only in shade by the degree of dirt. Nothing more.

He hung a number of certificates on the walls and a quick glance through them showed he had attended a couple of "microwave" courses, hence the certificates of attendance.

His pidgin English aside, he spoke crap - the crap of one who had not bothered to stay too long at secondary school.

When we were done with the subject of his son, he promised me a scoop, which he asked me to keep under wraps for the moment. He could, he said, cure Aids and was about to build a multi-million rand Aids hospital in the area.

He pointed to a big jar full of dirty water: "You see, if I mix that with a bit of water, and inject you, I am telling you with your mother, it (Aids) is finished."

My suspicions were heightened when he called in his wife to confirm his startling Aids claim.

The obese madam shuffled into the surgery, wearing dirty running shoes that used to be white, but were now brown. Her Kaizer Chiefs T-shirt was clean, but wrinkled and obviously too small, exposing a dirty bra and a large chunk of her bloated tummy.

At least she could have tried to look the part....

I have not read or heard that he was eventually exposed, but I am willing to bet that if the word doctor has anything to do with him it is probably his first name, a la Doctor Khumalo.

This type, I should say, does not fascinate me. Lives could be lost.

But hell, I love the old lady in the Vaal, where I live, who makes money charging pensioners a fee to sit on her benches while waiting to receive their monthly stipends.

She brings her benches, you pay her R2 to sit, or stand on your arthritic, geriatric feet all day ... that is being resourceful!


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