Light laughter is a tonic to leadership laments

So much has been said about our country's lack of quality leaders or heroes.

Only this week columnist Justice Malala lamented the fact and suggested we pin our hopes on the Springboks who are set to bring us glory from France in the Rugby World Cup final.

Obviously recent events have seen the country's leaders run around like headless chickens as crisis after crisis leaves us in a daze on a daily basis.

Anyway, the world seems to know about leadership weakness. Take this missive which landed on my desk just the other day.

"Dear Themba,

President Mbeki meets the Queen of England. He asks her, 'Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give me?'

'Well,' says the Queen, 'the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people.' Mbeki frowns. 'But how do I know the people around me are really intelligent?'

The Queen takes a sip of tea. 'Oh, that's easy. You just ask them to answer an intelligence riddle.'

The Queen pushes a button on her intercom. 'Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?'

Tony Blair walks into the room. 'Yes, my Queen?'

The Queen smiles. 'Answer this, please, Tony. Your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?' Without pausing for a moment, Tony Blair answers, 'That would be me.'

'Yes! Very good,' says the Queen.

Back in Cape Town, President Mbeki asks to speak to ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma.

'Answer this for me. Your mother and father have a child. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?'

'I'm not sure,' says Zuma. 'Let me get back to you on that one.'

Zuma goes to his advisors and asks everyone the question, but none can give him an answer.

Finally, he ends up at the V&A Waterfront and bumps into Evita Bezuidenhout.

Zuma looks around to see if anyone can overhear them and whispers, 'Evita! Can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. Who is it?'

Evita whispers back, 'That's easy. It's me!'

Zuma smiles and says: 'Thanks!'

Zuma goes back to parliament to speak to Mbeki.

'I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It's Evita Bezuidenhout.'

Mbeki gets up, stomps over to Zuma, and angrily yells into his face, 'No, you idiot! It's Tony Blair!'

Yours sincerely.."

Well, there you are. You be the judge.

Indeed these are trying times. I agree that our country needs leaders and heroes.

But if this has succeeded in making you laugh, well, that is what I intended.

And also, I know better. There are those hotheads who will misconstrue this and take it personally. Sorry.

Here is my quote of the week.

"We know the white capitalists will see to it that we do not pass our matric exams." - a Grade 12 pupil from Khutsong responding to a question on how he fared on the first day of the matric final exams.