Jacko swindler caught out

RAYZOR is quite a close associate of mine. A wellraised little boy, I never knew him to lie, so I believe him when he tells me the story of an unsophisticated fellow who, after getting his bonus, bought a pizza, probably for the first time in his life, and called his wife from the shop: "Mama, prepare some pap. I am bringing pizza today."

RAYZOR is quite a close associate of mine. A wellraised little boy, I never knew him to lie, so I believe him when he tells me the story of an unsophisticated fellow who, after getting his bonus, bought a pizza, probably for the first time in his life, and called his wife from the shop: "Mama, prepare some pap. I am bringing pizza today."

I thought that was the lowest you could go as an unsophisticated simpleton until the Michael Jackson memorial on TV jogged my memory.

As billions around the world sniffled and mopped up their tears at the passing of Jacko, my mind wandered from wondering if our own people and the government would bestow - proportionately - such honour to (heaven forbid) Arthur for starting a revolution in music called kwaito. Or Shwashwi for making so many people happy - and a few profoundly sad.

Then I remembered about a mampara, a real mzwezwe, who tried to con Jacko's family.

If the bugger recognises himself in this piece, so be it. He cooked his own goose. I have known some smooth operators in my time, but this was the most unlikely of them.

He was a clean-shaven, natty dresser who probably had a bath three times a day; changed his underwear as many times and boiled his water before he drank it.

He always carried a bulky Bible around and punctuated his sentences with epithets like "Glory hallelujah, brother ... be blessed ... God is good ... if Jesus is wrong, I don't wanna be right ... Amen."

When Jacko's father Joseph visited South Africa a decade or so ago, the conman and I worked for the same company.

He had apparently run into Jackson senior at a church function, introduced himself, and got the superstar's personal address. Nobody I knew had heard of e-mail in those days.

Then he penned a teary letter to the the Gloved One.

But his letter was returned from Los Angeles unopened and landed in the hands of a busybody female colleague who revelled in juicy gossip and loved to share it.

When she saw Michael Jackson's name on the envelope her resistance failed her and she opened the letter.

It made for interesting reading. I remember it almost word for word: "My dear brother Michael, I greet you in the powerful name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Fast forward to the interesting part:

"My young son, named Michael after you, is dying from leukemia. God willing, he will survive, but only if I raise the R150 000 needed for his operation.

"I am afraid my little Michael is going to die because I just cannot raise the funds.

"As a fellow (name of denomination) I pray that you will be able to help my family. I have been too embarrassed to write to you, but little Michael insisted that I should ask you if you could help save his life ... blah bloody blah, lies, bloody blah."

And the whole office knew that he not only did not have a family, he was probably a virgin.

Now that is lower than pap with pizza.

X