Can you remember all that time ago, back to those Halcyon days of Portugal v North Korea, France v Paraguay and no load-shedding? June 11th to July 11th 2010 was one of the finest months South Africa has ever had. No crime, seamless organisation and an amazing advert for the country in front of a worldwide audience.
It could all have been so different. Imagine, if you dare, that final at Soccer City. Howard Webb with his whistle, Nigel de Jong with his studs up and Andreas Iniesta going on another mazy dribble to absolutely nowhere, before falling over theatrically. The eyes of the world watching, enthralled…
And then the power goes out.
It’s a disaster. The country is a laughing stock and… and… well, look, it’s just a disaster, isn’t it?
But it didn’t happen. Despite the fact that we’ve long had power woes – 2008 in particular stands out as being load-shedtastic – we made it through that month with not even a flickering hint of a blackout. How?
Well, the answer comes – some 3½ years later – from a one Nelson Thabo Modupe, of Lichtenburg, who now tells us that:
he prevented power cuts during the 2010 Soccer World Cup through his prayers
You almost want his third name to be Jacob, don’t you? Just as long as his fourth one isn’t Julius.
Anyway, I digress. Often.
The fact is that Nelson saved the country from ridicule and deserves some sort of reward. He’s attempting to claim that now in the shape of a R250,000,000 (that’s about $6.09 at current exchange rates) payout from Eskom:
because he saved the power utility the burden and humiliation of load shedding
And, given the global audience and the hugely damaging effects of a power outage in any of the 64 World Cup games would have had, I think he probably deserves it. Cough up out of your phat R12.24 billion profit for the six months to September 2013, please Eskom. Give the man his money.
But before Nelson disappears off back to the North West province to buy heaps of precious metals with his newly-gained moola, just let’s hold on a bit.
Because with great power (and let’s face it, getting God to help Eskom out of tight spot is great power), comes great responsibility. And that’s where I think Nelson has let us all down.
How could we forget the infamous fake sign language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela Memorial service held at…wow… Soccer City, just last month? Yes, with (potentially even more of the) world’s eyes on us again, on the big stage – the biggest stage – we were internationally embarrassed. What an absolute shambles it was, start to finish. There were pieces in Time magazine, Sky News, the BBC and, Oh Sweet Jesus, even the Daily Mail – LIKE THEY NEED ANY MORE AMMUNITION?!?!?!?!???1!!
Nelson. Oh, Nelson (no, not that one, this one)… You could have prayed and you could have prevented this burden and humiliation of the fake sign language interpreter. You had the power to do this, Nelson, and yet you chose not to? Why would you expose us all to this ridicule, Nelson?
You have let the country down, and we deserve and demand compensation. Perhaps unsurprisingly for the purposes of this blog post, I feel that about R250,000,000 should see us suitably placated.
And now we know what you are capable of – and we freely admit that the whole Eskom thing was a truly remarkable effort, Nelson – I’ll give you until the end of February to have a word upstairs and get rid of that terrible Zuma bloke. Otherwise, I expect to see your cheque book out again.
I hope we’re clear on things now, Nelson.