Thursday, October 2, 2014

'The situation is absolutely under control'...

CC sent me this series of four snippets under the heading "Stories from African newspapers":

1. The Cape Times (Cape Town)

"I have promised to keep his identity confidential,' said Jack Maxim,

a spokeswoman for the Sandton Sun Hotel, Johannesburg , "but I can

confirm that he is no longer in our employment. We asked him to clean

the lifts and he spent four days on the job. When I asked him why, he

replied: 'Well, there are forty of them, two on each floor, and

sometimes some of them aren't there'. Eventually, we realised that he

thought each floor had a different lift, and he'd cleaned the same two

twelve times. We had to let him go. It seemed best all round. I

understand he is now working for Eskom." (S.A. Electricity Utility)

2. The Star (Johannesburg)

"The situation is absolutely under control," Transport Minister

Ephraem Magagula told the Swaziland Parliament in Mbabane . "Our

nation's merchant navy is perfectly safe. We just don't know where it

is, that's all." Replying to an MP's question, Minister Magagula

admitted that the landlocked country had completely lost track of its

only ship, the ‘Swazimar’: "We believe it is in a sea somewhere. At

one time, we sent a team of men to look for it, but there was a

problem with drink and they failed to find it, and so, technically,

yes, we've lost it a bit. But I categorically reject all suggestions

of incompetence on the part of this government. The ‘Swazimar’ is a

big ship painted in the sort of nice bright colours you can see at

night. Mark my words, it will turn up. The right honourable

gentleman opposite is a very naughty man, and he will laugh on the

other side of his face when my ship comes in."

3. The Standard (Kenya)

"What is all the fuss about?" Weseka Sambu asked a hastily convened

news conference at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. "A technical

hitch like this could have happened anywhere in the world. You people

are not patriots. You just want to cause trouble." Sambu, a spokesman

for Kenya Airways, was speaking after the cancellation of a through

flight from Kisumu, via Jomo Kenyatta, to Berlin . "The forty-two

passengers had boarded the plane ready for take-off, when the pilot

noticed one of the tyres was flat. Kenya Airways did not possess a

spare tyre, and unfortunately the airport nitrogen canister was empty.

A passenger suggested taking the tyre to a petrol station for

inflation, but unluckily the jack had gone missing so we couldn't get

the wheel off. Our engineers tried heroically to re-inflate the tyre

with a bicycle pump, but had no luck, and the pilot even blew into the

valve with his mouth, but he passed out. "When I announced that the

flight had to be abandoned, one of the passengers, Mr Mutu, suddenly

struck me about the face with a life-jacket whistle and said we were a

national disgrace. I told him he was being ridiculous, and that there

was to be another flight in a fortnight. And, in the meantime, he

would be able to enjoy the scenery around Kisumu, albeit at his own


4. From a Zimbabwean newspaper

While transporting mental patients from Harare to Bulawayo , the bus

Driver stopped at a roadside shebeen (beerhall) for a few beers. When

he got back to his vehicle, he found it empty, with the 20 patients

nowhere to be seen. Realizing the trouble he was in if the truth were

uncovered, he halted his bus at the next bus stop and offered lifts to

those in the queue. Letting 20 people board, he then shut the doors

and drove straight to the Bulawayo mental hospital, where he hastily

handed over his 'charges', warning the nurses that they were

particularly excitable. Staff removed the furious passengers; it was

three days later that suspicions were roused by the consistency of

stories from the 20. As for the real patients: nothing more has been

heard of them and they have apparently blended comfortably back into

Zimbabwean society...


Wait a minute! They were all faked, all made up, as exposed by


But these two unreal news items are real!...

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