Whispers of wealth: Corruption unveiled in a hardware store encounter

In a surprising encounter at a hardware store, a chance conversation unveils a hidden world of opulence and corruption.


I am numb, sad and very angry, all wrapped up in one heavy package. Here I am walking into a hardware store to buy materials. As I am browsing through the various materials, I see a “for sale” poster. It was for these fancy fences with which we in the “bourgeois” class secure our properties from those we have pushed to the edges. So, as I approach the person at the till, I ask for the details. It turns out that even at the sale price, it remains unaffordable. I then say to this person that, under this economic climate,…

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I am numb, sad and very angry, all wrapped up in one heavy package.

Here I am walking into a hardware store to buy materials. As I am browsing through the various materials, I see a “for sale” poster. It was for these fancy fences with which we in the “bourgeois” class secure our properties from those we have pushed to the edges.

So, as I approach the person at the till, I ask for the details. It turns out that even at the sale price, it remains unaffordable.

I then say to this person that, under this economic climate, no one can afford that fence. The salesperson looks at me – and laughs.

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He says there are people with a lot of money out there. He says he is actually waiting for someone who is going to spend about R500 000 for the same fence to secure his house.

I then jokingly say to him, the only people who can afford that are tenderpreneurs, and even then, their wells are drying up.

He then shifts what was a normal economic discussion into a corruption one.

For some reason, which I can’t understand, this person finds it possible to discuss what was possibly a pain he had carried for some time. He needed to offload but couldn’t find the space to do so. I just happened to be the dumping site; I happened to be at the right place at the right time.

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This patriotic gentleman opens up to me and actually names prominent leaders of a certain political party who would come to him and purchase materials, having bags full of cash.

He says one prominent leader on a certain day actually had three bags and when he was given the price, he instructed one of his bodyguards which of the bags to fetch.

He points to yet another prominent leader who would come to this store to purchase materials. He says occasionally this prominent leader would purchase goods with hard cash and she would give them tips amounting to at least R1 500 for them to share among themselves as salespeople.

On one occasion, this particular prominent leader purchased goods worth R25 000. She paid in cash and gave them R30 000 as tips to share. This prominent leader, a different source alleged, has a house worth millions of rand, which was built with cash.

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The third prominent leader was just spoken of in passing. I suppose he either didn’t tip or his purchases were not as significant as the other two. But he did carry a significant amount of cash, nonetheless.

This gentleman is a patriot; he loves his country. The problem is, he is not safe to tell. And I can assure you there are many like him, but this government offers no protection for patriotic citizens. It is very sad indeed.

Monama is an independent commentator and a former Azapo leader.

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