SLR Diary: Noxious wines uncorked

Our columnist has a great nose for prominent and influential characters whose qualities infuse our society with a mysterious but undeniably unpleasant odour. 2017 was a particularly good year if you were a Zuptoid, with the planting of a new variant of Public Protector, one guaranteed to yield abundant fruit with political career-prolonging properties. What better newly-tilled field to plant this new cultivar in, under the guise of shielding the workers whose rights she has yet to show any significant concern for? Then, by pure coincidence, those vintners who moved from the genteel tasting rooms to scrub out the acrid-smelling vats in preparation for new vintages, became the first to be repeatedly targeted. Not only them, but the very institution which underpins the entire economy, the Reserve Bank, came under an attack that dovetailed perfectly with the ideological policies of the lunatic Zuptoid left. Then we have the Niehaus vintage, one that brewed up a storm among competing wine critics, none of whom could agree on just what flavouring had cheapened various cases of popular wines. The latest infusion made the Cyril 2019 vintage virtually undrinkable, though Niehaus swears he wasn’t near the wine estate when it was bottled. Reader kicks off with his familiar satirising of the British looney left, with a Michael Jackson reference that had me laughing out loud. Almost made the local vintages palatable. – Chris Bateman

By Simon Lincoln Reader*

The issue of Somali refugees in London sending their kids back to their partially war-zoned homelands to be educated – now the subject of a BBC documentary – is arguably the clearest indication yet of just how opportunistic the virtue signalling at the heart of the modern British left has become.

In an era of platitudes and hashtags, the outcomes for the lives of these children – whose parents are treated appallingly pretty much anywhere they go – have failed to improve. In fact, they’ve gotten worse – a problem particularly acute in Islington, Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency.

This is because these people are only half useful. For Labour’s more militant members, choreographed at the arrivals section of airports holding banners or expressing outrage at spending cuts or votes. Not much else.

Take the EU elections campaign, where Labour made another one of its notoriously foolish videos starring Jeremy – this time at the Finsbury Park Mosque, once home to a delightful fellow called Abu Hamza. The video showed all races eating together – the supposed beauty of immigration being the central message, accompanied by some pan pipes (just as nice as the ones Telkom call centres used to subject you to for 3 hours). But the video was just so progressive and inclusive and social justic-ey and intersectional and the only thing that was missing was Michael Jackson wearing white gloves standing at a makeshift altar about to marry an eleven-year-old called Rudy.


In 2009, when this diarist was a hungry young peasant sniffing around Fricker Avenue for anything resembling a deal, I happened across a UK consultancy eager to launch an SA office. The nature of work involved decorated former UK military personnel advising institutions on terrorism; with the FIFA World Cup the next year, perhaps the government might be interested in listening to some of the consultants?

I didn’t know much back then, so when a contact (who today finds himself in sensational amounts of trouble) pointed me in the direction of one Vathasallum “Vivian” Reddy, I arranged a presentation (I was told that i) Vivian got things done and ii) I was extremely lucky to have caught his attention).

It took place in a suite at the Hyatt Regency in Rosebank. The Chairman and CEO of the consultancy were present from London along with Vivian and I.

The presentation was convincing. Vivian nodded a lot as the men spoke. I started to see dollar signs. But then the chime of the room bell interrupted us and I opened the door to find a strange looking fellow. “Is Vivian here?”


Carl NiehausThe first thing that struck me about Carl Niehaus was that he wore too many rings on his fingers, like those money launderers in the UAE. He introduced himself and sat down, quickly turning to Vivian and embarking on a separate conversation, clearly unrelated to the purpose of the presentation, in some kind of puzzling code only they understood.

What appeared to be going well ended suddenly. Vivian apologised, grabbed his briefcase and left with Carl in pursuit. Those of us left scratched our heads, in the manner of defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory.

The following morning, the 13th of February 2009 (Friday) the Mail & Guardian broke a story about Carl’s diminished faculty for self-control which explained what he was doing at the meeting, why he had absorbed all of Vivian’s attention.


Looking back I’m now relieved nothing came of that meeting. Moral or PMFA lines would in all likelihood have been crossed at some point. This was the start of nine wasted years. Things always went like that.

But if you asked me today if I’m surprised that Carl has been fingered in the tampering of an ANC press release, which activated a sequence of destructive events, which appears to be aligned to Ace Magashule’s ambitions – to destroy people’s lives (not the politicians around him, but the those of ordinary citizens) – then I would say no, I’m not surprised actually.


Re: morons destroying people’s lives, I would like to take you back to 2017, to the appointment of Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to some commentary that accompanied her interview – and some after.

It was abundantly clear that this woman was bad news. It was similarly clear that the committee had been instructed, but I suspect now that it wasn’t so much of an order as it was “advise”. You see, Julius Malema was openly suspicious that she was Saxonwold’s candidate – he said as much at the time, and followed – post her appointment – with expressions of some regret.

But I imagine the “advise” followed these lines: listen, some day your VBS/SARS/ETC issues are going to explode, and for that it will be most helpful to have a moron on-point, so pretend to be cross sure but endorse the appointment, etc, etc.

  • Simon Lincoln Reader works and lives in London.
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