To: The Honourable Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula

Dear Minister,

I note with concern that I have not once, in recent months, been bowled into the ditch by a cavalcade of fast-moving WaBenzis dashing about on their very important business here in KwaZulu-Natal. While I never really enjoyed the experience per se, it always gave me a warm, fuzzy glow to know that our elected leaders were so considerate towards the guests patiently waiting for the official opening of the new shopping mall. The question I have to thus ask is: Have the Mother Grundies’ strenuous objections to a little highway heroism caused service delivery to grind to a halt? And, if so, what can we do about it?

I was lying in the bath this evening, rehearsing my rendition of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika for the World Cup, as is my wont, when the solution hit me like a lightning bolt! At first I thought the CD player that provides the background to my singing had fallen into the tub, but then I realised that what I had experienced was a jolt of sheer genius, not electricity! Why cripple our leadership, immobilise our elected representatives, endanger the lives of those who strive to serve us, when we have the stone with which we can kill so many birds right here in our hands?

Motorcyclists are, by nature, risk takers willing to place their lives on the line every day. Why don’t we — I’m sure you don’t mind if I presume that you and I can work together on this — recruit a corps of bikers to take over the duties of all those drivers and bodyguards who have traditionally escorted the elite to and from functions?

The benefits would be manifold; because the redundant escorts would no longer need high-powered BMWs, Audis or Mercedes-Benzes to carry out their duties, our leaders could upgrade their own vehicles without changing the bottom line when it comes to budgets. One Aston Martin or Bentley surely can’t cost more than six or eight BMW X5s, can it? Given the opportunity to ride as fast as they like without the need to pay bribes, most bikers I know would happily escort any dignitary of your choice from Durban, say, to Pretoria in exchange for a small contribution towards fuel, tyres and, should funds allow, chain lube.

I reckon about R500 would cover such a trip, with shorter adventures coming considerably cheaper, and the savings effected by laying off a few thousand drivers and bodyguards nationally would easily cover this, with a little bit left over for … we can finalise the minor details later. The Aston Martins and Bentleys would be further justified if we explained to the public that our leaders’ cars need to be capable of keeping up with a well-ridden Suzuki Hayabusa or Kawasaki ZX-14 at full shout, or else security would be compromised.

Aha, I hear you say. What about security? How well can this biker riff-raff protect our leaders? What qualifications do they have in personal defence? Please allow me to allay your fears right here and now! Most bikers have guns, and aren’t afraid to use them. At the Buffalo Rally in Port Elizabeth in 1978 I saw the administrator of the provincial hospital catch a 6,35mm slug in the leg while carrying out a routine inspection of the campsite, and in Bloemfontein in 1976 the okes organising the drag races in the main street were using a .357 Magnum revolver as the starting device. I can assure you that should these guys need to draw their guns in anger, they will do so sooner rather than later.

The hire of the weapons could be included in the flat rate charged for fuel and so forth, and anything up to, say, 100 cartridges per trip would be similarly included. Even if the ammunition were to be costed out according to consumption, please bear in mind that one warning shot per 2km, at R1 per round, could hardly be considered extortionate. I have a good contact in the Durban metro police, so I may even be able to organise weapons and ammunition at a heavily discounted rate once the Scorpions have finished their investigation.

I feel so much better now that I’ve cleared up this issue that I’m going to duck off to bed for an early night, as soon as I’ve fed the Rottweillers and reloaded another 500 nine-mils. I’ll be up bright and early to do my perimeter patrol, though, so please feel free to give me a ring any time after 4am to discuss the minor details, such as what to do with the savings on the bodyguards’ and drivers’ salaries. Perhaps a small commission for the parties most intimately involved in facilitating this exciting new scheme would be in order?

Kind regards,
Gavin Foster

First published in 2 Wheels magazine Nov/Dec 2007


Gavin Foster

Gavin Foster

Durban photojournalist Gavin Foster writes mainly for magazines. His articles and photographs have appeared in hundreds of South African, American and British publications, and he's also instigated and...

Leave a comment