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No fury for Gigaba's 'woman scorned'

Opinion
Buhle Mkhize, the alleged former mistress of Minister Malusi Gigaba, blended savvy and wit for a series of salacious broadsides, writes Kevin Ritchie.

In 1987, there were very few men who didn't think twice before embarking on an illicit affair - or even a mad moment at the office party.

A Hollywood blockbuster that year, Fatal Attraction starring Glenn Close and Michael Douglas, hadn’t just scared most men to the point of impotence, it also gave us the term "Bunny Boiler"; shorthand for a wrathful mistress, after Close’s character literally took the beloved family pet and put it on the stove.

Not everyone watched the movie - or if they did their constitutions were sterner than the average man in the street’s.

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the truly impressively constructed Ms Mkhize, went to ‘Twar in a blitzkrieg blend of Sun Tsu and Von Clausewitz, amassing tens of thousands of Twitter followers in the space of a day, says the writer. Picture: Twitter

Boris Becker, the Wimbledon wunderkind, was one.

He shagged a Russian model on a staircase in the aptly named Nobu restaurant in London 12 years later.

His moment of passion cost him a cool £20 million, gained him an illegitimate daughter and, not unsurprisingly, put the mockers on his first marriage, since his wife Barbara had been seven months pregnant with their second child at the time.

There have been many others who have ventured where they shouldn't; none as celebrated - especially not locally - until this week.

Malusi Gigaba, our Finance Minister best known for everything but his financial acumen, found himself caught in the vortex of a torrid exchange between his wife, Norma, and, in South African parlance, his side-chick, Buhle Mkhize, in a very 21st century re-iteration of Fatal Attraction this week.

For some reason, Norma - a self proclaimed IT specialist and entrepreneur who calls herself Mrs Gigabyte to boot - had decided to give TV station eNCA an interview - on "money, love and betrayal".

No sooner had it aired than her love rival, the truly impressively constructed Ms Mkhize, went to ‘Twar in a blitzkrieg blend of Sun Tsu and Von Clausewitz, amassing tens of thousands of Twitter followers in the space of a day - even faster than journalist Barry Bateman covering Oscar Pistorius’s bail hearing.

Mkhize blended savvy and wit for a series of salacious broadsides - constructed in a way that they could not be mangled, re-tweeted or closed down.

She got her point across, she got seen - and, most importantly, she recalibrated the narrative, turning the tables from the traditional weak, dumped woman-scorned to one of a powerful woman totally in charge of her own destiny.

The twitterverse was agog; "a messiah for the enslaved side-chicks" gushed one admirer. In terms of public humiliation, it was epic.

Gigaba, better known for his sartorial taste and his dubious choice of friends, ended up going to Parliament to address the National Assembly for the first time ever as Finance Minister, only to have his personal life frame most of the questions put to him.

Twitterverse, normally scathing about his ministerial acumen, stuck the boot in with glee: "Unfinished business @Home Affairs" asked one, parodying his latest domestic crisis with his previous ministerial post.

This was no fake news: Gigaba did have a much-publicised dalliance with Mkhize that played out all over the Sunday tabloids a couple of years ago. Mrs Gigabyte did do the interview and Mkhize did lash out. But the timing?

This is the guy that at least half the country believes is going to unlock the doors to the Treasury and complete the final phase of the state capture project. This is the man who is going to reduce us - and the generations that come after us - to penury according to the Zupta-haters and yet, for a moment, time stood still and that was the least of Malusi Gigaba’s worries.

The inordinately malignant Bell Pottinger operation - which stopped just short of lighting the fuse on South Africa's much-storeyed and long-anticipated racial conflagration couldn’t have tee-ed it up any better.

Except this was all down to Norma’s hubris and Buhle’s determination not to play the Scarlet Woman.

This week, Mkhize took social media to a brand-new level - and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn't do a damn thing to stop her.

She can’t be sued for defamation, because it’s all true and none other than Mrs Gigabyte placed it all back in the public interest.

On Friday, Victoria Milan, the social dating website that punts itself as adultery central for bored husbands and wives, announced that, according to its most committed members, all church-goers apparently, adultery is no longer a sin - and worth the risk. I'm not sure they'd get the same result if they'd done the survey this week.

Gigaba might be showing the Teflon so necessary for a successful career in politics, but a lot of other men, powerful ones with plenty to hide, will be tightening their belts, taking a helluva lot more cold showers and generally trying to avoid temptation. Blessers especially might just feel a cold sweat when they reach for their wallets.

Well done, Buhle Mkhize, you've taken Glenn Close’s Fatal Attraction and in your 2.0 version, the woman actually wins. That’s a bigger achievement than the Boks winning the next World Cup.

Saturday Star

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