Tough on the outside…

I read in Moday’s papers about an armed robber who after being dragged to the Magistrate’s Court – went into a hysterical frenzy, obviously pretending to have gone mad by chanting Winky D’s popular song Big Man. The Magistrate of course was not moved by this man’s silly attempt to avoid trial. Nevertheless, I laughed so hard and could only imagine the entire courtroom in stitches. Its interesting that a crook who was tough enough to wield guns and knobkerries and breaking into people’s homes was suddenly mortified at the thought of standing trial with the possibility of a long sentence in our very own gulag at the notorious Chikurubi.

Isn’t it such an interesting find that most people who appear seemingly tough and untouchable are actually soft like marshmallow inside? Recall how when the motley alliance of rebel forces dragged former Ivorian strongman – Laurent Gbagbo half naked from his bunker, his wife Simone just sat there with her eyes closed tight. Only her lips moved silently, possibly in prayer? And this was the same Simone who hurled unprintable insults to pro-Ouattara supporters. We should give her credit for resolutely holding up the ‘through thick and thin’ vow to her husband.

Then there was Hosni Mubarak, who soon after his ouster in February suffered a ‘massive’ heart attack during questioning. He was being investigated for abuse of public funds and the murder of protestors. Just recently, 70 year-old Mrs Mubarak was also reportedly admitted into hospital last Friday because of a heart attack. This was after being told that she would be detained in a corruption probe. Mrs Mubarak is the iron woman who used her husband’s influence to unlawfully amass wealth.

Up North, the media yesterday had a field day in court over the IMF chief Dominic Strauss-Kahn’s incarceration on sexual assault charges. Images of an unshaven, very disheveled and crestfallen Kahn were plastered all over the news. One of the world’s most powerful men is a pussycat after all. Real men don’t have to forcibly get it either.

The beleaguered Strauss-Khan in better days. Getty Images photo

Isn’t it just ironic how these rich and powerful people suddenly cannot withstand the nudge of the long arm of the law when it finally catches up with them? How is it that heart attacks and some such ailments conveniently inflict these people just at the point when justice is about to prevail?

One would have thought that dictators and those of their ilk are made of sterner stuff; some have even managed to sleep through the night after ordering the deaths of innocent civilians. Surely they can handle petty things like court trials?

Let us not be fooled.

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