Aesop: The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Photo: The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Photo: The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Once upon a time, there was a ravenous Wolf who had great difficulty in catching a Sheep – owing to the vigilance of the Shepherd and his Dogs who watched over the flock.

The Wolf used all of his wily schemes and underhanded ploys – waiting for a moment of inattentiveness by the guardians of the Sheep – but to no avail.

One day, the Wolf came upon the skin of a Sheep that had been slaughtered as food for the Farmer’s table. The skin had been set out to dry in the sun – later to be made into a bathmat for the Farmer’s wife.

The Wolf pulled the sheepskin over its own pelt and strolled down among the unsuspecting flock of Sheep.

A Lamb, who was fooled by the Wolf’s disguise, followed the Wolf in the Sheep’s clothing wherever it went.

And so, leading the gullible Lamb a little apart from the flock, the Wolf soon made a meal of it.

The Wolf intermingled with the flock of Sheep, and, whenever it was hungry, would kill and eat one of them. When the Shepherd noticed what was happening, he hanged the Wolf on a very tall tree. The other shepherds asked him why he had hanged a Sheep.

The Shepherd answered: “The skin is that of a Sheep, but the deeds were those of a Wolf.”

Moral of the story: Appearances are deceptive.


Here, in South Africa, it would appear as if every second Sheep is, in fact, a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing.

It has become impossible to read any news report concerning ministers, government officials, police officers, teachers, priests, managers of businesses, etc., without becoming aware of their dastardly sheepskin shenanigans.

Let’s look at some examples. (For obvious reasons, I’m not including President Jacob Zuma here – his sheepskin would take up more space than is currently allowed by Khuluma Afrika for publication.)

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. The Democratic Alliance’s regional executive committee has made recommendations that she be removed as mayor of the city of Cape Town – along with her enormous sheepskin of corruption and maladministration.

Eskom executive CEO Matshela Koko. Embattled Koko has been fighting for his life – trying to hide under his sheepskin of shady coal contracts, underhanded deals with the Guptas, and free holiday trips to Dubai with his family.

Crime Intelligence Operative Morris Tshabalala. Tshabalala, a rogue cop and convicted armed robber, was convicted for armed robbery in 1996 – but simply never reported to prison – and went on to enjoy a lucrative career in the police.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), and the Inspector General for Intelligence, are investigating Tshabalala’s alleged misuse of R50-million of crime intelligence funds.

Sources say Tshabalala was able to evade the law for so long because he was protected by senior police officials (officials in sheepskins?). Tshabalala has also been implicated in last year’s multi-million-rand heist at OR Tambo International Airport.

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. Molefe left Eskom late in 2016 after the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela implicated him in suspicious dealings between Eskom and the Gupta’s. The High Court in Pretoria has only now ordered Molefe to pay back the money he unlawfully received as part of a pension pay-out of R30-million.

African National Congress secretary-general Ace Magashule. Numerous allegations have been brought against Magashule’s – all the way back to 1996, but nothing has happened – his sheepskin is still firmly in place.

Magashule has avoided answering questions about alleged graft and mismanagement – and his link to the controversial Estina dairy farm in the Free State.  Leaked e-mails, from the Gupta business empire, showed that a lavish family wedding at Sun City, was largely paid for using laundered public funds, which Magashule signed off on.

Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu. Disgraced Qedani claims innocence and blamelessness regarding her role in the Esidimeni tragedy, which resulted in the deaths of at least 143 mentally ill people who were transferred to unlicensed NGOs.

Former Eskom executive Anoj Singh. Singh denies involvement in negotiations to reduce a R2-billion fine imposed on Glencore for supplying substandard coal to Eskom. Earlier, Singh categorically denied any relationship with the Guptas other than casual acquaintances.

Singh’s salary for 2016 was reported to be R4.8-million, plus a cash bonus of R1.9-million – proving that his tailor-made sheepskin is not be sneered at.

Moral of the story: Appearances are deceptive.

Fubar Bundy, Cape Town, South Africa, 08/02/2018

  • Fubar Bundy is a renowned writer, of Indian origin, who travels the world and comments on the state of the various nations in general; and the level of development of selected countries in particular.