Death at a funeral

Death at a funeral

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This week, the funeral of fallen hero, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Maake took the spotlight. The writing duo of Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon have a penchant for ruining family gatherings, whether wedding or funeral. Only the biggest optimist would expect Maake’s burial to pass without incident.

When criminals are lawmen

Colonel Sebata (played by veteran actor, Rapulana Seiphemo) introduced himself as station commander at Tembisa Police, along with his partner in crime – and I mean that in the true sense of the phrase – Detective Jaros (played by Kenneth Nkosi). This is one of those moments where you wish you could warn the people on television, “look out, you have a dirty cop in your midst!” Sebata and Jaros lead the investigation into the deaths of Maake and Sthembiso Radebe who were collateral damage during a daring aerial assault on the Khozas at the golf course. Of course Sebata and Jaros could save the police a lot of money simply by turning themselves in, because it is they who did the shooting. And a terrible job they did too, because Harriet, the target, walked away with just the stains of Jerry’s blood on her sweater.

Vuyiswa refuses to play helpless widow

The relatives of Jerry Maake did not only have to come to terms with Robocop’s passing but also the case of a makoti who spat in the face of funeral protocol. Jerry’s cousin, Maipelo, arrived suitably wreathed in a mourning blanket, only to find her sister-in-law, Vuyiswa, getting ready to get back to work like her husband wasnt lying with his belly up inside a mortuary drawer. Maipelo offered her shoulder as a pillow to makoti. But Vuyiswa the tough cop brushed past her on her way out the door like Ludacris.

“Move, chick, get out the way, get out the way!”

Back at Tembisa police station, Vuyiswa’s colleagues were shocked to see her walk into the office, even before Jerry’s body had gone cold. Needless to say, Colonel Sebata’s protests against Vuyiswa returning to work were the loudest because he wants Jerry’s real killer to go unpunished. After Vuyiswa declined his invitation to take time off work, Sebata was pressed by Maipelo into sending the newly widowed detective home. Finally Vuyiswa capitulated.


Back at home, Vuyiswa discovered that the Maakes did not just want her to play the helpless makoti but they expected her to respect and obey their mourning traditions. Because Jerry died a violent death, his body could not be brought home for the wake, out of fear that this may bring bad luck into the family. Vuyiswa, wanting to bring Jerry home, met stiff and unyielding opposition from the Maake uncles. She begged Thato for support, but he turned his back and walked away like a neutral Switzerland. Vuyiswa went to sleep with Jerry’ framed picture next to her on the empty pillow, as a proxy for her fallen husband. Brilliant script-writing!

The memorial was a tearful affair. Even Jerry’s worst enemy would have cried too. But Jerry was a good man with very few enemies. Oh wait, his enemies were elsewhere, planning death and destruction.

Khozas in SWAT gear

What do you do if you’re a corrupt cop who has to cover up his own crimes? Find someone else to blame for your offence.

On his first meeting with Harriet Khoza, Colonel Sebata did two things; he issued a subtle declaration of war and tossed a figurative canister of teargas into the room. The smokescreen he created worked. The Khozas, following Sebata’s ruse, assumed the Theron cartel had tried to kill them at the golf course.

After acquiring enough firearms to topple the Lesotho government, the Khozas suited up in all black. As they breached the Theron home, they looked like they had been copied and pasted from the CBS series SWAT. Harriet looked stunning and dangerous in equal measure, Kagiso, the ex soldier, looked military, as he led the assault. Shaka radiated a Jason Bournesque air, as he neutralized the electric gate motor with a single round from a silenced pistol. Brutus looked… well, Brutus looked like Brutus.

But they found only a nervous looking suburban man scooping leaves from the surface of his swimming pool. He had bought the house recently from the Therons who had moved to Botswana. Then the usually classy Harriet cursed, not once, by thrice. Which always sounds and looks like a fur-coated super model urinating into a champagne flute.

Death at a funeral

When Sebata learned that the Khozas were attending the funeral, he saw an opportunity to strike.

As the Maakes got ready for Jerry’s burial, Harriet finally got Keabetswe to agree to return home.  Antoinette chilled a bottle of welcome home champagne and Shaka brought home flowers and balloons.

Harriet, oozing class in a black beret and matching outfit, sat next to Brutus in a chauffeured vehicle as they headed to the funeral. The Khozas, in a convoy of all black BMW SUVs, arrived at the same time as Kea who came in a vehicle that matched the rest of the cortege. Just as the speakers wound up their eulogies, Jaros – Sebata’s right hand man – left the gathering, we suspect to start trouble. And trouble immediately came. One of the cars in the Khoza convoy blew up into a ball of fire. The smile on Sebata’s face suggested that it was he who had caused another death, this time at a funeral.

Dineo Langa’s name is conspicuously absent from the film credits. Could this be Kea Khoza’s exit?


The directors did a great improvisation job on Sthembiso Radebe’s exit. Mlamli Mangcala has been absent from The Queen for months, leading up to a public rant about Ferguson Films. Perhaps the relationship was too far gone for the producers to include Mangcala in a farewell scene. To give closure to the Captain Radebe character, Jerry had summoned him to the golf course as backup. After the shooting stopped, we saw just a bald head and purple Captain Radebe shirt, but not his face. Well played, Ferguson Films.

But writers of the show may have got it wrong with Booi and Adelaide Maake, Jerry’s two sisters. Marah Louw who plays Booi is unlikely to return to the show, hence Jerry and Vuyiswa’s takeover of her restaurant. But we got no explanation for the absence of the two Maake sisters, as if they had simply been photoshopped out of the story, along with their niece Amogelang, Jerry’s remaining child. And while we are asking questions, why is Kagiso not in jail, after Jerry arrested him minutes before the golf course shooting?

Jerry was promoted from Captain to Lieutenant Colonel, as was Vuyiswa. But somewhere along the line, Jerry receded to his title of Captain. Only at his funeral was he referred to by his correct rank, Lieutenant Colonel Maake. Did the writers suffer amnesia during all the time he went by the wrong title?

The Queen retakes her throne

Helicopters, exploding BMW X5s, gunfire, new faces and a ruined funeral; what more could you ask for. After having endured months of criticism for a decline in the show, Ferguson Films and Mnet spared no expense to bring back The Queen where she belongs. Perched on top of her throne.

Till next week, my pen is capped


Images from Twitter

The Queen airs weekdays at 9:00pm on Mzansi Magic


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