Teddy and Manzi

Teddy – victim of sexual abuse or schoolboy hero? [Gomora]

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The story of Teddy (real name Sicelo Buthelezi) takes me back to high school. The toilet walls were teeming with graffiti which featured teen sexual fantasies. The names of teachers appeared over and over again on badly drawn caricatures of people engaging in lewd sexual acts. Boys stared when the French teach walked down the corridors. Some of them sang a song which I won’t care to repeat here, in reference to the movement of her buttocks.

This is exactly how Miss Manzi (real name Sihle Ndaba) was received at Gomora Secondary; cat calls and offers to carry her books. And Teddy was the head cheerleader.

 

Sonto’s imperfect crime

 

When Sonto strangled Gift, there wasn’t one witness in sight. She used a rope, leaving not even a partial fingerprint on his throat. It seemed like the perfect crime. But ask any forensics expert and they will tell you this; there is no such thing as a perfect crime.

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On the occasion of Sonto’s birthday, her daughters gave her a golden brooch garnished with gemstones. She wore it every day. Including the day she wrapped a cord around Gift’s neck.

Detective Mahlasela arrived on the scene, hoping to convince Gift to testify. But he hit a dead end, literally. Gift lay dead on the concrete, strangled. Upon examining the body, Mahlasela found a crucial piece of evidence which would solve two murders all at once; that of Gift Dube and Mbongeni Ndaba. After processing the evidence, Mahlasela gave specific instructions to his underling, Officer Mthimukhulu, to lock everything in safekeeping. But the bumbling officer dropped the very important brooch.

Case of the missing brooch

Later when Mahlasela went through the evidence box, he found that brooch was missing. Meanwhile, at the Molefe house, Mam Sonto looked high and low for her precious brooch. All the while clueless about the possibility of her brooch landing her in jail.

Mahlasela paid a visit to Sonto and made his suspicions known. But he had come with little evidence. Mam Sonto threw him out.

Old suspicions reawakened

Detective Mahlasela summoned Thathi to a meeting where he identified his prime suspect in the Mbongeni Ndaba murder; Sonto Molefe. Thathi completely shut him out. She had made that mistake with Detective Kolisi only to end up with egg on her face when Sonto was exonerated.

But Mahlasela told her about the brooch. He described it in fine detail, so much that Thathi, who had bought the brooch, knew that it was the same piece of jewellery. Thathi traced her mental footsteps backwards. She realized that her mother lost the brooch on exactly the same day that Gift was murdered. Thathi now has strong suspicions.

Mazet questioned by police

 

Desperate to find the brooch that might keep her in or out of prison, Mam Sonto sent Mazet to search the crime scene. And, just her luck, Detective Mahlasela caught Mazet at the crime scene. She muttered some implausible excuse about “just taking a jog” which Mahlasela knew to be lie.

Even though he found nothing on Mazet’s person, Mahlasela took her in for further questioning. The young thug seemed to be cracking until she suddenly remembered her rights.

If Mahlasela wasn’t going to charge her with anything, she was free to leave. And that is exactly what happened. Mazet walked out.

But Mazet and Mam Sonto’s problems are far from over. The last time Sonto came close to being discovered, she risked it all and disguised herself as a hospital tea lady before murdering Jomo right under the nose of a cop who stood guard at the door. This time, she has even more daring plan; Mazet must impersonate a police officer and steal the brooch from the police station, without detection. Talk about a hen raiding a fox hole.

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Teddy gets his dream date

Teddy and Miss Manzi continued to spend time together, laughing, practising business studies questions, laughing some more and touching each other’s body parts. The chemistry between them was as pungent as a rotten egg. One time, Miss Manzi noticed that Teddy had his shirt hem out of his school pants. She tucked it in for him, an act with required that she shove her fingers into his crotch. Mrs Hlungwane was witness to this deed. She backed away from the scene without saying a word.

Manzi sensed that she was teetering close to being discovered, first Ntokozo was growing suspicions and now Jackie Hlungwane. The next time Teddy approached her for one on one conversation, she snapped at him with Ntokozo and Langa watching. Perhaps it was only for their benefit.

 

Later, at home, Teddy walked in on Manzi crying after she had received an upsetting phone call. He proceeded to touch her arm before they sat with their foreheads joined. All the while Ntokozo was watching through a crack in the bedroom door.

A coffee date without coffee

Teddy did well on his business studies test, scoring a surprising 7 out of 10. His confidence level was sky high. To congratulate him, Miss Manzi hugged him, for what seemed a biiiit too long. Again, Ntokozo watched with growing unease.

Asleep in the bed that he shares with Ntokozo, Teddy had recurrent sexual dreams of Miss Manzi. Even during the day, Teddy hugged Ntokozo’s pillow, imagining it to be his beloved Miss Manzi. A disgusted Ntokozo felt that his pillow had been violated!

When Ntokozo and Langa dissuaded Teddy from pursuing his fantasy of Miss Manzi, their words of discouragement only fuelled his desire. He approached Miss Manzi while she sat on a bench at school and asked her out to coffee. She agreed.

Miss Manzi, pleading “school business” then borrowed Melusi’s car. She said she needed help carrying school supplies and chose a Teddy as her muscle, a task which he eagerly accepted.

“I’ll buy you coffee as a thank you” she said. Teddy is usually slow. But he caught on. Finally the coffee date.

 

On the day of their coffee appointment, Miss Manzi pulled Teddy out of the permanently angry Jackie Hlungwane’s class.

 

“Melusi approved the trip” said Manzi. Jackie acquiesced without further argument.

But after Teddy changed into his civvies at home, Miss Manzi had other ideas and they didn’t involve coffee, scones or a teaspoon. As Teddy protested, she placed a painted finger tip across his lips, silencing him instantly. “Shhhhh.”

She shoved him into the open bedroom door. Later, Teddy would be seen lying in bed with lipstick stains all over his face and neck.

Miss Manzi paid him compliments as she corrected her clothes and reapplied her lipstick. In bed, Teddy lay there looking as though someone had inflicted a terrible experience on him.

Teddy — victim or schoolboy hero?

I attended a school where the toilet walls were ablaze with pornographic cartoons of the teachers, all of them drawn by hormonal teenagers. I had a crush on my English teacher, who would have to been stupid not to know.

Like me, Teddy had fantasies of his teacher. But unlike the average high school pupil who leaves their thoughts in the realm of fantasy, Teddy pursued Miss Manzi. They exchanged overt and open physical contact and, two weeks ago, when she beckoned to him with her eyes, he got up from his seat and voluntarily followed her upstairs. Only Satan knows what they did together in the privacy of the bedroom.

I don’t dispute that Teddy was unhappy about the outcome of his date with Miss Manzi. But the story is poorly presented. Either Teddy is a victim or a willing participant. He cannot be both.

Till next week, my pen is capped

 

Jerà

Gomora airs weekdays at 7:30pm on Mzansi Magic and is available on Showmax and DSTV Catchup

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