The following are all true news excerpts from the African press in South
Africa, Swaziland, Kenya and  Zimbabwe.

1. The  Cape Times (Cape Town)
"I have promised to keep his identity confidential,' said Jack  Maxim, a spokeswoman for the Sandton Sun Hotel, Johannesburg, "but I can confirm
that he is no longer in our employment". "We asked him to clean the lifts
and he spent  four days on the job. When I asked him why, he replied:
'Well, there are forty of them, two on each floor, and sometimes some of
them aren't there'.  Eventually, we realised that he thought each floor had
a different lift, and  he'd cleaned the same two twelve times. "We had to
let him go. It seemed best all round. I understand he is now  working for
GE Lighting."

2. The Star (Johannesburg):

"The situation is absolutely under control," Transport Minister Ephraem
Magagula told the  Swaziland parliament in  Mbabane. "Our nation's merchant
navy is perfectly safe. We just don't know where it is, that's all."
Replying to  an MP's question, Minister Magagula admitted that the
landlocked country had  completely lost track of its only ship, the
Swazimar: "We believe it is in a  sea somewhere. At one time, we sent a
team of men to look for it, but there was  a problem with drink and they
failed to find it, and so, technically, yes, we've  lost it a bit. But I
categorically reject all suggestions of incompetence on the  part of this
government. The Swazimar is a big ship painted in the sort of nice  bright
colours you can see at night. Mark my words, it will turn up. The right
honourable gentleman opposite is a very naughty man, and he will laugh on
the other side of his face when my ship comes in."

3. The Standard  (Kenya):

"What is  all the fuss about?" Weseka Sambu asked a hastily convened news
conference at  Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. "A technical hitch like
this could  have happened anywhere in the world. You people are not
patriots. You just want  to cause trouble." Sambu, a spokesman for Kenya
Airways, was speaking after the  cancellation of a through flight from
Kisumu, via Jomo Kenyatta, to Berlin: "The forty-two passengers had boarded
the plane ready for take-off, when the pilot noticed one of the tyres was
flat.  Kenya Airways did not possess a spare tyre, and unfortunately the
airport  nitrogen canister was empty. A passenger suggested taking the tyre
to a petrol  station for inflation, but unluckily the jack had gone missing
so we couldn't  get the wheel off. Our engineers tried heroically to
reinflate the tyre with a  bicycle pump, but had no luck, and the pilot
even blew into the valve with his mouth, but he passed out. "When I
announced that the flight had to be abandoned,  one of the passengers, Mr
Mutu, suddenly struck me about the face with a  life-jacket whistle and
said we were a national disgrace. I told him he was  being ridiculous, and
that there was to be another flight in a fortnight. And,  in the meantime,
he would be able to enjoy the scenery around Kisumu, albeit at  his own

4. From a Zimbabwean newspaper:

While transporting mental patients from Harareto Bulawayo, the bus driver
stopped at a  roadside shebeen (beerhall) for a few beers. When he got back
to his vehicle, he  found it empty, with the 20 patients nowhere to be
seen. Realizing the trouble  he was in if the truth were uncovered, he
halted his bus at the next bus stop  and offered lifts to those in the
queue. Letting 20 people board, he then  shut the doors and drove straight
to the Bulawayo mental hospital, where he hastily  handed over his
'charges', warning the nurses that they were particularly excitable. Staff
removed the furious passengers; it was three days later that suspicions
were roused by the consistency of stories from the 20.  As for the real
patients: nothing more has been heard of them and they have apparently
blended comfortably back into Zimbabwean society.