Have you ever accused your own mom of doing something bad, then had to go crawling back to apologise? Oh, the mileage! Spare a thought for Thathi.
The queen of lies
She slinks home in episode 46, humbly begging her mother Mam’Sonto for forgiveness. Previously Thathi thought (correctly, as it happens) that her mom was involved in the fatal episode 1 hijacking that left Thathi a widow and unravelled her bank-owner husband Mbongeni’s corruption and deceit.
But Mam’Sonto secretly threatened the investigating detective in episode 45 and demanded to be released. And Thathi now believes that she was mistaken and that Mam’Sonto’s plea of innocence was true – since the cops let her go.
It’s a cruel betrayal by the mother but not a surprising one. You’ve got to feel sorry for Thathi, sitting there in front of her sister Pretty and the kids for the grand grovel.
“I’m sorry, Mama. I know nothing can change what I’ve done. Or the things I’ve said and show you how sorry I am,” says a teary Thathi as Mam’Sonto stares at her coldly.
Not even the snipe of “Sorry, she says,” from Pretty can break Mam’Sonto’s stare. She knows full well that her daughter is right about her – she’s a monster. And in that moment, we realise just how cold the criminal really is, letting her already heartbroken daughter pour out her emotions based on a lie.
New look, new attitude
Also in episode 46, headmaster Melusi is calmly and clearly explaining the job requirements to his new cleaning lady at the school: reformed and sober neighbourhood alcoholic Zodwa. What’s going to have you blinking and wiping your eyes isn’t the fact that Zodwa has a job, but rather her timid nature and tone of voice.
Where there was once a snappy, harsh voice always looking for a fight, there’s now a doe-a-deer-like “Yes, sir, I’ll do that,” as Zodwa stands and listens to her new boss. Her appearance is neater too. Her hair is brushed, her clothes are clean, she’s wearing make-up and doesn’t look like the drunk rabble-rouser who’s been causing trouble since day 1 of the show.
And she’s not done being polite, saying to Melusi, who is trying to help her be a better person, “I just want to apologise for all the bad things I’ve done. I promise I won’t do it again.” Hopefully Melusi’s trust won’t be broken because it’s clear in his voice and on his face that he really wants to help the recovering alcoholic. If only she can keep her promise.
Episode 46 is packed with one final bit of drama, which plays out over episodes 47-50, as the usually cool, calm, collected and disciplined Melusi loses his temper. His teacher Mr Ngoveni (Kabelo Ngakane) has just read the students the riot act over their bad behaviour. Now one or two riled-up learners are threatening to cause trouble if their teacher follows through with this threat of making them clean the classrooms after school.
Not taking disrespect, Mr Ngoveni tells his students, “This one (me) is going to teach you how to clean today (instead of maths literacy). Remember that you’ll be here after school, cleaning. Cleaning this classroom.”
“Are you disagreeing? Whoever refuses can do so. I’ll meet you at the gate,” he says as he storms out the classroom. That temper tantrum isn’t the shocker – it’s what happens when the headmaster walks in as the kids are about to leave.
“You think you’re in charge here?” Melusi sneers to the ringleader. “I’m your elder, boy. Don’t forget that I’m still in charge here.” And with that, the student punches his headmaster.
Obviously, that wasn’t part of the video being recorded by the other students on their phones. Instead, what gets uploaded is a clip of headmaster Melusi punching a teenage student. And that’s the start of his worst nightmare…