“It doesn’t matter. I’m just tired. Your gogo has been very kind.”
“Did Mzi hurt you?” Olwethu sat down next to her, and when she didn’t answer he said: “I knew he was no good.”
“It’s not like that,” Ntombi said, but it was like Olwethu didn’t hear her. He stood up and started pacing around the small room. “He’s going through a difficult time,” Ntombi said. “There’s a reason why…”
“Difficult time? Is that what he called it?” Olwethu spat the words out. He was looking stressed.
“What is it?” said Ntombi, knowing there was something more.
“Zakes brought another car in to be sprayed. He told my uncle there were four more on their way. My uncle said he didn’t want to do any more spraying for Zakes, but then they went into the office and when they came out Zakes left saying he would collect the BMW the next day. When I asked my uncle what had happened he just told me not to ask questions – just to start spraying the car. I knew he was protecting me. He looked frightened. Then today, who comes by but the police. Told my uncle that they are after the leader of a gang of car thieves. Five new BMWs had been stolen in one week. They were going around all the panel shops, to see if the cars had been brought in.”
Ntombi thought of Zakes’ laugh. Had he been talking to Mzi at the tavern? Had he been promising him money and cars if he worked for him? It couldn’t have been a coincidence that he happened to overtake them on the way to the party.