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Read Pierre Francois Massyn’s Introduction to Springbok Rugby Quiz: 1001 Questions and Answers

Springbok Rugby QuizSpringbok Rugby VasvraSpringbok Rugby Quiz: 1001 Questions and Answers by Pierre Francois Massyn is a fascinating, fun look at rugby history and facts.

The book contains 1001 questions about Springbok rugby from the national team’s first test match in 1891, right up until the present. There are answers for the questions, along with relevant anecdotes, in the back of the book.

Massyn has shared an excerpt from the Introduction to his book on the Springbok Rugby Quiz website. In the excerpt the author writes about his love of rugby and the Springboks that inspire him. He speaks about the personal letter he wrote to Nelson Mandela about the importance of the Springbok emblem, and the effect it may or may not have had on the former president. The book is illustrated throughout with pictures of significant moments and characters of South African rugby.

Read the excerpt:

In 1965 we as a family were having a meal in the Gordonia Hotel in Upington. Sitting on his own, there was an unknown man at his table. “Go and ask that Oom his signature” my father encouraged me. Clutching my father’s Rembrandt van Rhijn’s cigarette box in my small hand, I bravely approached the other guest. Minutes later I proudly returned, with his signature on the back of the cigarette box. Sias Swart’s (Footnote 1) was the first Springbok autograph I had ever obtained. I have since collected a few more. I discovered I somehow had a penchant not only for the stories, but for the statistics as well. As a boy, I began to challenge anybody, sometime complete strangers, to ask me anything about rugby. I always knew all the answers. Players, matches, scores, tries … And to this day I have never stopped reading rugby books or stopped following the matches. This book is the natural progressions of my love for the Game.

Book details

The Faceless Puppeteer Behind the Boipatong Massacre: Read an Excerpt from Gruesome by De Wet Potgieter

GruesomeGrusaamDe Wet Potgieter’s latest book Gruesome: The crimes and criminals that shook South Africa (also available in Afrikaans as Grusaam: Die dade en geweldenaars wat Suid-Afrika geruk het) follows the trail of a number of criminals in South Africa’s history.

The investigative journalist started his career in 1975 and has worked at numerous newspapers, including the Sunday Times and Rapport.

In Gruesome, Potgieter shares stories that the public has never known, for instance the reason why André Stander become a bankrobber, how Gert van Rooyen’s victims are connected to a human-trafficking network and the events that really happened on the night of 17 June, 1992 in Boipatong.

Read the extract about the Boipatong massacre:


* * * * *


Chapter 2
Boipatong, Trust Feed and the Third Force


In 1994, shortly after South Africa’s first democratic elections of 1994, two AK-47 rifles were shoved into Sergeant ‘Pedro’ Peens’s hands, accompanied by the command ‘Get rid of these very quickly, or we shall hang’.

     With the two ‘hot’ rifles in the boot of his police car, Peens was panic-struck. He knew full well he had dynamite in his hands. He pondered what to do with the weapons, his stomach tied up in knots while he paced restlessly trying to work out a strategy. He realised he was on his own now. He dared not ask for advice, as the politics in South Africa had become so dangerously fluid that no one could be trusted any longer.

     Colonel Eugene de Kock, commander of the state-sanctioned death squads at Vlakplaas, had already been incarcerated and was awaiting trial, while policemen and members of the Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB), the notorious covert unit operating under the South African Defence Force (SADF), had begun to sing like canaries backstage in an effort to save their own skins.

     The dark truths had begun to come to light, and Peens had no idea when it would be his turn in the spotlight. He knew that those two rifles were the key to a horrible, bloody truth that would cost him and many other people dearly should they end up in the wrong hands. He had to act quickly …

The beginning

Early in 1992, during one of the bloodiest periods in South African history, the multiparty constitutional negotiations of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa) were under way, with the National Party (NP) government and the African National Congress (ANC) as the principal players.

     Prior to the formation of Codesa, the South African president, FW de Klerk, had been trying to put out fires related to the ANC’s continuing allegations of a ‘third force’ at work systematically mowing down the organisation’s supporters in the townships. Gangs armed with AK-47s, pangas and knives were waging a reign of terror on suburban trains. During morning and evening peak times they moved from carriage to carriage, assaulting anyone who looked like an ANC supporter and sometimes throwing them off the moving trains.

     De Klerk was also worried about the ANC alliance’s rolling mass action, which had started off with aggressive demonstrations. Sit-down strikes, boycotts and occupying government buildings would follow, all aimed at destabilising the government.

     The ANC president, Nelson Mandela, accused De Klerk’s government of being behind the faceless third force allegedly responsible for the violence on the trains and in the townships. The growing crisis was driving a wedge between the two high-profile political leaders. After Mandela had walked out of Victor Verster Prison in Paarl a free man after 27 years of imprisonment, he and De Klerk initially had a good relationship. But the mass action, violence and third-force allegations were complicating matters. At the opening of Codesa 1, on 20 December 1991, the two leaders had engaged in a spectacular public quarrel on these issues. Their relationship would never fully recover after that.

     Nevertheless, Codesa carried on – and so did the violence. While the negotiations at Kempton Park in the first half of 1992 were at a delicate stage, South Africa was burning. The country was on a knife-edge and people feared that the ongoing violence would quash peace efforts.

     De Klerk did not have the faintest idea of his security forces’ hand in the bloody violence, and the generals laughed in their sleeves at their president’s dilemma, exploiting his uncertainty and spurring on the politics of blood and violence. Actually, it was just a continuation of the old NP trick: divide and rule.


In the winter of 1992, the Boipatong massacre drove the country to the brink of civil war. Years later, during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearings, the deputy chairperson, Dr Alex Boraine, described the night of 17 June 1992 as ‘one of the darkest days in the history of South Africa’.

     A heavily armed band of Zulus, or impis, allied to the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) sneaked into Boipatong that night. Their actions elevated the obscure black township between Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging to international newspaper front pages and television screens the next day. The fear-stricken residents were, like numerous others in black townships across the country, caught up in the bloody power struggle between the ANC and the IFP, which, in those days, was primarily a Zulu organisation. That night, in the biting winter cold, the people of Boipatong lay in their beds, listening to the invaders entering the dusty streets.

     ‘We were already asleep when we heard them walking and talking in Zulu,’ Dinah Manyika later testified before the TRC. ‘I lay listening as they walked through the streets shouting, “Wake up, you dogs!” The next moment they kicked open my door and one of them said, “Here’s a bitch, kill her!”’ Terrified, Dinah fled outside. When she returned half an hour later, she found her two brothers hiding under the bed. A neighbour took her to where her 47-year-old mother had been hacked to death with pangas. Manyika’s father later died in hospital as a result of his wounds.

     Klaas Mathope recounted how he had fled into the bushes when he heard the Zulus approaching. He sat shaking in the dark, listening to people being hacked to death in the squatter shacks. He also heard someone saying, ‘Zulu, catch him!’ in Afrikaans. When it became quiet, he went back and found his wife’s body. She had numerous gunshot wounds and her intestines were lying outside her ripped stomach. His son, Aaron, had also been killed, while his daughter-in-law later died in hospital.

     Jane Mbongo, a young mother who hid under the bed with her two-year-old daughter, Victoria, had to listen to her husband being stabbed until he died. Afterwards the attackers continued sticking assegais through the bed until Jane crept out. She clutched her child, looking the men in the eye, and then watched as an assegai was driven through the little girl’s body. They stabbed Jane too, and chopped her fingers off.

     In that night’s gruesome massacre, the attackers went from home to home in Boipatong, mowing people down indiscriminately. Some survivors later maintained that white policemen had assisted the Zulus by transporting them there in Casspirs. The final death toll was 45, with many more wounded.

     And somewhere behind all these atrocities sat a faceless master brain. Three days later an irate Mandela suspended all Codesa negotiations with the government, accusing De Klerk of sitting with his arms folded while ANC supporters were killed in numbers. The negotiations were resumed only much later, after De Klerk had undertaken to control the security forces.

     Shortly afterwards the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 765, demanding an incisive investigation into the events and requiring that the offenders be brought to justice.

Book details

Video: Kobus Galloway gesels oor Where’s Zuma? en hoe skerpskerts sy selfvertroue opgebou het

Kobus Galloway was onlangs ‘n gas op kykNET se aktualiteitsprogram Flits waar hy met Bouwer Bosch gesels het oor sy Idees vol vrees-reeks en sy nuwe boek, Where’s Zuma?

Met die intrapslag is Galloway reeds op sy stukke. Bosch: “Welkom Kobus, lekker om jou op die show te hê … huge fan, ou.” Galloway: “Jy hét ‘n bietjie gewig opgetel.”

Where’s Zuma?Idees vol vrees
Idees vol vrees: Volume 2Idees Vol Vrees 3Idees Vol Vrees 4

Galloway vertel dat die kunsgogga hom al op vyfjarige ouderdom gebyt het en die komedie het kort daarna gevolg. Sy ouers het hom as kind na ‘n kunsskool in Bredasdorp gestuur, en toe sy juffrou sy katte aangesien het vir leeus was die koeël deur die kerk.

Oor sy jongste boek Where’s Zuma?, wat gegrond is op die gewilde Where’s Wally-reeks deur Martin Handford, vertel Galloway: “As jy die president klaar gekry het dan’s daar ‘n lysie van ander mense wat jy kan soek. As jy hou van Afrikaanse musiek kan vir jy Steve Hofmeyr gaan soek.” Ander versteekte bekendes sluit in Die Antwoord, Jack Parow en Oscar Pistorius.

Oor sy loopbaan as komediant vertel die komediant-kunstenaar dat hy vanaf 2009 vir drie jaar “geskerpskerts” het: “Ek het altyd ‘n probleem gehad om met mense te praat of as my foon lui wil ek my broek natmaak, so ek het dit gebruik om self-confidence op te bou en met mense te praat.”

Galloway gesels meer oor sy kreatiewe proses, hoe hy kritiek hanteer en hoe hy voel oor mense wat plagiaat pleeg. Hy vertel ook dat hy baie daarvan hou wanneer onderwysers sy spotprente in klaskamers gebruik om idiome te verduidelik.

Kyk na die video:

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White Power Today: Christi van der Westhuizen Chats to Aubrey Masango (Podcast)

White PowerChristi van der Westhuizen recently took part in the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) “Roundtable on Whiteness – Whites, Afrikaans, Afrikaners: Addressing Post-Apartheid Legacies, Privileges and Burdens” where thought leaders like former president Kgalema Motlanthe, Achille Mbembe, Mary Burton, Mathews Phosa, Ernst Roets and Nico Koopman disucssed topics like “Being White Today” and “The Place of Afrikaans”.

CapeTalk’s Aubrey Masango invited Van der Westhuizen, an associate professor at the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS & Gender at the University of Pretoria, on his Late Night Talk show to reflect on what was said during the event. Her topic on the day was “White Power Today”, following up on her 2010 book White Power: The Rise and Fall of the National Party.

“Apartheid has officially come to an end, but white power persists. Whiteness derives its power from operating invisibly. It is an unspoken regime of oppressive norms and so it is absolutely necessary to disturb whiteness by making it seen,” Van der Westhuizen wrote in an article for the Sunday Times after the discussion on whiteness, expanding on some of the things discussed at the event.

Read the article:

Whiteness is not skin pigmentation, but the meaning attached to pinkish, whiteish skin. People with such skin are seen as “naturally” belonging to the top, while darker-skinned people are racialised as black, to be placed as “naturally” at the bottom. This has a wide-ranging effect on the distribution of resources, resulting in white privilege and black deprivation.

Democracy has been good to white people in South Africa. The average annual income in white households was R125,495 in 1996 – in contrast to R29,827 for black households. White households’ average annual income rose to R530,880 in 2013, in contrast to R88,327 in black households. Out of 4.5million whites, only 35,000 live in poverty, according to StatsSA.

Masango wanted to know more about Van der Westhuizen’s article and the MISTRA conversation in general. She opens the interview by explaining: “If there is anything like ‘an Afrikaner’ I regard them as part and parcel of the South African nation. Within the South African nation there is of course different ethnic groups and I regard them as one of them”.

Van der Westhuizen identifies three different groups of Afrikaners: Afrikaans African Nationalists, the Neo-Afrikaner Enclave, and Afrikaans South Africans. Listen to the podcasts to understand this differentiation and for Van der Westhuizen’s fascinating insight to Afrikaners and white power today:

Listen to part one of the interview:


Listen to part two of the interview:


For more about the MISTRA Roundtable on Whiteness, read here:


Book details

Dean Allen is Visiting His Old College to Speak About His Best-selling Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa

Empire, War & Cricket in South AfricaDean Allen, the author of Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa, is returning to his old school West Somerset College to speak about his book.

The Somerset County Gazette has featured a story on Allen and the positive reception of his book on “cricket in South Africa about the workings of the British Empire and the adoption of the game in Southern Africa”.

Empire, War & Cricket in South Africa is a South African best-seller, and is on the short-list for Jenny Crwys-Williams’ Book of the Year. The article lists a number of Allen’s other impressive accolades and engagements.

Read the article:

Set during a time when the country was heading towards war with the British Empire, the book explains how Logan was instrumental in arranging some of the first-ever international matches between England and South Africa, hosting a number of these at Matjiesfontein, the town he founded.

“The book is filled with colourful characters, political intrigue and fascinating history, all with the theme of cricket running throughout,” Dr Allen said.

Book details

Does John Mitchell Meet the “Strict Criteria” to be the Next Stormers Coach?

Mitch: The Real StoryJohn Mitchell, whose biography Mitch: The Real Story was released last year, is reportedly set to become the next Stormers rugby coach.

In an article for Business Day, Craig Ray outlined Mitchell’s career until this point, comparing it to Western Province director’s “strict criteria” of six or seven years’ Super Rugby experience and also international experience.

Read the article:

Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell is edging closer to finalising a deal to become the next Stormers coach.

The 51-year-old Mitchell is set to replace Eddie Jones after the latter vacated his post less than three weeks into the job to become England head coach.

Book details

“Could this Unobtrusive-looking Couple be Responsible for Murder?” – An Excerpt from Grave Murder

Grave MurderGrave Murder: The Story Behind the Brutal Welkom Killing by Jana van der Merwe tells the story of the heinous murder of Michael van Eck.

In this excerpt, shared by Zebra Press, the police officers investigating the brutal murder “pull an old trick” to try and lure the deceased’s last caller to a place where the detectives could identify them.

Read about the gamble the detectives made, and the surprising way it panned out:

* * * * *

Late on Tuesday afternoon, the team studied the cellphone statements again. This time, Steyn offered to call the last number displayed on Michael’s phone, as if a different caller, much like a different gambler taking over an unlucky slot machine, could twist fate to their advantage.

‘Let’s hold thumbs,’ said Van Zyl.

‘Here goes,’ Steyn said as she punched in the number. It rang. She could not hide her elation as she mouthed and signalled the good news with a thumb’s up. On the spur of the moment, Steyn decided to pull an old trick she and Van Zyl had learnt from their good friend, the respected private investigator Leon Rossouw, from Bloemfontein. It was a trick that had worked time and again to lure possible suspects to the police.

‘Hello?’ said the sweet-sounding voice of a young girl.

‘Hi, I am so sorry to disturb you. This is Dr Mitchell from Casualty at the Welkom Mediclinic,’ Steyn said, making up an identity.

‘Yes?’ the young woman responded.

‘We have a girl here who has just been in a very bad motor-vehicle accident,’ Steyn said, while putting on her most authentic doctor’s voice.

‘We’re going to have to operate immediately, but before we can go ahead we need someone to identify her. Your number was one of the numbers found on the cellphone brought in with her. Can you help us?’

Steyn could hear her heart beating as silence fell between them.

She waited.

‘I’m at Game, but we can come over shortly,’ the girl said.

‘Great, sorry, I didn’t get your name?’ Steyn asked cautiously.


‘Okay, thank you, Chané. See you soon,’ Steyn said, and put down the phone.

Nel realised that the Game store was just across the road from the hospital and that they were still several kilometres away, where they had been searching the area around the dam. She and her colleagues had all heard it over the speakerphone: the girl had said ‘we’.

They dropped everything and immediately made their way to the hospital. Steyn, Van Zyl and Krügel passed St Helena again as they sped in the direction of the Welkom Mediclinic, fearing that the girl, the last person Michael had contacted on his cellphone, would beat them to it and find out that she had been lied to.

Relief flushed over them when they got to the hospital’s casualties area and could not spot anyone who would match the young voice on the cellphone.

‘Good afternoon, Janet,’ Van Zyl said upon reaching the reception desk, peering at the shiny badge on the hospital official’s uniform. Van Zyl showed the woman his ID card.

‘I’m Detective Eben van Zyl from the SAPS,’ he said. ‘We are conducting an investigation. If anyone inquires about identifying a victim of a motorvehicle accident or asks for “Dr Mitchell”, I would appreciate it if you could direct them straight to me and my colleagues. We will be around.’

Van Zyl, Steyn and Krügel waited at casualty, while Nel went off to stand guard at the main entrance. Nel carefully studied new visitors from top to toe, viewing each as a potential suspect as they walked into the hospital through the sliding doors. It was starting to get late.

Five minutes felt like an eternity.

Twenty minutes after she’d arrived with her team, Nel saw them approaching the main entrance.

Coming through the glass sliding doors was a couple. The petite, dishevelled girl was wearing an oversized red hoody and black sweatpants. She looked like a teenager. Her long black hair was pulled back into a bun, and her black fingernails offset against her fair skin made her look so pale, she seemed almost translucent.

Beside her walked a twentysomething, tallish, average-looking bloke. The couple’s hands were tightly entwined as they strolled into the entrance hall at a slow, steady pace, as if they had all the time in the world. Nel observed that they did not stop at the admissions desk or turn towards the wards, but walked straight to the casualty ward. To Nel, this was a sign that this could be the girl who had answered Michael’s last cellphone call. She turned and followed the couple.

Nel joined up with Steyn and Van Zyl and quietly pointed out the couple to them. The three of them watched intently as the young couple approached the reception desk in the casualty ward. While she was talking to a uniformed hospital official, the girl turned her head and made eye contact with the police officers for the first time.

Could this unobtrusive-looking couple be responsible for Michael van Eck’s murder?

No. Maybe. It can’t be, thought Nel.

But she knew.

* * * * *

Related stories:

Book details

“Mission Accomplished, Actually” – Max du Preez says He Made His Point about SAA, Despite Legal Bullying

A Rumour of SpringMax du Preez, veteran journalist and author of A Rumour of Spring: South Africa after 20 years of Democracy, was threatened with a court order after sharing a link to an internal SAA memo that reveals the airline’s insolvent status.

Du Preez spoke to Stephen Grootes on CapeTalk/Talk Radio 702 about why he decided to share the link to a document he knew was subject to a interim court order, and why he chose to submit to SAA’s demands and delete his social media posts. He calls the airline management “a bunch of bullies”, and as a private individual he cannot take them on in court.

Although he has now deleted his posts, Du Preez is satisfied because the public has access to important information about an organisation being funded by their tax, and SAA’s court orders will likely be overturned anyway. He says: “Mission accomplished, actually.”

Listen to the podcast:


Related stories

Book details

Max du Preez Forced to Remove Social Media Posts Linking to SAA Documents

A Rumour of SpringThe ongoing controversy surrounding South African Airways – which saw an interdict being brought against Business Day for publishing internal documents – has developed even further with threat of a court order against political commentator and award-winning author Max du Preez for sharing the documents in question on his social media.

“My different posts and tweets with the link to the document were shared well over 2 000 times – and then shared again and again. It is today truly a public document,” the author of A Rumour of Spring: South Africa after 20 years of Democracy writes in a post on Facebook, explaining why he complied and deleted the posts in question.

Du Preez goes on to say, “This legal action only applies to me,” noting that it will not affect anyone who might have shared or liked his links on either Facebook or Twitter.

Read Du Preez’s explanation of the situation, published on his public Facebook page:


SAA is a state owned enterprise – owned by the people of South Africa. It has been seriously mismanaged, to the point that it is bankrupt and unable to meet its financial commitments. Many billions of state (our) funds have been spent to prop it up, but the rapid decline continues. It is not a private company; it should not have secrets from us, the owners.

So when I learnt that SAA management had obtained a court order to prohibit some media outlets from reporting on a memo to management by SAA’s legal people – painting a very dark picture – I posted a link to that document on Twitter and Facebook. I believed that it was our right as citizens to know what kind of crisis SAA was in. I did not believe the court order applied to me.

I have more than 14 000 Twitter “followers” and about 24 000 people follow my Facebook posts.

My different posts and tweets with the link to the document were shared well over 2 000 times – and then shared again and again. It is today truly a public document.

Last night the SAA’s lawyers phoned me and demanded that I take the tweets and posts down immediately or they would get a court order to force me to do so. I eventually got them to agree to give me time until this morning to try and put up a legal defence. The lawyers said they would launch a court application in Johannesburg at 10:30 this morning (Thursday) if the tweets and posts were not removed.

I had no intention to show contempt to the court in question, even though I believe it should never have made the decision it did. I regard our judicial system as a key pillar of our democracy and freedom.

I told the SAA lawyers that the decision to force me to remove the internet link to the document was silly, ridiculous and absurd because many thousands of South Africans have now read the document. It made no impression on them.

The little legal advice I could get in such a short time indicated that I could run a risk of incurring vast legal costs if I opposed the SAA’s court application and that there was a chance that I could lose.

I think the point has been made. The truth is out. I have achieved what I wanted to achieve.

I have just removed the FB posts and the tweets with links to the SAA memo.

This does not mean FB and Twitter users that had shared my posts and tweets are vulnerable or under any obligation to remove their tweets and posts. This legal action only applies to me.

Antoinette Slabbert reported on the dispute between SAA and Moneyweb, Business Day and Media24 – the three news outlets being taken to court for the way they have covered the story:

This follows SAA indicating on Wednesday that it is not prepared to abandon the interdict it got against the three news outlets on Tuesday. The interdict was to prevent the publication of a leaked internal report by its General Manager: Legal, Risk and Compliance, Ursula Fikelepi.

SAA got the interdict in the early hours of Tuesday morning after an unopposed application in the South Gauteng High Court. The airline contends that the report contains a legal opinion and is as such privileged and not for public consumption.


Related link:


Book details

“Jy is nou ’n Springbok” – Rugbylegende Frik du Preez onthou die grootste oomblik in sy sportloopbaan

Boots en brannewynFrik du Preez ken van stories vertel. Die oud-Springbok en skrywer van Boots en brannewyn: Snaakse stories uit die rugbywêreld het verlede jaar staaltjies met Bun Booyens gedeel oor hoe dit was om in die 1960′s rugby te speel.

Netwerk24 het die storie opgespoor, afgestof en weer gedeel, en hoe bly is rugbyaanhangers nie daaroor nie?

Du Preez het vertel hoe dit was om destyds vir die beroemde afrigter “Dok” Danie Craven te speel. Hy’t verder gesels oor 1965 wat ‘n besonderse moeilike jaar was vir die Springbokke, hul groot kragmetings teen Nieu-Seeland, Frankryk en Brittanje, die moeilikste speler wat hy ooit teëgekom het en die grootste oomblik in sy sportloopbaan.

Lees die artikel:

Wie was die moeilikste ou teen wie jy gespeel het?

Hulle was almal moeilik, maar [die All Black] Colin Meads en sy broer Stan. Hulle het mos saam gespeel, maar Stan het net daar in Nieu-Seeland gespeel, want iemand moes na die plaas kyk. Hy was baie beter as Colin in die lynstaan. Stan het vir my gas gegee.
Dan was daar Benoît Dauga. Daar in Frankryk het hy my geëet in die lynstane, maar gelukkig was daar nie televisie nie, so die mense kon nie sien hoe gee hy my pak nie.

As jy nou terugkyk, wat is die grootste oomblik?

Toe ek gekies is vir die Springboktoerspan sonder dat ek vir Noord-Transvaal gespeel het. Daardie Saterdagaand luister ek nie eens na die spanne nie, ek het nog ’n meisie drive-in toe gevat. Ek hoor toe die ouens langs my begin hande klap, maar ek is te skaam om te gaan vra. Toe ek by die huis kom, sê hulle vir my: “Jy is nou ’n Springbok.”