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“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.”


President Jacob Zuma Opens the Anti-rhino Poaching Joint Operations Centre at Kruger National Park (Video)

Operation Lock and the War on Rhino PoachingKilling for ProfitPresident Jacob Zuma recently gave a speech about rhino poaching at the Kruger National Park as part of government’s anti-poaching awareness campaign.

President Zuma, who donned a San Parks uniform for his speech, honoured rangers who have lost their lives working the country’s rhinos safe, and affirmed the importance of remaining steadfast the fight.

He calls the Kruger National Park “the epicentre of the poaching crisis” and commends “the brave men and women who stand between poachers and our rhino”.

SABC News has shared a video of the event:

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On the same occasion, Zuma officially opened the Joint Operations Centre at the Kruger National Park. The centre will be used the SAPS, the SANDF and San Parks officials to co-ordinate the fight against poaching:

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The Kruger National Park has released a statement on the event:

“We are pleased to announce that joint situational awareness through electronic means and live-streaming of information now informs in-time decision making, faster reaction and more often proactive operations,” said President Zuma. “This enables us to employ resources more intelligently and to be one step ahead of the poachers and their bosses.”

The President emphasised that battle against rhino poaching cannot be won without partnerships.

“The nature of this challenge requires our collective efforts as government working with the private sector, communities, civil society and the business sector to ensure the Integrated Strategic Management approach is successful, not only in South Africa, but also within Africa and in the rest of the world,” he said.

Related stories:

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Adam Cruise Reports on Increased Poaching of Elephants in the Kruger National Park

Louis Botha's WarAdam Cruise, author of Louis Botha’s War, recently wrote an article for National Geographic about an ugly spate of elephant poaching in the Kruger National Park.

In the article Cruise writes that until now South African elephants have been safe from the ivory poaching that plagues other regions in Africa. But as elephants are becoming more and more scarce in areas such as Tanzania, Mozambique and central Africa, and “the poaching scourge has nowhere to go but south”.

Elephant poaching is very bad news for the Kruger National Park, which is already reeling as a result of the rhino crisis.

Read the article:

After years of being regarded as an unassailable haven for wildlife, South Africa’s iconic Kruger National Park has been hit by elephant poaching. In May 2014, the first killing of an elephant for its tusks in ten years was reported in the park. By mid-October 2015, 19 Kruger elephants had been killed for ivory. Twelve of those were killed in September and October alone.

This prompted several prominent conservationists to warn that South Africa’s parks are at high risk of being targeted for ivory in the near future. “South Africa can expect elephant poaching to increase dramatically in the Kruger Park,” said wildlife filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dereck Joubert.

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How Olive Schreiner Scandalised 1900s South Africa with “Revelations” of Sexual Attraction – Excerpt from Wine, Women and Good Hope

Wine, Women and Good HopeIn her book Wine, Women and Good Hope: A history of scandalous behaviour in the Cape, June McKinnon offers a highly entertaining account of misdeeds and scandals of early colonialists of Cape Town.

In the chapter “Rollicking into the twentieth century”, McKinnon details the booming business of prostitution in the early years of the 20th century. The decent citizenry of the Cape took great offense at any kind of female sexuality, so there were obviously many attempts by the law and by voices of morality to try and rein in the irrepressibly brazen women who walked the streets.

In these sexually repressive times, Olive Schreiner “was branded as being no lady” for admitting that she was sexually attracted to the man who became her husband. That, of course, was not the worst of the feminist writer’s crimes.

Read the excerpt:

* * * * *

Rollicking into the twentieth century

The dawn of the twentieth century brought the start of a new era for the Cape of Good Hope. Tensions that had built up in the preceding century between the British and the Boers finally came to a head with the Second Anglo-Boer War, fought from 1899 to 1902. The war cast a shadow on the country for over two years, and its effect on both the individual and shared lives of the inhabitants of the Boer republics and British colonies would change the course of South African history.

In the Cape, the war generated an influx of immigrants who would help to alter the social dynamics of the region. Although their arrival did have an impact on some of its broader societal issues, including the politics and conflicts in the colony, it also had social consequences that could be viewed as less grand or epic than what is usually associated with war. While many things changed, many other things stayed the same. And in regard to the high jinks that had plagued the Cape for nearly three centuries, the Anglo-Boer War had no less of an influence in diminishing their seedier aspects than any other major event occurring in its history. Indeed, you could say that the war brought this out in full force.

From 1899, a huge number of European prostitutes travelled to South Africa, where a mountain of business awaited them from British Tommies to weary civilians, all in need of a distraction from the dread of war. Russian, British and German, as well as local, prostitutes patrolled the streets and docks, and brothels and pimps flourished. When Kruger sent the Uitlanders packing after declaring martial law in October 1899, the sex trade flooded into Cape Town from the Reef. In 1895, Gold Reef City had 1,000 known prostitutes, and in Johannesburg, which had ninety-seven brothels in operation at the time, the identities of thirty-six French, twenty German and five Russian prostitutes are documented in historical records – and this in addition to the local and foreign prostitutes whose names have not been recorded. As in Kimberley, many prostitutes in Johannesburg also worked as barmaids.1 By 1902, the number of brothels escalated in Cape Town from the Woodstock tollgate to the Newmarket, Mill and Buitengracht streets in central Cape Town, with a total of 400 prostitutes occupying them. Many individuals found new careers as agents, who made bucket-loads of cash by exporting foreign women into South Africa. By 1902, it was estimated that over 400 prostitutes had arrived from Europe.2 However, in spite of its popularity and the nature of the business, inequalities along gender, social and racial lines abounded even in the sex trade, as they do in every other career, reputable or not. During the war, the going rate charged by less reputable white prostitutes was two pounds for a night, while coloured prostitutes earned only ten shillings for the same service. For a quickie, the princely sum of 7s 6d (seven shillings, six pence) was charged.3 To supplement their income, many prostitutes and even their pimps – who benefited from most of the profits their workers made – turned to petty crime.

The worthy citizens of Cape Town complained to no avail that prostitutes had become more brazen in seeking out clients. A common sight in one wealthy suburb was an audacious madam who hired a wagon and filled it with her employees, all of them dressed in garish coloured dresses with low-cut necklines and feathered head-dresses. The wagon stopped whenever a prospective client was spotted, and the prostitutes would loudly announce their specialities to the street at large, regardless of who was in earshot. At Table Bay Harbour, sailors were met by prostitutes, pimps and madams who dished out calling cards with names and addresses of local delights on them.4 In one incident, a gentleman reported to the police that he had been pickpocketed in broad daylight by two prostitutes. The women had accosted him on a busy street in central Cape Town, pretending to need his help. But when this Good Samaritan followed them to a nearby house, they quickly revealed their real intentions and offered him their services, which he refused. He then tried to leave, but they grabbed him by his jacket. Although he finally managed to escape, he later discovered that his wallet, containing a tidy sum of money, had disappeared.5

In 1901, police reported that there were 200 brothels in Cape Town. The Morality Bill was soon passed by Parliament in the same year, which attempted to check the proliferation of these dens of sin. It also prohibited black men from consorting with white prostitutes6 – an issue which the Cape government had been under increasing pressure from the (white) public to deal with. While intermarriage, cohabitation and fraternisation between men and women of different races were not frowned on in many circles during Dutch rule of the Cape, this generally accepted social system was altered somewhat with British rule. Interracial relationships, although not forbidden by law, were not accepted in middle- and upper-class society, and certain white citizens hoped to keep it that way. In 1901, a public meeting to protest such indecent relations, particularly those occurring between black men and white prostitutes, was one of the catalysts that brought about the establishment of the Morality Law. The meeting, which had been organised by several churches, had a huge turnout, with the congregations and clergy from each church attending it. The WCTU had also been forceful in their attempts to end prostitution in the Cape, and ensured that their voices were heard by those who could assist their cause.7 Plain clothes cops were put on patrol to catch unwitting prostitutes in the act of soliciting, but this did not prevent sex across the colour line or the number of sex workers who walked the streets. Pimps and brothel owners had deep pockets, and many bribed the police to look the other way, which made it harder to catch the culprits responsible for the proliferation of the sex industry.

Things got so out of control that police started targeting anyone they could lay their hands on, whether they were guilty or not. On one occasion, a young Russian Jewess on her way home from work was pushed into a cab in Buitenkant Street and taken to the Caledon police station, where she was charged with soliciting. She swore that she was just an innocent bystander, and accused the policeman who had grabbed her of assaulting her, but she was locked up nonetheless. The police had falsely written down her home address as 40 Caledon Street, the premises of a well-known pimp and gangster who ran a gambling den, so it was only after the girl was sentenced in court that her worried family could discover her whereabouts. The close-knit Jewish community in the Cape was outraged by the entire affair and demanded an investigation into the matter and the role the police officer played in everything. What seems most probable is that the police had been using the girl as a means to arrest the gangster in the first place, either to have him pay for a former crime, or to get out of his clutches if he had a hold over them. Cape Town did, after all, have its own complex criminal web, a mafia of sorts with a number of players, including members of the police force, who demanded protection money from brothels, gangsters and pimps. The policeman who had arrested the girl, along with the gangster and his henchman, received minimal punishments by the court, and were soon set free and allowed to carry on with their nefarious activities.8

A burning question I have had while chronicling these events is the paucity of information on rent boys, or homosexual prostitution. It must have existed, but Victorians and Edwardians kept their eyes and ears shut to the love that dare not speak its name. This was a male-dominated society, and anything that threatened to tarnish the idea of what constituted masculinity was to be squashed immediately, as evidenced by the horror and outrage displayed in the Oscar Wilde affair in 1895. In the Cape, male prostitutes must have had a field day with the influx of British soldiers during the Anglo-Boer War.

For many women in the Cape, and in the rest of southern Africa, the twentieth century allowed them to test and sometimes even cross the lines that circumscribed traditional female behaviour and roles. In 1900, a letter written to The Owl – a jingoistic pro-British mouthpiece run by wealthy women for the upper-middle classes of Cape Town’s English-speaking community – exposed how women had begun using the theatre to express their sexuality more openly. In the article, the writer complains that moral standards in the theatres had fallen dramatically based on the way dancers appeared on stage in flowing skirts that billowed up to reveal more than just ankle.9 As in every generation since time immemorial, there were also grumblings about women’s fashion and what was considered appropriate female dress. Working-class girls caused a scandal when they started wearing metal regimental badges on their hats, ribbons and blouses, which, the publication states, was to attract suitors from the Tommies.10 For The Owl, this kind of conduct by girls was frowned on by its editors, whose ideas on female behaviour fell largely into the category of their being seen (in appropriate dress) and not heard. A woman’s role had to be geared towards that of the silent but supportive wife who stands behind her man in the safe space of the family home while he determines his place in the real world. To counteract some of the rebellion displayed by their younger peers, the publication warned young women to start exhibiting more maidenly modesty. If a young man wanted to kiss a girl goodnight at her parents’ front door, even after a few dates, she had to refuse, as this would make her beau more eager to propose marriage.11

At the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, there were debates in Parliament over whether women should be allowed to take clerical jobs, or to become typists or secretaries – careers previously reserved for men. When it was finally agreed that women could be employed in these jobs, it was with the caveat that they receive less pay than a male colleague performing the same work. Following this, of utmost importance was the passing of a law that all offices be segregated and partitions erected between male and female workers. There was to be no contact whatsoever between the sexes, as it was generally believed that males and females working together would lead to the downfall of a young woman’s integrity. Many young men also risked falling into temptation and being led astray by their female colleagues.12

Author Olive Schreiner was branded as being no lady when she had the audacity to speak up in public about the Boer War and the part women should play in it. A report in The Owl, dated 29 June 1900, provides details of the rally held in Cape Town, which was organised by the South African Conciliation Committee, the members of which were pro-Boer supporters who mostly spoke English. Schreiner was an active member in this committee and arranged and spoke at its rallies and public meetings – a concept that horrified the The Owl’s editors, who were not emerging feminists like Schreiner. The publication was not the only media that criticised Schreiner’s demonstrations, where she would rouse the emotions of women to support the Boers. In November 1900, the Cape Times reported on a rally held by Schreiner in Paarl under the headline ‘More hysterics’, while another newspaper, The Review, described the speakers and their audience as a ‘shrieking contingent’.13 Her speeches were accused of bringing about ‘undignified scenes’, in which females would become overly passionate and ‘het up’, an accusation frequently thrown at women who had the nerve to speak out about anything.14 As the scandalised Sir Henry Cloete revealed in his dealings with the Voortrekker Susanna Smit in 1843 (see Chapter 11), such conduct was considered unwomanly, and against the natural order of things.

Schreiner pushed gender boundaries even further when she admitted to some of her friends that, upon first meeting her husband Samuel Cronwright-Schreiner, she had found herself attracted to him because of his muscled and tanned arms.15 A revelation like this reveals an obvious case of sexual attraction, a sensation no woman in that era should have thought of owning up to or deeming essential to her happiness. Schreiner’s book, The Story of an African Farm, published in 1883, had already caused outrage in its portrayal of a young woman as a sexual being.16 She, unsurprisingly, had a fraught relationship with Cecil John Rhodes, who she met in 1890, and they debated together on a number of social and political issues. Schreiner had become such a popular figure that, in an attempt to limit her influence over some women in the Cape, Rhodes was forced to suffer the company of 100 giggling school girls from Rhenish High, who he invited to tea and a personal guided tour of his estate, Groote Schuur, with the hope that he could steer these girls in a direction as far removed from Schreiner’s feminist, pro-Boer way of thinking as possible. Rhenish High, founded in 1806 as a private school, was known for its innovative teaching methods, and for holding Schreiner up as an example of the New Woman.17 Rhodes probably thought he could persuade the girls against adopting such a radical feminist outlook as Schreiner’s by showing them the advantages enjoyed by traditional English ladies. By 1892 Schreiner chose not to see Rhodes ever again because of his refusal to stop the enforcement of the Strop Bill, which would legalise the flogging of coloured servants for any number of ‘offences’, including the neglect of their duties to their employers.18

In June 1915, thirty-five women volunteered their services to the police force to assist with the apprehension of sex workers on the streets. This was the first time women had been recruited as police officers in the Cape, and the success of this initial group led to the employment of three permanent female police officers in December of 1915. Police authorities had first started taking female police recruitment seriously when some bright spark realised a woman would find it easier to persuade her ‘fallen’ counterparts to repent and be detained quietly.19 Needless to say, the attempt to get sex workers to give up their trades using female cops was a futile one – partly because there were only three female police officers enlisted for the job, but mostly because many fallen women enjoyed plunging into the mounds of cash they were making too much to repent. Nonetheless, policewomen, although so few in number, chalked up a credible number of arrests. Most prostitutes were indeed less likely to resist arrest from a policewoman, and many of them were brought in quietly.20 This had the police board sitting up and taking notice, hence the employment of three permanent policewomen. But it was only in 1923 when a greater number of women were enrolled as police officers, mostly due to the urging of the archbishop of Cape Town, Bishop Lavis, who advocated that women of all colours and creeds be admitted into the ranks of law enforcement officers.21 It goes without saying that this did little to dent the number of women of all creeds and colours practising the oldest profession in the world.

1 Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The Randlords: The Men Who Made South Africa, p. 4.
2 Catherine Knox, Victorian Life at the Cape, 1870–1900 (Cape Town: Fernwood Press, 1992), p. 51.
3 Ibid.
4 Vivian Bickford Smith, Elizabeth van Heyningen and Nigel Worden, Cape Town in the Twentieth Century (Cape Town: David Philip Publishers), p. 39.
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid.
7 Ibid.
8 Ibid, p. 40.
9 SAL, The Owl, 22 June 1900, pp. 396–397.
10 SAL, The Owl, 12 January 1900, p.
11 SAL, The Owl, 25 January 1901, p. 75.
12 CA, CCP 1/3/2, Cape Hansard, Government Debates, p. 170.
13 Ibid., pp. 125–126.
14 SAL, The Owl, 29 June 1900, p. 409.
15 CA, The White Ribbon (Journal of the WCTU), 1915; Karel Schoeman, Only an Anguish to Live Here (Pretoria: Human & Rousseau, 1992), p. 29.
16 Karel Schoeman, Only an Anguish to Live Here, p. 29.
17 SAL, The Owl, 23 November 1900, p. 758.
18 Karel Schoeman, Only an Anguish to Live Here, pp. 23–24.
19 CA, The White Ribbon (Journal of the WCTU), 1915. p. 5.
20 CA, A.1696, Vol. 1/1, ‘Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting’, 4 October 1906, pp. 3–4.

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Find the President and Win a Holiday Worth R5 000 and a Copy of Where’s Zuma? by Kobus Galloway

Where’s Zuma?To celebrate the publication of Where’s Zuma?, the new Where’s Wally inspired book from Kobus Galloway, Random House Struik is giving away a holiday voucher worth R5 000 along with a copy of the book.

To stand a chance to win, you need to complete three challenges, finding Zuma in busy pictures from Where’s Zuma?. The picture from the first week of the competition was of the president’s private residence at Nkandla, the second of the 2015 State of the Nation Address and the third of the Gupta Wedding at Sun City.

The competition closes on 4 December. To stand a chance to win, you need to answer the question about where you spotted Zuma and enter your details on the Random House Struik’s website.

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Big-wave Surfer Chris Bertish Reveals His Most Terrifying Experience

Stoked!SAP HANA have shared a behind-the-scenes video from the 2015 Best Practices for Oil and Gas conference, in which champion surfer Chris Bertish discusses how he prepares, minimises risk, and proceeds with confidence, whether riding a 70-foot wave or managing a business.

Bertish says big waves reach about 50, 60, 70 feet – about the size of a six-storey building – “whatever mother ocean can throw at us”.

He says getting into big wave surfing is about pushing your boundaries, challenging your own beliefs, and shifting your comfort zone, adding “it’s amazing what you can achieve”.

Bertish’s autobiography Stoked! was released by Zebra Press in August.

Watch the video, in which he describes one of his most terrifying experiences: how he got caught in an underground cave.

“I was pretty young,” he says, “and I think I was unprepared for that kind of situation, because it happens to so few people on the planet, so your mind is trying to decipher what is happening to you. You have to calm your mind to make rational decisions.”

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“You’re Not an Honourable Person, Mr McKaiser” – Max du Preez Responds to Eusebius McKaiser’s New Book

A Rumour of Spring“Guess who’s the book’s main villain, the ‘racist’ that takes up a whole section of the book, thirteen of the 200 pages? Max du Preez, of course.”

In a recent post on his public Facebook page, Max du Preez, political journalist and author of A Rumour of Spring: South Africa after 20 years of Democracy, rebutted the accusation of racism Eusebius McKaiser makes against Du Preez in his latest book, Run Racist Run.

Du Preez says that he has never met or personally interacted with McKaiser, adding that he is occasionally attacked by him on social media. Du Preez says that McKaiser disregards volumes of his writing against racism, and has labeled him a racist on the basis on an interview Hanlie Retief Rapport had with him, and the article that came out of it.

Read Du Preez’s comment on Facebook:

Racism, subtle and unsubtle, blatant and camouflaged, is still one of South Africa’s most serious problems, threatening our stability and progress.

When someone abuses the racism issue to make a name for himself, promote his own brand or to settle scores with critics or opponents, such a person should be publicly named and shamed, because this phenomenon seriously undermines the real struggle against this dangerous scourge.

Eusebius McKaiser is such a person.

I picked up his book Run Racist Run (more a word-selfie than a book, actually, full of personal anecdotes and mentions of friends’ names), at the airport this week. Guess who’s the book’s main villain, the “racist” that takes up a whole section of the book, thirteen of the 200 pages? Max du Preez, of course.

I have never met the man or spoken to him. I’ve noticed that he’s not a fan, because he occasionally attacks me on social media. I really can’t explain his obsession with me.

If McKaiser wondered whether I was really a racist monster, he could have consulted the more than 800 columns I had written the last 15 years, many of them touching on the topic, or he could have read the lengthy chapters on race, racism and identity in my books Pale Native and A Rumour of Spring.

But he prefers to ignore all that and focus on a single article in the Afrikaans newspaper Rapport early this year after an informal chat I had with one of its reporters. That’s it, no other source or evidence.

I attach that Rapport story (not the link, because it is behind a paywall). Read it and judge for yourself; see if you can spot the nasty racism. (There’s a throwaway remark about McKaiser in there – could his book be revenge for that?)

You’re not an honourable person, Mr McKaiser. You’re a fake and a poseur.

Deur Hanlie Retief 25 Januarie 2015 09:01

’n Knobbelrige man onder ’n knobbelrige boom.

So, dís waar liberale lefties eindig as hulle anderkant 60 trek. Onder ’n witkaree met ’n Savanna en ’n pakkie Stuyvesants en ’n kop vol ontgogelde menings.

“Die koelste plek in die hele dorp is onder hierdie boom,” reken Max du Preez en laaf homself met ’n sluk Savanna.

Dis vanmiddag bliknerswarm op Riebeek-Kasteel. Die son bak die werf bleek.

Maar vir hitte het dié ou kraagmannetjie van Kroonstad nog nooit geskrik nie. Daar sit hy. Wars en werkloos, vir die soveelste keer in sy loopbaan, oor beginsels vir hom meer tel as rande.

Óns weergawe van Amerika se Hunter S. Thompson, noem sy ou kollega en vriend Tim du Plessis hom. Die leeu van Kroonstad, aldus Tim Knight, Kanadese uitsaai-joernalis en Emmy-wenner.

“Jakkie, jy moet vinnig verbyloop, anders hoor jy hoe lieg ek,” sê hy vir Jacques Pauw. “Ek wou nou-nou kom espresso drink en toe’s jy nie hier nie …” kla hy soos ’n ou man met ’n blikbroek.

Hier by dié tafel, in dié koelte.

Vier jaar terug het Jacques, tot onlangs een van ons groot ondersoekende joernaliste, hierdie Red Tin Roof-restaurant gaan staan en koop.

Nou skryf die Pauw nie meer ’n woord nie, hy maak pizzas. En in Piet Retiefstraat herinner Max se akkertjie mielies hom aan sy Vrystaatse grootworddae.

Al van 1987 af saam, hierdie ou kamerade van die Vrye Weekblad-loopgrawe. Dorpenaars nou, met vroue en honne.

Nee, hy meng nie eintlik met Jakkie nie, hy eet net sy kos, korrigeer Max.

’n Reeks-moeilikheidmaker, is Max al genoem. En soos sy luide bedanking verlede week as rubriekskrywer by Independent-koerante, só was Max-oorloë nog altyd uiters openbaar.

As jong Beeld-joernalis was hy die eerste Afrikaanse stem teen Suid-Afrika se besetting van Namibië. By Vrye Weekblad het die Afrikanerestablishment hom gekruisig, jis, hy’s amper opgeblaas, maar ’n held in die swart gemeenskap. Ironies kryt dieselfdes hom nou uit as rassis.

Sy WVK-program op TV is toegejuig, maar toe hy by Special Assignment op die nuwe elite se tone begin trap, is hy daar uitgewerk.

Nou weer, ná sy stuk oor ons “one-man wrecking ball”-president en dié se korrupte verhouding met Schabir Shaik, het die Independent-groep ’n “regstelling” en askies geplaas oor Max se “feitelike onakkuraatheid”. Tipies Max bewys hy toe hy’s 100% reg enfire homself voor Independent se groepsredakteur, Karima Brown, die moed daarvoor kon bymekaarskraap. Hy sou nog kon saamleef met die apologie, sê Max. Maar daai ANC-kleure wat Brown-hulle gedra het na ’n ANC-jol …

“En jy’t ’n poepol soos Eusebius McKaiser wat sê wat’s hiermee verkeerd! Miskien is ek ’nboring old fart, maar nooit in my amper 40 jaar in die joernalistiek het ek ’n joernalis gesien rondparadeer in Nasionale Party-kleure nie. Nie eens ou Alf Ries sou ’n NP-stickeropgeplak het nie, en ons het geweet waar hý staan.”

Moenie nou kom huil nie, ou Max, jy wou mos hierdie swart regering gehad het, nou kom byt hulle jou in die gat, hekel wit koortjies hom in kommentare.

“Dis ’n tema, nè, die laaste klompie ¬jare. Sulke mense verdien nie eintlik ’n antwoord nie. Wou hulle nié ’n demokrasie gehad het nie?”
Hy kyk vir my, oë pensioenblou agter sy ontwerpersbril uit Brussel.

“Dinge gáán erger as wat ek gedink het. Maar steeds, as ek in 1985 geweet het wat Jacob Zuma met my land sou aanvang, sou ek dieselfde gedoen het. Met ons geskiedenis is daar g’n manier hoe ons 20 jaar later ’n kumbaya-liberale-sensitiewe-demokrasie kon hê nie.”

Hy’t nie die ANC se toewyding tot nasiebou en goeie regering erg oorskat nie?

Nee. Hy was “aangenaam verras” deur Mandela en die ANC-in-onderhandelinge. Oor Mbeki, so “kleinserig” en “oorver¬dedigend” het hy later kop gekrap. En Zuma, wat hy in die 1980’s leer ken het? “Niemand het in sy wildste drome gedink hý sou president word nie.” ’n Vloek van omstandighede, noem Max dit.

“Bygesê: Ek’s bleddie aangenaam verras deur hoe ons as ’n nasie vaar.”

Die meeste Suid-Afrikaners, lyk dit vir hom, is meer Mandela as Zuma.

“Die meeste Afrikaners is kwaad vir verskynsels soos Sunette Bridges. Soos in: Waar val jy uit, sussie? Ons is nie almal só nie – ek hoor daai refrein oor en oor.”

Wat wil hy vir hulle sê, vir Bridges en Steve Hofmeyr-hulle?

“F*ck off en die. Hulle is die vyande van Afrikaners, van wit mense. Hulle en Dan Roodt doen meer skade aan die saak van Afrikaanse mense as enigiemand die laaste 100 jaar.

“As ons wil oorleef as eersteklasburgers saam met die res in hierdie land, moet ons sulke stemme uitskuif. Moenie vir hulle platforms gee nie, sê duidelik vir almal: Ons is nie só nie. Steve en Sunette is malletjies op die ekstreme rand.”

In hierdie Januarie met sy erge rassedebatte het hy ook slegte nuus vir daai Facebook-likers “wat nou so handjies klap oor ek die ANC kwansuis op¬donner”.

“Sorry dudes, julle steun my om die verkeerde rede. Steun die beginsel van vrye spraak en onafhanklike joernalistiek. Dis waaroor die fight gaan. Ek is g’n vegter vir wit voorregte nie, nie ’n uppity Boer wat vir die k*ffers wil sê ken julle plek nie.”

Hulle’s vir hom aanstootlik, dié wat so koor: “Ja, maar jy weet mos hoe’s húlle (die ANC/swart mense),” blaf hy. “Miskien moet ek vir ’n rubriek skryf sodat ek vir dié mense ’n slag kan sê: Kyk in die spieël, al is jy nice met jou tuinier en jou domestic help, jy’s ’n rassis en jy sny jou eie keel af.”

Soos iemand vir hom skryf: “Hierdie Eskom-ding is besig om van my ’n rassis te maak.” Dan wás jy nog altyd ’n rassis, antwoord Max.
“Die regering maak nie droog oor hulle swart is nie, hulle jaag aan oor hulle slegte politici is. Dis nie ’n swart-wit-ding nie, dis ’n vrot-korrupte-politici-ding.”

Max kry dit ook van die ander kant af. Van sy swart en bruin vriende sê dit sterk rassiste in hul kwaad as hy die ANC so aanvat.
“Dis deels onvermydelik. As Sunette Bridges sê rooi is mooi, stem ek met haar saam. Maar dit maak my nie die walglike rassis wat sy is nie.”

Hy voel Zelda la Grange se pyn ná haar oorhaastige Twitter-tirade verlede week wat haar in ’n rasse-spervuur laat beland het, knik hy. Hulle deel ’n erg openbare Januarie …

“Wat sy probeer sê, is legitiem, maar jy kan nie so iets in 140 karakters verduidelik nie. Zelda moenie haar steur aan almal wat so die hol uit die hoender ruk, haar boeke op Facebook verbrand nie. Ek het ’n vel soos ’n gepantserde seekoei, maar sy’s nie ’n gesofistikeerde politieke aktivis nie. Sy’s net Mandela se darling wat ’n boek geskryf het. Sy word nou geweldig misverstaan.”

Die hele Jan van Riebeeck-debat wys hoe ons mekaar nog nie mooi verstaan nie, sê hy. “Zuma is reg: Met Van Riebeeck se aankoms het al die moeilikheid begin. Kolonialisme. Ons Afrikaners verstaan wat dit aan mense doen, ons was onder Britse kolonialisme.

“Swart Suid-Afrikaners kon nog nie mooi hul koppe om die feit kry dat ek en jy nié kolonialiste is nie, dis ons voorsate, maar dis nou 400 jaar later. Ek is ’n inheemse Afrikaan, nie ’n settler soos die wittes wat in die 1950’s of 1960’s in Zimbabwe gaan bly het nie.

“Ek het geen illusies wat met ons gebeur het van 1652 tot vandag toe nie. Maar hulle is nie ek nie. Ek was nie op Vlakplaas nie. Ek het nie die Khoi voor die voet doodgeskiet in die Riebeekvallei nie. My voorsate het. Maar dis nie my persoonlike skuld nie. Omdat ek ’n goeie Suid-Afrikaanse burger is, het ek die reg in my eie hart om te sê dis hulle, my voorvaders. Ek neem verantwoordelikheid, maar dis nie my skuld nie.

“Ons moet op ’n mooi manier vir swart Suid-Afrikaners sê: Deal with it. Hoekom is Suid-Afrika anders as die res van Afrika? Hoekom kan óns ’n Wêreldbeker-sokkertoernooi aanbied? Toe ons wit voorsate hier aangekom het, het hulle verskriklik aangejaag, maar ook ánder goed gebring, en dis die mengsel wat nou hier is. Swart mense kan nie sonder ons klaarkom nie, en ons nie sonder húlle nie. Maar wit mense moet ook verstaan: Jy kan nie 300 jaar se houding dat swart mense minderwaardig is, in een geslag aflewe nie.”

Maar hoe moet wit mense leef in hierdie land?

Hy bly lank stil. Sê: Dis ’n belangrike vraag.

“Hoe moet ons leef? Met ’n helse klomp meer respek wanneer ons ons monde oopmaak en skryf. Selfs al bedoel jy dit nie as rassisme nie, as dit só ervaar word, dan moet jy jou woorde beter kies. Moenie klink soos ’n meerderwaardige wit dude wat trap op ander nie.

“Maar ook: Jy mág nie jou bek hou nie.”

Max het nie. Nie vir die NP nie, nie die ANC nie. Vir niemand. Nog altyd. Van die dae toe ons in die strate baklei het, soos iemand anderdag sê, tot nou waar ons op Twitter veg.

Het al sy vuurstorms hom verander? Of sê hy, soos Bart Nel, ek is nog hy?

Hy krap die restaurant-brak se kop. ’n Droogheid trek oor sy gesig.

Nee, al wie hom kom verander het, is klein Francis. Sy jongste dogtertjie het in sy lewe gekom toe hy 52 was, onverwags, onbepland. “En sy’t net ’n faset in my lewe gebring wat ek nogal nodig gehad het, van minder baklei en meer lief wees.”

Maar daar was soms twyfel, erken hy, en vat nog ’n hap van Jacques se biltongpizza. “Ek hét gewonder: Moet ek verander, begin gatkruip?”

Sy psige is seker maar te simplisties om draaie te loop en te lieg, van “sê wat gesê moet word en vat die pyn.”

Seker ingeteelde Calvinisme, daar in sy Vrystaatse Christelike grootwordhuis.

“Nie vreeslik van ’n gelowige self nie”, maar “dik van die dominees om my”. Sy broers, albei sy vrou se ouers, sy swaer.

Dan sirkel ons weer na die vraag: Hoe moet wit mense hier lééf?

“Hulle moet meer begin omgee vir hul mans en hul vroue en hul kinders. Sorg dat hulle self gelukkig is in hul verhoudings. En hulle moet goed eet, oefening kry, hul huise mooimaak en op lekker vakansies gaan. As jy self gelukkig is, gaan jy nie haat oorhê nie.”

Die mymeringe van ’n ou man onder ’n boom?

“Wel, ek sou dit wragtig nooit op 19 gesê het nie …”

Sy oë brand.

“Maar dis die heel belangrikste ding wat ek al ooit gesê het.”

Book details

Where’s Zuma? Challenge 1 of 3: Find Our Elusive President and Win a R5 000 Holiday Voucher

Where’s Zuma?One lucky reader and super sleuth can stand a chance of winning big in our three-part Where’s Zuma? challenge.

The competition will run over three weeks, and each week participants need to find our elusive president in Kobus Galloway’s new book, which is modeled on the famous Where’s Wally? series.

To stand a chance of winning a copy of Where’s Zuma?, as well as a R5 000 holiday voucher, visit the Random House Struik website, complete the entry form and answer one question:

Where’s Zuma hiding?

A. In the bushes

B. In the helicopter

C. In the swimming pool

This week, Zuma is hanging out at his Nkandla homestead. To see where he hiding, have a look at the extract from Where’s Zuma? in PDF format.

The competition will end on 4 December, and participants must enter all three weeks of the competition to be considered for the prize. The two runner-up winners will each receive a copy of Where’s Zuma?.


Book details

The Work of a Police Tracker Dog Explained in an Excerpt from Grave Murder: The Story Behind the Brutal Welkom Killing

Grave MurderZebra Press has shared an excerpt from Grave Murder: The Story Behind the Brutal Welkom Killing by Jana van der Merwe.

The book tells the story of the murder of Michael van Eck, which rocked the sleepy goldmining town of Welkom back in April 2011.

A dismembered, decapitated body was discovered buried in a shallow grave on the outskirts of the local cemetery, and speculation arose that it may have been a “muti murder”, the work of a deranged madman or part of a satanic ritual.

The mystery deepened when a soft-spoken girl-next-door and her intelligent, well-mannered fiancé were arrested.

In this extract, Van der Merwe describes how a police tracker dog named Xander, under control of warrant-officer Fanie du Plessis, aided investigators in finding the deceased man’s body.

Read the excerpt:

* * * * *

Although he could feel the pressure, Du Plessis was not concerned. He needed to give Xander time to settle in, but he did not want him to cross the boundaries and relieve himself, thus contaminating the crime scene. Xander, in turn, was excited and happy to be out of his cage in the vehicle and in the fresh air with a whole bunch of new scents to explore.

Du Plessis took a moment to familiarise himself with his surroundings. He observed the large pool of blood, the colour of which had now turned brown, the drag marks, and the splatters and smears of the bloody struggle that might reveal what had taken place the night before. He was told that the blue rag, which had since dried, allegedly belonged to the missing man.

When required to search for a living individual, Du Plessis would utilise a piece of clothing that bore the scent of the missing person. He would hold it to Xander’s nose and simply instruct him: Soek! (Search!) Xander would then drop his snout to the ground and begin the chase. The dog rarely missed his target. When Du Plessis suspected the victim was dead, he would omit giving Xander the person’s scent. A simple Kry! (Find!) does the trick. The dog was, like Michael, Afrikaans.

In South Africa, where crime is rife and resources limited, police dogs such as Xander have to be skilled for any search-and-rescue scenario – unlike in many first-world countries, where police services can train specialised cadaver-sniffing or tracking dogs who can differentiate between the dead and the living. Under-resourced dog units in South Africa have to train dogs to develop both these skills, but this search would not be an obstacle for Xander, who loved a challenge.

Du Plessis saw the terror in the faces of Michael van Eck’s family and opted to go about his task determinedly. He had seen the vast amounts of blood. Looking at the evidence at hand, and with experience gained over the last two and a half decades, Du Plessis knew exactly how to instruct his dog. He sometimes knew instantly what the outcome would be.

In this case, they were looking for a dead body.

Xander immediately comprehended that playtime was over when his master put on his harness.

‘Time to get to work, Xander,’ Du Plessis said as he fastened Xander’s work gear. Wagging his tail, it was obvious that the dog did not think of this as work.

‘Find!’ Du Plessis prompted. Xander took off with his head in the air, sniffing the soft, warm wind.

The area was vast. Usually Du Plessis would calculate in his head, dividing the area into quarters. Looking towards the open area in the south, he began at a point opposite the Jewish chapel, where more blood and drag marks had been discovered. Against the wind, Xander set off towards the outskirts of the graveyard. Task-driven now, he picked up speed along the worn double track frequented by visitors along the Jewish burial site. Du Plessis kept up, run-walking after his four-legged hunter with another, younger police officer trailing a couple of metres behind.

As Xander approached the pine trees, he picked up momentum. He grew increasingly anxious as he reached the boundary and his handler let Xander run free.

With purpose, Xander came to an abrupt standstill. He began digging decisively, his wet nose brushing a small heap of dry grass and soil. Du Plessis soon heard the distinct, hollow, unsettling sound he had come to know so well over his career. Xander had hit target in less than 10 minutes. Du Plessis knew: the canine’s paws had found the victim’s body.

Du Plessis instructed Xander to stop.

‘That’ll do, boy,’ he said, while rubbing the dog’s furry white head.

He alerted the young police officer who, with a single nod, returned to inform his colleagues. Soon the forensics team gathered at the shallow grave, only covered by grass, leaves and sticks. A number of officers carefully removed the layers to expose pale white skin and what looked like a pair of soiled dark-blue jeans with a metal button.

Du Plessis and Xander did not stay to watch as the police uncovered the shocking discovery. Their work was done.

Du Plessis had stopped sticking around for the sake of his own sanity.

As he neared the end of the cordoned-off area of the crime scene with a panting Xander, he briefly made eye contact with Michael’s parents.

Like a castaway on an island he isolated himself from the others. Focusing on Xander, who was now lapping up some water, he sat and waited, hoping that this would be the end.

It wasn’t. Not by a long shot.

De Ru, camera in hand, accompanied the rest of the forensics team to the cordoned-off area. Only then did he enter to begin strategically contextualising the surroundings of the crime scene and documenting each possible fragment of evidence found at the scene itself.

Using shovels, the police slowly and carefully began to unearth what was hidden underneath.

Shocking even the most hardened police officer, it was difficult to make sense of the scene unfolding before them. The dead man’s blood-soaked blue jeans had been placed on top of his torso. Cautiously, the officials exposed the macabre site, the naked, dismembered and decapitated body of a young adult male gradually emerging with each sweep.

The police had to unpack the grave to take stock of what limbs were present. The head, entire right arm and hand, and left foot were missing. Both legs had been amputated at the knee. Visible pink patches on the victim’s back confirmed that livor mortis had set in. Of course, the police could not know for sure whether this headless body belonged to Michael van Eck, and they hesitated to inform his family of what they had discovered.

De Ru watched as the police put together the parts of the limbs like a puzzle, as though trying to make sense of it. Lying there as if it were a discarded partial plastic mannequin tossed under a tree, De Ru photographed the decapitated torso of the young white male.

The right foot, which was still present, looked superbly clean, almost washed, the toenails neatly clipped and dirt-free. De Ru snapped away as an officer wearing a pair of blue silicone gloves held up the deceased man’s left hand, the palm showing deep cuts, defensive wounds indicating a struggle. Blood had seeped under the neatly cut fingernails and was clearly visible.

De Ru retraced his steps to where the slaughter was probably initiated. He documented the pools of blood at the entrance, the now-dry drag marks, a bloody footprint, the ominous smears of blood on the bright-yellow boom gate, and the crumpled T-shirt. He walked around the Jewish chapel, where he found more blood. Scrutinising the scene around the chapel, De Ru’s trained eye looked beyond the more obvious indications of a disturbance that Ephraim, Daniel and the others had discovered more than six hours before.

He noticed a number of items that could forensically lead the police to the killer or killers and which may potentially link the killer to the crime. After photographing all of the evidence, De Ru dusted the items for fingerprints, as one never knew what might ultimately be relevant. The items included a small, empty condom package, a drinking glass with an elegant black, flowered print, used tissues and a couple of empty glass beer bottles.

The police decided that it would be too traumatic for the family to see the shallow grave. They had to find the missing head first and make sure that they had the ‘right’ body. But what if the head and missing limbs were not in the area? There had to be another way to establish the identity of the victim.

As the Van Ecks were approached by the police, they could tell that the officers had discovered something, although they were not forthcoming with information.

Book details

What Drives Well-Mannered Youngsters to Kill? Jana van der Merwe Discusses Grave Murder (Video)

Grave MurderJana van der Merwe recently spoke to Samm Marshall on Morning Live about her book, Grave Murder: The Story Behind the Brutal Welkom Killing.

“We never saw these two suspects coming,” Marshall says in his introduction about Chané van Heerden en Maartens van der Merwe. Van der Merwe agrees: “I think what blind-sided everybody is that the two suspects who were finally convicted of the murder just did not fit the profile at all.”

Grave Murder is the seasoned journalist’s account of the brutal murder of Michael van Eck that took place in April 2011, in the sleepy goldmining town of Welkom.

“Both of them are very well-mannered, educated youngsters that had their whole future before them. I just didn’t understand why somebody would do something like that,” Van der Merwe says. “I think I wrote the book for myself to understand their psyche.”

“I went into the SMSes between the two of them and you could see that they created their own little world, their own universe, where everything they did and talked about was normal.”

Watch the video:

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