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Sunday Times Combined Metros 1 - 23/04/2014 04:27:28 PM - Plate:

FFWD >> SA 2034


THE FUTURE FICTION EDITION
INSIDE: Travel, Food, Fashion, Home weeklies plus Television
April 27 2014
Sunday Times Combined Metros 2 - 23/04/2014 04:27:53 PM - Plate:
Sunday Times Combined Metros 3 - 23/04/2014 04:30:39 PM - Plate:
PAGE 3 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
EDITOR: Carlos Amato | MANAGING EDITOR: Sue de Groot | DESIGNERS: Keith Tamkei, Peta Scop | SUBEDITORS: Anton Ferreira, Elizabeth Sleith, Peta Scop | MOTORING: Thomas Falkiner | BOOKS: Ben Williams, Jennifer Platt |
WRITERS: Oliver Roberts, Shanthini Naidoo, Lin Sampson, Tymon Smith, Leigh-Anne Hunter | PICTURES: Aubrey Paton | PA: Rhina Matjila | WEDDINGS & SOCIALS: Thembalethu Zulu, Sibongile Mafu | COVER: Morgan van Heerden
CONTENTS: LAUREN BEUKES, ASHRAF JAMAL p4 RICHARD POPLAK p5 NIQ MHLONGO p6 CA DAVIDS p8 RACHEL ZADOK,
SIHLE KHUMALO p10 YEWANDE OMOTOSO, NTHIKENG MOHLELE p12 SHUBNUM KHAN p13 GARETH CROCKER, DIANE AWERBUCK
p14 TOM EATON p15 DOMINIQUE BOTHA, RIAN MALAN p16 KOOS KOMBUIS, ANDILE MNGXITAMA p17 DARREL BRISTOW-BOVEY,
MICHIEL HEYNS p18 KAREN JENNINGS p19 JAMES WHYLE, RUSTUM KOZAIN p20 LIN SAMPSON p21 KGEBETLI MOELE,
CHRISTOPHER HOPE p22 JOHN VAN DE RUIT, MARGIE ORFORD p23 CLAIRE ROBERTSON, JENNY HOBBS p24 FINUALA DOWLING,
SINDIWE MAGONA p25 SARAH LOTZ p26 ANGELA MAKHOLWA, MIKE NICOL, STEPHEN BOYKEY SIDLEY p27 MIKE VAN GRAAN,
SONGEZIWE MAHLANGU & MONWABISI GEBHUZA p28 RICHARD DE NOOY, HAMILTON WENDE p30 JASON STAGGIE p31
F F W D > > 203 4
D
ONT be alarmed your
Lifestyle looks a bit
strange this week. All our
regulars are on holiday (barring
Rebecca Davis, the TV Guide &
Linda Shaw) as we devote this
special edition to an illustrated
banquet of speculative fiction.
To mark the 20-year
anniversary of democracy, we
asked 40 top South African
authors to write short stories set
in South Africa on April 27, 2034.
So here they are. A hairy
cornucopia of future South
Africas: utopian and apocalyptic,
plausible and implausible,
comical and tragic. The stories
probably tell us much more
about our imaginative present
than about our actual future.
Several are linked by a thread of
current fears: the death of
democracy, conquest by an
imperialist China, the worsening
of inequality, the pillaging of our
landscape.
Other writers, extrapolating
forward from the musty loop of
dj vu that defines much of our
history, reckon SA wont be
much different in 2034.
They reckon we will still be
suspended in a conscious limbo
between success and failure,
between a dark past and an
opaque future, between a
rapacious brand of capitalism and
an archaic model for redress.
H e re s hoping theyre wrong on
the downside.
But according to others in our
ink-stained chorus, some properly
uncanny events await us: a
rampage of mutant tigers through
the Free State, an infestation of
g rasshoppers-turned-drones,
Kimberley as a utopian megacity,
a cult of Reeva & Oscar and
Masipa, a bombing rebellion
against the internet, slave auctions
at Cape Town stadium, a Dutch
refugee problem, a ghost-spotting
tour of Nkandla City.
Thanks are due to all the
authors, to Sunday Times books
editor Ben Williams for his expert
support, and to our team of
i l l u s t ra to r s :
Lizza Littlewort, Andy Mason
and Chris Beukes;
David Maclennan, Jade Klara,
Hanno van Zyl and Gareth Jones
at alexandersband.co.za;
Morgan van Heerden at
artsquad.co.za, and
Charl Malherbe & Jason
Bronkhorst at Infiltrate Media.
Enjoy and let us know what
you think. Carlos Amato, Editor
Write to:
l i fe sty l e @ s u n d ayt i m e s . c o . z a
THERE SHALL BE PUBLIC TRANSPORT:
Athi-Patra Ruga, The Night of the
Long Knives I, from the exhibition
Future White Women of Azania ( 2013 )
Sunday Times Combined Metros 4 - 23/04/2014 04:31:06 PM - Plate:
PAGE 4 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
BAVIAANSKLOOF / HIGH NOON
Ashraf Jamal
TANKWA-KAROO / 13.41
Lauren Beukes | Illustration: Morgan van Heerden
T
HE hottest part of the damn
day and Katleho is in the thick
of it, caught between the
reckless blue of the sky and the
scorched flat rocks, sweat
crawling down the back of his neck. Hes
off on a wild springkaan chase, because
they need eyes in the sky if they are to
protect themselves.
He tugs at the Scorchd Afrika! T-shirt
soddenly clinging to his skin. Its become
a uniform, a way of telling Us versus
Them.
He squints, trying to spot the give-away
gleam of the fish-eye lens hardwired into
the grasshopper. The gun holster chafes in
his armpit. Hes not stupid enough to
carry it in the back of his cut-offs. Time
was he wouldnt be seen dead in cut-offs.
Time was hed never held a gun.
Everything changes. Oh, you wont
believe how fast it changes. Phase
T h re e . Words he wishes hed never heard.
Eleven days ago, theyd pulled up to
Scorchd Afrika in Jamies A4, driving past
the rusted sentinels of the gas drills that
someone had strung with fairy lights, into
the laager of converted shipping
containers.
A music festival in the remains of an
old fracking operation in the nature
reserve. Helluva place for civilisations last
stand.
They got the news on the x-fi. Accident
in the Thokoza coal plant. The grid
overloaded. Eskom moved to Phase Three,
which sounded innocuous enough a
little bit of load-shedding to keep things
go i n g .
What they dont tell you is that Phase
Three means Eskom phones the army and
tells them to get ready because if the
load-shedding doesnt work, the whole
grid goes down. For weeks.
They all huddled round while DJ E-lise
projected the live feed from her retina
input onto the white fabric wall of the
medical tent. There were scenes of people
being shot in the street. Riots, looting, a
necklacing on the Sea Point promenade.
On day four, the music died. Crazy
Eddie, the artist, shot DJ E-lise in the head
when she complained. Power is life, he
said and told them to bury her under a
pile of rocks.
They still had the springkaan drones, a
hundred-strong swarm designed to
broadcast the party to the outside world.
Eddie had the techies turn their cameras
outwards, patrolling the perimeter.
On day eight, war. A Mfecane of their
B
AT shit forms a
constellation across his
smug face. His ears and
nipples are threaded with
space junk; each and every part of
him punctured by the cosmos.
Gazing down she sees that even
his penis is crowned with metal
shards, the tip encased with a
thimble. She does not recognise
him anymore, this creature writ
with the skys deluge; infatuated
by a wormhole that connects him
to nothingness.
Theyd moved to the Reserve
together, he to deal with the
animals culled by drought
eland, gemsbok, leopard, baboon
she to work the thicket, the
Reser ves most precious biome.
They were both idealists then, but
then again, surely idealist is not
the word? Theyd inherited no
promises. Conceived under a
brutal sun, they had always
known the root meaning of
utopia no place on earth.
We need to protect the wild,
hed said. We need to save the
beasts from ourselves. While she,
a plant creature as rugged as the
spekboom nee igwanishe,
iNtelezi, isiDondwane, isAmbilane
Portulacaria afra could see
no other way to close the skys
cruel maw than to till the wild,
and, through the ingenuity of the
spekboom clean the toxic air,
green the stricken earth, and bind
what little that was still human to
a sacred ecosystem.
A miracle amongst succulents,
the spekboom inhaled the sickness
in the earths atmosphere and
dragged it deep under the ground.
Its broken limbs took root
unaided; its leaf litter was as
fecund as a forest plant. A benign
god, the spekboom created a micro
climate in which a thousand other
species could thrive.
Near the Rooihoek camp site
where she now stood, the vast
protected zone of spekboom
stretching far behind her, she
watched him as he stood before
her, glittering in the unforgiving
sun. For him, blinded in his
reverie, she knew that there was
only death; the skyfall on an
inauspicious irradiated day was
proof of this.
From the caves mouth shed
watched the sky spit out its semi-
precious bounty, listened to the
whup-whup thud as shard upon
shard cut apart the heat-prone air.
A long silence had followed; a
silence that would divide them.
For him this skyfall marked the
end of all things, while for her it
was little more than a freak
anomaly, a matter of man-made
trash spat back. Her one saving
thought was for the thicket of
spekboom which had remained
u n m a r re d .
Perhaps she was dangerously
mistaken in belittling this noon-
day spectacle, but, in truth, that
was all it was for her; something
as beguilingly spectacular as a
s h o w m a ns trick, while for the
stranger now standing in front of
her, basted in animal fat, pock-
marked with excrement, and, yes,
studded with stars, what mattered
all the more was some
inescapable reckoning.
Watching him this strange,
absurd, intoxicated creature
she knew she would have to suck
him deep down into the earths
vault, the better to clean the air.
Ashraf Jamals latest book is
100 Good Ideas: Celebrating
20 Years of Democracy,
co-written with Brendon
B e l l -Ro b e r t s
own. IT guys and hardcore chinas from
Midrand against artists and musos and
h e y- s h o o - wo w s .
Katleho begged Jamie to stay out of it.
What part did a media manager and a
junior investment banker have in an
uprising? But he had a strange light in
his eyes, like a splinter of the bright
broad sky had got caught in there. The
desert does things to you. The pile of
rocks got bigger. A lot bigger. He buried
Jamie with the rest of them and cried his
guts out.
Then Crazy Eddie told Katleho he had
to prove himself. There was one
springkaan still transmitting. They
needed to find the drone so they could
keep an eye out.
He swipes at his eyes with the back of
his hand, and then he spots it: the glint
in the grass. Its the chip embedded in
the dying grasshoppers abdomen.
Thank you, sweet Jesus, he mutters.
He hopes he gets extra water rations.
Its Jerome, actually, the stranger
says, stepping up over the rocks, blocking
out the sun. Katleho takes in the aviator
sunglasses, khaki uniform, the gun on
the hip, the Parks Board insignia. Yo u
one of those party people?
Yes. No. Katleho is not sure what the
right answer is.
Weve been trying to get hold of you.
Katleho jabs the drone at him. D o nt
even try. Weve got guns! You leave us
alone! Theyll shoot you if you come
near!
Jerome takes off his sunglasses and
folds them away, carefully, into his
pocket. You have heat stroke, my friend.
You need to get some shade and some
wa te r.
Eskom! Phase Three!
Oh that, Jerome says mildly.
Yes, that! All that! Jamie taking a
bullet to the gut and how it took him
eight hours to die. Lord of the
Springkaans.
Ag, man. Jerome takes out rolling
papers and sprinkles tobacco into the
fold. There was some kak, but we came
t h r o u g h .
We came through, Katleho repeats
d u m b l y.
Sure. Come on, man. Are you kidding
me? He sticks the roll-up between
Katlehos lips and lights it for him. This
country doesnt fall apart that easy.
Lauren Beukess forthcoming novel is
Broken Monsters.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 5 - 23/04/2014 04:32:22 PM - Plate:
PAGE 5 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
SILVER WOODS ESTATE, PRETORIA / 16.30
R
EEVA Steenkamp stands
before the altar of the
Reeva Steenkamp Loves
Jesus In His Mightiness
Ministry, and asks: Do we
know what Christ said about
fo r g i ve n e s s ?
Alongside her, Judge Thokozile
Masipa blinks away an autumnal
sunbeam. We do, Reeva! We do! Jesus
said, if you forgive men when they sin
against you, your heavenly Father will
also forgive you. But if you do not
forgive men their sins, your Father will
not forgive your sins.
Praised be Jesus, says Reeva.
Hallelujah! says Judge Masipa.
Together, the two women sing O
Jesus I Have Promised. The hymn
echoes through the vastness of the
Reeva Steenkamp Loves Jesus In His
Mightiness Ministry, bouncing off
walls and drifting up to the roof
beams. There are only a few
worshippers in the pews this morning,
and they sing along as best they can.
My foes are ever near me, around
me and within. But, Jesus, draw thou
nearer, and shield my soul from sin.
A high note shrieks through a
broken speaker. In the pews, a Mevrou
Neyman irritably recalls talking with
Pastor Pistorius about the sound
system, and even offering to
Richard Poplak | Illustration: Lizza Littlewort
contribute financially towards its
repair. If Reeva wills it, said the
Pastor, his face a perfect surgical
replica of the Bladed One. The Pastor
then waddled away on his stumps,
one of the more popular surgical
procedures offered by the Ministrys
in-house Augmentation Provider.
The speakers are still broken,
thinks Mev. Neyman, as she rubs her
own perfectly rounded stumps,
because nothing gets fixed around
here anymore.
During the Days Before the Fall,
Silver Woods Estate was where rich
people lived in comfort. T h e n , as
the Ministrys literature explained,
gunshots rang out in the dark of a
night meant for Lovers, thus
precipitating the End of Days. Now,
all around us is Dust. Silver Woods
was evacuated after the riots of 2 7,
and the Ministrys altar built on the
footprint of the home in which Reeva
breathed her last.
Mev. Neyman turns to note two
more Reevas crossing themselves
before the chunk of Original Cricket
Bat kept within the Ministrys
reliquary. They make their way to the
re p l i c a bathroom in the apse, and take
turns to sit on the toilet seat and
speak a few words with the Lord.
Once, thinks Mev. Neyman, Pastor
Pistorius believed that every man and
woman in South Africa would wish to
look like a participant in the
Oscar/Reeva saga.
Re e vas slaughter, preached the
Pastor, was iconic, Biblical. She was
murdered by a man in the Devils grip,
and arent we all just Satans
playthings, who must turn to Jesus in
order to be saved?
At first there was a flood of
worshippers, then a trickle. Yes,
there were still Sundays when the
Ministry was full of Oscars and Reevas
and Judge Masipas, but it was hard
work gathering this flock. In these
days of trouble, people only want to
look like contemporary fallen
celebrities. Lord knows that all things
of importance end up in the dump,
thinks Mev. Neyman.
O guide me, call me, draw me,
uphold me to the end, sing Reeva
and Judge Masipa, and then in
heaven receive me, my Saviour and
my Friend.
Praised be Jesus, yells Mev.
Neyman.
Reeva smiles beatifically. So does
Reeva, and Reeva.
Praised be Jesus, they say, as one.
Richard Poplaks latest book is
Until Julius Comes.
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PAGE 6 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
BETWEEN BELA-BELA & THABAZIMBI / 04.00
Niq Mhlongo | Illustration: David Maclennan
W
HEN a stone
hit the roof of
his house with
a thunderous
clatter, Adams
knew they
were after him. He switched on the
outside lights and carefully peered
out the window. His rifle was slung
on his right shoulder. Outside, his
dogs bared their teeth, growling
and hobbling back and forth. He
ordered his sons to take up posi-
tions around the house.
Come on, you cowards! Ill slit
your throat now! he shouted into
the darkness.
He was a well-built man of 65,
still strong, married with four chil-
dren, three sons and a daughter.
The eldest son was in his early 40s,
and his daughter, Joan, the
youngest, was in her mid-20s. Joan
and her mother, Ann, were on an
indefinite vacation in Cape Town.
A shot was fired a distance away.
Adams and his sons fired back. He
was aware who the intruders were.
His employee, Knowledge, had dis-
appeared only a day before. Of his
trusted Shona workforce, he was
now left with only five ladies
Tryphinah, Patience, Memory,
Grace and Francinah.
Adams always targeted Shona-
speaking people for his labour.
They had worked for him on his
farms near Gweru some years ago,
about 35 years now. He was fluent in
the language.
They often disappeared without
notice, but it was his farm, his rules,
and there were always more cross-
ing the border who would jump at
the chance to take their places.
In the morning, Adams and his
sons inspected the farm, each
armed with two dogs and a rifle.
They divided themselves between
the sweet potato and tomato fields,
the cabbages on the other side of
the stream, and the orange or-
ch a r d .
They agreed to meet for lunch at
the dam, which was fenced around
to prevent the few crocodiles in the
water from crawling out.
Adams followed footprints to a
clearing where he found a pole
bearing a sign: PROPERTY OF THE
LAND COMMITTEE MZANSI.
His mind replayed a scene that
had happened a week ago. A group
of men and women had come to his
farm, claiming to be from the same
C o m m i t te e .
Im in charge of the land which
Rens used to own, one of the men,
who had a limp, said. Im the com-
m a n d e r.
What does that have to do with
my farm? he asked.
My men will come soon. You are
required take your things from the
other side which will no longer be-
long to you. He pointed across the
s t re a m .
That is not the way things are
done. This is not Zimbabwe. There
is a rule of law, said Adams.
The soil is ours.
Over my dead body. That is
illegal and unconstitutional.
You must go to Mandelas grave
and say that.
Adams sons had arrived, armed
with rifles, and chased them off.
By the time he reached the dam,
Adams breathing was forced.
Are you okay, Pops? asked one
of his sons.
I will be fine. His face was red
and his lips quivered a little. I told
you theyre cowards. They must
come during the day and we all
fight like men.
I knew that Knowledge was a
pro blem, said his first-born.
They were standing by the fence
watching the crocodiles. Adams
kicked a small stone over the edge
and muttered: Bloody lazy infi-
d e l s .
The crocs are hungry dad, his
first-born said.
That night around 11, Tryphinah
was woken by a muffled scream.
She opened the curtain of her do-
mestic quarters and saw three men
dragging Memory in the direction
of the dam.
The Adams celebrated what they
called a P i c n i c - P i ck- a - N i g g e r all
night.
At about 6am, a short while after
they had gone to sleep, 50 armed
men arrived at the farm.
After an hour the police came.
Adams face was white and his hair
caked with dry blood. His sons were
all dead.
They found firearms inside the
farm house, and Tryphinah led
them to the dam, where they found
human bones.
Further investigation revealed
that Mr Adams was a former mem-
ber of the bomb squad during Ian
S m i t hs regime in Rhodesia.
The sun crept over the farm, its
cold rays catching the eyes of the
crocodiles.
Niq Mhlongos latest novel is
Way Back Home.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 7 - 23/04/2014 04:33:18 PM - Plate:
Sunday Times Combined Metros 8 - 23/04/2014 04:33:55 PM - Plate:
PAGE 8 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
D6 / 08.02
CA Davids |
Illustration: Andy Mason
F
ROM one end to the other it
takes 15 minutes. Or, at least,
it used to. The district drowns
in its psychosis now: solar
panels glint like scales,
organic gardens rise from the
mist, and electric cars swim the streets.
The transformation began soon after
the returnees, the first batch of D6
residents, went on to better things, and
their homes were sold off one by one for
ever-increasing amounts to those who
arrived with DIY hydroponic roof
gardens and the tell-tale glow of semi-
permanent sun-block.
I had turned down the offers, had
chosen to hold on to my parents home,
and so here I am, gridlocked between
wholefood bakeries and apartments that
darken as the sun bends across the
village; its inhabitants in perpetual
s h a d o w.
We had agreed to meet outside Old
Parliament. There would be some sort of
festival to mark the day: music, perhaps
some stalls selling food, general revelry if
we were in luck.
After the Golden Revolution and the
tumultuous decade that followed the
nationalisation of the mines, parliament
had been relocated to another city. Now,
it is a complex with a museum, coffee
houses and eateries that open onto the
gardens.
I make my way down the endless road
which, in one way or another, I have
known my whole life. There was the
photo of girls skipping which had hung
in the lounge, taken perhaps 80 years
earlier. I have vague, unreliable
memories of eggs being sold from under
live chickens when I was a child over
there. And when we first moved back,
teenagers on their skateboards ruled
these streets. Now it is the urban gentry
in their customised 3D printed threads
and biotic smoothies, and it is no longer
music but a silent parade of cars that
floats in the morning air.
It is a stirring far in the opposite
direction to which my attention slips.
When I am up early enough, I can see
from my stoep a pink miasma of
morning fires and effluence rising above
The Wall. Township. Now there is
something that hasnt changed.
The Wall obscures a flood of GR homes
that moves with the highway, its residents
arriving in a phalanx to the city each
morning, only to be mass-transited out
before the sun sets.
The revolutionaries, it had turned out,
were no better than the capitalists, just
more intent on iron rule. No matter,
because since then the Party had fought its
way back to power and things have all but
returned to normal. Us and them. Normal.
I pass the high school that became a
training centre during one of the regime
changes, across from offices that a century
ago held monthly public hangings or
thats what the old girl always said and
on in the direction of the book store which
has somehow managed to survive
ever ything.
I stop to catch my breath and chortle.
But, of course, I am the old girl now. My
laugh turns into a wheeze, which spreads
to a cough until I realise how ridiculous I
must look: out of place and time.
When I reach Old Parliament they are
already there, signs held aloft.
It creeps closer, could happen any day
now, thats what everyone says. Soon, The
Wall will be taken down one brick at a time
and perhaps then they will remember that,
like so little else, human nature never
ch a n g e s .
CA Davidss latest novel is The Blacks
of Cape Town.
The revolutionaries, it had
turned out, were no better than
the capitalists, just more intent
on iron rule
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Sunday Times Combined Metros 9 - 23/04/2014 04:35:16 PM - Plate:


Sunday Times Combined Metros 10 - 23/04/2014 04:35:31 PM - Plate:
PAGE 10 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
PHILIPPOLIS / 21.33
Rachel Zadok | Illustration: Morgan van Heerden
p h i l i p p o l i s . b l o g s p ot . c o m
Create Blog Sign In
PHILIPPOLIS TOURIST BOARD
THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2034
Anyone out there?
Silence. Fifteen minutes have
passed with no human cries or
gunshots. I think were the only
ones left. Twenty-four at the door,
last count. Theyve begun hurling
themselves at the glass. Double
glazed or not, it wont be long b
POSTED BY CITIZEN NEL AT
10:40PM 0 COMMENTS:
THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2034
Oom John was NOT demented!
An employee of Guanzhou
Pharmaceuticals has blown the
whistle on genetic experiments
theyve been conducting on the old
Varti farm, according to a report in
the Huffington Post. I blame our
esteemed leader, Comrade
Maolema. Ive always said the
Nationalisation of Private
Enterprise Bill would destroy our
nation.
What were they thinking, selling
Oom Johns breeding project to the
Chinese? First the rhinos, now this.
POSTED BY CITIZEN NEL AT
10:21PM 0 COMMENTS:
THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2034
Two New Facts to add to the
Philippolis Tourist Brochure
Sporadic gunfire is cutting up the
night. The army has mobilised. A
relief as more have gathered. Weve
piled mannequins against the
windows, but in the gaps between
their plastic limbs eyes flash
luminous yellow. I didnt know
their eyes glowed in the dark. Also,
I thought they were supposed to be
solitary hunters. You learn
something new every day.
At least the defence force didnt
take three days to come rescue us
this time. Life is funny; one minute
y o ure shopping for shirts in PEP,
and the next ... Im staying
optimistic, but I've set my posts to
publish automatically every five
minutes, just in case.
POSTED BY CITIZEN NEL AT
10.01PM 0 COMMENTS:
THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2034
I Never Voted Vickers
Three monsters (thats how I see
them now) are chewing on
Comrade Vickers in front of the
store. I can still hear his screams
reverberating in my skull. Cats do
like to play with their food.
While it is a tragedy our
community has lost citizens, our
loss would be greater were we to
shut down our towns most
valuable source of income.
Remember that Vickers sound
byte booming out of every
Philippolis iCom as we washed the
blood of our neighbours, our
friends, our families from the
s t re e t s ?
I suppose there will be a bi-
election when this is over. Maybe
Ill run for office. Comrade Nel,
local councillor. It has a ring to it.
POSTED BY CITIZEN NEL AT
9:55PM 1 COMMENTS:
THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2034
Sign my Petition
Never thought Id say this on a
public platform, but I dont think
my bowels can manage a diet of
chocolate and Cheese Curls for
three days, which is how long it
took for the defence force to get
here in 29. Please God theyre
better prepared this time.
I wish Philippolis had a
Woolworths. Ive started an online
petition.
POSTED BY CITIZEN NEL AT
9.40PM 11 COMMENTS:
THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2034
T h e re s a Tiger at the Door
The manager has locked us in, but
its pacing the length of the
storefront, a big bugger. Remember
the Philippolis Big Cat Massacre in
2029? Front page headline, red
letters. The Sunday Times isnt
known for subtle reportage. Ten
citizens dead, seventeen maimed
and Tannie Martas fingers slukked
down like vienna sausages inhaled
by a high school scrum-half post
Saturday morning match.
Half a decade later her vetkoek is
still booby-trapped with pockets of
dry flour because Oom John took a
funny turn. Thank the good Lord
tourists found him on the
Colesburg Road, naked as a
newborn and red as a fresh scar. No
one put two and two together until
after the beasts had been subdued
and the fence repair team found
the bolt cutters engraved with the
Varti emblem. How they got out
this time is anyones guess.
One thing I do know is that the
Sunday Times isnt going to have
the final word. Not with Citizen Nel
of the Philippolis Tourist Board on
the ground to provide up to the
minute reporting. Not as long as the
battery on my iCom iOS Tiger
the irony is not lost on me lasts.
Pray for me, citizens of
Philippolis. Pray for us all.
POSTED BY CITIZEN NEL AT
9:33PM 5 COMMENTS:
Rachel Zadoks latest novel is
Sister Sister.
CHURCH SQUARE, PRETORIA / 09.35
Sihle Khumalo
C
URLS of evenly-spaced
marijuana smoke fill up
an otherwise clear
autumn morning. It is
absurd to think that the public
smoking of weed was approved a
year ago. It is still a novelty and
some smokers still hide when
they see the police, particularly
when they are stoned.
Government had been resisting
legalising marijuana for years
until a UFO was sighted in the
remote Northern Cape. As part of
the cover-up plan, government
issued a statement: Our people
are smoking substances that lead
them to see things that do not
exist. So we might as well let
them smoke freely. Marijuana is
henceforth decriminalised.
The ruling Pe o p l e s
Emancipation Party (PEP) wa n t s
to project an image of selflessness,
humilit y and people-centred
government. PEPs leader, Black
Moses, is a great orator who is
adored by the poor, but rumours
persist that he has private bank
accounts in Switzerland and on
the Isle of Man.
Moses was the General
Commander of Coalition Forces
which fought against the
mercenaries and militia groups in
2024 post-election conflict. The
party that had governed the
cowntr y since the dawn of
democracy did not want to accept
South Africans were tired of
Apathy, Nepotism and Corruption.
Church Square is now S a n k a ra
S q u a re , after the visionary and
father of the Burkina Faso nation,
who not only cut his salary and
refused to have air-conditioning in
his office because his people did
not have such a luxury, but also
exchanged the e x p e n s i ve
government fleet for cheap cars.
As I walk through the Square, I
cannot help but recall how
after PEP achieved a landslide
victory in the 2029 elections
ground-breaking initiatives were
introduced through the Histor y
Beautification Process. This
explains why Paul Krugers statue,
which used to be at the centre of
the Square, is long gone.
Madiba Street, on the northern
side of the Square, is now Mpofu
Street, named after the advocate
who had a stint as Justice Minister
after the 2024 elections. Robben
Island was changed back to a
prison, but this time for
dangerous criminals.
All rhinos are dead. The former
Swazi king, who left his fiefdom
in haste as the revolution swept
through the nation, is ageing
quickly in the Middle East, where
he lives in exile. He has only one
wife left.
The 9th general elections,
which will highlight 40 years of a
democratic dispensation, are less
than a month away. Amidst the
hope that permeates the cool
highveld air, some lingering
challenges remain: racism
continues unabated, inequality
persists, tribalism bubbles under
the radar; poor people continue to
be used by politicians; the
education and health systems
have chronic problems; judicial
independence hangs by a thin
t h re a d .
The National Development Plan
has long been replaced by the
2050 Prosperity Plan. South
Africa, soon to be renamed
Azania, is still a country in transit.
A country alive with possibilities
and inspiring new ways, but still a
m e d i o c re nation with an
exceptionally high tolerance level
for dubious leadership.
Sihle Khumalo is the author of
Almost Sleeping My Way to
Timbuktu.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 11 - 23/04/2014 04:35:57 PM - Plate:
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Sunday Times Combined Metros 12 - 23/04/2014 04:48:59 PM - Plate:
PAGE 12 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
GRASSY PARK / 10.14
Yewande Omotoso | Illustration: Lizza Littlewort
She knew he was skrik for curses.
Fuck your line. Your whole line, Boytjie.
Yo ull piss through a stone. Youll die
with your head up the gat of a walrus.
Hed turned away, glanced backwards at
her as if she was dangerous and crossed
the street. So he knows, so what he
knows. Hes too fool to do anything.
Leanne dodged a car, waved the
To d a y s Science, dodged another car.
She resisted pulling a zap sign at the
prick in the yellow XXXG300 who
almost knocked her over. The robot
turned blue, those with Triple-Xs sped
off, those with Normals waited the 30
seconds for the green.
Soon signs will go up, signs for No
Normals or Triple-X Only. The Minister
had said. The Normals complained and
Minister said who told you not to
upgrade and if you didnt have the
money when the upgrade-window was
open, whose problem is that? Leanne
followed the story. It was the Normals
who mostly still bought Paper. Boytjie
whistled at her and she finally got a
chance to pull her zap sign. Boytjie, on
the opposing Island, with his flowers,
unbought and sweating, retched from
the back of his throat and spat. You
gross, Leanne said and he bowed as if
shed just told him his teeth were clean.
11h1 4
Do you think the newspaper dies,
Boytjie? First tell me why you
pretending. Leanne had taken off her
skates. Work-day over, there were those
few hours of trade then nothing. Shed
sold two. Two. Pretending what?
I saw your koek. Leanne jabbed
Boytjie in the arm. Why you hitting,
what for? For spying. A Triple-X slowed
down close to where they sat on the
edge of the Island. Scoping for Walkers.
There were none. No one bought Paper
but Walkers were always sold out.
Boytjie nursed his arm. Leannes
stomach complained. Shed sold two.
She felt like taking a shit. But the kind
of dump that can kill you. Would be
good, take a shit and die. And maybe
just before she died the thing would
stink so much itll kill all the Triple-Xs,
the God-forsaken Ministers, the Big
People. And the Men.
He wants to know why she pretends
shes a Lee and not a Leanne. Cause of
the Men with Satan for penises and puff
for brains. This is South Africa, safest
place in this country is in man-armour,
so what her boobs hurt from the strap.
Can I? Boytjie asked and Leanne
relinquished a copy of Todays. He
turned the page, a girl found in the
gutter, milk-teeth intact. Cause if you
d i d nt pretend, then we could be rich.
How? You could be a Walker. Youre a
girl, right? So, then, you can Walk.
Tr i p l e - X s will come, theyll pay a lot.
For an hour, a piece of an hour even.
He whistled. Then you give me half
the money. Why half? Cause Ill keep
you safe. Leanne sucked her teeth. You?
You cant fight, Boytjie. No, I cant fight.
But Ive got a gun. Where? Come, Ill
show you. Leanne got up, she left all the
To d a y s piled up on the Island. Paper is
dying, she thought.
Yewande Omotosos latest novel is
Bom Boy.
I
F the headline is right and The
Newspaper Dies, shes in kak. Leanne
jerked her head at Boytjie. Boytjie who
thought he was so clever asking that
she lend him something.
For a cigarette, hed said. Come on, Lee,
hed said. As if turning his voice like that,
like some old-time singer, some Steevie
Wonder; as if that would make her part with
money. Shed stared him down. And now she
jerked her head without smiling. If she
smiled he might cross the street, think shed
changed her mind. If you give I wont tell,
hed said. Tell what? I saw you take a piss.
Fuck you, shed said. Fuck you and your
mother and the cow that gave birth to her.
MEDUPI POWER STATION,
LEPHALALE / DAWN
Nthikeng Mohlele
I
T is hard, but not impossible, to be-
lieve that Lephalale, this metropolis of
Dubai proportions, used to be a small
mining town, a dusty outpost. The dis-
covery of diamonds has led to a boom: in
sky-high skyscrapers, in 12-lane motor-
ways, in this gem of an airport smack in the
middle of a man-made ocean.
Creating anything is of course distant
proof that there is a God, but creating any-
thing resembling the Lephalale Interna-
tional Airport is cocky, if not profane.
All 26 years of men in helmets drilling,
measuring, soldering things to things. Be-
fore our very eyes, villages and cemeteries
disappeared, with mountains besieged by
dynamite assaults, giving way to rows of
palm trees that seem to stretch to eternity.
It is this daring, the constructing of an air-
port in a make-believe ocean, dotted with
overpriced fake islands, that has stopped
people like me, Poets, dead in our tracks.
A re nt poems, if they do not concern
themselves with curvatures of collar bones
of virgins, birds fluttering in fountains, the
moon waltzing through a lonely night sky,
supposed to still honour the profundity of
creation: the natural scents of mint leaves.
Delicate rock formations. Flamingos stand-
ing one-legged in crystal lakes?
Poetry, said Professor Pay Attention to
the Damn Words, real name Professor
Dube, cannot exist without the mysteries
and cruelties of nature. The ocean, en-
dowed with obscure talent of high and low
tides, is as sure a sign of the scale of Gods
grand plan as the sun that bounces off The
Imperial Crown and Marys Back, delirium-
inducing high-rise buildings in stone and
steel. Housing bankers. Talent Manage-
ment Agencies. Engineering demi gods. Of-
fices of celebrity heart surgeons. Dance stu-
dios high enough to almost blend with the
clouds. New York, Italy are all so faded
now, faint memories, like retired prosti-
tutes, which worsens the Poets insomnia,
dims the Poets gaze, his sensibilities.
What is a Poet to write, if engineers can
will oceans into being, sneeze islands at
will? Arent these heart-stopping pop
singers, in their chauffeured limousines,
hounded by photographers, a tragedy fac-
ing poetry? My insomnia, all 11 years of it,
has to do with how suddenly invisible Poets
are in this metropolis, which is not to say it
h a s nt design and aesthetic charms!
It is beautiful here, desirable, alluring
a pretty place, in a cosmetic yet convincing
way, but not persuasive enough to the de-
manding and temperamental souls of true
Poets. The palm trees, all plastic, offend the
poetic eye in small measures engineers
competing with God in weird and remark-
able ways. It is a triumph of civilisation and
death to poetry how hearts have been
emptied of longing, of estimations, blud-
geoned with casinos and year-round par-
ties, celebrating the almost inspiring and
the macabre. It is breathtaking here, un-
predictable but not a place for Poets,
unless they happen to be womanisers, in
which case they can fill ocean floors with
rhyming verse. It is true that the women,
flowing from all continents, are good for
poetry, for the survival of Poets.
Nthikeng Mohleles latest book is
Small Things.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 13 - 23/04/2014 04:37:30 PM - Plate:
PAGE 13 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
HILLBROW / 03.10
Shubnum Khan
T
HERE are always people in
the stairwells now. People
who cough and sneeze and
reach out their hands for
you. You have to run past them very
quickly or they grab you. Even the
old ones. Once, Thobile dared me to
poke someone sleeping on the
landing. We ran away, laughing.
I havent seen Thobile for a long
time. Mamma says I must stay inside
now. I stood by our window and
shouted down to her room but she
d i d nt stick her head out to answer.
Everything smells damp, even
with all the fires people are making
in the halls. They burn chairs and
sofas. They are always knocking
and knocking and then I go to my
room and lie under my bed. We
d o nt open for anyone anymore.
Im always thirsty. Mamma gives
me a little water from the buckets
that she keeps in the bathroom. She
is trying to grow things in pots.
Beans, popcorn seeds, even rice.
Uncle Jack laughs at her. They fight
a lot now. Especially since the beer
got finished. She says uncle Jack fin-
ished all the food. He says she was
the one who gave it away like
bloody Mother Theresa.
It was different then, she says, we
thought it was going to end, so we
helped each other. That was when
the Indian lady on our floor made
rice and Mamma and I gave plates
of baked beans to the people.
But the water kept coming and
the floors filled up and people start-
ed running upstairs, carrying their
tables and televisions and the cor-
ridors got full and dirty and more
and more people got sick and then
no one wanted to share food or
blankets anymore.
Now all the doors are locked.
When I look out my window all I
see is water and everyone is trying
to come here; to Ponte City.
We sit in the dark at night be-
cause the candles are finished. We
sit and listen. Sometimes there are
big fights. Once we heard shots and
someone came banging on our
door screaming, Open! Open, for
G o ds sake, we have children with
us! After that day, we put the
fridge against the door.
Uncle Jack says S b us gang is on
the roof, that they are building a
boat. He says he knows Sbu, maybe
they will let us pass, and maybe
they will let us on their boat. Mam-
ma says he heard that a long time
ago and we dont know if its still
true. She says it is better to stay.
06:20. I wake up and find people
in our home, they are opening all
our drawers and cupboards and I
start screaming. Mamma wakes up.
Uncle Jack has run away, he moved
the fridge and hes gone and now
everyone is in our home. Mamma
grabs my hand and we are running.
Everyone is running. It feels like the
building is moving. Everything
smells bad. I think I see Thobile and
I shout for her, but mamma pulls
my hand as we push through the
c r o wd .
Shubnum Khans latest novel is
Onion Tears.
Jeep with


Sunday Times Combined Metros 14 - 23/04/2014 04:38:25 PM - Plate:
PAGE 14 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
CARLTON CENTRE, JOBURG / 10.53
Gareth Crocker | Illustration: Andy Mason
strong with him.
Im just tired of toeing the
l i n e , I shout back.
Look, lets blue sky this for a
while. Find the golden thread of
your despair.
I peer down at my latex waist-
coat with its now burgeoning plas-
tic flower on the lapel. Im sorry,
but I think this is where the rubber
meets the road for me. Literally.
Wait! Have you considered a
turn-key approach?
My silence beckons him on.
Should we circle back to
that?
L o o k , I scream, my despera-
tion mounting, I just feel like a
square peg in a round hole. What
the hell am I supposed to do?
The negotiator thinks about
that for a moment. I suppose
thats the $64 000 question.
A re nt you meant to be the ex-
pert? Best of breed?
I understand that youve been
burning the candle at both ends up
there, but I need you to keep your
head. Maybe we should consider
S WO T .
S WAT ?
No. SWOT. Lets look at the
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportu-
nities and Threats of this situa-
t i o n .
Oh screw this! I yell, getting to
my feet. My mind is made up. Its
time to jump.
But it is at this precise moment
that the second and most debil-
itating aspect of the disease kicks
in: dreaded non-delivery.
And so I stand, frozen, on top of
a roof that I am unable to step
off.
POFADDER / 18.16
Diane Awerbuck
C
HRISTMAS lights?
Deputy Malgas peered
at the pinpoints prick-
ing the high crisp
evening. A star? Reindeer? Not
indigenous: outlawed. Malgas
would lose the badge hed just been
handed.
Miggie shielded herself with the
clipboard. They look nice. The
u n i fo r ms pocket was bald where
Z wa a n s w y k s name had been.
How long have they been up?
Miggie shrugged. Since before
Arvina Crassus said the PAN would
reign until Jesus came. The Ministry
of Family Planning was making sure
that never happened. Sable men ag-
gregated data for the Africa Genome
Birth Defects Database, harassing
shepherds, rooting out rumoured
messiahs, dreading the next Man-
dela.
Whats next?
Storerooms. But first chaila.
Miggie had laminated a poster:
SADC 2034 MINIMUM WAGES AND
WORKING CONDITIONS.
Malgas sighed. The farms had se-
ceded along with the WesCape. Tea
meant re-using good leaves until
they were leached bland. At least
Pofadder s water was drinkable.
There was no road access to the
springs Eye, entombed as the mis-
sion developed. Now Chroma
locals loitered on the pubic strip of
dust-darkened shops elbowing the
road to the Griqua Church at one
end like Noahs Ark; Pep Stores at
the other. They were proud of their
sewerage system dank warrens
Malgas would have to check. The
pump room was also underground.
Already he wished the deluge on
Po f a d d e r.
He looked up at the Sanatorium.
He smelled supper Karoo lamb,
not the national staple made from
fermented weeds and marketed as
manna. The San girls didnt eat
wortelbredie. Funded by the Win-
frey Networks Whole Food Revo-
lution, they grew to a vigorous five
foot: appelwang, said the Chromas
when they saw the prized daughters
of the wealthy and the frightened.
Struggle royalty, sniffed Miggie.
Malgas pocketed his badge. Au-
thority was not something a man
could pin to his chest. Responsibil-
ity was located lower down, in the
gut.
He fiddled with the Pep Stores
lock a tin key, a tinny door and
squinted into the gloom. The win-
dows were arrow slits. Loopholes,
Malgas thought. Te a , said Miggie,
and disappeared.
Malgas twisted between the
clothes racks, threads dangling
black and yellow-green poi-
sonous tendrils that numbed the
limbs and stopped the heart.
At the second door Malgas felt
the pumps intimate judder. The
gate grated open. Damp air with a
graveyard coolness, the relic output
of another creatures lungs.
Whos that? Ridiculous.
But still. The canine panting.
Malgas breathed grease and the
tang of blood. His feet squelched
everywhere wet, and he an island.
He groped for some device that
showed ON or OFF; considered the
p h a ra o h s tombs, spells for the safe
journey of souls.
His shoe clanged against some
metal apparatus, and Malgas was
propelled against the engine d o g-
low, growling, stinking of old-time
oil, something prised from the earth
at human cost.
Then his feet betrayed him, slip-
pery with mould and confinement.
He fell on all fours and knocked
skulls with some other breathing an-
imal. It gasped, shrieked, retreated.
Meneer-meneer-meneer!
A girl.
Her sweat stank. Exertion, not
terror: pheromonal, the smell of the
chase. Or please, not in his first
week rape. His taste for execu-
tion was long gone.
The girl sobbed, joined by a high-
er wail. Malgass ears sang while his
nose ran: the high stink of fresh
meat; the butchery fume of the offal
placenta.
Boy or girl?
She quieted, shifting. Was she
trying to feed the baby? She leaned
against the machine: the full face;
the long limbs. In the dark the an-
cestral engineers considered one
a n o t h e r.
Whats your name?
Miriam. Yours?
M a l g a s .
Your first name.
J o s e f .
Diane Awerbucks latest novel
is Home Remedies.
S
ITTING here now, on the
brink of oblivion, I keep
asking myself the same
question. How did it all
come to this?
We found cures for cancer,
leukaemia, HIV and even miming,
but this new epidemic is like noth-
ing the world had ever known.
There are many different names
for it, but I like mine best: The
Mutant Zombie Clown Apoca-
lypse of Clichs and Non-Deliv-
er y.
At first the condition was lim-
ited mainly to politicians and cor-
porate gravy-train riders the
sort who continually spout clichs
and offer hollow assurances only
to never deliver on their promises.
Scientists later discovered that
these early sufferers carried an an-
cient gene that, probably because
it was so lazy, had remained dor-
mant for generations.
But now it is awake and mu-
tating all the time. Three months
ago it became airborne. Now even
the innocent are afflicted.
As I sit here, contemplating
death, I can no longer deny the red
glow of my nose, the white pow-
der of my skin and an insidious
lengthening of my shoes. My once
lustrous blond hair is now a rich
plastic green.
I can accept these changes.
What I cant take is the uncon-
trollable use of corporate clichs
and political platitudes that is the
language and indeed the first
sign of the disease.
From far beneath my feet, it ap-
pears that the police negotiator
has finally arrived. He is wielding
a microphone as he steps from his
c a r.
Sir, I think its fair to say that
we need to think outside the box
h e re , his voice bellows up to
me.
Hell in a handbag, the disease is
And I cry the tears of a Mutant
Zombie Clown in an advanced
state of Clichs and Non-Delivery.
I look down one last time to see
if the psychologist has any last
words for me, but I realise that its
11am now and hes gone off for an
early lunch.
Oh, for crying in a bucket.
Gareth Crockers latest novel,
King, is in bookstores. The
Last Roadtrip will be
published in October.
Terms and conditions of the operating carrier Mango, will be applicable on these ights. They are available on
Mangos website www.ymango.com. Terms and conditions include, but are not limited to the following: Changes to
reservations may be charged. Refunds for partial or totally unused tickets may include a fee. No special meals are
offered. Baggage allowance includes 1 x 23kg piece of checked luggage and a maximum of 7kg of hand luggage.
Golf bags can be checked-in at a fee of R120/bag. There is no seat selection available on booking. No discounts on
childrens fares. R250 discount on infant fares. No unaccompanied minors. *Based on the number of daily return
ights between SAA and Mango. Subject to adhoc cancellations due to operational requirements.
JOHANNESBURG TO DURBAN
SAA + MANGO = OVER 260 FLIGHTS WEEKLY
*
Economy
class
cabin
R50 voucher
for on-board
meal Check-in at
Mango counters
23kg
Baggage
BRINGING THE WORLD TO AFRICA.
TAKING AFRICA TO THE WORLD.
Go to ysaa.com, call +27 11 978 1111 or
contact your local travel agent to book.
H
A
V
A
S
W
W
H
A
V
A
S
W
W
2
9
1/
E
/
R
10
222
9
1/
E
/
R
10
9
1/
E
/
R
Earn and redeem
miles
Sunday Times Combined Metros 15 - 23/04/2014 04:38:59 PM - Plate:
PAGE 15 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
MARION ISLAND / 15.52
TomEaton | Illustration: Infiltrate Media
S
HE stands back and puts her
knife away in her jacket. The
words she has carved on the
front door are as neat as every
note she has ever written.
N. Z. Sitoto & J. Breytenbach, scientists,
left this place on this day, the 27th of April,
2034. Nkosi sikelel iAf rika.
She still isnt sure about the
scientists. She had wanted to say
South Africans but he had said that it
might antagonise the new authorities.
The blessing was inflammatory enough,
he said. Perhaps he is right. He is an
unimaginative man, but he understands
the new politics.
He tugs at the padlock on the door.
She wonders why people pull at padlocks
to test their strength. If anyone really
wanted to get in, theyd use bolt-cutters.
But perhaps the weight of the lock in his
hand reassures him. He has never coped
well with change.
The island suited him, a place sleeping
below the horizon, anaesthetised by the
sound of the wind, the endless thunder
of the southern sky ripped into shreds by
the turning of the world. But today
change has come. Even the wind has
stopped blowing. No wonder he is pulling
at padlocks.
They turn to look at their island for
the last time. A green-gray bog sloping
away, tussocks of rain-pearled grass, and
beyond, invisible in the mist, the sea.
The officer picking his way up the path
towards them is taller than she expected.
The last one who came was short and
tried to impose himself by widening
himself, hands on hips, legs apart. He had
walked jerkily, unsure whether to strut or
prowl as he shouted his questions at
them. But this one moves elegantly.
Nee-how! she calls.
Hey, how you doing? His accent is
American. He sees their surprise. I
studied in the States. Before.
He carries her bags, and asks polite
questions about their work. He falls silent
when the helicopter drifts out of the
drizzle, and they watch it bumping down
like an exhausted sea-bird returning to its
roost.
The helicopter takes the strain, beating
the saturated air, and then the island
begins to recede. She feels an unexpected
stab of loss, a sense that she must
remember this moment; but there is so
little to hold on to: just a glimpse of
prefabricated huts, plastic blocks
scattered on moss by a messy child.
And then she turns, and sees her
colleague staring out of the window, and
looks past him, and lets her mouth fall
open, despite herself. The clouds have
lifted to reveal an ocean full of ships.
Warships, spread out as far as she can
see; and behind them, like the debris of a
hurricane, trawlers, tankers, fishing skiffs,
junks, sampans towing rafts with lean-tos
on them, and a pontoon supporting what
looks like a church.
The officer is checking their
identification. He smiles at her.
Happy birthday, he says, pointing at
the date on her card. Fort y?
She nods; and then the rain sweeps
back, and she can see nothing ahead of
them.
Tom Eaton is a columnist and
s c r e e nw r i t e r.
PAGE 15
1
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PAGE 17 APRIL 27 2014 PAGE 16 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 } { 2034 }
USHAKA MARINE WORLD, DURBAN / 19.00
Rian Malan | Illustration: Chris Beukes
A
S the moon rises
over Durban bay, I
finger the detonator
and cast my mind
back to 2001, when my tech-
head china Steve announced
that hed seen the future and
it was cellphones. Or
specifically, content for
cellphones. I laughed. I
mean, cmon. Content for
cellphones? You must be
joking.
At the time, there was a
mad euphoria surrounding
the internet and tools to
access it. Revolution was
breaking out everywhere as
the people seized the
means of digital production
and set forth to destroy
corporations that controlled
news, music, books and
movies. Now anyone could
produce these things at home
using cheap PCs and then
share them on the internet,
leading to a future where all
information and
entertainment would be free.
I didnt want to sound
stupid but there was
something wrong with this
picture. Nothing worth
having is free. Even Soweto
taxi drivers knew that. Thats
why they had bumper
stickers saying, There is
nothing for mahala. It was a
warning, but nobody listened.
Thats because, at the
outset, the free stuff was
actually lekker, because it
wasnt made, only stolen.
First they stole music. Then
they moved on to news and
movies. Then books. The old
line firms started sinking, but
nobody cared. We said: Ag,
serves them right. Bleddy
capitalists. And helped
ourselves to more free stuff
off the interweb. Free
information. Free dictionary
definitions. Free TV series.
The masses were thrilled,
but I had a sinking feeling. I
mean, the writer JRR Tolkien
was a lexicographer who
spent his entire life working
on the letter W, looking for
new words beginning with W
or new usages for old ones.
This was possible only because
customers were willing to pay
for Oxford dictionaries.
When content was set free
by digital revolutionaries, the
money dried up, and the great
dictionaries went out of
business, along with the great
newspapers and publishing
houses and institutions like
HBO.
And so Steves vision came
true. By 2024, everyone had a
smart phone, and everything
on it was free. But it was all
junk. The rich and powerful
got their news in brown
envelopes, typed on paper
with ancient Remingtons and
hand-delivered by dark riders
on Harleys. The rest of us got
digitized hogswill via the
internet reality TV, celebrity
gossip, sports and Idols, plus
torrents of preposterous
rubbish from salesmen and
lonely strangers. The human
species was drowning in
meaningless noise and useless
information.
Oddly, it was Eskom that
showed the way out. It said:
The coal is wet. Or, The
coal had stones in it. Or,
Strikes delayed the projects
completion. Either way, our
electricity kept failing. And
every time it happened, more
of us noticed that in the dark,
the nights were quiet and
humans looked beautiful as
they clustered around
flickering candles, reading old
books on actual paper. When
the power came on again,
everyone groaned.
And so here we are,
thousands of us, with our
kitbags full of Semtex and our
homemade detonators, ready
to change the world again. My
charge is planted against that
substation, the one just
outside uShaka Marine World.
On the stroke of midnight I
hit the button, and kaboom
the power goes out
everywhere, forever.
Rian Malans latest book is
Resident Alien.
RHODES MEMORIAL, CAPE TOWN / 08.00
Koos Kombuis | Illustration: Hanno van Zyl
D
ID you really come
here for picnics,
Grandpa? my 10-
year-old grandson,
Andr, asks incredulously. Did
you bring your own food, back
then?
It is a beautiful clear morning.
The sky is a brilliant orange. We
are sitting at one of the outside
tables of the New Cape Town
Waterfront, built on the slopes of
Table Mountain.
Yes, I say. There was only
one restaurant then, and lots of
room. From here, we had a great
view.
We still have a great view, his
sister, Nicola, remarks. I love
watching the waves of the sea
washing over the ruined city.
I cough up some phlegm.
Though I have not smoked for
close on 40 years, my bad lungs
are probably a hangover from my
rock n roll years, when we pelted
out three-chord Afrikaans anti-
apartheid songs and still believed
everything would turn out fine if
everyone just smoked enough
ganja and wore funny T-shirts.
Wed been right about South
Africa. Everything DID turn out
more or less fine, after all. We had
no idea, back then, what a mess
the rest of the planet would
become. And how, under our
beloved President Malema, now in
his second term, we would fight a
constant battle to keep all the bad
influences from the outside world
at bay. Rising sea levels. Pollution.
Contagious diseases. War and
terror. And, of course, the ever-
present eye of Big Brother
Internet and Google Earth
monitoring everyones every
move.
Tell us about the rhinos,
Grandpa, Andr asks me for the
umpteenth time. Did they really
have such big horns? Did they live
in the time of the dinosaurs or
before?
Yes, son, they had big horns,
I say, misty-eyed. And they died
out long after the dinosaurs. In
fact, the last one died in captivity
after you were born. I will never
forget that sad day
My wife nods sympathetically,
while paging through a 3D
videozine. On the front page
I can see a moving picture of
The Ninja as he is pottering about
in the herb garden of his
beachfront garden in Bellville
while talking about his hip
replacement. Since Yolandi left
me, I love nothing better than
staying at home on a Friday night
and watching Noot vir Noot, I can
hear him saying in a faltering
voice.
A waiter appears on creaky
wheels. Heres your breakfast,
he intones in a flat, mechanical
voice as he bends over us to put
down our plates of synthetic
omelets. My wife closes her
videozine, abruptly freezing the
tattooed old man in mid-
interview. That will be fifteen
thousand three hundred and
twelve rands, prepayable. Do you
want to charge it to your Global
Account or pay in cash?
Cash, I say hastily, removing
some thousand-rand coins from
my wallet. The coins all have a
picture of vice-president Steve
Hofmeyr on them. I dont trust
those machines where they scan
your hand or your forehead.
Turning to my grandchildren,
I ask: Do you know they actually
predicted that stuff in the Book of
Revelations?
Did they also predict that
Japan would disappear and that
Australia would completely burn
down? Andr asks.
Look! Here comes another
ice berg! my granddaughter
shouts excitedly, pointing to the
Cape Flats Bay below, where, in
the light of the rising sun, a
glistening white mountain
slowly drifts past, surrounded by
muddy-looking water and the
debris of rubble and rusted,
discarded cars.
Koos Kombuiss latest memoir
is Short Drive to Freedom.
TLOKWE / 09.00
Andile Mngxitama
F
REEDOM Day. A smile
dances across Ta Mzis
face and then disappears
as quickly as it ap-
peared.
His plans for the day are shat-
tered: a paralysing pain in his left
knee shoots his head back onto the
pillow. He clutches it with one
hand, covers his eyes with the other
and prays: Not today, dear God.
Twenty years of impotence is one
thing. But not being able to walk on
Freedom Day? The bodys promises
and betrayals.
After much praying and cursing,
the knee lets him go and he hob-
bles off the bed. Ta Mzi follows his
Sunday routine: a limp to the shops
to buy the Sunday Tears, then to la
Gs to pick up a quart of Castles in
the Air.
After taking an early retirement,
Mzi settled in the township of
Ikageng in Tlokwe in a Boer pub-
lic of yore, now playground of the
black Boere, who trade platinum
with all the brutality pioneered by
their predecessors.
He opens the Castle. He opens
the door of Tears. Things dont re-
ally change in South Africa. Blacks
in their townships, whites in their
suburbs. As always, they meet in
the courts.
Page three of the Tears screams,
Provoc doctrine! short for the
doctrine that the weak provoke the
powerful to commit acts of violence
against them.
The accused in this case was born
in 1994, went to school with blacks
and had a black lover once. He is
known to have a son-and-mother
relationship with the black woman
who raised him.
Every year in December, the ac-
cused without fail goes in
search of his black mother in the
sprawling squatter camps on the
outskirts of Ikageng. He gives her
the same Christmas present: a pre-
packaged hamper of goodies. Then
he goes skiing in the Alps.
A former human rights lawyer
for Equal Education and Access to
Water For All has been roped in for
the defence.
He has called in an array of ex-
perts on the weak to help the court
understand the provoc doctrine
defense strategy. The lawyer is also
an expert on the weak.
He knows intimately the con-
tempt they provoke, even in their
gratitude. When one was alone and
thought about them, thoughts of
murder populated ones mind.
The anthropologists credentials
are solid. All his adult life he has
been in the business of helping the
weak and studying them closely. He
has lived among them for long pe-
riods, as a participant observer.
He explained that what drove the
accused to murder was nothing he
could prevent. It was not a premed-
itated act, but an impulse of the
powerful in the face of the weak.
The dead man was black, blind and
a beggar.
The anthropologist explained
how helping the weak was an act of
suppressing the natural impulse to
murder them. He said that in a
country in which to be weak is to be
black, and to be white is to have
power, the court (if honest and
just) should absolve all
transgressions against blacks.
He put it to the court that the
problem was not racism, but weak-
ness. Make the white weak, and the
same would apply.
Ta Mzi gulps air from his now-
empty bottle. Picking up pen and
paper, he begins to write, Dear
son, It comes out as, Dear
blacks.
He stops, and his mind writes:
The whites who love us are right.
So long as we remain weak, we shall
breed murderous contempt.
Outside, cars pull dough-nuts in
the streets. Flags flare through open
windows, hoots blind the ear, clog
the mind.
Ta Mzi emerges from the long
nightmare and erases time. He in-
duces himself back to sleep with a
determination to control his own
dreams. He closes his eyes and
imagines a catalogue of tools to
construct his dream anew: map,
land, mountain, soil, red, gravel
track, knife, gun, bullet, machete,
rope, fire, tyre, FREEDOM
Andile Mngxitamas latest book
is From Place of Blackness,
co-written by Aryan Kaganof.
THE NORTHERN FREE STATE / 15.00
Dominique B o th a
N
O good, says Maseu.
Fin rot. Cloudy eyes.
He chucks the sickly
carp onto the bank,
its eroded scales opening onto
pastel innards.
The sewerage works upstream
packed up years ago and turned
the ephemeral summer river into
a perennial stream of shit.
Long time like this; it started
when your father was still alive.
In one of his traps further down a
catfish swims on a hook.
The farm now belongs to the
premier, who bought up land as
people left. Maseu got some acres,
but no money for fencing to keep
his herd from the rotten river.
He keeps Ma and Pas graves
clean. My brother sends him
money from Australia. He clips
the grass with scissors held
together with blue wire and sends
a photograph from his phone.
Cellphones are cheaper than
water.
How is overseas, kleinmies?
You are nice and fat. I blush.
The lay of the land remains
familiar. It gently rises and falls,
as if following the cadence of a
breath, but the overlay has
changed. Pa noticed years ago that
the scrub was creeping back. All
that carbon in the air, the trees
thrive, it elicits them from the
g round.
Ja Maseu, ons het ook maar
ons eie kak daar bo. It keeps
getting warmer. We make wine in
Holland now. And the explosion
in Russia that time still makes
people sick.
Maseu was saved by Pa half a
century ago when a hundred bee
stings were pulled from his face
after purloining honey from a
mimosa stump. Back then he was
known as Champagne. His
daughter Palesa lives in Joburg
and teaches Sotho at a private
school. His sons walk 7km along a
cattle path every day to work for
the Chinese who reopened the
diamond mine.
No transport. The government
ate the money for fixing the road.
It sank into the veld. The Chinese
are building a new road, but only
for their own lorries.
Kwaai Jan Malan, who used to
own Uitsig, manages the farm for
the premier. Across the platteland
smallholders gave up and moved
to the cities, after years of waiting
for the first rain. It comes too late
now and sometimes not at all.
Kwaai Jan fences in the
premier s cattle and pumps their
drinking water from boreholes.
Sometimes the bulls break out
to get to the river. Then the
minister comes from Mangaung
and shouts. Maseu shrugs his
shoulders. Long time like this.
We walk to the hillock where
he checks his snares among the
bushmen etchings gracing the
jutting slate. Last nights catch is
a porcupine. Once the spines are
removed the ribbed skin cooks
like crackling on an open fire.
Below us laughing doves pick
at strewn seed. In a sky as blue as
faded history caravels of cloud
billow and drift. A dragonfly
hovers; a shimmering spindle
fastening dredged memories onto
the fleeting present.
April has always been the
loveliest month.
Dominique Bothas latest novel
is False River.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 18 - 23/04/2014 04:40:17 PM - Plate:
PAGE 18 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
SEA POINT PROMENADE / 19.30
Darrel Bristow-Bovey | Illustration: Lizza Littlewort
N AT U R E S VALLEY / 18.02
Michiel Heyns
E
ARLY Thursday evening,
the Otter Room of the
Tsitsikamma Taj is
relatively quiet. Later,
when the day shift of the
Norwegian whaling station comes
off duty, it will liven up, especially
if the Canadians from the sawmill
also put in an appearance, and
the Russians from the off-shore oil
rigs and the Chinese from the
Boqi Abalone Cannery. In three
nights here, shes done four
nationalities.
But, for now, Cynthia is
content, as she gazes from the
picture windows of the lounge bar
onto the beach, where six-by-sixes
are dicing on the dunes, like giant
turtles doing battle, while on the
lagoon speedboats hover like
dragonflies in the sunset. In a
corner of the room, a water
feature purls pleasantly, around
romping stuffed otters.
Cynthia smiles. She had a
highly satisfactory meeting with
the Minister of Environmental
Affairs today, persuading her to
waive the ban on pumping
sewage into the sea, saving
Garden Route Condominiums
three million Yuan per year.
The Minister was initially
reluctant. Im passionate about
this place, she declared, gesturing
plumply towards undulating
lawns. I had 10 hectare of forest
cleared, at my own expense.
T h e re s space for a nine-hole golf
course. Im very invested in the
T s i t s i k a m m a .
But the Minister proved
amenable to a further investment
of two million Yuan by the
Tsitsikamma Development
Corporation, towards the
construction of the golf course,
plus, as a sweetener, a pair of
Jimmy Choos.
A man walks into the bar and
takes a stool near Cynthia: mid-
30s, too dark to be Scandinavian,
too interesting to be Canadian,
too good-looking to be Russian.
He notices her appraising gaze.
Looks away. Shy. Cute.
H i , she says, you new here?
Yeh. Arrived today.
Australian. Bingo.
Attached to Storms River
N u cl e a r ?
Naw. Tourist, you could say.
A tourist? Quaint.
Yeh. Dad left South Africa for
Oz 40 years ago, hes always on
about how beautiful it is. I want
to do the Otter Trail. Dad did it 50
years ago.
Daddys boy. Sweet.
Ah, the Otter Trail.
M a g n i f i c e n t .
Quite strenuous, Dad says?
Strenuous? Not at all. The
m o n o ra i ls very comfortable.
Oh. I was hoping to walk.
Strong thighs, then.
Walk? No, thats discouraged.
Hikers start fires and leave litter.
The owners of the Monorail
the Ni-ta-ma-de Corporation of
Singapore value cleanliness.
I was hoping to stay in the
forest huts at Storms River.
You cant. Theyve been turned
into singles quarters for migrant
workers from Transkei.
Oh. Thats a pity.
No, its not. Its
t ra n s fo r m a t i o n .
Oh. So whats your interest in
it?
Im CEO of the Tsitisikamma
Development Corporation.
So what do you develop?
Everything. Not 20 years ago
this was all forest, just some
holiday homes for privileged
whites. And look at it now.
He looks about him. Nice eyes.
Ye h , he says. Just look at it.
As you see, the place is
b o o m i n g . She taps an elegant
index finger on his chest. Boom-
boom-boom.
Speaking of which you
coming up? Im on the 15th floor,
in the Nkandla Suite.
Michiel Heyns won the 2012
Sunday Times Fiction Prize for
his novel Lost Ground. His
latest novel, A Sportful Malice,
has just been published by
Jonathan Ball.
H
E is an old man and
comes down to the
water every day
between the tides. He
lives halfway up the
hill where the waves havent
reached yet, in a crumbling house
with an old woman who comes
with him in the warm weather to
watch him put on a mask and
snorkel and walk into the sea. But
the girl hasnt seen the old
woman for a long time.
The girl likes talking to the old
man. He tells her about the old
days, 20 years ago, before she was
born. She asks him if the world
was better then, but he tells her
not to listen to people who talk
about any time as though it was
better or worse. He says people
who remember the old days
always think things were better,
but its because they were
younger then and its not the
times they miss, its themselves.
He tells her that it was before the
invasion then, but still we fought
each other and were afraid. We
always find a way to make
something worse.
He tells her there are more
whales now than there used to be.
Sometimes during the day she
hears the pop-pop of bored
soldiers on the ships taking shots
at them as they come in past the
island. One night a breakaway
herd from the dolphin pens
passed through and she saw their
silver backs in the moonlight like
a magnesium road across the
black bay.
The old man taught her to
swim. He brought her a mask and
held her hand and swam with her
over the promenade. They looked
down between columns of kelp to
the pale walkway where people
used to stroll. The shafts of sun
turned the water a pale green and
she felt like a small god passing
over a cold world. There are
benches down there covered in
mussels and barnacles and
lampposts that reach up above
the surface like a long picket of
serpents necks. He tells her they
used to burn orange at night and
fuzz in the sea mist and he used
to walk with his wife and look at
the lights of the moored ships.
There werent as many ships
then as there are now. That was
before the gun-ships and man-
carriers and the drilling platforms
going south.
The water is a little warmer
than it used to be, he says, but
you can still sense the old cold
underneath because it used to be
ice and molecules retain the
memory of what they used to be.
Sometimes he swims down and
scrapes at the brickwork of the
promenade with a knife, looking
for something. She tries to teach
him words of Chinese she has
learnt in school, but he cant get
the hang of it.
He tells her that she is young
and shouldnt be despondent. The
world is still full of beauty, new
beauty that hes too old to see,
and it all belongs to her now.
Darrel Bristow-Boveys The Art
of the Mid-Life Crisis will be
published in November.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 19 - 23/04/2014 05:21:42 PM - Plate:
PAGE 19 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
NABABEEP / 05.30
Karen Jennings | Illustration: Infiltrate Media
T
HEY had set off early, the men
and women who could, leaving
behind the old, the lame, the
very young, and others who
had chosen to stay for reasons of their
own.
Springbok was 20km away, and they
walked towards it, a thousand strong,
long before sunrise, in a mist high
enough to cover faces. By now, the
fourth season, it had become routine.
They packed lighter, knowing more or
less what to expect, sharing their
knowledge with the novices, whose
packs, despite advice, could be
recognised as too heavy by eye alone.
They walked sometimes in silence,
sometimes murmuring, or with raised
voices when they were reminded that
the money always went missing or was
still coming. It was unreliable. How
many of them were still waiting for
payment from the previous season? A
grunt sounded that spoke for each of
them: They had no other options, so
why mention it? Silence came again.
The sound of footsteps on damp sand,
echoes of breath fogged by cool, and a
town, star-distant.
No one was there to see them issue
out of the mist at dawn towards the
town centre where buses and buses
waited, their drivers asleep in their
seats. It was not a new sight for the
inhabitants of Springbok who had
heard similar sounds of crowds and
buses on previous days as workers came
from Ookiep and Concordia for the
same purpose.
Thirty years before, when the copper
mine had closed in Nababeep, these
towns had been singled out as having
an available source of unemployed,
skilled labourers. Many of those workers
were now dead, or too old. But online
reports that the hospital had closed,
and that Nababeep residents were being
evicted from unused land that they had
been farming for subsistence for
decades, reminded of their presence.
When the newly instituted
Government Farming Project was
failing, suffering massive crop losses,
these were some of the people across
the country that were chosen to
form a migrant workforce. Those from
Nababeep were put to harvesting
maize. Row upon row on large swaths
of land in the eastern corner of the
Northern Cape. But they had been
called too late; much of the corn had
rotted by the time they arrived. Yet
they picked it still. It would be given
to the people, they were told. Some
of the workers were handed rifles.
They guarded the perimeter in shifts,
shooting, as commanded, at outsiders
who had made their way over or
under the barbed wire fences in order
to grab anything that might be edible
from the fields.
In the evenings the workers from
Nababeep sat shoulder-hunched around
fires. Their limbs were tired by labour,
but they were grateful for the
employment. If the money came, and
they had to believe it would, then for a
few months life would be less difficult,
the shame of every day temporarily
stilled. Against the wall of the
dormitories their shadows sunk low.
Karen Jenningss latest novel is
Finding Soutbek.
Visit mustreadbooks.co.za
to stand a chance to
win one of these books.
www.jonathanball.co.za
Desmond Tutus exquisite picture book,
Let There Be Light, brings the story of
creation to life
for readers
young and old.
Desmond Tutu and his
daughter Mpho, invite
you to join them on a
healing journey that will
transform your life.
Register for the Tutu Global Forgiveness
Challenge on www.forgivenesschallenge.com
This inspirational
book gathers together
Mandelas philosophies
and ideals and shows you
how you can apply them
to all areas of your life.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 20 - 23/04/2014 04:41:25 PM - Plate:
PAGE 20 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
TABLE MOUNTAIN / 21.00
James Whyle | Illustration: Lizza Littlewort
PORT NOLLOTH / 00.01
Rustum Kozain
F
IFTY dollar! the tuk-
tuk driver yelled over
the noise of helicopters
chopping air above
heavy loads at the docks nearby
and revellers in the streets
banging drums and setting off
fireworks. The Atlantic was as
black as oil, the outlines of two
abandoned diamond dredgers
visible in the light spilling from
the perimeter of the United
Northern States of America naval
depot. Out in deeper water
blinked the lights of a hospital
ship.
Lionel Powell wasnt in the
mood for haggling. He paid and
crossed the road to Hunan Joys, a
resto overlooking the docks. He
was jumpy and winced at a loud
bang from a large cracker. It was
Freedom Day, the holiday
celebrating the peaceful
settlement reached between
colonial settlers and native
peoples back in 1913, but all he
cared about was some rutting and
recreation after the major fubar
three weeks ago at Cuito
C a n ave ra l .
The resto was noisy with troops
either back and battered from
Cuito or fresh-faced and anxious
on their way there. The kitchen
was down to serving seal steaks
and rice and salt fish. On special
were PRC ratpacks, pilfered from
bases after Chinas withdrawal
from the Peoples Republic of
Xaoteng. Hunans hosts and
hostesses were struggling against
waves of groping hands by troops
who couldnt afford them. But the
simbays were full and the staff
had to keep the hope of sex alive.
Beer? Hunanje, the owner,
asked him.
Early skirmishes with Southern
African troops had emboldened
UNSA and Brazil, who poured
more troops and equipment into a
massive push north, the front
stretching from the Atlantic to the
Indian Ocean.
But behind this cannon fodder,
well-bunkered in Ximbabwe,
Xambia and central Angola, were
the PRCs 6th, 7th and 3rd armies.
The UNSA advance had stalled
under a series of firestorms for
which its troops were ill-prepared.
Old hands like Lionel were
veterans only of suppressing
civilian uprisings in Canada, a
last-gasp land grab as UNSA
influence dwindled elsewhere,
and they were shaken by the PRC
armies ferocit y.
Sechuana was scorched earth,
its network of frack wells and
pipelines, extending from the
Carew in the south, had been set
alight during the PRC retreat and
was now a toxic no-go area. After
the setback at Cuito, UNSA was
consolidating, allowing troops
who had been on long tours back
as far south as Port Nolloth, its
major base on the west coast from
which it hoped to advance a
prong through Namibia in order
to encircle the PRC 6th and 7th
armies in Ximbabwe, while its
allies, lead by Germany, battled
through the east coast and
i n te r i o r.
Susy or Sean tonight? Or
both? Hunanje winked at him.
Lionel wasnt in the mood.
Simbay? Ill put you on the
short list.
Most of the troops distrusted
Hunanje, but Lionel liked the old
man. At least he knew a bit of the
history of the place. Historical
South Africa.
The PRC had been driven
north, but its allies, India and
Indonesia, still ruled a third of the
place, their respective territories
stretching along the east coast.
And the Republic of Xaoteng
the part that China had occupied
was a mire of ever-shifting
allegiances among the Africans
and the 50 million Chinese
settlers. Things were precarious.
Happy Freedom Day!
A civilian had burst through
the door and set off a cracker. As
Lionel winced, there was a much
louder bang outside. Lights and
machinery clicked off. The hush
lasted a few seconds, then the
sirens began wailing.
Rustum Kozains latest
collection of poetry is
Groundwork.
V
ERTIGO is about a
sense of space. You
d o nt have to be on
the edge to fear the
void. I can feel the
space dropping away all around
me, dropping away to the sea and
the city and the flats as the lights
come on and the cybertabs flash
their messages of endorsement for
NektaPop and Grown Stone
Flooring and Ghandi Cottons.
The crowd is young earners
mainly, a few middle-aged
hipsters, all in good shape, a
powerful guarded sexuality
apparent behind the costumes
and the masks.
Its half an hour before Im
re c o g n i s e d .
Dude, you look so like that
bushman guy.
Hes got a lean, chiselled face
and he wears the costume of a
pirate on the Spanish main in
days of old. He sports a thin and
expressive moustache and it
serves to emphasise the wryness
of his smile.
Like who, I say.
The bushman guy on the tab.
That like, wasted those outsiders?
Whats your name? Have some of
this.
What is it?
Hash. Its like, organic.
Hes holding out a thin silver
cylinder. A tendril of steam
carrying a sweet peppery
frag rance.
Well call him San, says the girl
with dark hair. Shes got a round
face and the nails at the end of
her plump fingers are painted red.
Professor Dzugashvili will be totes
impressed. Hes super cute, San.
D o nt you think?
The blonde girl nods and smiles
at me. A lithe figure with a wide
mouth and eyes like a cat.
W h e re s your girlfriend, she
says. You must have a girlfriend
s o m e w h e re .
Her dark green shirt hangs
open a little and I can see her
breast. Her nipple is pierced with
a silver stud.
D o nt stare, San, says the dark
girl. Youll get warts.
Sorr y.
I lift the cylinder to my lips like
the pirate did. Draw in the steam.
Do you know, says the blonde
girl, that it actually means thief?
San? Its a Khoi word for thief or
va g a b o n d .
They study anthropology, says
the pirate. With Professor
Dzugashvili. Its incredibly boring.
Which are you, San, says the
blonde girl. Thief, or vagabond?
Va g a b o n d .
The dark girl looks at her
friend.
I bet hes an accountant. You
are, arent you. You work in
logistics. In the fresh produce
segment.
Someone, says the pirate, has to
bring in the asparagus. Or what
are we to eat with our Pinot Gris?
What do you do, San, says the
blonde girl.
I work for COOL, I say. Why is
the ground so far away?
That would be the hash, says
the pirate. Okay, he says. Drinks.
Whos got units?
There comes a silence. A little
hiatus in the throng. The dark girl
sighs.
I have, I say.
The pirate assumes a careful yet
hopeful demeanour.
How many?
I think fifteen thousand? Im
very thirsty.
Fifteen thousand?
I think so. Something like that.
Dude, says the pirate. Youre
like, the mother lode.
He leads us onto the square
and we find a table and sit and a
waiter comes and puts menus
down.
Whos paying, he says.
He is, says the dark girl. Shes
pointing at me.
We like him, says the blonde
girl. She smiles at the waiter. I
want cranberry NektaPop with a
double vodka. Stols. Do you have
S to l s ?
Yes, says the waiter.
Two of those, says the dark girl.
And well have beer, says the
pirate. Ur Ale.
The waiter takes a tablet from
his pocket and he holds it out to
me.
Chip, he says.
I put my thumb on the flashing
square and the tablet beeps and
the waiter looks at it and then he
nods and he leaves to get the
drinks and the silver cylinder
passes once more around the
c i rcl e .
You have to admit, says the
pirate, that this is some good shit.
My names Cass, says the
blonde girl. Its short for
C a s s a n d ra .
She leans forward and she
smiles and she touches me on my
cheek with the backs of her
fingers.
Yo ure hot, she says.
The pirate looks at me.
You going to the conception?
The big
Shindig, he says.
You have to come with us, says
Cassandra. Its going to be epic.
Come cut a caper.
Ive never been outside, says
the dark girl.
Neither have I, says Cassandra.
Its my first time.
James Whyles latest novel is
Wa l k .
Sunday Times Combined Metros 21 - 23/04/2014 04:42:02 PM - Plate:
PAGE 21 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
CAPE TOWN STADIUM: THE PEOPLES PARADISE / 06.30
Lin Sampson | Illustration: Infiltrate Media
T
ODAY Ninel feels elegiac.
He is wearing his
Japanese Monpe trousers
with bow fastenings.
He thinks of HER, recalls her
arms like white bread and her soft
neck and the way her eyelashes
rest on her cheekbones.
His thoughts are immediately
auto corrected: unauthorised.
Try again?
Ninel often forgets that
confusion between the words
homo and hetero had ended up in
a law being passed that bans
heterosexualit y.
He is slouching towards his
favourite place, the old soccer
stadium, now called STADpop, the
new Peoples Re-education Centre.
He loves it most for its heritage.
It was here in 2010 Bafana Bafana
won the World Cup. Some old
people say this is not true. They
have been sent for re-education.
He has often entered STADpop
virtually through his eyeball.
What magical thinking, that we
can change the world by blinking.
But this is the first FR (for real)
time.
Surrounded by razored tropical
foliage, with its frieze of discarded
metallic chip packets, STADpop
has a hybrid vigour.
Above, the party slogans an
injury to one is an injury to all
circle in hologrammed haikus.
Today the famous Stalinist
Dolores la Sardinera, who cut a
priests throat with her own teeth,
is being celebrated.
The atmosphere is
inflammatory with slit-throat
violence as vajazzled veeps spin
and cartwheel and soldiers in
blood-dark plumage march to the
rising crescendo of the execution
song from Puccinis To s c a .
Today is the slave auction.
The slaves are jellied relics,
some as old as 30, enemies of the
state who have been culled from
the bourgeois ancien regime
estate agents, PRs, magazine
editors, insurance salesmen and
freelance journalists who are
drawn to slavery because it is
better paid.
There is an Estonian tattooist.
Ninel would like a tattoo but he
knows it is degenerative.
When his slave quota came
through, Ninel selected Roland,
who once headed Celebrity Snacks
at a shop called Woolworths, the
Pe o p l e s Enemy. He reasoned that
a man who can mix caviar and
chocolate wrapped in ripened fig
skins must have soul.
Pity about the same-sex rule; he
salivates over those blonde, cruel
Atlantic Seaboard estate agents.
The Western Cape has seceded
from the north. Fracking has put
it among the top 10 richest
countries in the world but all the
money is in the hands of #1, who
lives in Belgravia and wears vintage
Cutler & Gross sunglasses.
Meanwhile, South Africa has
become like an infected sore on the
body of civilisation.
Ah, and here comes Roland FR.
He is wearing the regulation
pistachio and violet youth-league
uniform. His voice is as soft as a
smear of margarine and his eyes
look like magnified oysters.
Take me to PRADA, darling, he
whispers. I need shoes. Ninel
knows PRADA (The Peoples
Re-education Advice Democratic
Authority). He was unaware they
sold shoes.
He blinks them up (thank god
for virtual shopping). As they enter,
Roland slips his hand into Nelins
and whispers: Tonight, baby, I am
going to cook you my celebrated
boeuf bourguignon followed by
charlotte russe.
Roland is a bit uppity for a slave,
but Ninel doesnt care because a
well made charlotte russe is better
than any girl.
Lin Sampsons collection of
columns is Now Youve Gone
and Killed Me.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 22 - 23/04/2014 04:42:19 PM - Plate:
PAGE 22 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
DIAMOND CITY / 16.22
Kgebetli Moele |
Illustration: Morgan van Heerden
CHRIS HANI ROAD, SOWETO / NOON
Christopher Hope
A
T five minutes to twelve
exactly, the Commander-
in-Chief stepped on to the
saluting platform, set high
above Chris Hani Road. Below him
huge tarpaulin screens, each em-
blazoned with his face, concealed
the giant project he would unveil
on the stroke of noon.
Looking out over the crowded
spectator stands, now filling with
thousands of his Freedom Fighters,
the Commander-in-Chief allowed
himself a small glow of pride.
To his left stood the watchtowers
of the Mugabe Gender Correction
Clinic, and to his right the chimneys
of the Hugo Chavez Socialist Soup
Kitchen. In just 10 years, since tak-
ing power in 2024, he had trans-
formed New Soweto from a symbol
of Colonialist serfdom into a rev-
olutionary fortress that rivalled any
to be found in Cuba, North Korea or
Z i m b a b we .
Today marked the climax of
weeks of festivities that began each
year on March 3, or Redemption
Day, as the Commander-in-Chiefs
birthday was known, and contin-
ued until April 27.
This was the glorious tenth an-
niversary of what school books
called The Final Election, when
his Freedom Fighters had wiped the
floor with the Old Party.
It was a testimony to his kind-
ness that the Commander-in-Chief
had not shot the lot of them, but
simply locked up these decrepit old
cadres in the JayZee Frail-Care Fa-
cility, at Nkandla, to live with their
shame at having sold out the rev-
olutionary masses to the neo-Lib-
eral Fascists for no more than a
plate of curry.
Among the first of his ideological
upgrades had been the former Chris
Hani Hospital. The Commander-in-
Chief respected the legendary lead-
er but he had made the sad mistake
of belonging to the Old Party; that
gang of sell-outs, renegades and
traitors. In an act of typical stupid-
ity, the Old Party had attached
Hanis name to a hospital. Hospitals
and everyone agreed that here was
real transformation at last.
There remained the problem of
the Ro a d . Not a boulevard, an es-
planade or even an avenue but a
road? Bad enough to name a hos-
pital after a warrior but this was
the sort of thing that gave warfare a
bad name.
Today, at noon precisely, this
mistake would be rectified.
Since early in the morning the
masses had been marching into the
spectator stands. Those who faint-
ed for lack of food were replaced by
party members on double rations
from the National Feeding Depots.
Hunger was not a word to be found
in dictionaries any longer.
Rule 19 of the Little Red-E-reader
put it well: Weight-loss is patriotic
l o a d - s h e d d i n g .
As the clock struck noon, the
covers of the construction site be-
low him were lifted to reveal a new,
twelve-lane, super highway. Three
jets rented from the North Korean
airforce swept low overhead and
then, declaring that he embodied
the mobility of the struggling mass-
es, the Commander-in-Chief set off
on an inaugural ride in his ar-
moured limousine.
He drove just far enough to be
clear of the spectators, a delicate
judgement because petrol was so
scarce. In any event, the giant high-
way stopped dead just as it reached
the electrified fences of the Kim
Jong-il Woodworking Facility. By
then the Commander was out of
sight of the cheering crowds and
the job was done.
As we are reminded in Rule 67 of
the Little Red EReader: If the
road leads nowhere thats life, or
what passes for it, when they take
you for a ride down Freedom Fight-
ers F re e wa y.
Christopher Hopes latest novel
is Shooting Angels.
On coming to
power, the old Chris
Hani Hospital
became the Che and
Fidel Cherry-Beret
Factor y
were places of sickness and suffer-
ing and as Rule 26 of the Comander-
in Chiefs Little Red E-Reader made
clear, Freedom Fighters were not
nurses walking the wards but mer-
ciless killing machines.
On coming to power, the old
Chris Hani Hospital became the
Che and Fidel Cherry-Beret Factory
A
FAMILY gathers
around a table at the
bottom of the Big
Hole. The restaurant
is called The Bottom,
and above it looms a
city of glittering re s t a u ra n t s ,
hotels and stores. Surrounding the
city is a high-rise residential area,
complete with hospitals, schools,
libraries, a university, a church.
The population numbers nine
million.
Welcome, everybody, to
Diamond City formerly the Big
Hole, Kimberley, South Africa.
From a mined-out mine,
Diamond City rose like a volcano
and its rosy lava has attracted
bees of a kind. The diamonds that
were once mined here left
nothing of concrete value to the
surrounding land or its people
they only fed the appetites of
imperial lands. But in their
absence, a new South African city
has been born.
Here is the family: the Van der
Merwes. But dont be fooled by
the surname they are not
Afrikaners. Nor are they white,
black, or coloured.
There is a black woman among
them you can identify her by
her fake hairdo.
But they are South African.
And they are contemplating how
to celebrate these forty years of
d e m o c ra c y.
Their language? You cannot tell
either, because they are
multilingual. Hulle praat. They
speak. Ba khuluma. Ba a bolela.
Ba a buwa.
It is hard to say what they
converse in, because they slip in
and out of all the tongues of the
land in the wink of an eye. This
mixed-up language has flourished
around the country, and is now
common to all South Africans.
The atrocities of yesterday a re
history to them.
Nelson Mandela, the universal
hero, and the ANC are no longer
the heroes of this new South
African world they are but a
part of history, of the journey to
H e re .
The Hero of Diamond City is
You the only statue rising high
above all else. You are neither
Black nor White, Indian nor
C o l o u re d .
You are the hero. You united an
utterly divided nation; then You
destroyed profit for personal gain
in its stead came profit for the
advancement of society.
You healed them, and they
looked at each other as human
beings. You opened their eyes so
that they looked at an individual
and saw God.
You are the hero, standing high
at the heart of Diamond City. The
head of your statue houses a five-
star restaurant, commanding a
panoramic view of this beautiful
nation.
From it, on a clear day, we can
even glimpse the summits of
Johannesburgs skyscrapers.
All thanks to You, because You
gave birth to a new tradition of
love and living.
The Van der Merwes salute You.
Then they savour their buffalo
steak, followed by rich mopani-
worm soup.
Kgebetli Moeles latest novel is
Un t i t l e d .
There is a black
woman among them
you can identify her
by her fake hairdo
Sunday Times Combined Metros 23 - 23/04/2014 04:42:59 PM - Plate:
PAGE 23 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
OR TAMBO AIRPORT/ 17.45
John van de Ruit | Illustration: Infiltrate Media
MARIKANA / 17.00
Margie Orford
I
T was exposed on the rocky outcrop
where the men had gathered,
wrapped in blankets and rage, in
the weeks leading up to their
deaths. There were no crosses to mark
where their blood had darkened the soil.
There was no sound.
No echo of the shouted orders, nor of
the volley of rifle shots that followed,
bringing men, who 21 years before had
moved in a ragged impi through the
meagre scrub, to their knees.
No reverberation of the single pistol
shots delivered methodically that day in
August to the backs of heads,
dispatching wounded miners into a final
silence.
No movement, except for the pack of
feral dogs, yellow-eyed and hungry,
loping through the scrub where the
bodies had lain.
Riedwaan Faizal, who had given up
being a police captain on the day of the
killings, watched dogs range across the
trackless veld in hunting formation,
unfurling guinea fowl from the dry grass,
one straggling and the pack on it,
ripping it apart. The wind swirled the
cloud of dust the dogs created up against
the sinking sun. The western sky red, the
silhouetted machinery from the
platinum mines, depleted for a decade,
rusting skeletons on the treeless horizon.
Riedwaan did not need to look at
the old photographs he had brought
with him to know where the men had
fallen. Miners,34 of them, their backs
bent, their arms muscular from years of
drilling the pale metal seamed
kilometers below the trackless land
stretched out below him.
After the killings the widows had
avoided the place where their men had
been massacred. A single rainy season
enough to erase the footpath that had
once led them quickly home towards the
huddle of shacks where they had lived
with the murdered miners and where,
now, cooking fires were starting to
glimmer in the gathering dusk.
The sound of women singing a hymn
the words of which Riedwaan could
not understand drew his attention to
the east.
Women walking out of the darkness
with babies strapped to their backs.
Strong necks bending under the weight of
bundled wood and sacks of mielie meal,
they skirted the open stretch of veld
where the dogs dozed, replete.
Unknowingly taking the route that the
Marikana widows had trodden into the
bleached grass to avoid their husbands
ghosts. The long road they had walked
daily, waiting first for justice, then for
money with which to feed their fatherless
ch i l d re n .
Neither had been forthcoming.
Riedwaan watched them until the
distance swallowed their voices. Twenty
years later this extra mile walked on a
moonless night, these singing women
taking the long way home, the only
memorial to the unremembered men who
had died here.
The night cold was seeping up out of
the polluted gullies when Riedwaan
climbed down the hill. He had not yet
learned to do it carefully as a 60-year-old
man should and he went too fast,
catching his foot on a rock and falling
hard. The blood gushed from his left
hand, sudden and warm. He swore,
staunching the flow on his shirt, fumbling
for the torch in his pocket.
The beam flashed on a piece of metal
caught in the fissure in the rock that had
tripped him.
Riedwaan worked it loose. A bullet
casing.
He rolled it across his palm. It warmed
q u i ck l y.
Good ammunition. Police issue.
It would have been slotted into a well
cared for service pistol.
Exactly like gun he had, for the 20
years from Mandela to Marikana, carried
at his hip as comfortable as a limb. As a
familiar. He missed it still.
Margie Orford's latest novel is Wat e r
Music.
T
HE Double-Door
Omnivore vendor
was fit for a pig,
but I shuffled
about under its shadow
like a man with more time
than appetite.
Welcome to Clini-Tech
Oliver Tambo Airport,
please do not leave any
baggage unattended.
The announcement
nudged me past the
Wimpy and over the fake
lawns of the ubiquitous
Coffee Farm towards the
revolving information desk,
where a beaming official
greeted me and my
intermittently squeaky
H o l o - B u cke t .
Um, hi, Im looking for
Terminal 2 domestic?
The attendant pointed
towards the silver escalator
capsule. Its a three-
minute ride on the Zumer.
I thanked him and
kicked off the brake on the
H o l o - B u cke t .
Never seen the airport
this quiet before, I noted,
unnecessarily filling in the
pause between signing off
and leaving.
Fortieth anniversary
cele brations, he replied,
before adding, of
d e m o c ra c y.
He motioned towards
my back pocket and
advised me to conceal my
wallet in my hand luggage.
Crime still bad? I
ventured, surprisingly he
shook his head.
Its improved by 67%.
In the country? I
b l u r te d .
In the airport.
Then, with a polite nod
and a soft metallic whirr,
his smiling face revolved
out of view.
The ride on the Zumer
took three minutes and
seven seconds although it
felt longer. Perhaps it was
the images of former
presidents adorning the
walls of each carriage
capsule that over-occupied
my mind space.
Countless suited men,
many wearing spectacles,
and just one solitary, stoic
woman, her hair pulled
tightly away from her face.
I ate a sandwich without
relish as I wound down the
clock in the food court of
the more spartan terminal
two. A saunter through the
Tabloid Tower produced
little of interest as every
paper seemed to be awash
with further rumours about
Prince Georges sexuality.
Is Britain ready for a
gay King? trumpeted The
Mirror in gaudy red font.
Judging by the cacophony
of sizzling headlines, I
would have to say Britain
i s nt.
South African Airways
flight SA 685 to Standard
Bank King Shaka Airport
now boarding.
I guess thats us,
announced a fellow
passenger who stood
anxiously and took it upon
himself to herd numerous
bemused people towards
the boarding gate.
I avoided him, and
ambled past a frazzled lady
struggling to contain three
mercurial infants while
berating her husband over
the phone.
On I went, taking a wide
birth past the unpleasant
youth wearing Saturn specs
and headphones, his long
careless legs stretched out
into the path beyond the
bounds of taste.
I noticed the frightened
old lady who repeatedly
checked her boarding pass
and the old man with the
silver beard who seemed
to be praying or perhaps
reciting words of infinite
wisdom.
Typical, just bloody
t ypical, shouted the
anxious man from the
front of the boarding gate.
Ladies and gentlemen,
British Airways regrets to
announce the delay of BA
685 to Standard Bank
King Shaka. Please be
p a t i e n t .
The queue of people
responded with a united
growl as the anxious man
pushed back past me.
South Africa, he spat,
nothing ever bloody
ch a n g e s .
John van de Ruit is the
author of the Spud
novels. His latest is
Spud: Exit, Pursued by
a Bear.
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Sunday Times Combined Metros 24 - 23/04/2014 04:44:05 PM - Plate:
PAGE 24 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
VOORTREKKER MONUMENT / 06.47
Claire Robertson | Illustration: Lizza Littlewort
MULDERSDRIFT / 07.19
Jenny Hobbs
I
TS time to glide, kids! Pumela
shouted up the ramp.
Coming, Ma-Pum.
They whooshed down side by
side and skidded to a stop in a shower of
blade-brake sparks, their uniskins
pulsating violet and indigo.
She ran through the Freedom Day
checks. Back pouches? Toll tags?
Vitashakes? Phablets? School celebration
IDs?
More nods.
Supaskulls on and hit the skateway
for Lanseria Central, then.
Okay, Ma-Pum, they mumbled in
unison.
Off you go. The Hautrain schedule is
she checked her Googles with a rapid
eye-flick only 20 minutes out today.
You should make the 7.55.
They slid closer for goodbye kisses and
were gone in wafts of energy bar. A
healthy breakfast was essential for
optimum learning, and Pumela was
determined to give them all the
opportunities she hadnt had as a
township child reared in a shack.
She just wished they were more
well, individual. Observing their ur-foetus
divide and separate on the petri dish,
shed hoped that they would have
different combinations of the genetic
traits shed selected from the sperm
catalogue. But the only difference
between the twins was in complexion:
Xoli was copper and Xanthe was bronze.
Both were beautiful, considerate, slender,
mathematically and artistically gifted,
athletic and imaginative.
She thought she had chosen passion
too, but must have slipped up.
How will they get on in life without my
drive? Pumela worried, watching their
vivid blurs flash away between the thorn
trees lining the skateway. Our nine-billion
world is so competitive. You need more
than great schools, doctorates, a good
presence and saleable skills to get to the
top of a profession. You need zeal.
Fervour. A rage to succeed. Obsession.
And Ive given birth to charming
p a ra go n s .
Shed have been gobsmacked by their
conversation as they diverted off the
skateway to coast into the Swartkop
Casino pitstop.
Whatll it be this morning, sisi?
Einstein Tactic, Madumbe Manoeuvre or
Pitlovsky Principle?
M a d u m b e . Xanthe flashed her
perfectly even smile. We can play
country bumpkins, cash in before the
fraud observers catch on and make it to
the 8.45 Hautrain.
C o o l .
Simultaneously they wheeled into the
rest room, parked the Supaskulls,
shucked off their blades and dialled
camouflage mode to become giggling
party swingers in psychedelic townskins.
Half an hour later, the croupier at the
roulette table was sweating as they raked
in more tokens than he had seen in a
weekend of high rolling.
Mais faites vos jeux, mesdames? he
begged as they scooped up their
winnings.
Sorry, gotta go. Xoli tossed him a
handful. Have a splurge on us, dude.
One of the observers watching them
cash in the tokens for wads of thousand-
Randela notes muttered: Ive seen those
crafty chicks before somewhere.
In your dreams.
Both pairs of eyes followed their
chuckling progress towards the rest room,
though neither noticed the twin
schoolgirls whizzing out with unusually
bulging back pouches.
Donate to the usual charity? Xanthe
s u g g e s te d .
Sure. I feel so sorry for those poor
w h i te s .
Ma-Pum had chosen compassion by
m i s t a ke .
Jenny Hobbss Napoleon Bones was
published in 2013.
of as having been un-Afrikaans, from
abundant boozy picnics to naked men
frosted with sweat and marble dust. All
involve Karel shepherding back to his
iron volk a reminder of loose-limbed
delight.
Some guards see Karel in shirtsleeves,
flushed and easy, moving the hand of a
woman over the letters he has carved for
her; some picture a master sculptor, an
older man, folding himself around Karel
and guiding his lovers hands to chip out
the words.
Every guard is meticulous about
keeping Sempre, Karel free of the dust
that, left to darken, would betray it. At
first it was in fear of having Calvins
stern men discover and grind away the
inscription; now it is an instinct for
privacy, a ritual in honour of private
human impulses among the brute
politics the building still celebrates
after 85 years.
She looks around to see that she is
alone, stands on tiptoe and slips her
hand behind the marble spoke to feel
the letters there: gritty with autumns
dust. She dips a finger into warm water
and sets about washing the stone.
Claire Robertson is the author of
The Spiral House.
T
HE Monument guard finds it
easier to approach the
bristling Umkhonto statue
already in her full kit,
hearing only her breathing, seeing
less of it through her goggles. She
switches on the leaf-blower and it
hums against her back as she pokes
the nozzle between thighs and under
bellies, across faces and delicate
ankle hollows.
It is fiendishly intricate, this tangle
of nude male forms stacked and
straining, seven or eight deep,
against one of the granite wagons
carved into the outer ring that
encircles the Monument. She braces
her foot on a steel thigh to reach the
figure at the apex, himself standing
on the backs of men; he has freed
his body from the mass and is poised
to slice his spear into the wagon
c a n o p y.
She dislikes many things about the
new statue, but mainly that the
ministerial cousin erected it on this,
the inside of the wagon wall. This is
a laager. The attack should be from
without. But then it would not be so
easily seen, she supposes. At least
now it is free of leaves, webs, bird
shit.
She stows her machine and crosses
the lawn to the main building. The
next chore on her Thursday round
is something she does for herself,
as did the guard before her and the
one before that, conspiring across
decades to keep the Monuments
s e c re t .
This is the legend: the panels in
the main hall with their massacres
and pledges were shipped as three-
quarter-size plaster models to Italy in
the 1940s, there to be rendered in
marble. Also shipped to Italy were
two upright men to watch over the
work and ensure, in the brief of the
Central Peoples Monuments
Committee, that nothing un-Afrikaans
seeped into the frieze. No popish
flourishes or michelangelesque
rippling flesh.
The men returned, the legend goes,
as custodians of what was in effect a
large and indelible, and mysterious,
love letter, because cut into the hub
of a wagon wheel on a prominent
panel, partly hidden by a spoke in
high relief, are the words Sempre,
Karel. Forever, Karel.
Over the years the Monument
guards have made up their own
stories. All involve things they think
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Sunday Times Combined Metros 25 - 23/04/2014 04:44:20 PM - Plate:
PAGE 25 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
WATERKLOOF AIR FORCE BASE / 17.30
Finuala Dowling | Illustration: Jade Klara
ROBBEN ISLAND / NOON
Sindiwe Magona
BREAKING the Quarry
Humming
Rhythmic sound of hammer on
s to n e
Shimmering silhouette of Man-
dela his unmistakable voice
Gregorian chant or ukubonga:
Planted in Qunu
But roots smell this place
Where I lived longest
Did you forget?
A chief is planted, not buried.
Thus in this sacred place, where
three years short of three decades
I lived
Flesh hammering on stone;
now
Spirit hammers on spirit, the liv-
ing purged and expurgated
Till one and all
Grow in ubuntu, become fully
human
Seeing never another
Never the superficial c re e d ,
colour, or clothing but heart
The essence Godly within
each frame.
For only thus will unity rule
When each to the essential has
re t u r n e d ,
Back to whence we all are
d e r i ve d .
This beautiful land, the fairest
there may be on the whole earth
Rid of all scourge bigotr y,
greed, corruption,
And the vilest of crime, the rape
of mothers, the rape of children
United; Children of Soil south of
Mighty Africa.
Pure hearts love filled
Discerning minds truth seek-
ing
Strong arms break bonds of
blindness
Forward, the march to a truly
united South Africa
Free and unafraid
Committed to the uplifting of all
. . . so that the least of its children
Cannot but live in hope.
So that all its people live in har-
m o ny
All striving for
The Common Good
For it is only when all are fulfilled
and live in hope
That any shall be truly free.
Free from want of any kind
From fear of those who prowl
Driven by greed or need
All shall have bubbling pots
Under sturdy roofs
For which they have honestly
to i l e d
Upright Proud Looking at what
they Justly deserve. Fulfilled
None infantilised
None cemented to poverty.
All bathing in happiness; United;
A Nation Strong!
Throngs, in orderly groups, walk
about unrestrained and unrestrict-
ed. There is a palpable air of rev-
erent exaltation. This is a place of
magic and mystery a shrine.
People come here to celebrate, to
solicit or pray for healing of flesh
or spirit and we, the onlookers, can
see into the hearts and minds of
those who enter and thus transfor-
mation is visible as well as tangible.
The groups show clearly what
participants are about. A doctor
with a horde of medical students
under his tutelage; a musician with
his troupe; an aviator glides down
onto the wharf; a teacher celebrates
a huge success a pass rate of
100%, all university entrants; a fos-
ter mother
Like a jazz festival except this
is daily life in the transformed
South Africa, where each begets
her/his kind in the spirit of
ubuntu. People vie for the honour
of going to Robben Island, possible
only by invitation.
Flashback: An invisible brush
paints signs on doors. These are the
a n o i n te d invited to Robben Is-
land to offer or receive healing.
Now people live lives they hope
will guarantee them that privilege.
It is not when or if but How soon?
in most minds.
A goal that has transformed the
nation!
Sindiwe Magonas latest
collection of poetry is Please,
Take Photographs.
S
PIN switched on the carousel and
the fifth Presidents Louis Vuitton
luggage began its stately circuit. He
hoped the rollers would drown out
the DIY hammering on Solomon
Mahlangu Avenue.
He i-commed VIP Protection Services, but
they werent interested. Do you know how
many of these suspended-on-full-pay capital-
pee Presidents weve got on our hands, Spin?
All we hear is: Its un-African to step down;
its un-African to apologise. Hei, no man,
suka, enough already! You promised us a
cardiovascular incident. Get on with it.
Wrapped in several saris left behind by
grateful wedding guests, Her Excellency lay
or sat it was difficult to tell which on a
cargo trailer. She dug her manicured paw into
an upsized tub and pulled out a crisply bat-
tered drumstick.
Eat up, Spin wanted to urge her. But at
the sight of her approaching luggage, the
President dropped her bone.
Mine always comes out first, she told the
candidate officer standing to attention beside
her, because I am a VIP. Ive just come back
from a strategic mission to . . . Spin, sweetie,
where did I go this time?
Spin checked the label: New York, he
said, rolling one of the varnished cases to-
wards her.
The officer knelt to do the unzipping.
C a nt wait to see what I bought this time,
said the President.
The trophy shoes she held aloft were de-
signed with delicacy rather than Her Excel-
lencys ankle bulge in mind.
Spin smiled and remembered his school
setwork. For all her rolls of fat, the President
was still the urchin girl of her memoirs. Hed
aced many orals by describing the President
walking barefoot to school in icy weather;
urinating on her feet to warm them.
Tow her to passport control, he ordered.
The President loved this game of Arrival-Ar-
r i va l .
Welcome home, your excellency Doctor
Doctor . . . said the immigration officer,
stumbling over the Presidents many hon-
orary titles. After complimentary tea and pe-
tit-fours, the President asked Spin to take her
outside to see the Taal Monument lit up in
the colours of the flag.
Perhaps not this evening, said Spin. He
was anxious. The DIY sounds were unmis-
takable. The Backyard Farmers Union? The
Youth Freedom Brigade?
But the President was fearless. If theyre
hungry, let them purchase a bite in the food
court. You remember what the healer told
me . . .
Yes, yes. Have no fear till Lusaka comes to
Waterkloof Air Base, said Spin. Old people
and their superstitions!
What is that I hear? asked Her Excel-
lency. Are they cheering for me? I had almost
forgotten the sound.
Spin strained to see the perimeter wall. The
cheering was for the schoolboy archers who
had mounted its parapets.
Burning arrows flew through the dusk,
igniting the grass. Chickens squawked.
Shouts, crashing masonry: the wall was
breached. Through the dust, the people,
sinewy from years of hard backyard farming,
moved towards the terminal.
The settlement called Lusaka had come to
Waterkloof Air Base.
Through his i-comm, Spin instructed the
Oryx pilot.
The President dangled helplessly from
the helicopters rescue basket. A schoolboy
took aim and his blazing arrow pierced her
trailing hem.
Spin i-commed the pilot: P re s i d e n t s on
fire, over. Damn flammable saris. Locate the
nearest fire pool.
Roger that, said the pilot.
Finuala Dowlings latest novel is
Homemaking for the Down-At-Heart.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 26 - 23/04/2014 04:45:05 PM - Plate:
PAGE 26 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
MARINE DRIVE, DURBAN BEACHFRONT / 08.30
Sarah Lotz | Illustration: David Maclennan
Z
E L DA S waiting for the
porridge water to boil
when she hears Malan
burst into the flat. That
was quick; it should have taken
him longer to queue for milk.
Ma! he shouts. Mr Jamal
says theres another break-out!
She silently curses her
neighbour shes asked Mr
Jamal several times not to alert
Malan to this kind of thing
turns off the hot-plate and hurries
through to where her son is
pressed against the window,
dancing from foot to foot.
Not for the first time she
wishes shed taken a ground-floor
flat the view of the fugee pods
is too good from here but that
wo u l dve meant sharing with
other families.
Down below money is
changing hands as people place
bets on how close to shore the
fugees will get before being
blasted out of the water.
The street traders are already
rocking up; three guys are
dragging a trailer full of mielies
past the skeleton of the Blue
Waters Hotel and down towards
the beach. Its too early for
mielies.
Can we go down there, ma?
No . She doesnt want Malan
seeing the bodies being dredged
onto the beachfront.
She shivers, thinks for the
thousandth time: whyd they
have to put them up in Durban?
Cape Town refused to house any
of the pods off its coasts; had the
smarts to know that the bribe
wo u l d nt be worth it in the long
run. She loathes looking at the
pods twisted honeycomb shapes;
thinks of them as poisonous
growths attached to the sea bed.
Theyd initially been housed in
tankers and old cruise ships, but
these were too easy to escape,
and back then fugees were
always washing up on shore
some alive but mostly dead.
The pods are more like
floating prisons, windowless and
self-contained. Shes seen the
footage of life inside them, heard
the rumours of starvation,
cannibalism, violence, disease.
Still, its better than where they
came from.
She shields her eyes against
the morning sun, focuses on a
flash of colour near the centre
pod. Its a raft, cobbled together
out of pieces of plastic and old
oil barrels. It holds five or six
people, one of them a child. She
smothers a jab of pity; she cant
afford pity.
You think theyll make it,
ma?
They wont make it. They rarely
do. The naval boats cut towards
them. She hears the explosion
seconds after she sees the fire-
flash.
A we s o m e ! Malan shouts.
Boom!
Thats enough.
He looks at her in confusion.
But you hate them, ma.
I dont hate them.
Yo ure always saying that if we
let them live on land theyll take
our jobs.
She shrugs. There are too
many of them.
Mr Jamal says theyre getting
what they deserve.
He would say that. Hes
probably right, she thinks.
Ma . . . you think theyll ever
get home?
One day maybe. But North
America wont be habitable for
decades yet. If ever. Until then, its
people will have to depend on
others.
Can I watch cartoons now,
ma?
She nods, turns away from the
window and heads back to the
kitchen to finish making the
porridge.
Sarah Lotzs upcoming novel is
The Three.
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Sunday Times Combined Metros 27 - 23/04/2014 04:45:19 PM - Plate:
PAGE 27 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
BEIT BRIDGE / 07.53
Mike Nicol | Illustration: Infiltrate Media
GUGULETHU / 03.00
Steven Boykey Sidley
B
ABA! Macingwane!
Ndabezitha! Myanda
Wemkhonto! Forty years
ago you told me, as a
young child it is our time. You
told me as we watched the joyful
images of an old prisoner on TV, my
wide and innocent eyes full of an
awe and promise I did not really
understand.
You told me that your father, my
grandfather, had been taken by an
act of violence, an act of madness
and hate and race.
Your despair of his senseless and
brutal murder poisoned you. Your
anger at its perpetrators maddened
and warped you. The justice that
you sought for the loss of your
childhood was not balmed by 1994.
The fractures in your heart were ir-
re p a ra b l e .
Even so, you were my hero, Nd-
abezitha. But it was not your time.
It was my time. Your time had
passed. 1994 was just a baton for
you to pass as you drank yourself
into oblivion after our freedom,
your youth sullied and your best
years betrayed, just as you had be-
fo re .
And so an act of violence took
you too. Your senses dulled from
alcohol and a hope too long de-
ferred, you took to the wheel of a
car you could not control.
I sometimes wonder, baba,
whether there was something de-
liberate in the swerve and skid that
ended your life. A last bellow of
rage against a history that denied
you, and that your son sees only in
the fading ghosts of memory and
old photographs.
It was my time, Ndabezitha, not
yours. And I took it. I took strength
from your suffering. Skirted the
temptations of chance and drink
and the loud voices of men with
promises.
Seeking a quiet life without the
violence visited upon my ances-
tors, I put my head down with my
books, furrowed my brow and
worked hard, as your father had
once done in the sugarcane fields
of Kwazulu.
When I looked up again from my
books so many years later I had the
tools to hold my time in my hands,
to mould it, to shape it to my wish-
es.
I look at my wife now, who you
might well have grown to love. Her
alabaster skin, pale blue eyes to re-
mind her of her ancestors. She
breastfeeds our coffee-coloured
ch i l d , her sleepy eyes shining like
onyx. In this modest house of mod-
ern comfort, here in the same street
where there were only shacks and
tears so long ago.
Race, baba. I wish never to think
of race again. I wish not to have a
wavelength of light attached to my
daughter s skin.
Your father dragged his race with
him like a lodestone, attracting the
hatred of men he bore no ill. And
for you, Ndabezitha, race was the
prison into which you were forced,
both before our freedom and af-
te r.
I wish to end it here.
My daughter, baba, with the
genes of many histories shaping
her, dilutes the meaning of those
words. I am the first to cross this
racial divide, and I seek your bless-
ing, and to see this as a victory.
I did not slaughter the goat at her
birth, but her name will carry the
mark of our clan. And at least for
that I am glad.
Siyabonga, baba
Melusi
Steven Boykey Sidleys latest
novel is Imperfect Solo.
THE WANDERERS,
JOBURG / 15.30
T
HERE was a time when this place used to be
the bastion of white sporting codes like rugby
and cricket, but things are different now. In
the past, it buzzed with the expectant air of
sports enthusiasts, today we stand in silent reverence
as we await the weekly State of The Union address
from The Great Leader of the Red Jacket Movement.
We have been waiting for the past two hours to hear
His Excellency speak, but we are patient. He is a very
important man, our leader. He used to be the laughing
stock of the countrys political luminaries but through
the years he has proven his mettle.
They used to call him foolish, uneducated and mis-
guided, but he has won every election since 2024 and
has managed to silence his critics. It is only the mis-
guided West who dare speak out against him.
In a stroke of genius, The Great Leader staged a
heroic battle against Mozambique, a country whose
rich mineral resources were so deeply embedded that
gold and platinum resources were found in the Xai
Xai region only in 2027. Ever the strategist, His Ex-
cellencys clever move saw us adding yet another fed-
eration to our sprawling union the Great Azania.
Our own gold reserves were plundered by greedy
Europeans and by the time The Great Leader
launched his nationalisation strategy, there was bare-
ly enough gold in the soil to rub two coins together. So
it was inevitable that we used our formidable army to
search elsewhere for the glittering stone.
I must say, the first years of the revolution were the
closest thing to Utopia that any country has ever
experienced.
Ill never forget my first pay check of R30 000!
Me, a security guard earning a kings ransom! Dont
laugh-R30 000 was a lot of money then for a security
guard.
Of course, the euphoria lasted only two years.
By the time we all woke up from fantasia, the country
was so crippled it could barely limp to the stock
m a r ke t .
Pardon me. Brother Leader is finally here. He is
dressed in such finery!
I cant wait to hear this weeks address.
I know that our economy is recovering. I saw The
Great Leader building another new mansion in
Mpofu Manor formerly known as Hyde Park. He
told us that, unlike his greedy predecessors, every
time he builds a mansion, he would increase the
national wage. We all earn the same now no matter
your qualifications.
Brothers and sisters. I had a dream. I dreamt that
we must abandon our counter-revolutionary tenden-
cies of thinking about our pockets when we urgently
need to sacrifice for the greater good! For the next two
years, we shall all sacrifice 10% of our wages so that we
can build the Great Azania to even greater heights.
I thank you for your patience and your commit-
ment to this majestic land. Forward the revolution,
for ward!
Angela Makholwas latest novel is Black Widow
Society .
Angela Makholwa
K
OBUS Wessels knew the ways
of the market. Knew how to
ask. A scrawny man, pocked
face, long hair, his shirt
hanging out, concealing his gun. He
pushed through the hawkers to the old
woman selling muti herbs.
This early the sun already hot on his
skin. The bridge in full trade: lorries,
bakkies, cars, donkeys off-loading
go o d s .
Kobus remembered days this was the
border. Hed traded on the bridge then
too. Going over to Zim with a trommel
of skelmgoed. Flying it out of Harare.
The days of plenty.
M a m a , he said to the muti woman,
I wanna see Clever Gezi.
She squinted at him. Ai, wena! I
know you. From before. You are bad,
bad trouble. You police.
Kobus Wessels laughed. Police still
got to make dollars.
The old woman sighed. You stink,
you stink of them. She pointed to a
poster. On the poster the moon-faced
president. You come from Julius, I
k n o w.
Kobus laughed again. Ja, mama, we
all work for Julius, one way or other.
W h e re s Clever?
The woman sighed, spoke softly to a
small boy. Said to Kobus, They will
fetch you. Now hamba. Stand far. You
d o nt know whos Big Bobs eyes.
Hes dead.
Tsho, tsho, tsho. You cant say it.
Kobus shrugged, went to stand at
the railings, looked down into the
riverbed. At this end, sand, riverine
bush. Kids playing in a pool.
Sometimes crocodiles came out of the
central channel, ate them. He lit a
cigarette, exhaled a grey stream.
He didnt wait long. Hadnt crushed
out his cigarette before a voice said,
You must come.
He followed a girl along the bridge.
Through stalls, tents, tin shacks, kraals
of goats, chicken hoks, half-drum
braais of derrims, walkie-talkies. The
smell of burnt flesh.
Over the roar of the markets
generators, the music of nostalgia
getting louder. Bra Clever was a Brenda
man, kept her alive.
The girl told him, Wa i t .
Disappeared into a warren of
corrugated iron.
My brother! Kobus heard a voice
booming. It has been too long. The
big man limping towards him.
They embraced. Clever coming away
with Kobuss gun. He ejected the clip,
checked the load, jacked it into the
handle.
Not bad. Old fashioned. You want
something new? Handed it back to
Ko bus.
Kobus shook his head, took the
pistol, stuck it into his belt. Horn. You
got any of that?
Clever whistled. You got long
b u ck s ?
Long enough.
Maybe we can talk. He called for
the girl, held up a finger.
While the girl was gone they spoke
of children, wives. Cracked cold beers
against the heat.
The girl returned with an object
wrapped in plastic.
Big Bobs stock? Kobus asked.
Clever held up the horn. W h e re
you gonna find it otherwise? Cost you
plenty-plenty, my friend. You sure you
got it?
Uh huh, said Kobus. The two men
locked in the measuring gaze: seeing
in each others eyes the way it was. I
got options too.
Clever nodded slowly. S to n e s ?
Yellow cake? Lead-free?
You choose.
Pe a r l i e s ?
M a y b e . Kobus fluttered his hand.
Not easy.
Abalone. For the Chinese, it is
always what they can eat. Clever sat
down, rested his bad leg on a crate of
whisky. Another Quickcharge?
Pulling two from an ice chest,
uncapping them.
Kobus bent forward, took the beer.
They clinked bottles.
Good times, said Clever.
Ja , said Kobus. Whenever isnt
it?
Mike Nicols latest novel is Of Cops
& Robbers.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 28 - 23/04/2014 04:46:31 PM - Plate:
PAGE 28 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
NKANDLA / 14.35
Mike van Graan | Illustration: Jade Klara
I
T was with a mixture of trepidation
and excitement that the American
passengers aboard the state-owned
No-Rainbow-One-Nation tour
bus strained their necks in the direction
pointed to by their guide.
Their GuGe glasses (named after the
Chinese owners of a company once known
as Google) shifted their filming attention
from the sprawling metropolis of Nkandla
with its boutique hotels, upmarket
restaurants and prisoner-manicured streets
bustling with people on this public holiday,
to the cluster of round buildings with their
thatched roofs.
On the way from their hotel, their guide,
Ronnie Mabunda, the son of a mineworker
who had lost his job more than 20 years
earlier at the Aurora Gold Mine, had thrilled
the tourists with stories of spirits he had
personally encountered.
After the Workers Party had won a
landslide victory in 2024, wresting the
country from the DANC coalition that had
held tenuous power from 2019, one
of the first acts of President Jim was to
nationalise this residence of a former
p re s i d e n t .
Given the option of a trial on 5 74 6
corruption charges or exile, the once-
president chose Zimbabwe, where to this
day he still teaches dance to pay for the pre-
primary education of his youngest children.
The residential compound initially went
into decline after the former presidents
hasty departure, but the surrounding town
had grown moderately as tourists came
from afar to view the largest tax-made
structure to be seen from space.
But it was when the rumours spread that
the former presidential compound had
become the rest-in-peace place of many
who had lost their lives prematurely under
the previous ruling party that tourism
exploded, and Nkandla grew into a
metropolis on the back of the fad growth in
spirit-world tourism.
GuGe had perfected a set of glasses that
helped the wearer to catch glimpses of
those who had physically departed this
world, but whose spirits still roamed earthly
places in search of peace.
As the bus chugged around the perimeter
of the compound at the recommended
speed limit of 40km/h, it was Jenny Warhol
who let out an excited scream. Over there!
In the pool!
The bus stopped as everyone turned to
the right, straining to see what Jenny had
seen, but they kept looking in vain,
muttering in disappointment much like
those who are the only ones to miss seeing
the lion in the Kruger National Park.
Mabunda encouraged Jenny
to describe what she had seen. He was
waving. He was little. He couldnt be more
than six years old.
Mabunda smiled. We think thats
PULA TSA SQUARE KILOMETRE ARRAY, CARNARVON / @-20@ + 20
Songeziwe Mahlangu & Monwabisi Gebhuza
W
H AT E V E R ! the
sanatorium roared.
Do I Spic-Span?
This is my
Bildungsroman. I would prefer to be
addressed as Fonyonyo, a
Commissar to all.
I began life as a silverback, just as
our first multiracial Constitution
was proclaimed, 1984. That apathy-
heid! Of Saracens and Molotov
Bread Baskets, on Black
Christmases!
It took a necklace and gas oil for
darkies to vote in 89. Those cats
from jail trickled out to cabinets,
bellies growling: bearded folks well-
read in moribund doctrines,
conceited yet ready to martyr us at
Marikana; jive or no jibe.
The special branch has since
given its corroded thumbs-up from
its shallow graves: Jong, those
berets can bliksem.
My dread about all that this
country is borders on its
conspicuous flag: the clandestine
Vierkleur and that inert ANC collage
spelled backward.
This is the catalyst for my sorrow,
my consternation and grief,
beginning with the amended Mental
Health Act. Flags arent supposed to
be scatological. It is enough cause
for holy war of aesthetic cleansing.
Wars and empires are instituted
because of aesthetics.
The VOC enslaved, exploited,
swindled, decimated tribes and their
ways of living for aesthetic reasons.
The Herre discovered that their
meals were flat and their brews
needed sugar, which is precisely why
Haiti washes its soul with its
cholera, Mexico remains exalted
with its smallpox.
Its not like the wretched of the
earth never meted their own
revenge, what with syphilis and all.
But thats beyond the point.
If our justice is to go beyond the
brothels of Spain, it has to transcend
molecular physics into the realm of
flying cabbages, real scientific rigour.
Tsetse flies were good, but so could
be the equally soporific Kyk-Net.
Germ warfare is staid.
Gods fight with cupid and I would
be stupid to call this timid.
However, all flags should be
blacklisted. Our struggle was simple,
atavistically consistent.
Plaatjie wanted us to be treated as
gentlemen, Sobukwe as adults and
Biko as sane people, from Stikland
to Medupi, Valkenberg to Nkandla.
Why Extranase? Whats this cesspool
crawling in my amistical? The
people are the same yet they do not
breathe. They smell adhesives even;
this is Metramifase or barbarism.
Guards! Social Workers! Ah!
Serenase, my favourite!
He surfaced. There was a PC
ever ywhere:
Hi, I am urgently looking for a
live-in domestic worker to start
immediately. Must be 25 years and
over, most importantly mature,
clean and very hygienic. You are
required to take care of a 2 year old
toddler and do household duties.
Must have experience in household
chores as well as washing and
ironing. You will be given your own
house which is outside of the main
building and all meals will also be
provided. No chancers please, only
serious candidates to call.
Medupi @ :+20 @ - 20. As those
putrid urchins stately squat there
and diarrhoea spews:
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Frederick Barbarossa
Frederick William IV
Frederick Willem De Klerk!
Songeziwe Mahlangus latest
novel is Penumbra.
Michael Komape. He drowned 20 years ago
when he fell into a school latrine.
The mutterings of disappointment faded
into silence.
He seemed h a p p y, Jenny wanted to
say. But the words stuck in her throat, like a
lift in a disused mineshaft.
Mike van Graans latest play is Rainbow
Scars.
Pieter Toeriens
Montecasino Theatre & Studio
www.montecasinotheatre.co.za
Box Office: (011) 511-1818
Jonathan Roxmouth in
A glittering tribute to Liberace!
Roxmouth dazzles with his
magical piano work... a surefire hit!
- Billy Suter, The Mercury
Directed by Greg Homann
Louise Saint-Claire in
5 doors
8 characters
1 actress
EXTENDED BY HUGE DEMAND TO 4 MAY!
Tue-Fri @ 8pm, Sat @ 4pm &8pm,
Sun @ 2pm&6pm
Wed-Fri @ 8:15pm,
Sat @ 5:15pm &8:15pm,
Sun @3:15pm
NOW ON STAGE!
Sunday Times Combined Metros 29 - 23/04/2014 04:47:09 PM - Plate:
Sunday Times Combined Metros 30 - 23/04/2014 04:47:36 PM - Plate:
PAGE 30 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
AUCKLAND PARK / 09.00
Richard de Nooy | Illustration: Gareth Jones
I
N #ClipChat today, Ill be
talking to Gaia Vonk,
spokesperson for the
Dutch asylum seekers
who have been detained at the
airport holding centre for the past
three months, after hijacking two
planes in the Netherlands.
We borrowed two grounded
j e t s .
Im sure the view from up
here in the SABC tower reminds
you of Holland, with all the
windmills on top of the
s k y s c ra p e r s ?
No, not really. But about the
planes: we borrowed . . .
The leaders of your group, the
pilots, have been charged with
hijacking, have they not?
Yes, but . . .
Id like to go through some of
the tweets and texts we received
from viewers: Have you heard of
Jan van Riebeeck?
(Laughs) Ye s .
So you know what happened
the last time we welcomed Dutch
people to our shores?
(Laughs) Yes. But I can assure
you that wont happen again.
A lot of viewers have asked:
Why South Africa? Why not
Germany or Belgium or France?
We wanted to get as far away
from the floods and fallout as
possible. But theres unrest
everywhere in Europe, after three
years of crop failures.
Most of our group have ties to
your country, or relatives who live
here. South Africa has been a
peaceful democracy for four
decades. Your social welfare,
health and education systems are
among the best in the world.
T h e re s plenty of room for
private initiatives and the weather
is fantastic. Its a great place, a
safe place, to raise our children.
Thats common knowledge.
People have been seeking refuge
here for decades. But what makes
you so special? Why should we let
you in? We need to draw the line
s o m e w h e re .
We fully understand the
gove r n m e n t s predicament, but
we feel our group could make a
valuable contribution to the
e c o n o my.
But theres a negative vibe
towards Dutch people. Youre
noisy, sex-addicted, pot-smoking,
belligerent, stingy, prejudiced,
untrustworthy these are just a
few of the terms our viewers have
been using.
We understand that people
feel that way about us, but we
also have our good side.
Several people have asked:
Can they make cheese?
(Laughs) There are no cheese-
makers among us. But wed be
more than willing to learn. And
we have lots of other skilled
people. Software and
environmental engineers, for
e x a m p l e .
We have plenty of those. Our
entire economy is founded on
innovation. Our wind and solar
energy initiatives are copied
around the world. What could
your group possibly hope to add?
We simply want to be reunited
with our families, to make a new
s t a r t .
You have an uncle and a
cousin who live here?
Yes. And my father grew up
h e re .
According to my research
team, he published three or four
unsuccessful novels here at the
start of the century, just before all
content became freely accessible
online. Novels are fiction, lies;
people find it hard enough
distinguishing between the real
and virtual world.
We fully understand that. But
should we be held responsible for
the actions of our parents?
Thats a very good question to
end off with. #ClipChat will be
back tomorrow, when we deal
with the pressing issue of rhino
proliferation in suburban areas
since the 2027 ban on perimeter
walls and fences.
Richard de Nooys latest novel
is The Unsaid.
OYSTERBOX HOTEL, UMHLANGA / 18.00
Hamilton Wende
A
DAM stares with his right
eye into the lens at the
steel security gate. The
camera whirrs and scans
his iris.
Welcome, Member 17041603,
flashes on the screen. The gate
swings open. He first came to
meet her here more than 20 years
ago. The same black and white
tiles, the dark carved desk, the
baroque marble gods. Now it is a
haven from the shantytowns that
line the N2, a haven for those
whose iris patterns are enrolled
on the global database of the
Freedom Plan.
He walks through onto the
balcony. Jewelled wives and oafish
husbands. With an old man is a
beautiful young prostitute who
has escaped the shantytowns and
enrolled in the Freedom Plan.
He sees her sitting at the same
table where they met before.
Twenty years ago when they sat
on this balcony looking out over
the lighthouse with its red
painted top, she smiled at him the
same way then. Gorgeous.
Building her career. She had just
released her first successful novel:
Pa l i m p s e s t .
Can we have a cigarette?
shed asked that day. And hed
gone into the lobby to buy her a
p a cke t .
Whatever you do, dont tell
h i m , she said when he came
back and sat opposite her and lit
it for her. He hates my smoking.
Ive never met him.
No, you havent .
I probably never will.
She had sat up straight then
and looked at him. But you
m u s t . She blew out a curl of
smoke. Come and visit, stay with
us. Hed love to meet you.
He took a drag of a cigarette
then. Tasting the smoke was a
way of not being so aware of her
presence, of calming his
excitement when he was so near
h e r.
What does he think of your
novel, all those complex
relationships in one womans
l i fe ?
She smiled that smile again.
He knows I have a good
i m a g i n a t i o n .
Now she is a famous novelist,
published all over the world. He is
a lawyer. They met again by
chance at this human rights
conference in Umhlanga, debating
the Freedom Plan. The Chinese
want to limit the number of
South Africans enrolled. He is part
of the team fighting the limit, but
tomorrow is a holiday and there is
no conference.
She glances out over the starlit
sea and then back at him. All
those years, you never did come
and visit.
I didnt want to interfere.
You wouldnt have.
I didnt know. I thought it was
all just your imagination.
You were the only one I really
tried to imagine.
The rest were part of your
memoirs? Him too?
That hurts.
Im sorry.
Do you think we can have a
c i g a re t te ? she asks, smiling at
him across the table.
Adam goes inside and comes
back to the table.
No cigarettes, he says. They
stopped selling them years ago.
Part of the health regulations of
the Freedom Plan.
I should have known.
Hamilton Wendes latest book
is Valleys of Silence.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 31 - 23/04/2014 04:47:54 PM - Plate:
PAGE 31 APRIL 27 2014
{ 2034 }
LINDA SHAW
Your Stars
TAU RU S
(Apr 20 May 20)
Tu e s d a y s eclipse is in
your sign, redefining
your personality, self im-
age and list of dreams. Obviously,
none of these things happen
overnight but the process is
about to begin. Think about the
changes youd like to see, and youll
help direct the process. Expect the
love life to take a brief dive, as your
own needs begin to wander. Therell
be unexpected expenses, compen-
sated for by a delicious surprise.
GEMINI
(May 21 June 20)
If youre ready for some
new love in your life,
Tuesday is your day or
night. In fact, take Tuesday off to
make yourself look and feel gor-
geous. Just make sure you know
what you want and that your signals
are clear, and youre in for a won-
derful experience. Most important-
ly, understand that youll probably
be attracted to people you wouldnt
normally notice. At work, mean-
while, show off.
CANCER
(June 21 Jul 22)
This is a time when all
those fabulous juggling
skills of yours will come
in handy verbal, physical and so-
cial to cope with the twists and
turns of the next few days. Even so,
prepare to be caught off guard. M a ke
inquiries about a business trip that
could send you off in a completely
new direction. Tuesdays solar
eclipse doesnt say precisely what
the changes will be just that there
will be changes.
L EO
(Jul 23 Aug 22)
Those artistic leanings,
and fervent desires to
share your passions are
pushing you to take exciting risks.
Despite the conservatism of those
around you, your enthusiasm could
pull them all out of their ruts. Dont
you dare let anyone intimidate you
into chickening out. And dont fret
about your love life. For now, let the
planets decide. Tuesdays eclipse
has plans of its own. No point fight-
ing them. Get some rest.
LIBRA
(Sep 23 Oct 22)
Someones trying to un-
dermine your position at
work. Pay no attention.
In fact, send the interloper some
flowers. No one can hurt you unless
you let them. Even so, ask yourself
how youre contributing to this dra-
ma (maybe you were just bored and
looking for some excitement), and
make amends. Misunderstandings
are simple things to fix. Use your
advantages to help someone whos
battling.
S CO R P I O
(Oct 23 Nov 21)
The solar eclipse on
Tuesday is a perfect time
to re-assess your love
life. Which doesnt mean a whole
production with caterers and a six-
piece band. What you need here is a
quiet moment with your lover, and
some honest conversation. S u re ,
there are times when its essential to
be tough and unruffled but this
i s nt one of them. Just be yourself.
Tell the truth. Dig deep. Explore the
word trust in all its forms.
Derek Geddes
August 6 1970
Carlisle, UK, 03h15
Sun sign: Leo
Moon sign: Virgo
Rising Sign: Cancer
Leo wants attention. Virgo
wants control. But if you think
y o ure going to mastermind a
shift in global consciousness,
think again. Heres the
universal rule: if you want
changes in your world, start
with yourself. Hopefully, youre
running your own business
or, at least, your own section.
You dont take orders well, so
if youre being limited in terms
of expression, nows the time
to change. You may even be
thinking about packing up and
going home. But that wont
solve the problem. E x p l o re
every opportunity to expand
your skills and experience your
world differently. Its only
when you begin to trust
yourself that your decisions
will bear fruit. Youre much
more powerful than you think.
WANT YOUR CHART READ?
E-mail linda@hixnet.co.za
C A P R I CO R N
(Dec 22 Jan 19)
The family is hassling
you, making demands
y o ure not that keen to
meet. Dont make this an issue. Your
family is important, no matter how
much they may annoy you. Diarise
some time and then use whats left
to schedule meetings and presen-
tations. Youre on a roll, and youre
destined for big things this year.
D o nt let pettiness get in the way.
Besides, Tuesdays eclipse demands
more laughs, more fun.
AQ UA R I U S
(Jan 20 Feb 18)
Good news. The career
path is smoothing out
allowing for some relax-
ation and even a spot of time off.
Spend it with people you love, and
tell them how you feel. The money
is about to come rolling back in
slowly at first, but its coming. By
now you have hopefully learned
that your personal value is not de-
pendent on your bank balance. But
maybe not. Work on that, or it will
trip you up.
PISCES
(Feb 19 Mar 20)
The odd financial glitch
could reflect on your re-
lationship if you let it. So
hear this: money has nothing to do
with love. If youre having money
problems, sort them out indepen-
dently of your feelings. If you feel
your partner is not supporting you,
t h e re ll be some blaming sessions.
How about using Tuesdays eclipse
to give exactly what you need? That
way, its just a matter of time before
you get it back. Works every time.
ARIES
(Mar 21 Apr 19)
Old debts could stop you
in your tracks. Dont let
them. Just use that won-
derfully determined mind to work
out a game plan, and stick to it. Pay
off what you can, avoid new debts
and keep working. You know the
drill. And anyway, this is not a long-
term nightmare. Tu e s d a y s eclipse
will provide a host of ideas for
changing your life. Besides, there
are queues of people dying to help.
Let them.
V I RG O
(Aug 23 Sep 22)
T h e re s an eclipse on
Tuesday, begging you to
open that frozen heart of
yours to a brand new love or an
old love, if youre currently occupied
in that department. And remember
this: whether you want to or not,
you are sending out signals to any-
one who comes near you. Try to
make sure theyre the right ones.
Vulnerability is not a crime, you
know. In fact, its an essential in-
gredient for true love.
SAGIT TARIUS
(Nov 22 Dec 21)
Madly exciting develop-
ments at work are stim-
ulating that wildly opti-
mistic streak of yours. Which is just
what you need to get that ball
rolling past the few minor obstacles
determined to trip you up. And if
you need to change your career
slightly, so be it. Even so, watch your
health very closely. Too much stress
can steal your energy, leaving you
too exhausted for the job at hand.
Take Tuesday off if you can.
BEAUFORT WEST / 22.32
Jason Staggie | Illustration: Infiltrate Media
T
ROY Barnes is so deep in
thought that he is entirely
oblivious to the rather
amateurish blow job he is
receiving from the girl kneeling in
front of him.
Hes worried that the doctor
might not show and his status
as one of the most wanted te r -
rorists in the world means that he
only has a slim window period in
which to carry out his mission.
Beaufort West was chosen for
the exchange because of its outlaw
nature; the whole town resembles
one big brothel, it is teeming with
prostitution dens and illegal
drugs.
The house of sin hes sitting in
right now used to be a Dutch Re-
formed Church, but the pale hues
of before have been replaced with
darkness and garish neon lights
welcoming visitors to The
C h u rch .
Troy waves the girl away after
feeling her teeth rub up against
him. A new girl enters, carrying a
little tray with various drug sam-
ples to tempt him. He looks down
at the smorgasbord of contraband,
but tells her to leave.
In a world where every soul in
The West is on smart drugs or
nootropics, African governments
have indecisively failed to approve
them thus rendering the
African population inferior to
their Western counterparts.
Troy himself is on a smart drug,
and the effects have been enor-
mous enhanced clarity of
thought and increased productiv-
ity. But the narcotic revolution has
also reinvigorated The West, and
widened the gap between the
wo r l ds haves and have-nots.
A pierced and tattooed middle-
aged man walks into the room, car-
rying a tiny blue briefcase. Dr Niklo
Saligee, considered the premier
medical mind in Africa, and also
the bad boy of world medicine.
His work on an easy obesity cure
is years from fruition, so hes been
spending his grant money on work-
ing on the ultimate smart drug.
So, Im sitting here with Troy
Barnes! The leader of The Move-
ment and the only real revolution-
ary that South Africa has had since
Madiba. Number 5 on the FBI list,
right?
Im a fan of your work. You
want to make a stand for Africa,
right?
D o nt we all?
No bro, look around you. If this
poverty-stricken, debauched South
Africa is us making a stand, then
we re losing. And weve been losing
for a long time. We cant trust lead-
ers who have failed us. So you think
the FDA will approve it?
Yes, without a doubt.
What about the special
thing?
They wont find out about that.
Well, not for 18 months at least, and then
I suppose you do your thing.
You have the antidote sorted?
Of course I do. I wouldnt be here if
I didnt .
As Troy Barnes drives out of Beaufort West,
he thinks of Sodom and Gomorrah and, like
Lot in the Bible, he doesnt look back.
In a years time, Dr Saligees ultimate smart
drug will hit the Western market. For 18 months
the rich world, consuming this potent stim-
ulant at the rate at which they once
consumed coffee, will flourish but then
everyone will become deathly ill.
And for the first time in South Africas his-
tory, theyll be begging for us to help them.
This makes Troy Barnes smile broadly, for he
has a plan. A beautiful one.
Jason Staggies debut novel is Risk.
Sunday Times Combined Metros 32 - 23/04/2014 04:48:13 PM - Plate: