Category Archives: South Africa – Lost or Found?

Living in South Africa is terrifying and wonderful all at once. These are my personal opinions as I attempt to understand and come to grips with a country that seems out of control.

A ‘White – Free’ Africa?

Blade Nzimande - Higher Education Minister

Blade Nzimande – Higher Education Minister

Recently, in South Africa, our president was again in the spotlight having to explain himself. This time it was for the millions spent on his homestead in Nkandla.

An enquiry was carried out by the public prosecutor, Thuli Madonsela. Needless to say ‘inconsistencies’ were found.

One of the first reactions was for the Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, to publicly announce the report to be ‘white lies!’

This is South Africa, where people wear ‘kill the boer’ t-shirts, design ‘killing banners’ declaring death to the whites and where high level public servants blame us for the theft of their own people.

On any ordinary day people of all colours work, play, live and love together with no sign of racism, hate or fear. In Cape town where I live, it was like that long before Mandela came to power.

In a country struggling to reform itself it seems to me that the biggest stumbling block to unity lies in the mouths and hearts of the countries’ rulers. They preach violence, encourage land grabs and spread lies and propoganda.

We are a country of many colours and white is one of them.

With all their raving speeches and empty promises, not one person of colour has received what they promised. Years after we became a democratically ruled country the poor are poorer and the beautiful dream of true and lasting unity is fast disintegrating.

I can only think that disunity is the only weapon evil men have to remain in power.

Imagine if for once we all joined together and said ‘NO’. Imagine if together we called for accountability and didn’t back down until the truth was revealed. Racism has become a tool to confuse the masses and to deflect attention from the crimes of those in power.

As the voice of the white man dissappears, rulers like Blade will rejoice, but beware – eventually the people will have eyes to see and ears to hear and their hunger and pain will not be pushed aside with lies and fantasy.

God help us all on that day…….










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How Could We?

Kate Mantsho Zuma

Kate Mantsho Zuma

Before Jacob Zuma became president I remember a Swiss couple that came to the restaurant with a group of friends. At the time Zuma’s rape case was in the papers and was the main topic of conversation at the table. The question that was asked me that night was how could we elect a rapist to run the country?

That question has rattled around in my head every time he does someting new. How could we elect a fraudster, how could we elect a polygamist, how could we…

I was trying to found out what Zuma’s wives did to earn the millions it costs us to keep them. I couldn’t find any specific reference, except the one which said they are not public servants and therefore not required to do charitable work except by choice…

Sadly, the one wife that was in fact hugely involved in working for South Africa and the ANC and fully involved in charities for widows and orphans was the one that committed suicide.

Kate Mantsho Zuma, educated, passionate and capable – of everything but surviving Zuma.

Her suicide note barred him from her funeral and decribed her life with him as 24 years of hell. That speaks volumes to the kind of man we have running our country.

I can’t find anything to admire or respect, and judging from the Zuma art that exists, nobody else can either.

We can’t change what we have allowed before, but we can change what we choose for the future.

It is truly my solemn prayer that despite how desperate our people are,

they will NOT vote for this man again.

Find another candidate, there are many to choose from. They won’t be perfect and they won’t be able to miraculously change this country overnight, but if they are honourable, they will give South Africa a chance to continue healing.

They will allow us to step again on the path that Mandela began. A path of unity, love and light.

How can we not want that….

and in tribute to Kate – you are remembered and held in esteem, be at peace Mamma Africa.

no caption needed......

no caption required…


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Mr Shower-Head pulls a Snubby

Mr Showerhead (Zapiro Cartoon)

Mr Showerhead (Zapiro Cartoon)

Nelson Mandela is being remembered today at Westminster Abbey – the first time a foreigner has been so honoured – and Zuma didn’t rock up!

Yep, Presi – Very – Dent – Zuma, ‘Gauche Extraordinaire’, of The Republic of South Africa had a hotter appointment.

The date of Mandela’s service was originally meant to take place in February to coincide with the former presidents’ release from prison, but was later changed to accommodate Snubby’s schedule (he was preparing his hate of the nation address). His eventual excuse for not attending -‘ It is a busy month’ ….

And where exactly was he? Snubby was attending the wedding of one of Bob Mugabe’s children. So a world event occurs to honour an honourable man and Snubby packed up his shower-head and went off to trifle with one of the world’s most violent dictators…

It must be said that we, (plebs who live here), never actually expected Snubby to attend, so it’s not really a shocker, but hearing that the queen also decided not to was hugely disappointing.

Obviously I’m going on the assumption that she is returning the snub. If I’m wrong, well oops, sorry, but if  I’m not, I must say that we do actually expect better behaviour and restraint from you Ma’am.

So Snubby embarrasses us again, nothing new, but when all is said and done, Madiba was still honoured in a service befitting his memory and to be honest, he’s beyond the nonsense of this life now anyway.

So balls and bollocks to the rest of them – Nelson, you hit the Abbey today – Mazeltov!


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Prayers, Sand and 2 Blue Buckets.

The washing buckets

The washing buckets

Today we buried our young colleague, Lunga Maqwelane.

We sang and expressed our joy and gratitude for his life at a memorial service on Wednesday.

Today, surrounded by police vans and in a church filled with plain clothed police officers, we held his funeral service.

It was a desperately sad day. As I walked past the open coffin to say my last goodbyes I was devastated to see that I didn’t recognise him. He no longer looked like the Lunga I had known for so long.

As a white middle age woman I had never experienced a funeral in the black community. I’d heard about them, seen a bit on television, but never been to one.

They held a magnificent service for this young man. Prayers, singing, eulogies, dancing, rejoicing, tears – it was all there. It was all so foreign to me, but frankly, quite wonderful. As I watched the older mamma’s dancing in the aisles, I knew that they had seen and experienced decades of heartache, but no matter what they were forced to face, they would always dance and sing and worship with abandon. That really touched me.

I managed to avoid losing the plot right up until the grave was being filled. It struck me then that my little brother, my sweet son, was forever under the earth, never to return. Finally, after forcing myself to be brave all week, the tears finally came.

We ended the day back at his parents house. An integral part of the ceremony was the washing of hands. As we got there we saw little blue buckets and towels laid out. I asked around to try and understand the significance, because we, (the pale faces), don’t generally do it. From what I could understand it comes from the Jewish tradition of washing away the evil. 

I knew that in the black African tradition everyone gets fed at a funeral. I didn’t think anything of it until I experienced it for the first time today. They must have fed hundreds of people! I was gobsmacked and immediately went into daft tourist mode! I stood and stared with my mouth hanging open. I just couldn’t believe that a small team, in a small house, pulled that off.

They had hired chairs and canopies to accommodate the crowds which were seated and fed outside. Being Lunga’s colleagues, we were the guests of honour and were seated inside with the immediate family and fed like kings.

White funerals – we’ll give you a cup of tea and buy a few packets of biscuits, maybe a platter of sausage rolls and that’s it! Go home, have a good life.

This was so different.

The richness of their love, the power of their passion, the profound respect they show their elders – it touched me to my core.

Today was a sad day, truly, but somehow, at the end of it, sitting in Lunga’s home, I felt blessed.

R.I.P. Meneer

LFC For Ever!!!

(Lunga’s fried chicken)


Posted by on January 25, 2014 in South Africa - Lost or Found?


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Goodnight Sweet Son

Lunga Magwelane

Lunga Maqwelane

The young chef

The young chef

'The Big Guys'

‘The Big Guys’

Lunga Maqwelane, my colleague and my ‘son at work’, was gunned down on Tuesday morning just after leaving his baby’s creche.

He hadn’t done anything wrong. On the contrary, he was a sweet and gentle young man, deeply religious, loving, hardworking, caring…get the picture?

One of his brothers, on the other hand, is a gang leader. Lunga was killed by a rival gang as retribution for the murders committed by his brother.

We don’t know all the details, but we have heard that this beautiful boy was shot 8 or 9 times. He died where he fell.

Later that night they shot his father too – fortunately he survived.

The brother’s response to what occurred was to track down one one of the killers and murder him.

At the time of the shooting, Lunga, together with his wife and his mother had begun praying and fasting, asking God to help the brother to change his ways.

As things stand, things could get very, very ugly. This could easily be the spark that starts an all – out gang war.

We loved this kid.

Personally I haven’t even begun to deal with this tragedy. As more horrific details pour through the grapevine I find myself withdrawing to a quieter place, a place of solitude, a place where I can still hear Lunga singing in that beautiful baritone…

I will miss you my young son. You were one of the nicest men I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

(At the time of his death Lunga had been married for less than a year and had become a father to a gorgeous daughter just 3 weeks previously.)



Posted by on January 17, 2014 in South Africa - Lost or Found?


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Farewell Tata


We will miss you beloved Father

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South Africa: The ‘True Story’


The power of listening……

Well the recent troubles in South Africa only started after Philemon and George died prematurely after leaving the local shebeen.They had imbibed an ungodly amount of alcohol and were in the middle of a brilliant argument about the various uses for tyres when they were knocked over by an overloaded taxi.

When they got to heaven they continued arguing as though nothing had happened, ignoring all help and advice. In frustration JC finally gave up trying to find them gainful employment and sent them to Santa to help with his Christmas lists. (Santa unfortunately owed JC a few favours and had no choice in the matter really).

On arrival it was decided that they would work in the stock room, collecting all the presents requested on the Christmas lists. Unfortunately, unbeknown to well, everybody, George and Philemon were deaf as doorknobs…

The lists were no longer written but voice recorded in keeping with the times.

The first message to come through was from the ANC:

‘Hey George do you know what ANC stand for? do you, do you?’ guffawed Philemon.

ASSHOLES NEVER CAN! George shrieked with glee!

‘Right you are Georgie boy, right you are!’ Philemon chortled happily.

The ANC request was simple:

‘We want more fat in the bank’

‘Coming right up,’ said Philemon and went off to the back of the factory to fetch a wheel of gorgonzola.

‘Now be careful Philemon’, said George, ‘those rats are feisty, just throw the cheese in the number 2 chute and jump out of the way quickly’.

a 100 000 rats suddenly came barreling out nowhere and jumped straight in the chute.

‘We did it!’ yelled Philemon, ‘More Rats in the Ranks! High five Georgie Boy!’

Pleased as punch they pressed ‘The Button’ for the next message.

It was from COPE

Make COPE To Be In Charge’

‘Hmmmm’, thought George, ‘Good idea!’ and off he ran to make a call.

Before long there was a knock at the door. As George opened it an aromatic cloud of smoke billowed in.

‘Hello Bob, thanks for coming to help’, Philemon and George both chorused happily.

‘No problem mon, I be born to help, Jah rule yeah!’

‘So how much you be wanting then? asked Bob, ‘I be having 25 bales of the godly green mon. It be irie to give it all’.

‘Great’ said George, ‘ just pop in down the number 10 chute if you please’.

‘No problem brother, Babylon bwoys are gonna be too busy with the bubble to politrick after this!’

Make Dope To Be Large, Yippee! another happy customer,’ they yelled. Feeling puffed up with success they decided to process one more order for the day.

The last message was from Helen Zille at the DA

‘Suprise me! I’d like a large amount of blue to adorn my offices with.’

‘Easy, Peasy!’, they both exclaimed.

Philemon and George clapped their hands in excitement and dashed off to the nearest porta potty…

Oh shit, said Bob this not gonna be irie…………


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