Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

Woordfees 2018 has kicked off!

Woordfees 2018 is in full swing!

For the past few days the quaint university town of Stellenbosch has played host to artists, musicians, performers and – of course – authors from across the country.

If you’re in the western cape, be sure to head to this dorpie before Saturday, 10 March for the opportunity to hear and see your favourite local writers in action.

Past events include discussions on translations, poetry slams, and philosophy cafes. Future events to look forward to include discussions with Tim du Plessis and Thuli Madonsela, Redi Tlhabi and Adriaan Basson, and a whole array of authors (including Fred Khumalo, Alexandra Fuller, and Achmat Dangor) on writing history.

Click here for upcoming events!

» read article

Feyi Olubodun’s The Villager explores why global and local brands fail to connect with African consumers

When Feyi Olubodun, CEO of Insight Publicis Nigeria, one of West Africa’s leading creative agencies, witnessed one too many cases of brands failing in the African marketplace he began to ask himself questions:

* Why did brands, both global and local, so often fail to connect with the African consumer?

* What was it about the African market that brand owners were not seeing?

He began to reflect on his own marketing experiences and out of this emerged the framework for The Villager.

In Feyi’s view, the African consumer begins his life’s journey by moving from the village, his rural dwelling, to the city, carrying with him not only his own dreams but also the dreams of his community. He is a highly aspirational consumer, motivated to succeed, and he becomes the economic portal for the rest of his community back home. But although he may be exposed to global influences and technology, his essential identity remains largely intact. This is why Feyi calls the African consumer a Villager. The Village is no longer a physical space; it is a psychological construct that defines him and the filter through which he engages with and consumes brands.

In developing his construct, Feyi posits that if you wish to engage successfully in a market you may not understand, you must have the right ‘lenses’ to view a people. He believes the secret lies in applying these lenses at the confluence of commerce, culture and consumer. Data is not enough to understand the vagaries of a particular market. Drawing on his wide experience and wealth of astute observations, he provides a highly readable and indispensable guide to the mindset of the African consumer today, yet it is true to say that his insights apply, albeit in a more nuanced way, to consumer behaviour across the globe.

Feyi Olubodun spent four years at medical school before changing to another course of study. He transferred his interest in humans from the anatomical to the psychological and graduated with a degree in psychology.

Feyi began to follow the questions in his life – questions about humans, brands, businesses and African institutions. These questions led him to the path of working as a Data Analyst and Marketer Researcher, at TNS-RMS for several years.

The same questions led him to Insight Publicis, where he was Strategy Director for some years before being promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Along the way Feyi got his Global Executive MBA from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, and in 2016 he was appointed Managing Director/CEO of Insight Publicis Nigeria. Feyi is still following his questions, reflected in his daily work with clients who want to win in the African market, and in working to build an African creative agency for the future.

There has never been a better time to build an understanding that – at heart – we are all still Villagers, wherever it is that we now call home. When you come to apply the wise words in this book directly to your brand-building approach, you will discover a unique insight into global audiences, and not just African ones. The author suggests that this book is all about the character of the African consumer. I’d beg to disagree. This book is about very much more than that.– – Peter Stephenson-Wright, Affiliate Professor, Director of Executive Education, ESCP Europe Business School

Book details

» read article

What makes a criminal a criminal? A local female polygraphist has the answers…

Brace yourself for the truth…

This book is the first of its kind – taken directly from the frontline of the crime wave sweeping South Africa.

What makes a criminal a criminal?

This book is a true account of crime in South Africa by a female polygraphist.

She reveals how and why farm attacks are planned.

She answers the question of why some women become involved in priority crimes.

She talks about drug addiction and the devastating effect it has on families and causes mothers to become co-dependent.

The psychology and planning of cash in transit heists are also explained.

This book explains the causes and effects of crime, taken from actual polygraphs conducted.
Silke Kaiser has conducted polygraphs for more than a decade. Her career has put her in the frontline of the crime wave that is sweeping South Africa. She has worked on cases ranging from theft, fraud, business and house robbery, murder and dishonesty. She has worked extensively on farm attacks and is intimately acquainted with this phenomenon.

Book details

» read article

Woordfees-gesprek: belangrike nuwe boek oor die invloed van Griekse en Romeinse idees in Suid-Afrika

South Africa, Greece, RomeVyf akademici van die Departement Antieke Studie by US gaan by die Woordfees op 7 Maart om 15h30 in die Thom-teater Seminaarkamer ʼn gesprek oor dié boek (uit die Cambridge University Press-stal) voer.

Dit gaan nie net oor die SA Grondwet, empire of argitektuur nie: haas elke denkbare aspek van ons hedendaagse lewe en kennisstrukture kan na die antieke wêreld teruggevoer het. Die subtitel van die boek, South Africa, Greece, Rome is juis Classical Confrontations: die botsende en kontensieuse word hierin toegelig, maar daar sal ook vertel word oor hoe ʼn gemene kennis van die antieke tot versoening kan lei (en gelei het).

Die redakteur van die boek se inleiding beskryf hoe Codesa-samesprekeings tussen die NP en die ANC in 1990 by een geleenheid baie gespanne geraak het, tot Dr Gerrit Viljoen en Chris Hani tydens ʼn teepouse oor hul gemeenskaplike kennis van en liefde vir die antieke Griekse tragedie begin gesels het. Dit het tot ʼn meer gemoedelike benadering by hierdie uiteenlopende deelnemers aan die gesprek gelei. By ʼn ander geleentheid is die opvoering van ʼn Griekse tragedie gekombineer met die opvoer van grepe uit vertellings voor die Waarheids- en Versoeningskommissie. Die dramatiese raamwerk het die besondere lyding van mense tot die universele begrip van leed verhef.

Die vyf lede van die Departement Antieke van US gaan ʼn tweetalige gesprek hou, al is die publikasie in Engels ter wille van die internasionale teikensmark.

ʼn Komplimentêre eksemplaar van die boek sal by die gespreksgeleentheid aan die Rektor van US, Prof Wim de Villiers, oorhandig word. Sy suster Fran was dosent in Latyn en het tragies jonk gesterf. Die Dekaan van Lettere, Prof Tony Leysens sal ook ʼn eksemplaar ontvang.

ʼn Spesiale slapband-Afrika-uitgawe sal by die Lapa Boeketent te koop aangebied word, teen ongeveer ʼn vyfde van die prys van die hardeband uitgawe.

ʼn Voorsmakie…


» read article

Light, quirky and suitably tasty – Margaret von Klemperer reviews Robin Sloan’s Sourdough

Published in the Witness

SourdoughRobin Sloan’s previous novel, Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, which I haven’t read, did very well, receiving positive reviews and being hailed as cool and hip, adjectives that are likely to be heaped on Sourdough as well.

The central character, Lois, is an ultimately nerdy software engineer, coding whatever is needed to make robotic arms do all kinds of repetitive things and thus free up newly obsolete human workers for something else, unspecified. The arms do have their limitations – they can’t be programmed to crack and separate an egg.

Lois lives in a desolate apartment, and does pretty well nothing except go to work where the canteen feeds the staff on Slurry, a nutritionally perfect food that comes in the form of a greyish gloop.

Then one day, she finds a flyer for a takeaway outlet and begins to order their soup and bread.

It is run by two strange brothers, reclusive and somehow foreign, belonging to a culture known as Mazg. When they relocate from Silicon Valley to Edinburgh, they leave their sourdough starter with Lois, with instructions to feed it and bake bread. And things start to happen, with Lois eventually running a bread stall in an alternative marked located in a decommissioned nuclear weapons storage facility, helped along by one of the robotic arms which she has finally taught to crack an egg.

The other stallholders are an eccentric lot, doing all kinds of weird things, and the brains behind it, Mr Marrow, is invisible, only to be seen on a screen in the guise of a talking fish.

It’s all quite lively and fun, though the stuff about robotics and coding left me far behind. Sloan is making a point here about technology and creativity, and whether they can ever mesh. And also looking at the issue of how an ever-expanding global population can, and should, be fed. Slurry or bread made from living cultures?

While these are interesting and important debates, some of Sloan’s treatment of them is a trifle heavy-handed. And the vague love story that is tacked on seems rather perfunctory. Still, as a light and quirky read, Sourdough is suitably tasty. – Margaret von Klemperer

Book details

» read article

Lionel Shriver’s latest leaves the reader pondering the boundaries of emotional intimacy, writes Michele Magwood

Published in the Sunday Times

The Standing ChandelierThe Standing Chandelier
Lionel Shriver, Harper Collins, R205

Lionel Shriver is a writer who slices close to the bone of human relationships, and in this new work she once again unsheathes her blade and draws blood. It is deceptively short, challenging as it does the belief that straight men and women can never be “just” friends, as well as the notions of jealousy and conjugal fealty.

Weston Babansky and Jillian Frisk met at university and quickly filled in the gaps of each other. Jillian is big, henna-haired and opinionated; Weston quiet and reclusive. Twenty-four years on, and after a couple of brief attempts at igniting a physical relationship, their friendship has mellowed into a close, bantering bond. They have nicknames for each other, play tennis three times a week and gas genially about food, work, politics and their sex lives.

And then Weston starts dating a younger woman called Paige. She is as prissy and PC as Jillian is blowsy and tactless, and she loathes Jillian on sight. Jillian is an artist; generous and creative and is genuinely pleased for Weston when things get serious. She doesn’t understand Paige’s animosity, but Weston says: “You have a strong flavor. Some people just don’t like anchovies.”

Shriver is too perceptive a writer to dish up two-dimensional characters, and we find ourselves swinging from like to dislike of all three, our sympathy shifting as the weeks go by and Paige scrapes away at the friendship. In this time Jillian creates a dazzling piece she calls The Standing Chandelier, a deeply personal representation of her inner and outer life.

When Weston asks Paige to marry him, she issues an ultimatum. It’s her or Jillian. We wonder how she can cause such hurt to the man she loves and watch, appalled, Weston’s response. Trying to grapple back her place in Weston’s affections, Jillian presents the couple with The Standing Chandelier. Weston will have to live with this physical representation of his lost friend.

In the last pages Shriver twists the knife in the wound, leaving the reader pondering the boundaries of emotional intimacy and the precarious nature of human connection. @michelemagwood

Book details

» read article

Jacket Notes: Martha Evans on Speeches that Shaped South Africa

Published in the Sunday Times

It has been a whirlwind period for South African rhetoric. From former president Jacob Zuma’s will he, won’t he resignation speech to Cyril Ramaphosa’s maiden state of the nation address, the utterances of the past few weeks have altered our political reality.

The idea that the world is shaped by the actions of extraordinary individuals has been unpopular in an era focused on the dominance of collective action. Even Nelson Mandela, who JM Coetzee once said “may well be the last of the great men”, consistently rejected his own heroism.

“I stand before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people,” he said 28 years ago. It was a hot Sunday evening, and I was stationed in front of the television with my parents, aware that great words were being spoken, but uncertain about their effects. That sparked my interest in the power of words.

I became interested in the clever attempts to circumvent the apartheid state’s brutal banning orders. Oliver Tambo’s annual January 8 address was broadcast on the clandestine Radio Freedom and via cassette tapes circulated underground (possession of which could land you in jail).

But the oppressive laws also made it difficult to locate the words of dissidents.

For this reason, finding a buried copy of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s first public speech after a 13-year period of enforced silence was a highlight, as was the discovery of video footage of Allan Boesak at the launch of the United Democratic Front. On a cold winter’s day in Mitchells Plain in 1983, Boesak was electrifying, chanting, “We want all of our rights, and we want them here and we want them now.”

Speeches that fail to inspire sometimes also shape events. PW Botha’s defiant Rubicon speech and the 2015 state of the nation address go down in history for all the wrong reasons. Zuma’s presidency was characterised by flat, jargon-ridden rhetoric devoid of optimism.

But if there is anything that chronicling influential speeches has made clear, it is that words can and do effect change. The events of the past few weeks testify to this.

Book details

» read article

Book Bites: 25 February

Published in the Sunday Times

Sweet Little LiesSweet Little Lies
Caz Frear, Bonnier, R270

Caz Frear’s debut is a slow burner and the premise is spelt out in the first few chapters. It’s 1998 and Cat Kinsella knows that her wily father has lied to the police about a teenager who is missing. Fast-forward to the present day and a woman is murdered near her father’s pub. Cat, now a police officer, is heading the investigation. She thinks her father might be guilty of murdering both women. It takes a while for her, and consequently the reader, to unravel what becomes a very complex mystery. Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

Shadow Man
Margaret Kirk, Orion, R295

Margaret Kirk, first winner of Good Housekeeping’s novel-writing competition, has kick-started her career with a crime thriller series. Morven Murray, a UK B-list celebrity, is murdered in her posh Inverness hotel room just before her wedding. Elsewhere in the city, police snitch Kevin Ramsay is executed gang-style. Inspector Lukas Mahler, a tormented insomniac, takes both cases and soon suspects the two deaths may have more in common than previously thought. Full of tension and Scottish flair, this tale has colourful, complex characters and plenty of twists that will delight readers to the final page. Tiah Beautement @ms_tiahmarie

In Dust and AshesIn Dust and Ashes
Anne Holt, Corvus, R295

The usual definition of a cracking novel is one that you cannot put down. But there is also the flip side; it’s the book so beguiling you want it to last as long as possible. Anne Holt, journalist, lawyer and briefly Norway’s minister of justice, fits the bill for the latter. This is the 10th title featuring Oslo detective Hanne Wilhelmsen, and Holt’s most accomplished yet. It’s an engrossing plot, reminiscent of Agatha Christie in her prime. There’s a recent suicide, which the retired Wilhelmsen thinks might be a murder. And there’s a 15-year-old murder, which her sidekick, Henrik Holme, thinks might have resulted in a wrongful conviction. The two detectives are a marvellous study in oddities. Wilhelmsen is a bad-tempered, wheelchair-bound recluse; a lesbian married to a Muslim refugee. Holme is a social misfit, an obsessive-compulsive 30-something virgin, with a kind heart and a prodigious intelligence. William Saunderson-Meyer @TheJaundicedEye

Book details

» read article

Veteran newsman provides an evocative portrait of a dying era, writes Hamilton Wende of Jeremy Thompson’s autobiography

Published in the Sunday Times
Breaking NewsBreaking News
Jeremy Thompson
Biteback Publishing

Jeremy Thompson sits across the table. He loosens his trademark silk presenter’s tie and gives me a warm smile. His relaxed, open approach exposes the real person behind the global fame and the glass curve of the TV screen. A disclaimer: I have worked for other networks alongside Thompson, and always found him to be completely professional, and often downright amusing.

I jumped at the chance to interview him about his newly released autobiography Breaking News, his account of nearly 50 years in the news business. An epic journey from being an apprentice newspaper hack in Britain in the late ’60s, using a red phone booth and a pocketful of two-penny pieces to dictate his stories, to going live as a world famous presenter for Sky News on an iPhone from the streets of Paris in the November 2015 terror attack.

“I liked telling stories and digging around.” He looks at me over his loosened tie and unbuttoned collar. “I was a 16-year-old schoolboy when Kennedy was assassinated. I got hooked then. I wanted to know more.”

When young Jeremy announced his career plans, his father was appalled. An insurance man who had built a solid career, starting in the depths of the Great Depression, he blurted out that only jazz musicians were a worse insurance risk than journalists.

Thompson rose from apprentice newspaper reporter to local radio with BBC Radio Sheffield, where he covered the bitter coal miners’ strikes in the ’70s, the birth of Louise Brown, the first test-tube baby, and the horror of the Yorkshire Ripper.

He joined British network ITN and his world exploded. He and his crews travelled the globe covering news for decades, “often blagging our way onto First Class”. His first major conflict was the violence after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, then on to pro-democracy riots in South Korea, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, then Sri Lanka, Tiananmen Square, a coup in Fiji, the first Gulf War, the release of Nelson Mandela, Bosnia, Kosovo.

“I’ve always followed my nose,” Jeremy says. “And opportunities opened up for me. I’m lucky, I never thought I would get this far.” In 1991 he and his family came to South Africa for ITN. One of his highlights was the 1994 election. “I had been at the Bisho Massacre, and at Boipatong. I had the soil of South Africa under my fingernails, and the blood of some of its residents splashed over me. It was hard not to get emotionally involved watching people here voting for the first time in their lives. I wanted to tell their story.”

The genocide in Rwanda that was occurring at the same time shook Thompson deeply. Yet he says: “I could cope. I could turn what I saw into TV that would hopefully make a difference somewhere down the line. I tried to be objective and fair, tell both sides and work really hard to let the viewer decide.”

Not so easy to achieve today? He looks at me carefully. “No, ISIS has taken things a step beyond. Most stories about Iraq and Syria today use third-hand information. They are still telling the story of what is happening. But you can’t really tell it as an eyewitness, because it’s become a death sentence to go there.”

His book is partly an elegy for a time when journalists were freer to roam the world and tell stories of what they found and who they met. “A lot of news today is a processing plant that is not dealing with first-hand, grassroots stories.”

It’s a great read – often funny along with the darker stories. He writes with an accomplished journalist’s verve and colour. The previous US election was Jeremy’s last big story. “By the end of the Trump election,” he says, “real news was left face down like road kill on the information superhighway.”

His book is an evocative portrait of an era that is dying, but it is a plea for journalists to keep fighting for what he regards as his most important goal: “The viewer’s trust,” he says, “is crucial.” @HamiltonWende

Book details

» read article

Fiksie Vrydag: lees Jacques Myburgh se kortverhaal, ‘Die Paartjie op Touwsrivier’

Hierdie storie het oorspronklik op Myburgh se blog, Woordtsotsi, verskyn (21/02/2018)


Net buite Touwsrivier het hulle 1993 wit Toyota Camry sy laaste gulsige hap uit die brandstoftenk gevat. Oom Daan het geweet hy en sy vrou Ansie gaan by die Engen op die dorp se soom moet stop.

Die rit van George was stil. Bedees. Oom Daan het net so nou-en-dan vir Ansie gevra om die klein koelersak agter die passasiersitplek aan te gee. Sy het die oggend vir die laaste keer in haar ruim plaaskombuis, met die teëlrangskikking van wit ganse bo haar stoof, gekookte eiers, tamatie-en-kaastoebroodjies, droëwors en ’n fles koffie gepak. Sy sou so sit in die kar en kyk hoe die landskap verander. Van tuinroete se lowergroen tot die dorre Karoo se meedoënloosheid van klip en jakkalsskedels.

By die vulstasie het oom Daan vir die soveelste keer sy kaart in die OTM gedruk. Hy het eers gehuiwer. Weer sy Blackberry uitgehaal en gekyk of daar nie dalk ’n kennisgewing van die bank is nie. ’n Klein greintjie hoop. Net ’n paar sente om hom en sy Ansie veilig tot in die Kaap te bring. Hy het vir sy dogter gevra om ’n paar rand oor te betaal en vir haar gelieg. Hy het gesê dit is om sy nuwe lisensieskyf te gaan kry. Nie omdat hy geld nodig het omdat hulle dros nie.

Niks. Hy sug en vryf met sy ruwe duim van jare se werskaf op die plaas die foon se skermpie skoon.

Hy besluit om die kaartjie tog in te druk. Wie weet? Banke kan nie vir al sy kliënte 24 uur per dag SMS’e stuur nie? Nie eers die bank het so baie geld om op airtime te spandeer nie.

Hy druk versigtig sy pinkode in. 193105. Ansie se geboorte maand en jaar. 5 Mei. 1931. Hy lees die bedrag. Sug. Neem sy kaart en gooi die strokie in die klein asblikkie en stap terug na hulle motor.

Oom Daan sien ’n jong man in ’n silwer klein motortjie langs sy Camry stop. Een van daai Koreaanse karre. Hy het nooit iets vertrou wat hy nie eers behoorlik kan uitspreek nie.

Hy stap bedees na die jong man toe. Hy daal nooit so laag om vir geld te vra nie, maar as hy dit nie doen nie, gaan hulle dit nie maak tot in die Kaap nie. Daar wag ’n job as ’n hyskraanoperateur by die hawe vir hom.

Hy gaan vra skaam en versigtig vir die man. Hy is lank en skraal. Inkepe op sy voorkop wys dat hy binnekort daai bruinlokke van hom koebaai gaan roep.

“Jammer, meneer,” hy kom agter sy stem is skielik hees. So asof die snare van sy stembande skielik styfgespan word. Die jong man draai om. Hy dra ’n leerbaadjie met stywe noupypjeans. Oom Daan wonder of hy in die oggende van die kas af moet spring om in daai broek in te kom.

“Ja, Oom?” Die man frons effens, maar sy gesig is gemoedelik. Oop. Dit lyk soos ’n verstandige seun, dink hy.

“Ek en my vroutjie is op pad Kaapstad toe.

“Ek het soos my pa en sy pa se pa op ons plaas geboer op George, maar die droogte het ou bene van die boerdery gemaak. Ons sit nou met die paar goedjies in ons kar.

“My kinders sit almal oorsee. Ek het nog nie vir hulle gesê daar is nie meer ’n familieplaas om Krismis by te kom kuier nie.

“Ons probeer op die volgende dorp kom, maar daai ou Camry is mos maar ’n gulsige masjien as dit by petrol kom.”

Oom Daan kan voel sy linkerbeen raak rusteloos. Hy vryf sy arm en wag vir ’n antwoord van die man. Dit voel soos ’n ewigheid.

Die man se frons verdwyn. Sy bruin oë versag.

“Jis, Oom… ek is self op pad Kaap toe. Ek het ook nie veel geld nie, maar ek is seker ek kan ietsie vir oom-hulle gee. Ek sal kyk hoeveel ek kan trek.”

Die seun verdwyn met sy kierie-beentjies in die Quick Shop in.

Oom Daan gaan staan by die kar. Hy sien Ansie is besig om uit die Bybel te lees.

Ag jirretjie, dink hy. Die vrou het geen meer hoop vir ons nie, maar ten minste is sy nog gelowig. Job se geduld, dink hy. Dit is al wat Ansie nou nodig het. Hy sal weer vir hulle ’n pragtige plaasopstal kry.

Een daar in die Matroosberge se wêreld sodat hulle die Here se wit laken op die berg se toppe kan dop hou terwyl hulle op die voorstoep sit.

Oom Daan se oë volg die man deur die winkel se glasvensters soos wat hy by die OTM geld trek en na die Steers toe stap.

Nou voel hy nog meer soos ’n charity case. Die man kom met twee koppies koffie terug.

Dalk kry hulle weer ’n paar werfkatte wat kom en gaan soos hulle lekker kry. Dalk is daar tarentale. Sy oupa het altyd na hulle verwys as polisiehoenders oor hulle koppe soos dié van ’n polisiekar se sirenes lyk.

“Hierso, Oom. Vir die pad, sodat Oom nie agter die stuur aan die slaap raak nie.”

Hy gee twee koppies koffie vir hom en plak ’n R100-noot in Oom Daan se hand.

“Dit is nie baie nie, Oom, maar dit sal oom-hulle op ’n plek kry wat nie so godverlate is nie.”

Tannie Ansie breek haar stilte.

“Die Here seën jou, my kind.” Sy het ’n gehekelde kombersie oor haar bene. Die Bybel nog voor haar oop.

Die man se oog vang ’n stukkie in die Bybel wat sy onderstreep het. Steek vas asof hy dit lees en loop dan na sy motor.

Oom Daan wag eers dat die jong man ry voor hy die Camry na die petrolpompe vat. Hy wuif vir hom.

Die gesuis van die Camry se wiele op die teerpad kalmeer vir oom Daan. Vir die eerste keer sedert hulle uit George gery het, begin hy weer ’n toekoms vir hom en Ansie sien.

Die Moederstad. Dit was vir hom altyd so lekker om daar by die Waterfront te gaan rondloop. Skilderagtig-mooi het sy oudste dogter, Rachel , altyd gesê. Die berg ingeëts aan die eenkant en die see aan die ander.

Ansie sit en staar by die ruit uit. Bybel op die skoot. Hande oor die boek gevou. Dit lyk vir hom of sy ook begin droom oor hulle nuwe lewe.

Skielik is daar ’n harde geknars van metaal op metaal. Hulle torring en kantel. ’n Pyn skiet deur oom Daan se nek. Hy klou vas aan die stuurwiel.

Oom Daan het om ’n haarnaalddraai nie die aankomende motor gesien wat ’n ander een probeer verbysteek het nie.

Die windskerm ontplof in miljoene glasstukkies. Hy kan die doodskyk op Ansie se gesig sien soos wat die motor tuimel en draai.

En toe, die niksseggende donkerte. So asof die Here ’n swart kleed oor Oom Daan se kop gegooi het soos toe hulle as kinder op Naboomspruit donkerkamertjie gespeel het. Hy hoor net die gejaag van sy asem en uiteindelik ’n oorverdowende stilte.

Die N1 is afgesper. Die Camry is net ’n verinneweerde homp metaal. Die voorkant in sy maai. Die blou en rooi ligte van nooddienste glinster op die N1 soos wat ’n jaloerse reënbuitjie uitsak. Soos tarentale wat in gelid marsjeer staan die polisievoertuie in ’n ry.

Die een konstabel loop verby die motor. Sy oë wat afkyk grond toe. Hy wil nie sien hoe die twee liewe ou mense ná so ’n ongeluk hul einde gesien het nie.

Hy merk ’n vel papier op wat moedswillig in ’n fynbos deur die wind rondgepluk word. Dis ’n bladsy uit die Bybel uit, sien hy.

Hy tel dit op. Daar’s ’n streep bloed op die papier en ’n versie wat onderstreep is. Hy lees dit:

“Korintiërs 4:8, 9

“In alles word ons verdruk, maar ons is nie terneergedruk nie; ons is verleë, maar nie radeloos nie; vervolg, maar nie verlate nie; neergewerp, maar nie vernietig nie.”


» read article