Keeping the Impis at Bay

One early evening while waiting for a train
I walked into an old station bar,
to buy a cold cider to kill a thirst
in the sweltering
thirty degree Celsius summer heat

and saw a very old cripple man
who nursed a glass of white wine
and he was talking to himself
and sometimes stuttered over his words.

When he looked up at me
there was fire in his eyes
and it was almost as if
he recognized me, from a dream
or a prophecy of something

and suddenly his face was calm
while he called me over for a chat
and I ordered a bottle of brandy for him
and another Hunters Gold for me.

He complained that the times were cruel
with one hand motioning to his missing legs
that he had lost in a train crash
and complained about Afrikaners
ignoring each other
and only living for themselves
while the nation is being led astray

and then suddenly said but my boy,
you know this,
have experienced it yourself
as a learned man without a job

but let me tell you something
about days long gone
even before the Boer war
(where the British killed
women and children in concentration camps) ,
many Afrikaner farmers
were executed at Slagtersnek
and it had been a terrible, terrible time

and then that holy Englishman John Phillip
meddled in our affairs
and now he haunts us again
peering in at the window panes

and I shook my head, did not understanding
exactly what the old man said
and heard something about
English people being in cahoots
with the current government
and ladies ruling as bosses
while educated Afrikaner men are jobless

and he swayed on his stool
and I rose to steady him
when he said to pour more brandy with ice
and complained that now nobody
is keeping the impis at bay
and pointed a finger at me

and I thought that he said
but you will do, or maybe
you haven’t got a clue
and leaning forward
strangely his breath was clear

and I heard him stuttering something
sounding like even uncle Paul
in church square knows
that soon all Afrikaner men
will be poor

and I said to him:
“My man we already are
with the new black regime,
but most Afrikaners
just do not realise it yet.”

He smiled at me then
and steadily held his glass, in a final salute
brought it to his lips
and faded into the naught
de-materializing in front of me.

Gert Strydom, 2010

Christopher Hope (1972), David Kramer

History lesson

21 Years ago, one man with a gun made a difference.

Having a gun, even an inexpensive ineffective low-capacity 38 Special snubnosed revolver, is better than not having a gun at all.

How long do they think they can get away with this?

Johannesburg – The Jaguar XF driver who crashed into a house in Lyttelton this week has been given a written warning, Pretoria police said on Friday.

The answer, of course, is that they think they can get away with it forever.

One set of rules for “them”, another set of rules for the servants who pay their taxes so dutifully.

The more important question is whether the servants will allow them to continue operating like this. Because that will determine whether this country flourishes or goes to shit like so many other African countries.