Monday, June 14, 2010

News from the Free State

Hello folks,

I’ve been away for the last 3 days on a quick trip to Welkom (Free State) to deliver a vehicle to an age-old friend of mine. The vehicle was stolen in Welkom about 2 weeks ago, and recovered 24-hours later by an attentive security guard in a large shopping complex in Pretoria. The old Volkswagen Golf still had all its parts on BEFORE ending up in the custody of the South African Police Force. I think if the car had stayed in their custody for another day, only the bare chassis, or maybe just faint traces of its existence would have remained. Eish – VW Golf spares are really scarce!

I made the grave error of starting my trip at 13:00 on Friday afternoon, completely forgetting that Soccer City in Johannesburg was hosting the opening game at 16:00, and that the venue was on my direct route. I tried avoiding the bulk of the traffic on the N1 Highway by taking an alternative route via Krugersdorp, but the traffic came to a dead standstill near Muldersdrift. It was while plodding along bumper-to-bumper, between Muldersdrift and Roodepoort, that I had my eardrums almost fractured by some idiot pedestrian, who thought he was being very funny when he stuck his vuvuzela through the passenger window. I already suffer from slight ear damage due to test-firing 1000’s of firearms during my career in the forensic ballistic department; -- now my one ear is totally deaf! I wonder, -- to whom shall I address my civil claim? Do you think that FIFA will pay for the damages?

I was hoping to take a bus back from Welkom on Saturday, but they were all fully booked. The earliest I could get a seat was on Sunday evening at 18:00. My biggest concern was that I’d be accompanied on the bus by a bunch of disorderly and noisy soccer fans. To my surprise the 5-hour trip back on the luxury Translux coach was quite pleasant. The passengers were mainly local folk; a mixed variety of whites, coloureds, and a few elderly blacks, who had the decency to greet you in Afrikaans. The DVD player on the bus was apparently out of order, so we all had to endure the bus driver’s choice of radio station, which stayed tuned throughout the trip to the sports commentary of the soccer game between Australia and Germany, in a foreign African tongue, I and the majority of other passengers couldn’t follow. I only had to remind myself once that “This Is Africa”, and focused my attention on the Volksblad newspaper I purchased on Saturday. Sleep was out of the question!

Besides news related to the WC2010 which took up most of the space, the Afrikaans Volksblad carried a few interesting stories, two of which I believe is worthwhile sharing because I cannot find any online versions of these stories, -- not even on the Volksblad website! The paper is dated 12 June 2010.

I’m not going to translate the entire text of each story, -- just the basic key facts!

Page 5 - Volksblad
Residents Burn Building Down - (Inwoners Brand Gebou Af)

This incident happened in the black township of Kwakwatsi near Koppies, a few hours after the live TV broadcast of the WC2010 opening match between SA and Mexico. Residents were watching another live TV broadcast on SABC1, obviously also related to the soccer, when the power suddenly went off just after 20:00. Angry residents then started with their bizarre monkey behaviour and blockaded the entrance of the township with stones, effectively obstructing municipal workers and police from entering. (Why they always do this goes beyond all logical reasoning?) They then proceeded to burn down the municipal offices. Besides severe structural damage to the building itself, all equipment and furniture inside the building was totally destroyed. There were also attempts to burn down the home of an ANC official living in the area, after they stoned his house.

Page 5 also featured a rather hilarious story, which I suppose the residents of Zastron in the Free State would not consider amusing at all:

Notice full of errors - (Kennisgewing vol ‘foute’)

A municipal notice informing the residents of Zastron why they would be out of water again, contained major spelling errors. The notice was written in Afrikaans, and was intended to inform residents that their water supply was cut ‘again’ due to a mechanical problem on a water pump. The spelling errors in the official notice (see scanned image) are truly atrocious, and I’m sure Afrikaners who are proud of their ‘Taal’ must surely have felt deeply offended. A sidekick to this story is that the water crisis in the town caused two tourists, Josh Fowler (28) from New York and Esteban Garro (31) from Mexico to travel approximately 200km to Bloemfontein to find a bath.


Rozan perry said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

This post is so informative and makes a very nice image on the topic in my mind. It is the first time I visit your blog, but I was extremely impressed. Keep posting.
clarens free state

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Thank you Rozan, for the kind compliments!

Latest 5 Featured Posts:

Operation Vula, its Secret Safari, and Zuma’s band of comrades - Dec. 2013
During 1986 the ANC launched an underground operation called Operation Vula. A lesser-known fact is that it continued to operate after Nelson Mandela's release in February 1990, and for three years after his speech in August 1990 when he reiterated the total commitment of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe and the SACP to the Groote Schuur Minute.

Heritage Day Photographs (Voortrekker Monument) - Sept. 2013
This posting includes a few photographs taken on Heritage Day 2013. The posting introduces an unusual but beautiful new structure called QUO VADIS? (with the question mark) which I’m sure many readers have never heard of.

The Yellow-Bucket Marula Tree: A Mystery Solved! - Oct. 2013
I came across a rather strange phenomenon one day while travelling along the R561 route between Tolwe and Baltimore in the Limpopo province of South Africa. A small yellow bucket was attached high-up in a branch of a Marula tree, hence the name of this posting. It’s a real funny story which I’m sure most readers will enjoy - as much as I enjoyed compiling the article  - (with illustrations).

Pretoria’s Monument for Victims of Terrorism - July 2013
Many people (including myself) had almost forgotten about a noteworthy monument in Pretoria that stood at the entrance of the old Munitoria building on the corner of Van der Walt and Vermeulen Streets (now renamed Lilian Ngoyi and Madiba Streets). When the Munitoria building was demolished on 7 July 2013 nobody could tell me whether the monument was still standing or not, so I decided to go look for myself.

Remembering The Battle of Delville Wood - July 2013
14 July marks a day when the South African 1st Infantry Brigade got engaged in the 1916 (WW1) Battle of the Somme, in France. The battle was one of the largest of World War I, in which more than a million men were wounded or killed, making it one of humanity's bloodiest battles. One specific encounter during this battle, known as The Battle of Delville Wood, is of particular importance to South Africa. The posting includes a comprehensive article (with pictures) compiled and written by Petros Kondos.

African Countries (Alphabetical list):
(The links will redirect to the page dealing with the specific country.)