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8 - 14 October 2013

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| Whether it’s a passport renewal or birth registration, at some stage you’re likely to have used the services of the oft-criticised SA High Commission Home Affairs Section in London. Do they deserve more credit than they’re given? We ask you to rate how well South Africa House serves your needs by BRETT PETZER THE SOUTH African Home Affairs Consular Section of the SA High Commission in London is a government department that wields immense power over international South Africans and non-South Africans alike in terms of travel, immigration and citizenship related to South Africa. Whether you settle in bucolic Middle England or pulsing London, at some stage you are likely to need the services of the SA Home Affairs UK office, for example, to request retention of your SA citizenship when obtaining a British passport or to register the birth of a child. For some, this experience is mostly seamless; for others, lost documents, misinformation and delays create a refined form of bureaucratic torture. We asked the South African community abroad rate service they have received at the Consular Section (share your story on www. We are putting together a report based on your feedback which we shall present to the new high commissioner to the UK. If reader complaints are anything to go by, His Excellency Zola Skweyiya’s successor as South African High Commissioner will have plenty of work to do from Day One. Having polled our readership online and on social media, a picture is emerging of more negative experiences than positive

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at the Consular Section, with little improvement over time. The most serious comments related to potentially life-altering bureaucratic failures, such as the loss of essential documents reported by Facebook commenter Carole Donovan, “They managed to lose documents and a passport they have processed and not even delivered. “ Less alarming, but equally frustrating, have been the delays. Donovan’s birth certificate for a newborn took 8 months. Facebook commenter Emil F Reichhart’s passport took 7 months, while Sibella Ryman waited almost a year to get hers. Readers tend to fall into to three camps when it comes to the High Commission’s general service. One large group, like the above, takes issue with the way SA House conducts its core business. For the other large group, staff attitudes are particularly troubling. The third group is most concerned by the infrastructure and communications of the consular section. Speaking for the first group, commenter Karen said, “We applied for an unabridged marriage certificate in July 2010 – still have not received it after numerous visits. The staff are also unashamedly lazy. One member of staff sat watching a line of people waiting at an unattended counter for 45 minutes but refused to help anyone as ‘he only dealt with visas’. On a different occasion we had to wait an hour only to


p6 | Exclusive interview with Trevor Noah on turning racism into laughs p11 | Drones enlisted in the fight against rhino poaching

p13 | ‘Disneyland’ at Vic Falls? Not likely, says Zim

| SOUTH AFRICAN NOIR ROMANCE: Brandon Auret and Cara Roberts star in ‘Durban Poison’, a moody South African road movie inspired by the true story of a pair of outlaw KwaZulu-Natal lovers, which will be screened at the BFI London Film Festival this week. Read our interview with director Andrew Worsdale on page 5

have the staff member (that two different colleagues advised us would help us) refuse to help us until she had served everyone behind us in the queue as ‘she did passports first and then everything else’.” On Facebook, Andrew Sinclair and Carole Donovan commented on issues of basic business practice. Sinclair, speaking of a December 2009 experience, found that staff

attitudes were less of a problem than alarming administrative oversights: “They processed our passport renewals and application for clearance for dual citizenship really quickly but in the case of our passports they failed to return them by post despite me having enclosed a self addressed special delivery envelope and I only found out that they were about to return the passports to Pretoria Continued on page 2

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How has the SA High Commission treated you? Editor: Heather Walker Production: Brett Petzer & Jackie Lampard Registered office: Unit C7, Commodore House, Battersea Reach, London SW18 1TW. Tel: 0845 456 4910 Email: Website: Directors: P Atherton, A Laird, J Durrant, N Durrant and R Phillips Printed by: Mortons of Horncastle Ltd

Continued from front page as unclaimed when I finally got through by phone to ask about them. Then I had to travel to London to fetch them and nearly didn’t get that right because the clerk needed my reference number but luckily by some miracle I remembered it. Staff were pleasant enough though. Overall the experience was slightly more positive than negative but I was

pretty upset that they failed to notify me that the passports were waiting for collection and getting through by telephone is basically impossible.” Sinclair’s comment about the difficulty of reaching the High Commission by telephone was echoed by many readers. This comes as no surprise when one notes that, according to the South Africa House website, ‘telephone

hours’ for the Home Affairs section are strictly between 15h00 – 17h00. Donovan, in turn, found the antiquated southafricahouseuk. com website neither up to date nor clear. The issue of opening hours also struck a chord with Gina Mkhonza Mahlangu on Facebook, who called them ‘ridiculous’. However, a minority of social media commenters were delighted with the service they received

from Home Affairs. On Facebook, Jacomi Malan wrote, “Fantastic service with most understanding and accommodating people! Can’t fault them!” Anthea Van Eyssen concurred, saying she got her documents in under two months. “Staff were very helpful and the online checking system meant that I could track the status of my application which was very handy.”

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You’re invited to the St David’s Marist Inanda reunion in London |This is the chance for UK-based Old Boys to meet, mingle and reminisce! by STAFF REPORTER ST DAVID’S Marist Inanda, a Catholic Independent Boys Day school in Sandton, Johannesburg is hosting a Marist Alumni GetTogether in London, hosted by Mike Greeff (CE St Davids) and Rob Hewitt (Chairman of St Davids London Trust and 1982 Old Boy). This will be held on Tuesday 22 October at 18:30 for 19:00 at The Walkabout Temple on the Embankment. It will be an opportunity for old boys to

Our Team Each week we profile one of the many writers who contribute to The South African.

Alison Monday

An English Literature graduate who can often be found with her head either in a book or a biscuit tin. She is currently enjoying writing for The South African while trying to forge a career in journalism- a sensible plan which is often interrupted by vivid dreams involving travelling to an exotic location and living out her days on a beach. Follow Alison on Twitter: @alimonday10

Until 16 Oct 2013 We Love Mandela Exhibition - comprehensive exhibition of artworks inspired by Madiba. Location: South Africa House, Trafalgar Square. One of Britain’s greatest living portrait artists, Richard Stone, and his famous Mandela portrait, which sold for record sums and currently resides in New York will be reproduced and on display among many other original artworks. Details on Until 20 Oct 2013 Graphic Africa - An exhibition featuring 16 leading African designers. Graphic Africa will showcase a thoroughly contemporary aesthetic, with important work by 16 leading designers from 10 countries in East, West and Southern Africa. Platform at Habitat, 208 King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5XP.

network, reminisce and share stories. Founded in 1941, St David’s roots go all the way back to St Marcellin St Marcellin Champagnat, the founder of the Marist Order in the 18th Century. Marcellin’s vision of superior pastoral care combined with academic excellence still informs St David’s ethos today. RSVP to Cheryl King by Friday 18 October by email at: Dress: Smart casual. A cash bar is available.

23 Oct 2013, 7pm Rhodes University Alumni: The Purple Legacy Reunion in London. Dr Geoffrey de Jager and Rhodes University UK Trustees invite you to the Purple Legacy Reunion. Charge: Donations to the Rhodes University UK Trust www. Extra: Complimentary drink and canapés on arrival, cash bar available and partners welcome. Dress: With a touch of purple Special Guests: Rhodes ViceChancellor, Dr Saleem Badat and Old Rhodian Caroline Rowland – Director of the award winning film FIRST: The Official Film of the London 2012 Olympic Games. RSVP: E-mail: t.mccarthy@ – Tel: Claire 07896 282 517 – By 16 October. Soho House, 17 Old Compton St, London W1 D 4EB. 24 Oct 2013 6.30pm Celebration of music and song with Aviva Pelham and talented UCT alumni. Celebrated South African singer and UCT alumnus Aviva Pelham and the University of Cape Town Trust (UK Registered Charity 803042) invite you to join them for a celebration of music and song featuring

talented UCT alumni from the South African College of Music. Tickets: £30 each (Refreshments will be served before and after the performance). Students: £20 each Aviva Pelham is a lead ambassador for the UCT Opera School Fundraising Campaign. UCT is enormously proud that many of these students now perform on the world stage. UCT’s challenge is to find funding which will sustain the UCT Opera School for the next decade and beyond. Please join them for an enchanting evening with some of UCT’s most gifted alumni. All proceeds from ticket sales for this event will go direct to the Opera School and will enable more gifted young people to follow their dreams. South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London. RSVP: to reserve a place and request payment instructions. Until 26 Oct 2013 Black Jesus: This stunning new play by Anders Lustgarten, one of the UK’s leading political playwrights, receives its world premiere at Finborough Theatre in Earl’s Court, playing a four week season from Tuesday 1 October to Saturday 26 October.

Black Jesus unpicks the political complexities of Zimbabwe through the devastating personal journeys of two very different people, both shaped and scarred by one of Africa’s most complex and notorious regimes.. Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road. Box Office 0844 847 1652 Tuesday, 1 October – Saturday, 26 October 2013. Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm (from 12 October 2013). Prices for Weeks One and Two (1–13 October 2013) – Tickets £14, £10 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £10 all seats, and Saturday evenings £14 all seats. Previews (1 and 2 October) £9 all seats. £6 tickets for Under 30s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only. Prices for Weeks Three and Four (15–26 October 2013) – Tickets £16, £12 concessions, except Tuesday Evenings £12 all seats, and Saturday evenings £16 all seats. Performance Length: Approximately 90 minutes with no interval.

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E-tolls to go live before year-end |SANRAL and state push project through despite broad-based opposition By NTHAMBELENI GABARA THE IMPLEMENTATION of the electronic tolling (e-tolling) system on Gauteng’s upgraded freeways will go live before the end of the year, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters confirmed at the SABC/New Age business briefing on Monday. Peters said following the signing into law of the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill by President Jacob Zuma, her department would this week start the process of publicising the tariff structure. It would then be open for public comment for a 30-day period. “After the 30-day period, I think it will take us about seven to 14 days to get the ball rolling. Yes, I will say [that the Gauteng e-tolling system will be operational]. “The objective of the e-tolling system is to decongest our road networks and I would like to say, they have done a good job. “We’ve also created alternative routes to ensure that those who are unable to get to the freeway, or those who don’t want to use or pay [on] the freeway, they can use those alternative routes,” Peters said. With regard to the controversial billboards erected on Johannesburg’s N3 and N1 highways, with the message ‘E-tolls. Proudly brought to you by the ANC’, Peters said: “Those are cowards and people who don’t have the decency to actually acknowledge what the African National congress (ANC) led government has delivered in this country. “They want to focus on one aspect and turn an important infrastructure of the economic hub of South Africa, like the Gauteng

E-tolls near Allandale Road in Johannesburg (Image:

Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), into a gimmick...” SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) CEO Nazir Alli said a lot of commentators on the e-tolls did not look at the benefits of GFIP, but rather focused on the cons of the project. “We’ve noticed that since the President signed the Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Bill into law [last week], we are starting to see an increase in the number of people who are buying e-tags. South Africans are generally law abiding citizens. They … will get e-tags and the sales will increase. I’ve not yet checked the recent figures, but already two and half million vehicles are registered on the system,” he said. According to Alli, 83 percent of those people will be paying no more than R100 a month. “These are facts, not the numbers we’ve been hearing about where people have been exaggerating …

that motorists will be paying R1 000 or R1 500 a month. I want to assure you - nobody will be paying such an amount. “Eighty-three percent of the two and half million [people] we’ve measured will be paying no more than R100 a month. That is the side of the coin that we should be looking at as well,” he said. The maximum monthly cost of using the road network is capped at R450 for those who have registered for e-tags. The Transport Laws and Related Matters Amendment Act will facilitate the upgrading and development of transport infrastructure and public transport in the Republic. A statement released by the Presidency says: “the Act will provide more effectively for the collection of toll [and] to amend the Cross-Border Road Transport Act, 1998 (Act No. 4 of 1998), empowering the CrossBorder Road Transport Agency to collect toll on behalf of Sanral”.

South Africa - puts paid to a very long-lived myth. According to data from the MRC (Medical Research Council), the SAPS (South African Police Service), Africa Check ( notes that South Africa’s murder rate in 1970 was about 32.12 per 100,000. The murder rate went on to peak in the years leading up to and immediately following democracy, at 62.5 murders per 100 000 in 1994. The fall that followed has been sustained up to the present, with SAPS statistics for 2011/2 amounting to 30.9 per 100 000. Murder, one of the baseline measures of the violence and criminality of a society, is therefore falling in South Africa, and currently sits at a level last seen under JB Vorster. More seriously, however, the myth of a spike in the murders of white South Africans by black South Africans is shown by Africa Check to be just that. Quoting Lizette Lancaster of the Institute for Security Studies’ crime and justice hub, Africa Check notes

that “Whites are far less likely to be murdered than their black or coloured counterparts. ” Despite making up 9% of the population, white in one representative 2009 sample made up just 1.8% of murders. Africa Check’s last major point is especially damning to the Red October cause: “the current murder rate of white South Africans is also equivalent to, or lower than, murder rates for whites recorded between 1979 and 1991.” South Africa’s murder rate is rightly considered a national emergency by many South Africans; it is among the highest in the world, and violent crime is an expected part of normal life for an alarming percentage of citizens. But to present the murders as symptomatic of an organised slaughter, rather than a problem to be collectively confronted in a spirit of ubuntu, is to skew the issue. To this extent, Red October have, wittingly or unwittingly, misled the public.

Red October’s ‘white slaughter’ a distortion of the facts, say experts by BRETT PETZER

IN RESPONSE to The South African’s coverage of the protest group Red October’s ‘white slaughter’ protest, readers have commented prolifically on the site and on social media. One TSA. com poster, Judith, spoke for the middle ground: ‘I don’t think it’s about the colour...The South African government need to intervene. People who commit crime should not get away with it. I think criminals are looking where the money is.” The most considered comments tended to centre on the problematic way in which Red October seems to have racialised a problem all South Africans face. A group of self-described ‘concerned South Africans’ specifically mention the Africa Check article, Are SA whites really being killed “like flies”? This article from the award-winning fact-checking site - that has already harpooned a number of the greatest white whales of contemporary


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We Love Mandela exhibition opens


THE world launch of the We Love Mandela exhibition was held at South Africa House in London last week. It showcases a significant collection of artworks in the image of, and inspired by Nelson Mandela, including paintings, sculpture, photography, cartoons and beadwork. Entry is free to the public until 16 October. Details on

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Cult SA film director brings killer romance ‘Durban Poison’ to London

‘Coming Alive’, an exhibition by South African artist Lola Frost

| Lola Frost’s work draws visually on photographs of the physical landscape of places as diverse as the Drakensberg mountains, the Sonoma Valley in California, | Dubbed the South African ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, ‘Durban Poison’ is a moody and the forest tunnels of Kent. noir romance set among the country’s marginalised white underclass erotically sensuous, but essentially by STAFF REPORTER unknowable. that will be screened at the BFI London Film Festival this October by MARIANNE GRAY THERE are four South African films being screened at this year’s London Film Festival: Felix, a drama about a Zulu lad who wants to become a jazz musician, Of Good Report, about a paedophile chool teacher that was banned on the night of its opening screening at the Durban International Film Festival, Image Gallery, a short in the African First Shorts, and one that stands on its own in South African filmmaking, Durban Poison. Dubbed the South African Bonnie and Clyde, Durban Poison is a moody and touching noir romance set among the country’s marginalised white underclass made by writer/director Andrew Worsdale. Written 27 years after his controversial UCLA thesis film Shot Down was banned in South Africa and went on to festival acclaim becoming ‘South Africa’s definitive cult film of the 1980s’ Worsdale, 50, returns nearly three decades later with a thrilling and melancholic road movie inspired by a true story of a pair of outlaw KwaZulu-Natal lovers. Durban Poison is the story of 20-year-old streetwalker and party hostess Joline, who comes from a background that has made her tougher than any man. Sexy and manipulative, she gets anything she wants. Her lover is Piet, a 38-year-old construction worker. Hardened after a third of his life spent behind bars, he’s a loser, maybe even weak, but filled with a bravado that makes him behave like a real mover and shaker in the underworld. In their passion and selfdestruction they become serial killers, murdering four people in a game of sex for money. Moving between the present and the past

as a police investigation tries to uncover the truth behind the murders, the film becomes a tale of a failed but passionate romance, of truth and lies, of memory and regret. It also looks at South Africa’s chauvinist, aggressive macho culture and tells the story of a woman who rebels against it. “The origins of Durban Poison lie in the fact that Shot Down was a kind of experimental movie,” says Worsdale, who will be in London to introduce the film. “I wanted to make a so-called ‘normal’ movie – almost like an Australian film like Chopper or Romper Stomper – thrillers that just happened to have very strongly drawn Oz characters and I was reading James Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice) and watching noir movies. But in 1988, the movie fell through for several reasons – money, mainly – but significantly the fact that the political situation was getting even more tense and vivid meant that no one saw the relevance of making a film about these white outcasts when the country was falling apart.” “My circle and myself at the time were idealists and wanted to be part of the overthrowing of the regime and be part of a new South Africa. We were all living in Yeoville, Johannesburg, then which, in itself was some kind of microcosm of a new South Africa.” Worsdale was, however, to leave South Africa to work in film and documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK before returning home in 1995.“Durban Poison was always with me as it’s a strong cinematic story,” he says. “Outlaw lovers on the run. On my return to South Africa I tried to resurrect the project and yet again more drafts were written. I was working as a movie critic for the Mail and Guardian to pay the

rent, I was married and father of a young son. “But that was also when my drinking really, really took hold and I basically drank myself out of being a film director of any sort. I could just sort of scrape by as a critic but ended up being fired, creating scenes at previews and festivals and became generally rowdy and slid into a hell that led to several rehabs, a divorce, accidents, falls, broken jaws, ribs, and many, many missed deadlines.” He finally kicked the booze and two Decembers ago his buddy, film producer Diony Kempen, who was setting up The Karoo Film Company with best-selling author Deon Meyer, said he would like to help Worsdale make Durban Poison. “The ‘punchline’ of this long story, is that when the opportunity finally came to shoot the movie in November last year I was so aware of the karma, the miracle of it, and was continually giving thanks for the way it finally came to be. I firmly believe that the film is way, way better than it ever could have been in the previous years – a long haul, yeah, but worth every bit of pain!” Durban Poison won the Best South African Feature Film at the Durban International Film Festival in July. Starring Brandon Auret, Cara Roberts, Gys de Villiers, Marcel van Heerden, Danny Keogh and Frank Opperman as Stoffel, it plays in the LFF at The Ritzy, Brixton on 10 Oct at 20:45 and on 11 Oct at Hackney Picture House at 18:00. Booking Online : Tel : 020 7928 3232 between 09.30- 20.30 In person : BFI Southbank Office 11.30 - 2.30

SOUTH African artist Lola Frost holds Coming Alive, an exhibition of her startling, visceral paintings at the Frameless Gallery, 20 Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DP from Tuesday 24 September to Saturday 12 October 2013. Originally from South Africa, Lola Frost settled in the UK in 2002 and now works as a full time artist in London. Frost acknowledges the compulsions of the unconscious in her work, made coherent in her paintings by means of swirling, organic fractals of paint. Frost’s work draws visually on photographs of the physical landscape of places as diverse as the Drakensberg mountains, the Sonoma Valley in California, and the forest tunnels of Kent. On her canvases geographic realities are transformed into internal mind/body fields that are

Her teaching career has included lecturing in Art Theory at Durban University of Technology and in Art History at the Working Men’s College in London. She completed her PhD at Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2007, and currently writes on politics, ethics and aesthetics. She has exhibited in both South Africa and the UK and her paintings are part of several major collections in South Africa. RSVP to lola.frost@btinternet. com to confirm attendance at the private views on Thursday 3 October or Wednesday 9 October between 6 and 8 pm. Also RSVP if you would like to attend the gallery talks on Saturdays 28 September and 12 October 3- 4pm. Gallery hours are 12 noon to 7pm daily, except Sundays.


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Trevor Noah: I don’t tell people to not be racist, I just offer more options | We chatted to South African comedian Trevor Noah about why he doesn’t need to justify basing his comedy on race; his plans to do stand-up comedy in German and about bringing his critically acclaimed show, The Racist, to Hammersmith Apollo later this year. by HEATHER WALKER FRESH from a record-breaking season at London’s Soho Theatre and another sell-out season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Trevor Noah will present his critically acclaimed show, The Racist, on a UK tour from November 2013 to January 2014. We sat down with the South African funnyman on his recent visit to London to ask some burning questions. How did Trevor Noah start? When did you first realise you were funny? In Standard 2 I was playing a tortoise in the school play. It was a very serious play about animals but I remember doing the funniest things and the school was cheering and I was falling and tripping, it was all about clowning. Everyone loved it – they were like “this is the funniest show we have ever seen” and I was a celebrity for about a week. That’s the first time I remember making people laugh. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? A traffic cop, more than anything in the world. I used to watch Leon Schuster acting as a traffic cop and I thought “this is the best job in the world” because I hated taxi drivers as a kid. I used to think we need to arrest them all because they don’t stop at the traffic lights. I was militant. I was the cheesiest lawabiding kid – when we drove past taxi drivers I would roll down my window and shout out “indicators are for communicators!” And then ironically, years later, I became a taxi driver and now I understand them a lot more. With the money I had earned, I thought a good way to invest it would be in a taxi so I bought a taxi and became a taxi driver which is a horrible job but it made me understand them a bit better. Once you live in that world you know that maybe you also wouldn’t stop at the lights if it means

the difference between getting an extra passenger and getting food tonight. Your upbringing meant you had personal experience of poverty and prejudice. As a comedian, do you feel you have a role to play stirring debate about politics and social issues like corruption? It’s not really my job but I have a wonderful platform to do that. Comedy is one of the areas where people listen to you, because you aren’t there preaching – I don’t tell people to not be racist, I’m just there to offer more options. I even tell people I am not political – I try and talk about politics the way the man in the street does whereas when you get too smart you lose touch with the people. That was Thabo Mbeki’s downfall. Jacob Zuma wins votes because he is charismatic – he makes mistakes and then he giggles and dances. I always tell people that South Africa is actually a very functioning democracy, the reason we know about the corruption means we live in a good place. I have been to countries where they don’t speak about that kind of thing at all; in the news in Zimbabwe there is nothing bad. We know about Zuma’s house; I know countries where presidents will build palaces but nobody is allowed to talk about it whereas we still have that privilege. A lot of people have criticised the fact that a lot of your comedy and South African comedy in general is race-based. Your current show is called The Racist. Is it time to move beyond race or is it an issue that still needs to be explored? I don’t think anyone needs to move past anything in comedy, they will move when the country is ready to move. Most South African comedy is based on race because most of the country is still based on race – that is still one of our biggest challenges. Comedy in every country is a snapshot of what society is going



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through at the time. Most people who have problems with the ANC, deep down have problems with the black ANC, and most people who have problems with the DA have problems with the white DA. Only when we get to a point where it’s just political parties will anything change. We have to let it happen naturally. When I first started comedy some people used to say ‘Oh SA comedy is sh*t, you know who’s great, I love Jimmy Carr, British comedy is great, you guys are not’…and I believed them – until I came and did comedy in the UK and people here say ‘Wow you guys are different, I have never seen comedy like that, what a fresh perspective.’ You’re not bad you are just different. South Africans have low self-esteem and tend to think foreign things are better, but now I realise it’s not better, it’s just different. Britain has had stand-up comedy for many years but in South Africa it’s only been 20 years since a black person has been able to sit next to a white person in a venue and laugh together. It’s not something that will change instantly because culturally we are very different. But over time it becomes less about colour thing and more about culture – that’s when the sky will be the limit. In time, comedy will change with the people. I am seeing fantastic things now like kids who come to my shows, and it’s just the most mixed group of kids and they don’t see themselves by the colour of their skin – they just see themselves as a bunch of ‘skater boys’ or ‘punk rock kids’. In South Africa we are and always have been evolving but after 20 years of democracy we are at a crossroads where we can choose to be better or we can dwell on why we are not good and that’s really our challenge. And slowly as we evolve we have the opportunity to, not forget, but rather build on it, and that’s what I like to do in comedy as well. I never want my audience to be onedimensional. If my audience becomes “too black” then I think well, we need to find a way to get more white people in and vice versa if it becomes “too white”. I like to have a multicultural audience because when you laugh at the same things, you realise how similar you are, whereas in South Africa for many years we were taught to focus on what makes us different. I try to celebrate similarity as well as diversity. What makes South Africa unique is our cultural diversity – go to a braai and look at the food eaten there! I mean a braai is traditionally Afrikaans, but pap is an African staple. It’s amazing to see how we have adopted each other’s cultures without realising it.

A lot of people think we are still very segregated in South Africa but then you look at all the things we share. You have done a couple of big US TV performances, last year The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and recently the David Letterman Show. Are Americans starting to know who you are? No no, America doesn’t know you at all – you have to do a thousand things before they know you, or maybe one big thing. Getting known there is not easy. But that’s not why I went there, my goal was never to be famous – I love comedy, and that’s why I go to places where I can enjoy comedy. You lived in the States and have toured around the world – has this changed your perspective on South Africa? That’s interesting, I never thought of it that way. Your perspective doesn’t change, you just start to get an idea of alternatives. When you stay in your country you only know one reality. For instance in South Africa you have slow internet and this is normal, this is the only option you know. The more you travel the more you learn, which can be good thing and bad. For example there is nothing harder than going from the UK back to South Africa in terms of public transport, you can’t just hop on a train and go somewhere. Did living abroad change you? Yeah I think in a good way. It made me appreciate South Africa more, genuinely. As much as I appreciate so-called First World countries I also appreciate that South Africa is a very cheap place to live – it’s First World living at Third World prices. People tend to focus on the bad things, but there are a lot of good things like the people, languages and the lifestyle. So when you come to places like UK, you start to miss those things – which is why a lot of South Africans here are always trying to recreate that life – ‘Come join us for a braai man’… You mentioned in your London

show in January that you were learning German because it’s your father’s home language [he is Swiss]. Yes, it’s going well. I really enjoy the language and I want to start doing shows in German. Eddie Izzard, who has produced your UK shows and is something of a comedy mentor to you, is now doing shows in French and other languages – were you inspired by him? Yeah, it’s a challenge. He’s lucky because his brother is a linguist so he has a head start on me but at the end of the day comedy wins. Is German comedy really such an oxymoron? No, it’s a stereotype! Some people say South African comedy is very stereotyped, but in fact all comedy is stereotyped – it’s just that some stereotypes have become more acceptable than others. In the UK, every second comic will say that the Germans don’t have a sense of humour but the truth is, Germans are some of the funniest people I have ever come across. I’ve been to Germany many times and they party harder than most, they drink more, they dance more, they laugh more… they are crazy. It’s just another stereotype. Chav jokes sound just like jokes about coloured people in Cape Town… everyone is commenting on the same thing, we just identify it differently. You have a big UK tour coming up and your biggest gig is Hammersmith Apollo – is this the biggest overseas venue you have performed in? I think it may be the biggest venue I have ever done! In South Africa our biggest theatre seats 1,800 and the Apollo is double that size. Trevor Noah performs at the Hammersmith Apollo on Saturday 7 December at 7pm. Box Office: 0844 249 1000 | 8 - 14 October 2013 |



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Sparkling Champions | Due to an ageold tradition, South African méthode cap classique is truly a champagne…in all but name.

A Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) wine is made in the original Champagne method. Second fermentation takes place in the bottle in which the wine is matured and eventually sold in. In SA we are bound by the “Crayfish Agreement” by which we are not allowed to use any generic French wine names. In exchange they call our crayfish in France “South African crayfish” which gets sold and consumed over there. The recent surge in AOC protection laws also stopped us from using terms such as Port and Sherry on the label when these wines get exported. In the past the term Méthode Champenoise was printed on our sparkling labels when 2nd fermentation occurred in the bottle but recently, with French instigation, that term was outlawed. Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc have been the traditional MCC grapes but the use of Chardonnay and Pinot noir have been on the increase. For the past 13 years there has been a competition running in honouring the best of MCC produced in SA. This year’s Amorim Tsogo Sun Méthode Cap Classique Challenge was held at the Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town on the 17th of September. A grand total of 102 wines were entered, making 2013 the most entered in the history of the competition. “Since its inception, the Cap Classique

Challenge has been about promoting excellence in the MCC category, one of the South African wine industries’ showpieces,” says Pieter Ferreira, Chairman of the MCC Association and Graham Beck Wines Cellarmaster. “Not only is the MCC Challenge a showcase for the excellent quality of MCC produced in South Africa, but it also has the effect of increasing an awareness of this category among the local and international consumer.” Boschendal’s Grande Cuvée Brut 2009 Boschendal’s Grande Cuvée Brut 2009 won the category for Best Vintage Brut as well as Boschendal being named Overall Winner for the highest scoring wine. Lizelle Gerber, Boschendal winemaker, was presented with a steel sabre, the right tool used for opening a bottle of bubbly!! Cape Wine Master Allan Mullins and Chairman of the judging panel had this to say: “The judges were unanimous in their praise of the category’s consistency and the excellence of many of the wines. I feel that this is due to newer producers gaining experience both in the cellar and in choosing cooler, more suitable vineyards for their grapes. Grapes for good MCC wines need to ripen as slowly as possible and must be harvested at the optimum time. MCCs made from grapes that are harvested too early will be lean and acidic and harvesting too late will result in dull and flabby wines.” “To sum up, it is clear that Cap Classique has come a long way since the formation of the MCC Association in 1992. This year’s overall quality was pleasingly high and there was proof that the better MCCs repay ageing, both on the lees and in the bottle. The Amorim Tsogo Sun Cap

Other winners were:

Museum Class: (open to wines older than 2008) Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut 2007, Stellenbosch (younger vintages) Non-Vintage: (made only from white grapes) Colmant Brut Chardonnay Non-Vintage, Franschhoek Best Blanc de Blanc Non-Vintage: Rickety Bridge Blanc de Blancs 2009, Franschhoek N/A in the UK. Best Rosé Non Vintage: Graham Beck Brut Rosé NonVintage, Robertson Best Rosé Vintage: Graham Beck Brut Rosé 2009, Robertson

Classique Challenge has played – and continues to play – a major role in inspiring producers of this wonderful product to reach new heights.” The other judges on this year’s panel included Neil Pendock, Jenny Ratcliffe-Wright CWM, Cathy Marston, Giorgio Meletiou, and Jaume Gramona Marti from Spain. What is refreshing about all of this is that it will, hopefully, fingers crossed; persuade buyers to choose their sparkling wines on merit and quality rather than choosing it based on temperature affected animals or street names.



Nelson Mandela’s Living Legacy

The beginnings of the end of Apartheid MANDELA’S 70th birthday in July 1988 attracted international attention, with the BBC organising the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute music gig at London’s Wembley Stadium. Although presented globally as a heroic figure, Madiba faced personal problems when ANC leaders informed him that Winnie had set herself up as head of a criminal gang, the “Mandela United Football Club”, who had been responsible for torturing and killing opponents in Soweto. Though some encouraged him to divorce her,

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he decided to remain loyal until she was found guilty by trial. Victor Verster Prison and release: 1988 Recovering from tuberculosis caused by dank conditions in his cell, in December 1988 Mandela was moved to Victor Verster Prison near Paarl. He was housed in the relative comfort of a warders house with a personal cook, using the time to complete his LLB degree. Mandela organised secret communications with exiled ANC leader Oliver Tambo. In 1989, Botha suffered a stroke, retaining the state presidency but stepping down as leader of the National Party, to be replaced by the conservative F. W. de Klerk. In a surprise move, Botha invited Mandela to a meeting over tea in July 1989, an invitation Mandela considered genial. Botha was replaced as state president by de Klerk six weeks later; the new president believed that apartheid was unsustainable and unconditionally released all ANC prisoners except Mandela. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, de Klerk called his cabinet together to debate legalising the ANC and freeing Mandela. De Klerk met with Mandela in December to discuss the situation, a meeting both men considered friendly. The end of 350 years of colonial oppression was at hand.

Afrikaans channel double offer on TalkTalk UK

| kykNET and kykNET Musiek channels make their first international foray with their launch on TalkTalk in the United Kingdom by PROMOTIONS TALKTALK has launched a new suite of premium world TV Channels, extending its pay TV offering notably to an Afrikaans speaking audience through its YouView TalkTalk Player.




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Attack on the wannabe property owner

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| What transpires, and is it just me, is that I have unwittingly sponsored the next incentive tour these people may take to the World Cup. THERE is a dark, underbelly world lurking in the property market. A phantom of shock to the system; always just in the shadows, and it only pounces once you have lost your heart. I kid you not, and if I am being a tad over melodramatic, let me just say that I have, not an hour ago, walked, or rather staggered out of a lawyer’s office. I have signed my life away, willingly, to a small, sweet little place – but fool that I am, completely underestimated that Phantom of the hidden costs.

Following the successful launch of TalkTalk’s Star TV Boost, which allows customers to access great Bollywood content, TalkTalk has identified the need to provide its customers with local language channels and popular programmes for the hundreds of thousands of non-native language speakers in the UK. With their launch on TalkTalk in the United Kingdom, kykNET

and kykNET Musiek make their first international foray. The channels are available exclusively from TalkTalk in the UK with the kykNET TV Boost, providing customers with a range of Afrikaans entertainment programmes. The kykNET TV Boost is available via TalkTalk YouView player on a monthly basis from as little as £10 a month.

Before you think me blond and completely gullible, I did surmise that there would be transfer fees and legal fees involved. So in love with my new find in the beautiful Cape, I was calculating percentages in lieu of the sale price. What transpires, and is it just me, is that I have unwittingly sponsored the next incentive tour these people may take to the World Cup. I have paid for tuition fees, face lifts and the odd Learjet. This for signing a bunch of papers (same format for every sale and mortgage agreement) that was less paper than my one-day novel. Romantic notions of winter fires and red wine, and still giddy at the prospect of decorating my new abode, I am rendered speechless when the final piece of paper – the account is pushed at me across the boardroom table. As they say, fudge the wine. I cannot afford the wine now. Did I buy a wine farm? The statement before me could furnish the entire place. Shock however deep, was, as we always do, met with the overly casual attempt at pretending you had expected this figure to deplete your life savings all along. Oh, I say, I will have to send you a check shortly and look for a paper bag to regulate the breathing. Oh, I, Diva of Distress, say – ‘Is this all?’ Ten minutes later, sitting in the car I am now feeling TOTALLY ripped off. Raped by the property system that is agent, lawyer for transfer fee, transfer fee and lawyer for mortgage application. And bank fees and, and, and. So unfair to part with hard earned

money to strangers never seen again. Feeling violated and more than a little stupid thinking justice still prevailed, I turned toward the Waterfront. Am going to drown my disgust in twenty mochas at Melissas. As I pass Khayelitsha and see the impoverished who make do with a few sheets of corrugated iron, and drive by the many, many souls standing all day in the sun waiting for bit work to put some food in their mouths, all the anger dissipates. I may have been ripped off (and still believe it) but I have the opportunity to buy something of my choice. Will others ever have any opportunities for absolutely anything? If only I could take half the blood money given to the phantom of the ‘hidden costs’ and pledge it to a better cause; more housing perhaps, the feeling of being exploited would not sting so much. Yet, maybe this is a lesson … and an opportunity?



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Rand fails to take advantage of US government shutdown


ON Tuesday the US Dollar fell to an 8 month low after the United Sates Federal Government entered a government shutdown, with 800,000 workers being furloughed. However, the rand failed to take advantage of the weaker Dollar as the shutdown saw investors take flight from riskier assets such as the Rand. South Africa’s own domestic concerns also played a part in the Rand failing to take advantage of the situation in the US. On Wednesday the South African Performance Management Index fell to an 8 month low as a strike in the Automotive sector hurt new sales orders. According to a note by Tradition Analytics “the structural inhibitors in the local economy to rand performance … will exert themselves during periods of slowing foreign portfolio flows, such as now.” It is likely that the strikes will continue to have an effect in the coming months. Last week German car manufacturer BMW announced that, due to the labour unrests, it will no longer consider its Rosslyn plant

| 8 - 14 October 2013 |

for the production of a new model – a move that Numsa (The National Union of Metalworkers) labelled as “blackmail”. It is expected that the Rand will continue to trade in a narrow range until the deadlock between the Democrats and the Republicans is resolved and while there remains uncertainty about the timing of the tapering of the Fed’s bond-buying program. GBP / ZAR: 16.1128 EUR / ZAR: 13.6338 USD / ZAR: 10.0459 NZD / ZAR: 8.3192 Exchange rates as of 08:55 (GMT), 07 October 2013

:: Note: The above exchange rates are based on “interbank” rates. Make use of a Rate Notifier to send you alerts when the South African exchange rate reaches levels you are looking for. For expert financial advice on tax, foreign exchange and more, make ‘first contact with us at Brought to you by

Call 0808 168 2055

There’s a red kow in town

| Migrate your South African investments with cashkows SOUTH Africans are an interesting and curious ‘tribe’. No matter where in the world you find yourself chances are you’ll bump into one. What’s more than lekker is you’ll always have something to talk about. Conversation inevitably starts with Where are you from? Do you know…? Resulting in I don’t believe it! Somebody always knows somebody you know and so our tribe stays connected. A relatively new common denominator in their lives is the arrival of’s red kow. Although no stranger to the UK they’ve come to settle in London. When asking why, and what it is they do, the answer is disarmingly refreshing: “To fulfill the dreams of South Africans living all over the globe and assist them to move their retirement annuities, preservation funds and

inheritances to their new home countries”. If you’ve ever tried to move an SA retirement annuity the DIY way you’ll appreciate the welcome respite the red kow brings to expats of the world! What they accomplish in 12 weeks will take a DIY’er upwards of 12 months. Other than wasting time and the complexity of navigating the necessary red tape, think of the money you could’ve saved! is a South African company for South Africans of the world. Founded in Hermanus, three years ago, with offices in Brisbane, Australia and now London, to date they’ve successfully serviced 6000+ expats in 76 countries. Their London office at 34 Lime Street, EC3M 74T offers

yet another exclusive service. From here they assist the tens of thousands PPS members in the UK to optimise the Benefits Plans and Profit Share Accounts designed exclusively for South African professionals. Based on the principle of mutuality a PPS membership is the best retirement investment a South African professional can ever make. In 2012 the company paid out R3billion in profits to its members. Another good reason for the red kow to come and graze in the UK. With the view to add quality to South Africans’ lives, they’re here to stay. It’s a promise: we deliver. no bull. To talk to a South African, call 0203 5444785.

Mapping the divide: Adrian Frith’s street-bystreet language and race maps of South Africa by BRETT PETZER

A series of clickable, zoomable maps showing the Census 2011 data about South Africa’s distribution of race groups and language groups reveals an engrossing picture of how far the Rainbow Nation has come – and how very far it still has to go – in overcoming the spatial divisions legislated by apartheid. Scrolling through Cape Town is a fascinating exercise in seeing hard, quantitative data mapped onto a lived reality. Moving through South Africa’s major cities is still an exercise in crossing very visible boundaries that many expected to be gone, or at least much softened, by now. Researcher Adrian Frith created these maps by overlaying 2011 census data onto spatial data. He also has a map series based on

the 2001 census, which makes for fascinating comparisons from suburb to suburb. Overall, however, it must be said that the spatial picture is remarkably static. South Africa may be at the end of its second decade of wholesale, fine-grained social change but these evolutions have, as yet, made little difference at street level in Cape Town. The change in Greater Johannesburg and Greater Durban are more obvious, and impart a sense of responsive urbanism and meaningful street-level change (along with the attendant collapse of the rates base in formerlywhite areas that developed under the spatial skewing of apartheid legislation). Frith’s maps are an excellent picture of how our cities, all of which developed in highly artificial ways between 1948 and

Are you eligible to apply for ILR or British citizenship this month? APPLICANTS who are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain or British Citizenship, must please remember that the new English test requirement is coming into effect on 28 October 2013. If you are eligible to submit your Indefinite Leave to Remain or British citizenship application this month, you need to contact BIC as soon as possible to submit your documents, in order to avoid having to take the new test. From 28 October 2013, all applicants for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK, as well as UK citizenship would be expected to fulfil two requirements, unless exempt;

• To pass the Life in the UK test; and • To have an English speaking and listening qualification at the B1 Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR). This is known as the KoLL requirement – Knowledge of Language and Life requirement. Persons who are nationals of majority English speaking countries, and those who have obtained a degree taught in English will be required to take the Life in the UK test, but will not be required to take the English test. Note that South Africa is not reckoned to be an English speaking country.

| Adrian Frith’s simple, yet groundbreaking, map uses hard data to show graphically what almost all South Africans do every day: that is, navigating racial and language divides that crisscross our cities and towns.

1994, are slowly normalising: the banishment of non-whites from places of work and opportunity is slowly being reversed, although this means wrenching change for formerly middle-class city centres. See Adrian Frith’s website for more. The UK Home Office has also announced that in order for an application to be considered under the pre- 28 October 2013 requirements, the application would need to be received by them on Friday, 25 October 2013. If you are eligible to submit your Indefinite Leave to Remain or British citizenship application this month, and want to avoid taking the new test, please contact us without delay. JP Breytenbach Director of BIC, Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants Limited. or

11 | 8 - 14 October 2013 |


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Drones enlisted in the fight against rhino poaching

| Conservationists are implementing unmanned airplane programmes that will see drones used to track rhino and poacher movements in a bid to stop poaching by KATE FERREIRA CONSERVATIONISTS and antipoaching organisations are turning technical in their fight to combat the ever more sophisticated crime syndicates operating within South Africa’s national parks. At least three independent programmes are trialling the use of unmanned aircraft or “drones” to monitor the movements of both our precious wildlife resources and would-be poachers. The World Wildlife Fund has been using a $5 million grant from tech giant Google to test these drones in the wild in Nepal and Namibia for over two years. According to a report on NPR. org, poachers were killing one rhino a month in Nepal prior to the use of this technology and this has since been reduced to just two poached rhinos in two years.

Unlike the military drones dominating the headlines of late, these are much less sophisticated. The WWF ones are handlaunched glider-looking planes that resemble remote controlled toys, but are loaded with traditional and infrared cameras.

They have a much reduced range too, and fly for around an hour. According to an interview with, WWF’s biologist Matt Lewis said: “When poachers are starting to use night vision technology, and when poachers are starting to use tranquilizer drugs to silently dart an animal and cut off its horns at night and get out at night - it’s incumbent upon us to find a better solution to address that.” He also told the web publication that “as the war in Afghanistan winds down, drone manufacturers are ‘coming out of the woodwork’ looking for new customers for downsized and cheaper versions of their unmanned military aircraft.” The use of drones has been one of the most controversial aspects of the already divisive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their use in zones that frequently spill across the volatile AfghanPakistani border has resulted in civilian deaths which activists say would not have occurred had the military restricted itself to using human combatants. However, drone warefare seems here to stay. Technology watchers hope that, as with GPS, a technology originally conceived as a powerful weapon will rapidly gain peaceful credentials as new applications are found for it. As for the lighter surveillance drones used in anti-poaching campaigns, they have so far undergone a preliminary week-long trial in May 2013, spearheaded by a team from the University of Maryland. DefenceWeb also reports that an independent trial happened in March in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park, in KwaZulu-Natal. The park itself brought in an aeronautical engineer from Shaya Technologies to fly unmanned petrol-driven airplanes and there were no rhinos poached in the park during the trial. The Endangered Wildlife Trust is also coordinating a trial in the Kruger National Park.

Fixing higher education key to progress: SA moots a four-year Bachelor’s


IN order to address static dropout and graduation rates among South Africa’s previously disadvantaged students, the Council on Higher Education proposes to lengthen basic undergraduate degrees by one year. More prepared students would, however, still be able to graduate within three years. The recommendation comes in the wake of a Council on Higher Education (CHE) report released last Tuesday which reveals that fewer than 1 in 20 black and coloured South Africans ever graduate from a university, while more than half of all those entering higher education never graduate at all. This means that those whose parents were railroaded into Bantu Education are still themselves being discarded, unequipped for basic work, by state education. Meanwhile, according to the CHE report, white graduation rates remain 50% higher, on average, than that of black and coloured South Africans. These inequalities

in labour supply will, while they persist, continue to postpone the advent of transformation in the formal economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) concurs: in a 2013 report, it mentions education outcomes first in a list of challenges the South African economy must overcome if it is to grow at anything like the rate required to end poverty. Quoting the report, “many labor market entrants [in South Africa] do not have the basic skills sought by potential employers.” The CHE, a statutory body composed of industry leaders, places the blame squarely at the door of the basic education system, but has also been careful to point out the turning a ship the size of Basic Education will take years or decades. This, according to the CHE, is time South Africa doesn’t have, and so urgent remedial action is planned at tertiary level. Critics may balk at the effect this lengthening will have on cost, but the CHE report anticipates a long-term savings as less tuition funding will be wasted.


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FOOD & DRINK SUSMAN’S BEST BEEF BILTONG CO LTD If you’re missing home give us a call, supplying you with all your favourite South African products and more. Phone: 01273 516160 Fax: 01273 51665

THE CHICHESTER BILTONG COMPANY The best of British from a friendly bunch of South Africans who made Sussex our home. But there was one thing we couldnt live without from our native land..Biltong! So we made our own using traditional recipes handed down through generations. We only use the finest prime British beef! Get our “readers 10% EXTRA FREE” offer by using the VOUCHER CODE ‘SA10’ CRUGA Home of CRUGA biltong. Cruga’s factory shop offers a full range of South African and Zimbabwean groceries plus boerewors, droewors and of course biltong. Tel: 01908 565 432 Email: Web: Address: Tilers Rd Kiln Farm, Milton Keynes, MK11 3LH CAMBRIDGE & VILLAGES Toft Shop – Village Shop & Post Office With a South African section selling all your favourite tastes from home! Pop in and pick up your treats – Biltong; Boerewors; Koeksisters; Rusks; Sweets; Chips; Groceries etc. Web: Tel: 01223 262 204. CB23 2RL

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SA SHOP DIRECTORY BILTONG DIRECT Biltong Direct, in the business of making superior South African meat products since 2004. Online or from our shop (directions on website – Retail and wholesale sales. We manufacture Biltong, Droewors, Snap Sticks, Boerewors & Gluten and MSG free products, offer quick dispatch and a 100% Satisfaction guarantee. Call 01268-685728

THE AFRICAN CORNER Three miles off Junction 26 of the M5 in the centre of Wellington, Somerset, TA21 8LS. A family run business for your Padkos. Biltong, Boerewors, Droewors, Rusks and other Nik Naks. Pull in if you’re in the West Country or find us online at and we’ll come to you. Email: Tel: 01823 619184

LIMPOPO BUTCHERS We believe in small, well run family businesses, where quality is the number one priority. Come and try our delicious traditional recipe biltong, drywors, and boerewors, as well as aged beef steaks, chicken flatties, and succulent lamb. 9 Horn Lane, Acton, W3 9NJ Tel: 020 8993 8823

SAVANNA Good friendly customer service is Savanna’s core principle. Our standards are high, and our rapidly-expanding network of shops are clean and bright and well-laid out, with friendly first-rate staff. Find us at: 20-22 Worple Road, Wimbledon London SW19 4DH Call us at: 0208 971 9177 Online:

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ST MARCUS One of the most amazing emporia the capital offers to the carnivorous gourmet. People have been flocking to St. Marcus for their amazing range of Biltong & Boerewors Visit us at: 1-3 Rockingham Close, Priory Lane, off Upper Richmond Road West, Roehampton, London SW15 5RW Call us at: 0208 878 1898 Online:

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21c Holmethorpe Avenue Holmethorpe Industrial Estate, Redhill, Surrey RH1 2NB

SNOGGY’S Our staff pride themselves on the level of personal service they offer. We have the best matured steaks top class cuts at very affordable prices. We season your meat for free and even offer cooking advice and ‘take home’ cooking instructions. We look forward to seeing you soon!

KALAHARI MOON The Southern African Shop in Bristol. Wide range of stock including excellent boerewors and biltong. Centrally situated, friendly service. Connecting South Africans. Tel: 0117 929 9879 Address: 88 - 91 The Covered Market. st Nicholas Market, Corn Street, Bristol, BS1 1JQ Email: Website:


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13 | 8 - 14 October 2013 |

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Zimbabwe tourism officials dismiss ‘Disneyland at Victoria Falls’ rumours | At the 2013 Zimbabwean International Travel Exchange in London, a panel promoting tourism in the country reassured those concerned that rumours of Disney rides coming to Victoria Falls were not true and insisted Zimbabwe is safe for visitors. by ALISON MONDAY A Zimbabwean tourism delegation that visited London last month was quick to dismiss recent reports suggesting that the government was planning a ‘Disneyland for Africa’ in the Victoria Falls area. A range of events were held as part of the Zimbabwean International Travel Exchange (ZIME), including a media breakfast where key players in the tourism industry including the country’s ambassador in London, His Excellency Gabriel Machinga, showcased all Zimbabwe has to offer and spoke of their aim to encourage more tourists to visit. Two years ago the Tourism Authority launched the successful ‘Zimbabwe: A World of Wonders’ campaign highlighting the country’s unique selling points. One of these ‘wonders’ is the majestic Victoria Falls and the panel was quick to dismiss reports that came out of the UN WTO in August suggesting that the government was planning a ‘Disneyland for Africa’ in the area. Viral The CEO of Africa Albida Tourism, Ross Kennedy, said Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi made a comment on the fourth day of the conference about how he hoped to encourage some of the millions of people who visit the Animal Kingdom park in Disneyland to see the real thing in Zimbabwe instead. His remarks were repeated in

news outlets around the world and sparked fierce debate, with many worrying that a theme park in the resort town would detract from the natural beauty of the Falls. Graham Boynton, a journalist originally from Zimbabwe who was travel editor at The Telegraph for 14 years, also told the ZIME how important lessons must be learnt about the reach of digital media and social networking sites. “You can’t trust the media”, he said, adding that Zimbabwe must “be louder than the source of the story” to prevent such stories from going viral. Careless comment Kennedy admitted that Mzembi’s analogy was “careless in hindsight” and insisted that we will not be seeing Mickey Mouse walking around Victoria Falls any time soon. “Disney rides? No”, he declared, “Not in my lifetime anyway.” He did, however, say that plans to build a new modern development 24km away from Victoria Falls are already in place, but was keen to stress that this will not change the character of the area. As well as hotels, shopping malls and casinos, the site will “possibly” home a water-based theme park in fitting with its settings. Mary-Anne Situma of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority said the country is proud of the fact that Victoria Falls is a heritage park and would not risk losing the status it has been awarded with inappropriate development.

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Ambassador Machinga added that because Zimbabwe has an appetite for debate, if plans for a theme park in Victoria Falls do come to fruition it will be after a great deal of discourse. “You are very safe” Machinga also agreed with the rest of the panel that potential visitors are worried about visiting Zimbabwe because of safety concerns. He said it’s a perennial problem, but believes his efforts to convince people the country is safe are beginning to pay dividends. “Even our animals are safe”, he told the room, which rung with laughter as he held up a photo of himself holding a lion on a lead. “In my country you can walk a lion like a dog with no special insurance”, he chuckled. Investment in tourism Zimbabwe is clearly serious about attracting tourists. After hosting the ‘best attended’ UN WTO meeting in August, the country aims to become a competitive MICE destination. Transport links are improving, with the Victoria Falls airport upgrade due to be finished by the end of next year. The group discussed impending plans to use online marketing to promote the country on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #visitzimbabwe. Kennedy said the government is dedicated to improving tourism, and has a minister of tourism who is young, ambitious and committed to seeing the sector grow.



| 8 - 14 October 2013 | Follow us on Twitter: @TheSAnews

Intoxicated by Taormina, Sicily

| Sandy Cadiz-Smith loses her heart to a Sicilian jewel perched high on a hill by SANDY CADIZ-SMITH DO you believe in love at first sight? Does it take your breath away and capture your heart in an instant? That’s what happened to me in Taormina. And no, not with a person. I fell in love at first sight with an amazingly beautiful medieval town. Sitting on the hill of Monte Tauro on the Italian island of Sicily, Taormina is 250 metres above the azure sea with sweeping views over two stunning bays and majestic Mount Etna in the distance. It was founded in 392BC and through history a long list of peoples came, saw, conquered and left, including the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, French and Spanish. Why they departed is a mystery to me! During the Second World War Ernest Hemingway convalesced here and was inspired to write his first short story. No surprise there; as inspirational places go, there can be few more spectacular. Nowadays the invaders are travellers like me, marvelling at this fairy-tale town. The main thoroughfare, the Corso Umberto, is lined with beautiful medieval buildings which now house fabulous shops, bars and restaurants. You’ll also find grand piazzas, perfect for a coffee break and if churches are your thing, don’t miss the Fortress Duomo

(and its dramatic fountain) and the picturesque Church of St Josephs. Flowers spill out of window boxes, bougainvillea tumbles over balconies and staircases are festooned with blossoms in bright, tropical colours. Breathe in the perfumed air and take in the history, the views and the wonderful welcome. We were hustled (in a friendly way) out of an art shop by the owner who insisted that before we did any shopping (even in his shop!) we had to visit the Teatro Greco – the most important monument in the town, he said. This magnificent amphitheatre was built in the 3rd century BC. Set on top of the cliff, its scale is mindblowing as, again, are the views. During the summer they still hold concerts and theatre performances. Now that must be a spectacle to behold. The town gardens are also worth a visit, perfect for a romantic amble down a shady avenue and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the streets. And from high up in the centre of Taormina, a cable car can take you down to some of the most famous beaches in Italy in just two minutes. If all that’s not enough, Taormina is pure food heaven. Ingredients native to Sicily include lemons, olives, capers, pine nuts, anchovies, aubergines, artichokes, sardines, octopus and other seafood. The restaurants offer a stunning array of local dishes like

Vitello alla Marsala and other veal dishes, seafood, salads, pastas… and the sweets! I’m not calling them desserts as it seems you eat them pretty much whenever the fancy takes. If you’ve seen The Godfather (partly set in Sicily, though not in Taormina), you’ll know what cannoli is – delightful little (or huge in some cases) tubes filled with ricotta and sugar. And then there’s the ice cream and granita! Legend has it that in ancient Greek or Roman days, runners brought snow down from Mount Etna to Taormina to be flavoured with nuts, berries or honey as a treat for aristocrats. Who knows the true story – all I know is you’ll never taste better ice cream anywhere – and thankfully now anyone can have some. After a day in Taormina you totally run out of adjectives (or repeat yourself a lot). There’s nothing for it but to accept you’ve discovered a wonderland, so surrender to your senses (and the superlatives) and savour every second.



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O2 Touch Regents Park Late Summer League action

| Teams of all strengths are playing their hearts out in beautiful Regents Park by TRACY ANDREW DO you believe in love at first sight? Does it take your breath away and capture your heart in an instant? That’s what happened to me in Taormina. And no, not with a person. I fell in love at first sight with an amazingly beautiful medieval town. What a fantastic season we have just had in the O2 Touch Regents Park Late Summer League - one of the most exciting competitions we’ve had this year. With teams of all strengths playing in the beautiful landscape Regents Park provides. To ensure that we had enough light each evening, we played 30 minute games instead of the usual 40 minutes and started the games from 18:00. Teams responded well, with lots of very tight games and some extravagant touchdowns. Finals week isn’t just about the play off though, and all teams really enjoyed playing in the great Late Summer weather. In Mixed Division 1 there were a few teams in the running for the 2 top spots in the final, with some amazing touchdowns and skills on show, Flow and EY made it into the final. The game was fantastic however the final score did not reflect how well both teams played. Flow pulled away and finally won the game, giving them the title and the main prizes of course. The Mixed Division 2 was even closer than the first division in terms of teams vying for the place in their final. With top points Touch For London and Dynamic Touch made it into the final and with wonderful plays, touchdowns and team spirit, Dynamic Touch took the

lead and defended like crazy to keep Touch For London out. Dynamic Touch were so happy to be taking their trophy, prizes and medals home. In the Men’s Final, GT-RPM and Green and Gold were battling for the trophy and the prizes, and although it was an intense game, GT-RPM just edged their way to victory. Green and Gold fought hard, but it wasn’t quite enough to secure the win and GT-RPM were crowned the champions of the late summer Regents Park Wednesday Mens league. The Mixed Division 1 final was played by GT Apogee and Green and Gold Mixed team. Now as their Men had just played their final, with some guys overcoming their tiredness, played with heart. This was a great game with GT Apogee winning the final. Then the Mixed Division 2 final was played by Clear Eyes Full Hearts and Smooth Operators. These teams have done so well in their division and everyone was happy to see them plays the final. This was a close game and in the end Clear Eyes Full hearts were victorious and came away with the prizes and trophy. It has been fantastic seeing the calibre of play improve this year and Go Easy On Us and FFW RFC definitely showed us what they were made of, running some great lines and executing some tricky plays (although it may have just been some lucky passes!). We would like to say a huge thank you to the teams, players, referees and the Venue Manager, Marc Desmeules for all the effort everyone put into this Late Summer League and we look forward to

Smith vital for the Proteas


THERE was criticism this week that Graeme Smith may be susceptible against Pakistan slow bowlers Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal, who had the England batsmen in disarray when thy captured 43 wickets to set up a series whitewash in 2012. Smith, who underwent ankle surgery earlier in the year, is expected to be fully fit for the Pakistan tour in the UAE and was named captain of the test side. Cricket South Africa selection convener Andrew Hudson mentioned that his condition will be monitored closely though. “We should have a definite picture on the status of Graeme’s recovery from surgery within the next two weeks,” said Hudson. “We will obviously be monitoring Graeme’s condition very carefully and do not want to overload him too much during the early stages of his return,” he said. Although not everyone’s favourite at the start of his career, I think it’s fair to say the South African public now both like and admire Smith. His record speaks for itself with over 8,700 runs in 110

tests at an average of just under 49. Smith often performs in the second innings and also when it matters most. His undefeated 154 in the second innings of the third test at Edgbaston in 2008, which secured a series win, and his 108 in the first test in Perth which helped South Africa chase down 414 for victory, the second-highest fourth innings chase, are just two examples that spring to mind. Remarkably, South Africa have never lost a test match when Smith has scored a century (he has 26 to date with eight of those scored in the second innings). Some critics have questioned Smith’s orthodoxy, while his detractors have claimed that he is vulnerable against offspinners. Former coach Gary Kirsten was quick to defend Smith saying, “Graeme has a unique ability as a left-hander to score mostly on the leg side. I think this is pretty smart considering there are normally only three fielders on the leg side at the start of an innings.” Quite simply, Smith is the rock that binds the Proteas; healthy and in-form, he will ensure Protea dominance of test cricket for some time yet.

seeing you all in the next season. If you’re interested in playing touch or Active Touch, either with a team or as an individual, go to or contact for more information. We have leagues running throughout Autumn and winter and it’s a great way to keep your fitness and agility levels up in between warm fires and roast dinners.


8 - 14 October 2013




| Despite Saturday’s loss, no one can fail to see in the current crop of Springboks a bright hope for renewed world dominance, versus the ageing All Blacks. Youth will be strongly on the Springbok side as green players mature into match-winning gold. by BRAD MORGAN WHILE New Zealand secured the Castle Lager Rugby Championship with a 38-27 victory over the Springboks on Saturday, only the most disappointed of South African supporters would feel that the team is not on an upward trajectory. South Africa’s coach Heyneke Meyer was both disappointed and encouraged after the game, telling the media: “We had a great Championship. There was a record score in Soweto, a first win in Mendoza, a great win in Brisbane and the biggest margin against Australia at Newlands. “This is much better than last year and I think we improved tremendously. This team can go places.” A year ago, the Boks finished third in the Rugby Championship, level on points with Australia, with 12, and with a positive points’ differential of only 11. In 2013, the Boks finished second, totalled 19 points, and enjoyed a positive points’ differential of 86. Most tellingly, they scored 23 tries and conceded 13 this season, compared to scoring 12 and letting in 10 in 2012. In year two under Meyer, the South African offence has taken a huge step forward. In the lead-up to the showdown at Ellis Park, it was pointed out that South Africa had scored 11

tries against New Zealand in their previous two outings against the All Blacks at the ground, back in 2004 and 2000. However, not many people believed the Springboks could secure a bonus point for scoring four tries against the reigning world champions. They were wrong. With both teams prepared to attack and run the ball, using the width of the field, they produced a memorable encounter and a fantastic advertisement for the game of rugby. “We gave everything on attack and did well. I am disappointed in our defence though. When you play the best team in the world you cannot afford poor defence. It did let us down tonight,” Meyer said. “We have conceded one try per test match this year, so it is not the structure. Today the guys shot out of line perhaps because they were too keen to make big hits.” Neither team would have been happy with their defence, which is usually so solid, but credit must go to the ambition and excellence of execution that both sides exhibited in breaking through the other’s lines. “Our defence just let us down badly tonight,” Springbok captain Jean de Villiers said. “Our defence was a man-on-man thing, we did not make the tackles we should have.” With two years to go to the next Rugby World Cup, there is plenty of optimism that South Africa will be able to challenge New Zealand

| Francois Louw of South Africa wins the lineout during the Rugby Championship match between the Springboks and the All Blacks at Ellis Park on October 5, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

for the title. And with almost half of the All Black starting line-up on Saturday set to be well into their thirties in Japan, the advantage of youth on the rise is with the Boks. Sure, there are some South Africans getting on, but they will have less holes to fill than the New Zealanders in the not-too-distant future. And, with some extraordinary talent emerging from the youth ranks in

recent years, there is cause for real optimism about the men in green and gold. Two years after winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the Springboks were no doubt the best team in the world, defeating New Zealand three times in 2009 and winning a series against the British and Irish Lions. By 2011, a further two years on, they were no longer number one, with the All Blacks

claiming the Webb Ellis Trophy on home soil. Now, two years on from winning that Rugby World Cup, New Zealand is number one, having won the 2013 Rugby Championship without losing a match. Can they hold onto that run of success into 2015? It appears, if any team will have the ammunition to stop them, it will be the Springboks.

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The South African, Issue 535, 8 October 2013  

SA High Comission: pass or fail? | SA ropes in drones to fight rhino poaching

The South African, Issue 535, 8 October 2013  

SA High Comission: pass or fail? | SA ropes in drones to fight rhino poaching