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24 - 30 December 2013

Issue 546


| We ring in the festive season by looking back at some of the news stories that made us smile in 2013 by STAFF REPORTER

IT’S been a somewhat grim year for South Africa; the Oscar Pistorius shooting and Nelson Mandela’s death were particularly sad – but there were numerous reasons to smile, whether it was seeing our countrymen shine on the international stage or moments that simply made us proud to be South African. As we look back at some of the stories that made us happy in 2013, we wish all our readers and their families a peaceful and joyous Christmas and New Year. Our next edition will hit the streets on Tuesday 7 January. Act allowing expats to vote abroad becomes law Jacob Zuma signed the electoral amendment bill into law, which now allows South Africans overseas to register to vote in next year’s elections. When the President announces the date of the election South Africans living abroad will have 15 days to complete an online form and submit to the IEC to notify them of your intention to vote abroad. Watch this space for updates. South Africa’s Sean Conway is first person to swim length of Britain Endurance adventurer Sean Conway became the very first person to swim more than 1,000 miles along the length of Britain. Conway, who was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in KwaZulu-Natal, left Land’s End on 30 June and finally reached John O’Groats on 11 November. In the process, he raised almost £10,000 for the charity War Child. The South African celebrates its 10th birthday On 19 March 2003 the first edition of The South African

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p3 | The year in headlines: not much to smile about, but plenty to care about p9 | ‘Nelson Mandela made me lose my job!’ - Pieter Dirk-Uys on the satirist’s worst nightmare: a real leader

p14 | What if the UK and SA had invaded Zim?

The big stories were mostly tragedies, the small stories were often triumphs: our list includes a few of the heartwarming achievements by Saffas at home and abroad in 2013

hit the streets of London. In 2013 we celebrated a decade of serving the SA community in UK. Our survival is testament to the tenacity of our founders and staff as well as our loyal readers, contributors and advertisers. Two young South African women rugby tackle and subdue thief in Paris Two South African women had just arrived to study in Paris, only to be mugged in their apartment by a homeless man. But instead of watching helplessly, they sped off in hot pursuit of him, rugby tackling the thief to the ground. He was later arrested by stunned French police. Lil’ diva Asanda Jezile makes

Britain’s Got Talent final 11-year-old London singer Asanda Jezile, whose South African parents are both musicians, made it to the final stage of the UK talent show. She ended in 11th place, but we will no doubt be hearing more from her in future. South African makes X Factor top ten South African beauty consultant Jeanette Akua and her girl band Miss Dynamix were one of 12 acts selected for the live shows round on the X Factor UK. The 21-year-old originally auditioned as a solo artist but was united with two other ‘rejects’ to form the group. They were eliminated

in week three, finishing in 10th place. Hospital hero floats from Robben Island to mainland on 160 balloons In April UK-based South African Matt Silver-Vallance realised his dream of floating from Robben Island to Cape Town using a cluster of helium filled balloons to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. If Matt’s awe-inspiring flight shows us anything, it’s that Nelson Mandela was right: it always seems impossible until it’s done. Desmond Tutu receives £1.1m lifetime award in London Archbishop Emeritus Desmond

Tutu was presented with the 2013 Templeton Prize in recognition of his lifelong work in advancing spiritual principles such as love and forgiveness, at a moving and musical ceremony in London’s historic Guildhall. He received the £1.1 million award in front of a distinguished audience that included the Archbishop of York, British faith leaders, ambassadors and members of both Houses of Parliament. Saffa braais in Wimbledon every day for a year – all for rhinos London-based Saffa Mat Hartley is on a quest to have a braai every day for one year in order to raise money for Save the Rhino. He started in May and is still going strong! Huge sporting triumphs South African sportsmen and women excelled on the world stage in 2013. The country’s national rugby and football teams both boosted their world rankings over the course of the year, while the Proteas remained the undisputed number one team in test cricket. Daryl Impey became the first South African to wear the Tour de France’s famous yellow jersey. Read more about South Africa’s sporting highlights of 2013 on the back page

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Are you an active and aware member of the international or UK Saffa community with a story to tell? Are you living out the expat dream in Britain, or is it hard going? What do you miss about Mzansi? What don’t you miss? How are you raising your children - with Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa around the dinner table, or as fully-assimilated Britons? Your story is part of the South African story, and wants to help you tell it. Please write to editor@thesouthafrican. com to find out how easy it is to set up a column of your own, uploaded by you, with your own photos, views and comments. From time to time, the most popular of these will be republished in print under the ‘Speaker’s Column’ rubric.

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Ministers close ranks around Number One as state’s own Nkandla report is made public

| The Security Cluster of Ministers have closed ranks around Number One as the State releases its

own Nkandla report ahead of the Public Protector’s more hotly-awaited one. As many expected, the State has defended everything down to the large swimming pool as esssential to the First Family’s protection, although some overpayment for individual items has been admitted to By BRETT PETZER THE State has, as many predicted, closed ranks around the President on the more than R206-million spent on ‘security upgrades’ at Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead. Instead, its own report alleges no more than R71-million was spent to make the rural homestead safe for Jacob Zuma’s family – safe from criminals, that is, if not, perhaps, millions of irate South African taxpayers. Speaking in Johannesburg today, the cluster of ministers responsible for the departments of State Security, Public Works, Police and Justice and Constitutional Development finally released to the public the state’s own report on Nkandla, a document that opposition parties such as the Democratic Alliance (DA) immediately dismissed as a ‘massive cover-up’ and a ‘ruse’. In essence, the Security Cluster of ministers have defended every one of the many security upgrades at Nkandla to the letter, saying that the elaborate interventions, visible for kilometres around, were justified by the homestead’s political and geographical context in an isolated part of rural KwaZuluNatal that was prone to political violence. While the country waits with growing interest for Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report, which has finally been approved for public release by the president, will soon be made public. A provisional version of this report was leaked to media and has provided critics of Zuma with unprecedented ammunition; the press and the country today looked forward to hearing how at least R20 million spent on a large swimming pool, a cattle culvert and paving (inter alia) were going to keep Number One safer at night. Yet Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi defended item after item with a straight face, to the great delight of the social media. The swimming pool was also a ‘fire pool’, a handy reserve of water in case of arson or fire in an area where no formal firefighting service exists. Without paving around the compound, Nxesi said, rain would have made it muddy and limited Nkandla security’s ability to defend the compound and its residents. Air-conditionining was necessitated by the bullet-proof

windows, which were difficult to open. What appeared to be an amphitheatre, Nxesi explained, was merely a stepped structure that performed an important structural job, bracing the soil on site and the buildings on it. An Astroturf pitch adjacent to the compound, meanwhile, was a Fifa World Cup 2010 legacy project, and not something Zuma had paid for or something he would benefit from exclusively. Nxesi also noted that the Nkandla region had a history of violence, and that the Zuma family had themselves been attacked on three occasions. Visiting dignitaries and officials would also need to be kept safe while there on government business, Nxesi continued. On the resettlement of rural Zulu households as the Nkandla compound gradually attained the size of a small village, Nxesi explained away the movement of local families as a ‘security risk’. Other features were also, the Minister stated, essential for security even if most South Africans – not least rural subsistence farmers – could not see the immediate safety conferred on the First Family by an extra-large swimming pool or

“President Zuma had no knowledge of upgrades done to his Nkandla homestead” - Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi

extensive rural tuckshop. The report released today had initially been classified top secret, but the DA brought an urgent application for its release in the Cape Town High Court. The DA’s Lindiwe Mazibuko, the party leader in Parliament, made her party’s feelings on the report plain. Referring to the report as a ‘ruse’, Mazibuko asked how Zuma could have remained unaware of the scale of the upgrade of his own house, why the relevant Task Team never questioned the President, why

the Minister of Public Works at the start of the process (Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde) was not questioned for the report, and why the report was withheld for so long. Mazibuko concluded with a

clear challenge: “should [the Public Protector’s] report allege that the President misled Parliament, we will consider tabling a motion to impeach him in terms of Section 89 of the Constitution” she said. | 24 - 30 December 2013 |



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The year in headlines: top ten South African stories of 2013 | In many ways, this was South Africa’s year: the Beloved Country reached the ‘end of the beginning’ of democracy when Madiba passed, and the world celebrated his life and legacy with us. But Mzansi also made headlines when Oscar shot Reeva, and our own national conversation continues to revolve around the urgent national challenges we face and the search for the next generation of leaders by BRETT PETZER SOUTH Africans may well remember 2013 as a year that hurt like hell as we lived it - we lost Nelson Mandela, we lost Reeva and Anene to gender violence, we watched Nkandla go up and the Guptas touch down, E-tolling kicked off just before Christmas and the world’s deaf community united in outrage at the Fake Interpreter. But there is a fair chance that, years hence, 2013 will also be seen as a turning point: measuring our current crop of leaders against Nelson Mandela through the memorial and state funeral is likely to have forced some hard questions of our nation ahead of next year’s election. The striking down of two young women - one rich and famous, one poor and unknown - have deepened and bolstered the debate our country needs to have about the way violence is meted out to South African women and girls. E-tolls managed to create a coalition so broad that it briefly aligned Cosatu and the DA against the ANC. Nkandla- and Gupta-gate also forced a wedge between the senior ANC leadership and the growing share of the public who see it as detached and venal. While it would be a sad thing to see that nation Mandela won for us descend into the sort of democracy where disparate groups can only really rally together in the face of threats to their wellbeing, it must be said that state corruption and the failure of basic services has done more to unite and galvanise South Africans across race and class lines than anything else in 2013. If this year’s Top Ten stories are uniformly tragic, then, we can also as South Africans take pride in the fact that each one of them has also kickstarted a substantial and broad-ranging debate. It is not ideal that more of our democracy happens in social media, radio shows and newspaper letters pages than in Parliament, but by every measure, the engagement of ordinary South Africans in politics is deepening. 1. Madiba Memorial Service and State Funeral Google search ranking: #1 (World)

| Mandla Mandela watches Madiba’s coffin at Qunu; Oscar Pistorius in the dock; Nkandla under construction; Anene’s mother, Corlia Olivier, holds the deceased’s ID book

Tata Madiba’s passing elicited some beautiful tributes and real leadership - mostly from Barack Obama, next to whom Number One looked feeble The booing in the stadium was an electrifying and very South African moment of dissent. After a funeral watched by billions, the great and the good gathered in the rural Eastern Cape for a sober, moving ceremony. In Qunu, Joyce Banda of Malawi - ‘Yes, Malawi’ - nearly stole the show from our current leadership. But the speech that will linger longest in the minds of those who watched it was Ahmed Kathrada’s moving evocation of the man Madiba was behind the legend. 2. Oscar shoots Reeva Google Search Ranking: #2 (RSA) The shooting may go down as one of the great (alleged) crimes passionels - photogenic, worldfamous, rich - and troubled. Oscar Pistorius’s grave legal situation, and the support he got from South Africans who identify with an abiding crime paranoia as part of daily life, was one story; Reeva’s death, and her life, were sidelined in most reporting. The South African, however, carried thinkpieces by gender violence experts on SA hero worship and its gender implications. 3. Jacob Zuma and Nkandla: from the fire pool to the fire Number One and the increasingly Orwellian ‘Security Cluster’ of ministers fooled no one with their Nkandla report, which Lindiwe Mazibuko - speaking for many - called ‘insulting to [SA’s] intelligence’. Nkandla has been the great bonanza for satirists, cartoonists and journalists this year. Less amusing, perhaps, is the continuing lack of basic services by Zuma’s immediate neighbours,

especially those who were moved for the homestead’s enlargement. 4. Guptagate Google Event Search Ranking: #6 As South Africans, we have become hardened to the idea that our leaders are aloof, answering to no one. The nation therefore delighted to see senior leadership bow and scrape to the Guptas, especially when the wedding party breached every security protocol in a state suddenly obsessed by secrecy and access control. (Honourable mention goes to ANN7 for all the laughs). 5. E-tolls E-tolls, whether we ultimately adjust to them or not, embarassaed the ruling party by outraging both organised labour and the middleclass DA constituencies, and everyone from Catholic Bishops to the AA. Perceived as anti-poor, and with all profits destined for the system’s foreign owners, E-tolls were rightly derided as ‘the gantries that stole Christmas’. 6. Anene Booysen Google Women Search Ranking: #3 The intensely violent end of Anene Booysen managed to shock the South African public, rich and poor - and that, these days, is saying something. But the shock evolved into rage against gender violence, and that rage - while new outrages keep feeding it - has the potential to change hearts and minds. The memory of Anene Booysen, and the many Anenes whose deaths go unnoticed, must be kept alive as a demand we make of our leaders and of ourselves to stamp out gender violence and rape. 7. Red October Google Event Ranking: #5 Red October may have been helpful in shaking some white

South Africans’ belief that they are anything but the group most sheltered from South Africa’s violent crime epidemic. 8. The Rhinos While we dither on policy and execution, it was another calamitous year for SA’s rhinos, who are, at present, headed for extinction by 2022 ( while the Western Black Rhino is now actually extinct. 9. Vuyo Mbuli Funeral Google Event Ranking: #10

The death of Vuyo Mbuli was mourned by many South Africans, before his widow’s accusations of adultery caused a furore. 10. Pinetown Accident and Tongaat Mall Collapse Infrastructure: South Africans are tired of watching lethal mistakes in infrastructure go unpunished. This was the year in which the public connected the dots between shoddy roads, delayed improvements, tender kickbacks and the resulting fatalities - and started demanding change.


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Christmas Breakfast Indaba


THE last meeting of the Breakfast Indaba. the monthly South African business network, was a festive affair at Carluccio’s in Putney. The main speakers were Tim Hewish and Ralph Buckle of Commonwealth Exchange.

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SA tenor Njabulo Madlala in family opera ‘How the Whale Became’

| Acclaimed South African tenor Njabulo Madlala is one of the singers in a new Royal Opera commission inspired by Ted Hughes’s collection of children’s stories, The Dreamfighter & Other Creation Tales. BY STAFF REPORTER HOW the Whale Became, a new Royal Opera commission by Welsh composer Julian Philips with a libretto by Edward Kemp is a Christmas treat for all the family, inspired by Ted Hughes’s collection of stories for children, The Dreamfighter and Other Creation Tales. Philips’s opera explores how the world and the animals in it were created: why whales are so huge, why foxes are crafty or why polar bears have white coats. In this imaginative production,

the audience will be introduced to a peacock who thinks he is a superhero, a polar bear that must have her beauty sleep and a very helpful whale. The singers performing as the colourful creatures include acclaimed South African tenor Njabulo Madlala, Fflur Wyn, James McCoran Campbell, Andrew Dickenson and Donna Lennard. They share a number of roles, including the whale, the polar bear, the elephant, the peacock and the frog. These witty and irreverent tales include those of how some animals

didn’t quite turn out as expected, and will keep everyone over five years old engrossed and delighted. The opera is directed by Natalie Abrahami, currently Associate Director at the Young Vic and with designs by Tom Scutt, together they will turn the Linbury Studio Theatre into a magical creative world where the audience will be introduced to all the animals. Tickets £8 to £25. Book on productions/how-the-whalebecame-by-natalie-abrahami contributor launches book for Save the Rhino

| Plight of the Rhino’, the first anthology of short stories from Springbok Publications, recently launched in London. At least £1 from every book sold will go towards the charity Save the Rhino International. BY STAFF REPORTER PLIGHT of the Rhino, the first anthology of short stories from Springbok Publications, recently launched in London. The main beneficiary of the book is the charity Save the Rhino International. The project was the brainchild of contributor Conrad Brand, who is also the Director of Springbok Publications. Brand, who has a deep passion for wildlife, initiated the project when he became concerned about the plight of rhino in light of the poaching crisis in Africa, and decided to do something to help. “Springbok Publications first saw light in January 2013, and before I even had my full team around me, I knew that I had to do something for our wildlife heritage,” Brand told The South African. “It is therefore with much joy and deep gratitude to all the contributors that Springbok Publications presents Plight of the Rhino, our debut in the publishing world.” The launch in Paddington was attended by a number of the contributors and professionals who worked on the book. Josephine Gibson, a representative from Save the Rhino International, was also

there. “We are delighted that donations from the sale of Plight of the Rhino (a minimum of £1 per book sold) will be contributing to our ongoing work to help save the world’s rhinos,” said the charity. “The need for funding is greater than ever, with the current poaching crisis reaching record levels. So far this year, South Africa alone has lost more than 827 rhino and if the current rate of poaching continues to escalate, rhinos could be extinct in the wild by 2026. Donations will help fund the work of our programme partners abroad in Africa and Asia, who work to protect all five rhino species. We support a range of conservation activities including anti-poaching and monitoring patrols, community conservation and environmental education programmes, veterinary work, and more recently demand reduction activities in Vietnam.” Fellow contributor Elizabeth Glanville wrote a story for the book, entitled ‘Cheetah Watching’, and also attended the launch. “I was honoured to be asked to contribute to such an important project,” said Elizabeth. “It was a challenge to write the story as the topic was so different to what I normally write. We were asked to choose an animal to focus on,

and I straight away chose to write about cheetahs, then decided to look at animal-assisted therapy. The use of animals – commonly horses – in therapeutic treatment is becoming increasingly popular, including in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans. I wanted to demonstrate how we can learn so much from animals in their natural environments and habitats, and to show how working with animals can soothe and heal. We must work to protect and preserve wildlife for all.” Plight of the Rhino is available from Springbok Publications, and also in paper and e-format from Amazon.


| 24 - 30 December 2013 |

Community The OPTIMIST


Reflections on a year | My bank account

was hacked today. Just before Christmas. And all I could say was ‘eish’ I want to say the ‘f…’ word, but that is not my style. Instead I shall say ‘Merde!’ Swearing in French sounds a lot better. Ups and downs and trying to stay sane in between. What a year! What an ending to a year for all South Africans – we knew it was going to come, but when death does, it is always a shock. Only then does the real appreciation for someone’s life often begin. And the missing … The number three is not a lucky one for me, so perhaps the year started with some foreboding and there were moments, historical, political and personal ones full on this year. South Africa mourns. The world mourns but there are stirrings of change as the status quo is not acceptable. Has the moment of the rainbow nation acquired some accountability? When the death of our greatest South African ‘father’ passed away, what I saw was everyone, of every colour, weeping. A kinship not felt since the first, feeble steps towards a true democracy. As sad as it is, it was uplifting to sense the kinship. Merde, it made me so proud and so optimistic! Moments of political farce; humour and changes

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of government. There were earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. Famous people died and others became famous, or rather infamous for all the wrong reasons. Personally, we are on the brink of permanent citizenship in a lovely land that had me wailing for home for the first year, numb for the next few and very content in the end. My South African daughter rugby tackled a French pilferer who I am sure still smarts at being levelled by a woman. I still try to speak French in France to be answered in English. Trips back to South Africa were peppered with drama and watching my elderly relatives leaning toward their long road’s end. Friends died. Happy times too. One can never encapsulate those moments of true space, of Cape Town evenings and Free State plains. Renovating a flat here nearly brought the building down and I am still unpopular with the tenants. The man upstairs coughs incessantly, next door is a bulimic and we can hear endless shagging from the floor below – a cacophony of the sounds of life. Far removed from my ‘mansion’, I am taught lessons of humility and tolerance as I have never experienced before. Neighbours share wine and stories of different experiences; savvy of the tube and embracing a city where you can be what and who ever you want to be, regardless of age, race and opinion. A perpetual winter released the most glorious summer. More importantly, a realisation that London is a cauldron of infinite possibilities, for now, and that being a South African here has taught me more about my homeland. I love them both, embrace them both and Merde! I can have them both! My bank account was hacked today. Just before Christmas. And all I could say was ‘eish’. It happens. 2013, it happened. Good and bad, eish! Loving life is the answer. Being optimistic is the answer. Have a wonderful Christmas and bring on 2014!

Oyez! Oyez! Armed with a chilli biltong stick, I say! | Armed with invisible pitchforks and flaming torches, those who had

voices wanted them heard. Despite heated debate, a few dramatic exits complete with Final Word Declarations, a few guffaws and a hand-clap or two, the meeting adjourned, and just like that, we all went back to our own lives and own routines. BY KATYPOTATIE YOU have to love small-town newspapers and news reports. You know the ones I mean. They often use the words, “CHAOS!”, “MAYHEM”, “PANIC” or my personal favourite, “TERROR” in their headlines, and often in capital letters too. The ones with photographs of scowling parishioners or a man-hole with traffic cones in the middle of a single lane road, with a high-vis clad gentleman standing on the side of the road, arms folded. I attended a town meeting once. I still refer to it as my baptism into the small-town community and how they deal with things. The town had recently lost its main artery of life-giving passing trade and pleasantries, when our faithful tunnel that covers the main road into and out of Beaminster collapsed after a particularly rough rainy season, unfortunately resulting in the death of two people who were passing by at the time. The tunnel, which had now been out of action for several months, was on everyone’s agenda and the council were faithfully trying to provide open and transparent updates to all affected, and openly invite questions and feedback from anyone who had something to say. The meeting, held in the Town Hall, which can accommodate 240 seated guests in the main hall and an additional 80 in the adjacent room, was heaving. Townsfolk had turned out in droves, with queues of people heading out of the hall and into the street – all with the aim to hear what the authorities in charge of the tunnel restoration had to say. My Englishman and I were part of the few youngest there by about 20 years, but we felt determined to be part of this community – and be part of change. And more so, to hear what the future held for us – with local businesses in dire situations and nearing the end of their “savings for a rainy day” purses with many struggling to keep their doors open. As the council engineers and representatives methodically went through their PowerPoint slides, the townsfolk listened intently

while every so often individuals scoffed and shook their heads. It was only towards the end of the presentation and the invitation for questions when the event truly became comical. Armed with invisible pitchforks and flaming torches, those who had voices wanted them heard. Despite heated debate, a few dramatic exits complete with Final Word Declarations, a few guffaws and a hand-clap or two, the meeting adjourned, and just like that, we all went back to our own lives and own routines. Walking home, while munching on a chilli stick we’d bought from a local biltong supplier, my Englishman and I pondered the almost Shakespearean scene we’d just witnessed. And although comical and emotive which actually had us more amused than frustrated, we appreciated the determination of the local residents. We understood their annoyance, but most of all, we

felt compassion towards the businesses in the town who relied on the passing trade and it was in that moment that we made the decision that we would do something to become actively involved to promote the town for what it DOES have, and not focus on what it DOESN’T. The air was slightly cool, with a slight hint of wisteria following us all the way up North Street. And amused as we were, we felt somewhat proud to be part of a community that was so determined to make something work. The proof of the pudding would naturally lie in what happened next. Telling would be in the difference between the Talkers and the Doers, and in the determination to get stuck in to turn a dismal, truly chaotic event of mayhem, and panic, into one of empowerment, productivity and most of all, triumph. Now THAT’s a headline I’d like to read. Hopefully I still will. | 24 - 30 December 2013 |



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Top 8 London attractions you probably never knew existed | They may not appear on the top of everyone’s ‘must see’ list, but here are eight not so common London attractions which are still

worth a visit. BY JOEY SPENCER LONDON is home to some of the most iconic attractions in the world. Mention ‘London’ to anyone and they’ll tell you all about the places you have to visit. Most likely they’ll mention Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and a plethora of other well-known tourist attractions. The problem is, you may have already done all the standard tourist attractions or you might just be worn out from constantly trying to push through all the other tourists. If you’re looking for something a little different check out seven of London’s best kept secrets. Transport for London’s Lost Property Office The idea of looking at people’s property left on trains may not sound that interesting, but this weird and wonderful exhibit will most definitely leave you scratching your head. Transport for London estimates that 140,000 items are left on transport every year and many those items end up here – some of the highlights of the exhibition include a telephone from 1936 and a stuffed Eagle. Cockney Cash Machines If you’re looking to get into the London spirit, look out for the cockney cash machines. Located in five locations across London, these cash machines give you the option to change the language to Cockney. You’ll no longer be asked if you want to take cash out, instead you’ll be asked how much sausage and mash you want. Camley Street Natural Park It may be hard to believe that this beautiful greenery is located behind St Pancras station – one of the busiest stations in London. But, the Camley Street Nature Park is a far cry from the usual hustle and bustle of London. The park consists of over two acres of tranquil green space, right on the banks of Regent’s canal. Hyde Park Night Skate If you’re looking for an excuse

| Hyde Park Night Skate

to act like a child then you’ll love the Hyde Park night skate. Every Friday night a large group of roller-skaters get together to skate around London. The tour takes in some of London’s most iconic locations. And best thing is, the entire event is marshalled, meaning you’ll be able to glide past cars as they frustratingly have to wait for 500 middle-aged skaters to glide by. The Horniman Museum There’s a wealth of museums to visit in London, but it’s always the same three or four that get all the credit. Although they’re worth the visit, there are many more interesting museums to visit. The Horniman museum consists of three different collections – world culture, natural history and music. And the best thing about the museum is many of the items can be touched, worn and played with. Supperclub You may have heard of breakfast in bed, but what about dinner in bed? Located in Notting Hill, the Supperclub offers a dining experience like no other. All the food and drinks are served to you in bed. The evening also consists of alternative cabaret, all topped off with a big party. Burger and Lobster Restaurant Warning: If you don’t like lobsters or burgers you probably won’t like this restaurant, but for everyone else The Burger and Lobster Restaurant is a real treat. The restaurant costs just £20 a head, which means you’ll be able to experience the glamorous London lifestyle without taking out a second mortgage. The London Helicopter Anyone can take a picture of Big Ben or Westminster, but they’re always so boring. What if you could take pictures of London’s most famous locations from the sky – now there’s some family photos everyone will actually want to see. The London Helicopter offers daily trips for up to four people at a time.

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| 24 - 30 December 2013 |


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You know you’re South African when...

| It’s true that Saffas are rather unique, and just like every other nation we are known for certain things, things we

say or do, but it’s different when you can admit what makes you a true South African. Here is the second half of sixty things that make us proudly South African. BY NICÓL GROBLER You get asked why you’re white. You dance and sing in front of your offices to show how unhappy you are. Your basic education as a child came from a Chappies wrapper. You know someone who knows someone who has met Nelson Mandela. You produce a R100 note instead of your driver’s licence when stopped by a traffic officer. You know the rules of rugby better than any referee (even if you’re not an avid supporter – it’s in your blood). Nelson Mandela is your hero. You start every sentence with ja/ nee. Travelling at 120 km/h, you’re the slowest vehicle on the freeway. You put “man” at the end of most sentences.

“Howzit” means hello. “Now now” or “just now” can mean anything from a minute to a month, and you know the difference between now, now now, just now and later. You call your car trunk a boot, and the hood is a bonnet. Anything below 16˚C is arctic weather. You love iced Zoo biscuits and Jolly Jammers. You call an elevator a lift. You call a traffic light a robot. You have braais because BBQ is a chip flavour. You call crisps, chips. When you’re hungover you need the green ambulance (Crème Soda) You say “Ja, no, definitely.” Goldfish isn’t necessarily a fish. You don’t own sneakers, you own takkies.

You call a bathing suit a cozzie.

You know “cheers” means goodbye.

You understand that “Aweh” or

Foreigners are truly surprised

and/or disappointed upon learning you only have a dog (as opposed to a lion) for a pet Everything is described as “lekker”. It’s not ketchup… it’s tomato sauce. You call a van, a combie, and a pick-up truck, a bakkie. Fruit goes vrot, not rotten. You have every wild animal known to man in your country, but you still get excited when you see a gecko. You know every word of the National Anthem but only know what a quarter of them mean… Probably because you can only speak two of our eleven official languages.

The last time you went on vacation you paid more in speeding fines and toll gate fees than for your entire holiday. Hijacking cars is a profession. The petrol in your tank may be worth more than your entire car. Half your salary goes to car guards, because you cannot park anywhere without someone asking to watch your car. You call the sidewalk the pavement. ProNutro, Jungle Oats and Mieliepap are the best breakfasts on earth. You refer to a text messages as an SMS. You have to prove that you don’t need a loan in order to get one.

Everyone knows it’s mielies, not corn.

Auto Save is an absolute must – insert power cut here.

You put out your stompie, not your cigarette butt.

You call a roundabout a circle.

You’ve probably been mugged, at least once. You travel 100km to see snow. You go to braais regularly where you eat ‘braaivleis’ and swim – sometimes simultaneously. You are genuinely surprised when you find your car parked where you left it. You call phone credit ‘airtime’.

Saturdays were made for rugby,

braaivleis and beer. Burglar bars become a feature and a great selling point for your house. You decorate your garden walls with barbed wire. You know that even though you call your friends “bru”, “boet”,or even “china”, we don’t all have extremely bad Afrikaans accents like it is portrayed in all American or British movies. All taxis have right of way and do not have to follow the rules of the road. You lock your car doors even while you are driving. A joke about the crime rate is considered an ice-breaker Garage (petrol station) pies are midnight snacks. You know what “almal wil ‘n huisie by die see hê” means, and that it’s true because no one in their right mind has their holiday anywhere but at the beach. | 24 - 30 December 2013 |



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‘Nelson Mandela made me lose me my job’ – Pieter-Dirk Uys | During apartheid my job was easy as I had an entire National Party government writing all my material. But there

was no way I could stand on a stage and make people laugh at Nelson Mandela.

BY PIETER-DIRK UYS ON 27 April 1994 I celebrated the fact that I had lost my job. Since 1970 I had been in struggling against a system of racist politics that was unfair, unjust and rotten. Then my job was easy as I had an entire National Party government writing me all my material. They put the words into my mouth. That’s why I didn’t pay taxes; I just paid royalties. Suddenly official apartheid was in the past. Now millions of South Africans could queue up and vote for the very first time. The Rainbow Nation was born. My job was over. No more Bothas to impersonate. Even reliable old Pik would eventually become a member of the ANC. I looked at the new president of South Africa. There was no way I could stand on a stage and make people laugh at Nelson Mandela. Making fun of Madiba would be like doing Mother Theresa with a dildo! But then he smiled and the sun rose after decades of darkness. He led by example and used his sense of humour as a shield against a cynical world. Just coming out of 27 years in prison and forming a government with those who locked you up, shows a great sense of humour. Wearing the rugby jersey at the legendary World Cup triumph, having tea with Tannie Betsie Verwoerd in Orania, using international pop stars to put across an HIV message of help – all done with a gentle smile, a sexy dance, a twinkle and an embrace. And the cynical world melted and the rainbow glowed over the pot of gold called the New South Africa. Then Nelson Mandela met Evita Bezuidenhout. Our first meeting was before that election of 1994. During a campaign speech, the ANC leader had suggested that whoever voted for the National Party of apartheid

would be seen to have been against the Struggle itself. This caused great upheaval. Wasn’t the vote secret? How would anyone know who voted for what? So a quick rally was organised and on a sunny day in the Cape Town suburb of Retreat, 40 000 potential voters gathered to hear the Sermon on the Mount. Alan Boesak, before he became really famous, asked me to bring Evita Bezuidenhout to entertain the people. This felt like my final audition. I took her traditional Voortrekker outfit in orange, white and blue, and unleashed Tannie onto the people. Mr Mandela was not yet there. Using her brand of absurd logic, Evita managed to put across important messages of reconciliation, underlining that the vote was secret and sacred. The audience loved her. I was thrilled it worked and happy when it was over. Now I would change back into ‘me’ and meet Nelson Mandela. It was not to be. The organisers insisted that Evita stay on stage as ‘Comrade Mandela wanted to meet her’! So I sat on the stage in the front row of chairs like a groot malfa poeding, surrounded by Struggle veterans and other legendary ANC warriors, melting away in the heat of that dress, sweat dripping down my back from under the big wig. Was this how Nancy Reagan felt at a Republican rally for her Ronnie? Mr Mandela arrived in his car somewhere on the field. The welcoming screams, shouts of ‘Amandla!’ and singing former banned anthems grew to a crescendo as he entered the tent and came down towards the stage, shaking hands and patting children’s heads. He looked at the stage. He stopped. He gave that great dazzling smile. ‘Evita!’ he said and surged towards her; towards me. He embraced her. Inside, I was hot and breathless. He held her hand and didn’t let go. I was Nancy Reagan, holding

his glass of water and his speech, cleaning his glasses and smiling at everything. (Also dying to go to the toilet.) And when it was all over, he embraced her while saying to me: ‘Thank you Pieter’, and went back into the world holding a large key to the Homeland of Bapetikosweti and a plate of koeksisters that had been given to him by the most famous white woman in South Africa. The ANC Congress in Bloemfontein in late 1994 had another Madiba moment to remember. ANC Secretary-General Cyril Ramaphosa asked me to bring Evita to entertain them. She looked at the large gathering of comrades with surprise: “Nogal in Bloemfontein? I thought, how would I find the ANC in Bloemfontein? Then I saw all the new Mercedes-Benzes and here you are!” And they laughed because it was true. While waiting outside the hall in her Bapetikosweti Baroque outfit, being glared at by security guards who saw Evita as an alien in disguise, we saw Nelson Mandela leave the hall early. He had recently had an eye operation and the lights were painful. He stopped when he noticed the glittering icon next to the door. He beamed. “Evita, you look so beautiful.” The guards tried to protect him but he pushed them aside. We hugged. He laughed. “They will film it and I will see it. Go give them hell.” And she did. 17 November 1994. The highlight of our friendship was the television interview in 1994 for the MNET series Evita’s Funigalore. We were allowed 30 minutes of the President’s time in his Tuynhuis office to conduct a thirty minute interview. Nothing could go wrong. The President of France was in one room waiting; the head of the Olympics was in another. And still Evita was allowed her few minutes of fame. The programme would go out on New Year’s Eve. As he sat opposite me getting his microphone fixed, I thanked him for giving us his time. “I want to be on Evita’s show, because I have important things to say, and no one watches the news,” he said. So when Evita asked him if he had a New Year’s message for the nation, he turned to the camera and gave his message to the police. Three or four were dying every day through violence. Three armies were having to unite as one. The police did not watch the news, because police died on the news. But they watched this silly programme where a woman who does not exist (a man in a dress!) interviews the most famous statesman in the world. His message was clear: “We are with you. We care. We must all unite for a better future.” Brilliant statesmanship. Clever politics. After the interview (video above) we posed for photos. In a lull, seeing the reflection in a wall mirror of Evita Bezuidenhout looking like a Brakpan Elizabeth Taylor

standing with someone who looked exactly like Nelson Mandela, I said, “President Mandela, you’ve always seen me as Evita. Would you like to see me without her wig?” He twinkled with excitement. “Yes, Pieter, I would!” I took off Evita’s wig. “No,” he gasped, “Put it back on!” A photo was taken in those seconds. For six weeks in 1999 prior to the General Election, Evita took her Ballot Bus and toured South Africa from Bellville to Pietersburg, doing two shows a day focused on voter education. We invited President Mandela to join us wherever he could. He wrote, “Unfortunately I am unable to accept the invitation due to the heavy demands currently placed on my schedule, but please convey to Mrs Bezuidenhout our sincerest appreciation for her tireless efforts to encourage supporters of all parties to register to vote so that they can make a success of the elections and strengthen our democracy. I was happy to see that her new programme had already got underway and was proving to be a joyous success which her ventures always turn out to be – whether in service of the Bantustan policy or our new democracy! And it was a delight to get reports of her appearance in Parliament. We wish Mrs Bezuidenhout all success and assure her of our full support for this important campaign of voter education.” During his retirement, I would visit him when I did a show in Johannesburg. He would sit at his desk beaming, waiting for a nice time, wanting to laugh. All he needed was a packet of popcorn.

| Evita removes her wig for Madiba

It was always the most important performance of my life. We talked about many things. I would slide in an impersonation of former apartheid President PW Botha wag that vinger, lick those lips. He would laugh. Where was Evita? he would ask. In the boot of the car, I would say. More laughter. That is my sharpest memory of Nelson Mandela. His laughter. A gentle embrace. That compassion that made sense of that old saying: love your enemy; it will ruin his reputation. They say he had on his desk a picture of himself and an Afrikaans tannie called Evita, proving that just because she doesn’t exist, didn’t mean she was not real. And that a sense of humour could straddle so many boundaries and even heal epidemics. Nelson Mandela freed me from my prison of prejudice and fear. He never let us forget how important it was to the lead by example. Even during his final painful months, he took us all on that long, slow walk to his next freedom, making us accept his humanity and frailty. And now that he is gone, we are relieved his suffering is over and re-inspired to protect his legacy and also to lead by example. Evita Bezuidenhout sent out a tweet on the morning of his death: “The ANC office in Heaven must be on full alert. Someone is on his way to check the books! Beloved Madiba, Rest in Peace.” @TannieEvita / (Pieter-Dirk Uys will perform ADAPT OR FLY at Pieter Toerien’s Theatre on the Bay from 7 January for 3 weeks. Book at Computicket. His novel Panorama is also now available at all bookshops.)



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What the end of Telkom’s monopoly could mean for South Africans

| South Africa has been slow to develop a strong telecommunications industry because of unfair competition in the market. However, recent changes may help the country catch up with other developing countries That’s why they came to an BY STAFF REPORTER

SOUTH Africa has been slow to develop a strong telecommunications industry because of unfair competition in the market. However, recent changes may help the country catch up with other developing countries. The reason is that Telkom, the telecommunications industry leader, came to an agreement with the Competition Commission which

could mean an end to Telkom’s Monopoly. Take a look at what this means for South Africa in terms of economic growth. Telkom has the most developed telecommunications services in Africa, with internet connection rates as fast as 1002 kbit/s. Most of its infrastructure is built on copper loops, fiber optic loops, and wireless connections. This is one of the biggest reasons why

Telkom has been able to maintain its monopoly for so long — other companies cannot compete in terms of infrastructure. Telkom has abused its dominance in the telecommunications industry for the past 15 years by charging high service fees. This has helped Telkom’s bottom line, but made the economic growth in South Africa slower than it should have been. The Competition

Commission has been trying for years to even out competition in the telecommunications industry, but has not been successful until recently. In the past, Telkom regularly opted for legal action anytime the Competition Commission tried to make changes that would affect Telkom negatively. As a matter of fact, many telecommunications industry influencers have accused Telkom of spending more money on legal fees than anything else. However, in July of 2013, the Competition Commission finally came to an agreement with Telkom over anticompetitive abuses between 2005 and 2007, which is making Telkom change its approach in the market. Norman Maniom, the tribunal chairman, said the agreement gave a lot of credit to Telkom’s new leadership. The new management team at Telkom, CEO Sipho Maseko and board chairman Jabu Mabuza, are trying to change the perception that Telkom is a monopoly.

agreement with the Competition Commission. And, it’s not just a public relations exercise; Telkom wants to play nice. As a matter of fact, Telkom has been trying to reach out to the rest of the industry for constructive engagement. Many companies in the industry are skeptical about Telkom’s intentions, but there have already been a lot of changes in just five months since the agreement with the Competition Commission was signed. One of the biggest changes is that restrictions on telecommunications companies have been lowered, allowing others to compete a little more fairly. There are now several telecommunications companies that provide wireless broadband. Telkom remains the leader, but it’s unclear if this will always be the case. One thing is for sure — the people of South Africa are gaining more options in terms of their Internet and phone services.

11 | 24 - 30 December 2013 |


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180-Day travel restriction BY STAFF REPORTER

Question: I am a Tier 2 migrant and would like to find out for how long I am allowed to go on business trips abroad. My director would like for me to travel overseas on a business trip for 7 months. Would this be allowed? Answer: One can be absent from the UK for a maximum of 180 days in any 12 month period which includes one’s annual leave as per one’s employment agreement. The rest can only be used on trips in line with your employment and on behalf of your employer and will have to be proven as such. We would suggest that one consecutive trip of 7 months is highly undesirable and may well cause problems for a future visa application. We would thus recommend that you shorten your business trip accordingly. Please speak to one of our consultants for more information and special provisions in your unique situation. JP Breytenbach

Five most influential technology trends in South Africa | South Africa is regarded as one of the most technologically advanced countries in all of Africa. Read on to discover the five key trends that have cemented this reputation


Director of BIC, Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants Limited. or For more information, please contact our offices at or phone us in London on 0845 074 0514.

SOUTH Africa is regarded as one of the most technologically advanced countries in all of Africa. Read on to discover the five key trends that have cemented this reputation. 1. Undersea cables help South Africans get online A collection of undersea cables is helping more South Africans get online. The West African Cable System, South Atlantic Express, BRICs, and others give high-speed internet access to parts of South Africa unreachable by traditional cable technology. The undersea cables will help South Africa meet its goal of offering broadband internet to all interested residents by 2020. Currently just 34 percent of

File your tax return early this year and pay for your Christmas shopping by KEITH VAN DER LINDE

On Christmas day last year, more than 1,500 people spent the day filing their tax returns. Another 14,330 people lodged their tax returns on Christmas Eve – more than treble the previous year. It goes without saying that filing your tax return by 31st January 2014 will save you a lot of hassle. Whether you’re planning a holiday break or celebrating in style, filing your tax return early lets you use your potential tax refund to enjoy-stress free Christmas shopping. The first thing to do is to ascertain whether or not you need to submit a tax return. If you meet any of the following criteria, you might need to file your tax return by the 31st January 2014 deadline: You’re self-employed You’re a company director Your annual income is £100,000 or more You have savings and/or investments You have a rental property You or your partner receive Child Benefit and your income is over £50,000 You get income from overseas You receive income from trusts, settlements and estates You have Capital Gains Tax to pay You’ve lived or worked abroad, or aren’t domiciled in the UK You’re a trustee. It might be tempting to leave it to the last minute, or ignore it completely and hope that you don’t end up with a tax bill to pay, but filing your tax return early is an

exercise in prudence. File it late and you can jeopardise the accuracy of your tax return by making a silly mistake. By doing the hard graft for you, a reputable accountant will make sure that you’re not visited by ghosts of Christmas past when it comes to your money and tax bills. If you’re uncertain whether or not you need to submit a tax return, you’re welcome to contact 1st Contact Accounting on 0808 141 2341 (UK) or

accountinginfo@1stcontact. com for more information. Or you can stop by for a cup of tea at their offices in Castlewood House, 77/91 New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1DG. 1st Contact Accounting gives forward-thinking individuals the tools to steer their business affairs forward. Brought to you by

Call 0808 168 2055

South African adults use the internet. Three-quarters of these live in urban areas, a statistic which points to the digital divide between South Africa’s cities and rural communities. However, preliminary 2013 statistics suggests more South Africans are adopting the technology than ever before. Global consulting firm McKinsey predicts the nation has the potential to lead the growth of internet access in Africa. 2. South Africans embrace tablet technology Many major technology brands have releases their tablets in South Africa for the first time in 2013 to meet the demand of a public that’s embraced portable technology. That’s seen tablet sales in the nation rise by 46 percent in the first half of the year. More than 1.4 million tablets were sold in South Africa in the first six months of 2013, up from sales of 960,000 at the end of 2012. We can expect even greater sales for 2013′s final half as South Africans rush to get a tablet underneath their Christmas trees. Experts predict every one of the country’s 10 million PC owners is likely to own a tablet in the future. With more leading brands releasing value-for-money tablets, price is becoming less of a deterrent for South African techies. This has enabled them to ask “What is the best tablet to meet my needs?” rather than “What is the best tablet that I can afford?” 3. South Africa goes solar The face of solar power in South Africa is changing. Early adopters were ecologically conscious consumers who primarily used the technology to minimise their carbon footprints. However, many modern South Africans now use solar to reduce their power bills and combat South Africa’s notoriously unreliable power supply. With electricity prices set to rise again in 2014, even more South Africans are expected to look to solar power. The technology makes sense in a nation which enjoys more than 2,500 hours of sunshine annually. On average, the solar radiation

level in South Africa is around 220 W/m2, compared to levels of just 150 W/m2 in parts of the United States and approximately 100 W/ m2 across Europe and the United Kingdom. 4. Mobile health on the rise Mobile Health, or mHealth as it’s typically called, is set to gain strength in the coming years. The initiative sees South Africans accessing the health care they need from their smartphones. It’s an initiative which has clear limitations, as less than a third of South Africans currently own a smartphone. The people without the technology, who need it most, tend to live in remote areas. However, mHealth providers refuse to be deterred. In 2014, the mHealth Alliance will relocate from the United Nations Foundation in Wash., D.C. to South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg. This will help the mHealth Alliance effectively implement its health strategies in South Africa and other African nations in need while continuing its global advocacy work. 5. Smartphones will become cheaper A relatively small number of South Africans might own smartphones now, but that’s changing. Africa is the world’s fastest growing market for mobile phones, and South Africa is leading the way with more smartphone owners than anywhere in the sub-Saharan region. Over the next four years, Africa’s smartphone market is expected to double. This trend will be driven by an increasing number of affordable smartphones hitting the market. These will come from industry leaders, who will drop their prices in response to increased competition, as well as a handful of African-based firms. As prices drop, more South Africans from all walks of life will have greater access to the internet and smartphone apps. These five trends will ensure that South Africa continues to be a technological innovator on the African continent.


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SA SHOP DIRECTORY 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’



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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: 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 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: www. Tel: 01223 262 204. CB23 2RL 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: 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

SHEBEEN BAR Edinburgh’s only South African bar has opened in Leith. A unique, stylish bar with something for everyone,delivered by experience and friendly staff. As expected we stock a large range of South African beers, wines, ciders and snacks, including a classic selection of cocktails and Dom Pedros. Opening hours are from 12pm to 1am. Come down and enjoy a true taste of Africa. 3-5 Dock Place, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6LU. 0131 554 9612. FOODS4YOU Whether you like to create an incentive program for your employees or corporate gifts at special times or throughout the year. Foods4U – Corporate Services Division is there to assist and help you maintain your critical internal and external business. Unit 22 / 24 Manford Ind. Estate, +44 (0) 87 00 33 2130, Manor Road, Erith, Kent, DA8 2AJ.

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: THE SPRINGBOK CAFÉ The Springbok Café offers traditional South African food, wine and beers served with a smile in a friendly atmosphere. All this plus the option to grab your favourite S.A. groceries before you leave after relaxing and kuierring with us for a while. The Springbok Café` Ltd, 1 East Reach, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3EN, 01823 254966,

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 www. and we’ll come to you. Email: Tel: 01823 619184 NO1 SOUTH AFRICAN SHOP Lots of lekker stuff for a taste of home. Including fantastic biltong, droewors and boerewors. 5 Marlow Drive, St Catherines Hill, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 2RR. The shop is about 2 miles north-west of Christchurch town centre and 6 miles north-east of Bournemouth town centre. There’s loads of free parking and the shop is easy to get to from the A338. Tel: 01202 496041 10’ish to 6pm 7 days a week.

Tel: 0208 878 1898 Email

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

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Top 8 destinations for your 2014 holiday bucket list

| Get packing! Here is our list of the top eight destinations for you to Islands have many resorts that include in your 2014 holiday bucket list. BY STAFF REPORTER THE world is filled with enticing destinations that holiday makers flock to annually. Whether it’s roaming beautiful landscapes, immersing yourself in entertainment, or relaxing by the ocean, there’s a place out there that’ll ease your stresses and inspire your imagination. If you’re searching for the perfect holiday destination in 2014, consider visiting one of the following eight places. You won’t regret it. India If you’re looking to explore a country that has a rich culture and extensive history, India should make its way onto your itinerary. Not only is there a plethora of sites to see, like the temples and ruins, but many of these places are cheap to visit – if not free. Additionally, India’s rupee has decreased in value by more than 20 percent in the last year in comparison to the US dollar, making it the perfect destination for anyone who’s travelling on a budget. Brazil Not only is Brazil home to beautiful beaches and 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, but it’s also hosting the World Cup in 2014. This makes it an attractive destination for soccer – or better yet, futbol – fans from across the world. Although the World Cup will take place during the Brazilian winter months of June and July, the temperatures will remain relatively mild. In short, pack a spring jacket for the cool nights but don’t forget your swimwear for the sunny days. Amsterdam Europe will be a hotspot in 2014 (isn’t it always?), and that’s largely because of the 20 vessels that are scheduled to debut on the rivers across the old continent. One of the most popular cruises will depart from Amsterdam and take travellers on a scenic tour through Europe on its way to Budapest, making stops in 13 cities along the way. If spending 15 days on a ship doesn’t intrigue you, there are plenty of sights to see in Amsterdam to satisfy your travelling needs.

Greek Islands It’s no secret Greece has had a rough few years, with high unemployment rates and severe austerity measures. Although this has deterred some tourists from visiting the country, others have taken advantage of the low prices the country now offers visitors. If you’re looking for a beautiful beach paradise with a hint of ancient culture, the Greek Islands are the perfect destination for you. Las Vegas What would a destination bucket list be if it didn’t include Sin City? Although the old adage says “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make memories and bring them back home with you. Sure, there are the typical attractions like the casinos, live shows, and resorts to enjoy, but there’s more to Vegas than that (or maybe that’s exactly what you want). With more than 100 things to do, including the “Solve a Crime at CSI: The Experience at the MGM Grand Las Vegas,” there’s something for everyone in your family or group of friends to enjoy. Fiji This is another option for anyone who wants to spend their holiday burning in the sun and sinking in the sand. This beautiful paradise might seem financially intimidating to the average traveller, but Fiji offers plenty of accommodations for all guests. The Mamanucas and Yasawas

| Carnival, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

are popular among backpackers, making it possible for almost anyone from any economic background to experience Polynesia without breaking the bank. Bulgaria Although costs in Eastern Europe have steadily increased over the past few years, especially in the famous cities, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a country to explore in the region that won’t hurt your pocket. Bulgaria offers visitors a magical experience, with stunning landscapes, astounding architecture, and marvellous museums to explore. It’s not always a talked-about destination among the crowds, but Bulgaria is famous for an assortment of things. Ethiopia Perhaps sitting on a beach for a week just isn’t your style; no worries. If you’d rather take more of a spiritual journey and see parts of the world most will never explore, consider putting Ethiopia on your 2014 bucket list. Whether it’s walking through the Lake Tana monasteries, discovering the Blue Nile Falls, or staring in amazement at the rock-hewn wonder of Lalibela, this country is sure to refresh your outlook on life and leave you with plenty of memories to treasure. It’s sad to say, but 2014 will be gone before you know it, so make sure you spend your year in a way that’ll leave you with no regrets. Travel to any one of these eight destinations and you’ll do just that.

| Lau Islands in Fiji


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| 24 - 30 December 2013 | Follow us on Twitter: @TheSAnews

What if the UK and SA had invaded Zimbabwe? | Kallum Alexander imagines what would have happened if Tony Blair had invaded Zimbabwe in 2001. becomes a battlefield in which the BY KALLUM ALEXANDER JUST over a fortnight ago, Thabo Mbeki made a startling revelation to the press. At the beginning of the last decade, according to the former President, Tony Blair had broached the idea of a potential invasion of Zimbabwe. With the economy in freefall and land reform in full flow, the country looked more unstable than ever. Let’s put morals aside for a moment and see what might have happened if an invasion had gone ahead 12 years ago.

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2001 After talks in London, Tony Blair and Thabo Mbeki announce their intention to invade the former British colony of Zimbabwe. British air superiority neutralises strategic ground targets, such as airfields and barracks. Any civilian casualties are written off as ‘collateral damage’ and ‘a necessary evil,’ never mind if some of the ‘barracks’ turn out to be schools or hospitals. The Commonwealth’s newest member, Mozambique, allows a coalition of British and South African troops to cross into Manicaland, whilst more gather at Beitbridge. The British public are torn. A million march on Whitehall, but how many millions more support the invasion with a glint of Empire

in their eyes? The few Whites left in the country become even more fearful, barricading their front doors and hiding from the inevitable backlash in the days following the invasion. Deaths are inevitable. The poorly-trained and illequipped government forces fall to pieces against the overwhelming strength of the British Army, throwing down their weapons and fleeing to the countryside. Only Mugabe’s loyal bodyguards, battlehardened in his own illegal war in the Congo, put up a fight. After a period of frenetic progress, the British and South Africans have hegemony. Mugabe flees but can’t evade capture for long, eventually dying of old age whilst on trial for ‘war crimes,’ his memory tarnished. A warning of what power can do to a man. Propped up by the Coalition, Tsvangirai assumes the Presidency. The US stays quiet; their dealings with Africa tainted by disaster in Somalia. As the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner flutters from Parliament House, things turn sour for the Coalition when the late Mugabe’s forces regroup upcountry. Faced with an invisible enemy that knows the terrain, the British gradually withdraw to their bases, just as they will in Helmand. The countryside

indigenous guerillas move freely among the people, using hit-andrun tactics to wear the enemy down. The huge Zimbabwean diaspora flooded home when Coalition supremacy became clear, reequipping the nation with the teachers, nurses and doctors it so sorely needed. But how long will they stay? As the years pass and violence grows, how many will turn tail and leave once again? The agricultural industry surely collapses as the countryside becomes a battlefield. Will the return of white farmers have any impact beside angering rural Zimbabweans, for whom Mugabe’s land reforms were a Godsend? Those Zimbabweans who were alive in the Bush War know all too well the outcome. Britain, caught up once again in a messy, unwinnable war far from home, pulls out. Dogged by accusations of neocolonialism, the Labour Party loses the next election. South African withdrawal is just as undignified. From the power vacuum in Harare emerges a new leader who is just as aggressive and antiimperialist as the last. The world is left asking whether Zimbabwe is better off than before. It’s all just conjecture. Who knows what might have happened if an invasion had gone ahead? How do you see it? As always, Zimbabwe provokes more questions than answers.

15 | 24 - 30 December |


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Saracens’ Hargreaves looking forward to Sharks reunion | Saracens lock and former Sharks player Alistair Hargreaves is excited to taking on his old SA teammates on 25 January at London’s Allianz Park by STAFF REPORTER SARACENS will play South African outfit the Sharks at Allianz Park on Saturday 25 January 2014 in The Sanlam Private Investments Challenge. One player who knows the two clubs better than most is lock Alistair Hargreaves, having made more than 50 games for the Durban based side before joining Sarries for the 2012/2013 season,

and it is an experience that excites the four-times capped South African international. Hargreaves said, “I’m looking forward to it of course, to catch up with some of the boys. I am sure we will have some fun on the field and off of it as well.” The game will also provide an opportunity for Hargreaves to come up against some familiar faces, although he admitted he

Top Ten South African sporting highlights of 2013 Continued from back page of the event, while Chris Froome, schooled in South Africa, where he first competed as a professional, won the race.

Tennis heroes Wheelchair tennis player Lucas Sithole shone during 2013. He won the British Open title and then went one better by lifting a major trophy at the US Open. Ranked second in the world, he twice beat world number one David Wagner on his way to the title. Kevin Anderson, meanwhile, became the sixth South African to be ranked in the ATP Tour’s top 20. Canoeing On the water, Hank McGregor was crowned canoe marathon world champion for a third time, while Andy Birkett edged out fellow South African Brandon van der Walt to claim the under-23 men’s title. Sean Rice won the first Ocean

Racing World Championships title in Portugal as South African paddle skiers occupied six of the top 10 places. Michele Eray claimed the women’s title, just ahead of Michelle Burn, with Nikki Mocke, in third, making it a South African 1-2-3. African champions The national men’s and women’s hockey teams were both crowned African champions, which secured them places at the 2014 Hockey World Cup in The Netherlands. Motorsport Giniel de Villiers finished second in the Dakar Rally in a South African-built Toyota Hilux 4×4 and was named the South African Motor Sportsman of the Year. Kelvin van der Linde won the Scirocco R-Cup Championship in Germany and Austria and won a place at the FIA Institute’s 2013/14 Young Driver Excellence Academy. -

would love the opportunity to take on former Saracens hooker, now Sharks CEO John Smit. “Keegan Daniel, who captained the side last year, is a great mate of mine. It is always quite weird playing against your old teammates but hopefully I can sort as many guys out as possible and have a good laugh with them afterwards.” It is not the first time that

Hargreaves has taken part in a game such as this, having lined up for the Springboks against Saracens at Wembley in 2009. Having been part of the experience from both sides, Hargreaves is well aware of the benefits of such a game for both sides involved. “For both sides I think it’s great for exposure in different countries but it will also be exciting for

the fans, it’s a good exhibition, a great way to see good rugby with two teams who play in two different leagues. They are both great sides. Not only is it good to have a relationship with them but it is good for rugby as well.” Tickets sales for the Sanlam Private Investment Challenge are selling fast – to buy your ticket visit the Saracens online ticket office


24 - 30 December 2013




| We look at some of the incredible achievements of South Africans in international sport during 2013

South Africa, won the Premier Soccer League title for the first time since 2004/05, while Chiefs and Bafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune was named South African Sports Star of the Year after a public vote.


SOUTH African sportsmen and women excelled on the world stage in 2013. The country’s national rugby and football teams both boosted their world rankings over the course of the year, while the Proteas remained the undisputed number one team in test cricket. Perhaps the biggest upset in football in 2014 occurred at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 19 November when Bafana Bafana, ranked 61st in the world with Libya, defeated world and European champion, Spain, ranked number one in the world since 2008, by a goal to nil. Bernard Parker scored the winner and a few gilt- edged chances were missed as Bafana recorded their first ever victory over a team ranked number one in the world. It was a welcome boost for a team that had missed out on qualifying for the 2014 Fifa World Cup, although coach Gordon Igesund had started on the back foot when he took over a side that had drawn two qualifying games under former coach Pitso Mosimane. Cricket’s number one There was little hope of upsetting the Proteas, cricket’s number one test team, in 2014. New Zealand found that out in a New Year’s clash at Newlands. They went down by an innings and 27 runs after being bowled out for only 45 in their first innings. The margin was even greater in the second test, which the Proteas won by an innings and 193 runs. Pakistan were brushed aside in a three-test series but six months later break, Pakistan surprised

| South African coach Gordon Igesund celebrates the surprise victory with the boys in green and gold

South Africa by winning the first test in the UAE, but with the rust out of their system the Proteas romped to an innings victory in the second test to tie the series. The win was South Africa’s 100th since the country’s readmission to world cricket in 1992. Three of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year were South Africans, with Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis being recognised by the “Cricketer’s Bible”. The Springboks 2013 saw the men in green and gold make strong progress and enjoy an excellent season that included an unbeaten tour of the northern hemisphere, with wins over Six Nations champions Wales, Scotland and France, and only one try conceded in those three tests.

The Springboks lost only two matches out of 12, both of them to New Zealand, but highlights included a Castle Rugby Championship record-setting victory of 73-13 over Argentina in Soweto, a first ever win over Australia in Brisbane, and a first clean sheet against Scotland (280) since the famous 44-0 win at Murrayfield in 1951. Bryan Habana became the first Springbok to score 50 test tries in a 56-23 win over Samoa in June. Only five players before him had achieved the milestone, three of them from first tier test rugby nations. Rugby Sevens The South African Sevens team finished second in the HSBC Sevens World Series, won titles in in Las Vegas, Tokyo and

Edinburgh, defeating New Zealand on all three occasions for the title, and also captured World Games gold in Colombia in August. Former Springbok coach Ian McIntosh received the International Rugby Board’s Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service at the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition in Dublin, Ireland, in November. Orlando Pirates Orlando Pirates made headlines when they reached the final of the African Champions League. However, defending champions Al Ahly, whom they had beaten 3-0 in Cairo in group play, stopped the Buccaneers in the final, winning 3-1 on aggregate. Pirates’ great rivals, Kaizer Chiefs, the most popular team in

Swimming stars Chad le Clos continued to shine in the pool, winning World Championship gold medals in the 100 and 200 metres butterfly in Barcelona. Cameron van der Burgh also won gold in the 50 metres breaststroke. In addition, Le Clos claimed the Fina World Cup overall title for a second time, while Roland Schoeman finished fourth. The evergreen Schoeman, who is aiming to become the first South African to appear in five Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, went unbeaten throughout the season in the 50 metres breaststroke. Paralympic legend Natalie du Toit received recognition for her wonderful career, which ended after the 2012 London Paralympics, when she was awarded an honorary MBE. Cycling triumphs Greg Minnaar was crowned UCI MTB downhill world champion for a third time, delighting South African fans by winning the title in his home town of Pietermaritzburg in September. One of the alltime greats of downhill racing, Minnaar has more World Cup podium finishes than anyone else in history. There was also plenty to celebrate on the road. Daryl Impey became the first South African to wear the Tour de France’s famous yellow jersey in the 100th edition Continued on page 15

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29/03/2012 14:00

The South African 24-30 December 2013  

Christmas Cheers! | What if SA and the UK had invaded Zim?

The South African 24-30 December 2013  

Christmas Cheers! | What if SA and the UK had invaded Zim?