Eina! and Skande!

. . and then tragedy.

—– Original message from Etienne Joubert in 2014 —– (translation below)

Good morning all you Harrismith followers!

Who was Paul de Witt . . ??? . .  Skande gemaak vir Harrismith se mense.

KAAPSTAD – ’n Predikant en bekende restaurateur in Hentiesbaai is Maandag in die vroeë oggendure deur doeanebeamptes met sowat 11 400 witmossels en 20 kg calamari  in sy besit by die ­Vioolsdrift-grenspos vasgetrek.

Ds. Paul de Witt (63) het die twee spesies, wat albei beskerm word, sonder vervoerpermitte in sy Nissan X-Trail van Kaapstad na Hentiesbaai vervoer.

De Witt is omstreeks 01:30 deur die polisie voorgekeer en sy voertuig is deursoek. Verskeie sakke vol mossels met ’n geskatte waarde van R11 400, en ’n sak met 20 kg calamari is agter in sy voertuig gevind.

De Witt is deur die eenheid teen georganiseerde misdaad in hegtenis geneem en daar is beslag gelê op sy voertuig, sowel as die sakke seekos.

De Witt is ’n boorling van Harrismith.

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I immediately contacted my mate Steph de Witt:

Hey Steph
I vaguely remember a Paul de Witt. Who and what was he op Herries?
He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar!
Cheers
Koos

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On 2014/07/08 Steph de Witt replied:

Koos! Dis my bloedfamilie, my own cousin !!

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Me: Fokkit I can still live with the witmossel-steel part, but the DOMINEE part? THAT’s the skande!

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Translation:

Eina! and Skande! – ouch! and scandal!

A Harrismith old boy who became a preacherman was caught smuggling protected seafood – mussels and calamari – from South Africa into Namibia.

He was an interesting character: My sister remembers him as one of a gang of naughty / rude boys as a teenager. As does happen, he became a preacher. But as less often happens, a preacher who operated a pub. He sold salvation on Sundays and booze from Mondays to Saturdays! Like, “create your own sinners”.

His pub obviously needed seafood so he “fetched” some from across the border – illegally. And got caught.

Sadly, he died in a car wreck soon after!

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Subject: Paul de Witt

Hey Et

Steph has just informed me that Paul died in a car accident on Friday.

Dammitall. From sudden fame / notoriety to tragic end.

Yo ....that's sad, my condolences if you make contact again.
But we know he's gone to Paradise, where there's lots of white & black 
muscles & of course, calamari .........!!
Cheers
Et 
---------------
paul de witt case
Vraagtekens oor kroegdominee se storie 

1970 – Netjies!

The Harrismith Stadsaal was propvol. Albert Hertzog was coming to speak as leader of his new breakaway party, Die HNP, Die Herstigte Nasionale Party. And the doubtful and the faithful were all there. Plus one Yank.

The doubtful were there to worry about the severe liberalisation evident in the Nat Party lately – I mean, they were considering allowing television! – while the faithful were there to heckle ou Hertzog.

Hertzog

A dapper little dutchman, he gave a rousing speech about the great injustice done to them by the Nats, building up to a rousing “en hulle het ons UITGESKOP!” upon which, from the back of the hall rang out a clear “NETJIES!” which brought the house down and quite ruined the dramatic effect.

This as reported to me by the Yank Larry Wingert, Rotary exchange student from Cobleskill New York, who’d gone along to witness democracy, Old-SA-style.

In typical political fashion the verligtes hated their brother verkramptes even more than they hated the old enemy, the Sappe. The Sappe they could say, were just stupid, but these ous were verraaiers!

In the election that followed, the SAPPE (United Party – the nickname was from an older party, the South African Party) made gains, the Nats losing seats in parliament for the first time since they came to power in 1948.

But ou Hertzog’s Herstigtes won 0 seats. Zero. That’s roughly equivalent to fokol. Not one, despite appealing to Larry that they were the way forward to the past!

The Nats were still in power, but to put their “power” in perspective, in a country of 22.5 million people, 821 000 people voted for them!

Talk about illegitimate.

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propvol – full – full to bursting

“en hulle het ons UITGESKOP!” – The Nats in power booted out the doubters; They then formed the “re-established National Party” (Herstigtes); You know, like brothers falling out;

NETJIES!” – Well Done! Neat Move!

verligtes – sort of ‘enlightened’ racists; a bit more realist than the verkramptes, who wanted nothing to change – in fact wanted even tougher racism;

verkramptes – cramp-ass racists; Keep the world at bay! Send the Indians back to India! Drive the Blacks into the sea! Much longing back to their imaginary ‘good old days’! Fond of re-enactments like this:

Hertzog and verkrampte tannies.jpg

verraaiers – people whose opinion differs from yours; people who don’t have your insight; blerrie traitors;

 

Flying in 1973

As a 17-yr-old in 1973 I flew from Jo’burg to Rio de Janeiro, then on to New York. This in an SAA Boeing 707 – a narrow-body, four-engined jet airliner built from 1958 to 1979, the first jet to be commercially successful. Dominating passenger air transport in the 1960s and remaining common through the 1970s, the 707 is generally credited with ushering in the jet age’. Wikipedia also says that 10 of them were still flying in 2013! Here’s one:

SAA 1973 Boeing 707

I flew on via Chicago to Oklahoma City, where I was met by Apache Rotarian Robert L Crews III.

I knew very little about flying and maybe that’s just as well.

I now know this:

January 1973 in FLYING

  1. January 2 – Attempting to land in Edmonton, Canada in blowing snow, a Pacific Western Airlines Boeing 707 carrying 86 head of cattle and a crew of five, crashed and caught fire. The entire crew was killed. The cattle? Who knows.

  2. January 2 – Released from a psychiatric hospital days earlier, 37yr-old Charles Wenige hid in a lavatory aboard a Piedmont Airlines plane after it arrived in Baltimore, Maryland. When all the passengers had disembarked, he emerged and pointed a .45-calibre pistol at a crew member, demanding access to the liquor cabinet and to be flown to Canada. After two hours of negotiations, he agreed to release the stewardesses in exchange for a meeting with a psychiatrist and a priest. An FBI agent advised Wenige to tuck his pistol away in the priest’s presence. When Wenige did that, the agent overpowered and arrested him.

  3. January 4 – As a Pacific Western airliner prepared to take off from Vancouver, Canada with 18 people on board, a passenger, 26yr-old Christopher Nielson, drew a gun and demanded $2 million in cash and to be flown to North Vietnam, threatening to blow up the airliner if his demands were not met. During negotiations he allowed most people to disembark, leaving three crew members aboard the plane with him. Police then stormed the plane and arrested him, finding that he was armed only with two toy guns.  

  4. January 5 – The mandatory security screening of all airline passengers began at all airports in the USA.

  5. January 12 – The 197th and final American air-to-air victory of the Vietnam War.

  6. January 15 – President Richard Nixon ordered a halt to all bombing, shelling and mining of North Vietnam.

  7. A Boeing 707 chartered by Nigeria Airways crashed after the right main landing gear collapsed while the plane was landing in high winds in Nigeria. It was the deadliest aviation accident in history at the time.

  8. January 27 – A U.S. Navy plane was shot down over South Vietnam – the last American fixed-wing aircraft lost in the Vietnam War.

  9. January 27 – Frontier Airlines hired the first female pilot for any modern-day U.S. airline, Emily Warner. On the same day, the airline also hired its first African-American pilot, Bob Ashby.

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Air India!

On the way back at the end of that year, I flew in an Air India 747 – my first jumbo jet! – from New York to London. On the plane I read in an abandoned newspaper that Air India had been voted World’s Worst Airline – again.

I have since learned this: ‘The years 1971-1973 were very bad for Indian Airlines. The 1971-1972 Pakistan War didn’t help. The airline reported a 45 million rupee loss in 1973, the carrier’s largest to that point. Exacerbating the aforementioned crises was the continual strike being waged by labor. Management, concerned by growing labor costs and inefficiency, eventually locked out many of its workers, operating only a skeleton schedule with a non-union workforce’.

I notice groping is a problem on Air India and they now keep plastic handcuffs to bopha the culprits. I feel I have to report with some regret that none of those sari-clad hostesses groped me, despite their promises:

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World Trade Centre

The Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in Manhattan were opened in April 1973. I didn’t see – or consciously notice – them in December 1973. How unobservant is that!? And I must have seen them – I went up the Empire State building and looked around. Maybe I was staring at Central Park and the river?

Manhattan


bopha – isiZulu for bind, tie up (pronounce “bawpah”)