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Begging for vergifnis at the age of 80


   15 December 2017   l   Johnny Masilela    l   Views: 97   l   4 months ago  

 


I have, in my humble cabinet of collectables, a business card given to me by former Nationalist Police Minister, Adriaan Vlok (79).

The business card has a mobile and also landline number, and the Holy Cross with the word Vergifnis (forgiveness).

In an interview with ol’ Adriaan in recent months, I shared a moving experience with him, about the remarkable Virginia Mabena (70).

The old lady, from Stinkwater outside Hammanskraal, is the widow of Geelbooi Mabena, who was among those who died from a burst of gunfire at the hands of the self-styled Wit Wolf, Barend Strydom.

At the time of my engagement with Virginia there were certain elements on social media, threatening to lay charges against Adriaan.

This as a direct consequence of Adriaan’s alleged role in crimes against humanity, flowing from the Apartheid era.

I put this to Virginia, and this is how she responded: “Mandela has taught us to forgive and bury the past. I urge fellow South Africans to encourage our grandchildren — black and white — to mingle and visit each other, so that they can become brothers and sisters in this beautiful country.”

That was before I poured out to Virginia how the elderly Adriaan had been shuffling around in anyway, knocking at the doors of prominent blacks such as Moeletsi Mbeki (former president’s younger brother), begging for forgiveness, over his role in perpetuating Apartheid.

Just a couple of days ago I made contact with Adriaan to verify certain dates, for ol’ man river and my daughter, Nokuthula, have their birthdays in the same month of December.

As for Virginia, one is afraid the last time I interviewed her she did not come across as well-looked after.

On a lighter note, as I sipped Rooibos tea with Adriaan at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, he shared his most memorable political moment.

At the age of eight, dressed in khaki shorts and velskoene, Adriaan’s dad took him along to a meeting of the Sir de Villiers Graaf-led United Party, at the small town of Keimoes along the banks of the Orange River, in the Northern Cape.

Suddenly militant members of the National Party stormed into the venue, sending little Adriaan hot on the heels of his dad, running for dear life from the marauding radicals.

  • Johnny Masilela is the editor of our sister newspaper The BEAT, and author of the novel We Shall Not Weep (Kwela Books), available at PNA at Bela-Bela and Oude Werf and Décor at Modimolle 

 


 

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