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He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…” John 7:53-8:11

I’m a political activist. I joined the ANC in 1983 when I was 20, and shortly afterwards uMkhonto weSizwe. I was young and passionate and wanted to liberate our country.

In 1987 I was forced to leave South Africa, but returned to Cape Town as part of Operation Vula in 1989. Since then I have served in various leadership structures of the ANC in the Western Cape.

Some say I’m a hard man. Some say the ANC made me hard. I have witnessed many things in the service of our movement. I even had the misfortune to stand next to my provincial secretary, Mcebisi Skwatsha, as so-called ANC members stabbed and attempted to murder him.

At all times I have tried to act in a manner that upholds the traditions of honesty, volunteerism and sacrifice that mark the ANC.

I know I’ve made some mistakes. Nevertheless, despite my shortcomings, I have twice been elected by the ANC branches as regional secretary and later twice as deputy provincial secretary.

Since 1994 I’ve seen many good comrades corrupted by power in government, business or both. Because of this, I took a decision that while I was a public representative I wouldn’t get involved in business or be beholden to any interests.

My pursuit over the years as an ANC public representative was and is simple: ensuring effective oversight over government and ensuring that the programs of the ANC are implemented.

It was in trying to do this job that I was confronted by serious misuses of power by comrade Ebrahim Rasool.

Rasool says that Mcebisi Skwatsha and myself destroyed him and his premiership, that we gave information to the DA. The SACP provincial secretary implied that we are “impimpis”.

Rasool also says I stopped the building of a hospital in Mitchells Plain, leaving the impression that I had something to do with depriving coloured people of a much-needed amenity.

Rasool made this accusation because I opposed his government’s selling its most valuable asset, Somerset Hospital, prime waterfront real-estate valued at over R1-billion.

He has left me no choice but to defend myself. Unless we are honest about the real problems facing the ANC in the province, the ANC will never be able to regain the trust of the people of the Western Cape.

My questioning the sale of Somerset Hospital was an attempt to ensure that there was no corruption. For halting the transaction the ANC’s provincial leadership received widespread praise. It is something of which I am proud, believing that in the process, I have helped to look after the best interests of the province and its people.

As for Rasool’s allegations about leaks to the DA, for which he has provided no evidence, it is as well to consider his own record. Rasool’s term as premier can only be understood if you understand his relationship with the media.

In the run up to the 2003 ANC’s list process to prepare for the 2004 national and provincial elections, then community and safety MEC Leonard Ramatlakane, who was a close ally of Rasool, got his department to produce an “intelligence report”. This was leaked to the press as an official document. It said there were three factions in the ANC in the Western Cape and that I, a white, was a leader of the “Africanist” faction.

The Cape Argus ran a serious of libellous articles based on this document, in an apparent campaign to undermine potential rivals to Rasool. Eventually he became premier after an election campaign coordinated Skwatsha and myself.

Rasool became intimately involved in briefing journalists, and at least one senior journalist from the Cape Argus, but I believe more, benefited financially from their proximity to a web of companies contracted by the province. I don’t make this allegation lightly, there is proof. The journalist was compelled to resign because of it.

Rasool also met with representatives of companies that were aggrieved by the outcome of a tender process in the then ANC controlled City of Cape Town. Information was then leaked to The Voice and the Cape Argus, which wrote false stories that Skwatsha was involved in an R40-million fraud.

At the time Rasool was provincial chairperson of the ANC. Instead of raising the issue with his provincial secretary, Skwatsha, Rasool instructed South African Police Service Captain Piet Viljoen to raid the city council offices. The ANC and its mayor, Nomaindia Mfeketo, were deeply embarrassed by this action. The National Prosecuting Authority declined to prosecute the case.

Although Rasool denied in a press conference that it was he who briefed the police to obtain the search warrant, he confessed doing so in a meeting with the national officials of the ANC.

Skwatsha’s traffic fines, which he had already paid, were also leaked to The Voice.

In 2007 a document from the forensic investigation unit of Rasool’s office was leaked to the Mail & Guardian in an attempt to accuse Skwatsha of corruption in the sale of state land. Skwatsha’s actions were vindicated by the high court even though Rasool refused him legal assistance.

The ANC legislature caucus refused to support Rasool after he knowingly misled the Legislature, by saying that the AG had condoned over-expenditure on Ramatlekane’s house. Rasool refused to attend a special caucus meeting called to discuss the matter, or to apologise to the House.

Out of loyalty to the ANC I’ve not commented publicly on these matters. I now believe that my silence has allowed the damage to continue for too long.

While I deny ever giving documents to the DA, I want to confess to giving documents to the Cape Argus that helped expose the Rasool government’s relationship with senior journalists.

In 2006 the ANC was asked by the lawyers for the newspaper to provide them with evidence for the allegations that journalists were paid to write stories. A formal decision was taken by the provincial leadership of the ANC that, to protect the best interests of the party, documents in our possession should be handed over. We provided the same evidence to the national leadership of the ANC.

A disciplinary process was undertaken at the paper that led to the quiet resignation of one journalist, but I do not believe that the full story of this extraordinary scandal was ever told. Comrade Rasool, and those media institutions that worked with him, must come clean about who really campaigned to destroy the ANC in the province, and how.

Max Ozinsky is the ANC’s chief whip in the Western Cape Provincial Legislature. He writes on his own behalf.

This article was published in the Mail and Guardian of 6 November 2009.

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Members of the Bunting family, especially Stephen, Peter and Margie;
Leaders of our revolutionary alliance;
Comrades and Friends

I speak on behalf of the ANC Cissy Gool branch, which was honoured to have cde Brian as a member for the past 16 years. Although cde Brian stayed in the adjoining ward – that of Gaby Shapiro branch – he insisted on being a member of our branch, because he felt more at home with our more working class membership from Salt River and Woodstock, than that from the more leafy parts of Rondebosch and Claremont!

Comrade Brian was a stalwart of our branch. He attended virtually every branch meeting over those 16 years. He was usually the first to arrive for the meeting, waiting patiently for the less disciplined to shuffle into Community House in Salt River. He would wait for us, sitting in the third or fourth row of chairs, neatly dressed in a tie, jacket and cloth cap.

Arriving at the meeting I knew that it was not enough to just greet him. I would have to be prepared to answer an insightful question about a national or local issue. It could be question about a decision of the ANC NEC or PEC, a controversy caused by a leader, or more often, what we should do about an eviction or strike. The question would always be accompanied by more questioning from his piercing, lively eyes and a smile.

In our branch meetings comrade Brian did not speak much and usually spoke quietly. But when he spoke everyone listened carefully. Not because he was Brian Bunting, in fact I think that many of our members did not know about his illustrious contribution to our revolution, but because of what he was saying. He had a old school journalist’s attention to detail. He would always conclude by asking what our action would be, how we should respond, not by talking about it, but by doing something practical about it.

In our meetings, if you listened only to the words that he used, you would never guess that this was a comrade who grew up in a family of pioneering Communists and had spent his whole life in the Communist Party. Cde Brian did not speak in revolutionary phrases. It was the content of what he was saying which was revolutionary, not just the words.

He had a special affection for the students in our branch and was always inviting them to engage with him on revolutionary ideas.

On behalf of the ANC Cissy Gool branch, we honour the memory of this true son of Africa, this revolutionary giant who gave his whole life to the liberation of our people. To the Bunting family who gave him to our struggle, we thank you for all the sacrifices you have had to endure as a result. We shall never forget his contribution. Hamba kahle qabane Brian Bunting, Qhawe lamaqhawe! (Go well comrade Brian Bunting, Hero of Heroes!)

We eventually took Nolwandle home on Saturday morning. It had been a long six weeks for her in Table Bay and Tabisa, Nolwandle and I were all missing Hout Bay.

Peter and Fay joined me for the trip home. We were planning on leaving Friday evening and enduring the rain and dark for the 20 nautical miles.

Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, Green Point and its lighthouse emerge from the mist. The diagonal red stripes are very good at distinguishing it from the surrounding blocks of flats.

It was pouring with rain, but I had not reckoned with the fog. Peter and Manuel insisted that the mist was too thick, so we decided to spend the rest of the evening in the RCYC bar and leave in the morning. It was after a very enjoyable evening with the sailors of the Royal Cape, and a very tasty Portuguese Steak that we retired to sleep on Nolwandle.

Fay and Peter in the cockpit

Fay and Peter hide from Nolwandle.

We left at about 0830 – sunrise was at 0750 making it one of the shortest days of the year! There was a gentle 8 knot northwester blowing. We put up sail just before the breakwater and tacked across the channel to the buoy. We tacked again, now towards Green Point and made it to Sea Point on one tack, where the wind died. Actually I thought that at some point we would sail into some real fog, but it was not to be.

Off Sea Point it was on with the 22 horses and we motored till just round Duiker Point – about 3 hours later. Reviewing our progress on the chart, it was clear that we had a strong 2 knot current behind us, most of the way. This is normal in an northwester, when the usual Benguela current is conquered by the wind.

Fishing-vessel Fuchsia rushes past on her way home to Cape Town

As we approached what Cape Town’s sailors call Barker Rock – shown as South Lion’s Paw on the chart – a Taiwanese trawler came up close to us from straight astern. Later she over took us before turning West at the end of the traffic separation scheme off Duiker Point.

Taiwanese boat

Taiwanese trawler which harassed us off Camps Bay. Nolwandle strongly supports a One China policy!

After Oudekraal Fay took over the helm. It was her first trip on Nolwandle and she managed to overcome the tricky 3 metre swell and after an hour was steering very confidently.

Fay at the Helm

Fay on the tiller.

Peter took over as we passed the Oudeschip peninsula, using his NSRI experience to cut it close to the rocks.

Off Oudeschip

Submerged rock north-west of “Die Middelmas” (The Middle Mast), off Oudeschip (Old Ship). Note Llandudno, hide away of various dictators, in the background. Perhaps a Welsh sailor could tell us what Llandudno means?

Peter says that NSRI Station 8 regularly exercise in Maori Bay, the bay immediately to the north of Duiker Point, using the Boss 400 crane barge and the large granite boulders to practise evacuating patients and survivors. This is a very rough terrain ideal for their training. They have named some of the features of the area to help with their communications. In the picture below, the rock next to the Boss 400 is called Elephant Rock. They take a 10 metre rescue boat through the gap between the rock and Duiker Point. The water is deep – about 3 meters right next to the rock. Duiker Point is the western most point of the Cape Peninsula.

Boss 400 rock

Boss 400 crane barge, Elephant Rock and gap from the mainland through which a rescue boat can fit!

After Duiker Point we turned East and then it started raining. The wind came up and we let out the genoa and switched off the engine.

Vulcan rock roaring

Vulcan Rock roaring

Past Vulcan Rock there were two rowing boats poaching. Off Badtamboer, this literally means “Bath drum”, which may be a reference to the loud sound of the sea I guess, we switched on the iron horse and braved the speeding line of snoek boats to return to mooring 53, HBYC Marina.

View from Nolwandle’s deck – back on the marina.

It is good to be home!

Sunday afternoon aerobatics over Hout Bay.

Uncle Eddie,
Members of the Schoor family,
Fellow mourners,
Fellow South Africans,
Comrades and friends,

Monday night, through the cold winter night came the call. Not just another cellphone ringing in the dark, interrupting the silence, interrupting our dull thoughts, interrupting yet another meeting, interrupting! This time the ring was of dark news, sad news, news we never wanted to hear. News we could not believe. News that our dear comrade – Aunty Glor was no more.

We stopped in our tracks, shocked, unable to believe what we had heard. Refusing to believe our devastation. No it could not be true! We were just talking about her!

We came rushing, refusing to hear the news, refusing to believe, refusing. We flew through the night, the N7 never seemed shorter, but our journey never seemed longer.

Then we saw the blue and red flashing lights piercing the dark, a policeman waved us down, the glass lay strewn in the road, a puddle of water, a small slick of oil. The tow truck was already loaded with one car. The other lay across half across the road, its front pointed as if it, like us, wanted to speed away.

We were shivering with cold, shivering with disbelief, shivering with anger, shivering with deep sobs, shivering against the night, shivering against the news. No, No, No. No it can’t be!

No it can’t be here. No it can’t be true. In the dark, not knowing who we were, a paramedic says slowly, quietly, not wanting to say the words, struggling to get them out – “dit was Raadslid Schoor, ons se leier.”

As I stand here, we still refuse to believe – No, it cannot be!

Soon, the mournful words will ring out – dust to dust.

Soon, We will say our last farewells and turn our backs on the grave of a patriot. Health giving water will wash our hands clean of the earth that will forever be the home of our comrade. But will the grief also wash away from our souls!
Yes, we were talking about her that night, literally minutes before her death. Yes we were talking about her, but we were speaking no ill. We knew she was a leader. A hard worker and a leader, one of our brightest and most hard working, one who only wanted to be judged by what she produced, not what she said, not by who she destroyed, not by what she drove, or who her friends were or what clothes she wore. No, Glor was not that type of leader.

She was one of those leaders who the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu longed for, when he said:
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, Not so good when people obey and acclaim him, Worse when they despise him….But of a good leader who talks little when his work is done, his aim is fulfilled.”

Yes, we were talking of her that night. We thought her time had come to lead. Now, after this tragedy, that will not come to pass, as we hoped, as we wished, as her comrades willed.

No! rather let her example lead us. Let her quiet will lead us. Let her dedication and discipline lead us, let her outrage lead us, let Aunty Glor’s legacy lead us.

And what of that legacy? What is that legacy? What is her legacy?

Firstly, we speak of dedication and hard work. Aunty Glor knew that the African National Congress is not our birthright, it is not something we lay claim to, it is not something we own. Rather it is something we found, alive and kicking, which we hope to contribute some of our lives to, something which must be stronger, more powerful when we leave it to carry on its journey, its mission of uniting and liberating our people.

That is why we were not surprised that Aunty Glor was coming from Kalbaskraal that dark and vengeful night. Kalbaskraal, that site of the migrant labour system, the hostels, the tearing apart of families, of endless labour on another man’s land. Kalbaskraal where for so many years men lived separate from women, separate from the bosses, separate from the local people. Kalbaskraal, hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles from their homes and wives and children and cattle and green fields, to toil as cheap labour, day after day, for another man’s profit.

It was in this reminder of the brutal past of our country, in Kalbaskraal, that Glor was renewing the ANC membership of the workers and their families. Making sure that the ANC is stronger more effective, than when she found it.

Secondly, Aunty Glor stood for what was right and stood against what is wrong. Racism in all its forms outraged her. Even more so, the racism of one group of the oppressed against another. She raged against racism, both open and subtle. And she was not one to speak out in public, but then to encourage it quietly behind the scenes. Aunty Glor knew that the unity of all our people is the bedrock of our revolution and division is our downfall.

Thirdly, Aunty Glor was never interested in great wealth, showing off her car or clothes.

As President Mbeki has complained,

“Thus everyday and during every hour of our time beyond sleep, the demons embedded in our society, that stalk us at every minute, seem always to beckon each one of us towards a realisable dream and nightmare. With every passing second, they advise, with rhythmic and hypnotic regularity – get rich! get rich! get rich!

“And thus has it come about that many of us accept that our common natural instinct to escape from poverty, is but the other side of the same coin on whose reverse side are written the words at all costs, get rich!

“In these circumstances, the meaning of freedom has come to be defined not by the seemingly ethereal and therefore intangible gift of liberty, but by the designer labels on the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the spaciousness of our houses and our yards, their geographic location, the company we keep and what we do as part of that company.”

President Mbeki concludes:

“It is perfectly obvious that many in our society, having absorbed the value system of the capitalist market, have come to the conclusion that, for them personal success and fulfilment means personal enrichment at all costs and the most theatrical and striking public display of that wealth.”

This was not for Aunty Glor. She lived simply, serving her people, living amongst them, uniting them, liberating them.

The West Coast is a dry land and a cold sea – it is harsh and dry, harsh and hot, harsh and cold. From the foggy depths of the Benguela current, through the searing summer heat of the Sandveld, to the snow capped mountains of the Cederberg in winter – it is a land of harshness and struggle.

The harshness of this land is embedded with the first footprints, of a woman, at Kraalbaai. The harshness of the land is etched with the struggles of our people. The very first struggles of our people to keep their land and wealth, to resist the colonial invaders, to safeguard their language and culture were fought out here.

This is the land of the Cochoqua, Gouriqua, Goringhaiqua, Gorachouqua and Goringhaicona tribes and their fighting leaders: Gogosoa, Gonnema and Doman – the land of the Khoi-khoi and the San – African peoples who are no more and of whom only their echo’s remain. Sometimes we can still hear their voices shouting at us, pleading for their return.

This is amongst the first land that was stolen. It came to be called Groenekloof, Grootepos, Saldanha, Atlantis, Mamre, Malmesbury, Riebeeck Kasteel, Chatsworth – names that were brought from elsewhere and stamped on African soil through the power of a gun.

Yet we also remember Riebeeck Kasteel as the scene of a great slave uprising, Mamre as the site of the first uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) training camp in the Western Cape – a parade ground of our warrior heroes – Looksmart Ngudle, Basil February, Wolfie Kodesh.

Today we add the name of Glor Schoor to these great patriots.

We say to her,

You set yourself a task which only the brave would dare. Somewhere in the mystery of your essence, you heard the call that you must devote your life to the creation of a new South African nation.

And having heard that call, you did not hesitate to act!

To the gallant family that borrowed us this daughter of the soil we say: “Thank you”. We return her to you.

Like our dear comrade who did so much for her people, we say we will struggle on, we will build unity, we will fight division and racism, we will create a better life for all.

As you prayed, we will respond to the cries of the wretched of the earth. As you loved them, we will, always, stretch out a hand of endearment to those who are your flesh and blood. In all this, we will not fail you.

On behalf of the ANC Western Cape Provincial Executive Committee (PEC). With acknowledgement and many thanks to comrades Thabo Mbeki and Jeff Radebe.

Hout Bay to Gansbaai

In December 2007 we went for a long sail. I had been planning for the most of last year to take Nolwandle to the Southern Cape. Having finished all my work commitments on a high at Polokwane, the big day arrived on Friday 21st December. At about 1900, Peter, Dick and myself left Hout Bay bound for Mossel Bay. The weather forecast was south-easterly 20 knots, switching to north-east and then west the next day. I was hoping that if we were somewhere between Cape Point (about two miles East of the more famous Cape of Good Hope) and Cape Agulhas (the Southern most point of Africa, 80 miles south of Cape Point) when the Westerly came through, it would be an easy broad reach to Mossel Bay.

Tabs&Zuma
Tabisa and Jacob Zuma, President of the ANC, elected at the ANC’s 52nd National Conference held in Polokwane in December 2007

Well this is the “Cape of Storms”, so we left Hout Bay in a 30 knot southeaster, which is normal for a summer evening. I was convinced that once outside the Bay the wind would drop. We motored to Slangkop where the wind dropped as predicted. Here I managed to destroy the crown gear on the self-steering. I called Cape Point lighthouse (call-sign Penguin) on the radio and was told it was blowing 40 knots south-east there. I did not actually believe this and anyway I thought it would drop. So we chowed the food Peter had made, put the second reef in the main, rolled the genoa a bit and put a tack out to sea. About an hour later we put in a tack back to the land and soon we were off Scarborough. In 30 metres of water another tack to avoid the land and we were now heading due South with the wind coming up to about 40 knots off Hoek van Bobbejaan. We put the third reef in the main, rolled the jib some more and Nolwandle was a having a ball, going in the right direction in a huge chop.

I was helming and the other two were down below when I heard a loud crash from the cabin. As the boat had fallen off a chop, Peter had fallen against the saloon table and taken it off its mountings. Actually, what I did not know at that stage was that the mountings were only 10 brass self-tapping coach screws! He said he was okay but in retrospect he must have hit it with a hang of a force. He tried to tie the table so that it would not move around and went to sleep on the floor – which was the most comfortable place. I carried on helming for a bit and then handed over to Dick.

I went down below and lay down, still in my oil-skins and got some sleep. Every now and then I would wake up as Nolwandle fell off a large bit of chop, slamming down the back. I slept for about 3 hours, till about 0400, when I relieved Dick on the helm.

At 0430 it started getting light, the wind was now about 35 knots from the east-south-east. We were romping along in a southerly direction at about 5 knots. Our position was about 10 miles south-south west of Cape Point. As the sun came up we were able to see the Point, which was our last sight of land for the next 24 hours. As the morning progressed the wind dropped and shifted more to the East. Things were good. By 1000 it was blowing about 20 knots and the chop had gone to be replaced with a 4 metre swell. During the day the wind continued to drop and it was very hot. We shook the reefs out and spotted a few fishing boats and continued to sail south parallel to and about 50 miles from the coast.

Cape Point Cape Point is on the far right. The better known, but less prominent Cape of Good Hope is on the left. It is slightly further South than Cape Point.

All was well, but Peter was not feeling okay. He said he was feeling sea-sick and just wanted to sleep – lying in the cockpit occasionally throwing up. I have sailed quite a bit with Peter over the last two years, sometimes in huge swells. He is also a former ship’s engineer. I have never seen him sea-sick and was surprised. He couldn’t eat and we forced him to drink water and juice. In retrospect I think that Peter was in some kind of shock from the blow he received and not just sea-sick. Whatever it was, had put him out of action. He could help for short periods of time, but was not able to steer. When we left he had told us that he was not able to helm at night, as he struggles to stay awake. I had no problem with this as Peter is a brilliant cook and I was expecting to enjoy the fruits of his slaving over a hot stove. Anyway sailing at night is my favourite, so Dick and myself could easily stand in for him.

In the late afternoon the wind dropped completely as we waited for the westerly to come through. Not all the crew were convinced that it would eventually come and there was a motion that we turn around and head for Simonstown. I was not in favour of this. I was convinced that the westerly would come and was very keen to get to Mossel Bay. Without a westerly Mossel Bay is a 150 mile slog to windward and in summer westerlies are rare, so I did not want to miss this one.

 

Crew in Gansbaai
Crew and “Nolwandle” tied up to “Merlene” in Gansbaai Harbour – Max, Peter, Dick

With Peter out of action I volunteered to cook – a simple matter of browning the chicken fillets and throwing in the stir-fry veggies (except that our cook had confused potjie veggies with stir-fry – no problem just ignore the hard butter-nut bits) and a packet of brilliant pepper mushroom Denny sauce. Even the skipper could make a tasty meal!

Whilst I was slaving over the hot stove I was thinking: If Peter is out of it and Dick wants to go home and was not convinced by the westerly, perhaps we should cut our loses and head for Gansbaai. We were about 60 miles away, equidistant between Agulhas and Gansbaai, well out to sea. We were perfectly positioned for the westerly to speed us to Mossel Bay, but if the crew were not keen, prudence, as opposed to my pride and sense of adventure, said go for plan B. After a supper I told them of my decision. We turned the boat to the north-east, put the donkey on and motored for about 3 hours towards Gansbaai. Then a perfect westerly came through – 15-20 knots and we were reaching under full sail at 6-7 knots towards Gansbaai. I was cursing myself as I napped below.

At 2400 I took over the helm. Peter was sleeping in the cockpit and I was having one of the best sails of my life. The wind came up a bit to about 25 knots, there was 4 metres of swell and we were surfing on a broad reach doing an average of 7-8 knots boat speed, often reaching 10 knots down the waves. This was bliss. At times there was a clear starry sky, occasionally rain squalls, but brilliant sailing. At about 0300 we crossed the bows of container ship. She came up to about 500 meters from us, slowed down and waited for us to pass. Otherwise we saw a lot of lights but there were no incidents in the busy shipping lane. I thanked the fact that we had hoisted a large radar reflector on the burgee halyard before we left. At about 0400 we sighted the Danger Point light, which marks the southern entrance to Walker Bay and is about 5 miles from Gansbaai. At sunrise, about 0530, we passed Danger Point and altered course for Gansbaai harbour.

Danger Point
Danger Point from Gansbaai New Harbour breakwater

Now it was blowing about 20 knots from the west north west – straight into the harbour mouth. The “South African Sailing Directions” warn against entering Gansbaai in a strong westerly. Is 20 knots a strong westerly? Anyway there were few other options – the closest was Hermanus – but all the books warn about this being an uncomfortable harbour. We went in close, struggling to see the leading lights as the sun was rising straight in front of us. The swell was steep, at least 3 metres high in places, and breaking occasionally. I turned around and asked the guys to remove the dodger, as it was spoiling my view. A group of dolphins began to play around the boat. Then we headed again for the entrance – it was now or never and I just had to do it. Motoring we surfed a few waves. It was breaking regularly about 200 metres to our port. We started off in the middle of the entrance, but as we approached the harbour I edged slowly to starboard and as we came alongside the breakwater light did a hard turn to starboard, opened full throttle at the top of a big swell and entered the New Harbour. Immediately we were in a calm millpond – what an excellent harbour with a terrible entrance. I was still shaking from the adrenalin. We considered tying up to a fishing boat, but decided on picking up one of the buoys. Soon the kettle was on and Peter was heating up the left-overs for breakfast.

Gansbaai entrance calm
Gansbaai harbour entrance calm in a South-easter. It is difficult to imagine the steep breaking swells that we faced entering in a Westerly. The Old Harbour is on the right, New Harbour on the left.

I phoned the harbour master’s office and a security answered – he said I should phone at 0800, which I did. The fisheries control officer said we could not stay on the buoy, but should tie up to a fishing boat. If we did not want water or electricity there was no charge and we could stay as long as we liked. That afternoon Nikki came to pick up Peter and Dick, we had a few drinks in a harbour pub and my 4 days break in Gansbaai began.

I first saw this question on a t-shirt on the a TV show last year. It refers to those bangles so beloved by some, especially the religious right. It is “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”. Well worth a listen for some intelligent sarcasm sung brilliantly. Have a look at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9XYFp3xLyg

You can also download a whole of his brilliant, Woody Guthrie like songs, from

http://www.soundclick.com/pro/view/01/default.cfm?bandID=111310&content=music

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