Dunlop Necklaces – 1990.

Nicholas & Timothy Simkin, helping with water tanks.

Nicholas & Timothy Simkin, helping with water tanks.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. On our little farm, we put a dairy room next to the milking parlour and roofed the section between that and the old wooden kitchen, which was now a workshop that housed the Wolseley power-paraffin driven lighting plant. The quote to get power from the national grid was exorbitant – R17979-60! My monthly salary at the time was R3920, before deductions.
Tim Simkin

Tim Simkin

ProvidenceTanks2We even had TV! (The fuel tank had a habit of running dry just at the climax of the movies, of course.)
We put up a double water-tank stand and a cattle loading ramp, as well.

We had two men as farm labour; loyal men who reported any strangers on the property and never let Sheila down regarding milking. Elsewhere, the political change was stirring inter-factional fighting, with seldom less than thirty deaths a week in South Africa as Inkata fought the ANC in the power struggle.

Basil Read Construction completed the bridge and road in KaNgwane, so I was sent to a road contract between Nylstroom and Naboomspruit, extending northwards from the Kranskop toll-plaza I had worked on in 1985. My old company, SNA were the consulting engineers on this job, as well, so I saw a lot of my old bosses, Dolf van Huysteen and Vissie Visser. Joe Coetzee was the site agent whose friendship endures to this day.

One of my survey assistants was a young man named Isaac. He was several days late getting back to work, but communications from his homeland were unreliable, so I assumed that he was ill. When he returned, he had a horrific tale to tell.

The riots had enveloped his home town. There were necklacings with burning tyres placed about a victim’s neck, busses were set alight and residents were forbidden to leave and forced to join in or be regarded as belonging to the enemy.

Imagine: “Sorry, I couldn’t get to work, Sir. I was on bus-burning duty!”

Fortunately, none of his family were injured. Nor, I believe, was Isaac involved in carrying out a necklacing.

About peterjearle

Writer of thriller novels. 4 Published: 'Purgatory Road', 'The Barros Pawns', and the Detective Dice Modise Series:'Hunter's Venom' and 'Medicinal Purposed Only', all from Southern Africa.
This entry was posted in racial development, Shaping a writer, South Africa and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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