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New book on SA making waves, just got reviewed in the Telegraph in the UK (August 16 2015)

"How Long will South Africa Survive? The Looming Crises" by R W Johnson 
Buy it here on Amazon

New Arrivals - we like to welcome new folks who have recently moved to the Charlotte metro area!

Please let us know if you know any new folks to area so we can welcome them and put them on our e-mailing list.

CNN program "Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain" on South Africa was broadcast
on Sunday, October 18th, 2013 If you missed it, click here to watch

Listen to Dianne Stewart in an NPR discussion on Why SA'cans are leaving their Country.

Article that appeared in the Mail & Guardian newspaper February 1, 2008

Choices by Lewellyn Kriel

Choices, choices, choices & 
To pick up your son, or not to pick up your son That is the question,
Whether tis nobler in the mind to let him walk home by himself
And get kidnapped or killed just by chance
Or to take arms with you in your car
And when you're threatened, shoot them. Maybe you die and sleep
But more, by sleep we mean we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That living in SA has become. Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep;
To sleep perchance to dream. Ah, there's the rub
For in that sleep of death what hopes may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
Must give us pause.

Apologists right across the spectrum from Gun-Free South Africa to the South African Communist Party to SA Good News to the ANC to the mostly incompetent SAPS and even to the sheeple voters make a great brouhaha of the choices we have in South Africa.

We have the choice to stay or leave, says Chunky Charlie; to vote or abstain, says the IEC; to speak our minds or shut up, say certain newspapers. It seems that having choices is so important it is enshrined in the Constitution.

Don't like the radio station? Switch it off. Don't like the newspaper? Don't buy it. Don't like the service at the shop? Go somewhere else.

Don't like getting shot in your car? Don't pick your son up from soccer practice.

The callous killing of Sheldon Cohen, waiting for his son at soccer practice, this week highlighted how human life has been allowed to be discounted to the point of worthlessness in a country where we have so much choice.

Cohen's murder has rightly enraged a nation, but it's been 14 years in the making. Fourteen years of depleting law enforcement. Fourteen years of turning a blind eye to crime and incompetence. Fourteen years of letting standards slide. Fourteen years of dithering, filibustering, cowardice and lame excuses. Fourteen years of chanting meaningless songs about machine guns. Fourteen years of telling us everything is nxa. Fourteen years of corruption and self-enrichment (check the only three decisions Zuma Simpson's drinking buddies have made in 40 days). Fourteen years of endangering every one of us by deliberately fragmenting social morality. Fourteen years of nepotism, cronyism, kakistocracy, idiocracy, arrogance and good old plain stupidity. Fourteen years of blaming the past and anyone else who gets in the way.

But don't forget folks, we have choices.

And now as the deadline looms for e-filing of tax returns, we have the same issue of choices. And Sars, as always, is hell-bent on making it as difficult as electronically possible to register by continuously changing the goal posts, never answering calls for help and ignoring written requests for simple assistance. It's symptomatic of the grand national malaise; the disease of don't-care. Pretty much like dialing 10111 or writing to the president or ranting in a blog.

Of course, you have the choice not to pay your taxes.

But then catch-22 comes into effect and all your choices are taken away.

We have the choice to drink milk, price collusion or not; to buy bread, artificial inflation or not; to accept sub-standard journalism or not; to go out at night or not; to trust the banks or not; to believe in the good of people or not; to believe the lights will come on when we hit the switch or not; to believe we will be treated fairly or not; to trust the policeman at the roadblock or not. To stay or not. To take the law into our own hands or not.

We can choose how we respond to events. Yeah, fat lot of good that did Sheldon Cohen: "Gee, they shot me in the neck. Shame, they must be from a disadvantaged background. Ah well, looks like I'm going to die. Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika &"

It shocked me to the core one day when I came home from work as crime reporter for the Pretoria News and showed my wife the front page: a huge story with banner headlines about a botched bank robbery in which three crooks, a policeman and a bank teller had been killed and three people, including a child, had been injured. I was so proud of the work I had done picture byline, the lot.

But Debbie didn't see that. She saw and felt the tragedy, the suffering, the sense of loss, the brutal inhumanity of it all.

I was so ashamed, so devastated, so disgusted with myself that I had become so callous and inured to the suffering I was reporting on. When death and brutality face you every moment, it is easy to become comfortably numb.

I think about that every time I see one of James Nachtwey's powerful images or hear embedded journalists reporting from the West Bank or Darfur.

But we're lucky in South Africa, a land alive with possibilities. A paradise of choices.

Tell that to Sheldon Cohen's family. Tell that to the families of the 18 000 people who will have been murdered by this time next year. Tell that to the women and children who are raped every 20 seconds. Tell that to the 9 000 people this year who will see no choice but to take their own lives.

It is long overdue that our inept rulers choose to do their job properly or get out of the way and let others more competent do it. Where we will find them I don't know, but we're alive with possibilities. And we have the choice.




Updated every 8 hours every day  at

Thursday, March 08, 2007 



David Bullard

David Bullard, the disillusioned Sunday Times columnist whose brilliant screeds have been featured on this blog a number of times, was shot in an armed house invasion at his Johannesburg home last night. According to Bullard, he was shot for no reason at all, except that the black gunman "felt the whim" to pull the trigger. Thankfully, he is in a stable condition at the Milpark Trauma unit. We wish him a speedy recovery, and look forward to his future articles, which will doubtlessly become even more caustic after this traumatic episode.

"Don't wear your best jeans when being shot"

"Apart from having a bullet in me, I'm absolutely fabulous," said controversial news columnist David Bullard from his hospital bed on Thursday morning, hours after being shot during an armed robbery at his Parkview home. Bullard, of the Sunday Times, and his wife Jacquie, a journalist at the Financial Mail, were enjoying a glass of wine and some quiet reading time in the lounge together when two armed robbers barged into the room at about 7.15pm. "We were just sitting and talking. We’d switched the TV off, and I'd started reading something when these two guys just walked in from the bedroom area," Bullard said. 'I told them to F*** off, you’re not having anything’

"At that point Jacquie looked up and said 'Oh no, oh no, not us' or something like that. I just got really angry when they started demanding stuff, and told them 'F*** off, you’re not having anything'." But the couple's protests were ignored by the robbers, one of whom had a gun. They shouted that they were looking for firearms, which the Bullards don’t own, and demanded access to a safe. "I managed to get to the front door and hit the alarm, which I think messed things up for them a bit because the Chub guys arrived pretty quickly," said Bullard. Captain Cheryl Engelbrecht, police spokesperson for Johannesburg, said it was believed that the robbers had entered the Bullard home through the bedroom window. One had tried to force Jacquie to open the safe, leaving the other with Bullard.

During that time Bullard's wife heard a gunshot go off. "They (the robbers) were looking for a gun, and that was it. The guy who did have a gun decided to put a bullet in me. There was no real need to, he was just having a bit of fun," Bullard stated. The shot pierced his left arm and entered his abdomen. "I was absolutely covered in blood, and it made an amazing mess of the house," he said.

Bullard was rushed to Milpark Hospital, where he is currently lying in Trauma ICU. "I'm feeling stiff this morning, but I'm a very, very lucky guy. There’s been no real damage to the tendons or bone in my arm or my bowel. The bullet was just millimetres away from doing some very serious harm. It was obviously just not my time to go," said Bullard. "The robbers took only the wife's handbag and a cellphone. They fled the house through the bedroom window, in the same way they came in. They’re still on the run and we are hunting these suspects," Engelbrecht said on Thursday morning.

Bullard is outraged by the attack and keen for his shooting to be made public. "I'm alive, but (murdered historian) Dave Rattray's not so we need to highlight this kind of thing." Bullard said he had received "the most amazing" treatment from the Parkview police and excellent care in hospital. "All I want to say now is that you shouldn't wear your very best jeans if you're going to get shot because they just get cut off you. Yes, if you're going to get shot in the northern suburbs, I'd advise wearing some really casual clothes." Netcare Milpark Hospital spokesperson Amelda Swartz said Bullard would not undergo surgery to have his bullet removed. "He would probably be transferred to a normal ward during the day and then discharged in a day or two, as soon as his doctors say it's okay."

Birth of an Elephant in
Ulusaba in South Africa

Filmed at Ulusaba, Sir Richard Branson's Game Farm near the Kruger National Park.

Click here for the Link









The world has been outraged by the senseless murder execution style of David Rattray – historian, wildlife activist and son of Africa on Friday January 26, 2007. His close friend Prince Charles is apparently horrified and outraged by this. A message read by someone on his behalf at his funeral on Feb 1, 2007, said that Prince Charles likened David's death to that of his much-loved uncle Louis Mountbatten, by Irish terrorists.

Below is an article by Glen Greenway that appeared in the newspaper on Monday Jan 29, 2007 in South Africa.

"Most school teachers will tell you that one of the disappointing aspects of being an educator, is that once they leave school, most pupils tend to disappear into the ether never to be heard of again. As a consequence one can only follow the future careers of a few and one seldom gets to see the fruits of one's labour.

I was fortunate enough to teach a great body of boys from Form I to Matric at St Alban's College in the 1970's. Among them was David Rattray! It is not difficult to realism why he was never out of the limelight.

I remember him as a pupil and as a friend. As a young boy he entered and ran the arduous Pretoria Marathon with me. Despite coming last he finished and how proud he was. I remember him setting up "An Hisssstorical Event" (as reported in the Pretoria News) by breeding Red Lip Herald snakes in the Biology laboratory. He was an able Chairman of the Natural History Society and produced a quality magazine called "The Kakelaar". He achieved the Biology Prize for 1975 as well as the Form V Prize for Excellence.

It was not difficult to follow his career after school. Amongst many other things he became an academic by gaining an Honours Degree in Entomology and turned out to be a brilliant businessman, an historian of international repute, a friend of the Royals, a fine husband, proud father, a Zulu linguist and intimate of many Black people. Above all he became a raconteur of note and producer of "The Day of the Dead Moon" - a mind-blowing, stunning account of the Anglo-Zulu Wars. In this collection of CD's he re-iterates time and time again, how fine the Zulu people are as a nation.Apart from Nelson Mandela, I can think of no one else who has done as much for reconciliation. David was an icon and an extremely valuable national asset. No wonder Clem Sunter rated David as "world class".

Imagine my horror and sadness on the morning of Saturday 27 January 2007, to be greeted a newspaper headlines which read "Historian David Rattray Murdered".

Only to be followed by the headlines of the Saturday Star - "Crime:

What's all the Fuss?"

The Article in The Star goes on to quote some sayings by prominent politicians.

"Nobody can show that the overwhelming majority of the 40- to 50- million South Africans feel that crime is not under control, nobody can because it is not true".- Thabo Mbeki

"I don't know why there is a frenzy around this 2010. I want to say now that 2010 will come and pass... just like the Rugby World Cup passed". - Jackie Selebi

"They can continue to whinge until they're blue in the face... be as negative as they want to, or they can simply leave this country..." - Charles Nqakula

Only 19 000 South Africans were murdered in the year to September 2006 "Crime: What's all the Fuss?" - get real! If South Africa is to be world class and follow the "High Road", some serious introspective thinking will have to be done pretty quickly, followed up by some ultra swift action by those that have the power to initiate change." Glen Greenway

Read the media story in the Mail & Guardian HERE

A Lone Voice of Sanity


The senseless and brutal murder of Mr David Rattray is a tragedy -
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi


January 27, 2006
Statement by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, MP President of Inkatha Freedom Party and Chairman of the House of Traditional Leaders, KwaZulu-Natal.

The senseless and brutal murder of Mr David Rattray is a tragedy not only for his family but for all South Africans. This heinous act will not only send ripples throughout the country, but across the seas, because of the person David Rattray was and because of the respect he commanded internationally.

It saddens me to have to underscore the fact that quite recently I had occasion to draw the attention of the leadership of our country to the fact that criminality is getting out of control. Crime is going to engulf our society and destroy our hard won freedom unless action is taken to vigorously curb it now.

David Rattray was a unique person and his death is an inestimable loss to our country. The oral traditions of which he was such a rich custodian are priceless and much of this has been lost with his untimely death in the prime of his life.

I should like to express my heartfelt condolences to his wife, Nicky, and the entire Rattray family. We unite with you in your grief and although it might not be able to console you, allow me to say to you that we are all diminished by his death.



Bok van Blerk singing with video - patriotic song about the Boer War - very moving tribute.

Sent in by Marelet Lans, Charlotte, NC . Click on this link below and enjoy.

Ex-President PW Botha dies at 90 on Tuesday October 31, 2006

Click here for the full story

Mail & Guardian daily newspaper website for SA news

For Krisjan Lemmer's hilarious commentary on SA news click here 

For up to the minute news from South Africa click here.....

The Charlotte Observer newspaper publishes "Living Here"

This very useful magazine published by The Charlotte Observer once a year is jam-packed full of great information for newcomers and residents alike. To get more information click here or pick up a copy from their offices on S. Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte, for $5. Click here for an online version.

The Charlotte Observer article about our Braai - Wed October 6, 2006

This article appeared in The Charlotte Observer newspaper on Sun, Sep. 03, 2006

Web site is a starting point for South Africans in Charlotte


Charlotte is full of groups for the transplants who've moved here, not just from other states, but also from other countries.

About 2,000 South African families live in the Carolinas, says Dianne Stewart, who has organized a Web site for them, Stewart is a South African who moved here five years ago.

The site has tips for meeting new people and business networking, and members organize events such as a trip to a local restaurant to sample South African desserts.

The group grew out of a six-month arts initiative that recently wrapped up in Charlotte, featuring exhibits, music and conversation exploring the similarities of the racial struggles in South Africa and the American South.

For a direct link to the article on the Observer website click here

Media Article

This article appeared in The Charlotte Observer newspaper on Sun, Sept 10, 2006

Esmé Swanepoel and her son Francois Swanepoel, at a recent South African Luncheon, attended the official launch of South Africans in Charlotte

South Africans start club here

Dianne Stewart of Providence Plantation helped launch the official club for South Africans in Charlotte in July, for which she recently developed a Web site: Serving the estimated 2,000 South African families living in the Carolinas, the Web site provides advice on how to meet people, ways to get involved in the community, a dictionary of South African/English/American word usage and a social events calendar."We have South Africans who have been here for 25 years or more, and those who are arriving now. Most live in the south Charlotte area," Steward said.

Stewart and her husband, Bruce Stewart, moved to the Arboretum area from Johannesburg five years ago. Their daughter, Sarah Stewart, 16, is a student at Myers Park High School, and son, Michael Stewart, 12, goes to Jay M. Robinson Middle School.