Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blood River

170 years ago the Boers promised their God that if He spared them from being massacared by the Zulus they would build a church and forever honour the day. Well the Boers superior firepower triumphed over the Zulus spears. Legend has it the river ran red with blood. Today the two groups will still not commemorate the day together. The Boers claim it is a day of prayer for them while the Zulus engage in cultural affairs like singing and dancing. The solid brass wagons will no doubt be around for some time. An attempt was made to build a bridge between the two monuments but only the pillars stand while the waters gently flow past for probably another one hundred and seventy years.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Ever since the first human floated off the land and ventured out to sea the lure of the ocean has continued to this day. Sixteen year old Zac Sunderland set off from California exactly six months ago. He wants to be the worlds youngest sailor to circumnavigate the planet as a solo sailor. Apart from storms at sea Zac has to keep his eyes open for modern day pirates who wouild hapily relieve him of his techinical gear on board. Zac told me that his mother took him straight from the maternity hospital to the family yacht. when I asked him about schooling he said he was taking a "gap year". I'm sure his current education in crossing the globe will far outweigh sitting in a classroom in California. Zac has been lined up for all the top TV shows and documentary programmes. He will be taking a Christmas break and fly back to the USA before continuing his journey. You can follow Zacs adventures at his blog http://www.zacsunderland.com/blog/index.html

Friday, December 12, 2008


Helicopters are great for getting to remote places quickly. They might seem glamourous to some but sitting for up to two hours in a confined noisy space soon loses the glitz. In this case we flew to the Swaziland border to cover a story on land re distribution which is always contentious. Sugar farms in the Pongola region have been bought out by the government. Selected tennants are then placed on these farms and given a chance to make them work. So far even by the governments admittance many have failed and once productive farms are in ruins. This time they feel they will succeed with more mentoring programs in place. After three years the co ops take over the farms. One can only wait and see. In the meantime SA continues to import food for the first time.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Busi Mhlongo still knows how to belt out a song or two. She was doing her thing for world AIDS day in Durban.The politicians were there in full force telling the selected audience to use condoms and in general behave themselves. The new minister of health Barbara Hogan did not once mention eating beetroot and garlic to stave off this killer pandemic. Once the speeches were over the masses were given polystyrene containers of food while the "VIPS" retreated across the road to the Expo centre for a proper sit down meal.With about 7.6 million citizens of South Africa infected there is plenty of work ahead for the various health departments. Maybe they believe in what Napolean had to say.."An army marches on its stomach"