South Africa’s very own Guernica moment happened 90 years ago next month when the Union government sent an aircraft to bomb the Bondelswarts, a clan of 500 Khoikhoi, who were protesting the imposition of a tax on their dogs by the then South West African Administration. 100 Bondelswarts: men, women and children were killed in the action which pro-rata makes the Spanish Civil War look tame.
The Bondelswarts were on my mind after spending three days with that Ernest Hemingway of Hedonism, Emile Joubert, auditioning Nama dancers and Bushman acrobats as performance artists for the Orange River Cellars stand at Cape Wine 2012. Of all the exhibitors at CW2012, ORC from the Green Kalahari has most claim to the green credentials WOSA are cynically wrapping the affair in. A bit like Christo wrapping the Reichstag in cotton. A crop they grow in Keimoes, by the way, along with dates (a remarkable R15 a box) and raisins that have rocketed to R5000 a ton for the wet grapes which when dried, produce the raisins. My friend, the Italian Duke who lunches daily at either Assaggi or Tartufo, owns a raisin farm on the Orange.
Raisins bring even better returns than Constantia grapes as 50 tons/ha is no problem if you have the Groot Gariep on standby to flood-irrigate your vineyards. Jannie Mouton seems to be the reason for the price rise as his Kaap-Agri has broken the monopoly of Pioneer Food’s SAD on those oumensgessigie wizzened grapes and now farmers are in the fortunate position of having more than one buyer for their crop. Price fixing being a nasty corporate habit Pioneer has now given up.
SAD are perhaps most famous for their annual Safari half-marathon in Wellington. Entries close today and we’re all hoping that Pinky decides to run. Also up is the share price of Jannie’s green vehicle Zeder, which is focusing on African agriculture. As should any optimistic investor in an investment industry hijacked by greedy bankers and hedge fund fundis.
This week’s quiz question. Who said “not long ago my doctor suggested that I adopt some healthier hobby other than wine-tasting and fornication?”