Chapter 30 – Fuelling the Flames
Lieutenant Pieter Erasmus felt like his head was about to explode from all the tender politics. He did not have a problem with the massacre that happened earlier, after all, he was the one who planned most of it.
He informed Chris that he was going out to get some fresh air and headed to his car. As he drove towards the main gate, the crowd had seemingly doubled in size. Any thoughts that he had of not being recognised were also out of the window.
“You Loxton bastards!” roared a man with a wooden club in his right hand.
“You don’t give a damn about anything except profits!”
Pieter could see the anguish on the faces of people who had lost loved ones in the massacre. Well, he thought, they should think about such things before they kill white farmers and other people who had built this country up over the years.
The ‘they’ that he referred too, was of course the black people. Pieter felt little for those who had perished today. He was just saddened that the death toll was so low. To Pieter Erasmus, black lives were cheaper than cheap.
The Lieutenant looked at the fuel gauge of his vehicle. He needed to get to a filling station urgently before the car ground to a holt.
There was only one fuel station in Marikana, and he drove the vehicle to the Engen Marikana Motors, while keeping his fingers crossed that the pumps there were full of fuel. If not, he would have to either wait for the tankers to come and refill the pumps or chance it and drive a good thirty kilometres to the Buffels Park fuel station which was just short of the turn back on to the N4 highway to Pretoria.
As he pulled up at the nearest fuel pump at Engen Marikana Motors, he noticed a mini taxi full of blacks turning into the fuel station with its tyres screeching from speed.
Bloody blacks, they just have no respect for the law or anything for that matter, he thought.
While Pieter was in deep thought about the occupants of the mini taxi, a black fuel attendant came up to the driver’s window of his vehicle which was open.
“Hello, how can I help?” said the man with a smile.
“Put in R100 of 95 petrol,” replied Pieter.
Then he decided to test the mindset of the fuel attendant.
“Did you hear about the incident at the Loxton Mine?” inquired the Lieutenant.
The smile fell from the fuel attendant’s face.
“My brother was killed there earlier today,” he said sadly.
“I wanted to go to the mine to pay my respects, but my boss won’t give me time off from work. I got told that if I go to the mine then I must not bother to come back. I will be replaced here by someone else.”
Pieter wanted to smile but withheld his joy.
The cop watched as about twenty people descended from the 16-seater mini taxi. He knew exactly how the taxi drivers operated. They would fill the vehicle to the maximum and more as the more people that they were able to transport, the more money they would make.
In first world countries it worked differently. If a bus had 24 seats, then only that amount of people were allowed onboard. It makes sense every in the world except in Africa.
Pieter also knew that while most of the mini taxi drivers in South Africa had driver’s licences, very few of them had done the driver’s test. They simply bribed the officials at the traffic department to gain their paperwork. Do mini taxi drivers know the rules of the road? Of course, they do. They just choose to ignore them.
Something caused Pieter to turn his gaze towards the fuel pump. The fuel attendant had mistakenly put in 93 grade fuel which is usually used at the coast, instead of 95 grade fuel which is used inland.
In a flash, the attendant realised his mistake.
“I am sorry, sir,” he said.
“Fok jou, jou dom bobbejaan (fuck you, you dumb baboon)!” shouted Pieter.
This caused some of the passengers from the mini taxi to look at the altercation that was happening to their right.
“Pieter!” screamed a female voice.
The woman who had been on the mini taxi moved towards the Lieutenant.
Pieter could not believe what he was seeing. Standing ten yards in front of him was Lindiwe Buthelezi Snr.
The woman’s eyes began to shed tears of joy.
“You thought I was dead, didn’t you?” she said.
Pieter’s face tensed as he noticed how he was being watched by a few of the other black passengers from the mini taxi.
“As far as I am concerned you are dead,” he exclaimed.
“If you had not disappeared life would have been different for all of us.”
“I saw that you were involved with the incident at Marikana,” she quipped.
“So, what if I was, those people got what they deserved,” replied the cop aggressively.
Lindiwe raised her voice.
“Those were just innocent miners protesting about the poor wages that they have been receiving while the rich bosses, and mainly white bosses, have been living a life of luxury through the efforts of the working class!” said Lindiwe.
“Fuck them all,” retorted Pieter.
“Do you know how many of my people have been ruthlessly killed since the ANC terrorist organisation came to power in 1994?”
“That doesn’t make things right, Pieter!” yelled Lindiwe.
“I thought you were different to all of the other racist Afrikaners, but it appears you were just hiding your true feelings. I am glad I went away when I did!”
Pieter moved slightly towards Lindiwe.
“Who are you to say what is right?” he screamed.
“Your people have destroyed what used to be a civilised country of international reputation. Can’t you see that your people were born to clean floors and mow lawns? Your people do not have the ability to take decisions and hold office jobs, except for perhaps cleaning staff!”
Lindiwe’s eyes raged.
“Pieter, what has happened to you?” she screamed.
The cop lunged forward at the woman.
“What happened to me?” he shouted.
“It is more a case of what happened to you. This country is a ticking time bomb because of the incompetence and greed of your people. Can’t you see that?”
A black man from the mini taxi came to Lindiwe’s defence.
“Hey, mlungu (white), just relax,” said the short, well built man, who wore a white t-shirt.
Pieter lost his cool.
“You don’t tell me to relax, you black bastard!” he shouted.
“I will kill both of you right here!”
Pieter pulled back with his right arm to throw a punch at Lindiwe. The effort caught the woman on the right side of the face.
The man reacted by attempting to put his body between Pieter and Lindiwe. The cop had enough and reached for his pistol.
The black man reached for the weapon, to disarm Pieter and what looked like a wrestling match broke out as onlookers gasped in amazement. During the tussle, a shot went off from Pieter’s pistol.
Two other men came forward and one disarmed Pieter of the pistol.
“You will rot in jail for this, you white arsehole!” shouted the man holding the pistol.
“Why don’t you go back to your ancestors in Europe!”
Pay for what, thought Pieter, and moments later, as a man brought him to his feet and held him away from the action, he realised what had happened.
“Someone call an ambulance!” shouted a black man, who knelt alongside Lindiwe Buthelezi Snr. The bullet that had been fired from Pieter’s pistol, had struck the woman in the neck.
Pieter tried to pull away from the man who was holding his arms, to go to his vehicle.
“You are not going anywhere!” shouted the man who was holding his arms.
“You and your ancestors will pay for this crime for centuries to come!” another black man shouted.
“You will go to hell for this!”
Pieter laughed hysterically.
“Don’t you realise that this life is heaven to you,” he said.
“Hell is still coming. It’s a special place for blacks-only.”
The man holding Pieter’s arms had decided that he had enough and loosened his grip to take a swing at Pieter with fist.
However, he was no match for the Lieutenant, who pulled back with a punch of his own and the man flew a good three metres through the air before landing on the ground, letting out a moaning sound as he held his jaw.
Eventually, two other black men took the cop to the ground and pinned his arms.
“This is not the 1980s, bru (brother),” said the one.
“I would kill you now if I were allowed too. The truth is that the white man is not worthy of kissing the black man’s backside.”
Pieter tried to wriggle free but the weight of the two men on top of him was just too much. The sound of an ambulance siren could be heard in the distance as medical help for Lindiwe was on its way.
Again, Pieter tried to break free.
“You are going to jail, you white piece of trash,” said the larger of the two black men who was holding the cop down.
“Maybe, but you are going to the cemetery,” muttered Pieter.
“Why?” asked the big black man.
“Well, because your HIV antivirals don’t last forever,” said Pieter aggressively.
It was another common understanding among conservative-minded whites that all black people die of HIV-Aids.
“Fuck you, mlungu!” the man shouted.
Another man moved forward and tried to kick Pieter in the ribs, but the cop managed to turn the larger man’s body to take blow for him.
A loud cry of pain could be heard from the man.
Pieter looked on with admiration.
The larger man got to his feet and told his colleague to keep Pieter pinned down. Then the big man went after the black fellow who had accidentally kicked him in the ribs. A fight broke out near the ambulance.
Pieter was eventually hauled to his feet and marched to the mini taxi, which then took him to the police station.
As his oppressor walked him into the police station a large Afrikaner cop noticed Pieter.
“Hey, is jy nie die ou wat die sekuritieit by the Loxton Myn bestuur het nie (hey, aren’t you the guy who managed the security at the Loxton Mine)?” asked the blonde cop.
“Mooi so, vannoggend was puik (great, this morning was super),” he whispered to Pieter, in ignoring the black men who were with the Lieutenant.
Then finally, the big cop’s mind clicked.
“How can I help you?” said the burly figure to the black men.
“This white guy needs to be arrested for shooting one of our sisters,” said the taller of the two men at Pieter’s side.
The on-duty cop did not understand. He never realised that black people refer to most women as sisters.
“How many sisters have you got?” asked the big cop.
The black men were getting restless.
“This man shot a black woman in the neck at the fuel station,” said one of the black men aggressively.
“We want to open a case against him and for him to be kept behind bars without parole until the matter is resolved.”
The big cop glared at the black speaker.
“I can open a case, but we are not a court and only a judge can decide if he gets parole or not,” said the man in the blue uniform, who then went to sit down behind the reception desk and pulled out a case pad on which he began to write.
“Name?” asked the on-duty cop.
Pieter gave his name and other particulars before explaining what happened.
“You have heard his side of the story so arrest him now!” said one of the black men.
“We are tired of you white cops protecting your white criminals!”
The on-duty cop stood up from his chair behind the desk and laid down the law.
“Alright, this is how it will work here,” he began.
“Lieutenant Erasmus will remain in our custody and one of you gentleman will remain to give further details. The rest of you will wait outside.”
Together with two black cops, the big policeman ushered the black supporters out of the door and locked it. Immediately thereafter, singing and dancing began outside.
The popular political war cry song of ‘Kill the boer, kill the farmer’ could be heard, as the black supporters stamped their feet.
Once all the paperwork had been completed, the black man watched as Pieter was led away to a holding cell at the back of the police station.
“If you let him out of there, we will be back!” warned the black man.
“I know how to do my job, sir,” said the larger-than-life cop.
A dejected Pieter Erasmus sat in a holding cells with his hands over his head.
His hatred towards blacks had gone to a new level, but he certainly had no intention of shooting Lindiwe. It was an error. The bullet had been meant for the black man who was in between them.
Thirty minutes passed before the big cop came to bring his prisoner some ice-cold water.
“Drink dit, dit sal jou senuwees help (drink this, it will calm your nerves),” said the cop.
Pieter stared at the name tag on the policeman’s shirt.
“Konstable Jonker, jy moet vir my by die hospital kry (Constable Jonker you must get me to the hospital),” remarked a tense Pieter.
“Hoekom, is jy siek (why, are you sick)?” asked Jonker.
“Nee, maar ek moet by daai vrou uitkom (no but I have to get to that woman),” said Pieter with a sense of urgency in his voice.
“Dit was n ongeluk. Ek het nie vir haar gemuk nie (It was an accident. I never aimed for her).”
The big cop rubbed his hand over his short blonde hair.
“Jy weet wat sal gebeur as daai ouens uitvind date k vir jou uitgelaat het (you know what will happen if those guys found out that I let you out of here)?” said Jonker.
“Asseblief, ek sal nie ontsnap nie (please, I won’t escape),” promised Pieter.
Jonker puffed out his cheeks.
“Ek kan vir jou by die agterduur uitvat en wegvat in n tronkvoortuig na die hospital toe (I can take you out the back door and to the hospital in a prison van),” offered Jonker.
“Maak so (make it happen),” acknowledged Pieter.