Chapter Twenty – Lindiwe’s Disclosure
Lindiwe Buthelezi woke up a few hours later. Unlike Gogo Albertina’s story about awakening with a man getting dressed in the bedroom, Pieter was still fast asleep in the bed. Last night had been the best of her life, thought Lindiwe. It was all and more that she had ever dreamed about. Who said black women and white men could not get along… especially in bed!
It was a good hour later that Pieter woke up and this time it was Lindiwe who was climbing out of the shower and ready to get dressed.
“I thought you were going to sleep all day?” she teased.
“Only if you are in bed with me,” replied Pieter.
“Yes well, flattery will get you everywhere,” quipped the girl.
“Are we going to try out that super breakfast special that is a part of our overnight stay deal?”
Pieter bit his bottom lip. The pain of paying the hotel bill was still coming his way but it had been worth every cent.
“Let’s make it happen,” said the cop as he jumped out of bed gave Lindiwe a hug and kiss and headed to the bathroom.
Pieter stepped into the shower and let the warm water run over his body. Something is going on here, Erasmus. Are you getting soft? Are you falling in love with this Buthelezi girl? Do you want to abort the Mandela assassination mission?
Once showered, he headed to the bedroom with a towel around his waist.
Lindiwe, already dressed, ran her hands over his wet upper body.
“Do you ever feel like you have been to the future, or at least seen the future?” asked Lindiwe.
“How do you mean?” questioned the cop.
“Pieter, I have seen the future because… I have been to the future.”
Pieter remained silent to allow her to continue.
“Mandela is the key to taking both sides of South Africa to a peaceful transition and he needs to be protected at all costs,” went on Lindiwe.
A few days earlier, this statement would only have further encouraged Pieter to speed up his efforts to find and kill Mandela, but his interaction with Lindiwe had left him feeling different about life, and South Africa in general.
Pieter looked confused.
“Tell me again about just how you think that you saw the future?” he asked, almost in disbelief.
Lindiwe tossed her head from one side to the other.
“Look, I know this whole story will sound a bit crazy later on but…”
“It is already sounding crazy and you have hardly started,” quipped Pieter.
“I tell you what, let’s get some breakfast and maybe the fresh orange juice will help us both to think straight. Then we can discuss the whole matter in the vehicle on the way back to Pretoria. Does that sound like a plan?”
Lindiwe agreed. Sometimes one needed to keep quiet and just go with the flow.
Down in the breakfast room, Lindiwe could immediately notice the friendly vibe among the people. There were no danger stares of hey, what are you doing with a white man?
This was Swaziland, a perfect example of how life should be lived.
After a delicious meal of fresh fruit salad, followed by bacon, scrambled eggs and toast, washing down with filter coffee, Pieter headed to the reception desk to get the pain over and done with.
“That will be 240 South African Rand, sir,” said the middle aged woman behind the reception desk.
Pieter felt like his eyes were about to pop out of the back of his head. Luckily his employers would cover the fuel used on the police vehicle to Mbabane and back to Pretoria.
He passed over the cash to the woman, and gave it a gentle wave goodbye.
Lindiwe made arrived at the reception desk with her bag.
“Let’s hit the road,” she said to Pieter and made her way to the back of the vehicle.
“Don’t worry, you can sit in the front until we get close to the South African border,” smiled the cop.
On the way back, Lindiwe went deep into thought. She started to put the pieces of the puzzle together. So, her mother had changed the mindset of a man who wanted to shoot Nelson Mandela, and this would-be assassin ended up playing a key role in allowing South Africa to become a Rainbow Nation democracy.
According to Lindiwe Buthelezi Snr’s friends that Lindiwe Jnr had spoken to, the woman was a staunch opponent of the apartheid system. This would explain why she was so intent on ensuring that Mandela would not be assassinated.
“I am not sure if I ever mentioned to you that my mother passed away shortly after giving birth to me,” said Lindiwe to Pieter, as they made their way out of Mbabane.
“She was an ANC supporter through and through even though the party was and is still banned.”
Pieter’s eyes flashed. Had he been the ‘Old Pieter’, he would have wanted to lock Lindiwe away just for mentioning the ‘ANC’, the terrorist opponents of the state.
However, something inside the cop had switched since he had been intimate with Lindiwe.
“What else do you know about your mother?” he asked curiously.
As Lindiwe spoke, she could feel something happening in her spirit. Many of her mother’s friends said that she looked more like her mother every day but she Lindiwe Jnr viewed that as old lady teatime talk. Yet, the sense of maturity in her really put her on an equal plane to her mother.
“So what did you see in the future?” asked Pieter, as he yanked the steering wheel of the vehicle to the left to get the vehicle to avoid a pothole in the road.
“I saw Nelson Mandela being freed from prison in 1990 and going on to become the first democratically-elected President of the Republic of South Africa four years later,” said the girl with pride.
Pieter found this hard to believe as like the current President, PW Botha, he battled to see a black man as the leader of the country.
“What about the black homelands like Transkei, Ciskei and Zululand?” asked the cop. Until 1994, the homelands were run independently by black leaders who towed the line of the apartheid government.
“They will all be incorporated into the New South Africa,” replied Lindiwe.
“The future looked so great, Pieter. Black and white people were mixing freely. The Group Areas Act and all other segregation acts had been dissolved and South Africa was a normal country just like Swaziland.”
“I even saw Nelson Mandela hand over the Rugby World Cup to the Springbok team captain Francois Pienaar after South Africa beat New Zealand in the final match at Ellis Park in Johannesburg in 1995,” went on Lindiwe.
“Then South Africa played host to the FIFA World Cup for football in 2010, with this being a tournament that united the nation.”
“What about the Afrikaners?” asked Pieter.
“How did they accept the transition to black control?”
“Some fitted in nicely, but others retained a sense of bitterness that power had been taken away from them and they resisted many of Mandela’s reforms, no matter how hard he tried to incorporate all races and cultures,” she explained.
“I suppose it was inevitable. In the early 2000s, there was even a right wing plot by a group called the Boeremag, who did their best to assassinate Mandela, but the police foiled their attempts and the perpetrators were arrested and sentenced to jail terms.”
“Did the transition to a democracy go off without bloodshed?” asked the cop.
A tear fell from the right eye of Lindiwe.
“After the liberation allies such as the ANC, South African Communist Party (SACP) and others were unbanned by President F.W. de Klerk at the release of Mandela, there were a few incidents,” explained the girl.
“On 10 April 1993, SACP leader Chris Hani was gunned down in the driveway of his home in Boksburg, by a Polish immigrant Janusz Walus, who was jailed for the crime. He worked in tandem with Conservative Party member Clive Derby-Lewis. The plan was to assassinate Mandela, but this changed when they felt that Hani was too militant and too much of a threat to the whites in South Africa.”
With Hani dead, the question now was would Mandela be next?
“However, even as far as 2019, there remained doubt as to whether other persons, including high ranking liberation people, had a hand in eliminating Hani, whom many felt had become too powerful and could not be controlled, even by Mandela,” went on Lindiwe.
“Mandela had to go on to live television to calm down the nation as emotions threatened to implode the country into a state of civil war with a white man having shot Hani. Fortunately, sanity prevailed. However, the positives out weight the negatives; the fall of apartheid, opened doors for many wonderful relationships between people of all colours. I don’t necessarily mean from a romantic perspective, but on all fronts be it business and other areas in society too.”
“What about the South African Rand?” questioned Pieter.
Lindiwe sighed again.
“Unfortunately, many corruption scandals plagued the ANC’s rule of South Africa in the first twenty five years following the inauguration of Mandela and this slapped the Rand to such a point that it became close to worthless on the international investment front,” she said.
“However, just like South Africa turned the corner to a prosperous future, surely the Rand can also do a u-turn and become a powerful force again.”
“Let’s get back to the Group Areas Act,” said Pieter.
“So people of different skin colours can live next door to each other in the suburbs or any areas in the country?”
“Yes, the Group Areas Act which denied people of colour the chance of living in so-called white areas was the first and most important racial segregation law to be scrapped.”
“The biggest problem, seems to be that while all South Africans now have a vote in elections, the vote means little if they do not have their own land which was taken away from their ancestors by the white settlers over centuries,” remarked Lindiwe.
Pieter battled to understand this.
Surely the Afrikaners with the ox wagons in the 1800s, known as the Voortrekkers, were the rightful owners of the land. I mean the blacks were just sitting around on the land and not developing it?
Pieter drifted deep into thought.
He remembered his history teacher from standard four and the learnings of the Tugela-Umzimvubu deed of cession signed between Voortrekker leader Piet Retief and Zulu king Dingaan. By signing the document on 4 February 1838, the Zulu leader gave the Vootrekkers land in the Natal region with boundaries allocated.
The Vootrekkers and many of their servants were then invited to a celebration party in the Zulu place at which they were eventually slaughtered by their hosts. So horrific were the murders of the Vootrekkers at the so-called celebration function that Retief had to watch his colleagues perish and was the last to be killed, having his chest sawn open and his heart and liver removed and handed to Dingaan on a cloth.
This made Pieter’s blood boil. Erasmus, just how far can you trust the black man?
The cop shook his head. As much as he wanted to be a part of this wonderful New South Africa picture that Lindiwe had painted in his mind, the thoughts of his murdered Voortrekker descendants in Natal, made him wonder if he should be following through with the elimination of Mandela.
“I never really asked you about your father or what you know about him,” said Pieter.
“My father is a strong, handsome Afrikaner man who loved my mother so much,” answered the girl such to Pieter’s surprise that he nearly lost control of the vehicle.
“An Afrikaner guy?” questioned Pieter.
“Yes, an Afrikaner guy, who I believe worked closely with the government.”
Pieter began to sweat, but Lindiwe was far from working out the truth.
“Pieter, for the sake of our country and our future children, we have to find the guy who is set to eliminate Mandela,” said Lindiwe.
Pieter tapped his fingers on the steering wheel.
“What if we don’t get to the person before he shoots Mandela?” he asked.
Tears began to flow down Lindiwe’s cheeks.
“We simply have too,” remarked the girl.
“If we don’t … I don’t even want to know how things will turn out for all. We can’t allow the country to go the civil war way. You know, the way that many wanted it to go after Hani was killed.”
Pieter tried to comfort the girl.
“Don’t worry, Lindiwe, all will be well, I am sure of it,” he quipped, as he was still trying to get the picture of his murdered Voortrekker ancestors out of his mind. Lieutenant Pieter Erasmus was at a crossroads in his life. Would he go with Lindiwe and the New South Africa or honour his parents and stay loyal to the conservative Afrikaner element that believed that all blacks were the same – criminals and street-trash?
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