Sunday, August 22, 2010

Characters and caricatures

Before embarking on some rather serious political musings, complete with pictures and even press cuttings, this is a selection of political drawings and even the odd attempt at a cartoon from the late 1970s till the early 1980s, when I started working as a political organiser for the Progressive Federal Party in East London.

Slow train coming. Here President-to-be PW Botha puts his head to the ground in a vain attempt to hear the approach of the train of black political aspirations. A few years later and he would curse the train's sound as it chugged uphill, Boesak-Boesak-Boesak!, before thundering downhill, Mandela-Mandela-Mandela!, with the whistle blowing: Tutu-Tutu-Tutu!

Forgive the "God-Good", "Devil-Evil" homily, on this page I did drawings of the late great Helen Suzman, and the long-time PFP stalwart Colin Eglin.

On the back of those drawings, a few musings, possibly for one of the many letters to the editor of the Daily Dispatch which I submitted for publication.

This looks awfully like Hendrik Schoeman, a former Nat Transport Minister, who seems to be holding a cricket bat, of all things.

Here I wrote "Gen Webster" amidst this oke's stubble. Major-General Neil Webster was one of the many shadowy apartheid-era operatives.

Dr Dennis Worrall was for a long time an apologist for the NP. As London ambassador, he was meant to reap the positive reaction following PW Botha's "Crossing the Rubicon" speech in the mid-1980s. The world's media were primed, but the whole thing fizzled. Worrall later linked up with the PFP in the Democratic Party.

Who was this coloured woman? Political activist? Writer? I can see her face, but can't place her.

Everyone who was slightly liberal feared that Andries Treurnicht, "Dr No", would become the leader of the Nats. Can you believe it, PW was even considered more "verlig" than this oke?

A couple more views of Treurnicht, which perhaps capture something of his "verkrampt" character. He formed the Conservative Party in the early 1980s.

These drawings must be from the early mid-1970s, because British Prime Minister Harold Wilson was still a player. The pipe-smoking Labour leader was PM from 1964 to 1970 and again from 1974 to 1976. He was no friend of apartheid SA.

Roelof "Pik" Botha was an affable Nat politician who, as its long-serving foreign minister, tried in vain to sell the racist apartheid ideology to the world.

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