Friday, January 21, 2011

A political pot pourri

As the first decade of the 21st century progressed, leaving the collapsed towers of Manhattan in its wake, the global political landscape was littered with the ugly, the bad and very, very little of the good. Here are a few drawings I did while working as a sub on the Herald in Port Elizabeth, along with other odds and sods I picked up along the way.

A4 paper often lies around next to the office printer. Here I was inspired to add a body to this head. The DRC, meanwhile, remained beset by violence and upheaval.

Touch wood, the elections held in SA post-1994 have all gone off well, though one wonders just how much corruption and cheating hasn't occurred but not been uncovered.

This little doodled mandog stands beside what was a state-of-the-art cellphone. It looks a lot like the one I still use - only about a decade out of date.

Another of my flights of fantasy and fancy.

This crumpled wreck could be me after a wrist-wrecking eight-hour shift during which I would often lay out up to eight pages. He sits beneath part of what they call a flat plan, showing where the ads are on which pages of the Herald.

Cramming the world news onto one page, often a small one, can be a thankless task. This was a list of stories I had to consider for one International page.

I was still doing art reports and reviews in the mid-2000s, and this warewolf was drawn next to notes following a call from ceramic artist Lynnley Watson.

This image and the one below are from the funeral service for former apartheid-era security policeman Gideon Nieuwoudt. I include, below the next page, an extract from the Mail & Guardian online from the time, in 2005, when the PE-based policeman died. To his family, he was a beloved father, son, husband, brother.

From the Mail & Guardian: PORT ELIZABETH Aug 20 2005 08:57
Former apartheid-era security police colonel Gideon Nieuwoudt died in Port Elizabeth on Friday after a battle with cancer, his lawyer Jan Wagener said.
Wagener said Nieuwoudt, who was in his mid-fifties, had cancer of the lungs which had spread to other organs, and there had also been worrying tumours on his brain.
"It was inevitable, we all knew that," he said.
Nieuwoudt was waiting for the outcome of his application for amnesty for the 1989 car bomb killing of three policemen and an askari in Motherwell.
Though the ruling has not been handed down, it has been widely reported in the media that the panel has decided to refuse him amnesty.
He was facing a 20 year jail term after being convicted of the killings in 1996.
Nieuwoudt had been denied amnesty in 1999 for his role in the death of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko, but had not been prosecuted for it.
He told the panel hearing his application that he hit the "arrogant" activist with a rubber hose when Biko was being interrogated in the security police offices in Port Elizabeth.
Nieuwoudt was also facing murder charges for the 1985 deaths of the anti-apartheid activists known as the Pebco Three, for which he had been denied amnesty. Their bodies were burned and thrown into the Fish River.

I saved documents I thought might be of interest. This and the following two pages are the ANC's statement after then deputy president Jacob Zuma was charged with rape.

It was a pivotal time in our history.

Thabo Mbeki must have welcomed this development, secretly of course.

Meanwhile, Mbeki continued fraternising with the despot to our north, Mugabe.

Then for a break from politics. There is not much on the Silver Creek Mountain Band on the Web, but I did find this great pic by Obie Oberholzer. This was an East London band and one of the greatest bluegrass/folk/rock/jazz/blues outfits in SA at the time. I know both Roger Cummings and Dave Tarr died tragically early. I wonder what's become of the other two.

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