Issue 32 ~ August, 2020

August 15, 2020
Our Karoosters …

As I start this on a glorious Saturday in Johannesburg with the sun radiant and the feel of spring in the air, like many people we are anticipating great things from El Presidente when he supposedly addresses the nation this evening to announce whether he and his junta of bureaucrats will ease the jack boot from the neck of South African or whether the quasi police state we are now finding ourselves living in, at the whim of a bunch of, in the main unelected sociopaths, will continue.

My gut feel is that we are in for some relief. By the time I get this out to you we will know.

I see that a recent Daily Maverick had a list of South Africans whom readers believed might just be amongst the group of “leaders” who might be party to a coalition of tow truck drivers able to pull South African PTY Ltd out of the quicksand. Many of them have been added to the list which we sent in the last newsletter. Some from the DM list I have not
included….Patricia DeLille for example, who has been quickly metamorphosed into a typical ANC miscreant in her handling of the Limpopo Covid fence debacle. She just cannot tell the truth any more like the rest of the ANC. Others who just don’t have the mettle.

I don’t know about you, but I would be pretty happy if the following list of South Africans was in the driver’s seat. I believe that we could trust them to look after us, but as in any democracy we must be ever vigilant. We have learned our lesson in South Africa that politicians just can’t be trusted.  ANC politicians must never be given another chance to gain public office.

Please feel free  to add to the list:
  • Adv Thule Madonsela | Academic
  • Judge Dennis Davisv| Judge
  • Moeletsi Mbeki | Economist
  • Johan Rupert | Businessman
  • Elon Musk | Businessman
  • Prof Adam Habib | Academic
  • Prof Jonathan Jansen | Academic
  • Tony Leon | Politician
  • Pieter Dirk Uys | Actor - this is serious business!
  • Kglema Motlanthe | Politician
  • Frans Cronje | Scenario Planner
  • Mike Schussler | Economist
  • Bantu Holomisa | Politician
  • Zwelima Vavi | Trade Union
  • Pieter Groenewald Politician
  • Prof Raymond Parsons | Economist
  • Gerrie Nel | Legal
  • Jeremy Samson | Brand South Africa
  • Steven Koseff | Banker
  • Kgalema Motlanthe | Politician
  • Tito Mboweni | Finance
  • Trevor Manuel | Finance
  • Lesetja Kganyago | Banker
  • Dr Imtiaz Sooliman | Gift of the Givers
  • Wayne Duvenhage | Civic
  • Bishop Desmond Tutu | Moral Leader
  • Adv Paul Hofmann | Constitutional
  • Chief Justice Mogoeng | Judge
  • Prof Ashwin Desai | Sociologist
  • Helen Zille | Politician
  • Herman Mashaba | Politician
  • Pravin Gordhan | Politician
  • Kimi Makwetu | Finance
  • Zamani Saul Politician
  • Mark Barnes | Business
  • Michael Jordaan | Banker
  • Lindiwe Sisulu | Politician
  • Ronald Lamola | Legal
  • Glynis Breytenbach | Legal
  • Maria Ramos | Economist
  • Judge Edwin Cameron | Judge
  • Natasha Mazzone | Politician
  • Raymond Suttner | Intellectual
  • Gill Marcus | Finance
  • Mcebesi Jonas | Finance
  • Judge Dikgang Moseneke | Judge
  • Terry Crawford Brown | Legal
  • Andisa Ntsubane | Marketing
  • Paul Sullivan | Legal
  • Cas Coovadia | Business
  • Lindiwe Mazibuko | Politician

George Orwell
We need a caretaker or interim government to steer us. The present ANC government has more than adequately shown that it is not only incapable, but so genetically corrupt that it can never reform.

The people will speak!
We will see what El Presidente has to say tonight but all things being equal BookBedonnerd will go ahead as planned with some spatial considerations, personal disinfection and lots more outdoor gatherings in smaller numbers. We are still very much a work in progress, but we are determined to stage this event in a safe and still fun fashion. Same same but different as they say in Bangkok! As it now stands BookBedonnerd will be the only literary event to be staged in the flesh this year, so pretty historical. The village of Richmond has been gutted by this pandemic and many guest houses are really suffering. Booktown Richmond and BoekBedonnerd will be start of the rebuilding of our little economy and the town will be very very grateful for your support, as they always are.

Should there be some sort of Corona / Covid rebound which throws a spanner in the works Darryl, Hendrik, the local committee, and I shall make a final yes or no decision on September 10.

We are all praying that we shall be back on the road to some sort of normalcy by September and almost back to a new normal come October.
God Bless South Africa
Forever BookBedonnerd

Peter Baker (co-director of Bookbedonnerd, alongside Darryl David)
Website: Booktown Richmond
We have a couple little articles following which might be of some interest if you:

Richmond misses old Darrel……sitting on his stoep over- looking the Kerk, reading a text, scratching a few notes of research and the always present fag in his mouth

Dispatches from a Deep-frozen Dorp   

Bells and voices don’t make for restful Sundays    

Darrel Conolly

HOW MANY YOUNGSTERS growing up in the city today can honestly say that they have heard the chimes of a church bell on a Sunday morning? Not too many, I’d imagine. Now how many, do you suppose, live within earshot of a town hall or church where not only are the bells still rung, but the clock also works? Precious few, I’ll guarantee.

Quaint reminders of a bygone era are these bells and clocks, aren’t they? Not if you live where I do, they aren’t!

When first I moved to Richmond, the deep-frozen dorp in which I have been dying a slow yet surprisingly painless cultural and intellectual death (It happens, you know: once the brain goes, the body feels nothing.) since setting foot in the place over five years ago, I, too, found the idea of a bell sounding off at regular intervals quite appealing. The idea, mind you, not the sound: that had an altogether different effect on me.

Not unlike those in many platteland dorps, the bell atop the local Dutch Reformed Church in Richmond not only ding-dongs the community’s sinners to an hour-long outpouring of remorseful repentance and doleful ditties every Sunday morning, it also dong-dongs the entire populace on the half-hour, 24-7, as if warning all and sundry that they only have so much time left in which to finish whatever it is they’ve started.

For the uninitiated, you should be aware that there is a difference between a ding-dong and a dong-dong; the former being fairly melodic and the latter somewhat more strident and alarming.

Now I should tell you that by the time I migrated from the manic madness that is Johannesburg to this isolated and at times eerily silent dorp, I was, to put it mildly, more than a little loopy and prone to aberrant behaviour such as emptying unfinished cups of coffee into the trashcan and overflowing ashtrays into the sink. And it was in such an addled state of mind that on the day following my arrival, I was standing not twenty metres from the church whilst being introduced to a local couple, when an uninvited eight o’clock dong-dong raced down from the bell-tower and exploded, without warning, in my ears. White men can’t jump? Whoever it was that made that ridiculous statement should have been there to witness my extraordinary feat (and feet) that early morning in December 2005.

It obviously didn’t impress the couple, however, as not a word has passed between us since, although I do see them often enough. It’s just that it’s neither easy nor good manners to hold a conversation with someone across the street from you, as this is where they immediately scurry whenever I step onto the pavement. Strange: I’ve always been under the impression that country folk admired athletic prowess.

The dong-dongs, I have to admit, I’ve gotten used to. In fact, on the few rare occasions that the clock hasn’t worked, this has caused me to lose track of time to the extent that I have more than once unconsciously cracked my first beer for the day at 9.00am instead of the 9.30am starting time I swore blind I’d stick to before arriving here.

Although sounding off at the uncivilized time of 8.00am during summer and an hour later in winter, after about six months the ding-dongs, too, no longer proved to be much of an irritation to me.

Prior to that, however, the man whose job it was to arouse the souls of the community every Sunday morning, did so with all the zealous gusto of a Mormon prize fighter, as, ignoring the 60-second time-limit, he relentlessly and vigorously pounded away at the bells until all the dogs in the neighbourhood were howling in unison and every last person, sick, elderly and infirm, had been driven from their beds for the day.

He would then descend the tower, walk out into the church garden, affix a hearing-aid the size of a brick to his ear, light up a cigarette, and smile at me as I stood glaring at him from across the street, my nerves frayed to the bone, and another six butts added to the pile in the ashtray. He now lives in De Aar, otherwise known as The Artery: may his clog up.

But my woes were not at an end. Not months later a new threat to my sanity reared its ugly head, and it was a voice. It was a very loud voice that spoke to me every Sunday from across the river via a loudhailer attached to the roof of a car that wound its way through the streets from the ungodly hour of 6.30am. In wailing drones that evoked scenes of a priest conducting a Greek funeral from a cauldron of boiling oil, it warned me that the devil was on my doorstep, that he was about to ruin my life, that purgatory awaited, unless ...  I held my breath. Reminded of my first day at school, I stared uneasily in the direction of the disembodied voice to await further instructions. Unless, the voice continued, I brought my chequebook to church with me that morning.

I sighed with relief. A great calmness came over me. I had been saved! Yet I was amazed at the ignorance of the voice. Possessed of such divine insight, did it not yet know that that other evil spirit, The Bank Manager, had withdrawn my chequebook two years earlier?

A smug smile on my face, I rolled over and dozed off back to sleep, only to be abruptly awoken minutes later by a seven o’ clock dong-dong. Wearily, I pulled myself upright, removed my hearing aid, placed it alongside my drip, respirator, dentures, spectacles and toupee, and resolved never to go to bed wearing the confounded contraption again!


Please help us keep Bookbedonnerd alive

Unfortunately as the Northern Cape Provincial Government is not in a position to support us to the degree required for Booktown Richmond to keep up with its commitments to our various programmes, we are having to look to Crowd Support in order to maintain and grow our efforts in the village. We are firmly committed to seeing that Booktown Richmond survives and indeed grows.  We have, even at this early stage an extremely exciting line-up of speakers, entertainers and activities including the introduction of Spinning-a-Yarn, A Festival of Storytelling and Oral Traditions, a first in South Africa.

To ensure that we survive and indeed grow, the planning committee has launched a backabuddy campaign aimed at crowd-funding the event. Please support by spreading the word and, if at all possible, making a financial contributing. Booktown Richmond is in your hands. Forever BoekBedonnerd….

You will find the particulars here << LINK |.

BookBedonnerd XIII


October 28-31, 2020

A Richmond Community Development Foundation Project

Below is a list of writers that are headed to Richmond. Most have been confirmed, some are waiting to see if they survive the Corona virus😁. Or what their university commitments look like once Corona virus turmoil is over. Whilst a handful are on my hitlist whilst I search for their email addresses 🤭🤭. As you can see the list is quite well advanced, given that the SA INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS AWARDS entrants are still to be factored in.
  1. Prof. Anton Harber's new book
  2. Pieter Louis Myburgh (t.b.c) Gangster State The Republic of Gupta
  3. Prof. Kathy Munro The Humble Post Card… and Karoo Heritage
  4. Prof. Ashwin Desai Wentworth and the Beautiful Game
  5. Carla van der Spuy Plaasmoorde Blood on her Hands
  6. Nico Moolman Russia in the Anglo Boer War
  7. Diana Ferrus TBA
  8. Gaireyah Fredericks & Jaja Binks Pedro. Kaaps oppie Richterskaal
  9. Hannes Visser. Die dag toe pa
  10. Steve Wimberley Adventures Of Dr Grumble
  11. Dorian Haarhoff Writing Workshops
  12. ATKV Schools Project/ Storytelling
  13. Prof. Carman Miller Anglo Boer War
  14. Antony Osler (t.b.c) Spinning a Yarn. Zen master storyteller of the Karoo
  15. Angie Butler  Shackleton’s Critic, the Life and Diaries of Eric Marshall 
  16. Terry Crawford Brown (t.b.c)
  17. Carina Stander Die Bergengel
  18. Gisella Ullyatt Die waarheid oor duiwe
  19. Sandra Shell (t.b.c)
  20. Andrew Pike The Oceanos Rescue
  21. Philip Kretzman (t.b.c) Vet Tales
  22. Thomas Mollet Annie Dewani Murder
  23. Antoinette Pienaar (t.b.c) Spinning a Yarn
  24. Christine Barkhuizen le Roux. My naam is Prins, ek slaap met die lig aan
  25. Anel Heydenrych. Die Afloerder
  26. Tania Smit . t.b.c
  27. Hedi Lampert. The Trouble With My Aunt
  28. Kevin Chaplan. Can Do
  29. Paul Weinberg. Photography
  30. Darryl Earl David / Sheritha David – Travel Memoir
  31. David Butler – Drama Performance
  32. Gert Vlok Nel – Poetry Reading / Concert

South African Independent Publishers Awards (SAIPA)


Call For Entries

The SA INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS AWARDS, hosted by Booktown Richmond is the only such competition to honour the best self-published books in SA. We accept books in all categories, except educational textbooks. From comics to memoirs to fiction to photography, we eagerly await your entries. If your book defies categorisation, we will create one!!! There is no entry fee. All you have to do is post 3 copies of your book to DARRYL DAVID who will then distribute the books to judges. However, where judges are not Cape Town based, you will be required to post individual copies to judges.

Please see our write up about the 2019 SAIPA AWARDS. < LINK |

For further details kindly contact Darryl David on or 0813918689. We look forward to receiving your entries.

Postal Address. 
UWC Belleville Campus
Faculty of Education
Room 68B

Forever BookBedonnerd

Richmond Community Development Foundation
P.O. Box 1608, Parklands, 2121, Johannesbug, South Africa
33 Loop Street, Richmond, Northern Cape, South Africa
Registration number: 2008/00/1433/08

Copyright © 2020 Booktown Richmond, All rights reserved.

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