Friday, 30 January 2015

Purple Scar of the Rietvlei

The Rietvlei Dam outside Pretoria was build during the Great Depression by manual labour eager to earn a few coins to survive. The people were suffering greatly. Towards the end of the Second Boer War, women and children died like flies in the British concentration camps, then came the Great War where the surviving men march off to fight a war that wasn’t theirs to fight. Closely on its heals came the Great Flu Pandemic followed by the Great Depression. Then just when you managed to get your head above the water, wham world war all over again.

The bible reading people must have thought the Angels of the Apocalypse had ridden through and they were stuck in the Tribulation. After the Second World War, South African dipped even deeper into darkness as General Smuts lowered his head in shame while Apartheid started to raised its ugly head.

All this is now water under the bridge, and a new South Africa rose out of the ashes, but somehow it was still wearing the chains of its past. Looking around me at my fellow South Africans, the words of Nietzsche haunt me, “Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein.”, “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” We have become the monsters that we have fought so hard against. While our politicians are lining their own pockets, our country sinks into a new darkness as our government’s electrical parastatal, Eskom switches off the lights. Our people cry out in the dark, “is this the freedom that our forefathers died for?”

And now as I stand looking towards the Rietvlei Dam built with the hands our forefathers, I can’t help but notice the purple scar in the setting sun. The purple scar is actually the Pompom weed that is colonising our veld and wetlands. The Campuloclinium macrocephalum somehow managed to jump the pond from South America and is now chocking off all our natural flora and fauna of the veld. With the Chinese colonising to the north of us, the invaders from the west is taking over and killing our natural resources; we have stared into the abyss too long.

And so the sun sets, darkness comes!

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