There was a message on our answering phone when we arrived at our Hermanus house on Friday afternoon. It was Colin Eglin.
It sounded as if he had had a stroke. “It’s Colin... Colin Eglin,” he stumbled and stuttered. “Just to let you... I’m waiting for you this afternoon...” The rest of the message was too garbled to decipher. But it ended with a “bye-bye”.
At first I couldn’t understand the DA’s objection to the electronic monitoring system that the ANC proposes to introduce to Parliament.
Radio frequency identification will automatically register which MPs enter or leave a debating chamber or committee room and a biometric system will record members’ thumbprints. The main purpose of all this gadgetry is to curb MPs’ absenteeism, alleged to be highly prevalent among the ANC. Surely the DA would support such an innovation, I thought, if only to have a quorum of opponents to engage with.
As someone who has minutely studied every photograph published so far of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla compound, I am practically an expert on the layout.
If he wants any advice on how to fit in more buildings without turning the place into a rabbit warren, I’m his man. My rates won’t dig too deep a hole in the taxpayers’ pockets, either. Assuming it’s a concern.
In 1943 a 10-year-old boy was smuggled out of a Nazi forced labour camp in a sack of sawdust and sheltered in a Benedictine convent until the Russians liberated Lithuania a year later.
Samuel Bak, then already an exceptionally talented artist, went on to become revered as possibly the greatest living painter of the Holocaust. I met him on Sunday night. Now 80, a slightly-built modest man, bearded and bespectacled, he looked a most unlikely creator of the large and powerful images that surrounded us in the Jewish Museum where he is holding his first-ever South African exhibition.