Sun sets on "Lion of Kalahari"
WHETHER it was walk, drive or fly - they came from Gauteng, Free State Namaqualand, Namibia, Botswana and all corners of the Cape to pay their last respects to the one they called the Lion of the Kalahari
People of the Nama, San, Korana, Khomani San and Griekwa all converged on the red dunes of the Kalahari for the funeral of Dawid Kruiper (76) - traditional leader of the Khomani San.
It was an event of contrasts. Among the more than 2000 people present were smartly dressed high ranking government officials, traditional leaders from all over doing their best to look traditional - and the Kruiper family simply wearing the best their very limited wardrobe had to offer.
Their farm at Witdraai was transformed for the occasion, with the Northern Cape provincial government clearing a swathe of land for parking, carving out roads, and erecting temporary toilets as well as a huge white marquee.
At the funeral speaker after speaker told tales of Oom Dawid – as they called Kruiper, and of how he would have disapproved all the fuss and expense.
They also spoke of many broken promises he was made and said the next generation owed it to Kruiper to get their act together.
Oom Dawid was laid to rest next to his wife, Sanna and soon after that the guests appeared to leave in order of importance. Very soon the temporary structures were removed and the Kruipers were left alone in their grass and corrugated homes to face another bitterly cold Kalahari night.
Special Picture Essay by JEFFREY ABRAHAMS