The most engaging raconteur I have ever met

I first met Deon du Plessis at the Sunday Tribune offices in Field Street during the early 1980s where he was deputy editor. He was a giant of a man – I stand close to 6 feet tall, but he towered over me and was almost twice as broad as I am. By the time I returned to the country in 1994, he was by then editor of the Pretoria News. He was widely expected to become editor of The Star in Johannesburg, but instead became the editor’s boss – as managing director of Independent Newspapers Gauteng.

Lamenting the loss of innocence

Child abuse is one of my psychological buttons. I suppose my reaction to someone who is accused of doing any such thing is along the lines of religiously crazed Iranians when told that Salman Rushdie has committed blasphemy. My gut reaction is to throw due process to the winds and join the rampaging masses in screaming for castration, or worse, of the offender. The facts of cases are relegated to the background. Bad luck for the defendant if he happens to be innocent.

Hitler’s legacy … sh!t happens

There’s a virtual ring that runs around Vienna’s inner city reflecting where the Austrian empire’s rulers once held sway and where Hitler arrived to a tumultuous welcome from some 250 000 Austrians about 70 years ago. In relative terms, that was almost yesterday. Today, there is an art exhibition in the city called Restitution reflecting works stolen from Jews — many of the original owners now untraceable.

Happy birthday Mr Morris

“It was the worst of times, it was the best of times; it was the age of foolishness, it was the age of wisdom; it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the epoch of belief; it was the season of Darkness, it was the season of Light; it was the winter of despair, it was the spring of hope; we had nothing before us, we had everything before us …”

In defence of David Bullard …

(I must be out of my flippin’ tree! … Writing this particular blog, I mean. Might just as well swim out past the shark nets after acupuncture. Oh well, bring ‘em on …)

Let’s be perfectly clear on one thing. I do not particularly like David Bullard. I would not invite the man to dinner, nor would I buy him a drink. I did, however, shake his hand when I bumped into him at a bookstore, saying: “I’m glad you lived to tell the tale.” (This after he survived an attack by armed intruders.)