Tip of the iceberg


Hannah Cornelius (follow the link to see just how gorgeous she was) was the grand-daughter of the well-known pianist Pieter de Villiers (better known in my father’s generation as “Piet Vingers” because he could play everything).  She herself was at the beginning of an amazing career as a musician.

She was “hijacked” (get real:  Who hijacks a beaten-up old Golfie) along with her boyfriend who was either thrown out of the car or managed to escape with heavy injuries – he is in hospital.  Her body was found, true to style for these monsters, in the veld.

The reason she made it into the news was because of the celebrity connection to her grandfather.  The crime was called a “hijacking gone wrong” instead of calling it what it is:  An assassination of a beautiful young woman who had everything going for her.

I’ll bet the police have our case on their records too as a “house robbery gone wrong”.  There was nothing that was taken; the way that death squad moved, were dressed and behaved, made it quite clear to me that it had nothing to do with stealing and everything with murder.

How many people get assaulted & murdered this way and countless other ways here, and it never hits the media?  Wherever I turn, people know someone personally who has been assassinated, and have been intimidated and threatened themselves (one of my studio parents was stabbed within an inch of his life and survived by a miracle; at least four different families in my current studio of 14 have experienced gun-point terror).  We all try not to drive at night; doors get locked and security gates get secured once we’re inside a house.

This is the tip of the iceberg:  Hannah made it into the news because her family, already in the spotlight due to the great musician Piet Vingers, contacted the media and wrote her a eulogy.

For every Hannah Cornelius who makes it into the news there are hundreds who get slaughtered down who don’t.  Iain was actually mentioned by Maroela Media (not by name) due to the extraordinary heroism he displayed, and the enormous waves our case made in the neighbourhood.

At Iain’s wake, people were looking to me to give a speech.  Except that I was speechless.  I had already told each one of the 150+ people on the phone what had happened that night.  They themselves knew what Iain was about:  Music, sunshine, light, fun, encouragement, helping others.  Everybody loved him.  I couldn’t make a speech.  I  excused myself.  (Perhaps a family friend would have been able to give a eulogy.  I didn’t think of it when I planned the wake.  A wake is more about everyone talking to each other, not people giving speeches like at a funeral.)

But the tribute is still in the brewing.  I fully intend to post one to my contacts at the local papers, hoping that it is important enough to them to publish it.

What I’m trying to say, staying on topic, especially for those of you who are reading but do not live here in South Africa:

Most murders in South Africa are never reported.  We have 60 000 murders per year (if it isn’t more by now).  I don’t know how many media posts we have per year.  Only the murders on celebrities and their families, or some other occasional cases, hit the media.

It is estimated that if all crime stopped in South Africa, the economy would collapse.


Sorry about the sinister posts. When walking through the Dead Marshes one needs the Phial of Galadriel, to illuminate the way.  More, to remind one that there is light.

We are gearing up for a visit to Ireland, to see our family there, in prep for our eventual emigration next year.  I’m organizing a long visit.  I need to see if I can build a studio there like we built here.  Do they have space for another violin/viola/guitar teacher?  (Yes I do play guitar.  I’d probably experiment a little with methods, I like the “Shine” school, and Mel Bay, I myself learned via the Noad but that’s a pretty steep curve if you don’t already play another classical instrument and have the self-discipline of practicing correctly.)

I also need to explore the internet connectivity there and see what the book scene looks like (printers, shops, media etc), to be able to plan for P’kaboo.

Kids, suitable school / tertiary programs…  all that is on my list for scouting out.  Budgets, living expenses, potential for income – a lot of things I can’t see from where I’m now.  Yup, a long visit is indicated.  (Can’t wait to see the fam again – the kiddies are bigger now and there’s one extra!)

So if you happen to be wafting through Cork in the time between late July and early October, dewdrop in for a cuppa joe!






2 thoughts on “Tip of the iceberg

  1. Tragic, senseless, and horrifying.
    Every time another valuable human asset to South Africa is chased away by the hopelessness of the situation here, another nail is driven into the coffin of a slide from excellence, to mediocrity, to an abysmal state. This is particularly true when it comes to fine teachers, in any discipline

    • They specifically target people who create communities and who spread culture and bring light and hope. She was another such.

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