The death of eccentric Johann Botha, investigative journalist, 50/50 presenter, opera expert and contributor to Carte Blanche has shocked a lot of people.
He was only 53 years old. He fought boldly for what he thought was right and did not hesitate to swim against the current. He was apparently busy with a very large investigation into land claim fraud which he would have exposed shortly. That which he uncovered during his investigation is described as pioneering work. And now he has been silenced.
Naturally I did not know him but I met him and Devi Govender a few years ago while they were busy with a Carte Blanche programme on immigrants and spaza shops. They were at Machauka Lodge. His friendliness, open face, booming laugh and helpful attitude – even once they were back in Johannesburg – I have never forgotten.
In our country, crime and murder and corruption are so every day – Johann was just one of hundreds of people that die every day in South Africa as a result of crime. We know by chance of him because he was well known and he touched people’s hearts. His untidy hair, piles of talent and broad smile leave a gaping hole in our country.
One can almost not grasp it but the Bushveld Festival lies just around the corner. We hear that many people thought that the festival had died a quiet death, but the committee is frantically busy with planning and arrangements. Last week we threw the cat amongst the pigeons on Mogol Post’s Facebook page and asked the public’s opinion regarding the fireworks display on the last night of the festival. I was not really surprised by the reaction. The vast majority asked that the fireworks display gets replaced with one of very many alternatives available. I hope that the committee will take the majority of people’s wishes into account this year and organise something that does not leave hundreds of terrified and bewildered dogs and other pets in its wake. It’s really not worth the money. As we understand it there are few people who pay the entrance fee to watch the fireworks anyway. They can be seen from miles around!
And at last, a story of so much hope and encouragement. Pippie and her mum, Anice’s great adventure to Pennsylvania will have already started by the time this week’s Mogol Post hits the shelves. Anice promised to keep us updated so that we can keep you, our readers, abreast of their progress. May this experience change lives.