Wednesday, February 27, 2008


By the way, with this post I'm passing the 200 posts mark.

A member of our congregation popped in seeking guidance. I met with him and after our session escorted him to his car. He then piped up with the question: "Moruti (minister in Sotho), do you work here (at the church) full-time?", to which I responded: "Yes", not quite knowing where this was going.

So, he tried again: "Moruti, do you work here the whole day?", and my answer was again "Yes.". So he tried again: "You work here and you have a PhD?". As soon as I responded with another "Yes", he burst out laughing and looked at me in disbelief. I must admit that I was a bit stunned by his response. Who did he expect to find at the church to help him with his problem? The Easter Bunny?

He went on: "Don't you teach or lecture?" and I told him about my work at John Wesley College. "How much do they pay you?" "About R60 per month". "Hahahahahahahahaha".


He then climbed in his Volvo 4X4, reminding me in passing that in the modern world one should earn enough to retire at 50.

And so I returned to my office, writing articles, chapters for books, sermons, bible study material, an order of service for Sunday, listening to old ladies complaining about the speed of the ceiling fans in the church and waiting for the next person to arrive seeking counseling. Later, I'll climb in my small Atos to fetch my son from school and then take him to gymnastics, which we can barely afford, but which he loves.

Do I mind? No.

A nice house R2mil, a nice car R300 000, feeling fulfilled - priceless.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Makhulu swim

I'm starting to get the hang of this.

Today I swam the Makhulu swim (1km) at Leisure Lakes, Midrand and finished it in just over 26 minutes. It was a much better swim than Midmar (1 mi) which I finished in 52 minutes two weeks ago.

I think this is the last open water event for the year that I will be able to attend. Can't wait to do it again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I don't get it...

Read the story here.

A judge declined to give a killer a life-sentence, because the killer came from a "disadvantaged background".


Does this say that people who are poor and/or have a poor education and/or... are by nature immoral people?

When should a person be fully accountable for their actions, when they have a degree?

Can someone please explain this one to me?

Sunday, February 10, 2008


It's been a busy weekend...

Yesterday I presided at a good friend's wedding. Here's a picture of Matt.

After the wedding, Matt, my Mom and I drove down to the Drakensberg and slept at Catepillar Catfish Cookhouse. Excellent place.

This morning I swam the Midmar mile (my race number was 11519).

I swam it in 52 minutes. Not a good time, I know. I freaked out about 200m into the race, called the lifeguard and held onto his paddle-ski while I cleaned my goggles. I then told him that even if I drown, he is not allowed to take me out of the water. And so I took a deep breath, braved the choppy water and finished the race. I'm thrilled!

We then jumped in the car and spent the rest of the day at uShaka Marine World (my favourite place at the sea).

We then dropped my mom at DBN international airport. My sister-in-law happened to be the pilot of her plane. Matt and I proceeded to Scottburgh where we will stay at the family flat until Wednesday.

Now I must go sleep.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Article published

Here it is. One of the articles stemming from my thesis is published in HTS (Hervormde Teologiese Studies) Volume 63, no 4, November 2007.

The colour is a bit peachy, but hey, my name is in there!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Look, I enjoy our annual ministers' summer school. It is a wonderful time to catch up on friendships, a time of constructive thinking. BUT, it doesn't help if there is a snorer in the dorm.

I literally did not sleep last night. I had to listen to the monotonous tones of a person snoring in B-flat minor for about 5 hours without fail. Thank heavens I have some movies loaded on my Powerbook, so I watched Michael Moore's "Sicko" again. What a movie! You can see the similarities between the American and South African Health Care industries very clearly.

I am now sittng in a lecture by Prof. Klaus Nurnberger. What he has to say is very interesting, but if I don't carry on typing, I will fall asleep.

Here we.............mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Sunday, February 03, 2008

From the Mail & Guardian

Legal concerns over treatment of church refugees
Johannesburg, South Africa
03 February 2008 07:36

Click here for the original site.

There are serious legal concerns over the treatment of immigrants who were arrested this week at the Central Methodist church in the Johannesburg CBD, the Legal Resource Centre (LRC) said on Saturday.

Detainees were apparently delayed in receiving medical and legal assistance, appeared to have been physically mistreated and were allegedly asked for bribes by police, said LRC director Janet Love.

She also said the LRC was concerned at the vagueness of charges brought against the detainees and the apparent lack of preparation by the prosecution and police before their first court appearance.

The LRC was appointed as legal representation for the detainees after the church -- known as a haven for Zimbabwean refugees -- was "raided" by police on Wednesday night. More than 300 people were arrested and held at the Johannesburg Central police station.

Love said legal representatives were told the church offered shelter and basic sustenance on a nightly basis to homeless people, including many immigrants and asylum seekers.

The LRC was asked to consult those arrested and, if they so requested, seek their release on bail.

Love said a team of lawyers that went to the police station where the accused were held found a nurse from Médecins sans Frontières trying to get access to the cells to determine the health status of the detainees.

"Extensive delays were experienced in obtaining access to the police cells in order to consult with the detainees. Initially access was refused but, after three telephone calls and the threat of an urgent application to the high court being lodged, it was eventually agreed that we could consult with the detainees in groups of no more than six at a time."

Love said various junior police officers indicated that a number of the detainees might be transferred directly to Lindela repatriation centre without appearing in court.

She said that at the court, LRC lawyers found a clerk preparing 19 warrants for detention -- known as J7 forms. LRC lawyers apparently found that 12 forms had already been completed, indicating that "no bail" had been granted, despite the fact there had been no bail application yet.

When queried about this, the clerk said it was "an error" and prepared new forms. "However, only 15 of the 19 prisoners appeared."

Love said that when the defence team requested permission to consult the accused, the magistrate first denied this because she said there was not enough time and then again denied it because she said there was no interpreter -- "this despite the fact the accused had said they did not need interpretation".

The magistrate finally allowed a "five minute" adjournment to allow the defence to consult with the accused.

During this consultation, all the accused waived their right of interpretation and indicated that they wanted to apply for bail.

Love said the prosecution allegedly did not know the specific wording of charges under the Immigration Act, saying only that the charge against the accused was for "being illegal" under section 49 of the Act.

According to Love, the prosecutor said she opposed bail but could not proceed with the bail hearing because the investigating officer was not there.

Love said the magistrate allegedly spoke to the accused in an "aggressive manner", sometimes repeatedly asking whether an accused spoke English or Shona with "increasing aggression and loudness".

"The defence counsel objected to this procedure on the basis that all the accused had indicated that they wished the proceedings to be conducted in English. These objections were not acknowledged."

A postponement to the matter until Monday was eventually granted, despite fierce opposition by the defence. For example, one accused was due to have an operation on a scrotal hernia on Monday.

Love said the postponement put the liberty of the accused at stake, and that it had been indicated to the counsel in chambers that the matter should be postponed because "the officers of the court wished to go home to be with their families".

She also said LRC lawyers were allegedly variously by the magistrate to "sit down -- I don't want to hear you any further", before the magistrate apparently "simply started doing paperwork on the bench when defence arguments were being made".

LRC said other lawyers had been contacted to help with the court appearances on Monday.

On Friday, Central Methodist Church Bishop Paul Verryn said the detainees had been denied adequate food and water.

He said the people arrested were in exile in South Africa from African countries, particularly Zimbabwe, and they were allegedly assaulted and their property destroyed during the raid.

Verryn said that although the police were looking for criminals in the building, "they themselves became the perpetrators of criminal action". -- Sapa

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Some clever protest signs

Creepy Album covers

How's this? Ministers sure have a bad reputation when it comes to this sort of thing! Choose another title, PLEASE!!!