Quicksand of Despair
When Deputy Minister Gugo Tsetsana is murdered senior members of the ruling party warn Rian Schröder not to dig too deep. Why? Was she silenced because she was about to expose a scandal that could sink the party in the next general election? Or did this freedom fighter kill one too many traitor or agent of the regime? Rian finds he is up against both right-wing and black ultraists. More
While Rian Schröder is investigating the murder of Gert and Anriëtte Schoeman, Deputy Minister Gugo Tsetsana and her lackey Inus Krynauw are murdered in her sea point apartment. The Minister of Police orders Rian to find the killer post-haste. Since right-wing Afrikaners stand accused of plotting to assassinate leaders of the ruling party during the party’s conference in December 2012, members of the ruling party fear this is a plot by right-wing Afrikaners to assassinate their leaders,.
Senior members of the ruling party warn Rian not to delve too deep into Gugo’s background. Why? When Rian discovers that Gugo was about to expose a scandal that could sink the party in the coming general election he has no option but to delve deeper. She claimed to have proof that the election for President and Vice President of the party in Bloemfontein in 2012 was rigged. Was she silenced by high-ranking members to prevent the scandal from becoming public knowledge?
The erstwhile freedom fighter Gugo Tsetsana better known as Papilio, Butterfly of Africa was trained in counter intelligence in Libya and Bulgaria. During the struggle she moved from one camp to another in southern Africa to ferret out traitors and spies of the hated apartheid regime within the organization, and she was the best. Nothing however gave her a bigger thrill than to torture suspected traitors and spies with a wire-cutter and most died a horrible death. Consequently there were many within the organization and beyond that hated and feared Gugo.
During his investigation Rian finds four plausible motives – suppression, revenge, justice and vengeance. First, Gugo threatened to expose the fact that the election of the President and Vice President of the party was rigged – hence suppression. Secondly, she tortured and murdered the brother of a chief, a member of the same tribe as the Minister of Police – revenge. A third clue points to Inus Kynauw’s family, a white Afrikaner family who were ostracized and lost everything when their son joined the struggle – justice. Finally, evidence comes to light that Gugo not so long ago took vengeance on a far-right Afrikaner and tortured and murdered him – vengeance.
Gugo was born in a squatter’s camp near Bloemhof, a town on the banks of the Vaal River in what was then the Western Transvaal, now North West Province, which is still is a hot-spot for right-wingers. Her mother Sbóngile worked seven days a week as a maid for Oloff and Erika Groenewoud, parents of the highly decorated Bernie (who fought in Angola to keep Communists and terrorists like Gugo at bay), Ena, Dolf and Anchen.
Erika and Inus’ mother Maryna were sisters and Inus met Gugo when he and his parents used to visit the Groenewoud family in Bloemhof. At the time nothing gave Bernie greater pleasure than to bully, chase and mistreat the snot-nosed black girl. Inus hated this display of cruelty which was what in due course induced him to join the struggle. After planting a bomb and with the security police hot on his heels he fled the country. Years later the Truth and Reconciliation Commission pardoned him. But his parents, Reuben and Maryna, brother Flip and sister Maretha, were the ones who suffered most for they were ostracized by the Afrikaner community in Stellenbosch, kicked out of church and school, and Professor Krynauw had to resign his post at the university. This once prominent Afrikaner family had to sell up and move, banned to live among poor Coloured people in Bellville.
Did South Africa’s new democracy in 1994 have the same meaning for Gugo and Inus as it did for Bernie, Ena, Dolf, Anchen, Flip and Maretha? Or did they sink so deep into the quicksand of despair that there could be only one solution – death?
A shoot-out in General Koos de la Rey driveway in the army camp in Potchesfstroom determines the outcome – most appropriate, for General Koos de la Rey was a hero of the 1899-1902 war and symbol of Afrikaner resistance against oppression.