Even before the third week of August 2024, there was plenty of politics and bullshit. The money was mostly in the hands of high level crooked politicians, taxes were high, the government was a fuck up and there were enough laws to sink the Titanic again. All of that made for an environment in which the whites had become frightened second class citizens, who were increasingly marginalized and dispossessed to feed politicians’ egos and keep them in power by buying the majority black vote with the sweat of the white man’s brow, as if Shaka Zulu had built the friggin’ freeways, mom and pop corner shops, mines, banks, engineering firms and supermarket chains. As if Jan van Riebeeck and his Boer descendants along with the British had come along and stolen it all from the decent, hardworking black people. Man, give me a break. There was almost nothing here when the whites disembarked and later, when they cut paths through thorny bushes and mountains at the cost of God only knows how many lives. Those mines the ANC-(mis)led government is trying to hijack through its new so-called Mining Charter? Back in the 1800s, they were nothing but patches of red ground upon which people who wore leather G-strings used to shit, unaware that beneath their crap lay some of the biggest strategic mineral deposits on Earth. White men changed all that, with knowledge, legislation, superior firepower and the paid labor of millions of black men whose biggest claim to fame until then was designing shortened spears they had used on their neighbors, to dig up that wealth and turn it into the beating heart of what became the strongest nation on the African continent. Daniel Iancu, or “Dan the man” as some of his few friends called him after a few drinks, was a South African citizen, but not a South African. Unlike those who had citizenship bestowed upon them merely for coming out of a crotch south of the Beit Bridge border post, he’d earned his citizenship after swallowing a lot of shit for years. Oddly enough, most of his compatriots didn’t know the color of that certificate, and right now only men 10 to 30 years older than he even knew what war was like. Sure, the current generation was learning fast, but they weren’t learning well. The dumb youngsters had watched too many movies and kept getting caught while raiding shopping malls for supplies they should’ve had in their homes already.

 

Dan wasn’t like them. He’d lived for the first 12 years of his life under communism and the next 2 under the neo-communism that masqueraded as democracy in Romania. People had first tried to kill him when he was 5 years old, and he experienced his first betrayal at the hands of a friend at the age of 6. He started an anti-communist group at 11, then was forced to watch as 20 of his friends were tortured for information until tears, snot and blood splattered on the classroom floor. At 12, he went through the only violent anti-communist revolution in Europe. At 14 he flew over the Mediterranean and left a trail of vomit across sub-equatorial Africa from the Nairobi airport to a few kilometers from his new home in Johannesburg. By the age of 23, he was a former bodyguard and survivor of at least two more attempts on his life. He joined the SA army, where his apparently casual attitude toward killing made him the most feared recruit on base even though he never hurt anybody. A few months later, that peacetime army got rid of the incongruously warlike soldier in their midst. He left the last thing he cared about in a blood-spattered toilet and went on to spend the next 16 years in civilian life, haunted by the reality of an old woman’s wisdom, who once told him “you don’t have to look for hell, it’s already inside you.” He managed to pull himself out of it. After a long, sometimes dangerous series of menial jobs and a demeaning existence which only massive amounts of alcohol helped him endure, Dan ended up in a junior management position at a small firm and began to lay the ground work for his exit strategy…

 

He’d been watching political developments in South Africa since 1998. When it became clear he couldn’t stop the turn towards the hell of communism, genocide and dispossession, the only viable alternative was to get out. So, he bought topographical maps of the country, went on Google Maps and after getting his driver’s licence along with a rugged second hand Isuzu 4×4 pickup truck, began to take yearly road trips towards the Namibian border, supposedly to camp out in the desert. What nobody knew was that he bought imported American MREs, jerry cans which he filled with fuel, 5 liter bottles of water, broad spectrum antibiotics, bandages and whatever else he could think of, then buried the shrink-wrapped caches in isolated spots every 15 kilometers from the outskirts of Port Elizabeth to a place 20 kilometers southeast of a border post, because he believed hell was coming and death would follow on its heels. There was no way he would trust any person or government with his safety, and sure as God made little green apples, wasn’t gonna cross into Namibia legally either. As such, the encrypted list of GPS coordinates and photos of reference points for the caches was his most precious secret from 2018 until those mad days of 2024.

 

The Westphalian state model helped in that regard, because unless the situation went FUBAR, he could sneak through an unpatrolled stretch of the border and the South Africans would be dissuaded from pursuing him- assuming the area he’d chosen was clear on both sides, that is. He still had his old Romanian passport. If stopped by any cop, whether South African or Namibian, he would just say he’d been living illegally in South Africa for a long time and was getting out because of what was going on. He spoke Romanian fluently and had an old entry stamp on the passport to back it up, while his American accent helped further sell the story, so he stood a better chance of survival in an encounter with cops who weren’t trigger-happy. Should anybody ask why he didn’t go to the nearest Romanian consulate or embassy (South Africa’s two capitals, Cape Town and Pretoria, mean there are two sets of diplomatic facilities), he could say he’d been worried that blacks were killing whites and asking questions later -like during the 1993 APLA attack on St. James’s Church in Kenilworth, Cape Town, when the terrorists killed a lot of Ukrainian members of a ship’s crew because they mistakenly thought every white congregant was South African- and had chosen to avoid any type of settlement on his way to Namibia instead. In that situation, his South African documents would be hidden in a secret compartment that could only be found after an exhaustive search, so he reckoned that overall his odds of survival were pretty good, at least better than other whites. That’s the thing about most people- give them a plausible and complicated enough story, and they’ll tend to believe you by default because thinking through everything is just too hard. To be continued…

 

Mircea Negres

Port Elizabeth

South Africa