Friday, 29 November 2013

Slight Side track

So been a little side tracked the last few days, doing what needed to be done.

In "The Change (6)"

 I said I needed to do this, well taken a bit of time, we are in Jeffreys Bay (of course it had to be here )  and its been done.

Will continue on with the rest once I get back to my normal schedule, whenever that may be.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Surf, Sex, Violence 85 - 86 (10)

I suppose it all started way back in Hospital, when I was just stuck in bed for such a long time. I eventually got a window bed which we raised so I could see out of the window. Addington hospital is right in front of the beach, prime time real estate, just across the road from Durban`s South Beach and the place I learnt to surf. I just lay there all day and watched the ocean and visualised myself getting back out there and surfing again.

I was also set up with a video recorder and given a few new tapes every day to watch. I am sure no one realised the pain I had to endure every time I laughed, but I ended up watching all the really good funny movies of the time, it was just another session of pleasure and pain, a reoccurring theme that was going to haunt me for the next 30 years.

National Lampoons Animal House was one of the movies I ended up seeing. It became one of our cult movies and we watched it a thousand times. So when my 21st birthday came along it was just a natural progression to make it a theme party and Toga, Toga, Toga, party was the theme.

If you were not wearing a Toga you were not allowed in the front door.

Leroy was in charge of making sure that was the way it was, except he took it a step beyond, like he tends to do and made up his own rules. If you were wearing any kind of underwear you were also not allowed in.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Weekend sneak preview.

So we had just seen this movie National Lampoons Animal House, its all time and we just had to do this, and believe me we did.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Surf, Sex, Violence 85 - 86 (9)

Honestly if I told you what really went on the next few months and years, you just would not believe a word I told you, so it´s most probably best I don’t even go there. Maybe just maybe if by chance this goes any further and gets published these bits will be in the book, this I promise.

They were mad, crazy, fucking times that’s for sure. The boys down at Garvies were on a mission and they were not in the slightest bit scared to cause pain and damage to anyone who dared happen to be in their path.
Anywhere else in the world or at any other time, we all would have been in big, big trouble but we just seemed invincible at the time, almost untouchable. No matter what we did it just went unpunished.

Meanwhile the surf just pumped pretty much every day and I surfed more and more. We slept down at the beach at night we surfed before sunrise we did our duty and we took having fun to the limits of legal and way beyond.

Then in November 85 it was my 21´st birthday party, this was a big date for me and we had a party that to this day is still talked about.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Surf, Sex, Violence 85 - 86 (8)

I guess it was then the seeds were sewn, real deep in the back of my brain. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine one day leaving Durban and my family for good, but in the end I did.

It was then I realised things were not right, what I was seeing every day was not right, something was very wrong. I had never really thought about things before, I had never even had the chance to see the truth. The press was controlled, the propaganda machine was well oiled and worked just fine. I had only ever been outside South Africa once when I was 12, no ways could I have had a realistic view on politics then. I believed what I saw, I believed what I read and heard.

What I deciphered and saw at night on duty was not what I saw in the press. I was then I realised things were not right.
Everyone just got on with things like nothing was going on, a few bombs here and there a few bits and pieces in the newspapers about unrest in the townships, but nothing too serious. What worried everyone was the fact we could not play rugby or cricket against anyone.

I just pushed it all to one side and concentrated on surfing well again, my brace helped, it made it possible. Slowly but surely it came back. I started to compete again, slowly at first but soon surfing became my distraction from the reality of seeing the country slowly spiralling into chaos.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Weekend radio break part II

Here goes part two of the TTD on the radio, in Spanish so bad luck.

Parte II del programa con Vicente, Musica, Surf y Medio Ambiente, pasamos bomba.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Surf, Sex, Violence 85 - 86 (7)

Its kind of amazing how things work out, This was one of the things that really freaked me out, I never said anything, but deep down, this was a changing point.

Like I said yesterday. Fucking Crazy Times.

These few words my sister just sent me, amazing words of forgiveness, I am afraid I find it hard to be so forgiving.

Tamlyn inspiring stuff.

"everyone was like "these fools blew themselves up " - actually they said it in a much more disgusting way - deflecting the possibility that in that final moment when they took stock of what they where about to do - my class room was just a few meters from the bomb - it would have gone off at 8 while we where all standing outside in line for assembly - the glass - which I do remember - we found glass shards for months after in the strangest of places - it would have ripped over 800 people to shreds - yes I think in an unexpected moment of humanity they realized what they where about to do and made a clumsy human mistake - knowing full well that would mean way more than taking our lives ... I actually wrote a speech about this a few years back - all the work I now do is some how a ripple effect of this strange terrifying thing - it's always darkest just before the dawn ! xxx"

We were a small family of friends on the Bluff, JK was on duty that night and he was rushed on site to clean up the mess, here are his few words.

" I have photos of the guy that set the bomb at the girls school....... that's after it detonated.......... we found his arm at the roundabout above the school... Tony was in the van with me that night..".

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Surf, Sex, Violence 85 - 86 (6)

These press releases below are too simple to tell the whole story. My sister was in that school, things were getting very close to home.
I hope one day she will be able to tell her side of the story, I know I have briefly talked about that day with her but its not really something we talk about, those days no one really talks about.
Imagine a whole school of young girls not even missing a class after a bomb goes off at school and two men get blown into a million bits and pieces. Their remains splattered all over the place. I was on duty in the Ops room when that happened. Knowing my baby sister was there that day, that was a day I will not forget. At the end of my shift on duty, I went home my sister was there doing her homework, I said hi and went surfing.
Fucking crazy times,
"Police with tracker dogs were on October 25 trying to trace a man accused of being on of three men who blew up a school in Durban. According to police, the other two bombers died in the blast. Parts of their bodies were found up to 20 metres (yards) form the point of explosion at Grosvenor Girls' High School. The bomb was believed to be a Soviet-made limpet mine. the school was to be used as a polling station in a whites-only by-election to be held on October 30 "
"Zinto Cele was 22 years old when he was killed on October 24 1985 by a bomb that exploded prematurely..Cele was an Umkhonto we Sizwe member and formed part of Operation Butterfly, a large-scale MK underground operation in KwaZulu-Natal in the mid-1980s led by the present MEC for health in KwaZulu-Natal, Sibongiseni Dhlomo.The bomb also killed Cele's fellow MK combatant Mandlenkosi Israel Ndimande.MK operative Sibusiso Mazibuko was seriously injured in the explosion but survived and escaped.NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said: "The bomb was placed at Grosvenor Girls High and detonated prematurely.The school served as a polling station and was the venue at which Pik Botha (the then minister of foreign affairs) had addressed voters the previous day.Operation Butterfly was responsible for the 1985 bombing campaign in support of the internal resistance campaigns."

Monday, 11 November 2013

Surf, Sex, Violence 85 - 86 (5)

The first bomb I ever heard was a few months before I went into the army.

The shock wave of the blast had a clear path across the Durban harbour and hit us on the Bluff a few kilometres away. I was walking up Bushlands Road when the sound hit and could clearly see the smoke from John Ross house in clear view from our house.

The targeting of soft civilian targets had begun.

I wish I could say this was the first and last bomb blast I had to deal with but there were a lot more to come.

Two days before Christmas in 1985 a bomb was detonated in the crowded Sanlam shopping centre in Amanzimtoti, five deaths and 40 injured was the final toll, the war was definitely here to stay and it could hit any place anytime.

Then in June 1986 just down the road from Natal Command and close to home a bomb was detonated at a bar we went to a few times, Leroys ex girlfriend was there that night. Another 3 people died and 69 more were injured. Both these attacks I was on duty in the Ops room, the Magoos Bar bomb I heard like it went off next door. It had targetted people just like me.

There were way worse bombings in other parts of the country but these three I actually was involved in but the one that most affected me was the bomb that went off at my sisters school while she was there. 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Weekend Radio break.

So the TTD are getting read all over, and had a few hours on the radio last week.

Its in Spanish so bad luck if you dont understand a bloody thing.

Click en esa link y escucha, Vicente y yo pasando un muy buen rato hablando de los comienzos del Surf Porofessional en Europa y en especial del Pantin Classic.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Surf, Sex, Violence 85 -86 (4)

It was these next months that made me hard, I realise this now.

The army made me tough, it made me a man, it taught me pain it taught me about death, but being in the Ops room made me cold, it hardened my heart.

It was there and then that the real ideological change in my mind was formed. 121 Battalion was just plain combat training, the enemy was clear the objective obvious. In the Ops room it was all politics, I soon learned the enemy could change at any time and you could be sold out by the politicians in an instant.

We (South AFrican Defense Force) secretly started training the Inkahta Freedom Party (IFP) members to fight for the SADF in the townships against the ANC (African National Congress) based supporters and in August 1985 the serious township unrest exploded in and around Durban, the rest of the white population had no idea what was going on, but every single day I deciphered the situation reports (SITREPS) and counted the casualties on both sides and watched as the command officers decided how long they would sit back and let the killing continue until they sent the troops in to clean up the mess.

In the morning or the end of the day I would walk out the front gate go home and just go surfing and I never said a word to a single soul.

No one knew what was really going on.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Surf, Sex, Violence 85 - 86 (3)

I cant remember if the Harrinton Rods came out after my birthday or before, but, by pure logic it was after as it was another big surgery to get them out again and, it was my 21st birthday and it had to have been after as no ways could we have done what we did that week if I had just come out of surgery again.

The boys at Garvies were pretty upset at what had happened to me and even though we had had a few little adventures into town on a few raids, the real deal started while I was still in hospital, Leroy and Jack had decided along with the rest of the boys that vengeance would be dealt out with a heavy hand.

The whole situation at Natal Command was just bizarre, I could not wear my full uniform (Browns) for months as the boots were too heavy, so I dressed in an officers uniform but had no rank and worked in a top secret office where access was very restricted. I was treated like royalty as I had direct contact with the Brigadier in command, it was just crazy. I had access to all the top secret documents, I knew we had nuclear arms, I knew we were dealing with the secret service´s of just about the whole western world. I knew way too much for just a guy who wanted to go home and surf, but we were sworn to secrecy and I have never said a single word about what went down in that room and I honestly am not even sure if I ever should.

I got to decipher and decode all the top secret documents and then I would just walk out the front gate go home and go surfing.

I had access to an absolute arsenal of weapons that were stored in the Ops room, it was crazy.

Meanwhile down at Garvies we were becoming untouchable.