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Uys, Uys baby

Tonight, 10 August 2004

Why should anyone see you at the Civic when we could visit you at the old-age home?

The old-age home's in Darling and that is very far from anything "civic". The last time I visited Joburg was in the early 1980s. They say it's changed a lot, and as I am 102 years old, I want to go to the zoo, see a mine dump and visit Siegfried Mynhardt before I die.

What do you think of your daughters? Have they harmed or glorified the family name?

My horrible daughters are my karma — thank heavens they have not used the family name Poggenpoel. Evangelie (Evita) married that ridiculous broeder Oom Hasie and became a Bezuidenhout, and Baby (Bambi) got mixed up with Nazis and sex and is now a Kellermann.

The reason I am going to be at the Civic is to see that they don't drag my name into the gutter of politics and lust.

Any one piece of wisdom about life you can share with us, having been a survivor of many wars and benefited from apartheid?

The only wisdom about life is to realise you only have one. I survived the wars only because I won them before they started — usually with men. And, as for benefiting from apartheid, I now realise that I have wasted my life believing a lie.

They told me apartheid was a gift from God and I thought it was. They were wrong. Apartheid was bad. And now I am too old to catch up. I asked the garden boy to sleep with me but he wanted R20 and Evita only gives me R10 pocket money a month.

If there was one thing you could do over again, what would it be?

Meet Queen Elizabeth, the old dead queen mother. I tried to assassinate her in 1949 when the royal family visited South Africa, when their royal White Train stopped at the Vygiesdrif siding to meet the people.

I created a bunch of proteas from cement. I threw it at Elizabeth hoping it would kill her dead. She didn't fall over because, like me, she's strong. All I could say is: "We Afrikaners hate the English." She whispered back: "So do we Scots." She's the first English queen I liked.

Who are your heroes?

So many who used to be street names and now are forgotten: Andries Pretorius, Paul Kruger, Hendrik Verwoerd, Hans Strijdom, DF Malan. But as I now realise how useless they really were, I prefer watching The Simpsons on TV — although they turn the sound down.

If I hear English I go mad. I will never forgive the English for the Boer War concentration camps and Sue Kelly-Christie!

Did you vote on April 27 1994?

I stood in the queue with all the other Afrikaners from the old-age home. The Xhosa cleaning girl, who always steals sweets for me from the Spar, asked me who I would vote for. I said: "Nasionale Party soos altyd." She said I must vote ANC.

I said: "For why?" She said: "If you vote ANC, I will stay with you as your maid. Otherwise wipe your own bum." So I voted ANC. Rather a good maid than a good government, that's what I always say.

Do you have to cope on a state pension or do you rely on the kindness of your children?

Thanks to the generosity of minister Trevor Manuel, we old people get R20 added to our State pensions each year, which means a few extra tins of Petz Delite. Evita gives me nothing, even though in her interviews she says she does.

Her son De Kock sends me sweets and my granddaughter Billie-Jeanne's black husband LeRoy always makes sure that I have everything I need. I now realise how wrong and stupid apartheid was; the blacks could have paid for everything from 1948!

Is there any truth to the rumour that you have at least one lover?

As we say in Afrikaans: "My ou koek klap nog soos 'n mal mossel" — but at the age of 102 I suspect the intentions of men who want to sleep with me. I think they want to eat all my Smarties or tantalise me with the nice vibrator De Kock brought me from Amsterdam for my sore arm.

Are you a feminist?

Sies! I hate anything that ends with "ist". I am Ossewania Kakebenia Poggenpoel. I survived a Boer War, a Great War, a second World War, a Depression, a National Party, all the Bothas, the Rainbow Nation and Evita Bezuidenhout. All you have to be is proud of who you are as a person. Call me a personist.

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from 2004