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Don’t cry for me Tannie Skattie — a point of view from Pieter-Dirk Uys

– Pieter-Dirk Uys, Cape Times, 23 June 2017


It was a time of scandal and corruption. The highest in the land were suspected of criminal actions beyond their accepted political policies.


Millions upon millions of state funds were being secretly diverted into illegal operations. A few chosen families were allowed into the inner sanctum of power, manipulating contracts and tenders for their own benefits.


The public were left in the dark even though the samizdat of underground communication was spreading the news far and wide. State capture was complete and so securely established that a solution was virtually unthinkable.

Tell a friend


It was 1978 and South Africa was stranded in its separate developments.


Back then, to hint at the happenings even in jest was not only illegal, it was impossible. Nothing was funny about apartheid.


The small white audiences who ventured into fringe theatres to be entertained with absurd and obscene politics, had very little real knowledge of the essence of the satire. Censorship was everywhere. State radio was controlled and 90% of the local facts were fabricated to enshrine government opinion.


Television had just started and that evil little box was hemmed in by countless rules, confusing regulations and dour committees of Broeders on their moral high ground.


Political plays were easily banned on grounds of obscenity and blasphemy. It was also illegal to wear women’s clothing. And so it was inevitable that a little star from Bethlehem shone brightly. And an unexpected legend was born in that Free State town.


She had no name to start with. I had been given a weekly column in the Sunday Express — 100 words reflecting the madness of our political minefields at R1 a word (maybe that hasn't changed either?).


It was also the era of the so-called Information Scandal, where government policy had been exposed as naked corruption. Ministers were exploiting their fiefdoms of power like the demon warriors of Marvel comic-culture. How to expose these bizarre doings in a satirical and entertaining way, and survive to cash the cheque was the question.


Once a month, in those 100 words, an invented tannie would be at the Waterkloof party and whisper sweet nothings with a smile.


All the little details of sies and siestog burbled out of her reddened mouth, straight into the column, bouncing into the minds of the readers and entering the public domain.


Eventually, the editor of the newspaper enviously asked how all that lethal gossip could appear in the column, things he dare not even hint at in an editorial. "All from the mouth of that Evita of Pretoria," he declared, giving her a name that would stick for decades.


And so, after a year of 12 Sundays in the public eye, this woman could be focused on as a flesh-and-Velcro character in my first satirical revue, Adapt or Dye. She started the evening dressed like a boere tannie, with big picture hat and matching bag, bra and broad smile. She was the wife of a Nationalist MP and so condemned her white government with sweet, faint praise.


Her appearances should have only lasted the three weeks of the revue's run. But she had appeared at the right time. 1981: people in opposition politics and the media were tired of just the joke. They wanted the danger; to laugh at their fear and confront it with ownership. Even her surname was a flippant answer to the question from a journalist.


Does this Tannie Evita have a surname? I saw a poster on the theatre wall advertising a play starring the actress Aletta Bezuidenhout. ‘Bezuidenhout!’ I said confidently. This Evita of Pretoria now had a surname (and I don't think Aletta will ever forgive me). Evita survived the short run of a fringe revue and became known as “the most famous white woman in South Africa”. She straddled the diplomatic world as the South African Ambassador to the Black Homeland Republic of Bapetikosweti. She adapted after April 27, 1994 and did not die. She cooked for Nelson Mandela, and today she is doing the same for the ANC comrades in Luthuli House.


2017: It is a time of scandal and corruption. The highest in the land are suspected of criminal actions beyond their accepted political policies. Billions upon billions of state funds are being secretly diverted in corruption.


A chosen family is allowed into the inner sanctum of power, manipulating contracts and tenders for its own benefit. The public is left in the dark, even though the samizdat of social media is spreading the news far and wide.


State capture is complete and so securely established that a solution is virtually unthinkable. And Evita Bezuidenhout is still there, no longer a doyenne in the National Party, but now undoubtedly the most famous white woman in Luthuli House, ironically in the same position as she was during the apartheid era.


As a member of the ANC she is part of the problem, and yet only as such can she hint at the solution through her sweet condemnations of faint praise.


She has been a constant in the lives of most South Africans under the age of 60, reflecting their long tiptoe to freedom through the minefields of apartheid, then across the rolling lawns of the Mandela Mar-a-Lago of reconciliation and now into the dark age of the Zumas.


Maybe once again, as in those other dark days, the clown can dance where victims fear to tread. This legend in her own lunchtime, this icon who still is seen as an aikona, this woman who actually doesn't exist?


But that doesn’t mean she's not real. Maybe the next president of South Africa, instead of appointing Ms Bezuidenhout as the SA Ambassador to Mongolia, will allow Comrade Evita to stay in her Luthuli House kitchen and from there start to clean the political sandbox of power, a very messy, smelly, dirty reality, after all those fat cats had the Saxonwold Diarrhea for far too long.


Theatre on the Bay presents Evita Bezuidenhout & the Kaktus of Separate Development from June 22 to July 1 / Pieter-Dirk Uys in his one-man memoir The Echo of a Noise July 4-15 / book at Computicket





Upstairs, downstairs at the ANC

– Evita Bezuidenhout, Cape Times, 20 June 2017


How we took our kitchen staff for granted. We didn’t call them by that elegant name either. They were aia and meid, boy and outa. I can remember us sitting around our dining room table on our farm, Liefdesbodem, and discussing ‘the help’ while they were in the room with us, quietly doing their jobs.


They worked; Madam and Master paid. They had a place to sleep and food. But they slept on the cement floors and had no electricity. We encouraged them to go to the local black NG Kerk and pray for their families, as we would pray in our white church where they couldn’t set foot. It never seemed to diminish our Christianity; God was white with blue eyes.


And so, when Helen Zille tweeted her comments about colonisation and the pros and cons of colonialist developments in our country thanks to the influx of foreign talent, my first reaction was surprise.


Why would anyone talk about those days? What did colonialism have to do with our democracy, where everyone was free to stand up and be counted?


It was only when I met my friend Sophie for our monthly coffee in the parliamentary dining room that I realised what a cluster bomb the premier of the Western Cape had tossed into a crowded country. Sophie asked me what I thought. I reminded her how the walls of this elegant room were once lined with portraits of colonial leaders, the movers and shakers who had made South Africa; the stiff, impassive haughty stares from British lords, generals, sirs and kings, who made way for the smirks of Boer generals, NGK dominees, dokters and boere.


But now, Sophie and I were very aware of the bust of our first democratically elected president outside in the concourse — Nelson Mandela’s statue surviving the onslaught of paint, rotten oranges and what the lifted leg of a police dog had left on his right cheek. Was the honeymoon at an end?


But Sophie is now an MP and sits on those important portfolio committees in the public eye. For a while, our only hope. She was involved with the recent SABC investigation, but it seems to have run up on the rocks of confusion and fake news. Will that dark Hlaudi have a silver lining? I asked. She had no time for a smile.


For 20 minutes in a low voice, for obvious reasons, she tried to steer my prejudices into the safer haven of opinion. I am aware of what is cooking in the pots of power behind closed doors. State capture is a small heading for a huge issue. Sophie, without mentioning names, painted a garish panorama of failed parastals and successful corruptions. The G-word wasn’t used, but the acrid smell of the lunch curry was a subtle reminder that they, as a first family, could have supplanted the present portraits of the former freedom fighters.


Sophie was angry, a side she had never shown me before in all the years. Now and again, her excitement slipped into Xhosa. I lost some of the criminal details that infect our political traffic cops, from ministers to directors-general.


She executed Eskom, Transnet, Prasa, the Hawks, SAA, the SABC, education, health, welfare — and here her sarcastic embalming of Minister Dlamini even brought smiles to the face of our Zimbabwean waitron. I sat in silence.


Not because I didn’t know enough of the details to agree or disagree; but because, as a member of the ruling party, I have learnt to keep my face expressionless, or to give a slight smile when a deep frown would be more honest.


I never thought I’d be a member of the ANC. But the impossible had become the ordinary. The majority we had kept in their places are now in charge of the small spot I call my life.


But my grandchildren challenged me. They are “born-frees” and have little idea of what it was like under apartheid. In those days, I’d be responsible for taking their freedom away from them.


After 23 years, people still know me as Evita Bezuidenhout, member of the National Party; Tannie Evita who was the South Africa Ambassador in the Independent Homeland Republic of Bapetikosweti. Ja, ek was. Yes, the most famous white woman in South Africa who voted for apartheid, maybe the only white person still to admit it.


My three little black grandchildren (I call them Barack-Obama-beige) had asked me: “Gogo? What are you going to do to protect democracy, so that one day when we need to vote freely and fairly, democracy will be there in full working condition?” So, obviously, I had to go back into active politics, to the only real political power station — Luthuli House. I’ve been there for 18 months, a life-changing experience.


At first, Sophie laughed when I told her I was becoming a member. She whispered it was like seeing Melania Trump as the First Lady of the USA.


How we both laughed at that unlikely nonsense 18 months ago. As we say in Afrikaans: He who laughs last, laughs last! It was my turn to speak in a low key. Sophie listened as I told her what I had learnt during the last extraordinary months: never underestimate the fragility of democracy; never take freedom for granted.


Even as you read this, democratically elected governments are using democratically accepted ways to destroy democracy. Look at Turkey! I don’t even want to point at the USA, but I must. And Brexit is political polio that will lead the UK into paralysis in business and pleasure.


And so we talked, me and Sophie, as we had been sharing our secrets and successes since 1994, when she was allowed into Parliament as an MP of the ANC Government. I am continuously delighted by her success on so many levels of leadership and commitments.


Then, over coffee and my koeksisters, still a favourite on the Parliamentary menu, Sophie turned the clock back. She reminded me of those days at Liefdesbodem, when she was my junior maid — die oulike meidtjie — not allowed to bake or stew, but in the scullery peeling and chopping and mixing. It sounds like Downton Abbey, but it wasn’t. Sophie reminded me how “downstairs’ always knew exactly what was happening to us “upstairs”, because we always talked about our lives in front of the staff - who listened intently.


I had to laugh. I am now in the same position in the Luthuli House kitchen where my full-time job is cooking for reconciliation, no longer between Boer and Brit, white and black, but faction and faction. I even do my own peeling, chopping and stirring.


And yes, I serve silently as one does in that position, and I have heard far more than I should as a mere junior member of the ANC. So when people ask me what will happen to South Africa in the future, all I say is: don’t panic. These things happen in a young democracy. The December ANC Congress has all the accepted democratic means to sideline an irritating energy - and then the Zuma problem can move to Dubai. I always doubted that he would retire to those rondavels at Nkandla.


They will always remind me of a retirement village outside Hermanus. It was time to say goodbye. I embraced my former black domestic supervisor and she kissed her former Afrikaans Madam on both cheeks.


Life went on in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa where I hope we all remember where we come from, so we can celebrate where we are going.


Bezuidenhoudt and the Kaktus of Separate Development is at Theatre on the Bay from June 20 to July 1, 2017.




Evita Bezuidenhout is back at Theatre on the Bay

– Peter Tromp, The Next 48 Hours, 15 June 2017


Evita Bezuidenhout, or Tannie Evita as she is affectionately known, is back in a new show at Pieter Toerien’s Theatre On The Bay. ‘Evita Bezuidenhout & The Kaktus Of Separate Development’ can be seen at the Camps Bay venue from June 20 until July 1.


Evita Bezuidenhout has been part of South Africa’s political sessions of Big Brother since 1981. A former apartheid Ambassador in the Homeland of Bapetikosweti, she is now in the kitchens of Luthuli House where she cooks for reconciliation. She has always reminded us where we come from, so that we can celebrate where we are going. But since her three grandchildren have started asking questions about the past, Tannie Evita realises that while all the people of South Africa are now free to celebrate their roots, their history and their culture, white South Africans still are rootless. Especially the Afrikaner, whose official history was probably made up behind a desk in Pretoria as propaganda.


Peter Tromp caught up with Evita Bezuidenhout, the “most famous white woman in the African National Congress” on the eve of her latest opus.


How is Tannie Evita feeling on this beauteous day in the one and only Rainbow Nation?


EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: I am happy to be in what can only be described as the most beautiful country in the world, filled with the nicest people and led by an array of political energies that defy description —meaning ‘moenie panic nie; alles sal regkom!’ (Don’t panic, everything will resolve itself.)


Tell us about what audiences can look forward to with your new show, ‘Evita Bezuidenhout and the Kaktus of Separate Development’. That is one long title, so is it correct to assume you have a lot on your mind?


EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: I will have a conversation with my audience about where we come from and where we are going, with the accent on politically-incorrect phrases like ‘colonialism and tweets’, ‘racism and monkeys’ and the fact that if the people lead, the government must follow. So let us lead by example and believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel, even though that tunnel is curved.


Do you have any advice for people who might be growing demoralised by what the news dishes out on a daily basis?


EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: We cannot ignore the dire realities of corruption, carelessness, arrogance and failure in most areas of government and society. But never ignore the energy and hope in your children and grandchildren, who see the future as their personal playground. Help them with education, commonsense and optimism. Their vote is the key to the door of their future. Encourage them to become involved and opinionated.


What is in your handbag right this moment?


EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: O liewe aarde, let me look: my Blackberry, my lipstick, a small wallet with pictures of my grandchildren, a Xerox of my ID and driver’s licence, the latest Zapiro cartoon of Minister Gigaba and most important, some R5 coins that I can give to people who are waiting at robots for some help — with a smile.


What is your Rainbow Nation accessory of choice for the current political climate?


EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: Not a visa to Australia.


Do you do social media and if yes, where can people find you?


EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: My twitter handle is @TannieEvita. I have over 90000 followers, all probably in the same prison outside Rustenburg. And every Sunday you can follow a new episode on YouTube of my reality news-byte show called ‘Evita’s Free Speech’. We are now at Episode 93.


Being the paragon of transparency that you are, I will trust you to disclose any instances where you might have been compensated for your “impartial” opinions online.


EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: I don’t tweet after a glass of Chardonnay, unlike others who will remain nameless.


Regarding Pieter-Dirk Uys, our Theatrical Satirist In Chief…we believe you’re acquainted — any ideas on what he has cooking at the moment, creatively speaking?


EVITA BEZUIDENHOUT: I don’t really have time for trivia. I believe he is doing a one-man memoir called ‘The Echo Of A Noise’ that follows me at the Theatre on the Bay from July 4. I won’t be seeing it as I have to go to Dubai to measure the new curtains for Duduzane Zuma’s little flat.


* Book at Computicket, or by calling 021 438 3310.




**** Evita and the Kaktus of Separate Development

– Leon van Nierop, Artslink, 26 May 2017


Just when you thought that Pieter-Dirk Uys couldn’t get funnier or more topical, or even sharper, along comes this.


The show, perhaps one of his most illustrious and finest productions, starts harmlessly enough with a bewildered Mrs Bezuidenhout trying to get Gwede Mantashe on the phone, (he ran out of airtime!) demanding to know why the stage has not been set and the deliveries made for her appearance tonight. Her asides and throw-away lines are precious and extremely funny. This is where her strength lies. In the jokes she throws away!


With Evita’s typical sly, acerbic wit, Uys uses his alter ego to poke fun at incompetence in government, non-delivery of services and the general state of semi chaos currently prevailing in the country. Best of all: he still succeeds in making us laugh at the state our city and country are in, although it feels as if you are smiling through razor blades.


But the biggest surprise comes in the second half of the show when a radiant Evita on a handsomely made-up stage tackles a few holy cows (from which she makes splendid comedic hamburgers) and other unlucky personalities are lashed by her sharp tongue. But Uys’s success also lies in the fact that he takes out the whip on all of us, no matter what your culture, skin colour, religious beliefs, language, or political views. Nobody is spared the rod and you catch yourself laughing out loud, getting a fistful of wit aimed at you particularly, knocking you out flat, and then continuing as if nothing has happened.


If anything, Uys teaches us to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously.


This is perhaps one of his most brilliant evocations of Evita Bezuidenhout’s view of our country and of the world in general. At a time like this we need (and deserve!) to laugh not only at her, but also at ourselves.


The stage design is beautiful, Uys’s improvisational skills are remarkable (as his banter with those who don’t understand Afrikaans in die audience proved) and his humour is priceless. This is an absolute treasure. If you are an Evita groupie like I am, get yourselves over to Montecasino. The show is brilliant!



Evita Bezuidenhout and the Kaktus of Separate Development ****

Starring Pieter-Dirk Uys

At Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre until June 11.




Evita and the astonishing freedom of irrelevance

– Robyn Sassen, My View, 26 May 2017


A STEPLADDER REACHES up to the ceiling of the stage. The curtains are half closed. There’s a “horrible little doll” representing Economic Freedom Front leader, Julius Malema, and Evita Bezuidenhout, togged in flimsy leopard print and doek with a bag full of goodies arrives for an Imbizo, cellphone at hand, a bag full of goodies under her arm and a litany of rich and fantastic tales to regale us with, through the trajectory of her own history and the murk of lies and fake facts which we’re fed all the time.


But who are “we” in the saga? The Montecasino audience is traditionally largely white. The diatribe constructed, certainly in the first half of this production is extremely white-focused, and you emerge at interval pondering the relevance of Evita, who has been up until now, not only the most famous woman in South Africa, but largely a legend in her own time — ask Archbishop Desmond Tutu — in the arena of political satire.


Interspersed with everything, from a splaying out of fake news into fake history, to jabs at everything from measles vaccinations to Donald Trump’s blatant sexism, the work is beautifully written, top of the moment in political acuity and newsworthiness and well-structured, but it does feel monumentally long — for you in the audience, and for the 71-year-old performer on stage.


But then, as the second half opens, replete with enlarged reproductions of the kind of prints and paintings that adorned classrooms under apartheid, a piano and some other choice props, the piece’s pace heats up and the racial focus of the work comes into astonishing relief. Evita, arguably the world’s queen of fake news, examines the kak in historical cacti, and the repartee whirrs and flies with a mixture of heady political and sexual references which take Mrs Bezuidenhout to a new level of wit.


A character constructed by Pieter-Dirk Uys, who we’ve seen on these stages with a completely different frame of references but a few weeks ago, Evita is always a draw-card for local audiences. All through apartheid, she had the temerity to hold up the crooked and ugly mirror to South Africans. Now, at 71, she’s both suave and naive, politically astute and believable. She’s the epitome of Afrikaans genteel manners all wrapped up in a range of other subtleties and she’s the exactly appropriate vehicle for some of the finest of insults towards South African leadership and history, and like any good jester, carries with her a handbag of bold and brave tricks and jibes, and neither Jacob Zuma nor Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela nor Kgalema Mothlanthe escape unscathed.


Enfolding everything in the polite terms of an Afrikaans tannie who helps out in the kitchen of Tuynhuys, the Presidential Residence in Cape Town, on a Tuesday, Evita who is now a junior member of the ANC — she was during the 1980s, apartheid’s ambassador to the fictional South African homeland, Bapetikosweti — is now a gogo in her own right, and continues playing court jester with as much pizzazz and elegance as she’s done for over twenty years. But today, her bite is even sharper, and her focus more specifically honed. In considering her own racism, she will force you to ponder yours. In considering how she is a non-black South African, she will make you think a little deeper about what it takes to exist with authenticity in this topsy turvy world of ours. And how the white Afrikaner’s relevance has evaporated.


You will laugh, but often it is a laughter spiced with savvy or even sadness, as you acknowledge the bitter truths and historical projections that are within Evita’s ambit, and that reflect on the brokenness of the context in which all South Africans live and make sense of everything.


   Evita Bezuidenhout and the Kaktus of Separate Development is written, directed and performed by Pieter-Dirk Uys at the Pieter Toerien Theatre, Montecasino, Fourways, until June 11.




'Hi, I'm Evita, I'm a South African!'

– Jennifer de Klerk, Artslink, 29 May 2017


For more than 35 years Pieter-Dirk Uys has scrutinised and satirised our society, which is, of course, considerably and constantly changing.


I have seen him in many shows over the years, from his bitingly sharp digs at the National Party and apartheid in the ‘80s and ’90s, when he frequently caught the attention of the security police, to more recent times, when he had to put PW Botha’s pointing finger and Piet Koornhof’s big ears into the back bin and find ways to portray the new elite. He could take off Nelson Mandela’s voice to perfection.


His most noted personsa is, of course, Evita Bezuidenhout or Tannie Evita, hailed widely as South Africa’s First Lady. She has acquired a varied family and a detailed history, including serving as ambassador to the independent homeland of Bapetisosweti, in the days when we had such things, of course.


Even Evita Bezuidenhout, with her stiffly set hair, lavish dresses and huge eyelashes, has had to move with the times and now, she tells us, she makes koeksusters in the kitchens at Luthuli House, after joining the ANC two years ago.


The Kaktus of Separate Development stars Evita, looking older naturally — Pieter-Dirk has turned 80 — putting her own spin on our present, rather peculiar, circumstances. Don’t let third-rate politicians with fourth-rate ideas get you down, she says, tackling head-on the general miasma that overlies our society like volcanic ash.


She’s as sharp and perceptive as ever, tossing out witty asides you wish you could remember, only to have them overlaid by the next. As an Afrikaner, a member of the community which is now the most disadvantaged, she says, she slips in and out of the language, which is often far more flexible and expressive than English. You don’t need to be fluent, but you’ll miss out if you don’t speak any Afrikaans, which would be a pity.


The show falls, deliberately, into two halves. In the first, Evita performs with minimum props as the ANC has failed to deliver on time (appreciative laughter). When I saw the show, they were naturally preoccupied with the NEC meeting. Pieter-Dirk Uys has always been totally up-to-date with the news (and the fake news) and gives his own wry and penetrating analysis. He does not spare the barbs, sticking them into everyone, including Donald Trump (not difficult), everyone except Arch Tutu and Mandela.


Did we ever stop to think, he asks, where we would be today if Mandela had come out of Pollsmoor Prison angry? How many would have died? Instead, we have a second chance, but what are we doing with it?


The second half frames Tannie Evita with everything including a piano — and at last the cactus, a round, spiky ball that has, according to her, haunted South Africa since the days of Jan van Riebeeck. She gives a hilarious and irreverent history lesson which convulsed those of us educated in the old regime, where I was bored to tears by doing Jan van Riebeeck and the Great Trek every year in junior school.


In contrast, my Born Free daughter was all at sea. She had vaguely heard of Jan, didn’t know when he’d landed, had never heard of the French, German and English settlers, knew something about slavery, but had heard of the Voortrekkers and Boer War only from us, her parents. She can, however, tell you all about apartheid. She did history for matric. Thus, is history rewritten by those in ascendancy.


Weaving through the spiky material, which is delivered with an honesty that had the audience gasping, Pieter-Dirk subtly expounds his message. And, yes, there is one. Democracy first. Democracy always, Democracy forever.


Move on, he urges, stop trying to hammer the stubborn square of the past into the round hole of the future. After all, we are all South Africans — except those in the audience who were Zimbabweans. Shame.


The Kaktus of Separate Development with Pieter-Dirk Uys is at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre until June 11, then moves to Cape Town’s Theatre on the Bay from June 20 to July 1




Review: Evita Bezuidenhout and the Kaktus of Separate Development

– Ayanda Sky, TMTv-SA, 26 May 2017


Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout has graced Pieter Toerien's Montecasino Theatre & Studio with her fabulously satirical self, this time, we are introduced to literature and some controversial. . .gardening.


Evita Bezuidenhout's 'Kaktus of Separate Development' is lush with anecdotes that only Tannie Evita could tell so well. Audiences are taken around the world as well as back in time to the history that shaped South Africa. . .with some Evita spice of course, because, you know, she's the best political chef South Africa and the world ever did see.


With the latest satirical pricks, to the latest political scandals blossoming around the world, Evita Bezuidenhout turns the mirror to South Africa with a subtle reflexivity that will light you up with laughter but break your heart all at the same time.


Thank you to BUZ Publicity & Media for inviting TMTvSA, and catch 'Evita Bezuidenhout and the Kaktus of Separate Development' at Pieter Toerien in Montecasino until 11th June.




Evita and the Kaktus of Separate Development

Artslink, 13 May 2017


South Africa’s first lady, Evita Bezuidenhout, is back at Pieter Toerien's Montecasino Theatre in Johannesburg from 23 May to 11 June 2017.


Evita Bezuidenhout tramples where comrades fear to tread!

First there was 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'.

Soon there will be 'Harry Potter and the Houses of Parliament'.

Now you have 'Evita Bezuidenhout and the Kaktus of Separate Development'.

Do we have to break news in order to heal a nation?

How much of our past is Fake News?

How much of our present are Alternative Facts?

How much of our future is just black on white?

And after what tweet does an icon become an aikona?

Join me on my great trek from 1652, through 1820 and via 1910 into 1994.

And beyond the rainbow into the place where the pot of gold once was.

My name is Evita Bezuidenhout.

And I am an optimistic South African!


Evita Bezuidenhout and the Kaktus of Separate Development

At Pieter Toerien's Montecasino Theatre Johannesburg from 23 May to 11 June 2017.

Performances: Wednesday – Friday at 20:00, Saturday at 16:00 and 20:00 and Sunday at 15:00.

Tickets: R180, R130 and R100.

Book at Computicket.






It started in 1995 as the first show at Evita se Perron in Darling.


Every Sunday Tannie Evita peeled the onion of South African history, exposing the lies and the fantasies and delving deeper into where we were and where we are going. Tannie Evita Praat Kaktus became the longest running show in South Africa.


At last it has left the Swartland to confront one of the most controversial issues in our democracy: the real history of South Africa and the right to laugh at the lies.


Today everyone is free to celebrate a story of survival — all except the Afrikaner. While their history was the foundation to everyone’s story from 1652 to 1994, it takes the most famous white woman in South Africa to bring out the truth and expose the spin. Harry Potter and Indiana Jones would be envious.


Assisted by visual aids reflecting a familiar terrain of history, from the arrival of a small Dutch ship called the Drommedaris to the coronation of a former political prisoner called Madiba, Evita will take her audience on a unique great trek as she follows the journey of the Kaktus of Separate Development (Kaktaceae Apartica) from its arrival in 1652 to its reinvention in 1994 — right up to the headlines of today.


Not for the fainthearted who still believe that civilization arrived with Jan van Riebeeck!



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