An ode to Johnny Clegg, and 5 more highlights from this week's Vrye Weekblad

SA is mourning Johnny Clegg.
SA is mourning Johnny Clegg.
Image: Ian West - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Johannesburg, July 2019: Jonathan Paul Clegg's lifelong friend and musical collaborator Sipho Mchunu chokes back the tears as he bids a final graveside farewell to his best friend. He raised his clenched fists, almost in frustration, looks to the heavens and says: "Hamba kahle!" Then he pleads with Johnny not to fear the journey on which he has now embarked: "Don't be afraid to meet your fathers, Skeyi, and your comrades, mfowethu [my friend]."


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Mchunu calls Clegg by his tribal name, Skeyi – borrowed from the "skei" part of the word "jukskei", referring to the peg holding a yoke in place on an ox. This bull has at last been freed of the yoke. A palpable silence descends on the small group of people gathered here in a corner of the Highveld.

In this week's edition of Afrikaans digital weekly Vrye Weekblad, Chris du Plessis, a friend of Clegg's for four decades, looks back on the rock legend's remarkable life – from his search for a father figure to sci-fi movies and a Zulu chief called Queen Victoria.

"In the past four decades, [Clegg] had to face the prejudices of apartheid; struggle through the swamp of the cultural boycott; stumble – and rise again – in the merciless world of international business; lose, and regain, a father; bury some of his closest friends; pick up the pieces after Juluka's sudden disbanding; and the rejection of Zulu culture - his primary source of inspiration," writes Du Plessis.

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5 other must-read articles in this week's Vrye Weekblad

FREE TO READ | ZUMA, THE TOOTHLESS OLD LION | Max du Preez has kept an eye on Jacob Zuma's appearance at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture this week.

ESKOM'S POISONED CHALICE | Eskom has to appoint a new CEO, but from what is expected of this person, it is clear the national power utility might as well be searching for a unicorn, writes Lisa Steyn.

FREE TO READ | ARMY ON THE CAPE FLATS | Some are happy about the army being deployed on the crime-ridden Cape Flats; others, not so much. For Anastasia de Vries it opens old wounds.

POLITICAL ECONOMY | SA needs as many constructive and pragmatic trade relationships as possible. There is no reason we should choose sides in an apparently bipolar world order, writes Piet Croucamp.

BOOKS | Why we love Harry Hole: Deborah Steinmair writes a love letter to the crime writer Jo Nesbø's shabby detective and to her late brother, Hendrik Roos.

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