TIMES SELECT TODAY | R100m game gift mystery solved? | The man and dog who found Miguel

A memorandum from 2016 has emerged and sheds the light on a controversial “transformation-driven” R100m game donation from the North West Parks Board to a game-breeding company owned by white Afrikaners. 

The Times first reported on the strange donation in June 2017, when it emerged that a white Afrikaner game-breeding family appeared to have been the recipients of a multimillion-rand gift in the form of buffalo and sable antelope from the North West government as part of its “transformation agenda”.

The SA Rare Game Breeders Association (SARGBH), a private company whose directors were Mike and Henry de Kock at the time of the report, asked the department for wildlife worth about R100m in 2014. They went as far as asking for the best and strongest males for breeding.

“We bring people home whether they’re alive or dead.”  

These are the words of veteran cop Collin Chetty who, guided by the keen nose of his dog Ghost, may have unravelled the mystery of missing schoolboy Miguel Louw 49 days before.

“This job is about bringing people home and I am lucky I get to do that. We search for loved ones and we bring closure to families who have lost someone,” Chetty said.

The navy man turned policeman had been led by Ghost, a three-year-old German shepherd, to the decomposed remains of a schoolboy whose face had been obscured by the knotted sleeves of a jacket in a ravine in Phoenix.

A recent announcement for a buskers’ festival proudly proclaimed that the event will feature “silent mimes”. I’m not sure exactly when it is but sadly I will be stuck at home cleaning the fishbowl that day so will not be able to attend. Nevertheless, I was relieved to hear that the mimes will keep their mouths shut. If there’s one thing I can’t abide it’s a chatty mime.

If you consider how many people suffer from metamfiezomaiophobia – an irrational fear of mimes – imagine what chaos would ensue if one of the creepy creatures stepped down off its pedestal and said: “Anyone got a tissue?” There might be a stampede. (Incidentally, I used the word “pedestal” there because a soapbox would be wasted on a mime.)

As any pedant will tell you, referring to a mime as silent is a prime example of redundancy, which is when you use two words to do the work of one, thereby rendering the extra word redundant. “First time ever”, “honest truth”, “total abstinence” and “personal friend” are all redundant expressions. (I’d argue that “brutal murder” and “tragic death” are equally redundant but I don’t see us getting rid of them any time soon.)

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