Attending the opening of the South African parliament in June, several of  Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters enjoyed thirty-seven bottles of Veuve Cliquot  and Moët et Chandon champagne, Meerlust Rubicon wine, Glenfiddich whiskey and Tanqueray gin in a luxury villa in Cape Town. The bill amounted to 1800 euros, discovered intrepid muckraker journalist Marianne Thamm, who went through the rebel politicians’ trash outside.


Back to Ventersdorp

Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

An early nineties whites-only pub in Ventersdorp, South Africa, a recent meeting of the neighbourhood watch in Pretoria, a conference of the Young Liberals in the Netherlands. What’s the difference?


PR-ing the Guptas

Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

My old ANC-buddies and I still fondly remember those days at Bra Boet’s bottlestore in Khayelitsha, when we used to sit there on the stoep pretending to be drunks –granted, we also did drink, just a little-, whilst plotting to collect some guns and grenades from Botswana to fight the Boers with. The contact has watered down over the past twenty-five years or so. But I took a plane just to hear, directly, from comrades what the witblits is going on there? Some nouveau-riche family from India called Guptas are big buddies with the President? They apparently have old Msholozi in their pockets.


Chains and Selfie Sticks

Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

Uncle Tom has been preoccupied with pictures lately. First there was the one of the happy young men who had reached a Greek beach after crossing the Mediterranean from Syria. They made victory signs and took a selfie. With a stick.


On Sex Work and Actress Bimbos

Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

Last week my home girl Jeanie, who is now making it big in New York, Rome and Monaco as what I fancy to be the wealthiest escort-girl of all time, sent me this link to the story of a migrant woman. The intro was catchy. The woman had come from poverty, crossed borders, defied challenges and made many sacrifices to provide for her own needs and those of her family. But as soon as I saw the sentence “I am called illegal, disease spreader, prostitute, criminal, trafficking victim,” I knew what Jeanie was on about. She had clearly read the latest US State Department ‘Trafficking in Persons’ report.


Sex and Money

Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

Uncle Tom finds out about fund raising in the Gambia.



Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

Uncle Tom takes issue with afrophobia.


Dutch People

Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

Could there be something really wrong with Dutch people?


Fair(y) Tales

Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

A trader who calls himself ‘fair’, is just like my local neighbourhood nightclub boss, Honest Jimmy, says Uncle Tom.


Strange Hats

Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

Even my cousin Amos doesn’t want to wear strange hats in the jungle, says Uncle Tom.


Doing it for money

Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

When I read about women who leave their villages and families to go become prostitutes in big towns or even in other countries, I think of Jeannie.


Becoming a Warrior Princess

Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

How the Maasai make a business out of their traditions and how that is good for them.


White men worried

Uncle Tom / By Uncle Tom

When Uncle Tom visited his relatives in Crossroads informal settlement in South Africa, no reporters were surprised to see us eating porridge and tomato gravy, taking the bus to town and having an alcoholic uncle (not me, mind you, it’s uncle Boetie) who walks around in a vest and scratches himself.