On Friday, October 31, 2008, I was driving down the M19 from Pinetown to Springfield Park and came across an mazing sight. The first sign of anything unusual were members of the city police directing traffic where the road passes under the N2 ring road. They were not wearing their usual summer uniforms, but their Number Ones or stepouts which included heavy jackets, and they were sweating like bullets. A little further down the road towards Makro there appeared a procession, the like of which I’ve never seen.
There were two huge stretch limousines with the logo of a funeral home on their doors and following them, the biggest collection of expensive black cars that I’ve ever seen. They filled the three lanes of the road in a queue that could have been 500m or even longer. I have absolutely no idea how many vehicles there were, because I had to pay attention to the road and was unable to count, but there were a hell of lot. There were Mercedes and BMW, and a wide selection of SUVs including Range Rovers, Mercedes and BMWs and, I think, Jeeps, many of them, otherwise unmarked, had flashing blue lights on their dashboards.
I later found that this was the funeral procession of anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Billy Nair, who died in St Augustines Hospital on October 23, and that all the great and the good of the new South Africa were in attendence, including the president of the country and everyone else who is anyone. I don’t grudge Nair his sendoff but all I wonder is how a country with as many poor people in it as ours’, can afford so many expensive black cars for its officials. As I’ve said, I don’t know how many there were but there were enough to make the scene look awesome and, at possiblyR50000 a pop, the amount of money spent must be awesome too.