Day three - Johannesburg,
5th October 2007

This morning I went for an hour long walk around the bushveld that surrounds the Klipkop Cottage. It has been a long, long time since I enjoyed a walk through the raw African bush. It brought back so many memories of my childhood in Tanganyika.

It was another perfect highveld day - as you will see from the photos below and a great time for reflection as I prepare for my first book launch at lunchtime at the Sandton Library. The bird life was abundant and cheerful!

Image right stamping his hooves and marking his territory

I went out in search of the over 100 buck that roam this 1,000 hectare paradise - and succeeded in actually finding and approaching one that snorted and stamped its feet in the ground as it defiantly stood its ground before galloping away when I got to close. A magnificent sight.

Today the highlight is not the book launch - but my meeting with Nelson Mandela's adviser, Vern Harris, at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton. Vern has confirmed that Mr Mandela has read my book so I am hoping to hear first hand how he enjoyed it and whether he can sign a couple of copies of the book for me as keepsakes.

Book launch and other info and images below....

More of Klip Kop's

morning glories!

The cottage

The road to Klip Kop

Birds everywhere

The bushveld

Exotic trees

Thorny bushes

Buck poo

Klip = Stone

Kop = Hills

My find!

This was a day that just got better and better!

The midday launch went well with several books being sold and the Johannesburg libraries looking at buying twenty copies. This followed the launch at the Sandton Library. I trialled the poem recital that is displayed on this web site's home page - and that went down really well. I caught my entire talk on tape - so will check it out once I get back to Australia. I have to say  a BIG thank you to Margaret Houliston who organised everything for me... thank you Margaret. In the images below you will see pics of the Sandton Library and the people who attended my first launch in South Africa.

Image right: My beautiful 24 year old daughter Dr Kerry-Leigh Balson

Then at 2.30pm I was off, by invitation to meet with Vern Harris of the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton. Vern has been a close confidant of Mr Mandela's for a long time and is a very interesting fellow. He went to Pietermaritzburg College at about the same time I went to school at Michaelhouse. Vern, the Program Manager for the Centre of Memory, confirmed that Mr Mandela had my book and took a apare copy with him which he said he would ask the great Madiba to sign. Mr Mandela is very frail and does not take guests any more. Nelson Mandela has Griqua heritage - so the book is of obvious interest. After our chat over a cup of tea Vern invited me to take photos of some of the artwork and sculptures that have been created to recognise Mr Mandela. I jumped a the opportunity! The results are below.

The piece de la resistance was meeting with my daughter Kerry-Leigh at Mandela Square in Sandton for dinner after having a brief chat to Mlungisi Zondi the book reviewer from The Weekender newspaper - we will be meeting again tomorrow. Kerry-Leigh and I had dinner at the Butchers Grill before I left for Klip Kop - arriving at after 9pm.


The Sandton Library

Some of the people who
attended the launch

Mlungisi Zondi

Now there's a
sales pitch!

The Nelson

Mandela Foundation

Life sized statue of Mandela
at the Foundation

Same, but much bigger one
at Mandela Square

Controversial paintings -

like the black Christ

Large posters

in the foyer

A small sculpture of

The Sandton Library -

Mandela Square

With my daughter

Return to Scott Balson's 2007 book tour