Klassiek reeks: Op soek na Generaal Mannetjies Mentz | General Fiction
Winner of De Kat/Sanlam's Great Novel Competition (1997)
Eugène Marais Prize (1999)
M-Net Prize (1999)
There are rumours of two dogs and a jackal, terrible creatures, that feed on man and beast in the passes through the mountains of the Brandwaterkom. That is where the Free State forces surrendered meekly to the English. Where someone is ambushing the Tommy escorts in the passes and punishing them brutally – but the quitters too, even the pack animals.
Three Boers are at the forefront of this secret Avenging Commando: the bestial harelip Niemann, the cunning Voss, and their imposing leader, Mannetjies Mentz. By their hand many burghers are freed to fight on.
And in caves high in the mountain Boer women and children are surviving the Anglo-Boer War. Ma, the unwavering. Aunt Soph, the reckless. Ounooi with the big ears. And Aunt Anne, who is blossoming. They have burnt their farm to the ground themselves, and a mutual agreement allows them to live there with Jan Witsie and his half-Basotho, half-Griqua people.
But it is the wrong time for Anne to be blossoming when Mentz and his burghers leave the captured young Tommy lieutenant there – in love as she is, and blind to the inevitable: that the burghers will return, and that they will want blood.
And in this way another conflict is born, because Soph’s own brother, bright Frans Naudé, is part of that Avenging Commando.
Conflict and passion, disloyalty and intertwined fates between Boer and Brit, white and black, man and beast … The mixture is rich and powerful in this story that runs deep and far into Africa: to the foot of her most beautiful mountain, Kilimanjaro, and into the shade of the greatest war, in the middle of the previous century.