Babobski's Blog: News and opinions from South Africa and around the world

A South African blog with an international flavour

Amos Langdown – master South African artist

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Art Amos Langdown and others 004 email

(Fisherman at the sea.  A typical Amos Langdown painting depicting the ocean on the Southern coast of Africa.)

The EPSAC art gallery in Port Elizabeth, South Africa  held an exhibition of Amos Langdown paintings recently. Langdown is one of the acknowledged South African master artists.

Amos was born and bred in Plettenberg Bay in 1930 and passed away in 2006  in Port Elizabeth was well known for his seascapes and ocean orientated scenes like boys fishing and can be regarded as the first of the South African surf artists.

Langdown managed to capture the beauty of the land and its people and was heavily influenced by the ocean. He grew up in Plettenberg Bay, a small fishing hamlet on the Southern coast of Africa that has expanded into a popular coastal holiday resort.

Seascape web

(above: people at the beach)

His father, a one-time open ocean whaler, made a living from the sea but was forced from the ocean to do odd jobs after the arrival of the Scandinavians with their whaling station in Plettenberg Bay.

He used to bring home the dirty paint brushes after a days work. Langdown would use those to create paintings that depict the little ordinary things that had happened during that day.

Langdown’s first solo exhibitions led to him being sponsored to study abroad. At this time he was already studying part-time at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT.

His mentor was the well known poet and author P. J. Philander who taught him at school in Plettenberg Bay. Their book Die Bruin Kokon is a selection of poems and illustrations.  Only 1000 editions were ever printed and Die Bruin Kokon has become a very rare and valuable book.

Langdown is one of the acknowledged South African landscape artists.  This reflects in the price of his paintings.  A  55cm x 44 cm “fishing village” painting is going for R 79000 in a reputable South African art gallery.  Similar size paintings and smaller have also been sold in the R 60 000 – R 70 000 price range.

Boys fishing web

Above: “boys fishing”

South African art prices are under pressure due to the lack of cash in the world and local economy and one can find a good painting on auction should an art investor be lucky.

A 44cm x 55cm painting entitled “fisher children playing with a wheelbarrow” was sold on auction in May for R 30 000.  Bargains like this are not common and good Langdown oil paintings of this size can be expected to fetch around R 60 000 – R 80 000 (about $ 10 000). More articles on South African artists can be found here



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After a relatively calm period, numerous housebreakings were reported in the upmarket suburb of Wavecrest in Jeffreys Bay over the past weekend.

Mimosa, Pagoda and Poplar Streets as well as Palm Crescent were all targeted but housebreakings took place in other areas of Wavecrest as well.


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(Above: The world famous waves of Jeffreys Bay are being threatened by the ever increasing crime wave on land)


Most of the attacks took place after 2 AM and the method of entry was by breaking and entering through windows. In two instances, doors were forced open, one of them being a sliding door.

The brazen thieves even entered homes occupied by residents and the community is urged to make sure that all access points to your homes are secure before going to bed.

The Police are actively working on the problem and several known housebreakers and other suspects will be arrested in the next few days to see if they are linked to the robberies.

A bakkie was also stolen in Wavecrest over the weekend and on a more positive note, an arrest was made in Seetuin Road where a suspect had stolen goods in his possession and is appearing in court today.

Pellsrus was the other crime hotspot over the weekend with housebreakings and assaults being reported. The Ocean View Neighbourhood Watch again conducted foot patrols over the weekend and only one incident was reported from this suburb.

Aston Bay and Paradise Beach were quiet with no reported incidents taking place. Once again the Neighbourhood Watches in these suburbs must be commended for the sterling job they do in keeping crime under control.

A fraud case involved the purchase of a bakkie was laid with the Police. The modus operandi is a “bargain bakkie” is advertised and after the potential buyer has deposited the funds in the seller’s bank account; the seller disappears with the bakkie.

 There was one arrest for drink driving over the weekend and more operations targeting this crime will be held in the near future.

CPF ELECTIONS The elections will be held on 21 September at 18h00 at the Detective offices in St Croix Street. Should your organization not have registered kindly contact Sue Smit for mandate forms at

Jeffreys Bay Police shoot gangster

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A notorious gang leader was shot by a Jeffreys Bay policewoman on Friday night after resisting arrest and attacking and stabbing another policeman who tried to apprehend him.


The drama began in Ocean View at 9 Pm on Friday evening when the gang robbed a resident of the suburb.  The Jeffreys Bay Crime Prevention Unit (CPU), Sector Police and the CPF were all in the vicinity and chased the suspects, who fled across the Aston Bay road towards Pellsrus.


Inspector Hayward, the sector manager in charge of Ocean View and Pellsrus knew where the gang’s territory was and quickly coordinated the police to circle the area.


The fleeing gang leader was apprehended in-between shacks and when the Police tried to arrest him, he stabbed a policeman in the upper arm. He then attacked other policewoman who evaded the attack and in defending her life, she shot the suspect in the back.


The suspect was then placed under arrest and transferred to Livingstone hospital.  He faces charges of attempted murder and assault with the intent to do grievous body harm.


After witnessing the drama unfold, the Jeffreys Bay CPF wishes to add its voice to the growing calls to clear the confusion surrounding Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act that hinders the Police in the performance of their duties.  It is nothing short of a ludicrous situation when a police officer still has to try apply the policy of minimum force when their lives are in danger.


The Act reads that:

Where arrest is called for, force may be used only where it is necessary in order to carry out the arrest.

“Where force is necessary, only the least degree of force reasonably necessary to carry out the arrest may be used.

Shooting a suspect solely in order to carry out an arrest is permitted in very limited circumstances only.”


Friday’s night’s incident highlights how easily the Jeffreys Bay community could have been mourning the death of two police members.  When a criminal puts a Police officers’ life in danger and there is hesitation and split decisions that need to be made in the heat of battle about how to deal with the situation, then changes to the Criminal Procedure Act must be made.


A shoot to kill policy when under attack by dangerous criminals may not solve all the crime problems facing our country but our Police officers must be able to defend themselves when their lives and the lives of our community are in danger without fear of recrimination.


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 Four robbers armed with assault rifles and hand guns were apprehended in the centre of Jeffreys Bay on Monday just after dark after a high speed car chase.

Acting on information received from the community, well known businesswomen Cheron Kraak hired a private investigator who determined that she was the target of criminals whose plan of action was to rob her at her home in Wavecrest.

The gang had decided to conduct a reconnaissance of Kraak’s house at 7 pm and then hit the house at around 2 am. Once the vehicle started moving towards the residential area of Jeffreys Bay the Police, who had mobilized a task team, moved in and tried to force it to stop.

Weapons were thrown out of the window and after a dramatic car chase, the driver of the mini bus was forced to stop in Woltemade Street, ironically just up the road from the Police Station.

The well armed Policemen dragged the suspects from the vehicle and had them handcuffed within seconds. The suspects were then taken to the police station for questioning.

The R4 and R5 rifles that were thrown out of the window were stolen from an army base in Mthatha and a private security firm in Gauteng and will be checked to see if they are linked to any other crime scenes. The mini bus is licensed in Tsolo in the former homeland of Transkei.

Three of the suspects come from the same area and the Police are investigating to determine whether they are wanted on other charges.

Kraak was thankful for the prompt response by the Police and said that criminals must know that the J’Bay community had declared war on criminals. “The arrest of these thugs proves how well the community and the Police can work together in the fight against crime”, said Kraak. “We are sending out a message to criminals that they are not welcome in our town and that they going to get taken out.”

The Jeffreys Bay Community Police Forum (CPF) agreed with Kraak’s statement and said that all the communities in the town were mobilizing to help the Police win the war against crime. Brenton Williams from the CPF said that on Friday night foot patrols were conducted in Ocean View by residents who were sick of being terrorized by gangsters. “Joint operations by the Aston Bay, Paradise Beach and Wavecrest Neighbourhood Watches, in conjunction with the Police has seen a dramatic reduction in crime in those suburbs”, said Williams. “We must remain vigilant as criminal elements are always seeking soft targets. However the syndicates from out of town that are trying their luck are discovering that our community will fight back.”

Wavecrest, Jeffreys Bay under siege

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There has been a spike in house breakings in Wavecrest with another two incidences occurring last night. It appears that criminals are gaining access through burglar bars and through unprotected doors.

 Residents living in older houses are urged to check their burglar bars as in many instances, it is easy for criminals to loosen them and gain entry. The current modus operandi of the criminals in Wavecrest is to target houses that are occupied.

It does not matter what age the inhabitants are as pensioners as well as young people have been robbed whilst in their homes. The time frame that criminals have been invading homes is between 10pm and 4am.

However, the Jeffreys Bay Police have urged residents to be aware and take safety precautions from sunset as it appears that houses have been watched before the criminals decide who to target. Make sure outer doors and security doors are locked. Unprotected windows must be locked and an inspection of your burglar bars must be carried out to ensure it will not be easy for criminals to gain access.

Laptops, cell phones, cash and guns are what the criminals have been seeking when robbing houses. It is suspected that locals are involved and the Police are following several leads. A well known house breaker has recently been released from jail and is being sought by the Police for questioning.

 Ongoing operations involving the CPF, the Police, Security companies and the neighbourhood watches will be taking place until the situation is under control. Residents must also take note that ATM’s are being monitored by criminals and the necessary precautions must be taken when drawing cash, especially when the surrounding area seems deserted


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Following a second violent house robbery in Paradise Beach, the Police, the Neighbourhood Watches, CPF and security companies worked through the night on Sunday and managed to arrest 5 suspects and recover stolen goods.

Superintendent Ntsabo the commanding officer of the Jeffreys Bay Police Station thanked the members of the community at the monthly meeting of the Community Police Forum (CPF) last night as well as Smhart Security who were involved in tracking down the suspects.

“We are taking a zero tolerance towards criminals in the town and we will catch them” said Ntsabo.

Proving that the J’Bay Police mean business 15 “A” arrests have been made since Friday. These arrests are for crimes like assault, murder rape, drunk driving and house breakings while 17 “B” arrests have been made for crimes such as loitering, drunk and disorderly and traffic offences like jumping stop streets.

Ocean View/Pellrus remain the hotspot suburbs with crimes ranging from house breakings, domestic violence and assault with knives taking place. An attempted house breaking took place in Paradise Beach but the Police made an arrest and thwarted the attempt. A house breaking took place in Nautilus Street C-Place last night where a door was forced open to gain access.

Two businesses in the CBD were targeted and windows were broken to try gain access. Business owners are urged to take proper security measures to ensure they do not become the victim of criminals as there is an upswing in this type of crime in Jeffreys Bay.


The lucky winner of the painting donated by the world renowned artist Stephen Bibb was announced at the CPF meeting last night. Graham Veitch from Paradise Beach is the CPF member who signed up and won the lucky draw and will be handed the painting at next months CPF meeting.

Locals only for Jeffreys Bay Surf Contest

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The local surf community came out of the woodwork on Saturday morning to witness a unique event in the history of surfing in Jeffreys Bay.

Ashley Walter in the best barrel of his life

Ashley Walter in the best barrel of his life

16 of the top Supertubes surfers would be competing for a place in the Von Zipper Wildcard trials and sharing the line up with the water patrol, who were all long standing J’Bay locals. No surfers from anywhere else in the country or the world were going to surf Supers and there were even local policemen amongst the water patrol, making sure the Supertubes remained local’s only for the entire day.

Below: Ryan Payne the winner of the Supertubes Showdown about to hit the lip at Supertubes

Ryan going vert

The boardwalks at Supers quickly filled up with spectators and some made a bee line for the top deck at Tyrone Smith’s house and settled in to watch the action unfold. After a long waiting period, and many nervous moments for contest director Koffie Jacobs, the first wave to be ridden in the Xcel Supertubes Showdown was a classic. As the hooter sounded to start the first heat, Warren Dean whipped into a bomb and got barreled three times before being towed back out to the backline by Arthur Joubert, who was controlling the line up on his jet ski.

The first wave set the tone for the contest and spectators were given a display of tube riding that has never been witnessed in Jeffreys Bay before. Even the groms that were invited to the Supertubes Showdown got their cover ups whilst old stalwarts like Trevor Hansen showed he still knows how to ride barrels, much to the delight of his son Keane, who cheering from the beach.


The Xcel sponsored braai was well supported as was the bar as soon as it opened. The water patrol crew managed to come back to the beach to grab some Red Bulls before paddling back into the line up for some more uncrowded J’Bay perfection.

Prize giving ended just in time for the locals to watch the Springboks take on the British Lions in rugby. The day was aptly summed up by Tyrone Smith, the head of the Supertubes Surfing Foundation when he commented “It does not get any better than this”.

Those who still had energy left then managed to drag themselves off to the Mexican, the venue of the still talked about opening function of the Xcel Supertubes Showdown nearly a month ago.

Below: Dylan Lighfoot (14 yrs old) is a name to watch in the future about to cut back on a big Supertubes wall

Dylan Lightfoot is a name to remember

The final was a tense affair with Supertubes legend Warren Dean trading barrels with Ryan Payne, with Payne eventually getting the nod from the judges and the invite to the Von Zipper Wild Card Trials. Three of the VZ trialists will get the opportunity to surf in the 09 Billabong Pro which will be held in Jeffreys Bay in July.

Final results of the Xcel Supertubes Showdown:

1. Ryan Payne
2. Warren Dean
3. Deon Lategan
4. Stan Badger