Die Martelaars

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Die Martelaars ("The martyrs") is a lost play by Pieter Fourie (1940-)

The original text

Based on significant historical events, the evasive tactics employed by the Prime Minister General Jan Smuts to avoid commuting the death sentence imposed on Boer hero and rebel Jopie Fourie on 20 Desember 1914, and the death of the charismatic Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko at the hands of the Security Police on 12 September 1977, and the callous response of the Minister of Justice and the Police, Jimmy Kruger to this. Begun in a fit of anger just after the death of Biko, the play was completed in just three nights. According to Fourie it represented a confrontation between Jopie Fourie and Steve Biko as accusers and Jan Smuts en Jimmy Kruger as defendants.

Unfortunately, on rereading it in a fit of depression about the state of the country, enhanced by much alcohol, Fourie apparently destroyed the manuscript by throwing the only manuscript into the fire.


Nico Luwes 2010. Pieter Fourie (1940-) se bydrae as Afrikaanse dramaturg en kunsbestuurder: 1965-2010. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Bloemfontein: University of the Free State, pp.208-211 [1]

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