Smittie’s death-different versions

Alexandra Rose-Innes

Netwerk24 reneged on a previous article that former player, sorry Springbok player and bad boy, James Small, (although a few years ago he said he was not a bad boy anymore) died in a gentlemens’ club (with how many gentlemen found there?). He was at least not naked, stated the latest  article. Imagine doing business at The Harem naked. Never. And now that the world knows that, all is good.The owner of the club, Gerome Saffi, said the “discreet club” was a place where gentlemen did business.  Being politically correct in all aspects of speech as per the new government, never call a spade a spade.

But an unnamed source at Life Bedford Gardens in Bedfordview stated that nurses had to cover Small with a blanket after a woman, sorry lady from the club, rushed him to the hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning in her personal vehicle. It was a long and arduous business meeting obviously.

But all is forgiven in death. Pity that Ruby, his young daughter from his marriage to model Christina Storm, had to read this about her father. The media is not a kind old uncle. But a good story will always be a story and this story, especially in the words of The Harem’s owner, Gerome Saffi, who obviously gave some thought to a favourite client’s demise, is up for anyone’s interpretation.

And if, after this report, if the author is never seen again, it would be business as usual at The Harem with no journalist trespassing on its hallowed grounds in the name of , well, a truly sad story. The late Small was indeed a great no 14 (on his rugby jersey.) And in good old South Africa, former Bok players become heroes in death, no matter anything else. Remember the late great Joost. Everyone forgot the fact that he was found half-naked with a woman of ill repute snorting coke at a golf tournament in Mpumalanga and rather preferred to vilify his wife who at least got a television set in the ensuing fight after his death which turned him into a national hero.

The truth is indeed stranger than fiction.




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