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Papwa Sewgolum

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 25 SEPTEMBER

UPDATED: 25/09/2018

25 September 1886, William Hendricks accidentally kills his wife Sophy after a drunken spree. He was found not guilty of murder.
25 September 1907, Alexander McGregor Museum officially opened.
25 September 1908, Salvation Army leader General William Booth, visits Kimberley.
25 September  1919, Isaac and John Barnard awarded the Edward Medal for saving two miners in a Mud Rush at Wesselton Mine, although 12 die.
25 September 1961, Papwa Sewgolum sets the course record of 68 at the Kimberley course.

DID YOU KNOW

Apart from setting a new Kimberley Golf Club course record in 1961, Papwa Sewgolum competed on many occasions during the 1960s in Kimberley.

The 1960 Griqualand West title was won by Papwa Sewgolum with scores of 69 72 72 72 – 285. There is debate whether this was played at the “new course” in Kimberley or at some other course. The “old course” at this time was not in use and the other course available was the Versatiles golf course at Greenpoint. Papwa did not like playing the so-called “bush” courses so it must be presumed that it was at the new course on the Johannesburg road.

In 1961 the Griqualand West Non-European Championship was definitely played over the “new grass course” of the Kimberley Golf Club and was won by Papwa Sewgolum with scores of 75 68 69 73 – 285. He finished 23 shots ahead of runner-up J Gumbi. Papwa was given something of a run in the final round by Dick Phala who was three under after 10 holes but his challenge was short lived. There was a field of just on 30 players and the local golfers were most impressed by the standard of play. Ivor Manning, the Kimberley Golf Club professional, said that he had never witnessed a finer display of course etiquette and sportsmanship. In very windy conditions and with extremely difficult pin placings, Papwa’s record-breaking 68 in the second round was particularly noteworthy.

The Griqualand West N-E Championship in 1963 was again played at the Kimberley GC and again won by Papwa. He scored 285, eight shots ahead of Ishmael Chowglay (Cape Town) on 293.

History was repeated in the 1964 Griqualand West Championship when Sewgolum won with scores of 77 72 74 72 – 295 from Ishmael Chowglay with scores of 75 75 73 78 – 301. The two were level with one round to go but Papwa’s mastery was never more evident than during the final round when, battling against a strong wind and a dust storm, he shot his second sub-par score of the tournament carding a one-under 72.

Played yet again at the Kimberley GC the Griqualand West Non-European Championship in 1965 was won by Sewgolum for the fifth time in a row with a score of 281. Second was Cox Hlapo on 286 whose 75 in the first round let him down. The leading amateur was E Murison (OFS) with a score of 339. A special prize for the highest total went to David McLean whose aggregate was 405.

With opening rounds of 78 and 78 Papwa Sewgolum trailed P Mazibuko by seven shots and D Motati by five after the first day of the 1967 Griqualand West Non-European Open but made up the deficit on the second day with 75 and 69 and came out the winner on a score of 300. The two earlier challengers fell away and second place was filled by S Sepeng (78 78 75 72 – 303) from Simon Cox Hlapo (78 79 74 76 – 307).

Indeed, a great golfer!

(Most of above from the South African Golf Association website).

Sewsunker “Papwa” Sewgolum, a South African of Indian origin, was a self-taught golfer who played the game with a back-handed grip, hands positioned the opposite way to the traditional grip. The unorthodox grip has another name – the Sewsunker grip – named after Sewgolum because he used it with such success. Born in 1930 to a blind mother, Sewgolum came from a modest background. During his early childhood years he did not attend school, and spent much of his time hitting golf balls on the beach with whatever branches he could find that resembled golf clubs. Later, to make ends meet, he became a caddie at the Beachwood Country Club.
Although he was a better golfer than the men for whom he caddied, the racial laws of apartheid South Africa prevented him from demonstrating his prowess – even though, competing in non-white competition, he won the Natal Amateur at the age of 16.

Sewgolum was “discovered” by a German, Graham Wulff, who lived in Howick in the Natal Midlands. Wulff was impressed. Wulff took him to the Netherlands to compete in the 1960 Dutch Open. Sewgolum won the tournament, successfully defended it the following year, became a three-time winner of the title in 1963, and finished as runner-up in 1964.

Back in South Africa, Sewgolum was only allowed to compete from 1963. He promptly won the Natal Open, defeating Harold Henning – and becoming the first person of colour to win a professional golf tournament in South Africa. Henning was no slouch – he won more than 50 tournaments in his professional career.

In 1965, Sewgolum came within a whisker of winning the South African Open, losing out to Retief Waltman by a single shot.

However, just when it seemed his career would take off, the apartheid government brought it to an appalling halt. In 1966 the government banned Sewgolum from all local tournaments, and by withdrawing his passport, prevented him from playing abroad – and, in effect, from making a living.

Sewgolum died impoverished in 1978, not yet 50 years of age, from a heart attack.

(All above condensated from: Brand South Africa at:http://www.southafrica.info/about/sport/greats/sewgolum)

25 September 1886, William Hendricks accidentally kills his wife Sophy after a drunken spree. He was found not guilty of murder.
25 September 1907, Alexander McGregor Museum officially opened.
25 September 1908, Salvation Army leader General William Booth, (pictured) visits Kimberley.
25 September  1919, Isaac and John Barnard awarded the Edward Medal for saving two miners in a Mud Rush at Wesselton Mine, although 12 die.
25 September 1961, Papwa Sewgolum sets the course record of 68 at the Kimberley course.

Edward-Medal

Edward Medal

DID YOU KNOW

Is death by violence, murder? Despite the legal terminology downgrading certain killings to manslaughter (culpable homicide), even today, many committed to trial for murder are often sentenced to a term in gaol for manslaughter. Sadly, the victim remains the victim and nothing will bring him or her back again. It does tend to show, however, that “an eye for an eye” can only really be implemented given certain conditions such as premeditation, where the charge is for murder rather than manslaughter.

On 25 September 1886 William Hendriks, a “thick set, powerful, brutal looking” man was charged with murdering his wife Sophy, but pleaded not guilty. That day, both were under the influence of alcohol as they staggered home, and William was seen by a witness known as Jonas, to have struck his wife and she fell. William continued on his unsteady way and eventually made his way home. Sophy was not so fortunate as her body was found by Laing’s store in Dutoitspan village the next morning some 200 yards from where she had been hit by William. Sophy’s body was removed to the mortuary by Constable John Buckingham and examined by Dr William Grimmer. Dr Grimmer found that there were three wounds on her head – all down to the bone – as well as bruises and puncture wounds on her thigh. Judge Jones, after listening to the evidence, told the jury that the only direct verification of assault on Sophy was the single blow by William, and that had not been proved to have caused the murder. If she had died from the effects of the single blow, then there was no evidence of malice to constitute the crime to that of murder. Indeed, someone else may well have attacked Sophy. The jury agreed with the Judge’s summary and found that William was not guilty of either murder or manslaughter, and he was discharged.

PT-Salvation_Army_Leader_General_William_Booth-1908

Salvation Army Leader, General William Booth

Another murder case heard by Judge Jones that same day was that of Lagavan, who the state alleged had murdered one Nehemiah on 12 December 1886. It was a fight between two Africans that got out of hand and resulted in a bystander called Nehemiah receiving a knife wound that proved fatal. Lagavan took out his pocket knife – mentioned in court as becoming more popular than the knobkerrie – and aimed a swipe with the knife at another African, knicked that African’s finger, but the knife accidentally cut the throat of Nehemiah who was standing next to him. Nehemiah fell to the ground and died before help could be obtained. In this case, the jury found the defendant, Lagavan, not guilty of murder, but guilty of culpable homicide, and the judge sentenced him to five years imprisonment with hard labour.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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