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Gangsters, Girls, and Knobkieries – When Pele Outran a Taxi

Outrunning a taxi! Sounds impossible, right? But wait till you hear this story. It involves gangsters, girls, spades and knobkieries… all which spell trouble! Let Banks and Ace tell you what happened …


Peter: Ace, Banks, hi guys!

Banks: Alive and kicking!

Ace: Cool and howdy.

Peter: So, guys, what’s on the agenda, today? What’s happening? 

Banks: I was reading the Golden Oldie interview in Soccer-Laduma some time ago about our old teammate, Herman ‘Pele’ Blaschke.

Peter: Yes. 

Banks: Remember he spoke about how he always used to go and find the girls and bring them to the parties, only for the rest of us to steal them.

Ace: Ha ha. 

Peter: Yes.

Banks: Well, this story is about the same type of thing, except that it backfired on us.

Peter: What do you mean? 

Ace: It’s also when we found out what an incredibly fast runner Pele really was!

Banks: Ja …

Peter: Okay, guys, you’ve got us very intrigued … let’s hear it. 

Ace: As usual Pele said to us that he knew of girls that wanted to meet us for a party. Well, as you can imagine, any young man who hears this gets excited. 

Banks: We said, “Sure Pele, go do your stuff. Make your arrangements.”

Peter: Trouble is brewing. Kaizer Chiefs players, women, a party. Something’s up for sure! 

Ace: Ja. Pele made arrangements for us to meet these girls at their house in Diepkloof in Soweto. 

Banks: When we got there we were very pleased because, my friend, they were all beautiful. All four of them and they were Kaizer Chiefs supporters. We were made. Straight away the drinks started to flow and the music was blaring.

Ace: The only trouble was … what we didn’t know was that these girls were the girlfriends of the local gangsters …

Peter: Oh no!

Banks: Yes … but hell things were working out really fine for Pele, Ace and myself. We were groovin’ in the house and everything was nice. I don’t know how but obviously the noise of a party from the house had gathered a bit of a crowd outside. At first I didn’t bother, I thought that maybe they were Kaizer Chiefs supporters who had heard that some Chiefs players were in the house.

Peter: And? 

Ace: The trouble was these guys were junior members of the gang. They were living next door and had seen exactly what was going on. These guys had sent word to the bosses about what we were doing and they were going to make sure that we didn’t leave before their bosses arrived. 

Banks: Ja, it seems that myself, Ace and Pele were with the girlfriends of the three bosses. I mean the house was big and full of everything. We should have realised but you know how a beautiful girl can take your mind off things. 

Peter: True...

Ace: Pele was the first to realise something was wrong. He looked out of the window and saw some of the guys that we thought were Kaizer Chiefs supporters carrying knobkieries. 

Peter: What? 

Ace: Ha, ha. Ja … now we knew we were in trouble. We confronted the girls and they told us who their boyfriends were. Hell, straight away we knew we were in big trouble. I mean their guys were notorious. They would kill us for being there. 

Banks: Pele was really scared. Ace asked me what we were going to do. I knew one thing for sure - we weren’t going to wait for the ringleader to arrive! 

Peter: Sure.

Ace: We could see that they were selling coal from the yard and they had some big spades next to the back door. Banksie grabbed three of them and gave one each to Pele and me, and kept one for himself. 

Banks: I said to both Pele and Ace, “We’re getting out of here. Stay behind me, if anyone tries to stop you, hit him with the spade. When we get in the clear, run like hell for Kaizer’s house.”

Peter: Good captain’s instructions, especially under the circumstances. How far was Kaizer’s house from where you were? 

Ace: It was very far, but we had no choice. It was a life or death type of situation. These people didn’t care who we were, that we played for Kaizer Chiefs or anything. They were gangsters who wanted to teach us a lesson - they wanted revenge.

Banks: When I opened the front door, a group of the gangsters attacked us with sticks, knives and knobkieries. Hell, I don’t know how but we just started hitting out with the spades and managed to break clear. We must have been so determined because our lives were at stake. 

Peter: Chiefs could have lost three  key players in the process. 

Ace: Yes, but you know I’ve never seen Banksie so wild. He was like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movies - he got rid of everything in his way. He was a man possessed. He was hammering and chopping. I’ve never seen anything like that. Pele and myself were behind him but Banks was clearing the way. As soon as we managed to break free of those guys, we started to run. 

Banks: We knew the gangster bosses were only minutes from getting to the house, so we knew we had to get away. Otherwise we’d probably be dead today. It was hell … scary, very scary. 

Peter: Incredible.

Ace: The thing is I can remember it like yesterday. The funny part of the whole business was Pele Blaschke. As we’ve told the readers before, he was from Windhoek and was always worried about being in Soweto. What happened that day confirmed his fears. Also, he demonstrated his true speed that day. 

Peter: How? 

Banks: While we were running to Kaizer’s place, Pele was in front, then Ace and then me. We ran past a taxi rank. There was taxi about 10 metres in front of Pele, I swear it was going quite fast. It was obviously moving away from Ace and myself. It was getting further and further away from Ace and me but incredibly Pele was catching up with the taxi.

Ace: It was unbelievable. Pele was running on adrenaline and fear. He actually overtook the taxi. Everyone in the taxi looked shocked. I swear it seemed to be going fast, yet Pele went past the taxi as if it was going backwards. 

Banks: It just shows you what fear can do. 

Peter: What happened afterwards? 

Ace: When we eventually got back to Kaizer’s house, Pele was already there but he was packing his things. He said that he was getting out of Soweto while these gangsters were looking for us … ha, ha … he didn’t want to take any chances!

Peter: All’s well that ends well. 

Banks: Actually eventually, through other friends of ours, we made peace with the gangsters and they actually became Chiefs supporters as well.

Ace: But they never brought their girlfriends celebrating … ha, ha.

Banks: Ha, ha, ja.

Peter: Gents, you need a rest after all that running. Take it easy, guys.

Banks: Just like Sunday morning …

Ace: Man, those were the days when we could really move!


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