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Eugene Marais Klipstapel

HOEV: OPNAME VAN BESIENSWAARDIGHEDE                  Nr 028

HEHA: SURVEY OF HERITAGE SITES                                     No 028

 

EUGéNE NIELEN MARAIS-KLIPSTAPEL

DATUM 1936 / 1981

SAEA-BESKERMING (60JR): nee

VERKLAAR: nee GELYS: nee

GPS data:X 27.54.12 Y –25.46.58

WELGEGUND 491JQ

PAD: pad na Ile de Afrique vanaf P 31-1.

 

 

Monumentjie van klip op die plek waar die klipstapel was.

 

Stone monument on the place where Roos made the stone heap.

 

Hierdie klipstapel is ter herdenking aan die digter, denker, joernalis, wetsgeleerde en wetenskaplike, Eugéne Nielen Marais opgerig, wat op 29 Maart 1936 hier sy eie lewe geneem het. Marais het in 1936 as 65 jarige enkeling in die rondawelhuis (033) van sy vriend Gustav Preller tuisgegaan. Hy het erg aan depressie gely en was vir veertig jaar aan morfien verslaaf. Op 28 Maart het Marais vir Chris Roos wat daar naby gewoon het en ‘n motor besit het die volgende brief geskryf:

 

 

 

Waarde Heer Roos,

Ek het skielik ernstig siek geword. Kan u my tog nie in neem nie. ek moet dadelik medisyne kry. Ek sal u vir die twee ritte vergoed. Kom tog a.u.b. gou. U vriend

Eugéne Marais

 

Hy het die brief met ‘n bode na Roos gestuur en díe het laat weet dat hy hom nie kan help nie aangesien die paaie as gevolg van die reën onbegaanbaar was.

 

Die volgende dag was weer ‘n mistige en reënerige dag. Marais het daardie oggend omtrent twee kilometer deur die veld na sy ander buurman, Lood (Lodewyk) Pretorius gestap (029).  Pretorius het as volg berig: “Iemand het aan die deur geklop en toe ek oopmaak het Eugéne Marais daar gestaan, deurdrenk van die reën. Hy het gesê daar is ‘n slang bo in die rondawels en hy kom net gou die geweer leen. Daar was ‘n koeëlgeweer en ‘n haelgeweer en Marais het die koeëlgeweer gevat. Ek het gesê hy kan mos g’n ‘n slang met ‘n koeëlgeweer skiet nie – hy moet die haelgeweer vat. Marais wou nie, hy het op die koeëlgeweer aangedring, maar later is hy tog op my aandrag met die haelgeweer daar weg. Die volgende oggend het klonkies Eugéne Marais se lyk omtrent honderd tree van my agterdeur af onder ‘n boom gekry lê, met die haelgeweer by hom. Hy het homself geskiet.” Dit moes omtrent 11h00 in die vorige oggend gewees het.

 

Marais het hom met die tweede skoot eers noodlottig getref. Roos berig dat hy een skoot gehoor het maar niks vermoed het nie. ‘n Swart vrou, Maria Mofamere het beweer dat sy op die lyk afgekom het en vir Lood Pretorius daarvan vertel het. Roos het toe ‘n paar klippe daar gepak om die bloed te bedek. Op 6 November 1981 het die Raad op Atoomkrag (RAK) op wie se grond dit was, ‘n gedenksteen laat oprig op die plek wat mnr. R Mulder uitgewys het as die plek waar Roos die klippe gepak het. Op die plaat staan:

 

TER GEDAGTENIS VAN

EUGENE MARAIS

WAT OP 29 MAART 1936

OM 11H00

OP DIE PLEK GESTERF HET.

Op versoek van

VERENIGING VAN AFRIKAANSE

SKRYWERS EN LESERS VIR

KULTUURBEVORDERING

Deur die

RAAD OP ATOOMKRAG

Opgerig: 6 November 1981

 

Eugéne Nielen Marais is in die helde-akker van Pretoria se ou begraafplaas begrawe.

 

Die klipmonumentjie is op die terrein van die Atoom Energiekorporasie (AEK) net suid van die huis van Skote Petoors.

Stone monument on Atomic Energy Corporation (AEC) site, just south of Skote Petoors’ house.

EUGéNE NIELEN MARAIS MEMORIAL

DATE 1936 / 1981

SAHRA PROTECTION (60yR): no

DECLARED MONUMENT: no LISTED: no

GPS data: X 27.54.12 Y –25.46.58

WELGEGUND 491JQ

ROAD: road to Ile de Afrique from P 31-1.

 

This cairn was erected to commemorate the poet, philosopher, journalist, lawyer and scientist Eugéne Nielen Marais who committed suicide here on the 29th of March 1936.

 

65 years old and single, he lived in the rondavel-house (033)of his friend Gustav Preller at the time.  He had been addicted to morphine (principal narcotic alkaloid of opium) for forty years, forever trying to escape from its power.  On high levels of inner experience, intellectual insight and creativity when using morphine, he suffered from withdrawal symptoms and severe depression when going without it.  He never could for very long, because the strongest will and the deepest guilt are consumed by the addict’s cravings.  On the 28th of March Marais experienced this once more.  He wrote a letter to Chris Roos (who lived nearby and owned a car) telling him that he had suddenly become seriously ill and as he needed “medicine”, he asked Roos to drive him to town, offering to pay for the journey.  He urged Roos to come soon and signed the letter as his friend Eugéne Marais.  A messenger took the letter to Roos who replied that he could not help Marais because the roads were in a very bad condition after the rains.

 

This was the end of the road for Eugéne Marais.  The next morning, which was rainy and misty, he walked more or less 2 kilometres through the veldt to the house of Lood (Lodewyk) Pretorius (029) and knocked on the door.  When Pretorius opened it, he saw Marais standing there, drenched with rain.  According to Pretorius, Marais asked for a gun with which he wanted to kill a snake that he had seen up at the rondavels.  There were two guns:  a bullet gun and a shotgun and Marais chose the former.  Even though Pretorius told him that it was impossible to shoot a snake with a bullet gun, he still insisted on taking it.  In the end Pretorius persuaded him to rather use the shotgun.  At about 11 o’ clock, under a tree some hundred yards from Pretorius’ back door, he turned the gun on himself.  The first shot did not kill him.  He had to fire again.  A black woman, Maria Mofamere, allegedly found the body the next day and informed Pretorius.  He reported later on that he had heard a shot but never suspected anything.  Roos stacked up some stones to cover the blood.

 

On the 6th of November 1961 the Atomic Energy Board, on whose site it then was, put up a memorial stone on the exact spot of Roos’ cairn, indicated as such by R. Mulder. On the plate it says (in Afrikaans):

 

IN MEMORY OF EUGENE MARAIS

WHO DIED ON THIS SPOT

AT 11H00 ON 29 MARCH 1936

At the request of

ASSOCIATION OF AFRIKAANS

WRITERS AND READERS

FOR CULTURAL ENHANCEMENT

Erected by

ATOMIC ENERGY BOARD

6 November 1981

 

Eugéne Nielen Marais was buried in the (heroes part) of the old Pretoria cemetery.

 


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