Inside SA’s ‘sin city’
Forty-three years ago this week, the first sods were turned at Heystekrand — the beginning of what would become Sun City. For ‘Sun King’ Sol Kerzner, it would be manna from heaven
On December 6 1977, Bophuthatswana became the second bantustan to achieve "independence". The only foreign head of state to join homeland president Lucas Mangope in the dusty tent city that would later become the metropolis of Mmabatho was SA state president Nico "Dr Gold" Diederichs. Festivities included a gymnastics display, "tribal dances", a football match and a 101-gun salute (21 simply wouldn’t cut it on an occasion as auspicious as this).
But while the smiles at the official celebration were clearly forced, the same could not be said for the Cheshire-cat grin that must have crossed the face of one Solomon Kerzner that day...