DAVID ISAACSON: Take note, Divan Serfontein, of Eugenie’s scar of honour
'A pain flashed up my spine – a pain I’ve never experienced before or since – and I physically had to resist the man-handling'
First up were the three orthopods. Dr De Beer was the front man of the trio, who included Dr Serfontein and another thickset doctor who, as far as I remember, didn’t say a word in my presence.
Dr De Beer explained that they were actually civilians. “It’s not as if we’re pro-military,” he said. I had to swallow my sarcasm as I replied: “Gosh, the thought never occurred to me.”
The three stooges took me into an examination room where Dr De Beer asked Dr Serfontein to hold my hips tight while he tried to twist my shoulders as much as possible.
I’d love to know what Dr Divan Serfontein, the former Springbok scrumhalf who specialised in orthodpaedic medicine, thought of the wedding dress worn by Princess Eugenie on Friday. Not just Serfontein, but also two of his colleagues from his military days, especially one Dr De Beer. What did they think of the low-cut dress down the back that showed off Princess Eugenie’s scar? She was 12 when she underwent surgery because of a condition called scoliosis, which is a lateral curvature of the spine. I, like Princess Eugenie, had surgery because of scoliosis; I was 14 when I went under the knife for four-and-a-half hours in 1981, leaving me with a permanent scar. By the time I graduated from Rhodes University in 1989 I didn’t feel up to the task of compulsory military service for two years. I was self-conscious about taking my shirt off in public. To be honest, I also had a political motivation for avoiding the military. My late father, a one-time Progressive Federal Party (PFP) electio...