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Machado mayhem

February in Machadodorp was not only Valentine’s Day, it was more like “time-to-take-cover” for virtually every other day of the month. If it could go wrong in Machado in February, it did. Here is a list of some of Machado’s woes during this catastrophic month – not necessarily in chronological order…

  • Summer storms were the order of the day – especially at the Mpumalanga traffic police base in Emthonjeni when a violent storm removed a goodly portion of their roof in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, nobody was hurt but more than a few local motorists were seen smiling, with not a hint of sympathy in their eyes as they drove slowly past to gawk at the damage.
  • The long-awaited and much-vaunted Machado Boarding School opened its (expensive) doors. Late, but better late than never. No sooner had they taken their first intake of learners on board than they proceeded to poison them. It would seem that a number of kids had to be taken to the nearby Waterval Boven hospital for precautionary treatment for suspected food poisoning. No long-term effects but authorities remain tight-lipped whilst they wiped the egg off their faces.
  • One of the busiest intersections in town – BP garage/R36 to Carolina – was next up when a large, Mozambican-registered super-link truck, loaded to the gunwales with spuds, lost its load. The intersection was a mess for hours with the truck laying on its side – whilst hordes of local residents engaged in a free-for-all “get-while-the-getting’s-good” stampede to swipe as many potatoes as they could get their mitts on.
  • And then the Machado Shell got hit by a notorious gang of armed robbers in the early hours of the morning. Again, fortunately no injuries were reported, but the gang managed to get clean away with whatever they could lay their hands on. They are (reportedly) still at large.
  • Then it was the turn of Milly’s - a week or so later. Same gang, same modus operandi, same early hours of the morning. Same result, no reported injuries and the criminals disappeared into the night with their haul. Ditto. Still out there. Who’s next? Come on Machado SAPS, get these guys before blood is spilt.
  • Finally, residents could be forgiven in thinking that Evel Knieval had come to town when an un-named motorist flying down the R36 hill approaching the (now gun-shy) BP garage lost control of his black double-cab bakkie and managed to embed it in the roof of the Machado primary school’s hall. And that’s got to be 20 ft. off the ground if it’s an inch! Injuries were unknown but local tow-truck drivers and traffic police were definitely scratching their heads at this one. THG has heard that Red Bull “gives you wings” but we’re not sure it works with bakkies…

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