Original Research

Die rol van die magistraat in Toorberg van Etienne van Heerden

M. Lombard
Literator | Vol 10, No 2 | a827 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v10i2.827 | © 1989 M. Lombard | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 May 1989 | Published: 07 May 1989

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M. Lombard, Universiteit Vista, South Africa

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The novel Toorberg is situated in an atmosphere of mystery as some of the characters are dead people who occasionally come back to the farm where they spent their lives. The question arises as to what role the magistrate plays as a realistic representative of law and order in these surroundings (where the Moolmans have learnt to care for their own sins, according to OuAbel Moolman).
  1. The answer to this question is to be found in the following: The magistrate is very definitely an outsider, not only because he is a stranger in that area, but also because of his pathetic appearance. As an outsider he has an objective view of the characters, which is useful to his investigation.
  2. Actually the magistrate has been sent to investigate the death of Druppeltjie du Pisani, but he fails to a report on the matter.
  3. The magistrate is very conscious of his body and particularly of his short arm. This awareness of the body forms a contrast to some of the disembodied characters who roam the farm.
  4. There are a number of facts which indicate that the magistrate is a reincarnation of De la Rey.
  5. If the theory of reincarnation is accepted, the magistrate himself, reincarnated as De la Rey, is guilty of Druppeltjie’s death, together with the man who fired the shot, according to the magistrate’s own reasoning.
This could be a solution to the problem, but it need not be, as the mysteries of Toorberg do not require solutions.


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