Somewhere in the forgotten past, more or less in the year 1972, the epic history of the Republic of Tarentaal commenced.
On 16 August of that year, the Wapad announced: “The Prime Minister, Advocate B.J. Vorster, has just become the first State President of the just founded youth homeland Tarentaal”. A monument of a female guineafowl hatching her eggs (with as implication: fulfil your calling) was unveiled by Adv Vorster.
The President of Tarentaal, Giep van Zyl, hands over a present (guineafowl) to his “equal”, President Nelson Mandela, during a visit to the Puk. One the photo, the then Premier of North West, dr. Popo Molefe, is accompanied by other cabinet members of Tarentaal.
Observant travellers on the road between Potchefstroom and Johannesburg will notice the turn-off to Tarentaal Siding approximately 10 km outside Potchefstroom and apparently this is where the headquarters of this Republic is, according to those who are informed.
The first mayor of Tarentaal seems to have been one I.J.V. (Koos) Kruger. Kruger, the man with too many initials, naturally has a more fitting nickname, but unfortunately nowadays it will be politically incorrect to publish it. It is assumed that he gave the topical speech when the announcement of the homeland status was made. In retrospect, following thorough study and further investigation, he also seems to be the founder of the Republic.
During the seventies, many homelands made their appearance in South Africa. (It is a proven historical fact.) However, the Republic of Tarentaal was one of the first that had decided it was time to become a homeland, according to “In U Lig”, the honoured publication regarding the Puk’s history.
“Ever since, the Republic has made many substantial contributions at a large number of occasions and on many podiums in a special way to the world outside, to market the environment in which the Republic finds itself.
“Everyone had to believe the remarks the later presidents had dropped, and no one was supposed to intercept copies of speeches, because the Republic of Tarentaal had a Minister of Bloody Amputations who would indeed take the necessary steps regarding transgressions of this nature.
“Yet another function of the Republic of Tarentaal was of course to protect the Puk as a province of Tarentaal against Central Villain Council.”
Naturally the President of Tarentaal usually and always had to chip in about everything. This is what he had to say about the Rag in 2001: “We further know that it also is the time when students come forward with the most innovative ideas to impair a truck or a tractor and trailer’s dignity with all kinds of decorations and flowers and graffiti and parade on the vehicles in the strangest apparel. The cabinet of Tarentaal fears the day when the AGTAWTES (Action Against the Impairment of the Dignity of Tractors and Trailers) institute a claim against the Republic of Tarentaal for this transgression and insist that these vehicles be listed as Endangered Vehicles.”
Quite a number of prominent government officials received honorary citizenship of the Republic of Tarentaal, among whom were former president FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.
On 16 August 1997 a Family nest reunion was held to commemorate the quarter-century festival of the Republic.
It was always a matter of greatest importance to keep the real identity of the President of Tarentaal a secret. The reverend Director of Aardklop for many years, Giep van Zyl, tackled the long distance back to his Alma Mater long after he had shrugged off the Puk’s dust from his feet, to don the illustrious cloak of the President of Tarentaal and entertain his thousands of supporters with his witticisms and wise-cracks. The legendary Hans van Zyl, also known for being extremely eloquent, was possibly one of the earlier presidents.
The guineafowl, a bird characterised by its small head and equally small intellect, is endemic to Potchefstroom. Likewise the Republic of Tarentaal is endemic to the NWU’s Potchefstroom Campus. Regarding the sensibility of this Republic one rather keeps one’s lips sealed.