Analysis of the character of
- thickset man, ginger beard, ginger hair, bullish neck
- always talks in short sentences, from time to time speaks afrikaans
- living on a farm, often talks to his animals, has a hedgery of bantams
- married, has well-trained dogs
- former head of police in Smitsrivier (during the era of Apartheid)
- interrogator, torturer, murderer of Steve Sizela
- his wife says he is a good man, very caring
- surrounded by an aura of might
- fears „the ghosts of the past“
- fears that Dirk Hendricks might talk about his past and incriminate Pieter
- shows no regret for having killed Steve Sizela
- worried about Mary
- even in his death he wants to support his wife
- provokes James Sizela to shoot him and have his wife paid-out his life-assurance
- he does not want to appear in front of the TRC, rather would commit suicide
WHAT SORT OF MAN IS HE?
Would you call him a cold-blooded sadist?
- Pieter Muller is a cold manipulator. He tried to get himself out of affair by
- doesn„t believe he has done something bad, doesn`t show regret
- racist who has no respect for human dignity
- he sticks to his ideals, would rather die than admitt that he was wrong and beg for mercy
-> It is difficult to decide on whether he is cold-blooded or not, because he has ideals, that
aren„t comparable with ours. He did his job. But still from any modern point of view he
definetly is a cold-blooded sadist.
WHAT IS HIS ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE TRC?
- dislikes the TRC because he doesn„t want the truth to be revealed
- does not want to reconcile with his victims
- is not ashamed of what he has done
- he will never beg for mercy
Muller is not interested in applying for amnesty
He definetly knows, that he won„t be send to prison.
You can already guess, that he is rather going to die.
WHAT SIGNS ARE THERE THAT THE WHITE
COMMUNITY IS TURNING AGAINST HIM?
- When Pieter Muller comes after some hearings of Hendricks to his working place he sees a
notice written by somebody saying: “WHY PAY A MURDERER TO KEEP YOU SAFE”
- Three of his workers didn‟t want to renew their contract with his security company
- “…white community had decided to ditch him rather than be tarred by his brush. He was now
the target. Without allies. …” (169)
- Pieter Muller is worried that the friends of him and his wife are going to leave Marie alone.
HOW AND WHY DID HE PROVOKE SIZELA AT THE END?
- Pieter Muller has a live insurance and wants his wife Marie to have the money. If he
committed suicide the insurance would not be paid-out, so he provokes James Sizela to kill
- He doesn‟t want to appear in front of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This is why his
dead is the last possibility for him to escape.
- Provokes Sizela by saying that his son was worthless and that he is going to talk about the
torture in public, also in front of Steve‟s mother
- (page 238- 240) “…such a worthless son…”, “I´ll tell them everything just as I have told you
but with more detail. I´ll describe your son and the pain he underwent. I´ll tell them what he
told me about you as well. I´ll make you listen, not only you, but his mother as well…”
Thanks for your attention!