South Africans have an addiction to tedious statistics delivered in mind-numbing monotone second only to their Teutonic cousins, she tells me.
By the time they reached the panel session, she was in grave danger of nodding off and was only rescued by a timely intervention from an impish Julian Baring, who manages the gold and general fund of SG Warburg's Mercury subsidiary. He popped to his feet to direct a mischievous question to Anglo's supremo, Julian Ogilvie Thompson.
Something about a company called Minorco and the price it almost paid for a company called Consgold, she thinks. Definitely the implication was that they'd got off lightly by having their bid frustrated.
Anyway it was greeted with a stony silence from Jot, as the chaps call him, and seemed to cause considerable discomfort to Julian's cousin Oliver, who works for the main bit of the Warburg empire. Warburg, as Anglo's bankers, had organised the do, and he was accordingly ensconced right next to the chairman in full view on the platform.
'It was only meant lightheartedly,' stressed an unrepentant Baring.
Mind you, he who laughs last, laughs loudest. Julian, who was among the last to leave, had been looking forward to the two bottles of Chardonnay from an Anglo vineyard that were being proffered as a token of corporate goodwill to everyone who had survived the excellent lunch.
Unfortunately the remaining bottles had all mysteriously disappeared moments before he arrived to take possession of his booty. 'It was very frustrating,' he said. 'I actually saw it being driven away in a taxi.'
Bunhill suspects foul play.Reuse content