‘Ja, your mother’s right, you know,’ says Nick, his balding head bowed, his shoulders stooped, his bushy eyebrows shrouding tired eyes. ‘I have to keep my head down at work now, or I could lose my job.’
The proposed destruction of colonial-era buildings in Port Elizabeth is a criminally insane act. Those who propose to do this are terrified that people will discover the truth about their past.
After rereading his piece, a satisfied Martin presses ‘print’ and watches as two pages of text are spewed out of the ancient Epson. He is ready for business.
In a few years’ time this country will celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of the arrival in Algoa Bay of some 5 000 British settlers.
Martin’s article causes a storm in the corridors of power at the university. He is summoned into the lecturer’s office where he is informed that the document has been forwarded to the political commissar of the university. It will not, obviously, be considered for a mark (except a zero) and as punishment, Martin is ordered to research the history of street committees in the Vaal Triangle during the 1980s. He must produce a 40-page thesis by the following Monday on why the committees were essential elements in securing victory in the liberation struggle.
WHY THE GOVERNMENT IS WRONG
People of this country. In the wake of the latest lunacy perpetrated by The Party, which has destroyed a large section of the historic fabric of our towns and cities in recent weeks, let us consider why this whole campaign is so utterly wrong.
We greet you in the name of our just struggle.
The Movement for the Restoration of Democracy
Martin had not thought, when he set out writing this piece, that it would become an essay. But now that it is finished, he believes it is just what the doctor ordered.