Sun Oct 23 03:30:22 SAST 2016

Black kids bunking debunk an apartheid myth

By unknown | May 09, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A column or so ago, I regaled you with the lamentable fact that apartheid is gone, and now we can't blame it for anything.

A column or so ago, I regaled you with the lamentable fact that apartheid is gone, and now we can't blame it for anything.

Sooner than later, we have to look honestly at ourselves and take the flak when things go wrong.

After putting the column to bed, I recalled several other real life instances where black folks took the "obvious" route out when crap happened.

Not least of these, was a taxi driver in whose vehicle, I was riding home to Mabopane.

The jalopy was falling apart, and most of it seemed like it had been home-made. The windows looked like he had bought them from a hardware store, and opened like you open yours at home.

The chairs were made of wood. Good old fashioned benches outata and oumama sat on under the tree sipping Rooibos.

I would not have been surprised if he used a Y10 key to start the engine, but I can't say for sure.

But those were the least of his sins. When we got to a four-way stop just past Soshanguve before Mabopane, he did not stop at a junction despite a huge sign that ordered him to do so.

As fate would have it, a traffic cop jumped out from his hiding place and signalled him to pull off the road.

He duly issued him a ticket for failing to stop. Lucky bugger, his rickety taxi was not checked.

As he got back into the car after collecting the ticket, the driver muttered repeatedly about the "unfairness" of the whites. It did not matter to him that he had brazenly defied the rules of the road, his taxi was no more than a mobile shack, and most importantly, the traffic cop was black as the night.

On a more serious subject, take a walk around town - any town, but Johannesburg city centre won't disappoint you - during the day.

Then count the number of black children who are jolling around in school uniform when they should be in class. Count the whites as well, if you can see any, that is.

Then come the end of the year, after the exams, and the average white child passes quite well while the darkies fail or scrape through with bruised elbows. In the good old days we used to say it's all apartheid.

Now the government is black, and has been for more than a decade. All we can do is look on as the rot sets in, and recall the good old days when we could smugly say it was not our fault.

Teachers I know say they also look on haplessly because if you dare touch any of these bunkers, the police will definitely fry your arse.

So where we of the outgoing generation were lashed into compliance with the rules back then, today it is a criminal offence to even slap the wrist of a child, whatever they do - even if they light up a cigarette in class, or take a swig from a nip of brandy.

And look at the children of the people who made these laws - they are comfortable in the best private schools here and abroad. A crying shame.


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