YOU could feel that something big was about to happen. Cars were parked kilometres away from the venue. In fact, we struggled to find parking within walking distance. The atmosphere was exuberant. It felt like being at an arts festival.
There could have been anything between 1000 and 1500 people. They held their yellow balloons tightly, with an almost jealous fervour - men and women, boys and girls, black and white.
I cast my eyes widely into the crowd, and noticed familiar faces mostly in the Johannesburg's arts and cultural world.
Lerato Shadi, a well-known visual and installation artist, was among the crowd. And so were S'bu Nxumalo, one of Johannesburg's foremost cultural activists, visiting Zimbabwean novelist Shimmer Chinodya, famous author Nadine Gordimer, Zukiswa Wanner, a novelist of the future, and Andile Magengele, a visual art critic.
I was struck by Shadi's pose. She was one of those contemplatively looking at the crowd, in a meditative posture.
She only changed her posture when she gave a huge sigh as the balloons were let loose, flying high up into the thick yellow cloud covering the Johannesburg sky.
The balloons just melded with the clouds, forming a large yellow cloud right up in the sky.
"Look at the clouds and the balloons. The balloons are the same colour as the clouds. Isn't this lovely?" she asked, and disappeared into the crowd, right into the front where the wall came down, pulled down systematically and dramatically by an earth-mover brought in for the purpose.
The demolition of part of the wall at the Goethe Institut along Crescent Street in Parkwood, northern Johannesburg, happened on Monday, the anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall was torn apart 20 years ago .
The Wall represented a divided country, a divided society controlled by two competing ideologies that divided the people of Germany into two distinct entities, two countries in one - West Germany and East Germany.
The eastern side of Germany was communist and poor, while the west was capitalist and rich.
What happened at the Goethe Institut on Monday was more than just a symbolic exercise to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall in faraway Germany as it has immediate resonance among the generality of the population here, beyond intellectual discourse among Johannesburg's academic and artistic elites.
Well, a little background about Monday's event in Johannesburg is probably needed for clarity.
Leading to Monday's event, from November 3 to November 5, the Goethe Institut held a number of exhibitions and a cultural conference called the Cracking Walls, a series of events that had its culmination on Monday.
The Cracking the Walls theme was bridging the walls and the necessity of civil commitment to ensure a healthy democracy.
The exhibition and the conference raised questions about politics and art within the context of the commemoration of the fall of the wall.
However, questions are still being asked if Germany is united for real, with none other than Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly admitting on Monday that German unity was still incomplete as unemployment was still twice as high in the east as in the west. However, with the fall of the wall, they have made strides.
On that very date in 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, thanks to a peaceful revolution.
However, the partial demolition of Goethe Institut's wall in Johannesburg this week probably has more meaning to us than it has for the Germans.
It probably represented our own divisions as represented by the walls that are a defining character of life in South African suburbia where the rich live.
While the rich have erected walls to protect themselves from marauding criminals that are causing havoc with people's lives in the country, the walls have unfortunately had unintended consequences. The walls have resulted in the exclusion of the poor from the rich.