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My Eyes are Open to the Beauties of the World. I'm just me, A loving,open minded, weird and caring lady. Like to have fun and relax when I get the chance. I'm Deep but will only Drown U in Love. Blocks of flats for white police personnel were under construction. There were plans for a whites-only technical college. But most of the district was rubble—extremely valuable rubble, with downtown a brick's throw away. It was as if the heart of the city had been torn out, still beating, and flung onto the Flats.
Beyond the economic explanations, beyond the pitiless specs of apartheid blueprints—and these dictated urban planning in all South African cities—the government's bid for sole possession of the center of Cape Town had a heavy symbolic element.
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Whites called Cape Town the Mother City. This was where Van Riebeeck first stepped ashore. Black people still throng those streets: working, shopping, hawking flowers and newspapers. But they all live far away now, on the Flats, in another world, and merely visit here. Look closely, though, and see more.
See the government truck grinding past the elegant pink-colonnaded hotel in its manicured grounds. Hear the faint sound of singing from inside the sealed enclosure on the back of the truck, and when the truck comes to a stoplight, hear the voices rise in a mournful and beautiful African hymn, and see black fists suddenly thrust through the canvas, through the wooden slats into the day-light.
And see the gas station attendant in his red overalls turn, and the hotel gardener in his green overalls turn, and the milkman in his blue overalls turn, and the street sweeper in his orange overalls turn, see them all turn toward the truck and raise black fists. The light changes and the truck roars onto the freeway. This is a long-range removal.
The people in the truck will be dumped in a semidesert seven hundred miles away. At an air force base on the edge of the Cape Flats, Mirage F-1 fighter jets in a public display streak past the crowd, flying ninety feet off the ground at six hundred miles per hour. Look closely, and see that this display is related to what happens in the room deep in police headquarters on Caledon Square, the otherwise nondescript room where the torturer works, and that both of these are related to the fact that the new freeways which now penetrate to central Cape Town are never full of traffic. Some taxpayers complain that this shows the freeways weren't needed.
Others say, "Look closely; the freeways were not built for commuters. This prospective insurrection is a consuming preoccupation in South Africa.
When the yachts leave Cape Town for South America, they sail past Robben Island, the prison island in Table Bay where potential leaders of the prospective insurrection are jailed. The security surrounding Robben Island is legendary. If and when the revolution comes to Cape Town, though, it will not come from Robben Island. It will come from the Cape Flats. And that is where the authorities intend to contain it, away from Cape Town proper. This is perhaps the uppermost reason for the removals: to rid the city center of the pro-. The streets of District Six were narrow and labyrinthine—easy to barricade, with endless places to hide in house-to-house fighting.
The streets on the Cape Flats are wide and straight and the buildings are low, giving the advantage to the side with the heavy artillery. In there occurred a sort of dress rehearsal for a mass uprising in the Cape. Two months of organized defiance, led by Cape Flats high school students, erupted in June in widespread violence. Dozens of people were killed by the police—the exact number was never disclosed. In the end, the government's containment strategy was successful in Both sides did, however, learn some lessons.
I was a teacher in a Cape Flats high school in , and I learned a few things, too. At the end of February, when I started teaching, the southeast wind known as the Cape Doctor was still a warm wind. It whistled and sighed through the cracks in New Room 16, and a fine sand infiltrated the classroom while I met my students for the first time. I had been hired to teach, in descending order of work load, English, geography, religion, and vocational guidance to classes spanning five grade levels at Grassy Park Senior Secondary School.
In the months to come, the wind would turn cold, and the hundreds of students who poured through the door each day would individuate in my mind to a degree that I would not have thought possible. But on that first day, my students were to me just anonymous waves of maroon sweaters, beige skirts, and shy, curious faces, their ebb and flow controlled by an unsettling siren. My education began at the beginning, with salutations.
Each class would arrive and stand silently in rows, facing me expectantly. I muddled through the first few greetings by introducing myself and urging everyone to sit down. Then, between classes, an embarrassed girl described to me the normal procedure. Following her script, I addressed the next group formally. I paused. They waited. I nodded pompously. They briskly took their seats.
It was my first lesson in the local educational atavism, and a quaint first taste of power. The atmosphere reminded me of the. The students all wore uniforms, the boys wearing white shirts and ties and big black regulation shoes. They called me "sir," and addressed me in the third person—as in, "How does sir like South Africa? Though many of my pupils were fully grown—the oldest was twenty-three—they invariably referred to themselves as "the children.
In deference to our terrific curiosity about one another—and to my unpreparedness to present any of the advertised subjects—my students and I set aside schoolwork for that first day and asked each other questions. I asked them about their parents, their hobbies, their ambitions. I got more giggling than information topics for essays for future assignment began to suggest themselves.
My students' questions were more interesting.
My students were especially interested in the lives of black Americans. The less worldly marveled at the news that there were indeed black mayors of big cities in the United States. There were two questions that echoed most poignantly for me on that sunny first day at Grassy Park High. The first, which I heard more than once: "Do you find so-called colored people in America?