Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Three bizarre moments from apartheid history

The Mail & Guardian collected what they call "20 bizarre apartheid moments" in this time when we are celebrating 20 years of post apartheid rule.

These three are my most 'bizarre favorites' from that list:

1. “Contact across the colour line is welcome so long as the motive for the contact is the greater separation of the races.” — Minister of Health Dr Carel de Wet, 1971.

2.  “Jan Smuts airport, in common with the Union’s other ports of land, sea and air, will soon amend its apartheid applications. The words ‘European’ and ‘non-European’ will be replaced by the words ‘Whites’ and ‘Non-Whites’ over appropriate doors and entrances. The reason is that foreigners, particularly Americans, confuse the issue — and the exit — by tending to use doors that seem to distinguish them from people who originate from Europe.” — Cape Times, 1959.

And, my most favorite bizarre moment is:

3. “Coloured girls can now work as usherettes in white cinemas — provided they do not look at the screen, Mr John Redman, general manager of Kinekor’s theatre division, told me this week. ‘When we show a film which our non-white girls are not allowed to see, they usher patrons with a torch and watch the floor,’ he said. ‘We discussed the matter with the Department of Labour and I raised this point with them. As a precautionary measure — since non-whites are not allowed to see some films restricted to whites only — we decided that they should not look at the screen.” — Sunday Express, 1971.

Wrap your head around that when next you wonder whether the post era is better or worse than apartheid.



Tony said...

Boet, I had a good laugh at this.

I wonder.........."Coloured girls may now work in white churches. They may only kneel to scrub and polish the floors. Under no circumstances can they pray whilst on their knees or indeed at any other time or bodily position whilst inside the church."

I would not be surprised!


Ridwan said...

Howzit Tony:

It is absolutely bizarre. I still 'marvel' at the mindset that created and sustained apartheid.

Sadly it is not too far from where we are today. The superiority complex is still very much intact.

Thanks for looking in boet.

I will holla,