At the bottom of my street every Monday, on the nursery school drive, a phalanx of ragged beggars rummage through green wheelie bins outside a Tudor-style housing complex. I slow down at the stop sign and press the requisite button on the car’s console. Bent at the hips, African men rummage for calories and chucked-out crap to add to their swag before the garbage truck arrives. The guy with the dark-glasses is a pro. You see him everywhere, neat and bustling. Most of the others come from the children’s park they’ve taken over. It’s hand to mouth for them and whoonga in between. Like a conjurer, a young man finesses an improbably long pole from the bin. Rationally, it’s hard to begrudge them their messy survival. One or two, though, fail to avert their eyes. Like the one producing the wooden pole. He hears the locks knocking shut. This offal is not enough. I’m pretty …
Canal and Control
This article first appeared in Africa Report It’s 21 years to the day that the MK unit in which I dabbled assembled to discuss what to do about Chris Hani’s assassination. It was obvious that it was not a hit by the state. There was going to be groot kak raining down that did not suit the Nats. This left two options, rogue cops or the white right. The climate for Hani’s assassination was just right. With election talks stalled, the ANC needed a bad cop to whip up the spectre of insurrection again. Hani and Winnie were rumoured to have resuscitated some sort of military capacity across the border in Zim. Someone might just have believed that propaganda.