What freedom did: Indian in Queensburgh

2013-04-28 14:00

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The results of Census 2011, to be released tomorrow, show how democracy has moved us – literally

A wrong turn while house hunting in Chatsworth is why Logan Moodley and his family moved into an all-white neighbourhood before the Group Areas Act was repealed.

The Moodleys landed up on Arundel Street, Albert Park, near Durban’s CBD.

“It was around 1990 and we saw this nice semidetached house, which was going for R90 000, and we fell in love with it,” Moodley says.

“We used a nominee, a white guy I worked with, to help us secure the place.”

His wife Priscilla says: “We were too scared to come out of the house in case anybody saw us. We were scared we would be kicked out.”

They were ready to tell anyone who confronted them that they were “renting from the white guy”.

Moodley says: “I think our son Justin was the first non-white child to be accepted at Hillary Primary School. He didn’t have any problems at all. He loved it there. He used to sleep over at his friends and they used to come to our house.

“The only thing I didn’t like is that he started to speak with a twang.”

Since 1995, the couple, who own their own engineering business, has lived in previously all-white Queensburgh.

“But we were going to be living in style. We had a house with a pool,” jokes Moodley.

His wife adds: “We were now larney.”

But it wasn’t easy.

“They used to write ‘Indians’ on the fence, and spray paint it on the road. But we didn’t even bother fighting that. We just looked past it.

“We felt sorry for people who did it because the country was changing. Where would they go and not find people like us?” he says.

“Our Afrikaans neighbours are great. Their children call me ‘Oom’. But the other neighbour is always looking for problems and always fighting over petty things.”

Even though they have lived there for 18 years, the Moodleys still feel more comfortable socialising in previously Indian areas.

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