PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Stream of Gold
 
Comments: 59
Article views: 5327
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Stream of Gold's badges.
 

Apartheid, the Army and me

04 February 2013, 10:00
I am a 47 year old South African Male and have decided to tell you about Apartheid as I remember it. I was born in 1965 to parents that were due to divorce only 5 years later. My father was a deadbeat who disappeared. I lived in many different towns in my youth, from Nelspruit in the East to the South Coast in the South and Windhoek to the North. My Mother tells me we lived in 29 towns and that is not counting the houses in my first 5 years of life.

I played with black kids growing up on the farm and plots we lived on. I lived in a family that were not at all political so my childhood was a time of being blissfully unaware of what was happening in my country. I went to school and never questioned why there were no black kids in the school, It was just the way it was. Just to cover all the advantaged stuff, we were poor and lived in a one bedroom flat with my mother until I was well into my teens. I shared a 3/4 bed with two brothers in the dining room.

I never finished high school because shock horror it was not free, nor were school uniforms. I recall dodging school inspections because my hair was too long, my shoes were takkies not authorised uniform. We couldn't afford for me to finish school despite my 75% average until standard 7. I went and did an apprenticeship at 16, If you think my story is different to most whites you'd be wrong. My friend Piet and our mate Lionel and a multitude of other kids went into the trades along with their brothers and sisters because school was unaffordable for those living in plavces like DeKlerkshof, Triomf and Klopper Park.

Nothing was given to us for free. At 16 I was invited to join the SADF. I use invited light heartedly, it was either that or a jail sentence. I got on a train at Park Station to Kimberley in January of 1983. I then found out about the communist hordes and the blacks that wanted to destroy our future. In May I got sent to 32 Bn in Rundu and spent 19 months defending my country.

At the end of 1984 I was sent back to civvy street, The world was a strange place, I no longer fit in with everything, The music had passed me by, The kids were all wearing stovepipes and tucked in sweaters, I thought they looked gay, back then being a bigot was still considered a right.

I left home again and went to Cape Town where I started working and supporting myself.  I spent most of my wages at the pub, but I was working alongside a coloured bloke and I offered to buy him a beer. I was shocked when he told me this could never happen as we could not frequent the same bar. At the age of 19 I became aware of Apartheid. I suddenly became politically aware and started asking questions.

I became good friends with Eleanor and Amien and was forced to arrive on the flats after dark to have a meal with them. This is when I realised that I had been lied to by my government, I was in no danger back then from the black hordes, the coloured folk were my friends.

In 1991 I campaigned for a yes vote. This vote split families, brothers turned on one another calling each other the most horrific names. Some of those splits lasted many years. The yes campaign won and we were on our way to the elections in 1994. I happily voted for Nelson Mandela and was never sorry I did.

In 98 I was Hijacked and left for greener grass. I lasted 4 and a half years in the buiteland, but I was and never will be a European, I missed the sounds, the smells and the people of my birthland and came home to Mbekis South Africa where garlic and beetroot were being touted as a cure all. Suddenly I was too white for my own country, AA, BEE, BBBEEEE BBBBBBEEEEEEE and so forth were being touted. I was suddenly fully aware of Apartheid again.

Apartheid has never left this country and I fear it never will. It has merely changed management. Asked if I would do military service again, I would offer a resounding no, not because it wasn't fun, not because it was something I was not proud of doing, but because I now know there are no winners in  a war, only survivors. The Afrikaner Volk were still pissed off about the Boer war a hundred years later,  The Irish are still fighting about some insult in 1560.

Humans are by nature not very intelligent. I have heard cries for a civil war by some that are too young too remember. War is not glorious, it is muddy, dirty and bloody. It takes the lives of those in the prime of their lives. Have you ever  noticed that the politicians that pick the fight are not the ones sleeping in bivvies, carrying weapons and dying. It is very rare that their children and grand children are in the front lines.

The generals sending the children to die always eat the best, and are never in sight of the enemy because they are considered to be too valuable. If there is a war, I will send my family to safety and probably join them, not because I am a coward. I know there are no causes worth dying for only causes worth living for.

The day we understand that we are all destined to live under the same sun, moon and stars and stop killing each other, that is the day Humanity can be said to exist.

My grandmother always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, just keep your trap shut" and "If someone is angering you, stop count to ten and then decide what you want to say." When I was a kid we used to chant "stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Today we know this is tripe, words are the worst of all weapons, they destroy trust, the destroy faith, they destroy humanity. Remember every human is an individual, and very individual can be judged, You cannot judge an entire nation, race, tribe or even family by the actions of one individual.

Even in Nazi Germany there were Germans that went against the flow and hid the persecuted, In Apartheid South Africa their were White people that stood up to the government of the day, and today there are people from all the tribes of South africa standing up against the unjustness of the current regime.  Have faith in your fellow humans, and most of all join them in preventing the troubles that can be our future.

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me."
Martin Niemoller  

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
59 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Irvin Whitecomb
Why are our fuel prices so high?

Can someone please explain why the petrol price is so high if the price of oil has dropped by over half of what it cost. Read more...

23 comments 2646 views
Submitted by
Prenisha Naidoo
I will be proactive...

This letter is in response to articles on the death of baby Jamie Naidoo, We have the tendency to be reactive…we wait for something to happen, then suddenly we care, writes a News24 User. Read more...

0 comments 139 views
Submitted by
Christelle Delport
Transcendence

I recently watched the movie, Transcendence, and I once again realized how far people will go to deny or destroy that what they don’t understand. Read more...

19 comments 1083 views
Submitted by
Nunu
Ban Hunting Now!

This is far too emotional an issue, it should be dealt with realistically. There are risks to conservation if hunting is banned ... like it or not. Read more...

19 comments 1828 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
The reality of a failed state

Hook line and sinker. That about sums it up for South Africa. We have been caught by the oldest trick in the book.  Read more...

7 comments 620 views
Submitted by
Andre Joubert
The Groenewald family I know

 Read more...

20 comments 461 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.