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

Harriet Bentley
Comments: 24
Article views: 876
Latest Badges:

View all Harriet Bentley's badges.

The Pretoria Chronicles: The Closet Racist/Compulsive Smiler Who Lives Next Door.

03 April 2014, 13:33

I’m back home in Johannesburg for a week with a borderline head cold and an almost empty house at my disposal. It’s a nice change from my shrieking commune of girls as my only visitor so far has been my maid knocking on my door asking where the other halves of my mismatched socks are. Silly Peggy, I haven’t owned a pair of matching socks for years, they’re far too hard to keep track of.

The eerie thing about home is its normality. My family is incredibly bizarre, I won’t lie about that. Between a brother who dresses like he’s in the steam punk/Victorian era and a grandmother who blames everything on race, tattoos, delinquents and the government my life pre-varsity has hardly been uneventful.

It just hasn’t been as eventful as this past quarter of school has been.

I never got around to explaining about our closet racist neighbour, I’ll call him Pik Botha for the sake of protecting his identity and avoiding a lawsuit.

Pik Botha is the cousin of one of my roommates and is studying Theology at our University. He can be seen, without fail in khaki shorts, brown strap on sports- sandals and a two-toned button up brown shirt. Pik Botha also has a habit of smiling at me like I’m a koeksister he’s dying to eat, even whilst I shoot him uncomfortable dirty looks. It can be said that Pik Botha scares the crap out of me.

When I met Pik Botha, the first thing he offered me was help around campus (because according to him, our high-quality, state-of-the-nation top varsity is filled with thugs) and the other thing was movies from his hard drive. However, because I’m a girl who likes free things, especially if the free things include movies for my hard drive I tend to make dumb decisions. Dumb decisions like grabbing my roommate Raechel and making her come with me to Pik Botha’s room for free movies.

To this day, I’m pretty sure I could have sex with a pimple and it would still be a better idea than going with Pik Botha to his lair of religion and racism.

Pik Botha’s cave was very brown, and filled with crusty socks, dirty mugs and mountains of religious reference books (I counted atleast 6 tattered Bibles). He had animal skin carpets strewn across the floors and Raechel was almost swallowed by his double-mattressed bed as she sat down. The room was hot and sticky with Pik Botha filling up the majority of the space. However, the most disturbing thing in there, and the only splash of colour amongst the many shades of brown and gunk was the old South African flag of his that remained tacked to the wall.

This is when our suspicions were born. The old South African flag represents the old Apartheid regime, it’s never been officially banned in South Africa but the stigma attached to it is that of racial intolerance and segregation.

“Why do you have that flag on the wall?”

“Uh. It was there when I got here”

“So why don’t you take it down?”

“Because…uh…it would be vandalism”.

We were far too tired to argue and far too alarmed to care as we scurried out of his room, thankfully he didn’t do something creepier like cut off our big toes. However, this was the beginning of our theory that Pik Botha is not a rainbow nation kind of guy.

The second event occured when Pik came over unexpectedly for tea. He sat across from us, smiling his hungry smile and told us that if we invite any “black people” onto the property we will be evicted, his back up argument was that the rules are in our lease contract. They aren’t. Raechel and I ran away and pretended to sleep in my room to avoid any further conversation.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Pik Botha. The last time was when he told us about his “girlfriend” that he has no pictures of who is actually a lesbian (?). I’m not too sure how Pik Botha defines the term “dating” but I really hope it’s not just staring at someone like their a syrupy pastry, because then I may have a boyfriend.

He invited us to a two-man braai, we declined, and occasionally I see him walking towards me on the way to campus so I cross the road. The plan is to invent a boyfriend for me with a blatantly African name just to freak the little racist out. This means engaging in conversation with him however, a feat far too draining and offensive for me to handle.

It’s times like those when I view my grandmother’s rants about dreadlocks and “the Chinese” (what the hell Gran, I don’t understand you) as just another Thursday night.

Embrace diversity readers, or one day you’ll get a secret alias and a blog post written about you.

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. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Essop Moola
Freeze - May I search you?

Can you legally refuse to be searched and if so when? Read more...

0 comments 4734 views
Submitted by
Lerato Kasa
Can Hlaudi Motsoeneng continue to...

All the efforts of undermining the public protector Ms Thuli Madonsela by the SABC Chief Operating Officer Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng has proven that he is not alone in such a bid.  Read more...

0 comments 1064 views
Submitted by
SA riders vs drivers: Biggest pet...

From ‘slapping side-mirrors’ to ‘changing lanes without indicating’, Wheels24 users share their biggest pet peeves about motorcyclists and car drivers in South Africa. Read more...

14 comments 8190 views
Submitted by
The problem with defining people ...

A while ago there was a spate of articles about white privilege that I really wanted to respond to but business being what it is I simply didn't get the time. However considering the racial nature that many of the discussions on all social media platforms soon descends to the topic is as relevant as ever. Read more...

0 comments 490 views
Submitted by
Yolanda Mtintsilana
I am a happy feminist

I am a happy feminist and I do not want a head in my house but two hands that are going work together to build a home.  Read more...

0 comments 760 views
Submitted by
Bobby Shabangu
Let's talk about Gaddafi

What crimes did Muammar Gaddafi actually commit? 

0 comments 1211 views


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 Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2015 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.