By Vincent Gray
Copyright © 2017 Vincent Gray
Shakespir 2017 Edition
This book is a work of fiction. All the characters developed in this novel are fictional creations of the writer’s imagination and are not modelled on any real persons. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental.
For Melodie and Ruth
After I had completed my MSc in Zoology at Wits at end of 1977 I decided to do my PhD at the University of Cape Town (UCT). I drove down to Cape Town from Hotazel in my old white 1961 VW Beetle which my dad had rebuild for me. It was the same car that I had had since my first year at university. It was also the car which got me to Gobabeb in Namibia for my honours research project in 1976. In spite of my continuous clashes with my brother over politics I had taken over Malcolm’s olive green army steel trommel (steel trunk) curtsy of the South African Defence Force (SADF). In fact I took possession of the steel trunk without his permission and theoretically it was still the property of the SADF. It was clearly marked as the property of the SADF. The steel trunk had been gathering dust in the garage and was filled with Malcolm’s old army kit from the time when he had done his military service after he matriculated from high school. Under the apartheid regime national military service was compulsory for all white males in South Africa. I unpacked all his old army stuff which included a helmet, a rifle cleaning kit, and webbing into a cardboard box. After cleaning the trommel I took it up to my bedroom where I packed my collection of books into it. I had to take my books with me to Cape Town. I could not live without my books. Packed brim-full with books it was too heavy for me to lift, I had to drag it, grasping the trommel by one of the metal handles on the side. My father shook his head when he saw the steel trunk filled with what he called my Communist books.
As person with strong military inclinations Malcolm had not shown any interest in going to university. He showed no signs that he had any academic inclinations or academic interests. After completing his army training in the Parabats he did a stint in the Selous Scouts in Rhodesia. After 1976 he came back to South Africa and signed up with the permanent force and became an officer in the 1 Reconnaissance Commando otherwise known as the Recces. He had become a career soldier. Every now and then I got snippets of information from my dad regarding Malcolm’s meteoric rise in the military. It was so ambiguous, my dad was proud of Malcolm’s achievements in the military as well as my own academic achievements. But I remained my dad’s favourite child. The family knew this and had come to accept it. I was the one he confided in regarding his differences with mom and the rest of family. There was an unshakable bond between us even though he was very doubtful about my politics which gave him much anxiety.
He always said that I was going to get into trouble. He warned me that I was playing with fire with all this Marxist stuff and talk about socialism and so on. But he was not a man who was given to making moral judgements, he was honest about his own failings, and he knew that he was a flawed human being. In that sense he was a man of integrity and a good man in my opinion. I knew that in spite of everything my father was a good man. What about Malcolm? Malcolm was an adventurer, he was fearless, but he was not a cheat or womanizer, when it came to relationships with women he was faithful and when it came to friends he was loyal and affectionate. In spite of everything Malcolm was deeply religious. As you may have guessed by the end of 1976 Malcolm and I had stopped talking to each other. Our political differences had become irreconcilable.
We all suspected that our father had been unfaithful. We first moved from City Deep to Stilfontein and then we moved from Stilfontein to Hotazel and I know that one of the reasons for our west-ward migration was to put as much distance between Corelle and my father. It was ironical, Corelle had been my mother’s best friend from childhood until she married my father. Corelle grew up in the same street as my mom, in Belgravia. My father had an affair with Corelle and somehow my parent’s marriage managed to survive all this time in spite of father’s infidelities. Anyway, we had moved to Hotazel so that my parents could have a fresh start at rebuilding their relationship and salvaging their marriage.
When I arrived at UCT I had to struggle single-handedly to get the trunk out of the back of the Volkswagen. Then I had to drag it and it made a loud metallic scrapping sound as I dragged first across the tar road and over the pavement into the foyer of the newly built Leo Marquard Hall student’s residence. After checking it at the residence with all my details as a new student I dragged the trommel into the lift. I stayed in the residence which looked like a giant toilet roll for a month before moving into a bachelor flat in Chester House which was in Chester Road in Rondebosch. The flat was small. The divan sized bed was situated in the small enclave between the sliding kitchen door and the front door. The front door when opened wide touched the foot end of the bed. The lounge had a bedsitter, two chairs and a small round coffee table. The tiny kitchen has a service hatch opening into the lounge. The service hatch had a counter which functioned as the table for meals and the two high stools in the lounge served as the seating arrangement for meals. The lounge had a massive north facing window, it was wall to wall in breadth, and floor to ceiling in height. During the day the flat was bathed in golden sunlight and the yellows walls endowed the interior with an illusion of infinite space, a mood of warmth and the glow of optimism. So as you can image the flat fulfilled all conditions that made it a fitful place to be called home. I was really happy with my new home and with the way my life was turning out. I felt that I could not ask for more out of life. And in an absent minded moment of thankfulness I made the sign of the cross. A habit I had a first acquired from Kate and which Janet had helped to perpetuate.
Up until moving to Cape Town I had been staying in Sunnyside Residence for women at the University of the Witwatersrand since 1973. I was still in Sunnyside when I was doing my MSc until the end of 1977 and before that I had been in boarding school since standard six. The only place I could really call home was my bedroom in Hotazel. Moving to Cape Town also meant that I had to open a new bank account at a Nedbank branch in Rondebosch. All the usual amenities, the bank, the movie theatre, the pub, the pizzeria and a Pick-n-Pay supermarket were all within a few minutes’ walk from the flat. The pub called the Pig and Whistle was popular student hangout. The Hard Rock Café another favourite student hangout was also just down the main road within walking distance. And two block away across the main road was the Baxter theatre.
But now for the first time in my life I had to worry about having enough money to survive as a postgraduate student. I had a CSIR bursary, but I soon discovered that I could not make ends meet with the bursary. Once I had paid my flat rent I had almost no money left for food or petrol for the car, not to mention money for movies or eating out. After a plea for financial help my dad bailed me out by paying for the flat rent. After this very brief period of financial hardship I was offered a two year contract as temporary lecturer. I jumped at the opportunity. My job involved giving some first year lectures in Zoology and also lectures at the second and third year level on animal behavioural ecology and animal ecophysiology. I had to give up the bursary but the salary more than compensated for the loss of the bursary. Now for the first time in my life I had a bit of extra cash for discretionary expenditure and also for a tiny bit of sartorial extravagance. So I could now afford to add some interesting garments and accessories to supplement my modest wardrobe. I did not tell my dad about my financial windfall and he continued to pay the flat rent.
So with a bit of extra money in my bank account I could explore the rhetoric of the real during my free time, which was usually Friday and Saturday nights when I visited gay hangouts. In this connection I developed my taste or my erotic predilection for doing lipstick lesbian drag. Doing lipstick lesbian drag is what I mean by doing a performance of the rhetoric of the real. Contrary to the lay opinions of those completely uninitiated about the secret life of the lesbian body, let it be known to all that the lesbian body as a female homosexualized or homoerotized body exists in a state of social and political tension as a deviant body, as a non-compliant body. And as such, the lesbian body also exists as an ethical body, as a desiring body, and as an engendered body. The adornment of the lipstick lesbian body is always a whimsically performed symbolic parody of heterosexual femininity and this is the essence of doing lipstick lesbian drag. It is an exercise in mime and mimicry, which was something I knew a lot about from animal behavioural ecology. Lesbian drag is not only a parody, but also a caricature, a subversion, a distorting, a perverting and an undermining of the ‘cultural costume’ which has been imposed upon the bodies of women under the rule of the patriarchy to distinguish women by means of their clothed bodies so that they can be set apart from men in terms of identity and socio-political rank in the hierarchy of power relationships between men and women. So what does it mean or what does it symbolize to dress up the lesbian body in feminized apparel? In terms of the rhetoric of the real it means to be dressed in drag. To be in drag involves the symbolic or ironic construction of lesbian identity which in a fashion necessarily entails the parody, mime and mimicry of heterosexual femininity for homoerotic purposes. This is the exact opposite of the psychiatric fallacy of the female ‘invert’.
The dualism of the naked body versus the clothed body made its first fictional debut in the mythological drama of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The story is fraught with contradictions, irony and paradox which could only have emerged with the transition from Palaeolithic to Neolithic forms of sociality. The authorship of the Hebraic Edenic myth coincides with the rise of the patriarchical forms of sociality in the more or less settled agrarian communities or pastoral communities in which sexual identities became more rigidly mediated through the ‘costume style’ of the clothed body, in which the clothed bodies were assigned rank, ranks which had become fixed and cemented into a social order of hierarchical exploitation, firstly of women and then of slaves of both sexes. The male slave became a version of the feminized body. In this fashion the patriarchical enslavement of souls and bodies involves the exploitative process of ‘feminization’. In many ways the Edenic myth fulfils to this day a deeply ideological or propaganda function and also a hegemonizing purpose in all Neolithic and post-Neolithic societies’ right up to the so-called age of modernity. Like the rest of the Bible the true revelatory character of the Edenic story in Genesis can only be dialectically disclosed or unveiled once its ideological function is grasped and subjected to criticism. As a work of fiction its purpose was to ‘ideologize’, ‘ontologize’, ‘naturalize’ and ‘theologize’ social roles and relationships of power based strictly on sexuality or sexual identity, where sexual identity was made phenotypically visible in terms of the male-female anatomical dimorphisms associated with the distinctive male-female secondary sexual characters. Secondary sexual characters have the biological function of sexual ornamentation, which is the kind of anatomical ornamentation that is visually attractive to the libidinous gaze. Therefore, secondary sexual characters represent the kinds of natural bodily anatomical ornamentations which make the sexes appear erotically attractive to each other and thereby facilitate the production of desire which leads to sex, where sex results in the reproduction of progeny. However, sexual identity, visually based on secondary sexual characters have also resulted in social roles been imposed on women and men. The social roles are imposed through the medium of clothing, where clothing is used to veil or conceal the secondary sexual anatomical ornamentation which serves an erotic function in the sexual biology of the human species. Thus the female body clothed in its role and status specific ‘costume’ becomes the means for exerting power and control over the female body, especially in societies that had become organized, controlled and governed through non-egalitarian institutions based on the stratified and hierarchical ordering of power and domination. Dialectically speaking the ‘divine revelation’ embodied in the mythological or fictional narrative of the Edenic story of the clothed body versus the naked body is not the meaning of the literal story, but the exact opposite, and this is how revelation becomes manifest in irony. So the divinely inspired message of truth that is authoritative and infallible becomes dialectically manifested only in irony as it’s opposite. Hello Hegel!
In this context, that is the context of the Edenic myth the lipstick lesbian’s homoerotic feminization of the ‘costume’ of the clothed female body in the form of drag presents a direct challenge and subversion of patriarchy through irony, mimicry and parody. The feminized homoerotic lesbian body subverts the body of the patriarchy by rendering it impotent, the lesbian body in homoerotic drag destabilizes the power of the costume imposed on the female body by the ruling patriarchy and this act of feminist lesbian moral agency constitutes a castration, and the decapitation of patriarch’s bearded head. This is why God created lesbians!
Of course the feminist lipstick lesbian reading of Holy Scripture is necessarily a non-canonical reading, a reading based a non-patriarchical hermeneutics and a non-patriarchical deconstruction or destruction. The same goes for a feminist lipstick lesbian’s reading of the Hellenic canon, both pre-Socratic and post-Socratic Greek philosophical literature. It is often falsely taken for granted that the Western philosophical and theological canon is masculine, especially in its Hellenic and Hebraic renditions. However this does not disqualify a non-canonical lipstick lesbian feminized re-reading of the Hellenic-Hebraic Canon. This would constitute a serious challenge to the masculinized conceptualization of the World and the Universe. Sexual dimorphism has been too rigidly conceived in terms of differences in kinds in a dualistic or dichotomized fashion. However, differences between feminized and masculinized bodies and minds should not be conceptualized as differences in kinds but rather in terms of differences in degree along a continuum. This will remove the dissymmetry or asymmetry of kind that have been imposed on the sexes by men under the institution of the patriarchy.
In literature this dissymmetry/asymmetry in ‘kind’ rather than ‘degree’ always involves of the objectification of the female body with respect to a male subject in an unending ‘ad infinitum’. The male subject rules! The male subject is the moral agent of objectification. We see this in the relationship between Zeus and Hera, Odysseus and Penelope, Faust and Gretchen, Don Giovanni and Zerlina, and more recently in Humbert Humbert and Dolores Haze (Lolita). All the feminine heroines are suppressed, we only have the masculine Prometheus, Odysseus and Faust. The feminist lipstick lesbian seems to lack a mythic heroine, a mythic feminine subjectivity in which she could recognize her potency and moral agency in the world. But is this absolutely true? No, I don’t think so! There has to be mythic figures that embody the feminine subjectivity of a female heroine on par with Prometheus. So where does the Hebraic and the Hellenic lipstick lesbian stand? What is her standing as a mythic heroine figure? Where is superwoman? Maybe Mother Mary should be our superwoman our Hebraic heroine. Ironically it was through the singing or chanting of the Magnificat that my political awakening and eventual radicalization took place while I was still a school girl at Potchefstroom Girl’s High.
^46 ^And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord
^47 ^ and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
^48 ^for he has been mindful
p. of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
^49 ^for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
p. holy is his name.
^50 ^His mercy extends to those who fear him,
p. from generation to generation.
^51 ^He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
p. he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
^52 ^He has brought down rulers from their thrones
p. but has lifted up the humble.
^53 ^He has filled the hungry with good things
p. but has sent the rich away empty.
^54 ^He has helped his servant Israel,
p. remembering to be merciful
^55 ^to Abraham and his descendants forever,
p. just as he promised our ancestors.”
Mary’s Song was so political subversive that the British colonial authorities found it necessary to ban the chanting of the Magnificat by the Christianized aboriginals during Evening Song. When Father Francis Digby mentioned this he had inadvertently planted the first seeds of my own political radicalization while I was still in high school. Father Francis also preached more than once on the Song of Mary. The Song captured not only the revolutionary hopes of freedom of the ancient Israelites, the Song is also deeply Hebraic, rooted in the Psalms, and in Hannah’s prayer and also in the Song of Moses. The Song is ultimately about the reversal of the asymmetric distribution of power in the hierarchical rule of all forms of patriarchy. Why else would a woman sing it as a prayer? The Song can be also viewed as the prayer of the Anarchist calling for the visitation of Divine Violence on all rulers and for the full restoration of sovereignty directly to the people. After high school I become a lapsed Anglican. But I have remained a closet Christian in spite of self-identifying as a Marxist and a feminist lesbian. I felt no reasonable or rational moral, philosophical or scientific compulsion to be an atheist. I saw no reason for such a dramatic disclamation of belief.
Once I had settled down and had my found bearings in Cape Town and at UCT, I slowly slipped into the sleepy, unhurried routines and rhythms of the cycle of Capetonian life. I began to attend all the advertised seminars and meetings that were linked to the activist agenda of the UCT Left. Slowly but surely I made friends and acquaintances with fellow students and postgraduate students who belonged to the Left. I even became involved with the stop conscription campaign. It was while I was involved with the stop conscription campaign that I first became acquainted with the South American liberation theology in a series of seminars organized by some radical Catholic students. There was also the Rosa Luxembourg study group that I joined which in terms of membership overlapped with the radical Catholics.
I was invited to an anti-conscription campaign meeting which a radical Anglican priest had convened at his parent’s home. He stayed on the property, living in a cottage which had a large thatched roofed loft hidden upstairs. One had to access the loft via a ladder through a trap door. Just before breaking for lunch some female students belonging to the radical Catholic group invited the other attendees to go skinny dipping in the swimming pool. I accepted the invitation. We peeled off our T-shirts and shorts or jeans or our dresses and we dived naked into the pool. None of the guys joined us. It was just us girls frolicking in the pool. While in the pool one of girls asked if I would be interested in coming to a Marxist study group that night. We became lovers and it was through her that I was eventually recruited into the underground South African Communist Party.
The memory of that day in the pool became fixed in my mind as one of those special snap shot memories filled with blue skies, hot sun, green lawns, blue swimming pool and images of our frolicking, splashing and flirting. My girlfriend soon to be was the exquisitely beautiful seductive and convent school educated, Samantha MacGuire, who had done a BA majoring in philosophy, politics and economics and was now doing a PhD in politics. I learnt that she had relatives who had a long historical association with the Irish Republic Party. The home with its beautiful swimming pool was set in a magnificent garden with huge trees. It was located in the elite and luxurious suburb of Constantia which contrasted so starkly with our socialist ideals.
Once Samantha had become fully acquainted with where I stood politically on the Left she began to make frequent oblique references to the Party. I sensed that I was being targeted as a candidate for recruitment. It was after a small intimate dinner party with a few friends on the Left who I had met before that Samantha asked me outright if I would like to become a member of the South African Communist Party. I immediately put two and two together and asked if I had passed the interview. She laughed and said: ‘Yes!’
Before accepting the offer of membership I asked Samantha straight out:
‘How can you be a Catholic and a Communist?’
‘It is because I am Catholic that I am a Communist.’
So I joined the Party. I joined the Party as a lipstick lesbian. I joined the Party but I had my reservations about the Party. I was concerned about it having become intellectually moribund and incapacitated. I was worried about its revolutionary competence and I was worried about whether it subscribed to an outdated vision of Marxism and Communism. I was worried about the Party having declined into a state of stagnation. I was concerned about what kind of Communist Party I was joining. I was hoping that through my membership of the Party that I would be able to contribute to the re-vitalization of Marxism or Communism. These were my concerns and I expressed them without pulling any punches. And I said as much to Samantha.
‘Well we just have make do with the Party as it is with all its flaws and short-comings, it like the Church, we cannot imagine the existence of Christianity without the Church, a Church that is deeply flawed and full of short-comings,’ Samantha replied.
‘Well I would like to believe that Communism as a project could be realized without the Party,’ I replied.
‘Maybe and then maybe not. Look, like you I became a Communist before I joined the Communist Party,’ Samantha mused.
When it came to Marxism and Communism there was very little the Party could teach me. Of course the perceived view of the official Party line on Marxism and Communism was thought to be archaic, rigid, dull and stuck in the Stalinism of the 1930s. Journalist criticism of the Party portrayed the senior leadership as having a certain fixed mid set that was clearly out of date. And we also knew, especially after 1976, that liberation movement as a whole had been fairly pathetic at igniting and leading the Peoples War of Liberation or the Proletarian Class Struggle. Well in spite of all the obvious practical and political short-comings, including the rumoured ideological, theoretical, and philosophical backwardness of the Party with regard to its understanding and articulation of Marxism and Communism, I still felt honoured and privileged that the Party had considered me worthy of recruitment into its ranks. And I took my membership of the Party and my official standing as a ‘real’ Communist very seriously. I realized that membership of the Party came with a huge responsibility and required the utmost dedication. Now that I was officially a Communist I believed that I had what it takes to make a difference. And we debated these issues in our cell meetings. Samantha and I both became self-appointed exponents of the Class Struggle in the form of the Peoples War.
We had ironically became inspired by two movies that hit the movie circuit in Cape Town: ‘The Deer Hunter’ and ‘Apocalypse Now’. These two movies triggered our interest in the Vietnam liberation struggle and we began to do research on the Viet Cong and that is when came across the idea of the Peoples War and the multi-dimensional strategies for prosecuting the People War. We managed to get copies of General Võ Nguyên Giáp’s pamphlet and discussed it in our cell meetings.
In my discussion I wanted to unpack the multi-fold meaning of reproduction in the Marxist context, reproduction means: becoming, continuation, restoration, resuscitation, persistence, perpetuation, renewal, maintenance, survival, time, the same, the existing, existence, totality. What is being reproduced? The social totality is being reproduced. What is the social totality? The social totality includes the relations and forces of production.
The vibrant and self-sustaining emergence of revolutionary proletarian class consciousness is a very definitive and radical achievement. It is impossible to wage the people war without the working class first acquiring the necessary cognitive powers and cognitive capacities for seeing all things in a new and revolutionary light. This entails the perception of all things in terms of the asymmetric distribution of power, a distribution of power which is realized, perpetuated and reproduced through the private ownership of the means of production and the means of accumulation.
The emergence of class conscious and the articulation of class interests is tantamount to the undistorted and demystified cognitive appropriation of the essential nature of the realities or conditions which make possible the asymmetric distribution of power. Articulating, promoting and furthering the proletarian class interests can be realized through the critique and demystification of the ideological defences for the continued existence of an asymmetric distribution of power. This is the intellectual component of the class struggle. And it needs to proceed hand in hand with the actual prosecuting of the proletarian class war by means of a multi-dimensional strategy which will dismantle and destroy the asymmetric distribution of power through: the mass strike, the mass consumer boycott, the mass stay away, the mass occupation, the mass demonstration, mass actions of civil disobedience, the setting up of barricades, the creation of no go zones, and so on. The ultimate goal of these actions which constitute the peoples war is to drive the country into state where it becomes ungovernable. Once the country has become ungovernable the perpetuation or continued existence of the prevailing social totality which can only exist by virtue the maintaining the asymmetric distribution of power will collapse.
The emergence of proletarian class consciousness which is a necessary prelude to revolution includes what can be best defined as a process of cognitive mapping – a process by means of which the individual proletarian and the proletariat as a class is able to understand and see where it stands in relationship to the distribution of power, to see where one’s place is, where one is situated, within the social totality relative to power, relative to the relations of production, relative to the forces of production and relative to all the determinations and moments which play such vital and critical roles in the reproduction of that very social totality with all its definitive power relationships and power structures. Here we have the resuscitation of the György Lukács’ early ideas of the historical materialism articulated in the form of an identification or in terms of the relationship of the subject and object history.
How does proletarian class consciousness emerge? What factors and conditions drive the emergence of proletarian class consciousness is open to all kinds of theoretical analyses and it is in this context that the practical role of ‘vanguardism’ becomes politically prominent. The Communist Party has taken upon itself the multi-dimensional role of the proletarian vanguard as the midwife of proletarian class consciousness, as the midwife of the proletarian class struggle and also as the midwife of the proletarian revolution. At the practical level in performing or executing its leadership role as the revolutionary vanguard the Communist Party engages in the mobilization and organization of the masses through active politicization and conscientization. The class struggle has to be won in the realm of ideas, which is the realm of the mind, it has to achieve this if it is going to succeed in the genuine and authentic revolutionary transformation of the social totality that is constitutive of Capitalism. This struggle in the realm of the mind, in the realm of the conscious awareness of one’s class interests and one’s class position within the social totality, is not simply reducible to the Lacanian idea of the Communist Party acting in the role of the analyst as in the therapeutic setting of the psychoanalytical treatment of a patient.
Rather we can learn more from Plato especially in relation to the pedagogic of the oppressed. In Plato’s ‘Theaetetus’ Socrates talks about the role of teachers as pedagogical midwifes whose chief role is facilitate the birth of knowledge in mind of the pupil. With the ancients pedagogical matchmaking and pedagogical midwifery went and in hand. The Party fulfils its revolutionary vanguard role in pedagogical matchmaking and pedagogical midwifery.
As part of the Party work that I shared with Samantha I became involved in an adult education programme in the informal settle of Crossroads.
Towards the end of 1979 Samantha was served with banning orders. Shortly after that two security policemen pitched up one night at my flat. They bashed on the door loudly. It was 11.00 pm and I had just got back from seeing Barney Simon’s Cincinnati played at the Baxter theatre. It was a play about a multi-racial discotheque club in in Fordsburg near the Oriental Plaza. When I opened the door they asked if I was Comrade Hannah. My heart skipped a beat, and I felt the immediate rush of adrenaline and my mouth became cork dry. They repeated the question:
‘Is jy Comrade Hannah, Comrade Hannah Zeeman?’ (Are you Comrade Hannah, Comrade Hannah Zeeman?’
‘I am Hannah Zeeman,’ I answered in quiet voice that sounded very timid and almost frightened in my own ears.
They pushed past me and walked into the lounge. They both reeked of alcohol. They both lit up cigarettes and I did not like anyone smoking in my flat. Pulling up the stools by the counter and they sat down with their elbows resting on the counter. The lounge lights were dim but the kitchen light was on. One of them had a brown folder which he opened. He read out the number plate of my Volkswagen and asked if this was the number plate of my car. I said yes it is. He then read out addresses, street names and dates. And asked if I had a visited any of the addresses or had driven along a certain street on a certain day at a particular time. I could feel that I was in a state of shock. In order to answer the questions I walked into the kitchen and standing on the opposite side of the counter I began to stupidly examine the calendar on the kitchen wall next to the fridge. He asked again if I had driven down a particular street on Thursday the 16th of August. I stared at the date on the calendar wracking my brain, trying to remember where I had been on that day. Then I remembered. Samantha and I had been invited to attend a workshop on liberation theology at a Coloured church in Mitchells Plain. I then confirmed that I had driven down that street on that day at that time in Mitchells Plain.
He asked what was I doing as a White woman in a Coloured township. I told him that I was going to a church meeting and they both burst out laughing. But they seemed to be happy with my answer and they became very amiable as I continued to examine the calendar while confirming where I had been at the various dates and times. It seemed that they knew everything about my movements. I was expecting that they were going to arrest me. Then out of the blue they asked me if Malcolm Zeeman was my brother. I replied yes.
Speaking in English they said they had been in army with him, they had been on various military operations with him before joining the security police. They said he was a good man, a fine soldier, straight as an arrow, and he was a man who you could trust your life with. And it would be good for me to follow his patriotic example as good and loyal citizen of our beautiful country.
He was as straight as an arrow!
They then got up to leave.
‘Good night Comrade Hannah, remember we are watching you, we know everything about you. You owe your brother big time. He is your protector.’
‘We will tell him that we have warned you. Remember bad friends can corrupt your soul.’