Friday, August 24, 2007

Apartheid East London, Some 1992 Unrest and Selborne Boss's Mayhem

In March 1992, we voted "YES" for reform in the last white referendum. (Nelson Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom, Abacus, Little, Brown and Co., London, 1996). SA had advanced since the 1983 divide-and-rule referendum for a tricameral parliament. Once multi-party Codesa talks were finished millions of non-white Azanians could vote.

Mandela announced his separation from Winnie. (Martin Meredith, Nelson Mandela, A Biography, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1997).

April. Mitchell, SAP captain and cop thugs were convicted of killing 11 Zulus during the 03/12/1988 Trust Feeds Massacre, New Hanover. (Dervla Murphy, South From The Limpopo, John Murray, London, 1997).

May. The Goldstone Commission reported that SA violence was caused by ANC-Inkatha conflict. (Ibid Meredith).

While I coached fourth team cricket, a fat boy said, "We're gunna cut up a baby!" Heh! Heh!" As Luke was a baby, and as there was local Satanism whisperings, I was annoyed. The boy I'd slapped a year before then threw a stone at me. I made the boys run laps around the sports- field, then complained to Mr. Gordon, who sorted out the boys. Had he done his job properly a year before, the incident wouldn't've happened.

Before a board inspection, Mr. Gordon rushed around tidying notice -boards and warning assembled boys, "Be on your betht behaviour!" I wasn't inspected. Maybe Mr. Gordon and Blumrick were scared I'd inform inspectors about institutional-violence.

Mr. Gordon continued Clarendon HS contacts, arranging a Selborne College athletics -meeting on Clarendon sports-field, although Selborne sports-field was adequate. While Selborne staff occupied one side of whitewashed tracks, Mr. Gordon and Clarendon spinster headmistress whispered on the opposite side. Mr. Gordon and Clarendon headmistress left early.

Clarendon headmistress attended Selborne functions as guest-of-honour, sitting with Mr. Gordon's wife, cabinet and guests on the hall stage. Wasteful prize-givings were held in the refurbished, pink town hall, although Selborne hall was adequate. Staff wore academic gowns, while boys collected prizes - while townships burned. In April 1996 the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearing would be held in the pink town hall.

Unrest, Boipatong: 45 blacks killed by Inkatha. (Fred Bridgeland, Katiza's Journey, Beneath the Surface of South Africa's Shame, Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1997).

1990 and 1992 Indemnity Acts: Criminals were granted amnesty for "political" crimes, while killing increased around us.

Rolling Mass Action: Over 4 million ANC-stirred workers went on general-strike.

A white accountant friend, who worked in puppet Bisho, was twice taken hostage at gunpoint. He twice talked his way out of being killed, but his mental health declined.

Puppet Bisho, Ciskei collapse: 30 Xhosa killed by Ciskei troops. (Ibid Bridgeland).

King Williams Town Golf Club: 4 whites killed. (Desmond Tutu, No Future Without Forgiveness, Random House, New York, 1999).

In the 1992 ANC-Inkatha fighting in Natal thousands of Zulus were killed.

Annually Mr. Gordon asked me to adjudicate Clarendon house-plays, a ploy by Mr. Gordon to contact Clarendon headmistress, and for me to play Luister for future shows. (I was so deaf I didn't hear the plays.) Mr. Gordon sent me a disingenuous note ordering me to produce skits at Clarendon: a stupid stunt, as the show was scheduled near boys' exams, meaning hours of extra work, putting me and boys under pressure before exams. I refused, as I had misgivings about Mr. Gordon's insight, judgement, and motives.

Mr. Gordon knew I was deafening, as I'd stated it in my job application four years before, but he posted a stupid, spiteful letter to my home: "You're a useless teacher. Your teaching, sports coaching and discipline are all useless." (Paraphrased). Till then, Mr. Gordon had never posted a letter to my home while I taught at Selborne. His attacks had stayed at Selborne.

Mr. Gordon's judgement was so bad, he didn't acknowledge the overtime hours I'd put into sports and play productions, or Selborne's use of my heirlooms as furniture and stage props. No other staff did that. He said nothing about the excellence of my plays, from which he and Selborne / Clarendon benefited. No other staff had the play direction expertise, stage and acting experience I had. Mr. Gordon forgot or was ignorant of the many times I'd used my Golf transporting boys to and from drama and sports venues.

After Mr. Gordon fingered his green door-button I said, "I remind you I'm reading my third degree, UNISA BSc, updating my biology."

Mr. Gordon squinted when I plonked copies of my pupils' exam and test marks (four years' worth) on his imboya desk. "I reckon all my classes' results have always fitted into bell curves - without any mark adjustments. You've screened my pupils' marks at the end of school terms, and you and inspectors have vetted my marks annually. I'm going deaf, but my teaching competence is a non-issue."

Mute Mr. Gordon.

"My sports results and coaching are above reproach. I've coached sports in Natal and Cape schools, and there were no complaints during my sixteen years' teaching until your letter to my home. Since the boy-slap fiasco last year, I've listed all disciplinary infractions I can think of happening at Selborne." I handed Mr. Gordon a six page typed list. "How'd you deal with each infraction?" Mr. Gordon stonewalled.

"Your actions over four years discriminating against me regarding lab allocation and your letter to my home attacking my family and me show you're a bully. You resent my not doing skits at Clarendon. You resent my sending you boys for punishment according to your vague disciplinary policy."

Mute Mr. Gordon.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

1 comment:

Mark JS Esslemont said...

A South African, who'd survived the King Williams Town Golf Club attack with his shrapnelled wife, emailed me. They'd emigrated to Auckland, NZ