South Africa

Holiday in South Africa, part 4

The Boer doesn’t tell us what to do here.

Part four of a four-part story about apartheid-era South Africa. First published in The Monthly, November 1986. Reprinted in the Reader, summer of 1990. In memory of Nelson Mandela.

Holiday in South Africa, part 3

Black townships, like Soweto, represent the place where everything went wrong.

“The man was an informer.” Riggs and I are sharing daytime fun, a black guy and a white guy driving around black townships, at risk both from South African security forces and enraged blacks who, ...

Holiday in South Africa, part 2

Next morning I begin making the rounds, schedule interviews with a well-known activist who’s teaching at University of Witwatersrand (he has since been detained), with Brendon Berry, president of the National University Student Association, recently ...

Holiday in South Africa: Johannesburg in 1986, revisited

May 8, 1986. I am the only passenger on the 30-minute shuttle from Jans Smuts International Airport to Johannesburg’s city center. Joburg’s population is three million plus and its downtown bears an uncanny resemblance to ...

The Cape, South Africa

South Africa is becoming a destination of choice for good reason. We were happy to arrive in Cape Town, the mother city, after a very long flight: 24 hours across two continents on South African ...