De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2008.en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2009 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2010.
Uit: A dry white season
„It all really began, as far as Ben was concerned, with the death of Gordon Ngubene. But from the notes he made subsequently, and from newspaper cuttings, it is obvious that the matter went back much further. At least as far as the death of Gordon’s son Jonathan at the height of the youth riots in Soweto. And even beyond that, to the day, two years earlier — represented in Ben’s papers by a receipt with a brief note scribbled on it when he’d started contributing to the schooling of the then fifteen year old Jonathan.
Gordon was the black cleaner in the school where Ben taught History and Geography to the senior classes. In the older journals there are occasional references to “Gordon N.” or just “Gordon”; and from time to time one finds, in Ben’s fastidious financial statements, entries like “Gordon — R5.oo”; or “Received from Gordon (repayment) — R5.00”, etc. Sometimes Ben gave him special instructions about notes on his blackboard; on other occasions he approached him for small personal jobs. Once, when some money disappeared from the classrooms and one or two of the teachers immediately blamed Gordon for it, it was Ben who took the cleaner under his wing and instituted inquiries which revealed a group of matric boys to be the culprits. From that day Gordon took it upon himself to wash Ben’s car once a week. And when, after Linda’s difficult birth, Susan was out ofaction for some time, it was Gordon’s wife Emily who helped them out with housework.
As they came to know each other better Ben discovered more about Gordon’s background. As a young boy he had arrived from the Transkei with his parents when his father had found employment in the City Deep Mine. And since he showed interest in reading and writing from an early age he was sent to school — no cheap or easy undertaking for a man in his father’s position. Gordon made steady progress until he’d passed Standard Two, but then his father died in a rockfall in the mine and Gordon had to leave school and start working to supplement his mother’s meagre income as a domestic servant.“
André Brink (Vrede, 29 mei 1935)