Chapter Twenty-One – Hanging on to Love
Lindiwe Buthelezi tried to make sense of Pieter’s body language and emotions now that she had explained what she knew about the New South Africa. After all, he was still an apartheid era cop. Would he report her thoughts to his superiors and the apartheid regime onslaught against the blacks would be taken to new levels? Surely not, God help us!
Lindiwe had such strong feelings for Pieter that she was now feeling more like his equal in terms of age and understanding. Lindiwe Snr was at work in full force, rather than Lindiwe Jnr.
Of course, their conversations in the vehicle on the way back from Mbabane had been quite sensitive and revealing. Lindiwe felt that after their night together, the time was right to trust Pieter to the fullest.
Alright, Lindiwe, let’s define what ‘fullest’ means.
If ‘fullest’ was used in its true sense, does this mean that she (Lindiwe) can now trust Pieter in telling him how she really felt about him?
Lindiwe gulped. She could not get herself to do that or not yet anyway. What if Pieter rejected her? What if Pieter had only planned on using her as a one-night stand? Gogo Albertina’s words were ringing in her ears – Don’t trust the white man, my dear. They are not like black men at all.
Was her Gogo right? Was it right to stereotype all white people as being of the same mindset? For that matter, was it right for all whites to stereotype all black people as criminals? Lindiwe was quick to work out that it was the wicked apartheid system that was causing the hatred and distrust on both sides.
As long as apartheid was present in everyone’s lives, unity seemed far away. At least having been to the future, she knew that there was light at the end of the political tunnel for South Africa.
Meanwhile, Pieter was still trying to digest all that Lindiwe had told him about the New South Africa that she had witnessed first-hand. It really seemed to be quite far-fetched. I mean a black President! Blacks living next door to whites in the plush suburbs!
No, man, Erasmus, this girl must be slipping some serious pills while you are not looking. She cannot be alright in the head. The future simply cannot be Black and White together on an equal footing!
It is best to stick to the plan and eliminate Mandela and then you can take it from there!
Pieter’s mind was playing tricks on him. If what Lindiwe saw was all true, then what would happen to President PW Botha? Pieter was not to know that Botha would suffer a stroke in 1989 and his decision-making would become irrational causing him to lose the support of his Cabinet.
F.W. de Klerk would take over and would not waste much time to set up the closing of the book of apartheid to send South Africa on a new course in the eyes of those in the country and globally.
No, Eramus, it is not going to happen!
One can imagine how difficult it would have been for Pieter to comprehend. The far right wing, including the militant AWB, would hardly take too kindly to the Nationalist government unbanning the ANC and its affiliates, let along entering into power sharing talks to govern the country.
Then who was this Chris Hani fellow? Pieter had never heard the name before. Judging by Lindiwe’s views, Hani would be eliminated by a white man, but there seemed to be some school of thought that his own brothers may have had a hand in allowing the hit to happen. How? Perhaps by knowing of the potential hit and turning a blind eye to allow the white man to take the heat?
How was Pieter to know that on 7 September 1992, Hani would play a major role in being one of the leaders of 80 000 protestors to the Victoria Stadium in Bisho to demand that the Ciskei homeland be incorporated into the New South Africa? The Ciskei government were having none of it, as they were living good lives, as puppets to the apartheid regime. The Ciskei Defence Force would eventually grow frustrated and open fire on the marchers, killing twenty eight people. Two hundred marchers were wounded. Besides Hani, others involved in the march were future New South Africa leaders in President Cyril Ramaphosa, Sport Minister Steve Tshwete, and Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils.
Lindiwe noticed the silence between the two persons in the police vehicle. Her worst fear was that the information that she divulged to Pieter, may have turned him away from her.
That is the last thing that she wanted to do. She needed the Lieutenant and he needed her. How she would have loved the bonding to go way beyond just needing each other for the sake of the New South Africa.
“Are you alright?” she asked.
“I am fine, it is just that I am finding it hard to believe that South Africa has the potential to change from a white country to a black one at the speed of light,” he said.
“I suppose it will happen if it is the will of God.”
Lindiwe remained silent. As much as she believed that the situation would change if it was a part of God’s plan, she also knew that the apartheid regime would try each and every trick to avoid relinquishing power to the leaders of the black majority.
Releasing Mandela from prison would be a small price to pay as the white supremists would play for time. What benefit, thought, would playing for time have for the current government? Where would their saviour come from? Right now, Lindiwe could only see one saviour being in a position to bring about a peaceful future for South Africa and that was Mandela. If someone executed him, goodness knows what would happen next. How, though, would the idea of a South Africa for all, be planted in the minds of the whites so that they would give up power out of their own free will?
“Look, Pieter, I know it must be difficult for you to imagine a black government running South Africa but it seems that this could well be the way that things could work out,” said Lindiwe.
Pieter smiled as he remembered a colleague remarking on that very subject.
“The blacks can’t organise a pissup in a brewery, never mind run a country.”
“I just can’t see the Nationalist Party-led government giving in and releasing Mandela unless they have an underhanded way of retaining some sort of power through him,” remarked Pieter.
Lindiwe hadn’t thought of it that way before.
“You mean they might soften Mandela to get him to compromise on certain elements when putting together a new constitution for the country?” gasped Lindiwe.
Pieter shrugged his shoulders.
“I am just going on a hunch here but I know my bosses and there is nothing for nothing with them,” he remarked.
“They will only release Mandela if they are getting something in return.”
Not for a moment did Pieter believe that the blacks could slaughter all of the whites in a civil war situation. The cop had not been in combat outside the country against the ANC’s armed wing and their affiliates, so he did not realise the battle power that the black movement held. He did not know that certain liberation men had been briefed to bring weapons over the border into South Africa and to plant bombs to cause havoc with the peaceful everyday life of white South Africans. Bars, sports events and other cultural places were to be targeted.
However, Pieter did not believe that the black movement could accomplish the above as they had no access to proper weapons like the South African army and police did.
It is also important to remember that Mandela was a man of peace and focused on dialogue. He did not want the ANC’s armed men to kill white civilians, but violence seemed to be the only language that the apartheid regime understood. The ANC certainly were not going to take a step backwards. They would fight fire with fire!
“I just wish the end will come soon one way or another,” piped up Pieter.
“I have lost colleagues through this stupid race war called apartheid and really, it is not worth putting more lives as risk. How many good men and women on both sides must perish before we learn a lesson as a country?”
Pieter knew that if his parents ever heard him say such things, he would be disinherited and thrown out into the street.
Transformation was not a part of the Erasmus family agenda. They hated the blacks with a passion so strong!
“Lindiwe, is Mandela safer behind bars than he is in freedom?” asked Pieter.
“Quite possibly,” replied the girl, who was beginning to understand that the scales on Pieter’s eyes had been removed and that he had walked a Damascus tube route and was transformed towards the New South Africa long before any of his white colleagues.
“Pieter, I just hope that…” began Lindiwe.
“You just hope what?” asked the Lieutenant.
“I just hope that if the country goes the civil war route, it won’t change anything between us,” said the girl.
Pieter made a clicking noise with his tongue on the inside of his mouth.
“I have a strong feeling based on what you claim to have seen and what I understand now, that South Africa will not go the civil war race route,” he said.
“This beautiful country has suffered much and surely it cannot lose more lives.”
“It is all about greed, isn’t it?” remarked Lindiwe.
“I mean, the leaders, black or white, all want to control the country’s gold, land and other resources.”
“It is no different to anywhere else on Africa or in the world,” confirmed Pieter.
Lindiwe looked at the driver of the vehicle.
“Love can change all of that,” she said.
“You mean love between us?” asked the Lieutenant.
“Well, that too,” remarked Pieter with a wry smile.
“I actually meant love between people, like getting men of all races to treat each other as brothers, and the same with the women as sisters.”
“That is true,” said Lindiwe.
“However, I am more interested in the love between us. Maybe we need to do another trip to Mbabane sometime?”
“You enjoyed the breakfast there that much?” he teased.
“Apart from the breakfast, I just pray that someday South Africa can resort to a peaceful country like Swaziland where people of all colours can get along without any form of oppression,” said the girl.
Lindiwe stared at Pieter.
“Has anyone ever told you that you have a very fatherly instinct about you?” she said.
“What do you mean?” asked the driver.
“I mean that something tells me that you will make a super father one day,” said Lindiwe.
“Do you think if the world was full of children from black and white relationships that none of this racial tension would exist?” he asked.
“Possibly, but people will always be people and one skin colour will always look to dominate over the others,” said Lindiwe.
“Even if the blacks do come to power, it won’t be long before tribal wars break out. The Xhosas will want the top jobs in Parliament, but the Zulus and Sothos will be against it.”
“So much for love among brothers,” joked Pieter, as he shook his head.
“However, I don’t think it is a global thing. It is a worldwide phenomenon.”
“So about that trip back to Mbabane?” teased Lindiwe.
“We can’t let the love dwindle. We need to set the example.”
Pieter smiled at her.
“Once we have saved Mandela and South Africa, we can look at spoiling ourselves… again.”
Then put foot, sir, we need to save Mandela and South Africa at speed,” said Lindiwe, with a wink towards her lover.
“I take it you would like to get married in a church one day?” asked the Lieutenant.
Lindiwe looked confused.
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