Page 53. " It is Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika "

Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (God Bless Africa in Xhosa) was originally composed as a hymn by a Johannesburg teacher, Enoch Sontonga, in 1897.  In 1927 seven additional Xhosa stanzas were added by the poet Samuel Mqhayi.  The song became a pan-African liberation anthem and was later adopted as the national anthem in five African countries after independence. It was the official ANC anthem during the apartheid era.

In 1994, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika and the previous national anthem, The Call of South Africa/ Die Stem were adopted as joint national anthems. In 1996, a shortened, combined version of the two anthems was adopted.

Page 61. " Pimville, which is a village of half-tanks used as houses "
Soweto, with the Orlando cooling towers in the background
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSoweto, with the Orlando cooling towers in the background - Credit: Michael Denne

In 1904 there was a suspected outbreak of bubonic plague among the residents of Brickfields, a slum area on the edge of Johannesburg.  Black inhabitants were evacuated from the area and relocated to Klipspruit farm, nearly 20 kms south-west of Johannesburg. 

A portion of the Klipsruit population was housed in emergency shelters left over from the South African war - V-shaped corrugated iron huts that the locals called e-Tenki. Many of these shelters were still in use a generation later. 

In 1934 a section of Klipspruit was renamed Pimville, and developed as a ‘middle-class’ black suburb. Today, Pimville is a suburb of Soweto.

Page 69. " The should enforce the pass-laws, Jackson "

Pass Books
Public DomainPass Books
The pass laws were designed to segregate the population and limit the movements of the black population. All black people were required to carry their pass book with them in public areas.  Failure to produce a pass could result in immediate arrest.

Page 69. " We went to the Zoo Lake, my dear "

Zoo Lake is a public park with a man-made lake, located alongside the Johannesburg zoo.  The park was opened in 1908. It has always been open to all races, despite the segregation imposed by apartheid laws in other public spaces. 

Today the park attracts over 20 000 people each weekend, and hosts an annual Jazz on the Lake concert that draws even larger crowds.    

Page 72. " the activities of Kafferboeties and Communists "
South African Communist Party badge
Public DomainSouth African Communist Party badge

The Afrikaans term Kaffir-boetie (brother) was often used to describe a white person who sympathised with the cause of the black community or socialised with black people.

The South African Communist Party, formed in 1921, was a multi-racial organisation, with close links with the ANC. 

During the apartheid years, the National Party used the threat of both ‘swaart gevaar’ (black danger) and rooi gevaar (red, or communist, danger) to justify its oppressive policies.