In apartheid South Africa, education had often found itself the subject to apartheid legislation. For example, the Bantu Education Act of 1953 was designed to deliver education appropriate to the "nature and requirements of the black people," while universities, such as the one David taught at, would have come under the scope of the Extension of University Education Act of 1959, which aimed to create separate higher education institutions based on race classification. Even when these acts were repealed in 1979 and 1988 respectively, South African education was still organised along traditionally race lines; a process that did not begin to change until the dismantling of apartheid.
Once apartheid was abolished, and a new government put in place, an overhaul of the education system was undertaken aimed at meeting the needs of all South African students. In order to facilitate this process, an agreement was reached between government and teacher unions, which would enable the rationlization and redeployment of teaching roles, according to both geographical and subject related requirements. The fate suffered by David, as a result of departmental closure and a shifting emphasis towards new subject areas, was a fate shared by many teachers in higher educational institutions, as they were forced to come to terms with the changing educational needs of post apartheid South Africa.
This video looks at the role of education in the reconciliation process in South Africa.