Why don’t we speak about the rapes that happened during apartheid – those perpetrated by the SADF and MK?

He looked at his passport photograph and thought about how much more handsome he looked then. Before the woman. Before the church. Before the pastor.

Next to him his wife stood silent.

She stopped speaking after their first night together, but it only bothered him in public places. At home he’d carry on with his life. His books. His work. Going out into his magnificent gardens and ordering the staff there to plant bulbs, or work on the mulching. At home his life continued unabated, with her on the periphery. But in public places people took notice – it made him feel overly aware and self-conscious. He hated feeling out of place.

As the queue shortened and they approached the check in desk he turned to her and snarled: “For God’s sake Josephine, say something. Social exchanges with strangers is society’s lubrication.”

As always, she remained silent. Her head slightly bowed.


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