Dont call me kaffir – Part 3
Previously in part 2 of Dont call me kaffir, Thabang was in a bitter spat with Stevan about the social kitty he had suggested, the politics continue. Hired to specifically do a focused set of tasks, Thabang noticed that his workload continued to expand though he was getting nowhere in three years of being with the company. Excelling at everything he did and getting great feedback from his clientèle, he felt as though Management somewhat resented his successes.
Life went on as per normal, Stevan was being his usual self as he blurted stupid things out and got angry at the slightest happenings of the day. Reading about Julius Malema on the papers, the then ANCYL president and outspoken leader that managed to press just the right kind of buttons on Stevan, all the while so far from him physically.
For hours at times, Thabang would be forced to ague a point for the rest of the black community as if he was the de facto representative to these white men. It would seem to Stevan and his other white colleagues Tommy and Clark, that Thabang shared the same sentiment uttered by every black politician. It was the common thing that the guys at the office would generalize almost everything they knew or thought they knew about black people.
There definitely were racial tensions at the office. Bridgette, Thabang’s boss was a pitiful sight as she nodded her head to everything that the white bosses said. Granted she was a formidable business woman, running a part time spa boutique which seemed to creep into her time with her Job as director of the company.
It was obvious that her stake in the company was merely as a window dressing opportunity for the white shareholders to benefit from the kinds of bids they would now be in good BEE standing to participate in from both Government and other corporates that were forced by the SA Affirmative Action laws, these laws happened to be quite the point for much contention amongst the whites as they felt it excluded them from industry.
Thabang could never understand why Stevan, Tommy and Clark were so quick to complain about these laws as there were millions of black people living far below the poverty line. He would sometimes argue that most black people failed to get an appropriate education beyond Matric for lack of support and other issues, and even those that managed to get a tertiary qualification had a better chance at a fruitful and peaceful career in a government job, compared to the mostly white owned corporate industries or companies like the one they were working for now, where most blacks were almost always stuck at the bottom of the corporate ladder.
Thabang decided to remind the trio about the 1913 land act that had been passed by the previous government of white minority leaders where blacks were entitled to purchase only 13% of any of the land mass in South Africa, the least desirable pieces of land the whites had identified. He also reminded them of the pass laws that segregated his people from completely from most parts of the white owned cities and towns in South Africa, something he would notice them linger in thought over.
For weeks on end after the argument where he brought these points up, Stevan, Tommy and Clark would seem to make an effort. Suddenly a little bit more tolerable of Thabang or so it seemed for the time being. Bridgette must have feared that Thabang might destabilize the palatable status quo in her company, she was not about to be forced to take sides in such matters.
She preferred to smile and never discuss such sensitive issues as they might offend some of the senior white staff, Lord knows what they might do when upset, thought Bridgette. She was certainly the kind of person Thabang and his friends referred to as good blacks in his circles.