Tuesday, January 22, 2002

The rainbow nation still blighted by a colour bar


Sydney Morning Herald, January 22, 2002.

Apartheid lives on in the mindsets of South Africans especially in
those of the coloureds, observes Toni Hassan.

I WAS born in South Africa as a so-called "coloured" person of mixed
race, and migrated with my family to Australia in 1978. I was six. I
have been back twice: first in 1994 when South Africa said "Yes!" to
an amazing transition led by the country's first black leader, the
patron saint Nelson Mandela. I returned again recently to see what
real change there has been.

Among my mob the coloured people there are resignation and despair.
There is a curse on coloured people, they say. As my uncle said over
breakfast, "During the bad old days of apartheid, the coloureds were
too black to get jobs and now they are too white to get what few jobs
are left after the good ones have been given to blacks."

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