Africa Notes: South Africa: A Reporter's Notebook - July 1986
July 15, 1986
I first came to South Africa 20 years ago to report a funeral. Passing quickly through Johannesburg, noting little else except the racial hierarchy outside of the old Lansdowne Hotel- white head porter, Indian deputy, and blacks carrying the bags - I drove to Pretoria.
The town was then small, dominated by its government buildings, its churches, and its Afrikaner heroes frozen in bronze. The streets were full of white faces. The funeral ceremonies took place on time, the volk mourned, and Dr. H. F. Verwoerd was laid to rest. My copy went off to The Observer in London, efficiently dispatched by white telex operators. I zipped up my typewriter, packed my bag, and caught the next flight back to Lusaka, to Africa.