This is a picture of a picture by David Goldblatt of Strijdom Square in Pretoria, now known as something else. JG Strijdom was one of the several people credited with being the “father of apartheid”, and this square in central Pretoria was one of the many examples of an architectural style that can only be described as ‘brute Afrikaner’. When we were kids we spent some time in this square, being as it was, close to where we had speech lessons (do kids still take speech lessons – learning how to recite poetry and read?), and I remember waiting here many times for Elizabeth’s class to finish so we could go home.
I also remember my mother being very entertained by the fact that one year after rag week a group of students had planted empty beer bottles in Strijdom’s ears.
At some point in the late nineties, the parkade under Strijdom Square collapsed, sending old JG’s head plummeting into the depths. A more fitting end I cannot imagine.