Last month, two days after the war on the Reef between Inkatha and the ANC erupted in Soweto, the families in Klipsruit Extension were moving out. The windows had been smashed in every single house on the dusty road through this respectable, middle-class development. Dozens of well-dressed middle-class Sowetans were loading mattresses, tables, cushions, chairs and pictures onto pick-up trucks and roof racks. There was a house set back from the road, fronting the open field through which Inkatha must have come. It belonged to the Kunene family, one of whom had recently died in a car crash. When Inkatha burst in, the family were holding a vigil for the dead man. The women must have been in the covered yard at the back preparing food for the funeral the next day. The big pots had been overturned and there was a litter of freshly-sliced vegetables on the floor. The rest of the makeshift outdoor kitchen had been broken up, its contents strewn on top of the vegetables - except for the meat, which had been stolen. All that remained of that, propped on the surface of a listing wooden table, was an enormous cow's head, its horns angled up to the canopy and its dim eyes fixed on the dirt path at the back of the house.
LRB 11 October 1990 | PDF Download