‘He was trying to force them off the land,’ the old man told me. ‘If they cannot collect firewood from Normandale, they have no means to light their stoves. If they cannot walk through his land to the river, they have no access to water. They have been on that land five generations. They have nowhere else to go.’
‘What did you make of the Cubes?’ I asked the old man. ‘Were they good people? Bad people?’
‘Just people,’ he replied. ‘Ordinary folk.’
‘They gunned down a young man in cold blood,’ I said. ‘Do ordinary folk do that?’
I had been working with the old man for several months and had grown to like him very much. He had a gentle way about him; he was gracious and kind. But now he looked at me coldly, with the unpleasant, estranged look a black person sometimes gives a white person.
‘If I had been living there five generations,’ he said, ‘and a new landlord told me in broken Zulu that he wanted to interview my family before I could build a hut on my own land, I would also have killed him.’
fuck this kills me