Age of Iron
"Since when have the schools been closed?" I asked Florence.
"Since last week. All the schools in Gugulethu, Langa, Nyanga. The children have nothing to do. All they do is run around the streets and get into trouble. It is better that he is here where I can see him." (2.8-9)
Last year, when the troubles in the schools began, I spoke my mind to Florence. "In my day we considered education a privilege," I said. "Parents would scrimp and save to keep their children in school. We would have thought it madness to burn a school down."
"It is different today," replied Florence.
"Do you approve of children burning down their schools?"
"I cannot tell these children what to do," said Florence. "It is all changed today. There are no more mothers and fathers." (2.21-24)
Florence is openly proud of how Bheki got rid of the good-for-nothing, but predicts that he will be back as soon as it starts raining. As for me, I doubt we will see him as long as the boys are here. I said so to Florence. "You are showing Bheki and his friends that they can raise their hands against their elders with impunity. That is a mistake. Yes, whatever you may think of him, Vercueil is their elder!" (2.91)