Dom Pass  

sunshinekzn 58F
1054 posts
8/10/2006 6:57 am

Last Read:
1/31/2007 11:53 pm

Dom Pass

Dom Pass is what they called the little book the black people had to carry on them when I was young. It is painful memories for a lot of black people.

One of the nicest people I have ever known worked for my hubbies family since he was born and later worked for us. To us she was not a servant, but the mother of the house and also my best friend. She passed away 2 years ago, but I have never met a more special woman than her.

Yesterday was Woman's Day in South Africa. We were reminded of the black ladies struggle and how they raised themselves up.

My memories were of seeing police-vans stopping next to a back person walking in the street and asking them for their "Dom Pass". If they did not have it or had permission to work in town they were often assaulted and put in the back of the police-vans and taken off to the police station. No black people were allowed on the street after 9 pm.

In South Africa we have houses built with servants quarters. Only one person with a permit was allowed to sleep in the room. Your husband, boyfriend or children were not allowed to stay over.

At night the police came and checked the rooms. If a husband or boyfriend ware found, they were taken off to jail.

While working for my in-laws Margie had 6 kids. She told me how she had been forced to go and leave the babies on the farm with her mother. With her youngest, she could not bear to leave him and she kept him with her for 9 months with my mother-in-laws permission. One night there was a raid and the police found her baby boy in her room. They arrested her and she had to spend a few days in jail. Her son was sent back to the farm.

I am glad our country changed so much, but feel so sad that special people like Margie were treated in such a terrible way.



warmandsexy52 64M
13164 posts
8/10/2006 10:09 am

I have a number of good expat SA friends. The changes that have taken place have been remarkable. Not easy, I know, and not without its problems, but when you look at all the other horrendous mess-ups in the world your country's achievement has been phenomenal.

warm xx


sunshinekzn 58F

8/10/2006 11:46 am

I agree with both of you. The one thing I can say is I am still proud of my county. I think it is a great place to live. Before anyone one come down on me I know crime is a problem. I have been in 4 bank robberies, 3 house breaking's, two attempted hi-jackings, but you know what. It happens every where. One of our hi-jackings was in Malaysia! I still love our country!!!


HandyMan15601 55M

8/10/2006 6:51 pm

Thanks for your story....the media at large refuses to put such personal insights in the press.....the struggle for freedom has been tough everywhere....here in the states many are giving up their freedom for a "feeling" of security.....I fear it may take us where no-one wants to go....even now many are afraid to speak out against the current administration...I am not one of them though....H

Frugal Thrivalism. Preparedness. Self-Sufficiency.


rm_iwannatellu 45F
933 posts
8/11/2006 1:08 am

One of my memories is of going down to the corner cafe and seeing my "governess", because that is what she would really be in today's terms, taken away in handcuffs and put in a van, arrested because she had dared to walk in public to fetch the dry-cleaning without her pass book.

I was very young at the time (don't remember how old), but she saw me, and screamed to me for help. I didn't know what to do. I was too little to do anything except cry, and run home to get my big brother.

By the time we had fetched her pass book, the van had gone.

We called my mom home from work (she was annoyed with us for calling her...).

We spent the day driving around from police station to police station trying to find her. I still feel guilty to this day that somehow I was not quick enough, or brave enough, or didn't do "something" enough to have spared her that terrible thing.

This is truly a bad, bad, bad thing in our history. I am often amazed at the human bility to forgive, and the willingness to want to forgive and move on.

I thank God every day that we are able to be where we are in this country, because we certainly don't deserve to be. But then I remember the principle of mercy. You can have mercy or you can have justice. Mercy is always better.

Great post Sunshine. Take time to mourn. I will keep you in my thoughts...


sunshinekzn 58F

8/12/2006 7:27 am

    Quoting warmandsexy52:
    I have a number of good expat SA friends. The changes that have taken place have been remarkable. Not easy, I know, and not without its problems, but when you look at all the other horrendous mess-ups in the world your country's achievement has been phenomenal.

    warm xx
I do think our country is a example to many countries. I am proud to be a South African living in SA.


sunshinekzn 58F

8/12/2006 7:31 am

    Quoting DustyWidget:
    Great to see your country try and put its past behind it. Horrible time in your country's history.
We all have problems in our past that needs to be put behind us. Traveling in Malaysia and reading their history and seeing what the Dutch, Portuguese and Brits did to them was a shock!


sunshinekzn 58F

8/12/2006 7:36 am

    Quoting HandyMan15601:
    Thanks for your story....the media at large refuses to put such personal insights in the press.....the struggle for freedom has been tough everywhere....here in the states many are giving up their freedom for a "feeling" of security.....I fear it may take us where no-one wants to go....even now many are afraid to speak out against the current administration...I am not one of them though....H
I hate talking politics! But in the whole world there has been so much hurt and we are all to eager to just forget. Margie was special and I wish that more people could have know her. There are many more people like her, who forgave us for the in justest of the past. I think we owe them gratitude and to keep there memories alive when they are no longer here.


sunshinekzn 58F

8/12/2006 7:37 am

    Quoting rm_iwannatellu:
    One of my memories is of going down to the corner cafe and seeing my "governess", because that is what she would really be in today's terms, taken away in handcuffs and put in a van, arrested because she had dared to walk in public to fetch the dry-cleaning without her pass book.

    I was very young at the time (don't remember how old), but she saw me, and screamed to me for help. I didn't know what to do. I was too little to do anything except cry, and run home to get my big brother.

    By the time we had fetched her pass book, the van had gone.

    We called my mom home from work (she was annoyed with us for calling her...).

    We spent the day driving around from police station to police station trying to find her. I still feel guilty to this day that somehow I was not quick enough, or brave enough, or didn't do "something" enough to have spared her that terrible thing.

    This is truly a bad, bad, bad thing in our history. I am often amazed at the human bility to forgive, and the willingness to want to forgive and move on.

    I thank God every day that we are able to be where we are in this country, because we certainly don't deserve to be. But then I remember the principle of mercy. You can have mercy or you can have justice. Mercy is always better.

    Great post Sunshine. Take time to mourn. I will keep you in my thoughts...
Thanks for sharing your story too!!! I can imagine the stress at seeing it happen and not being able to help!


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