remember your own grandpapa from across the waters” (52). Rachel’s evoking of Le Fleur’s European

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remember your own grandpapa from across the waters” (52). Rachel’s evoking of Le Fleur’s European ancestry undercuts his claim for pure Griqua identity and thus renders his whole Griqua nationalism project suspect. Rachel’s opposition to Le Fleur’s racial politics becomes clearer as her husband dictates a congratulatory letter to the newly-elected prime minister of South Africa, General Louis Botha in which, besides asking for a separate Griqua homeland, he also castigates “kaffirs” whom he feels betrayed him. Rachel’s initial reaction to Le Fleur’s letter to General Botha is withholding her secretarial services. Her body refuses to perform the task she once performed diligently: “her wrist first twitched with pain, refusing to move across…show more content…
Like Rachel, who sees in colouredness a woman’s “joy of birth” (and not shame), Sally sees in the “neglected knot” of colouredness “the beauty of being coloured, that we need not worry about roots at all” (27).2 Rachel’s vulgar tirade at Le Fleur’s deliberate manipulation of facts for his nationalist ambitions is another moment when Rachel resists patriarchal control. Her outburst follows her disgust at Le Fleur’s interpretation of the Natives’ Land Act by which black people lost their land to white settlers. Le Fleur sees the act as a miracle, as his predicted punishment for “savage natives” (DS 94). Yet for Rachel the act is an abomination and her “repulsion signals her identification with the larger African community, rather than just Griqua or coloured” (Driver 229). She rages: “Miracle, my arse! It’s a disgrace, a sin, a bloody disaster; it’s the end of all predictions, the very death of us all” (DS 163). Calling to mind Krotoa Eva, who was known for her curses and obscenities, she goes on to utter “profanities and obscenities” (163) which, according to the amanuensis, cannot be printed: “Ugly, unimaginable words that made [Le Fleur] press his hands against his ears and stare at her in mute disbelief” (163). While earlier we
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