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K.A Former Pupils in South Africa

                                                   Years attended K.A.                               Area, City or Town of Residence

Janie Henstock (nee Morris)    1980 - 1981                                     Johannesberg

26 Feb 2006

Hello to my favourite school !

My name is Janie Henstock ( nee Morris ) . I live in Johannesburg , South Africa and run my own bookkeeping business . I married to a South African and we have two sons ( aged 10 & 8 ) . My family  emigrated to SA in mid-1981 . I was so amazed while "surfing the web" to find your web-site - then I saw my old English teacher , Mr Dickson's picture - I was taken back 25 years to when I was in my first year at "The Academy" .  

I have no hesitation in saying my time at The Academy was my favourite school year . My big cousin , Gordon Ghee , was already there as a prefect when I started my first year in 1980 . He teased me no end about what was going to happen on my first day !

Back then I was totally consumed by my music - I played violin ( still do occassionally ) . That year , The Academy school orchestra won at the Ayrshire Music Festival for best school orchestra  . We were quite a team - we practiced and practiced - we were playing music that WE loved , not the serious classical music that we all had been trained on . The teacher who led us was full of enthusiasm and that filtered straight through to the kids . We had an absolute ball !  I remember Susan White - who had been my best friend since I was 4 , Elizabeth Mc ....... who played the flute , Ian Massey who was first violinist , Irvine McLevy who sat next to Ian , and also a very cute boy who played the clarinet - cant remember his name though ! . Susan , Irvine and I also belonged to the Kilwinning Youth Orchestra - the bus would come and fetch us from the Bellfield roundabout on a Sunday .  I was also in the choir - I remember auditioning in the old music room in the old building - I had to sing a full scale in front of hundreds of kids ! At Christmas , we sang carols in the main street of Kilmarnock , and we visited some old folks as well .

Other wee things I remember - those AWFUL maroon gym nickers - I was a bit chubby so getting into those things was terribly embarassing ! 

I was "good" at school .......... - I got eight "A's" , and three "B's" that year . This report , as well as my primary school record , helped me get into one of the best schools in South Africa - Pretoria High School for Girls . 

I've STILL got my school magazine from 1981 - I'm far too sentimental !

Anyway , must get back to work ..................

Bye for now



Country (long form)
Republic of South Africa
Pretoria; note - Cape Town is the legislative center and Bloemfontein the judicial center
Total Area
471,010.66 sq mi
1,219,912.00 sq km
43,421,021 (July 2000 est.)
Estimated Population in 2050
11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu
81.8% total, 81.9% male, 81.7% female (1995 est.)
Christian 68% (includes most whites and Coloreds, about 60% of blacks and about 40% of Indians), Muslim 2%, Hindu 1.5% (60% of Indians), indigenous beliefs and animist 28.5%
Life Expectancy
50.41 male, 51.81 female (2000 est.)
Government Type
1 rand (R) = 100 cents
GDP (per capita)
$6,900 (1999 est.)
Labor Force (by occupation)
agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45% (1999 est.)
mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textile, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs
corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Arable Land
gold, diamonds, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
machinery, foodstuffs and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments
Natural Resources
gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
Current Environmental Issues
lack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage threatens to outpace supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rain; soil erosion; desertification
Telephones (main lines in use)
5.075 million (1999)
Telephones (mobile cellular)
2,000,000 (1999)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
58 (1999)

Although the nomadic San (also known as Bushmen) have possibly lived in Southern Africa since around 100,000 BC, they didn't reach the Cape of Good Hope until about 2000 years ago. Because of the close relationship between the San and the Khoikhoi peoples, who intermarried and coexisted, both are often referred to as Khoisan. By the 15th century most arable land had been settled by encroaching Bantu pastoral tribes.

Southern Africa became a popular stop for European crews after Vasco de Gama opened the Cape of Good Hope spice route in 1498, and, by the mid-17th century, scurvy and shipwreck had induced Dutch traders to opt for a permanent settlement in Table Bay on the site of present-day Cape Town. The mostly Dutch burghers pushed slowly north, decimating the Khoisan with violence and disease as they went. Towards the end of the 18th century, with Dutch power fading, Britain predictably jumped in for another piece of Africa. It was hoped that British settlers would inhabit a buffer zone between skirmishing pastoral Boers and the Xhosa, but most of the British immigrant families retreated to town, entrenching the rural-urban divide that is evident in white South Africa even today. Although slavery was abolished in 1833, the division of labour on the basis of colour served all whites too well for any real attempt at change.

Upheaval in black Southern Africa wasn't only generated by the white invaders. The difaqane ('forced migration' in Sotho) or mfeqane ('the crushing' in Zulu) was a time of immense upheaval and suffering, a terror campaign masterminded by the Zulu chief, Shaka. This wave of disruption through Southern Africa left some tribes wiped out, others enslaved and the lucky ones running. Into this chaos disgruntled Boers stomped on their Great Trek away from British rule in search of freedom. Most of the pastures the Boers trekked through were deserted or inhabited by traumatised refugees. The Zulus were no pushovers, however. They put up strong and bloody resistance to the Boers before eventually ceding to superior firepower. Boer republics popped up through the interior, and were annexed one by one by Britain in a chaotic kerfuffle of treaties, diplomacy and violence through the middle part of the 19th century. Just when it looked like the Union Jack was going to fly from Cairo to the Cape, diamonds were discovered in Kimberley, and the Dutch resistance became suddenly stronger.

The first Anglo-Boer War ended in a crushing Boer victory and the establishment of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek. The British backed off until a huge reef of gold was discovered around Johannesburg and then marched in again for the second Anglo-Boer War, dribbling with empiric greed. By 1902 the Boers had exhausted their conventional resources and resorted to commando-style raids, denying the British control of the countryside. The British quashed resistance with disproportionate reprisals: if a railway line was blown up, the nearest farmhouse was destroyed; if a shot was fired from a farm, the house was burnt down, the crops destroyed and the animals killed. The women and children from the farms were collected and taken to concentration camps - a British invention - where 26,000 died of disease and neglect. The Boers were compelled to sign an ignominious and bitter peace.

Soon after the Union of South Africa was established in 1910, a barrage of racist legislation was passed restricting black rights and laying the foundations for apartheid. After a last flutter with military rebellion during WWI, the Afrikaners got on with the business of controlling South Africa politically. In 1948 elections the Afrikaner-dominated and ultra-right National Party took the reins and didn't let the white charger slow down until 1994. Under apartheid, every individual was classified by race, and race determined where you could live, work, pray and learn. Irrespective of where they had been born, blacks were divided into one of 10 tribal groups, forcibly dispossessed and dumped in rural backwaters, the so-called Homelands. The plan was to restrict blacks to Homelands that were, according to the propaganda, to become self-sufficient, self-governing states. In reality, these lands had virtually no infrastructure and no industry, and were therefore incapable of producing sufficient food for the black population. There was intense, widespread suffering and many families returned to squalid squatter camps in the cities from which they had been evicted. Chief Mangosouthu Buthelezi was pivotal in the Inkatha movement, a failed attempt to unite Homeland leaders. Black resistance developed in the form of strikes, acts of public disobedience and protest marches, and was supported by international opinion from the early 1960s, after 69 protesters were killed in Sharpeville and African National Congress (ANC) leaders, including Nelson Mandela, were jailed.

After withdrawing from the British Commonwealth in 1961, South Africa became increasingly isolated. Paranoia developed through the 1960s and 70s, as the last European powers withdrew from Africa and black, often socialist, states formed around South Africa's northern borders. South Africa's military responses ranged from limited strikes (Mozambique, Lesotho) to full-scale assault (Angola, Namibia). When Cuba intervened in Angola in 1988, South Africa suffered a major defeat and war looked much less attractive. As the spirit of Gorbachev-style detente permeated Southern Africa, Cuba pulled out of Angola, Namibia became independent and a stable peace was finally brokered in 1990.

The domestic situation was far from resolved. Violent responses to black protests increased commitment to a revolutionary struggle, and the United Nations finally imposed economic and political sanctions. But in the mid-1980s, black-on-black violence in the townships exploded. Although bitter lines were drawn between the left-wing, Xhosa-based ANC and the right-wing, Zulu-dominated Inkatha movement, such distinctions are simplistic in the context of the massive economic and social deprivation of black South Africa. There were clashes between political rivals, tribal enemies, opportunistic gangsters, and between those who lived in the huge migrant-workers' hostels and their township neighbours. President PW Botha detained, tortured and censored his way to 1989, when economic sanctions began to bite, the rand collapsed and reformist FW De Klerk came to power. Virtually all apartheid regulations were repealed, political prisoners were released and negotiations began on forming a multiracial government. Free elections in 1994 resulted in a decisive victory for the ANC and Nelson Mandela became president. De Klerk's National Party won just over 20% of the vote, and the Inkatha Freedom Party won 10.5%. South Africa rejoined the British Commonwealth a few months later.

Despite the scars of the past and the enormous problems ahead, South Africa today is immeasurably more optimistic and relaxed than it was a few years ago. The international community has embraced the new South Africa and the ANC's apparently sincere desire to create a truly nonracial nation. It will be some time before the black majority gain much economic benefit from their freedom, as economic inequality remains an overwhelming problem. However, the political structure seems strong enough to hold the diverse region together. There are huge expectations for the new South Africa.

In 1999, after five years of learning about democracy, the country voted in a more normal election. Issues such as economics and competence were raised and debated. There was some speculation that the ANC vote might drop with the retirement of Nelson Mandela. The ANC's vote didn't drop - it increased, putting the party within one seat of the two-thirds majority that would allow it to alter the consitution. Thabo Mbeki, who took over the ANC leadership from Nelson Mandela, became president in the 1999 elections.

Mbeki has proven to be a generally competent president, but his standing both at home and abroad has not been helped by his refusal to condemn outright the inflammatory politics of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and his ill-informed comments on AIDS. This health crisis, affecting 4.2 million South Africans, seriously threatens to eclipse all of South Africa's other domestic problems.