“Is your girls pass in order?” I came to Johannesburg in 1977. I had my home pass. It was in order when I was in Brits, but when I came to Johannesburg my pass was not in order.
My employer tried to fix my pass. She spoke with the white people at Polly Street, but they did not help her. Then she sent me to the pass office. They told me to go to Brits to get my pass stamped. But my employer didn’t let me go to Brits.
One morning two white people came to the house. They were policemen. They asked me: “Where is your employer?”
And before I answered them, my employer asked me: “Who’s that Catherine?” They said to her: “Is your girl’s pass in order?” She said: “No”. They fined her R75. The next day she said that I must go to the pass office. So I went there. At the pass office they sent me back. They wrote her a letter that she must also come to the pass office. When we got to the pass office they helped her without trouble.
Now my pass is in order. That is all.
Catherine Shadi Moloto.
Where is your passbook?
Once upon a time I was walking in the street. It started to rain. I met a policeman. He had no umbrella
I had an umbrella so he asked me to give him my umbrella. I told him we could share it. When the rain stopped he said to me, “Where is your passbook?”
I was very surprised to hear that. 1 tried to explain. But he did not listen.
Five men with guns and knives
It was one day, on a Friday. I was walking with my daughters and my son in Bree Street. I met five men. They stopped me. They wanted money from me. They wanted to rob me.
These men were carrying guns and knives. I was very scared. If I hit one man then another would shoot me. Then they saw the police coming and they ran away.
No place to sleep in the big city
It is difficult to look for work in the big cities. A person has to look for work so that she can have a place to sleep and food to eat.
It is easy to get lost in the big city, especially if you are looking for work and do not have a place to sleep .
Sometimes you get work but your employers are not good. They do not want you to have visitors. I like to work but I do not like to sit alone all the time .
I am in trouble without my pass
I came from Bethlehem. I was born in Bethlehem. I am in trouble. My trouble is this. Without my pass the police can catch me and throw me into jail.
So I can not explain exactly what happened. I cannot talk English very well. This is my worry. Who will help me when I go to jail?