A disturbing period of racism in our times, coterminous to slavery, Apartheid in South Africa was another way to reject and humiliate part of the human race because of colour. Apartheid has been dissolved for a few decades still it is perplexing and troublesome to think that we are subjected to this kind of discrimination and uneven justice to this day. Consider Treyvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown Jnr et al. This kind of discrimination still occurs with the same results partly due to social standing. There Was This Goat shows a deep social ignorance and discrimination where class, wealth, education, intolerance together with a total disregard for understanding of another persons culture is rife.
Failing to understand Mrs. Konile’s statement was made while in the process of grieving for her son, who was publicly brutally murdered she was still in a state of shock. Her testimony could well have been entered into “2500 random things…”. Mrs. Konile’s testimony was judged to be lacking ‘communicative competence’, before its analysis by the authors of this book. Communicative competence is a necessary skill needed in order to take part in social interaction. This made all to clear the differences in culture and social status which played a part in the elucidation of Mrs. Konile’s statement, and made all to clear the ignorance and discrimination she had to endure. One can make an argument that Mrs. Konile suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome due to the nature of the heinous barbarism she was made to explicate. After reading the book I looked at some video on YouTube from the hearings. Seeing the images after reading the description of how these young mean were treated, their disfigured bodies after being assassinated, was truly unbelievable. Even though the three other mothers forgave those responsible, that Mrs. Konile could not. The three mothers who forgave the police officers were said to be from urban neighbourhoods and recited each testimony using euphemisms aligned with the procedures arranged by the commission which led them to find forgiveness. They were lured and lulled into a false sense of security by the one officers confession and appeal for forgiveness. Mrs. Konile knew nothing of the city. In her early testimony, after finding out that her son was killed she talked of not knowing anything of Cape Town. She did say it was her sons wish to live in Cape Town. She talked more of what her son was going to do and the way he was going to help her, and look after her. She had a vision of a goat, and this apparition was a warning that something untoward had or was gong to happen. Mrs. Konile is one who is firmly entrenched in rural traditions and customs, we see that when she reels off her ancestral tribal names. This tradition and respect for her heritage gives her the courage to reject appeals for forgiveness.