On my way from the museum to the National Library this afternoon, I took a different route than usual. Instead of walking through the central business district, I decided to cut down a different street that passes by the South African Parliament Building. As I casually glanced around, I noticed the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Cape Town perched across the street. It was the first time that I had seen the church before, and I was immediately impressed by its grandeur.
While continuing on my walk to the library, I couldn’t help but notice the irony of what I just saw. On one side of the street was a building where an unjust system that oppressed millions of people was formulated and enforced; on the other side is a building that stands for equality and the basic dignity of every human. Moreover, the Catholic Church was one of the few institutions that, due to its international standing and influence, was able to speak out against apartheid.
Just another example of the interesting, complex dichotomies rife within this country.