Synopsis: this article talks about the immorality laws that existed under apartheid South Africa in the 50s. It was illegal to marry across the "colour line". Jack Scott tells the story of one white man who disregarded the racist laws when he fell in love with a black native South African woman. Both ended up serving jail time and then were indefinitely separated. 

Article 4: 

Crime to Wed Black

Doctor Who Wed Native Finds Job Only in Mines

This is the fourth in a series of articles on South Africa by Jack Scott

Black Workers doing work like this in South African mine were joined by a German-born, white doctor who was barred from practice because he fell in love with a comely native girl, Sun writer Jack Scott reports today. 

Vancouver Sun, April 4, 1953

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa. – Here are two South African stories, the kind you would come across nowhere else in the world: 

Yesterday I drove 30 miles south of the city to visit one of the fabulous gold mines of the sub-continent. More than a mile underground (at the 6554-foot level, to be precise) I saw a man such as I have never seen before. 

He stood perhaps six feet two and his face, bathed in the constant sweat that covers everyone who works in the great heat of such terrible depths was the face of a Nordic god. He was all man and, while the word may seem inappropriate, he was magnificent. 

I noticed that he was doing manual labor with a group of Africans drilling the face of a new shaft. This is a rare sight for usually the white man stands back from the hard work in the role of overseer. 

Later, back on the surface where a temperature of 70 degrees seemed refrigerator cool, I had tea with the mine manager and asked him about this man. 

"Ah, that would be Eric," the manager said. "Rum show, that." And he went on to tell me this story. 

Eric is 32 and German, a one-time Luftwaffe pilot. After the war he emigrated here to South Africa and after four years' study for his medical degree went to work in a "non-European" hospital as a doctor. 

Lovers Sentenced

There he fell deeply in love with a native girl who worked in the hospital as a nurse's aid. 

I must note here, parenthetically, that this is not hard to imagine. By any of the world's arbitrary standards, many of the African women have great beauty, a carriage that would shame a New York model and a serene dignity about them that leaves a deep impression on any person not wholly blinded to the indecency of the color line. 

Eric took the girl as his common-law wife, living furtively and in constant fear of the "apartheid" immorality laws which decree that men and women of mixed races must not fall in love. 
One night the inevitable happened. The police arrived. Eric and the girl were sentenced to four months in jail. 

On his release Eric was barred from the medical profession and advised to leave the country. He tried to take the girl with him. She was denied a passport. 

And so Eric went to work in the mines. Through friends he sends the girl what he earns there. 

He has not seen her again because she is under police surveillance. He may never see her again. 

"Ah, yes, a rum show," the mine manager sighed. "But, of course, one must respect the law." 

I was having a beer in one of the British-type pubs when I fell into conversation with a man of perhaps 40, a man handsome in the manner of those English actors who are still playing juveniles when they are grandfathers. 

I was interested in his views on the race question. He was all in favour of equality for the natives, bur for a limited reason.

"I'm the manager of a firm manufacturing paint," he explained.  "I just can't see this idea of keeping the native down. Good Lord! Ten million of them! Think what a market that would be for our paint if we gave 'em a decent wage." 

He had been in South Africa since before the war and still hated it, he said. 

"My wife and I keep telling ourselves that we'll get a bit of a nest egg and get out, perhaps to Canada or Australia. But somehow we never seem to get ahead of the game." 

Took Wrong Road 

His face took on a look of deep introspection. 

"You see before you," he said, "a classic example of a man who had a great decision to make in his life and went the wrong way." 

I urged him to bare his soul. 

"Before the war in England I had a great friend, a schoolmaster, with a burning ambition to make his mark in the theatre," he said. 

"He was forming a small company and wanted me to sign on as the sage manager and to act. We would scale the heights together, he said. 

"I had almost made up my mind when an offer came to travel here to South African and take over this small paint firm as manager. 

"It was the pay that decided me. It was four pounds a week. It looked like a fortune to me. So I came." 

He sighed again. 

"You will know how wrong I was," he said, "when I tell you that my friend's name was Christopher Fry." 

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