Letter: All welcome - except blacks

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The Independent Online
MY WIFE and I were interested to read about the Abjaterskop Hotel in Zeerust ('Boers go down with the old flag flying', 1 May). We spent the night of the 31 July 1992 in that sinister and forbidding establishment with its wall-cabinets of menacing ironmongery. As a white couple we had no difficulty in checking in but when we exposed our 15-month-old daughter to the management's inspection the reception was less cordial.

Our daughter, who is adopted, is black and we were firmly told that the hotel was 'not yet multiracial'. It was late and we were weary. Rather than making an immediate outraged departure we asked whether there was any basis on which our daughter could be accommodated. We were told she could stay in our room but that we were to ensure that she was not seen in any of the hotel's public areas. The gentlemen at the bar did not look as if they were drinking to the new South Africa and so the prohibition was probably in our interest.

The Rev John Pridmore

St Martin-in-the-Fields

London WC2

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