Kate-Emily stared the black men directly in their eyes. She was just about to have her third birthday, which gave her a sense of invincibility. She had impressed the men with her capture of the giant cockroach.
She heard some people coming down the corridor. Two white, male cops turned to face the door of their cell.
The one cop, who had stocky build and tightly cropped, blonde hair, reached for the keys to open the gate that was keeping them captive.
She watched him turn the locks.
“You wait,” the policeman pointed to Jako. “Come you, little girl,” the blonde, male cop said.
“Where are you taking her?” Jako asked anxiously.
“To child care, where she will be looked after.”
“No, she must wait here, with me.” Jako shouted.
She knew she had to use the toilet in full view of the men occupying the adjacent cell, but she didn’t care. Kate-Emily held on to her father, crying.
The blonde cop tugged, trying to break her grip on her father. The other policeman looked on with a smirk.
“No, no!” Jako screamed, holding her tighter.
The cop issued an instruction: “You fucking kaffir boetie. We’ll have you charged with obstructing the ends of justice.”
He gave a final pull and Kate-Emily came free with the wail of someone who had just lost a fight. She looked back at Jako, who was being roughly pinned against the cell wall by the other policeman while she was carried away. She kicked and scratched the cop.
“You little bitch!” He held her at arm’s length, while another cop locked the door.
The cop took her to a woman with a sour-looking sneer. She was built like a boxer: Squat and short. She spoke with an unmistakable Afrikaans accent.
“Kom hier. Come here, you,” she declared. And with that, she took Kate-Emily under her control.
Kate-Emily couldn’t escape her steely grasp. They left the jail and climbed into a black van. The door banged shut with Kate-Emily was kicking and struggling behind it.
The woman shouted: “That’s enough!”
Kate-Emily muffled her sobs as she looked back and watched the jail building getting smaller and smaller – the place where her father was being held.