Buitenkant Street, which leads from the Castle up to Platteklip Ridge, was known as the ‘Slave’s Walk’. The washerwomen (many who have been buried at Prestwich Street and whose remains are now held at the highly contested ossuary) carried heavy washing all the way from the town up to Platteklip Ridge. If you follow Platteklip stream up to the large rocks you find the place enslaved women did the city’s laundry since Van Riebeeck’s time. There is an inscription on the large rock on the Ridge, which seems to read “Permanently Freed” (some letters are eroded) with the number ‘4’ engraved above it, possibly meaning 1834.

“3 centuries of dirty laundry in an unprovoked past

we hide the promise of a different future at the end of the rainbow

lamentable bodies burrow at the mother’s hem

between histories’ lines we falter

in the wound of unnamed things”

GPS coordinates: 33°92’46.58 S, 18°42’62.29 E