When black workers out of habit climbed into the back of the company pickup truck, he invited them to ride up front with him. They sat in the cab "in shock" - because it was so at odds with custom.
A white man later raised the issue with Botha. "Why do you let kaffirs sit in front with you?" he asked. Botha said he replied, "I don't care if he's white or black or green or blue; he's a person."
Botha calls his family "very non-racist." Prior to the move to America, his family raised their maid's son after she died. He is heartened that some old friends share his views of equality. But "some are stuck in that thing where they think blacks are under you, you don't have to respect them."
Like many whites and blacks, he finds the crime frightening, though he knows it stems partly from apartheid's inferior education and the economic straitjacket that trapped blacks in poverty.
When he imagines the future, he cannot be sure this is where he would live. The racial climate disturbs him, as does the crime. Odds are decent, he figures, that he will venture back to the U.S. to raise a family.
"I really hope this country changes its act," he said, "but it's still a long way from it."