Photographs and text by JFC Clarke | Contributions by Darryl Accone, Johnny Masilela and Zwelakhe Mthwethwa




Martin Davids was born in Middelburg in the old Transvaal province on 25th November, 1930. In the late 19th century his grandfather, Johannes April Pietersen, lived in the Cape Location section of Marabastad and worked in stables belonging to the family of President Paul Kruger. In 1948 Martin moved to Lady Selborne, a freehold residential area west of Pretoria that was established in 1905. By 1970, Lady Selborne had been demolished to make way for a whites-only suburb named Suiderberg. Martin Davids was relocated to Eersterus on the eastern side of Pretoria where he still lives with his family. He trained as a motor mechanic and established his own business in Marabastad in 1954. During the 52 years he has worked in Marabastad he has relocated his business five times and now has a workshop at 468 Grand Street in what was once part of the residential area of the Asiatic Bazaar.

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