"Almost there," he says. "We made it!"
"Not yet," I whisper back. "The most difficult part lies still ahead."
"Don't worry. We're swift runners and used to climbing. Think of the lion. Everything will be fine."
Now Mr Rahmani gives the signal. We sneak up the dune, run down the other side. Some fall and slip to the dune's base in a whirl of sand. I stumble as I reach the firmer ground but Mbelu grabs my arm and drags me with him.
"Don't pay attention," I can hear Mbelu's voice. "We're almost there!"
And I do what he says, I run on.
No ropes. No friends waiting for us, hauling us up.
"Stop!" a megaphone voice bellows in my back. "Not another move!"
But the man beside me isn't Mbelu. He's one of the married men, his face smeared with dust and tears. He's looking back towards the fence where his wife is desperately calling at him. She's being dragged away by two soldiers.
Then, just before the soldiers drag us away, I look again at the bodies huddled in the sand. I know that shirt, those trousers.