Journal for Contemporary History - Volume 34, Issue 2, 2009
Volume 34, Issue 2, 2009
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp I –IV (2009)More Less
Nadat prof. Leo Barnard op 13 Junie 2007 besluit het om as redakteur van die Joernaal vir Eietydse Geskiedenis uit te tree en prof. André Wessels die nuwe redakteur geword het, het laasgenoemde tydens 'n Joernaal-redaksievergadering voorgestel dat 'n uitgawe van die Joernaal aan Leo Barnard opgedra word. Dié voorstel is aanvaar en terwyl daar voortgegaan is om die twee gebruiklike Joernale per jaar te publiseer en ook aan twee ander spesiale uitgawes te werk, is begin om ook hierdie spesiale uitgawe ter ere van Leo Barnard saam te stel. Laasgenoemde uitgawe was reeds ver gevorder, toe Leo ernstig siek geword en kort daarna oorlede is.
After Prof. Leo Barnard had decided on 13 June 2007 to retire as editor of the Journal for Contemporary History and Prof. André Wessels had become the new editor, the latter proposed during an editorial board meeting of the Journal that an edition of the Journal should be dedicated to Leo Barnard. This proposal was accepted and while publication of the usual two editions of the Journal was continued and two other special editions were being prepared, the compilation of this special edition in honour of Leo Barnard was commenced. Good progress on the latter edition had already been made when Leo became seriously ill and he passed away soon afterwards.
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 1 –18 (2009)More Less
In the course of the 64 years that Queen Victoria reigned over the British Empire, from 1837 to 1901, her army was involved in no fewer than 230 wars, punitive expeditions and other military campaigns. This afforded many British officers the opportunity to build "heroic" careers. Lord Roberts of Kandahar (and later, inter alia, also of Pretoria) was probably Victoria's most famous and most beloved field marshal. In this article, his career is critically analysed, with special reference to the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880), in an effort to better understand how and why he became so famous, and to ascertain to what extent his success can be attributed to his own abilities and decisions; or rather, to luck. His earlier campaigns will also be compared with his role during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), before - in the concluding sections - his role as Commander-in-Chief at the War Office and career until his death in 1914 will be discussed. Throughout, mention will also be made of his "competition" with Sir Garnet Wolseley - regarded by some as Victoria's "only general", while Roberts' supporters referred to their champion as Victoria's "other general".
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 19 –38 (2009)More Less
The purpose of this study (which is primarily based on archival sources) is to provide a critical reappraisal of the work done by Lord Kitchener as commander-in-chief of the British forces during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). From the study it is clear that Kitchener was a remarkable, albeit complicated and controversial military officer who left an enduring legacy in South Africa, as is the case in Sudan and to some extent in India. When he took over from Lord Roberts as supreme commander in South Africa at the end of November 1900, the war against the Boers was supposed to have been almost over, but in practice the conflict soon escalated both geographically and in intensity. Kitchener had no other option but to expand the scorched earth policy (which was started by Roberts), with very negative consequences for both the white and black civilians in the war zone. Eventually Kitchener was ruthlessly successful; and during the peace negotiations with Boer delegates at Pretoria, he proved to be an excellent negotiator and diplomat.
Author Harvey M. FeinbergSource: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 39 –61 (2009)More Less
In 1912, two years after the formation of the Union of South Africa, John Dube, president of the newly inaugurated South African Native National Congress, told an African audience at Eshowe : "If we have no land to live on, we can be no people." Dube's statement emphasizes a consistent theme of South African history from the end of the 19th century (at least) : the incredible importance of land to black South Africans.
Op weg na die politieke draaipunt van 1948 : drie eeue van vrees as faktor in die geskiedenis van Suid-AfrikaSource: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 62 –85 (2009)More Less
The desire to safeguard themselves, and the aims of preserving and protecting an own identity, are central themes in the history of the Afrikaner. There is no doubt that the concomitant fear in white ranks is firmly rooted in history. Fear of both racial and political domination has had a permanent impact on the psyche of the Afrikaner, even before he had become aware of himself as a separate nation. It was the fear of the growing threat of a numerically superior indigenous black population in particular that would become an independent variable, not only in Afrikaner politics, but also in the broader context of white politics. The source of fear for Afrikaners in particular changed as time passed - from a fear of Anglicisation by the British to a fear of equality and mixing with blacks. The "right-wing line", as well as the "fear line", has been motivated, stimulated, or at least influenced by historical events and tendencies which strengthened white fears in some way or other, and as a result fostered right-wing sentiments. This study makes clear that fear as a political instrument may be manipulated to achieve specific political objectives.
The effect of central and local governmental policies on the lives of the aged and infirm in Mangaung, Bloemfontein, 1940-1986Author Charl Le RouxSource: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 86 –104 (2009)More Less
Generally speaking the effectiveness of any government depends on the quality of social security it renders to the defenceless people in its communities, being it the aged and infirm, the poor, sick or children. Social security involves proper care, accommodation and financial security. South Africa, with a population of almost 50 million people, is presently facing critical shortages of housing and old age homes, improper medical care and insufficient financial assistance for the aged and infirm. Disturbing press reports like those about the socio-economic conditions of the black aged and infirm are no surprise. The Smit Commission, an interdepartmental commission investigating the socio-economic and political circumstances of urban blacks in 1942 - ostensibly the first official report on black social welfare in South Africa - indicated to Government the lack of proper care and accommodation for the aged and infirm in both urban and rural areas. The investigation by the Human Science Research Council (HSRC) in respect of elderly people in Soweto and the townships of Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Vanderbijlpark revealed that these people were still experiencing serious problems with improper housing, finances including pensions, health facilities and the absence of socialising opportunities like library and recreational facilities in the 1980s. The Star concluded that their circumstances was "one of the most tragic problems in South Africa".
An historical perspective on the influence of the military environment on chaplaincy, with special reference to the Namibian War of Independence, 1966-1989Source: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 105 –125 (2009)More Less
Military chaplaincy is a Christian institution that has its roots in a resolution of the Council of Ratisbon in 742 when chaplains were assigned to armies for the first time. Chaplains were, however, forbidden to bear arms. Thus the Council accentuated the anomaly inherent to the nature of military chaplaincy: chaplains, who preach love and reconciliation, minister within a military framework which, during war, becomes synonymous with mutilation, death and conquest. This contradiction elicits questions on the character and quality of ministry in a military environment. Literature on modern military chaplaincy does not differentiate between the assignment of military chaplains and civilian clergy: both bring the Gospel and exercise pastoral care. In comparison, however, chaplains experience a much closer involvement and interdependency with their working environment than civilian clergy. They cannot observe military customs and military discipline from a distance. In the South African military context they become part of it as paid officers. During the Namibian War of Independence (1966-1989), commonly referred to as the Border War or the Bush War, this reciprocation resulted in a debate on the independence of the military chaplain's ministry, and a call for the demilitarization of chaplains.
Author Chitja TwalaSource: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 126 –146 (2009)More Less
After the Limpopo Conference of the ANC in December 2007, it became clear that a split in the party was imminent. Those defeated in Limpopo were said to be disillusioned with the new incoming leadership of Jacob Zuma. Cracks of leadership squabbles within the ANC continued until mid-2008 when a new political party was formed by those who were deemed dissatisfied with the leadership that had been chosen in Limpopo. Some political analysts argued that the formation of the Congress of the People (COPE) provided South Africans with an unprecedented opportunity to end the race-based voting patterns that had characterized the country's politics since 1994.
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 147 –168 (2009)More Less
In the 1880s, when the first Greek immigrants settled in Bloemfontein, the Oranje-Vrijstaat (OVS; Orange Free State, OFS) was an independent Boer republic, with Johannes Henricus Brand as its state president. In the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, hundreds of thousands of Greeks left their fatherland to seek a better life in other parts of the globe - fleeing the ravages of wars, economic problems and concomitant poverty. Those Greeks who settled in South Africa, initially mostly made Cape Town, Johannesburg (with its gold mines) or Kimberley (with its diamond mines) their new home, albeit that in due course some of them also settled in other areas. One of their major concerns was the education of their children; and how they and their children could adapt to conditions in their new country and be accepted, without losing their language, traditions and culture.
Die wanresepsie in die Suid-Afrikaanse reg van die gemeenregtelike beneficia vir onvermoënde debiteureAuthor Johan HenningSource: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 169 –193 (2009)More Less
In addition to cessio bonorum (the forerunner of voluntary surrender) and seureté du corps (safe-conduct or vreygeley suspending arrest or detention, DG Van der Keessel, one of the great and last Roman-Dutch authorities, identified three beneficia available to impecunious debtors in the ius commune in the eighteenth century : rescripta inductionis, rescripta moratoria and surchéance van betaalinge.
Rescripta inductionis provided an effective procedure whereby creditors of an impecunious debtor could be induced to agree to a moratorium. Rescripta moratoria and surchéance van betaalinge in essence involved the declaration of a moratorium on a petition showing that a postponement of obligations was equitable in the circumstances and necessary to restore the liquidity of a debtor.
In this contribution the various beneficia and the important and valuable role they could have played in South African law are analysed. The three South African decisions at the turn of the nineteenth century, all by judge Kotzé, resulting in the unnecessary abrogation of the beneficia, are evaluated and criticised as contextually incorrect and historically unsensitive. It is emphasised that South African courts have continued to rely on principles and concepts underlying these common law beneficia in the interpretation of modern moratory legislation.
Author Daan WesselsSource: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 194 –219 (2009)More Less
Sheila Meintjies, a commissioner with the Commission on Gender Equality, inter alia says : "It is clear that women are actually very interested in politics. They want to participate." Beatrice Ngobo, also from the Commission, adds : "We have women in Parliament and we have good laws to protect women ... (but) ... when it comes to implementation, people at the frontline are mostly men. They won't give up power so easily." Against the background of the preceding statements the question still remains why women who make up half of the world's population and perform two thirds of the world's working hours, globally still account for only 16% of all lawmakers.
South Africa's definition of and goals towards achieving gender equality are guided by a vision of human rights which incorporates acceptance of equal and inalienable rights of all women and men. This ideal is a fundamental tenet under the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996). It emerged from a long period of struggle for a democratic society that respects and promotes the rights of all its citizens irrespective of race, gender, class, age, disability, etc. (Bill of Rights, Sections 9.1 to 9.4) (RSA: Gender Policy 2008:1)
Author Pieter CoetzerSource: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 220 –234 (2009)More Less
In the new South Africa the importance of contemporary history cannot be overemphasised. The South African history since 1948 and the struggle towards democracy in 1994 and the period of the extension of this democracy came to prominence particularly among historians and journalists. In the period before 1988 contemporary history focused mainly on white history, while the general history (black and brown history) was neglected. This article focuses on the problems and value of contemporary historical research and the new concept in this regard.
Om die toekoms van ons verlede te verseker : fasette betreffende die aard en uitdagings vir die geskiedenis-as-wetenskap vandag in Suid-AfrikaSource: Journal for Contemporary History 34, pp 235 –247 (2009)More Less
At the beginning of the third millennium, history as a subject at school level and as an academic discipline at universities is facing several challenges in South Africa. Are we, as a country, suffering from historical amnesia? Do we really know who we are, where we came from, and where we are heading? In this study, a brief review of what history is (or should be) is provided, and it is indicated what value the study of history has, what the task of the professional historian is, and a few comments are made with regard to, for example, people's history and a multiperspective approach to history. Throughout it is indicated what must be done to ensure the future of our past, for example that historians must equip society with a truly historical perspective, so that it will be saved from the detrimental effects of exposure to political and ideological propaganda and historical myths. People must come to terms with their past, so that they can understand themselves (and others) better, and can learn to forgive, without the pressure that all must be forgotten.