Journal for Contemporary History - Volume 35, Issue 1, 2010
Volume 35, Issue 1, 2010
In search of Africa's democratic theory : exploring liberty, equality and democratic construction in the cold warAuthor Joleen Steyn-KotzeSource: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 1 –18 (2010)More Less
Since the early 1990s, the world has been caught in democratic fever and Africa has not escaped the spread of liberal democracy. Yet, Africa remains in a state of perpetual democratic unconsolidation and faces many difficulties in achieving the coveted state of democratic consolidation. Democratic assessment of African political systems is at times very pessimistic about its democratic future, but fails to consider Africa's process of democratic development in constructing its interpretation of liberty and equality. The international construction of the meaning of liberty and equality and its relationship to democracy is closely tied to the discourse and debates that prevailed during the Cold War period, when many African states received their independence. Using a discourse analysis one can trace the philosophical and ideological construction of democratic liberty and equality for Africa. This article highlights the debate between liberty and equality that characterised the Cold War period, and its impact on the philosophical construction of democracy in Africa.
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 19 –38 (2010)More Less
This article deals with a well-known but largely under-researched event that occurred in Lesotho during the first three months of 1970, an incident in which members of opposition parties under the leadership of a former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Clement Mooki Leepa, occupied a cave, Lehaha-la-Likhomo, and organised themselves into a force determined to resist police arrest. Using the oral testimony of one key participant, court cases, official reports and secondary sources, the article firstly attempts to situate the incident, and Leepa's involvement in it, in the context of political divisions that characterised the country's road to independence and, secondly, to reconstruct the events that took place at the cave. The article mainly argues that, accepting without question the assertion that many of the acts of members of opposition parties in 1970 were attempts to topple government, prevents a deeper understanding of the complex and contradictory political and at times personal reasons and motivations of equally complex individuals and groups who participated in these activities. We have used the terms "rebel" or "rebellion" to describe the incident discussed in this paper, but have done so reluctantly because the men and their backers' plans were nipped in the bud, and never came to anything.
Die omstandighede en aanleidende faktore in die "herontplooiing" van die eerste Vrystaatse premier, Mosioua Lekota (1994-1996)Author Johan C. MollSource: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 23 –138 (2010)More Less
The ANC's National Policy Conference resolved on 29 June 2007 that the premiers of the provinces would in future no longer be appointed by the President but by the Provincial Executive Committees, the National Executive Committee thereafter approving or rejecting the recommendation. One of the inducements that has led the ANC to change its policy in this regard was the grim experience in the Free State when the offices of ANC provincial leader and Premier did not coincide, causing so much strife and dissension, that the national leadership was forced to intervene repeatedly, which in the end resulted in the drastic decision of "redeploying" the Premier and various other Free State ANC leaders. This is an analysis of the conflicting views of the Free State Premier and provincial party leaders regarding the nature and underlying rationale of their respective positions of authority which also bring into central focus the terms of the constitution versus the authority of the party. The framework within which these issues are analysed is the dictatorial views within the ANC regarding the relationship of constitutional and party political interests versus white views on the inviolability of the constitution.
Die Suid-Afrikaanse kapelaansdiens en die beginsel van 'n regverdige oorlog : die Namibiese Vryheidsoorlog, 1966-1989Source: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 39 –61 (2010)More Less
From 1966 to 1989, South Africa was involved in the Namibian War of Independence, also known as the Border War or the Bush War. In due course, chaplains of the South African Defence Force were also sent "up north", or ministered to troops in bases in South Africa. In this article, the controversial issue of the so-called just war principle is discussed in the light of the reasons why the war broke out in South West Africa (Namibia). Interviews with several chaplains who ministered during the war were conducted in an effort to obtain the viewpoint of as many people (representing several religious denominations) as possible, in an effort to ascertain how chaplains viewed the Namibian War of Independence, and to determine the reaction their role elicited at the home front and abroad.
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 62 –80 (2010)More Less
There is a general consensus that land reform in post settler colonies fits like a glove. Since extensive land alienation occurred in Zimbabwe, which resulted in the occupation of larger, more fertile, arable healthy pieces of land by minority whites and occupation of the unproductive, crowded, marginal and deteriorating lands by blacks, independence has given the land question a new force. Going through available literature on Zimbabwe's land reform progress, there is the impression that, during the liberation struggle, the land question was more of a political issue than anything else. It was about fighting exploitative governmental agrarian policies, fighting for ancestral land, fighting for the power with which land ownership came. With the advent of independence, the land question, as Moyo opines, has been popularized within the "growth with equity" parameters set out by the new regime allowing for a significant amount of land redistribution. Thus, through reading library sources and literature in private collections, as well as carrying out interviews, this article seeks to demonstrate the essentiality and centrality of the land question in post independence Zimbabwe. Also to register that the land question presently has grown bigger and wider to entail, among other things, land redistribution, solutions to promote rural development of communal lands, political stability of a nation as well as the economics that goes with land utilization, land tenure, grazing schemes, population control, restitution, gender issues and the list goes on.
Author H.O. TerblancheSource: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 81 –89 (2010)More Less
In view of their history, the Flemish people always had a greater understanding of the Afrikaner's striving to preserve their identity. Even during the dark days of apartheid they were quite sympathetic towards the Afrikaner. In this article the anti-apartheid movement in Belgium/Flanders is analysed against the backdrop of the anti-apartheid actions of the United Nations and the sanctions campaign against South Africa. The academic boycott against South Africans will also be reviewed and an overview will be given of the anti-apartheid literature in Belgium/Flanders. The protest actions of the various anti-apartheid organisations will be analysed. In conclusion, the exile mission of the ANC in Brussels is discussed. In the light of their extensive trade relations with South Africa, Belgium did not play a leading role in the anti-apartheid campaign against South Africa.
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 99 –122 (2010)More Less
In this article the interaction between black protest politics and white resistance is discussed by tracing the history of the politics of fear in right-wing quarters in South Africa in the years 1982 to 1987. In 1982 the founding of the Conservative Party (CP) under Dr Andries Treurnicht heralded a new era in white politics in South Africa, and five years later the CP became the official opposition in the white Parliament. In-between there was a referendum in 1983 on the Tricameral Parliament; a new constitution was adopted; there was an increase in the number of acts of terror committed by Umkhonto weSizwe (the armed wing of the African National Congress), and mass action by the United Democratic Front. More and more whites withdrew to the "laager"; their politics became even more reactionary, and their society more militarised. The National Party, the CP and the Herstigte Nasionale Party propaganda exploited white fears, but for different reasons. The politics of fear indeed reigned supreme in these years.
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 139 –156 (2010)More Less
Dominant party tendencies exist either when a single party enjoys monopoly of power through the exclusion of other parties, or when the electorate continues to re-elect the same party despite the existence of other political parties. Dominant party systems display various characteristics: the tendency to rule for a prolonged period of time; complacency and corruption; competition within the dominant party; a weak and ineffective opposition; and, a blurring of lines between the party and the state. Under the apartheid regime, the National Party dominated the political system. In 1994, through a process of transformation, South Africa held its first democratic election. The African National Congress (ANC) won the election and successive elections, and has since governed by majority. This has led critics to argue that South Africa is becoming a dominant party system. This article discusses dominant party tendencies in the Free State Legislature. In the four elections held since this transformation process of democratisation began, namely 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009, the ANC dominated the Legislature whilst the opposition remained weak and ineffective, with no viable alternative for the electorate. Despite protests against service delivery and transformation projects, the electorate continued to re-elect the ANC. These tendencies reinforced the pattern of ANC dominance and weak opposition.
The 23rd African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) conference in Bloemfontein : a Polokwane political hangover?Author Chitja TwalaSource: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 157 –169 (2010)More Less
The ANCYL played a significant role in the history of the ANC, therefore the actions of its members at their 23rd conference in Bloemfontein were disturbing for the ANC. Already in the build-up it was clear that rivalries between factions were rife and before the conference started there had been disruptions. The article highlights the reasons behind the rivalry and the ANC's leadership's handling of the situation. The rivalry was not due to ideological differences but to support for personalities. The ANC leaders and ex-ANCYL leaders aired their dissatisfaction with the unruly conduct and the pursuit of political self-advancement. Many members rejected the outcome of the leadership election and the congress was adjourned. The ANC intervened and at a closed session later that month the election of the five officials and the National Executive Commission was maintained. A number of organizational, policy and leadership issues were discussed. The divisions were, however, still apparent. The conference in Bloemfontein was obviously a political hangover of the ANC's conference at Polokwane.
Author Burgert SenekalSource: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 170 –183 (2010)More Less
Amidst arguments that the nature of war has changed, notably by Kaldor (2006), Keegan (2004), Münkler (2005), and Van Creveld (2008), Private Military Companies (PMCs) have received increasing media and scholarly attention over the past decade. South Africa is no stranger to the media storm evoked by Blackwater USA during the recent conflict in Iraq: Executive Outcomes (hereafter referred to as EO) caused a comparable controversy during the 1990s, first through their involvement in Angola after the withdrawal of the SADF, and later through their contract in Sierra Leone. At the time, PMCs were still a relatively new phenomenon, and thus research was scarce and it was difficult to discuss EO properly in the context of PMCs rather than as mercenaries. In the wake of the war in Iraq, the rapid growth of research into the PMC phenomenon has however provided a wealth of information that facilitates a better understanding of EO's role in the post-Cold War conflict environment. This article aims to discuss EO in this global debate by using recent research into the phenomenon, arguing that Executive Outcomes was part of a global trend in warfare.
Sestig jaar se mynteenmaatreëlswerk in die Suid-Afrikaanse vloot, 1947-2007 (3) : op weg na en in die nuwe Suid-Afrika, 1990-2007Source: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 184 –202 (2010)More Less
The year 1990 set in motion a train of political events that led to the Republic of South Africa's first-ever truly democratic elections in 1994, which, in turn, led to the country's readmittance to the international community, and the opening up of new diplomatic and other opportunities. In the meantime, the then South African Defence Force underwent a process of rationalisation in the wake of the end of its involvement in the Namibian War of Independence and in the civil war in Angola, and in due course was amalgamated with other military forces to form the new South African National Defence Force. In this, the third and last article of a three-part study of mine-countermeasures (MCM) in the South African Navy during the years 1947 to 2007, a review is given of the work done by the Navy's MCM vessels from 1990 to 2007; i.e. by the four "River" class minehunters and the last four remaining "Ton" class minesweepers, as well as by the Type 351 minesweepers that replaced the "Tons" in 2001. Special emphasis will be placed on local as well as overseas flag-showing visits, and the importance of MCM for the South African Navy will also be evaluated.
Mourning becomes ... post/memory, commemoration and the concentration camps of the South African War, Liz Stanley : book reviewSource: Journal for Contemporary History 35, pp 203 –204 (2010)More Less
Liz Stanley, Professor of Sociology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, has visited South Africa on more than one occasion to carry out research on the history, consequences and meaning of the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 to 1902. She has already produced several noteworthy papers, articles in academic journals and other publications on aspects of the war. Her latest book, Mourning becomes... Post/memory, commemoration and the concentration camps of the South African War, "focuses on the part of the past shared by Britain and South Africa shaped by colonialism, imperialism, racism and nationalism, and marked by the unfolding 'post/memory' of the concentration camps. It is concerned with how the deaths in these camps have been utilised within a nationalist interpretational framework at a number of subsequent points in time - successive stages in memory-making [...]" (p. 4). It is "not a book about political myth, but one about post-slash-memory and the role of testimony and story-telling in relation to it" (p. 27).