Journal for Contemporary History - Volume 38, Issue 2, 2013
Volume 38, Issue 2, 2013
"A decent man, but not very popular" : JGN Strauss, the United Party and the founding of the apartheid state, 1950-1956Author F.A. MoutonSource: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 1 –20 (2013)More Less
JGN Strauss, leader of the United Party and the official parliamentary opposition between 1950 and 1956, was a flawed politician. His aloofness and inability to suffer fools meant that he lacked the popular touch, making it impossible for him to gain popularity. And yet, he never lacked courage and integrity. He was appalled by the ruthlessness of the National Party, especially its disregard for the rule of law and the entrenched clauses in the constitution protecting the Coloured franchise on the common voters roll, in creating the apartheid state. Against the wishes of a significant section in his own party he confronted the NP on these issues. A palace revolution in November 1956 led to his removal as leader of the opposition. And yet, despite the humiliating end to his political career, and the subsequent perception that he was a failure, Strauss was a shrewd and able politician who under challenging circumstances profoundly influenced white parliamentary politics.
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 21 –45 (2013)More Less
This article presents a historical case-study in forced removals and its ramifications from 1961 to 1977 from the perspective of socio-environmental history. The focus area is Pretoria (South Africa) in a resettlement area called Ga-Rankuwa whose community was displaced from Lady Selborne in the 1960s. The article demonstrates that forced removals did not only result in people losing their historical land and material possessions but also their sense of being and connectedness. The focus is on the changing perceptions of people in the midst of their land loss, an area of study that is generally underexamined in academia. In Lady Selborne, blacks were displaced from an area that was agriculturally fertile, close to the city centre of Pretoria and relocated to infertile Ga-Rankuwa on the outskirts of the city. This resettlement resulted in many of those relocated being prevented from engaging in food production, which was in turn an affront to Sotho-Tswana culture and religion with its emphasis on land as lefa: a bequest that has to feed its inhabitants. This mind-set resulted in forced removals and in turn led blacks to disregard environmental issues. Ga-Rankuwa became degraded with litter, soil erosion and dongas, especially in the 1970s, as people realised that there was no hope of returning to Lady Selborne.
A historical perspective on South African military chaplaincy and Cold War ideologies during the Border War, 1966-1989Source: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 46 –69 (2013)More Less
For most of the latter half of the twentieth century, Cold War ideologies dominated foreign relations and domestic state policies and, as such, it also touched the lives of ordinary men and women. Decolonisation and the Soviet offensive of anti-imperialism brought Asia and Africa into the realm of Cold War politics. The Border War (also known as the Namibian War of Independence or the Bush War, 1966-1989) in Southern Africa gave evidence of Soviet anti-imperialist propaganda. It was counteracted by justifications of western containment policies. In the South African context it elicited strong sociopolitical sentiments. With regard to the Border War it included accusations that military chaplains supported the state policy of apartheid and a call was put forth to demilitarise chaplaincy within the South African Defence Force (SADF). Ethical issues based on ideology are always multidimensional and open to different interpretations. This article gives an historical perspective on the timeframe and on the complexities of perspectives from the viewpoint of military chaplains.
Sports isolation and the struggle against apartheid in South African sport : the sports policy of the National Party during the 1980sAuthor Cobus RademeyerSource: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 70 –90 (2013)More Less
Under the National Party (NP) government sport had been governed by apartheid laws since 1948. Towards the end of the seventies the NP introduced the idea of sports autonomy as their policy going into the 1980s. This was based on the fact that government wanted to withdraw from the development and management of sport in the country. Growing resistance from the opposition, anti-apartheid movements, sports people in South Africa, as well as from the conservative elements within the NP against apartheid in sport, continued to work against government principles. The overwhelming anti-apartheid idea that apartheid in sport was no longer the ultimate goal, but the abolishment of apartheid legislation in general emphasised the pressure on the South African government during the decade under discussion. Various small amendments to the sports policy did not bring much relief, as the struggle against apartheid and apartheid in sport intensified. Government's frequent reassurance that sports autonomy removed government from the management sphere of sport in the country did not reach base, as various racially inclined laws and acts still ensured that governments had to intervene in sport and the practice thereof from time to time. This culminated in talks between the African National Congress (ANC) and, amongst others, a group of South African sports people, with a view to counteracting the NP's sports policy and paved the way for more talks towards dismantling apartheid in sport and the normalisation of sporting ties in South Africa and internationally.
Author Pieter LabuschagneSource: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 91 –104 (2013)More Less
Within the broader ambit of sport the organisation and administration of athletics have been underpinned or driven by strong opposing undercurrents such as self-interests and basic values such as fairness and equality. In the South African context power politics and the interference of central government in sport followed a strong self-interest in sport, which translated into regulatory policies which resulted in the isolation of most sports codes from international participation. In the article the path of athletics in South Africa is recounted as an example of a sports code that has been dictated and dominated by the two approaches to sport - the emphasis on how the self-interest displayed by the South African National Party led government translated into the isolation of South Africa in the sport of athletics on the world stage. However, during democratic normalisation in the country a strong value driven approach was adopted which paved the way for South Africa back into the fold of international sport. Unfortunately, at the same time, in a climate of commercialisation and self-interest, sports administrators of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) delayed the re-entry of South Africa into international sport for more than a year.
Mediation by means of isolation : resistance against the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (DRC) during the 1980sSource: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 105 –118 (2013)More Less
The isolation of South Africa on international terrain, especially during the 1980s, contributed to a large extent to the unfeasibility of the policy of apartheid. According to the theologian, Dr Allan Boesak, the role of the Christian society is one of the most underestimated factors in the struggle against apartheid. Churches and theologians worldwide raised their voices in resistance against the apartheid regime. Churches, inside as well as outside South Africa, increasingly criticized the theological justification of apartheid. In the process religion became an important anti-apartheid mechanism for various leaders who resisted apartheid. Although the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (DRC) abandoned the theological justification of the policy of racial segregation by the 1980s, the Church did not hold the point of view that the policy of apartheid was irreconcilable with the will of God. The isolation of the DRC by the international faith based institutions played a significant role on a spiritual level by increasingly discrediting the theological justification of the apartheid policy by the DRC and placing pressure on the Church to reform. The article highlights the role of international bodies like the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, the World Council of Churches, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, as well as the South African Council of Churches. Against this background the article will debate in which ways, if any, the DRC and its power structures handled the pressure of the international and national religious communities during the 1980s.
Author Jan-Ad StemmetSource: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 119 –138 (2013)More Less
2013 marks the thirtieth anniversary of South Africa's 1983 referendum in which the majority of whites voted in favour of Pretoria's proposed reformist constitution. The reform strategy, set out as a 12 Point Plan, was part of the grandiose Total National Strategy. The latter was conceptualized in an attempt to simultaneously enlighten the political status quo while safeguarding minority power. It implied the scrapping of a myriad of laws and regulations and a mesh of new ones - including the 1983 Constitution. In order to reform apartheid the National Party regime of PW Botha had to reform the country almost in its entirety. Pretoria nonetheless refused a statement of intent or time frame. If the reform strategy failed the minority would be left out of options and would in whatever way surrender its position of unquestionable power. Without grasping the processes inherent to this topic the processes of 1990 and thereafter cannot be understood. This article will examine the reform strategy and implementation thereof. Furthermore the article will enlight the reaction to it and so too its effect.
Author Chris LandsbergSource: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 139 –156 (2013)More Less
It is almost 20 years since South Africa became a constitutional democracy, and it is a good time to reflect not only on the past two decades but on the transition period of 1989-1994. When Frederik Willem de Klerk became the National Party "hoofleier" or chief leader, and eventually executive President of South Africa on 20 September 1989, one could not have imagined the impact he and his party would have, not only on the country's domestic and international politics, but also on the decision-making processes and structures of the Republic. In this article the focus falls on foreign policy making and formulation under the De Klerk government during the period 1989 to 1994, as well as dissecting the agencies that were entrusted with operationalising foreign policy. Emphasis is on De Klerk's oligarchic-rationalist foreign policy model which stressed civilianisation and the restoration of the cabinet in decision making, and a move away from PW Botha's militaristic and securocratic methods of decision making. Indeed, when De Klerk addressed parliament in his epoch-making speech on 2 February 1990, and embarked on his de-isolation strategies for the pariah state, he appreciated the need for the democratisation of decision and policy formulation structures that would help to end decades of ostracism and global banishment.
Changing local politics in South Africa : the power relationship between local government and the peopleSource: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 157 –178 (2013)More Less
The South African Freedom Charter (1955) states that "The people shall govern" and the African National Congress (ANC) (1991) stated in "Advance to national democracy" that "the immediate issue on the agenda is the question of political power. To affect the transfer of power into the hands of the people as a whole is the most crucial and immediate challenge facing the national democratic movement." The question now is how this power is currently exercised where the ANC is the government and represents the people. Dennis Wrong stated that "politics includes both a struggle for power and a struggle to limit, resist and escape from power". This implies that power is reciprocal. In South African local politics this mutuality of power relations presents different appearances. This article explores whether local power is shifting from the liberation movement as government to the people (considering for example protest politics) and as such whether the power of local government and that of the citizens are necessarily oppositional; or whether the struggle for democracy came full circle and that power is being democratised in a true sense by the people themselves as "governors" of government.
A strategic hegemonic approach to functional developmentalism in deepening regional cooperation and integration in AfricaSource: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 179 –201 (2013)More Less
Two competing perspectives have influenced the debate concerning the approach to be adopted in search of continental-wide integration in Africa. Although both perspectives argue for the idea of a "United States of Africa", the approach of former Libyan leader, Muhammar Gaddafi, advocated for holistic integration, whilst other African leaders, spearheaded by Thabo Mbeki, argued for incrementalism aimed at first strengthening regional integration. Whereas the African Union (AU) has accepted incrementalism as the preferred approach to continental integration, minimal emphasis has been placed on what this approach should constitute. Drawing from the successes of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and West African Power Pool (WAPP), this article argues that functional developmentalism is most suitable to strengthening Regional Economic Communities (RECs) throughout the continent. It postulates that functional developmentalism signifies a more effective role for hegemons which is firmly entrenched in the principles and norms of cooperative hegemony. Using the criteria for cooperative hegemony, namely capacities for power sharing, power aggregation and commitment, it illustrates the potential for enhancing regional cooperation.
Author Theo NeethlingSource: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 202 –204 (2013)More Less
The accidental ambassador is indeed a thoughtful book. It basically departs from Leon's retirement from politics at the age of 52 and from the pondering of his father's remark that "you sound like Alexander at the doors of Constantinople: 'I have no more empires to conquer'." Soon after Leon entered into fellowships of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy's School of Government (2007) and the Cato Institute in Washington, DC (2008). An entirely new career opportunity opened up when he entered into public service as South Africa's ambassador to Argentina. From here, he takes the reader from his "job interview" with Pres. Zuma, to his three-week crash course in Pretoria on ambassadorship with two other former cabinet ministers, to his role as diplomat and life in Argentina.
Kroniek van die Suid-Afrikaanse Weermag (1912-1994) : 'n herdenkingspublikasie, CJ Nöthling : boekresensieAuthor Andre WesselsSource: Journal for Contemporary History 38, pp 205 –206 (2013)More Less
Hoewel die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Weermag (SANW) eers om middernag op 26-27 April 1994 tot stand gekom het, strek die geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika se gewapende magte veel verder terug. Nadat Suid-Afrika as 'n verenigde (uniale) staat op 31 Mei 1910 tot stand gekom het, het die Unie van Suid-Afrika se eerste weermag - bekend as die Unie-Verdedigingsmagte (UVM) - amptelik op 1 Julie 1912 tot stand gekom. Aanvanklik het die UVM net uit grondmagte bestaan, wat dus hoofsaaklik vir landwaartse verdediging aangewend kon word. Hierdie magte het met groot onderskeiding aan die Eerste Wêreldoorlog (1914-1918) deelgeneem. Reeds in 1913 het die Zuid-Afrikaansche Mediese Dienst tot stand gekom, in 1920 ook die Suid-Afrikaanse Lugmag, en in 1922 Suid-Afrika se vlootmag. In 1957 is die naam van die UVM na dié van Suid-Afrikaanse Weermag (SAW) verander.