Journal for Contemporary History - Volume 40, Issue 1, 2015
Volume 40, Issue 1, 2015
"One of the architects of our democracy" : Colin Eglin, the Progressive Federal Party and the leadership of the official parliamentary opposition, 1977-1979 and 1986-1987Author F.A. MoutonSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 1 –22 (2015)More Less
The political career of Colin Eglin, leader of the Progressive Federal Party (PFP) and the official parliamentary opposition between 1977-1979 and 1986-1987, is proof that personality matters in politics and can make a difference. Without his driving will and dogged commitment to the principles of liberalism, especially his willingness to fight on when all seemed lost for liberalism in the apartheid state, the Progressive Party would have floundered. He led the Progressives out of the political wilderness in 1974, turned the PFP into the official opposition in 1977, and picked up the pieces after Frederik van Zyl Slabbert's dramatic resignation as party leader in February 1986. As leader of the parliamentary opposition, despite the hounding of the National Party, he kept liberal democratic values alive, especially the ideal of incremental political change. Nelson Mandela described him as, "one of the architects of our democracy".
South Africa in the international Arms Trade Network (ATN) during ANC rule (1994-present) : a network analysisSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 23 –40 (2015)More Less
Network theory has become a key theoretical framework with which to study complex systems, and a large number of studies have investigated the structure of the World Trade Network (WTN) within this paradigm. This article follows Akerman and Larsson-Seim (2014) in investigating South Africa's position in the international Arms Trade Network (ATN) from 1994 to the present within the framework of network theory and by using data provided by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Using centrality measures such as degree, betweenness, closeness, and in- and out-degree, the article shows that South Africa is a relatively important role player in this trade network, and specifically as an arms exporter. It is also discussed how South Africa's position changed under the leadership of consecutive presidents, and it is shown that the country became more active during the presidencies of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma than it was under Nelson Mandela.
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 41 –58 (2015)More Less
The role of the Speaker in the South African Parliament has recently being steeped in controversy when the sitting Speaker, Ms Baleka Mbete, was accused of partiality and strong partisanship towards the ruling party. This controversy highlighted the cardinally important role of a Speaker in parliament to ensure impartiality and fairness to all political parties. The South African Parliament is based on the British Westminster system in which the impartiality of the Speaker is accorded a very high premium and a distinguishing feature of that legislature. The aim of this article is to investigate the office of the Speaker with reference to its historical background and development as an official position in a parliamentary system. The purpose is to highlight the Speaker's important role, not only as the chairperson of the National Assembly, but also as the custodian of the powers and the dignity of the Assembly. The article also points out the inherent dangers of the Speaker's embrace of partisan interests above that of parliament and the implications for the future role of the institution.
Author Jan-Ad StemmetSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 59 –76 (2015)More Less
Due to a combination of socio- economic and political factors, apartheid-South Africa erupted in violent political conflict during the early 1980s. For most of the decade that preceded the transition to majority rule, the minority government ruled through martial law. This article discusses the States of Emergencies that were declared during the Presidency of PW Botha in the latter half of the decade.
Source: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 77 –101 (2015)More Less
This article forms part of a project in which the history of military chaplains in South Africa is traced. One of the neglected aspects of military chaplaincy is the role and influence of the spouses of military chaplains. Since 1976, the Chaplains' Wives Committee, an organisation consisting of the spouses of the command structure of the South African Chaplain Service (SACHS), coordinated the efforts and outreaches of the wives of chaplains in expanding the boundaries of support for military personnel and their families; indirectly contributing to the wellbeing of the South African society at large. This article traces the history of the Chaplains' Wives Committee and the significance of its leadership, thereby providing a different perspective on the military context, which is usually defined in masculine terms. It also contributes to the documentation of the history of South African women's organisations.
"Kan die vrou haar volk dien deur haar huis?" : Afrikanerpolitiek en vrou in die Ossewa-Brandwag, 1942 tot 1954Author Charl BlignautSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 102 –124 (2015)More Less
The "Ossewa-Brandwag" (OB or Oxwagon Sentinel) was a mass-movement of Afrikaners following a non-party political strategy in order to gain power in a white dominated South Africa. The organisation, which gained its highest support during World War II, was openly anti-British, pro-German and followed a National-Socialist agenda together with strong undercurrents of Afrikaner Christian (Calvinist) Nationalism. Despite the movement's explicit stance against party politics, it inevitably transgressed these boundaries and came to blows with the upcoming "Herenigde Nasionale Party" (HNP) leading to a bitter fight which deepened the rift in Afrikanerdom. Although previous histories of the OB focused mainly on the battle between the two protagonists of the saga, namely Commandant General (CG) JFJ van Rensburg of the OB and Dr DF Malan of the HNP, OB women also took part in the political discourse of the 1940s. This article examines how women of the Ossewa-Brandwag interpreted their own political position in the movement and how they regarded their place in the OB itself and in broader South African and Afrikaner politics. The exercise of female power in a patriarchal society is extremely constrained and therefore OB women had to manoeuvre themselves within the confines of the dominant gender ideology, articulated in the so-called "volksmoeder (mother of the nation) discourse". The aim of this article is to show how women in the OB bought into the normative limitations and boundaries of conventional womanhood and even legitimized and defended their subservient position. An emphasis is also placed on how women interpreted the confines of the dominant gender ideology.
An analytical perspective of Afrikaner ideological hegemony (1961-1980) : the role of politics and rugbyAuthor P.A.H. LabuschagneSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 125 –143 (2015)More Less
Afrikaner ideological hegemony was well established in the decade 1961-1970, both on the political terrain and on the rugby field. In both instances, Afrikaner political prowess and masculinity were dominant and Afrikaner ideological hegemony firmly established. On the political front, internal black resistance was successfully suppressed and the white parliamentary opposition fragmented and ineffective. The attainment of independence from the Commonwealth and the declaration of South Africa as a Republic in 1961 were supported by a sharp upswing on the economic front, which also coincided with major triumphs on the rugby field by the Springboks. However, the international scene was changing and the racist sports policies, enforced by the National Party government, translated into the All Blacks' refusal to tour South Africa. Prime Minister John Vorster made superficial changes to dismantle "petty" apartheid, which made it possible for the All Blacks to include Maori players in their team. On the political front, however, developments took place that soon eroded the monolithic Afrikaner ideological hegemony. The right-wingers split from the National Party to form the "Herstigte Nasionale Party" (or translated, the Reformed National Party). Although the break was insignificant at first, the cracks in the solidarity of the National Party soon widened. In the next decade (1971-1980) there was an upsurge in black resistance and, as opposed to previous decades, it was better organised and with much more force. This time the resistance was able to seriously threaten the apartheid regime's resolve and confidence. On the rugby field, the situation was not much better. The Springboks was beaten in 1972 by an average English team and humiliated by the British Lions in 1974 when they were unable to win a single test on home soil. The decade 1971-1980 therefore formed a sharp contrast and stood in contradiction to the previous decade when Afrikaner ideological hegemony was at its peak. In contrast, the 1971-1980 decade was a period of decline and a period when the Afrikaner largely lost its dominance and its monolithic character. The National Party had to move to the left of the Conservative Party and this started a process to normalise sport in the country.
Author Noor M. DavidsSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 144 –161 (2015)More Less
Since the establishment of democracy in 1994, South African sport has been influenced deeply by sociopolitical and economic changes. Political transformation and professionalization emerged as elements that define the sporting fraternity. Sport became a vehicle for nation-building. South Africans are encouraged to show patriotism through support for national teams but, at the same time, many township sports clubs are struggling to survive. This article relates the history of Collegians, a Mitchell's Plain-based rugby club, formerly from District Six. It asserts that since its establishment, Collegians experienced two threats of extinction: apartheid, which they survived; and democracy, which brought uncertainty and a sense of insecurity. The research question addressed is, "having survived apartheid,what are the club's future prospects in the face of sport transformation in democratic South Africa?" Semi-structured interviews, newspaper sources and self-reflexivity provided data. Drawing on rugby memory from District Six to re-establish the club in Mitchell's Plain, the present malaise in the club can be ascribed to a combination of factors such as political, economic and structural changes in the rugby fraternity. Recommendations are made concerning the current impasse in the club.
A history of the Waterlit Collection (1974-1999) : a hard copy research collection on water studies and its digital catalogueAuthor Johann W.N. TempelhoffSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 162 –194 (2015)More Less
In the second half of the twentieth century, South Africa built up a reputation as one of the foremost countries of the world in terms of water infrastructure development. Dam projects such as the Orange River Scheme and the purification of sewage water to drinking water standards in the Namibian capital of Windhoek, were some of the many achievements that South Africa boasted.
How was it possible then for a country that was politically isolated to accumulate significant knowledge on the water sector and literally be on top of their game? A partial answer to this riddle is the Waterlit Collection (WLC), a collection of articles, reports and academic theses and dissertations collected and managed at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria in the years from 1974 until the mid-1990s.
This article provides a historical overview of how the WLC of the CSIR, funded by the Water Research Commission (WRC), was turned into a corpus of more than 300 000 documents. Local research output at the time, as well as some of the latest research findings in other parts of the world, became accessible to water researchers in South Africa. There is indeed reason to believe that the collection contributed to water research in South Africa during the years of isolation. The collection also facilitated some of the country's breakthrough technologies in the water sector.
The study also explores how the rapid development of information technologies in library science, computer science and the evolution of widespread Internet use influenced the collection, which currently forms part of the South African Water History Archival Repository (SAWHAR) at the North-West University's Vaal Campus in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng.
South Africa's water heritage and its future preservation : establishing a water research archive for water-related information sourcesSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 195 –207 (2015)More Less
Archives and records are the tools that facilitate transparency, accountability and preserve collective social memory. They provide the mirror revealing governance, providing administrative and technical measuring instruments to ascertain the contexts and consequences of intended objectives, such as the promulgation and execution of water related policies. South Africa faces a water crisis and concerns exist about the governance of water affairs. Concerns and prospects for the creation of a water archive have been recommended. The prospects that such an initiative could provide is for better care and preservation of water-related records, including records on water services, water conservation and demand management currently across national government, municipalities and twelve water boards. The concept of the archives being an area storing dusty documents is being transformed, with the aid of technology. Through the digital environment, an archive can integrate hard copy and digital material in a sustainable manner, accessible to a wide-range of researchers both within the archival institution and virtually to a different place and time zone. A dedicated "water archive" capturing and preserving water related information sources would provide water sector managers, engineers, scientists, researchers and administrators, with effective access to water-related information sources, as well as opportunities to contribute to the sustainability and further expansion of this archive.
The coming revolution: Julius Malema and the fight for economic freedom, Floyd Shivambu (Ed.) : book reviewAuthor Theo NeethlingSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 208 –211 (2015)More Less
The book is intended as an introduction to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), South Africa's youngest revolutionary socialist party in parliament, and its charismatic commander-in-chief, Julius Malema. It starts with a foreword by the EFF Commissar for Justice and Special Projects, Dali Mpofu. This is followed by an input from Floyd Shivambu, EFF Commissar for Policy, Research, and Political Education, in the form of a brief introductory section on the purpose of the book which is spiced up by eulogizing Malema. This is followed by a section of 115 pages by Shivambu on the genesis of the EFF, titled, Where do we come from? His point of departure here is that "[c]urrently, settlers own our country" (p. 13), and because "settlers are on our land as a result of violent colonial conquest and dispossession of the black majority and Africans in particular" (p. 13), the ownership and control of economic resources in South Africa should be returned to the African black majority. This relates specifically to ownership of the banks, mines and agricultural land.
Author Chitja TwalaSource: Journal for Contemporary History 40, pp 212 –214 (2015)More Less
The format and presentation of the book is clear and easy to use, with interesting chapter headings, powerful opening sentences in the form of quotations, and well-structured paragraphs. The clear endnotes at the end of the book as per chapters and index make the book an accessible source for academic use.