Historia - Volume 34, Issue 2, 1989
Volumes & issues
Volume 34, Issue 2, 1989
Author F.A. Van JaarsveldSource: Historia 34, pp 1 –21 (1989)More Less
Contentious history for schools in South Africa. The crisis in present-day South African school history is investigated and it is pointed out that although the quest for the right kind of history at school in a multi-cultural society has been carried on since 1874, the matter is still controversial. The controversy has shifted from a Boer-Brit to a Black-White dichotomy, from which the alternative ""people's history"" movement has emerged. This is analysed by the author, after a comparison between the teaching of history in Europe and that in South Africa is provided. As a solution the author advises that consensus be reached between White, Black and Brown educationalists on a very broadly-based curriculum with a wide choice of topics and perspectives. The view is that this would satisfy the demands of historical consciousness, namely orientation and identity formation. As an alternative, decentralization or regionalization of syllabi is suggested with the same aims in mind.
Author T.C. RautenbachSource: Historia 34, pp 22 –31 (1989)More Less
Sir George Napier and the Natal Voortrekkers, 1838-1844. Sir George Napier was appointed governor of the Cape because of his philanthropic sympathies and his declared undertaking to limit expenditure. After visiting the eastern districts in 1838, he decided that the Great Trek was detrimental to all of southern Africa and he undertook a wide range of relatively inexpensive measures to bring it to an end. However, all these efforts proved to be unsuccessful. The solution of the Trek problem to which Napier gave preference viz. the annexation of Natal, was not acceptable to his superiors because of the expenditure involved. Napier nevertheless repeatedly argued in favour of this suggestion, claiming that the initial high costs involved, would prevent greater financial burdens in the long run. He pointed out that Natal eventually would have to be annexed in order to protect the blacks, and to prevent pressure from the Voortrekkers which could lead to increased tensions and perhaps war on the eastern frontier. However, any hope of in agreement between Napier and the Trekkers was dashed when the governor received news of a Voortrekker raid on the Bhaca south of Natal in 1840. He immediately sent troops to protect the Mpondo and other black allies of the Cape Colony, and at the same time he ordered the soldiers to prevent the Volksraad from settling large numbers of Natal blacks in the area. After the British military victory over the Voortrekkers at Port Natal in June 1841, Lord Stanley eventually sanctioned the annexation of Natal, while Napier's attitude towards the Voortrekkers hardened because of their actions against the Bhaca. He was distrustful of all their dealings with the blacks and accusing them of slavery, a few indentured blacks were freed from the custody of Voortrekkers who had returned to the Colony.The majority ofVoortrekkers being dissatisfied with the British measures taken after the annexation, eventually left Natal. It is clear that philantropic considerations played a far greater part in Napier's policy towards the Voortrekkers than claimed by J.S. Galbraith in Reluctant Empire.
Author A.C. SwanepoelSource: Historia 34, pp 32 –48 (1989)More Less
The legal system in the Republic of Natalia, 1838-1845. According to Professor D. Pont law is as old as mankind itself. As soon as people are united, no matter how small the community might be, certain regulations are laid down which order people's behaviour towards one another. This statement applies to a certain extent to the Voortrekkers who left the Cape Colony and eventually settled in Natal. When the Potgieter trek and Maritz trek united at Thaba Nchu in December 1836, one of the first things they did was not only to elect a government, but also to make provision for a legal system. This was further extended in April 183 7 when the Retief trek arrived at Thaba Nchu. In doing so, they relied on the legal systems which were known to them since the days of the Dutch East India Company (1652-1795), of the Batavian Republic period (1803-1806) and the British legal systems of 1827 and 1834. When the Trekkers arrived in Natal, in spite of hardships brought about by the massacre of Retief and his men on 6 February 1838 at Mgungundlovo and the great massacre during the night of 16-17 February 1838 at the Blaauwkrantz and Boesmans rivers, the Voortrekkers continued not only to improve their government, but also their legal system. After victory was assured over Dingane and the Voortrekkers had settled in Natal, the legal system was improved further in spite of the fact that the Republic of Natalia existed only for a few years. Besides the Volksraad, which was not only a legislative body but also the supreme court of appeal, the legal system included the College of Landdrost and Heemraden as courts of justice, and a jury. Provision was also made for the institution of messengers of the court, an interpreter, a translator, clerks, fieldcornets, wardens, police, and jailers.
Author G.H. PirieSource: Historia 34, pp 49 –57 (1989)More Less
Racial integration on trains and railway stations excited anxiety for the first time in Natal in the 1880s and in the Cape in the next decade. In both colonies there were white passengers who complained about sharing facilities with dirty, uncivilized and sickly blacks. Some blacks complained about discrimination. Train officials were ordered to separate whites and blacks whenever possible. In both colonies parliament approved motions for more effective racial segregation on trains. Passengers were therefore to a certain extent accustomed to segregation when stricter measures, of Transvaal origin, were applied after Union in 1910. Rassevermenging op treine en spoorwegstasies het vir die eerste keer openbare ongerust-heid in Natal in die 1880s en in die Kaap in die volgende dekade opgewek. In albei kolonies was daar blanke passasiers wat gekla het dat hulle fasiliteite met vuil, onbeskaafde en sieklike swartes moet deel. Sommige swartes het oor diskriminasie gekla. Treinbeamptes is aangesê om blankes en swartes wanneer moontlik van mekaar te skei. In albei kolonies het die parlement mosies vir meer doeltreffende rasseskeiding op treine goedgekeur. Passasiers was dus in 'n mate gewoond aan segregasie toe strenger maatreels afkomstig van die Transvaal na Uniewording in 1910 toegepas is.
Author W.A. StalsSource: Historia 34, pp 58 –82 (1989)More Less
The statutory recognition of Native Law during the British Administration of the Transvaal, 1877-1881. Although the South African Republic had recognized native law in certain respects before the annexation of the Republic in 1877, the British administration of the Transvaal felt that no statutory recognition of native law existed and that the blacks should be governed in terms of the laws of the Republic in accordance with Roman Dutch Law or common law. In order to bring about a change in this regard Sir Theophi1us Shepstone, the administrator of Transvaal, set in motion attempts in May 1877 to make provision for a judicial system according to which blacks would be governed in accordance with their own laws and customs. However, because of a lack of the necessary 1egis1atsive authority, nothing could be achieved in this connection. In these circumstances and without statutory recognition having been given to native law, H.C. Shepstone, the Secretary for Native Affairs in Transvaal, introduced a number of measures in terms of which civil cases between blacks would be heard according to native law. In June 1880 the Native Administration Law was approved by the ugis1ative Council which gave statutory recognition to native law. As this law had to be reserved for the approval of the Crown before it could be proclaimed and also because of neglectful handling, the Native Administration Law was only proclaimed as Law No. 11 of 1881 in July 1881.
Author Estelle E. PretoriusSource: Historia 34, pp 83 –93 (1989)More Less
War correspondence of Jan Floris van der Wateren, 1900-1902. During the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) thousands of burghers from the Boer Republics were kept as prisoners of war by the British government. Jan Floris van der Wateren was separated for 32 months from his wife who was in Pretoria and during this time they corresponded regularly. The collection of 36 letters that he wrote to his wife provides interesting information about, amongst other things, his experiences on commando, the battles and the problems the burghers had to face, and Floris's life on St Helena as prisoner of war, until his return in October 1902. This collection provides a valuable source of information on a significant period in the history of the Afrikaner at the turn of the century.
n Broederskap van selfopoffering en diens? : verhoudinge tussen die burgers op kommando gedurende die Anglo-Boereoorlog van 1899-1902Author Fransjohan PretoriusSource: Historia 34, pp 94 –107 (1989)More Less
A ""brotherhood of self sacrifice and service""? Interrelations on commando during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. During the Anglo-Boer War of1899-l902 the burghers on commando were obliged to be in one another's company for more than two and a half years. Despite the traditional individuality of the burgher, a strong bond and a feeling of togetherness came into being on commando because of the war conditions. Together they cherished the same ideals of self-preservation and independence. The unit in which this collaboration occurred particularly, was the corporalship which was made up of twelve to eighteen men and which was sometimes divided into two or three sections. Within this corporalship or section the burghers often grouped themselves into twos as so-called buddies. A willingness to share within sections or groups was to many, a way of life. And yet in most cases there was an unwillingness to admit a stranger, who would draw from their resources, into the section. Although only males between sixteen and sixty years of age were liable for military service, there were a number of boys younger than sixteen and men older than sixty on commando. Boys, who were too young to handle a rifle, had to look after the livestock or the horses. The men over sixty had a tough time in the veld. The older burghers often treated the young with a self-sufficient patriarchism, while the latter usually treated the older men with respect. Relations between the Free Staters and Transvalers on commando depended on the situation and were not experienced the same way by all burghers. Those inspired by nationalism regarded themselves from the outset as one nation. Military setbacks like the surrender of General P .A. Cronje were, however, a blow to the good relations. After the British occupation of Pretoria in June 1900 the relationship improved, partly because of the realization amongst the 'bittereinders' that they were fighting for a common cause.