Emigration and the Erasmus family of Bruintjieshoogte. Among the earliest reports on specific families preparing to emigrate was one on the Erasmus family of the Bruintjieshoogte ward in the Somerset district. Questions relating to the origin, nature and scope of the emigrating idea are dealt with in relation to that early report. Also dealt with are the approximate numbers of Erasmuses who became Voortrekkers, and from which parts of the Cape Colony they emigrated.
Seen against the background of the enormous sums which were spent on harbour development in Natal in die nineteenth century, it is hardly surprising that Port Natal harbour became an important issue in local politics, especially also as a result of the role of the politician Harry Escombe. Escombe had been chairman of the Harbour Board since its inception in 1881 and this placed him in a unique position in Natal as the Board was seen by colonists as a medium by which they could show their independence from the control of Britain and even the Natal government. By 1894, however, the members of the Harbour Board and the public were no longer completely behind Escombe, mainly as a result of his clashes with the harbour engineer, Cathcart Methven. These personality clashes and opposing viewpoints with regard to engineering principles (scour and a lengthening of the north pier, versus dredging and a lengthening of the south pier) led to the harbour playing a definite role in politics. Colonial society was divided into two definite camps. Escombe's personal position and his political standing was closely affected and the harbour issue unquestionably played a role in the fall of the Escombe ministry in 1897.
During the Anglo-Boer War a battle took place near Dwarsvlei in the vicinity of Krugersdorp on 11 July 1900. Here the British 19th Brigade was led by Maj.-Gen. H.L. Smith-Dorrien. The Krugersdorp Commando which laid an ambush for the British were under the command of Field General S.F. Oosthuizen. The action took place from 11:30 till after dark. The greater part of the action revolved around the two British field guns. As a result of heavy Boer fire pouring down upon the crew the guns had to be temporarily abandoned, while subsequent British attempts to bring in the guns. were once more prevented by accurate Boer fire. In an effort to bring in the guns Capt. D.R. Younger was mortally wounded and subsequently died soon after. As a result of their efforts to bring in the guns Capts. W.E. Gordon and Younger were both awarded the Victoria Cross. After dark Gen. Oosthuizen and twenty Boers stormed the guns in an attempt to capture them, but the Boers were stopped dead in their tracks by the heavy fire directed against them from the British. During this attempt Gen. Oosthuizen was heavily wounded, and he died a month later. Although the guns were not captured by the Boers they prevented the British from advancing any further.
The role of the First South African Infantry Division in the first Battle of El Alamein. 1-30 July 1942 The First Battle of El Alamein (1-30 July 1942) was the turning-point in the course of the Second World War in North Africa. Under the command of Gen. C.J.E. Auchinleck, the British Eighth Army finally succeeded in halting the advance of Erwin Rommel, the able German general, to the Suez Canal. Through drastically changing the British battle strategy, Auchinleck prepared the way for Gen. B.L. (Monty) Montgomery's later triumph at the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. Auchinleck's July success was due in no small manner to the stubborn resistance of the Fifth Indian Division, the First South African Division and the Ninth Australian Division. This prevented Rommel from breaking through the Eighth Army's positions between Ruweisat Ridge and the Mediterranean Sea. These battles also emphasized the leadership Quality of Gen. Dan Pienaar and his fellow South African officers.
This article questions whether the common notion that the Second World War was a catalyst for the development of political consciousness amongst African soldiers who had participated in the war is also applicable to the 76 000 black South African soldiers. Changes in soldiers' attitude as well as in that of the government of General J.C. Smuts are investigated, and the nature and duration of these changes are emphasised. Specific reference is made to racial attitudes. Furthermore, the factors inhibiting change are highlighted. Ironically, it seems that both aspects -changes in attitudes as well as a lack thereof -might have given rise to the development of a political consciousness. However, to render any form of political consciousness effective solidarity amongst the participants was imperative. The question is whether any form of solidarity developed amongst these soldiers and, if so, at what level. Finally, an evaluation is made of the above-mentioned factors against the background of changes in the social and economic structures of South Africa -mostly induced by the War -in order to ascertain whether the war experience was indeed a catalyst for the development of political consciousness amongst the black South African soldiers.
The primary reason for the United Party's 1948 General Election defeat had been poor organisation. In order to regain power, therefore, the United Party stressed organisational reform while making expedient adjustments to its paternalistic race policy so as to retain the support of marginal voters. But the United Party's tendency to give ground and yet demand the protection of individual rights and the observance of constitutional guarantees made the Party an easy target for government manipulation. The United Party's task was made even more difficult as a consequence of the Citizenship Act of 1949, which removed potential electoral support from it, and by the National Party's victory in the 1950 parliamentary elections in South-West Africa. Seen against this background the United Party initiative in encouraging the establishment of the War Veterans' Torch Commando in reaching an electoral pact with the Labour Party, and in implementing considerable structural reforms as a result of its informal alliance with financial and mining interests, failed to halt the swing of marginal voters away from it. After the 1953 General Election there was a widespread perception that never again could the opposition electorate be mobilised to mount such a concerted effort. The result was demoralisation and a withdrawal of financial contributions to the United Party.
African philosophy as an academic discipline orginated in the post-war period. Attempts to establish African philosophy as an independent academic discipline must be seen against the background of Western political, economic and cultural domination in Africa. The prevailing colonial attitude regarding Africans as pre-logical human beings helped to stimulate the search for an independent African philosophy. It represents an attempt to devise Africa's own epistemological, ideological and methodological systems, in much the same way that African nationalism and African socialism represented a reaction against foreign political and ideological domination. Those who are engaged in the practice of African philosophy differ in their views concerning the nature and content of this discipline. Some refuse to accept that African philosophy is any different from other philosophical systems. Others are convinced that there is, and should be, a peculiar African element in it. The debate about the autonomy of African philosophy focuses in particular on the ideal of cultural and economic independence in Africa. African philosophy must then be seen in the context to attempt to bring about a ""decolonisation of the mind"" in Africans. This will, it is hoped, lay the foundation for meaningful social and economic change on the continent.