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Volume 61, Issue 2, 2016
Johannesburg’s “model white housing scheme” in the civic social imaginary : the genesis of a white Afrikaner welfarist node, 1933–1937Author Irma du PlessisSource: Historia 61, pp 1 –28 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-8392/2016/v61n2a1More Less
Conceptualised in 1933, the Jan Hofmeyr Improvement Scheme was Johannesburg (and South Africa’s) first subsidised municipal housing development for the white poor. Being a slum clearance intervention, its design was informed by the modernist imaginary of rational city planning and the social reformist aspirations of a “garden city”-style working class housing in metropolitan cities. Linked to Susan Parnell’s seminal work on the crucial connection between slum clearance, council housing provision and racial segregation in Johannesburg, this is a micro-level analysis of the origins and completion of the Jan Hofmeyr scheme and the civic social imaginaries that shaped it. Focusing on the bureaucratic and political sections of the local state in relation to the Public Health Committee (PHC), it is argued that the city’s medical officer of health (MOH), Dr H.L. Milne and Lionel Leveson, a city councillor, each brought a distinctive vision to the project, a vision that was also shaped by civil society organisations. The scheme became important as signifier of the city’s racial modernity. Over the period of its construction, a shift took place in the PHC from bureaucratic concern with housing, linked to sanitation, hygiene, and racial segregation, to the incorporation of a welfarist function at local state level. Soon after completion of this project, the city abandoned sub-economic housing schemes. Socio-politically, the site of the Jan Hofmeyr scheme led to the expansion and consolidation of a white Afrikaner welfare node to the west of the city, with a gradual but sure “whitening out” through forced removals of the broader area. Thus the foundations were laid for the later centrality of the area, and the Jan Hofmeyr township itself, to the Afrikaner Nationalist social imaginary. Efforts to uplift poor and working class white Afrikaners were concentrated here until well into the early 1990s.
A critical analysis of the impact of water on the South African campaign in German South West Africa, 1914-1915Source: Historia 61, pp 29 –53 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-8392/2016/v61n2a2More Less
The South African campaign in German South West Africa (GSWA) during the First World War depended largely on the access, availability and control of all water sources in the operational area. The Union Defence Force (UDF) appreciated the strategic nature of water before the invasion of GSWA in 1914, because it was well known that there were no permanent water sources along the routes of advance into the country. Fears about the possibility of German sabotage and poisoning of the available water remained a constant concern for the South African defence planners throughout the campaign, and adequate water supplies that were fit for both human and animal consumption became a strategic military concern. This meant that the Defence Force had to adopt a number of measures to meet the growing demand for water. Boreholes were sunk across the operational area and in addition, fresh water was transported across the Kalahari Desert by motor vehicles and via shipping from Cape Town. To some extent, the provision of safe drinking water dictated the pace of the South African campaign in GSWA.
A Scandinavian “Magna Charta”? The Scandinavian Corps and the politics of memory in South Africa (1899–1927)Author Christian GerdovSource: Historia 61, pp 54 –78 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-8392/2016/v61n2a3More Less
This article examines how the Scandinavian Corps, which fought on the Boer side for a brief period during the South African War (1899–1902) and participated in the battle of Magersfontein on 11 December 1899, was remembered and commemorated in South Africa from 1899 to 1927. Initially, most of the Scandinavian people resident in South Africa were opposed to the corps, and the erection of a monument in its honour met with little interest among them. However, at the unveiling ceremony of the first monument the memory of the corps resonated with the post-war narrative of brotherhood and unity between Boer and Briton in South Africa. In the 1920s the memory of the corps was revived among Scandinavian people, particularly through the magazine Fram (Forward), and commemorative events were held on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the battle. A new monument was later erected and unveiled in 1927, and the same narrative of brotherhood and reconciliation dominated yet again. Through the memory of the corps, the Scandinavian population legitimised their place in the country and became dedicated South Africans. But as they became fully integrated into white South African society, the memory of the Scandinavian Corps appears to have faded.
“Pulpit power” and the unrelenting voice of Archbishop David Gitari in the democratisation of Kenya, 1986 to 1991Source: Historia 61, pp 79 –100 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-8392/2016/v61n2a4More Less
This article sets out to analyse the role of pulpit preaching in the struggle towards the re-emergence of multi-party democracy in Kenya. It argues that through “pulpit power”, certain clerics, notably David Gitari, Alexander Muge, Henry Okullu and Timothy Njoya, initiated a process of transformation as individual activists at a time when the state had effectively silenced voices that demanded political change. It then moves on to chronicle David Gitari’s sermons as a case in point to demonstrate that his political sermons promoted a culture of defiance in the country and marked the genesis of the so called “second liberation” in Kenya. It relies on archival sources and correspondence material as well as a number of searching in-depth oral interviews.
Hierdie artikel ontleed die rol van preekstoel-prediking in die stryd om ’n veelparty-demokrasie in Kenia te laat herleef. Daar word aangevoer dat, deur “die mag van die preekstoel”, sommige geestelikes, vernaam David Gitari, Alexander Muge, Henry Okullu en Timothy Njoya, as individuele aktiviste ’n proses van verandering teweeggebring het in ’n tyd waarin die staat vir alle praktiese doeleindes daarin geslaag het om stemme wat op politieke verandering aangedring het, stil te maak. Daarop word ’n kroniek van David Gitari se preke gegee om sodoende te wys hoe sy politieke preke ’n kultuur van verset in die land aangewakker het, en die sogenaamde “tweede bevryding” in Kenia ingelui het. Die artikel steun op argivale bronne en korrespondensie, sowel as ’n aantal diepgaande onderhoude.
De Zuid-Afrikaan se kommentaar op vraagstukke rakende bruin en swart mense in die Kaapkolonie tydens die redakteurskap van J.H. Hofmeyr (1871–1883)Author Pieter de KlerkSource: Historia 61, pp 101 –120 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-8392/2016/v61n2a5More Less
In die laat negentiende eeu was Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr (1845–1909) die leidende figuur in die Afrikanerbond, ’n prominente politieke party in die Kaapkolonie wat die belange van die blanke Afrikaanssprekende inwoners bevorder het. Hy was van 1871 tot 1883 ook redakteur van die Nederlandstalige koerant De Zuid-Afrikaan en sy beskouinge oor vraagstukke wat die bruin en swart inwoners van die kolonie raak kom in die redaksionele kolomme na vore. Die blad se standpunt rakende stemreg, militêre diens, arbeid, onderwys en die regeringsbeleid teenoor die swart mense in die oostelike grensgebied van die kolonie word in hierdie artikel bespreek. Om die probleem van arbeidstekorte op te los het Hofmeyr die invoer van werkers uit Indië, China en gebiede aangrensend aan die Kaapkolonie bepleit. Hy het hom aangesluit by die sogenaamde Kaapse liberale tradisie wat betref stemreg en die opname van die inheemse bevolking in die gedeeltelik verwesterste samelewing van die kolonie. In die jare van sy redakteurskap was hy ten gunste daarvan dat ’n groot aantal Europese immigrante asook bruin mense uit die Wes-Kaap in die oostelike dele van die kolonie gevestig word ten einde die proses van verwestersing van die swart inwoners te bespoedig.
In the late nineteenth century J.H. Hofmeyr (1845–1909) was the leading figure in the Afrikaner Bond, a prominent political party in the Cape Colony that promoted the interests of the white Afrikaans-speaking population. During the period 1871 to 1883 he was also editor of the Dutch newspaper, De Zuid-Afrikaan, and his views on issues concerning the coloured and black residents of the colony are reflected in his editorial columns. The viewpoint of the newspaper on the franchise, military service, labour, education and government policy regarding the black inhabitants in the eastern border area of the colony are discussed in this article. As a solution to the problem of the labour shortage, Hofmeyr supported the idea of importing labourers from India, China and areas bordering the Cape Colony. He followed the so-called Cape liberal tradition on issues regarding the franchise and the integration of the indigenous population in the partly Westernised society of the colony. During the years of his editorship he favoured the settlement of large numbers of European immigrants as well as coloured people from the Western Cape in the eastern part of the colony with the aim of accelerating the Westernisation of the black population.
Author Adam CrymbleSource: Historia 61, pp 121 –123 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-8392/2016/v61n2a6More Less
No. Of course not. It’s not water, or oxygen, or the trees. It’s not even crucial to good scholarship. For thousands of years we’ve been making meaningful discoveries about the world without going digital. Do you need the digital history is the wrong question. Even digital history itself is the wrong phrase, because at its core, digital history is symbolic of something else: interdisciplinarity.
Author Jessica MurraySource: Historia 61, pp 124 –126 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-8392/2016/v61n2a7More Less
In African Women: A Historical Panorama, Patricia W. Romero seeks to address what she perceives as a gap in existing scholarship on the history of African women, namely a lack of personalisation and case studies in accounts of women who have made important interventions in the historical narratives of Africa. While recognising the many high quality works by noted historians, Romero introduces her text by expressing her desire to “produce a different type of book” (p ix). This is something she certainly accomplishes because her text deviates somewhat from most historical scholarship in terms of its style and format. Her focus throughout the work is indeed on the women whose personal stories and contributions she wants to bring into sharper relief in academic conversations. As her title suggests, the view she provides on African women is a panoramic one that encompasses pre-colonial, colonial as well as post-colonial African history. The attempt to combine a panoramic overview with a focus on personal stories is a challenging task that Romero has set herself but, I would argue, she manages to produce a text that adds value to our academic understandings of African women’s roles in history.
Author Kalpana HiralalSource: Historia 61, pp 126 –128 (2016)More Less
This recent publication by Duncan L. Du Bois is an interesting and rich account of the history of Natal’s South Coast during colonial times. It is based on Du Bois’s PhD thesis entitled “Sugar and Settlers: The Colonisation of the Natal South Coast, 1850–1910”, which was accepted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2014. Natal’s South Coast during colonial times was known for its cultivation of coffee, cotton and sugar. However, it was the cultivation and production of sugar which promoted the arrival of settlers and the extension of Natal’s southern frontier to the Mtamvuna River.
Land, Chiefs, Mining: South Africa’s North West Province since 1840, Andrew Manson and Bernard MbengaAuthor Chitja TwalaSource: Historia 61, pp 128 –130 (2016)More Less
Interest in the historical dynamics of ethnicity and land ownership in South Africa have been on the rise recently. In the introduction to this work, the authors deal with the importance of the history of the Setswana-speaking population of today’s North West Province of South Africa. They also provide detail on the location of the province and show that the territory offers a number of unique features, including its important mining industry. The authors have in the past published scholarly work on the Batswana and their history. In this publication, they continue in the same vein by highlighting some of the neglected aspects of Batswana history. The information is drawn from unpublished material and the existing literature compiled by both researchers. It attempts to fill the gaps that exist in our understanding of the history of African people in the region, especially in the twentieth century. Excluding the introduction and the conclusion, the book is divided into seven chapters which are chronologically and thematically linked to one another.
Author Wouter de WetSource: Historia 61, pp 131 –132 (2016)More Less
Donker Stroom is ŉ aangrypende stuk werk. Carel van der Merwe vertel die fassinerende verhaal van Eugène Marais se lewe voor, tydens en na die Anglo-Boereoorlog wat tot nou toe onbekend was. Die implikasie hiervan is dat daar nou nuwe insigte oor die enigmatiese Marais bekom is. Hy was nie slegs die digter, koerantman, natuurwetenskaplike en Afrikaner held waarvoor hy vandag nog bekend is nie. Sy doen en late in die tydperk 1887–1907 wys dat hy ŉ groter rol gespeel het in die vorming van Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis, en dié van gebeure rondom die Anglo-Boereoorlog spesifiek, as wat ons tot nou toe gedink het.
Source: Historia 61, pp 133 –135 (2016)More Less
The South African helicopter-borne assault on Ongulumbashe in August 1966, a known South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) base in the north of the then South West Africa, signalled the beginning of the so-called South African “Border War”. The conflict lasted for roughly 24 years until 1989. The South African Defence Force (SADF) and the South African Police (SAP) were involved in counterinsurgency operations in South West Africa from the 1960s when SWAPO categorically decided to use force in its quest to gain the independence of Namibia. The SADF, under the auspices of Operation Bombay, also assisted the Portuguese government in Angola during its counterinsurgency campaign against the various nationalist movements within the territory. These were the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). The general security situation in southern Africa changed drastically in 1974 following the overthrow of the Portuguese government during April of that year. Angola gained its independence from Portugal in November 1975, and the MPLA assumed leadership of the country despite an ongoing civil war. The South African government sought to deliver a crushing blow to both SWAPO and the MPLA by intervening in the Angolan civil war.
Author David KatzSource: Historia 61, pp 136 –139 (2016)More Less
As the Crow Flies is the latest in a spate of Border War books to hit the shelves and, no doubt, will be devoured by an ever growing and appreciative audience. The authors of these books put pen to paper for a complex set of reasons. Some do so to come to terms with a difficult and harrowing period of their lives. Others do it to “set the record straight” and give meaning to the sacrifices which they and their comrades made on behalf of a government that was the pariah of the world. Yet others, do so to provide a record of their service for posterity. The events that took place in the Border War were often seminal in the lives of the participants. Sometimes the narratives they produce are confessional, but more often, they are used to justify their actions in a brutal war. Delville Linford and many others of his time see themselves as honourable, apolitical soldiers, fighting for the government of the day.
Author Chris SaundersSource: Historia 61, pp 139 –141 (2016)More Less
Although a brief, but perceptive biography of Dirk Mudge, based on considerable research, appeared in Afrikaans in 1999, it was good to hear that Mudge, the most important internal leader in the process leading to Namibia’s independence, had followed other Namibian politicians and written his memoirs. First published in Afrikaans in 2015, these now appear in an English translation, with a Preface by Piet Croucamp. Though some of his Preface makes no sense, one can agree with Croucamp that Mudge “contributed more than most to leading those on the inside into a brave new world called democracy” (p 15). Unfortunately, All the Way to an Independent Namibia badly needed an editor to eliminate repetition and confusion and improve Mudge’s highly descriptive, often rambling style. In his account of his life, which he interweaves with potted history, he includes material from motions, debates and speeches, often quoting them and making some chapters almost unreadable.
The Politics of Heritage in Africa: Economies, Histories, and Infrastructures, Derek R. Peterson, Kodzo Gavua and Ciraj Rassool (Eds.)Author Barend van der MerweSource: Historia 61, pp 141 –143 (2016)More Less
In a manner reminiscent of some applied sciences, the discipline of Heritage Studies took off with its back against the wall. Whereas History left a long established record in its trail, with historians having practised their craft since ancient times, Heritage Studies is a latecomer to academic study. As such, ignorance on the role of Heritage Studies abounds. In a 2005 publication, the historian, R.W. Johnson, considered the discipline of Heritage Studies as a child of the post-1994 South African dispensation when, according to him “a strange new bastard subject was born, Heritage Studies, whose content suggested it was mainly useful for training tourist guides”.
Author Bianca NaudeSource: Historia 61, pp 144 –146 (2016)More Less
This book by two well-respected South African journalists is, in many ways, a coming-of-age retelling of an intricate and unexpected journey through a continent that is itself experiencing some growing pains. A write-up of a project that spans nine years and 10 countries (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Central African Republic) this “biography” of an adolescent Africa has evidently battled through a number of existential crises before taking on the form that is presented to the reader in this publication almost a decade after its inception. Told with all the verve that one would expect of travel-writing, the authors invite the reader to join a confounding trip through a continent that is as much at odds with itself and its guests, as it is with the rest of the world. Yet, these identity crises – documented and preserved in this collection of stories, anecdotes and conversations that say more on one page than many academic theses – are also the book’s greatest contribution to an ever-expanding body of literature on Africa and its contested potential for growth in the near future.
Source: Historia 61, pp 147 –148 (2016)More Less
The Historical Association of South Africa (HASA) invites Heads of Department to nominate their top third year student for the Johan Bergh Historia Award. This award is in recognition of Prof Johan Bergh, who was president of HASA for over two decades, and is in line with his on-going commitment to promote History at postgraduate level. The winners will receive a year’s subscription to Historia and their names will be announced in the first issue of Historia in the subsequent year.
Die Historiese Genootskap van Suid-Afrika (HGSA) nooi departementshoofde uit om hul top derdejaarstudent te benoem vir die Johan Bergh Historia toekenning. Hierdie toekenning is ter ere aan Prof Johan Bergh, wat vir meer as twee dekades as die voorsitter van die HGSA gedien het, en is in ooreenstemming met sy deurlopende toewyding om Geskiedenis op nagraadse vlak te bevorder. Die wenners sal ’n jaar se intekening op Historia wen en hulle name sal in die eerste uitgawe van Historia in die daaropvolgende jaar gepubliseer word.