Many years ago Professor Schüller and Prof Hanekom in the Antropology Department at Stellenbosch University were at pains to impress on their students just how the settlement processes of the Peoples of Africa occurred.
Fredo remembers a handbook – The Peoples of Africa – which was part of our reading material – a big fat one – and we had to read it. That was long before the Europeans arrived on the continent and long before the peoples of Africa were shipped in miserable ships little ships to be sold as slaves in America. Yes, Mr Trump – the peoples of Africa made a huge contribution to the building of your country.
The efforts of our two Stellenbosch Professors came to mind when Fredo tried to digest the political debate of the past week in South Africa. It is particularly the statements in our parliament that South Africa’s land was stolen from the Black people by those who settled here. These ridiculous statements are made to justify the expropriation of land without compensation to satisfy black voters ahead of next year’s elections – which they all so desperately want to win. That they do this obviously risking the relations between our country’s citizens if unforgiving.
Let’s say upfront that Fredo generally dislikes politicians – have always done so and particularly these days after they allowed the looting of our country.
The fact is that, at least initially and for considerable time thereafter, when Europeans settled in the Western and Southern parts of South Africa, they DID NOT take the land from any Black people. Black people simply did not live in the Western and Southern parts of South Africa.
If there are any land claims in this area – the Southern and Western Parts of South Africa – it may be that the Khoi-Khoi would need to be compensated by the white people. The Blacks do not have any claim here in those deep historical terms.
Schüller and Hanekom pointed to research that proofed that the black tribes of Africa migrated down the East Coast of Africa as tribal wars and down-right genocide amongst themselves drove them further south. They finally reached what is today described as the Transkei and internal areas which would later be called part of the Free State and Lesotho.
The Khoi-Khoi were herders who, according to the new South Africa history written by researchers Hermann Giliomee and Bernard Mbenga, first settled in what is now Botswana and later moved into the Western and Southern parts of South Africa. They integrated with the San people, who were hunters.
These were the people the Europeans encountered when they first arrived at the Cape. In fact, the popular notion is that the first time a white and a black man ever met each other was near the Fish River in the Eastern Cape – when both went out to gather food for their families.
It is speculation – but one could say that it was something both of them did not expect and that they both departed in opposite directors – rather quickly.
So if the learned politicians – including the President – want to become better informed, they should study Peoples of Africa and perhaps our newly completed account of history in South Africa. They will see the map!