Gabriel P Louw
Research Associate, Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa (Author and Researcher: Health, History and Politics).
Prof. Dr. GP Louw; MA (UNISA), PhD (PU for CHE), DPhil (PU for CHE), PhD (NWU)
Keywords: Age-old custom, colonist, frontiersman, humanity, impoverishment, indigenous people, land grabbing, landless, land ownership, land redistribution, political history, radicalism, terrorism, unemployment
Ensovoort, volume 38 (2018), number 12: 1
So Joshua conquered the entire land – the hill country, the Negeb, the land of Goshen, the lowlands, the Arabah, and the hills and the lowlands of Israel. The Israeli territory now extended all the way from Mount Halak, near Seir, to Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon, at the foot of Mount Hermon.1
All the loot and cattle of the ravaged cities were taken by the Israelis for themselves, but they killed all the people. For so the Lord had commanded his disciple Moses; and Moses had passed the commandment on to Joshua, who did as he had been told: he carefully obeyed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses.1
So Joshua took the entire land just as the Lord had instructed Moses; and he gave it to the people of Israel as their inheritance, dividing the land among the tribes. So the land finally rested from its war.1
The Jews became colonists, and with time indigenous colonists, and at last indigenous people to a part of Palestine and of today’s Jewish nation-state of Israel. The Western and Christian world believe this as the truth and the only truth, and acknowledge today these Jews as indigenous people of Israel and as true and rightful owners to it. The fake stories of the Jewish past became the grandparents of the fake news of today’s Israel and Israelis.
When one reads Old Israel’s political and biblical history, it is striking how similar South African political history reads. Only the geography, regional names, the names of leaders, participating tribes and historical periods are different. These histories boast the same radical ideologies on racism, cultural dogmas, doctrines, religious blindness and murderous intentions. The Jews of the Old Testament perpetrated violence tantamount to a rape of humanity, shedding the blood of the innocent. It did not matter if the victims were men, women and children in their own homeland. Their actions were justified as a divine command. Today these murderous biblical acts of ethnic and racial cleansing and land grabbing would be classified as psychopathic and mentally disturbed behaviour on the part of political and religious leaders.1,2
In South African history, we see this abnormality in the murderous sprees of Shaka [Chaka], the King of the Zulus, during the Mfecane and Lifaqane wars. He not only murdered the warriors of the many Black tribes he conquered and whose land and cattle he stolen, but also the women and children of these tribes, just like Joshua. We also see it in the history of the early Afrikaners, the White frontiersmen. They murdered the KhoiSan and captured their women and children to keep as slaves in their hunger for land, money and political power in the early Cape. We see this abnormality in the genocide of Boer women and children during the Anglo Boer War (1899–1902) under Alfred Milner. His British Empire had an insatiable hunger for self-enrichment, political power and control of the land in South Africa.2,3
What stands out here is land ownership and physically taking land with war, killing and murder. These killings and murderous acts always lead to a vicious cycle of more wars; killing and murder ensure “legal” land ownership through land occupation and forced land transfer. This land transfer is simply land grabbing. Other direct outcomes of the efforts to maintain power and ownership include the development of exclusive political and economic government models, like racial domination. The Grand Apartheid of the Afrikaners and the European supremacy of the British through their Empire serve as examples.2 Enclosed here stands the distortion of history, leading to each group embracing a “fake story”.
The fake stories of the South African Blacks and South African Whites gave birth to the fake stories and fake news that dominate the relationship between South African Blacks and Whites.
The main aim of this project of seven articles is to examine the land redistribution debacle harrying South Africa now in the light of the country’s history of land grabbing as an age-old custom. The article series offers a perspective on the current troubled political state of South Africa and the possible future awaiting the country if the envisaged land redistribution fails.
The aim of this first article is to evaluate and describe land ownership in the period 1652 to 2018 by considering the following:
- Who pass as indigenous peoples, colonists and indigenous colonists?
- Legal indigenous land ownership versus predatory land ownership
- The role and influence of the land terrorism and land grabbing in South Africa’s past
The evaluations and descriptions outlined above are contained in the Results and Discussion sections (Sections 3 and 4).
The research was been done by means of a literature review. This method aims to construct a viewpoint from the available evidence as the research develops. This approach is been used in modern political-historical research where there is often not an established body of research, as is the case with ownership of South African soil for the period 1652 to 2018. The sources included articles from 2016 to 2018, books for the period 1944 to 2018 and newspapers for the period 2016 to 2018. These sources were been consulted to evaluate and to describe past and present land ownership in South Africa. This would put the different thoughts, views and opinions on land grabbing as an age-old custom in South Africa into perspective by identifying indigenous and colonial people; indigenous, legal and predatory land ownership; and the role and impact of land terrorism and land grabbing in the past of South Africa.4-6
The research findings are presented in narrative format.
3. Results and discussion
3.1 Land ownership obtained by means of modern terrorism in South Africa
Land ownership has always been problematic in South Africa. Problems started when the early proto-Afrikaners, supported by the VOC at the Cape, drove the KhoiKhoi off their traditional land in the Liesbeeck Valley (Western Cape) during the KhoiKhoi War (1658–1660).2,7 Geen7 describes it as the first commissioning of White terrorism perpetrated on non-Whites in South Africa in the form of planned land grabbing. This early White terrorism meets all the requirements of the current British definition of terrorism, which reads8:9:
- Violence against a person or serious damage to property;
- Designed to influence a government or an international organization or to intimidate the public or a section of the public with the aim of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.
It is politically-historically correct to describe the moment that Jan van Riebeeck planted the VOC-flag at the Cape in 1652 to establish the Cape Refreshment Station as the first land grabbing by Whites in South Africa. However, generally speaking, land grabbing in South Africa goes further back to the southwards migrating fore fathers of the modern Black South Africans. They ousted the KhoiSan and KhoiKhoi from their South African territories, which these tribes in turn possibly grabbed from earlier unknown inhabitants.2,7,9
It is interesting that in South African land ownership is been established along the same route as that of land ownership in the time of Joshua’s Old Israel (land/property being stolen from inhabitants, who in turn settled there by stealing it from another group by means of terrorism). The recently established (1948) new democratic Jewish state of today looks similar. Kaari Ward10 writes as follows on this type of land ownership during Joshua’s time10:101:
Land ownership, was a matter of family inheritance. In Scripture, the tradition can be traced back more than 1,000 years to when Joshua distributed the lands of the newly conquered Canaan among the tribes of Israel according to God’s plan. Ownership was supposed to pass in an unbroken line down through the generations, from father to sons, the eldest receiving double the share of any of his brothers. As the younger sons usually received shares too small to sustain independent farms, they had little choice but to shell their inheritance to the principal heir, who was thus able to keep the ancestral family farm intact. The then landless younger sons might remain in the village, taking up a trade or working as farm labourers for their brother, or they might leave the village to join the large numbers of migrant workers who found casual labour where they could, or they might even resort to becoming brigands. If a landowner died, leaving no sons, the property went to his daughter or if he had no daughter to his brothers, uncles, or nearest relative.
The above ownership of land (of the land obtained by their ancestors through land grabbing), that is passed on to the ordinary Jew through inheritance, has changed dramatically. The Jewish political environment and the country’s executive political leadership were been taken over by powerful foreigners (colonists) and rich and politically untouchable Jewish groups (indigenous colonists). Land ownership changed during the Roman occupation and rule. The Romans favoured Jewish civil and religious elites. This left many of the ordinary Jews landless as peasants and labourers, living in poverty. The same metamorphosis is apparent when one looks at South African history. Early Afrikaners (colonists) and later Afrikaners (indigenous colonists) experienced a growth in their land ownership and riches as result of land grabbing from non-Whites. This left most of these non-Whites (indigenous colonists) landless and poor, and that state of affairs lasted up to today.1,2,3,7,9 Ward comments as follows on the Jewish experience10:100:
…in some parts of Palestine, the best properties at this time were in the hands of a relatively few landowners – mainly Rome’s rulers, the Herodian family, and the priestly aristocracy. In these places, the farmers working the land might have been tenants or even slaves.
South Africa currently has to balance two strong opposing views on land ownership at present. There is a clear division between those who favour land transfer and -redistribution with compensation on the one hand, and those in favour of land grabbing without compensation on the other. This mostly Black-versus-White issue started in 1652 and results in a daily growth in hostility. In this context is it the landless Blacks, mostly unemployed and impoverished, who are standing up against what they see as South Africa’s modern “Rome’s rulers, the Herodian family, and the priestly aristocracy” of Whites”; the people who are also still the land owners of the country. The developmental economist Jason Musyoka11 emphasises that the South African land reform issue has become more than a showdown between Blacks and Whites. It is now a fight between two types of South African localized nationalisms – one progressive and the other conservative. The basis of the conflict centres on whether the Blacks or the Whites are the rightful franchisees of the South African land. Musyoka11 classifies the two opposing role-players, each representing various subgroups, as follows11:18:
The progressives (or left-wingers) consist of the Nationalist left (the EFF), the social democratic left (the ANC and alliance partners), and solidarity groups such as the Black Management Forum, and others. The conservative nationalists (right-wingers) range from the centre-right DA, agriculture-based associations – most of which represent the interests of White commercial farmers – to far-right groups as the Freedom Front Plus and solidarity groups such as AfriForum.
The support of the progressives mostly comes from the poor masses of blue-collar workers and the untrained rural population. The conservatives are more representative of the minority richer classes and the financial sector, with a strong foundation in the global economy. Although there is undoubtedly a clear Black-versus-White inclination here, Musyoka11 emphasises that there is a crossing of Blacks and Whites to both sides of the dispute over land ownership, making it a critical issue that should be addressed urgently.11,12
The fact that more than 24 years have passed since 1994 without land ownership having been addressed in a balanced and just manner, draws attention to the failure of the new democracy to serve the individual citizen. This failure equally pertains to farmland and plots for housing in urban areas near the financial hubs. The poor landless and unemployed Black population attribute (rightly so) much of their misfortune to Grand apartheid and the years of White political domination. However, the failure of the ANC regime to address land reform constructively in the course of their 24 years of reign is also prominent8.12-14 Land ownership is becoming a political stew pot. Musyoka11 in this regard warns11: 18:
South Africa’s land reform is therefore no longer an innocent national conversation. Rightly so, given that two decades have passed since the country became a democracy, and South Africa’s half-a-generation-old miracle moment is well in the rear-view mirror. It would be naïve, therefore, to imagine that the outcome of land reform is a fait accompli simply based on public utterances and intentions from either the right or the left.
Worse still, Zimbabwe bungled its land reform process, thereby becoming the rulebook of what expropriation of land without compensation in South Africa might look like.
On this basis, even if the South African government follows a different methodology, it is difficult to imagine any different outcome. Zimbabwe’s nationalism blunder has become the reference point for the nationalist right in South Africa.
Like language and culture, while land is a national asset, it reflects a struggle for nationalism – and these have been unkind to the history of the last century. The nationalisms of the 20th century are howling from the other side of the grave, and South Africa’s current land debate is answering their call with enthusiasm.
3.2 “Uhuru” has arrived in South Africa at last
Musyoka’s description11 of the present-day conflict surrounding land ownership is excellent. His precise rendition shows that land ownership far more than a general, one-sided emotional debate. Uhuru has arrived in South Africa at last, although sixty years too late. Musyoka’s11 emphasis that land is a national asset is clearly meant as a wake-up call to the predominantly White farmer class and many ordinary Afrikaners who argue (and seem to genuinely believe) that land ownership is (and always was) the exclusive right of a certain group. Musyoka points out that it is a right to all South Africans, a national asset, not a personal asset. Any occupation of land sealed by a deed of conveyance for the purpose of improving the land and making a living from it is always a temporary right of care of the state’s assets, nothing more. South Africa’s political history from 1652 reflects this well. Land ownership changed involuntary from the KhoiSan and KhoiKhoi to the migrant Black tribes from North Africa and later to the colonial White frontiersmen (early Afrikaners) who came from Europe and moved north from Cape Town. The ownership of the Black tribes in northern South Africa changed to the White frontiersmen (Trekboers and later Voortrekkers). This chain of tragic South African events confirms the vicious cycle of war, bloodshed and terrorism, built on a foundation of ethnicity and racism.2,7
The envisaged process of Black occupation of White farmland and other land – land that Whites obtained from the KhoiSan, KhoiKhoi and Black tribes by means of force from 1652 onwards – is therefore a normal and unavoidable process in the post-1994 South Africa. The decisions on whether land reform should be with or without compensation clearly do not constitute a first autocratic act as portrayed by especially White landowners. It is a democratic act based on majority consultation and decision. This process of majority consultation and decision-making on the country’s interests is a principle that the Afrikaners endorsed when they transferred their political power in 1994. They cannot deny this reality or try to obstruct it with all kinds of foolish arguments and actions.2
It does not really matter how the process of land transfer takes place. Whether it is a Zimbabwe-style act of violence or a democratic process without conflict or bloodletting, it will happen, perhaps as soon as this year given the ANC’s clamouring for votes in the 2019 elections. There is very little difference in the thought process at the foundation of land occupation by the VOC, the British, the Boers, the apartheid government and Robert Mugabe. All these instances are overshadow by a lengthy history of murder, genocide, injustice, impoverishment and suppression of the previous landowners who had lost their land to outside intruders and conquerors through multiple atrocities. What is different in South Africa is that many White citizens have erased knowledge of the cruel and unjust political history of land grabbing from 1652 to 1994. They have selective amnesia, brought on by a political history that deceived them to perceive themselves as good. White Christian capitalism is central to this skewed perception, although Christian principles always came in second to the Afrikaner drive for self-enrichment at the cost of non-White South Africans.2
3.3 The Herodotus Rules as predictors of South Africa’s current land dispute
The current uncertainty on land ownership is been saw as the curse of revenge and counter-revenge. This mechanism is not only apparent from the teachings of the Old Testament, but also of the Greek historian Herodotus. This is undoubtedly belief systems that the Afrikaners and the Blacks have embodied from early on. Land transfer, radical economic transformation (RET) and radical social transformation (RST) is an inevitability awaiting the Whites in South Africa if one views it in the context of revenge. The Herodotus Rules were been formulated more than 2 500 years ago as a guideline for good governance. The goal is respect for other persons in governing, no matter their race, religion or status. Herodotus reasoned that any ruler (or ruling group) should adhere to six rules to stay in power and to lead a long and happy life as a ruler. The rules are meant to ensure that when a group is no longer in charge, there would not be reprisals and retaliation from aggrieved subordinates or conquered groups and their descendants.2,15,16
The six rules that a good ruler should underwrite, practice and respect are2:
- Always act with fairness and wisdom towards your subjects;
- Empower each individual politically, legally, socially, and economically;
- Do not favour or put certain individuals or yourself above others;
- Act with self-control at all times;
- Do not be self-enriching at the expense of your subjects, and
- Given the power of a ruler, avoid and be free of power mismanagement and emotional and physical exploitation, abuse and misuse of your subjects.
The above six basic rules provide an excellent explanation of the deep-seated views among Blacks about racism and its accompanying land grabbing by the Afrikaners. One of the revenges is grabbing land “back” from Whites, a sentiment fuelled by the EFF and other radical Black politicians. The current hostility of some Blacks towards Whites, especially Afrikaners, and their rejection of Afrikaners as an indigenous tribe is a predictable political, psychological and pathological response within the framework of the Herodotus philosophy. It makes a dramatic land redistribution policy and programme inevitable. It will happen and Whites must enter the process less rigidly and address the situation constructively.15-17
3.4 The shortcomings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) with respect to addressing land ownership
The TRC’s main aim was to bring reconciliation between Afrikaners and Blacks with respect to apartheid crimes, a task that they mastered to a certain extent. Criminal prosecutions and civil action against the culprits of apartheid are the primary tasks of the NPA and of course the ANC regime itself.18
South Africa’s complexity of politics, racism, discrimination, Black and White colonialism and need for Black empowerment asks for more than the emotional catharses of forgiveness for politically and morally reprehensible behaviour by individuals and groups that characterized the TRC proceedings. The TRC left many Black persons not only with unsolved personal, emotional and psychological issues, but also with enormous financial difficulties rooted in the racial discrimination that began in 1652. Most of these issues are exacerbated by landlessness, either for farming or for housing.3,18-20
The ANC is now emphasising the rectification of apartheid wrongdoings and the role Afrikaners played in the previous regime. Other Black factions are joining in to mobilise the poor as voters, using false rhetoric to reclaim land that has never really been the land of the Blacks. A kind of Land Reconciliation Commission (LRC) seems needed. A Poverty Obliteration Commission is needed.
There has indeed not been any real legal, civil and financial transformation and correction in the form of criminal prosecutions of apartheid leaders and their immediate accomplices after 1994. The TRC could not rectify wrongdoings, like the land grabbing of Black land during apartheid. There has been no organised effort by the ANC regime to repossess the properties and assets of the Whites who benefited or to compensate those who lost their land or the land of their fore fathers.3,18-22
Many of the poor, landless and jobless Blacks of yesterday are still waiting for a restitution process that would do them justice at last. Many are of the opinion that grabbing White property, land and assets, a more radical BEE, and reducing government protection of the rights of Whites, is an unavoidable process that must start soon.3,15,21-21,30-32,35-36
However, at the centre of South African legal land ownership is the question of who should be regard as a colonist and who should be see as an indigenous person who could claim. Emotional and political rhetoric and opinions became intertwine; overshadowing logical, historical and legal reasoning. Whites are been regarded as the sole thieves of South African land and as unwelcome and uninvited settlers. South African land is seen always having belonged to Blacks; arguments that are not always true representations of the facts.29-35
3.5 The failure the National Prosecution Authority to start land reform
The envisaged efforts by the NPA to prosecute individuals for apartheid crimes (which includes the possibility of compensating the victims by repossessing properties and assets if found guilty), are too late and will surely involve only a few prosecutions. This is a task which should have started in 1994; most of the NP culprits are deceased or have left the country. Only a programme of immediate, dramatic and fast land reform would solve the “long outstanding land-reforming issue” to which Musyoka11 refers. He sees it as a “crucial issue” that can address the NPA’s failure to start some form of redistribution in 1994. This suggestion is the wish of many wronged Black persons who are still living in dire financial situations on White farms, caught in abject poverty and economic deprivation. The present post-1994 political dispensation offers these unfortunate citizens no hope of escaping poverty or becoming farmers or homeowners. Essentially, their lives are very similar to the pre-1994 political setup. Land redistribution is the only solution to get them out of this hole. Anyone who sees the failed land reform policy introduced in 1994 as a fait accompli is underestimating this troublesome matter. Terrible violence is waiting if the matter is not successfully settled.11
The South African government and its justice system failed the Blacks in terms of addressing their loss of land over many years as Whites grabbed land without compensation. Land ownership should be immediately after 1994 be addressed, but the political system was manipulated and inefficient. Had this matter been settled, there would have been better reconciliation between White and Black, instead of the present ongoing uncertainty and fighting around land ownership (which is becoming more and more racially laden).18,20,36
3.6 The failure of the ANC to offer a sound programme of land redistribution from 1994
It is important to understand why land redistribution is now only after 24 years of democracy and Black rule addressed. The ANC regime’s failure to create an LRC in 1994 was not due to a lack of political will, but rather a lack of political power (which includes military). It is important to note the nationalist Afrikaners under their NP leadership was well armed in 1994. Any provocative action, like the large-scale prosecution of the political and military leaders, or redistribution of land, assets and property of the nationalist Afrikaners would been seen as a threat to the Afrikaner’s immediate safety and rights. It would have triggered a White military intervention that could have thwarted the transfer of power to the Blacks. The late Nelson Mandela and his counsellors knew this well and took the wise route of not prosecuting the NP-regime and its elite immediately after 1994.2,15,21,22,37-42
The further failure of the ANC to correct the imbalance in land ownership later on between 1994 and 2018 when the ANC had the political and military power is not a strange case of political failure. The constant manipulative efforts of Whites to de-empower Blacks – politically, socially and economically – are cemented in South Africa’s political history. This manipulation began in 1652 and involved brute force from 1853 up to 1994. It is a still present in South Africa’s political dynamics; planned, steered and dominated by the country’s mighty business bullies and their political associates. At moment, it takes the form of well-organized opposition to any form of land redistribution.43
This outcome of a disempowered Black populace – politically, socially and economically – are traced in more detail below to show why 2018 brings with it an awakening from political passivity, leading to an overemphasis on land redistribution.
3.7 The sidelining of Blacks from politics and land ownership from 1853 to 1994
3.7.1 The Cape Constitution of 1853, Constitution Ordinance Amendment Act of 1872 of the Cape Colony and the Union of South Africa of 1910
The Cape became in 1853 a colony of the British Crown. The Queen instituted in the same year a parliament in terms of the Cape Constitution of 1853.7,9,46- 48
This first Parliament (1854–1858)7:81-82 gave the vote to all British adult male subjects who earned at least ₤50 a year or who had occupied a property with a minimum rental value of ₤25 per annum for at least a year. This Act was been applied to its logical conclusion with Ordinance 50 that prohibited any discrimination on the grounds of race or class. This created a non-racial qualified franchise. The same qualifications for suffrage applied equally to all males, regardless of race. However, the impoverished non-Whites experienced what Geen7 refers to as the so-called “liberal franchise” awarded to British subjects as discriminatory. The Cape Constitution of 1853 used wealth as a selection criteria to deny non-Whites their right to political decision-making, including their right to vote on matters related to land ownership. The Blacks found themselves in a situation of declining political power and the matter of land ownership that had been contentious from 1652, became the worst it had ever been.7,9,46- 48
Eighteen years later the Constitution Ordinance Amendment Act of 1872 upheld the non-racial nature of the Cape Constitution of 1853 as a core value. The universal qualification for suffrage of ₤25 was seen low enough to ensure that most owners of any form of property or land could vote. The political position improved for Blacks, seeing that their economical welfare was much better than in 1853, while the franchise requirements of 1953 had not been amended.7,9,48 This improvement in the financial position of Blacks led to the registration of large numbers of new rural Xhosas voters on the frontier on the grounds of communal land ownership. Geen’s7 “liberal franchise” was quickly becoming a “Black danger” for the Whites with respect to political, social and economic power because of the growing political self-empowerment of the new Black voters. The Cape Whites mobilised to limit the liberal policy on Black political rights propagated from London to keep Blacks from gaining a possible majority at the Cape. Such a majority would have had a great impact on the government and land possession.7,9,48
The Whites’ political manipulation to de-empower Blacks with the 1886 adjustment of voting qualifications was to counter the possible influx of Black voters as result of the annexation of British Kaffraria in 1865. When the Transkei territories were been incorporated into the Cape Colony, bringing more potential Black voters, the White parliament enacted a bill that disqualified Black voters specifically. It read7:86: “No person [could] be deemed to be a registered voter by reason of holding land on tribal or communal tenure”. There was already a differentiation between “Coloured non-Whites” and “Black non-Whites” in 1886, showing the worsening political situation of Blacks when it came to human rights, equality and unrestricted rights to land ownership in South Africa, then the Cape Colony. The “Coloured people” had a slightly better deal when it came to voting, but they were in truth also being kept out to ensure White power.7,9,46,48-50
The above discriminatory changes of 1886 were been upheld when the franchise laws were amended in 1892 during the premiership of Cecil Rhodes. Geen7 reports that this had to 7:86: “prevent the ‘blanket’ Kaffirs of the Transkeian territories from the right of voting”. They had to be cut out of White and Colonial politics.7,46,49
The law was been amended in 1892 and the salary qualification was abolished. The occupational qualification was been raised from ₤25 to ₤75 per annum. The Act was also been amended with the stipulation that voters had to be able to write their names and occupations. This change was racially oriented, although well masked. The fact that no drastic change was been made to the liberal franchise created by the 1853 Cape Constitution, reflects a thoroughly considered racially discriminative plan on the side of the Cape Whites to get the 1872 dispensation going without obstruction by London. On the surface, the legislation gave equal rights, but the door was left wide open for future human rights abuses without interference from London. The 1872 negative change to the Cape Constitution was a result of the hidden intentions of the Cape parliament to discriminate against Blacks later on.7,9,46,48,49
The 1853- and 1872-constitutions were nothing more than paper constitutions when it comes to the political, economic and social rights of non-Whites in South Africa. Both constitutions ensured that the country would be steered by the Whites, mostly at the costs of the Black inhabitants. The British Empire’s ability to uphold the rights of non-Whites and to safeguard them from White opportunism was limited from 1892. From 1892 onwards, Black political rights were gradually limited, especially given the post-1892 passivity of London with respect to the political, social and economic rights of non-Whites in South Africa. Black land ownership and just political policies never reached maturity in the Cape Colony. This discriminatory policy, although liberal in comparison with that of the Transvaal and Free State republics (British colonies after 1902) was later transferred to the Union of South Africa in 1910. By then the liberal Cape Dutch inhabitants were politically trounced by the racial Transvaal and Free State burghers and the wheels had been put in motion for ever-limiting policies of discrimination against non-Whites, ultimately culminating in the Grand apartheid of 1948 to 1994. Land grabbing from Blacks and land ownership became an issue that needed urgent attention, but it was bluntly and blindly ignored by the Whites. The fact that non-Whites were the majority from 1652 caused the Whites, especially the Afrikaners after 1910, to see this as the “Black problem” or the “Black question”. The Whites conquered by means of military, social and economic domination, so one could say there was actually a White problem. The British imperial mentality at the time was that numbers did not count in politics and government, only military and political power. The White problem continued uninterrupted up to the end of apartheid. This “problem” is now very visible in the dissatisfaction of the Black masses with respect to land ownership, the enforcement of restitution and the completion of the transition to new dispensation and its constitution.7,9,46,48-50
The great political injustices committed in South Africa from 1652 bring Blacks and Whites into direct conflict on land ownership. It all started with the rather innocent intention to establish the Cape Refreshment Station as a temporary settlement. Now there is an age-old conflict between the White colonists or settlers and the indigenous Blacks. Under below is the validity of the claim that all Whites are colonists and all Blacks are indigenous, as the foundation for the legality of the demands from Blacks with respect to land redistribution, evaluated.
3.8 The dilemma of ignorance about the indigenous status of the South African peoples
3.8.1 Myths, lies and facts on the rightful franchisees of South African land
Political clichés on the rightful franchisees of South African land and on which Black tribes and White groups have rights to South African land ownership have become prominent over the last five years.2,11 Many of these statements are purely political, filled with emotional rhetoric. They often reflect the speaker’s lack of understanding of the political history of South Africa, and, most of all, a lack of basic knowledge on political governance and science. Remarks range from Blacks referring to Whites as colonists who stole Black land, to threats to kill the White colonists, with a cursory “but not yet” added on. On the other, some Afrikaners claim ownership based on their fore fathers who took possession of undeveloped, uninhabited and barren land. References to the Boer victory over Dingane of the Zulus in the Battle of Blood River, are frequent.7,9 This kind of rhetoric is many times fake news, but fake news is only a very small part of political misinformation and intolerance. Governments worldwide use the media to stay in power and to crush any opposition. The NP was and the ANC is a master of the art of exterminating enemies. History and false histories are part of this political misinformation and intolerance.
It is therefore of great importance to separate myths and lies from the truth to determine who the non-indigenous colonists (the land predators) are, who the true indigenous people (the native or natural people) are, and who the indigenous colonists (foreigners who become natives over time) are. Only then can the various claims of who the rightfully owners of the country’s land is, be discussed. It will help us determine if the intended land redistribution without compensation by the Blacks is justified, or if a process of land redistribution with reasonable compensation should be followed to do justice to all South Africa’s people.
126.96.36.199 Early inhabitants and their indigenousness
The earliest inhabitants (settlers) of South Africa, before the Europeans and Blacks arrived, were undoubtedly the KhoiSan and the KhoiKhoi. It is unknown who the people were before them, if there was any. The settlement at the Cape brought an infusion of an Asian, Indian and Malay blood, resulting in a new race in South Africa, namely the Coloureds. This kind of a mixed race was commonly in the Far East, the Middle East, or in European territories. In addition to the Coloureds, this infusion resulted in an Indian population that has become as indigenous as any White, Black, KhoiKhoi and KhoiSan group. This unique constellation of ethnic groups in South Africa brings the many clichés on who the rightful landowners are to the foreground. The pre-1900s South Africans’ were six broad racial and ethnic categories, namely the KhoiSan, the KhoiKhoi, the Black tribes, the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians. Their history and arrival in South Africa are discussed below.2,7
188.8.131.52.1 The KhoiSan
This group, probably the first inhabitants of South Africa, seems to have migrated from the central parts of Southern Asia. The theory is that their migration to South Africa was by a scarcity of food and/or that they were been driven from Asia by other stronger races. The initial tribe ultimately split into three sub-tribes: one group moving south-east to the Malaysian Peninsula, the Philippines and as far as Australia; the second group moving west as far as Spain and the third group moving into North Africa and from there southwards as result of attacks by the Hamites in the Nile region. A subgroup of this third group moved downwards from the eastern part of Africa to gather south of the Zambezi in the 1600s.
The KhoiSan was nomadic hunters, living largely on game and gathering roots for their daily food. Geen7 describes them as follows:7:10
Their family and tribal ties were weak, their ideas of religion rudimentary and their vocabulary limited, but they had considerable artistic talent; and
…their neighbours, both the Hottentotte [KhoiKhoi] and Bantu [Blacks], doubted whether they were quite human and so it is not surprising that the Europeans also proved enemies, and that today Bushmen [KhoiSan] remain only in very small numbers in the Kalahari Desert and South-West Africa.
Today the KhoiSan are not prominent role-players when it comes to land due to their small numbers and lack of political and economic power. The KhoiSan of today sadly finds themselves in the age-old position of the winner(s) takes all. They can claim land based on their history of miscegenation with Blacks, Coloureds and the KhoiKhoi.
184.108.40.206.2 The KhoiKhoi
The KhoiKhoi are slightly bigger and a little darker than the KhoiSan. They probably owe their origins to an intermingling of KhoiSan and the Hamites in Somaliland. Geen7 states that it seems they travelled south-west down into Africa to the region of the Great Lakes, and, after staying several centuries, they moved further southwards around 600AC to reach the Orange River. They established themselves along the banks of the river and the West Coast, from Walvis Bay to the Umtamvuna River. Later on, they split into smaller group, each group with a name and their own customs.7
The KhoiKhoi were pastoralists and hunters. During the 1713 small pox outbreak, many died.7 Geen writes7:10: “…today few pure-blooded Hottentots exist, but their blood has been absorbed by the Griquas and the Cape Coloured people and, in varying degrees, by many Bantu tribes”.
As a group in itself, apart from their intermingling with the Coloureds and Blacks, the KhoiKhoi have very little impact on today’s land ownership debacle. However, in terms of equality and human rights as protected by the South African Constitution, they should as a group given the opportunity to claim ownership of the South African soil.
220.127.116.11.3 The Indians, Asians and Malays
These late comers to South Africa, mainly as result of the import of labour to Natal in 1860, have like all the other races in South Africa, become indigenous to the country. Many of their fore fathers or tribal associates were Asian, Indian and Malay female slaves who came to the Cape Refreshment Station between 1650 and 1670.2
It is important to mention that research adds a 7.2% to 10.7% Indian influence into the Afrikaners’ matrilineal gene pool from Malaysian and other slave women (up to the early 1800s, 80% of the slaves came from India. It was only from 1730 onwards that the import of slaves from Madagascar was intensified).50,51
These historical facts reflect a horizontal biological association between the races in the Cape, especially immediately after the introduction of the free burghers in 1657 up to 1671. The fact is that three out of four children born to slave mothers during 1650 to 1670 had White fathers (meaning that the direct, first line infusion of “non-White blood” into the White parent stock can even be as high as 75%). Between 1657 and 1671, the early male ancestors of the Afrikaners at the Cape also took Black and KhoiKhoi women. These non-White women were accepted into the White community as either concubines or wives. They, together with some White women, became the parent stock of the White population and the later Afrikaners. These non-White women’s children, especially the females, were mostly assimilated into White society directly and horizontally to make up for the shortage of women without any discrimination or stigmatisation.2,50,52,53
It is clear that the Asians, Indians and Malay claim on South African land ownership is not limited to their South African identity, it is strengthens by their interbreeding with the Whites and the Coloureds.2
18.104.22.168.4 The Coloureds
There is an erroneous argument that the early Cape Settlement’s intermingling with non-Whites was limited to a small number of White families, and that these 6% to 10.7% mixed Afrikaner descendants were pushed from the White society to form the new Coloured population at the Cape. A vertical biological development of a closed and outcast group of mixed people, mostly excluded from the White nucleus that formed the modern Afrikaners, is surely true as evident from the existence of South African Coloureds and other mixed people of today. The fact is that the situation can be described as a “schizophrenic” split between the Whites and the Coloureds, peoples of the same bloodline, basically because the one group supposedly has “more non-White blood”. One can explain it as the same father having children by two different women (the Arabs and the Jews have the same “schizophrenic” origin). Evidence of an immense horizontal biological impact of “Coloured blood” on Afrikaners’ genes confirms the superficiality of this split between Coloureds and Whites. This contradicts the idea that there is only 6% to 10.7% of mixed Afrikaner descendants and of an exclusive separate vertical development of the Coloureds as a separate ethnic group. This fellowship between White Afrikaners and Brown Afrikaners makes the claims of White Afrikaners on land ownership applicable to the Coloureds and vice versa.50,54,55
Looking more critically at nationhood in South Africans is it only the Coloureds who can pride themselves on being a true mix of the various racial and ethnic groups in South Africa. They are indeed South African Creoles to the quick. Notwithstanding this right of birth and the fact that they are the second largest tribe in the country, they are still politically, economically and socially marginalises as in the previous dispensation.2
22.214.171.124.5 The different Black tribes
The first real physical contact between the White settlers and the Black settlers occurred more or less in the 18th century. The Blacks, like the Whites, are comparative newcomers to Southern Africa, writes Geen7:10. The South African Blacks probably came from Central Asia. They moved into Africa en masse, splitting in two: one group moving down into the middle of Africa and the second group moving along the East Coast to reach Sofala by the 10th century. When the Portuguese established themselves on the East Coast, various eastbound Black groups moved as far down as Natal and in the 1650s the area around the Kei River. The central group also moved southwards to establish themselves in the vicinities of the Vet and Caledon Rivers in the 1750s.7
Geen7 describes the unique characteristics of these various groups of Blacks, moving as foreigners southeast and southwards into Southern Africa. They constituted an ethnic group who matched the power and political intentions and motives of the White frontiersmen from day one at the Eastern border of the Cape Colony. Geen says the following7:11: “The Bantu [Blacks], mentally alert and physical strong, had a complex tribal system with hereditary chiefs whose powers were limited by their councils of headmen”.
Looking critically at the tribal and leadership customs and traditions of the early Blacks during their First and Second Colonization of South Africa between 1810 and 1840, we see similarities with Joshua and Moses and their conquest and creation of a New Israel. The Blacks wanted to become permanent settlers with indigenous status (especially through land grabbing, war and the extermination of their opponents by robbing them of land and cattle).2,3
The constant references to the Afrikaner as an alien, murderous colonist in South Africa, the only colonist in South Africa, are clearly false. It is an undeniable fact that the current Black population are also foreign to South Africa and is indeed in the same boat as the Afrikaners. The term “alien murderous colonists” is also applicable to them.
The Blacks have no more right on land ownership in terms of citizen-rights than the KhoiSan, KhoiKhoi, Coloureds, Asians, Indians, Malays, Whites and Afrikaners. They are simply a larger population and can therefore occupy proportional more land as the smaller groups. Their present claims on land and their focus on land redistribution without compensation amounts to land grabbing and terrorism, as did their fore fathers when they settle here as foreigners.2
126.96.36.199.6 Whites and the Afrikaners
The widely accepted and propagated views that the Afrikaner is a unique and “pure” White, European and Caucasian race that had its cultural origins in 1652 at the Cape Settlement, is, as indicated above, wrong. The proof in literature of miscegenation and a multiracial component is a fact that most Afrikaners hush. The White Afrikaners’ earlier Afrikaner families are descending from various racial and ethnic bloodlines to form the trunk (nucleus) of the Afrikaner family tree that branched out to today’s Afrikaners.52,56
The multiracialism of today’s Afrikaners makes their legal claims on land ownership equal to that of South Africa’s Asian, Indians, KhoiSan, KhoiKhoi, Coloureds and Blacks. The Afrikaners have become indigenous, as have the Asians, Indians, KhoiSan, KhoiKhoi, Coloureds and Blacks.50-53,57,58
3.9 Liberation, terrorism and land grabbing in South Africa
As indicated in the title of the article, land grabbing is an age-old practice in South Africa. The question is by whom. Two main ethnic role players are prominent: Whites versus Blacks. From a modern political perspective, the two main role players are the National Party (NP) up to 1994 and the ANC after 1994.
3.9.1 The liberation and terrorism heart of the ANC elite and their supporters
An in-depth analysis of the political history of the ANC is helpful for understanding more of the political heart of the party and its leaders in 2018 and of their demand for land grabbing. Mhtombothi writes23:17 that the ANC’s modus operandi, their raison d’être and their main skill is to destroy rather than to build. Liberation movements (like the ANC) in Africa, Latin America and East Asia have been unable to run passable governments or to improve the quality of life of the people beyond giving them handouts. These handouts come from the redistribution of the wealth of the “conquered” groups. Instead of growing the cake, they redistribute what is already in existence by means of land grabbing and stealing from the minority and defenceless individuals and groups. What is more, there is an unbalanced allocation of these resources to party cadres and elites.23,59-64
Historical and modern land grabbing alike are been founded on liberation and terrorism. This has to be high light here. The official British description of terrorism (See: 3.1Land ownership obtained by means of modern terrorism in South Africa) is quite applicable to the South African situation. Terrorism is been described as serious violence against a person or serious damage to property to influence a government or an international organization or to intimidate the public or a section of the public with the aim of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.8
The ANC’s current ideas on land grabbing are rooted in the first Black colonization of South Africa. Their fore fathers simply sought freedom and a better life in Southern Africa. This soon turned into fighting with the other incoming Black tribes and local non-White tribes and groups. The resulting land grabbing and murder of the legal owners of the territories by the fore fathers of the present ANC, was nothing else than terrorism. The unique characteristics that we associated with many of the ANC’s executive political leaders are the same as those associated with their fore fathers, who were without doubt freedom fighters, terrorists and liberators.2,3,8,26,52,65,66-67
Many of the current behaviours of Black leaders, like their intentions of land grabbing, RET and RST, are part of a culture passed on from their fore fathers. The unjustified oppression they experienced at the hands of the Whites (specifically the early Afrikaners and Afrikaners between 1910 and 1994) undoubtedly exacerbated their desire for terrorism and land grabbing with the focus on Whites specifically.2
These early negative values, internalized long ago as good customs, traditions and habits inside the Black culture were been transferred over the years to later generations. Many of the modern South Africa Black leaders who come from this culture have captured the unstable political setup after 1994 for their benefit and to spread their terrorist thinking among their Black supporters.23,27,59-62,68-71
The Black population initially migrated to South Africa to settle in areas that were at that time mostly KhoiKhoi and KhoiSan territory (territory that they also occupied as settlers earlier). These occupations were illegal in terms of modern international law. The establishment of a permanent stronghold in their new homeland is been seen, as said, as the first Black colonization of South Africa. However, the initial colonization did not last long. There was infighting over land, livestock, water resources and political rights. This led to brutal wars in the newly occupied areas. Groups tried to drive each other out of the new territories. These series of expulsions are been regarded as the second Black colonization of South Africa. The years 1810 to 1840 (known as the Mfecane in the coastal areas and the Difaqane inland) led to widespread Black-on-Black bloodshed in the northern parts of South Africa. This “Black re-colonisation” process took place more or less simultaneously with the northward migration of the Trek Boers and Voortrekkers into the interior from the Cape Colony.3,7,9
In this second Black colonization, King Shaka, the king of the powerful newly formed Zulu kingdom is been pinpointed as the main culprit of wrongdoings. His murderous behaviour around 1819 led to political, social and economic chaos and large-scale land grabbing. He was the main perpetrator of Black colonialism and land grabbing between 1810 and 1840, leading to the eradication and re-colonization of other Black tribes. The remnants of these broken Black tribes fled and settled away from the Zulus and other occupying tribes. This led to the depopulation of large parts of South Africa because of further infighting and land grabbing. Intense food shortage followed and it is been estimated that more than 28 independent Black tribes were completely wiped out. The total death toll has never been determined, but the estimation is between one and two million.3,7,9
Mzilikazi (Msilikazi), the king of the Matabele in Transvaal between 1826 and 1836, also played a prominent role in this genocide. He also ordered widespread killings of other Black tribes and the removal of all opposition to his new Ndebele order.3,7,9
These first and second Black colonisations represent South Africa’s first genocides. This is a political-historical fact that is been ignored and hidden from the public eye in the present context of the ANC’s post-1994 policy on guarding the Blacks’ political power and unity. Today, Black South Africans seem to refuse to accept personal blame and responsibility for their ancestors’ colonial atrocities. These atrocities were committed simply to obtain new land.2,3
3.9.2 The liberation and terrorism heart of the early and later Afrikaner leaders and their supporters
The current noises of land redistribution without compensation are making some Afrikaners nervous, especially White farmers. However, they are wrong to point a finger at the ANC when it comes to land grabbing. The early proto-Afrikaners grabbed land from the early 1700s up to 1910, where after the Afrikaner Nationalists continued from 1910 to 1994.2,3,9,48,52,67,72-74
The Afrikanerism of the early and later Afrikaners represents terrorism, supporting and upholding a liberation movement. It often became radical and extreme, especially between 1948 and 1994. The modus operandi of the early proto-Afrikaners and Afrikaner Nationalists and the liberation principles of the ANC is the same. In the Afrikaners’ case, their initial early enemies were the English. Later, the “Black danger” came to the foreground as the most pertinent issue. The tendency of Afrikaner leaders to see themselves as the liberators of the Afrikaner tribe and to pursue White supremacy, were found necessary to explore. 2,48,52,62,71,72,74,75
The history of the Afrikaners, from the early days of the Cape Colony to the later Boer republics, the period from 1910 to 1948 and the Afrikaner Nationalists from 1948 to 1994, reflect active and destructive terrorism by a liberation movement. This was long before the ANC appeared on the scene. The timeline concurs with that of Shaka and other Black leaders. Both the White and Black groups destroyed the opposition and preyed on their assets. Afrikanerism also meets the British definition of terrorism, just like the ANC. Land terrorism and land grabbing without compensation (but with bloodshed) as propagated by ANC was part and parcel of the way in which Afrikaners took possession of land from 1652 to 1994. It brought the Afrikaners in possession 85% of the South African territory. In other words, the ANC is not planning anything that the Afrikaners did not do.2,3,7,9 Both of the two prominent role players were and are nothing other than political mobsters. Boon3 describes their characteristics as follows3:75:
Selfishness; delinquent inclinations all-over; strategies total stripped of all democratic principles, traditions, thinking, planning and doings; absolute intolerant; anti- order; minorities are quickly eradicated; coercion actions characterized by destruction, threat, killings and brutalities; aim the creation of a delinquent mob-reign; aim the exclusive of executive political mob-leaders to reign the country.
Just as some of the bad early political-history of some of the Black-tribes of in South Africa became part of ANC’s culture, the years 1652 to 1910 cemented certain thought patterns in the Afrikaners. From 1910 up to 1994, it took an extreme form. The Malan manifesto of 1948 that introduced Grand Apartheid confirms this.48,52,71,72,74-76
The radical racist land grabbing behaviour of 1948 to 1994 on the side of the Afrikaner Nationalists has a much deeper aetiology that dates from the 1700s. Some of the deviant behaviours are been founded in the history of the Boers on the borders (Grensboere) and the migratory Boers (Trekboere). Geen7 describes these groups as White frontiersmen. Some deviating behaviours became entrenched as acceptable in the minds of these White frontiersmen.2,7,52,76
Geen7 quotes Deneys Reitz’s book titled “No outspan on the early Afrikaners”, as follows7:69: “Knowing my countrymen as I do, I think the cause of their leaving [Great Trek] was not so much hatred of British rule as a dislike of any rule”. Reitz7 reflects on the foundation of the racist and defiant thinking of the early Afrikaners. They expressed their Afrikanerism without inhibition, among other things by means of terrorist attacks on Blacks. Geen7 writes7:69:
The frontiersmen – and it was they and not the well-to-do farmers of the western districts who went on trek – were stock-farmers and hunters with a low standard of living who were used both too isolation and trekking, so that though the Trek implied an uprooting it did not mean a change in their way of life. The dangers of the interior were undoubtedly great, but at any rate, the leaders of the various parties knew that of all the tribes the Griquas, Matabele and Zulus alone were to be feared. Any other people but the Boers might have rebelled in similar circumstances, but since the trek-spirit was in-born farms were either sold or abandoned and their holders went off into the interior, where cheap land and labour would be plentiful and government interference of the slightest. It seems probable that the Great Trek would not have happened had the scene not been South Africa and the actors Boers.
Geen7 continues to describe the defiance of the White frontiersmen and their refusal to submit to law and order. He states7:68-69:
Traditions of government in the Cape Colony were bad, as the frontiersmen had been used to too little control in the days of the Dutch Eastern India Company, when they had provided their own defence and so had become their own law. They had become a race of extreme individualists with an inherited suspicion of any authority and discipline, so that they viewed with dismay the steady extension of magisterial districts, which in their eyes meant stricter government control and, moreover in 1828 involved the abolition of the representative Courts or Heemraden.
It is very important to pause for a moment to consider this early Boer mentality and their views of what is civilized and uncivilized behaviour, of what is right and wrong. Land grabbing and suppression of other groups were part of their way of doing. This was been transferred to the Boer republics and later to the modern Afrikaners. Geen continues7:72-73:
For many years, the trekkers and their descendants led a roving life in the interior cut off from educational facilities and other civilizing agents. Their education was first that of the open veld and then that of the isolated farm, but it was neither literary nor industrial and made the Boers far more backwards than their counterparts in Australia and the American Middle West. The isolation in which the children and grandchildren of the trekkers grew up has helped to create the Poor White problem of today , for the civilizing work of the original trekkers was superficially done and was spread far too thinly over a wide area.
The fact that the Boers constantly moved northwards confirms that: “they wanted to do things their way”. Their way was not always within the limits of the law (like land grabbing and the planned termination of non-Whites like the KhoiSan). It resembled terrorism as described by Powell8 and Boon3. Their terrorist behaviours, as already indicated, reappeared during the Great Trek when the Voortrekkers started to occupy land that they argued and rationalized as “uninhabited and ownerless,” while in reality it was the property of Black tribes who used it as hunting grounds and pasture for their cattle and as a defence zone between hostile tribes. Despite this reality, the Boers occupied the land, often by brute force and the loss of Black lives. This first forceful occupation of Black land north of the Cape Colony’s border took the same form as the killing and atrocities during the migration of Black tribes southwards with the first and second colonization of South Africa.2,52,76
It is important to look at Powell’s8 description of terrorism again. When considering the actions of the Boers, it resembles Saddam Hussein’s unlawful occupation of Kuwait that caused the world to react with full military force. In modern times, the behaviour of the early Boers would bring them before the International Criminal Court for terrorism, the unlawful occupation of foreign land and murder.8,77
The aggression of the Boers escalated with the large-scale occupation of Black territory to form the Boer republics. They drove away or killed the Black owners. They used the same tactics that Shaka used to take over the land of other tribes. This early occupation facilitated the founding of the two Boer republics, both of which supported racial discrimination. This shows how much terrorism and Boer liberation are internalized in the minds of the Afrikaners.2,9,47,52,65,66,67
The purpose of the terrorism and land grabbing of the Boers was to create an economic system that would be theirs exclusively. Their dehumanization of Blacks also served this purpose. Chomsky78 says it well78:28:
Concentration of wealth yields concentration of political power. And concentration of political power gives rise to legislation that increases and accelerates the cycle.
After the fall of the two Boer republics, the Transvaal and the Free State, the Boers gained the political upper hand again with the formation of the Union of South Africa. They were still been driven by their rigid racism (which included the dehumanization of Blacks and the capture of Black interests). This negative energy was been channelled into the racial policy of the Union and from there into the Grand Apartheid of the Verwoerd Republic, which only ended officially in 1994.2,52,68,69,76,79
Researchers have thus far refrained from studying the land grabbing of the early Boers in the Transvaal and the Free State because it is so politically sensitive. The same goes for the earlier actions of Whites in Cape Colony and later in the greater South Africa. The South African situation does not differ much from the early American terrorism against the Native Americans (Red Indians) in their land grabbing. Martinez80 writes as follows about the ignored colonial history of the Americans80:151:
When freedoms clash, some must take priority over others. In the economy, the mechanism that determines which freedoms are prioritized is the property rights system. Property rights bestow the freedom to control and profit from what is owned. They determine who has decision-making authority over a given commodity. Ownership is necessarily exclusive: as soon as one person owns something, the rest of the world does not. When the Wild West pioneer claimed to own ‘newly discovered’ land and made it his home, he appropriated resources that had been the preserve of Native Americans for thousand s of years.
Martinez80 reports further80:153:
The history of colonialism and imperialism poses further challenges to the legitimacy of property rights today. From the fifteenth century onwards, European nations took control of much of North, Central and South America, large swathes of Asia and, by the twentieth century, most of Africa. Indigenous populations were wiped out or pushed off their land, communities were devastated and resources were appropriated for Western profit; and
There is nothing voluntary about this process. Indeed, it is hard to see the original appropriation and privatisation of commonly owned resources as anything but theft.
Geen’s7 description of the early Boers’ land grabbing by terrorism is reminiscent of the White Europeans early land grabbing from the indigenous populations of Norh, Central and South America, large parts of Asia and most of Africa (1500s to 1800s). The behaviour of the Whites, aggravated further after 1910, has contaminated all possibilities of successful and civilized land transformation in South Africa. Land grabbing is an evil that has affected all the populations of South Africa. Geen7 writes as follows in the context of the tragic chain reaction of early White land grabbing7:73:
As the Trek is responsible in some measure for the Poor White problem of the present so also it made the segregation of the Bantu [Black] tribes forever impossible. Despite the wars of Chaka and Msilikazi in the land into which the trekkers moved was by no means empty of population for Native [Black] wars were not unduly destructive of life. Having subdued the Native tribes the trekkers soon disposed them of their lands and thus helped to create a landless class of Natives, which is the source of many of the Union’s economic troubles at the present time .The trekkers hardly exemplify a judicious Native policy, for their haphazard apportionment of land often without survey at all mean that the Natives became mere squatters on their own tribal land; and in looking at the things exclusively from the point of view of European interests the trekkers set the disastrous fashion of ignoring the very existence of the Native population. Sir T. Shepstone was near the truth when he wrote to the Colonial Office in January 1880 that “the government of the (Transvaal) Republic never thought it necessary even as a matter of mere prudence, to set apart land for the occupation of the natives”. The Native Problem that exercises the attention of S. African statesmen today  is largely the creation of the trekkers, who in the interior provinces of the Union laid the foundation of a civilization based on a landless Bantu proletariat and a rigid maintenance of the Colour Bar in State and Church.
Looking at the current landlessness of many Blacks and their dire ongoing poverty, the above words are applicable to the South Africa of 2018. The fact that the Afrikaner Nationalists are no longer in power makes it possible for widespread land redistribution to start at last to erase the injustices of the past.
The political dispensations of Cape Colony of 1853 and 1872 and the Union of 1910 offered excellent opportunities to redistribute land and hand it back to Blacks to create an open, just South African society. The much later 1994-dispensation failed completely. This makes the current land redistribution, which may also just become land grabbing, a natural and unavoidable interference and intervention. Land redistribution is a necessary must. It is unavoidable. It needs a solution.
From 1652 to 1994, many Whites in South Africa had it good, especially the Afrikaners. They still see their possession of certain valuable land as normal, rightful, certain and permanent in 2018. This is an illusion that has lasted nearly four centuries because of the Afrikaner’s refusal to become an indigenous South African and to make the change from an outdated European to a modern African identity.
The bad parts of South African history are as intertwined as the bloodlines are. South Africa’s Blacks and Whites are indeed equals when it comes to freedom fighting, land terrorism and land grabbing. Now is there only one prominent difference between the two: The Afrikaners own most of the land that the Blacks want. The prominent question is how the transfer will take place: Will it be another land grab; or will there be a reasoned, a balanced and a just land transfer and redistribution? The last option has been absent for all of South African political history.
The refusal on the part of the Whites to surrender capital to the Blacks is concerning. Not even the various political consequences of the post-1994 dispensation could detangle and break down the intertwined self-enriching politics and economics of especially the Afrikaners.
Louw writes in this regard2:93:
Negative thought patterns like racial discrimination, forged by years of exposure, examples and compensation, will not be erased easily from the thinking of most Afrikaners, especially if they are not rational. The lost privileges, rights, benefits and empowerments are seldom reclaimable. Most Afrikaners find themselves in an unbearable dilemma today.
The Afrikaners as individuals and a tribe are over-estimating their current importance and role in South Africa. They do not see the fact that they are probably moving towards dissolution in a century’s time. Some of the ANC elite and other radical Black politicians know this well.2 For these Blacks, especially those still thirsty for revenge after apartheid, the prominent question is: So why care about the Afrikaners’ rights and concerns? Did the Afrikaners care for non-Whites from 1652 to 2018?
Land redistribution has the potential to become a much more devastating and life-threatening phenomenon than Europeans have ever seen in the history of Africa. It has the potential to overshadow the murderous acts of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe or Patrice Lumumba in the Belgium Congo. In this new South African history there seems to be only one short-sighted loser: the Afrikaner landowner. The position of the Whites will certainly be far less favourable than their present one if there is a orderly land redistribution, but the alternative is anarchy that the Afrikaners would be lucky to survive.2,68,69,79
The Blacks have no more right to land ownership than the KhoiSan, KhoiKhoi, Coloureds, Asian, Indians, Malays, Whites and Afrikaners. The present claims by some Blacks that they have the sole right to grab land, are been based on a false indigenous identity. It is a new land terrorism, similar to what their fore fathers did when they settled here as foreigners.2
What is been needed is an appropriate, equal land redistribution programme in terms of the tribal proportional numbers of the Blacks, KhoiSan, KhoiKhoi, Coloureds, Asian, Indians, Malays, Whites and Afrikaners. The issue of land for the poor should take centre stage. This will bring some justice and harmony to the South African population at last.2
The Blacks and the Whites of South Africa are equally foreign, equally indigenous, equally colonialist. The claims that the Blacks deserve to be here more in anyway, are based on a denial of history.2,3,7,9,81
Mthombothi82:21 write as follows on the lack of a South African patriotism:
Sometimes we view other people either as enemies or as the source of our problems.
One often wanders why some South Africans, for instance, are filled with love for complete strangers from Europe or other parts of Africa – which is a good thing – but at the same time show an aversion for some of their compatriots who happen to be of a different colour.
Perhaps South Africans on the whole are still struggling with the notion of identity. We’ve been rudderless for a while. Are we one people or a collection of different nationalities who happen to inhabit a single geographic area? And where in the political cosmos do we belong?
Mthombothi82 is correct when he posits that South Africa is not an empty landscape: that it is flesh and blood and its people needs respect. To address land expropriation needs first the healing of South Africans’ estrangement from each other. If we addressed this matter many years ago, we would be a united nation today.
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Not commissioned; externally peer-reviewed.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The author has no competing interests to declare.
The research was funded by the Focus Area Social Transformation, Faculty of Humanities, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa.
UNSUITABLE TERMS AND INAPPROPRIATE WORDS
Please note that I, the author, is aware that the words Creole, Bantu, Kaffir, Native, Hottentot and Bushman are no longer suitable terms and are inappropriate (even criminal) for use in general speech and writing in South Africa (Even the words non-White and White are becoming controversial in the South African context). These terms do appear in dated documents. These terms or translations are use for the sake of historical accuracy in this article. Their use is unavoidable within this context. It is important to retain their use in this article to reflect the racist thought, speech and writings of as recently as sixty years ago. These names form part of a collection of degrading names commonly used in historical writings during the heyday of apartheid and the British imperial time. In reflecting on the leaders and regimes of the past, it is important to foreground the racism, dehumanization and distancing involved by showing the language used to suppress and oppress. It also helps us to place leaders and their sentiments on a continuum of racism. These negative names do not represent my views and I distance myself from the use of such language for speaking and writing. In my other research on the South African populations and political history, I use Blacks, Whites, Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaners, Coloureds, KhoiSan (Bushmen), KhoiKhoi (Hottentots) and Boers as applicable historically descriptive names.