Kobus du Pisani
The Last Frontier War
Braklaagte and the Struggle for Land before, during and after Apartheid
This book tells the story of how a black community in rural South Africa, the Bahurutshe Ba Ga Moiloa, managed to hold on the farm which they purchased in 1908 and resist attempts by the successive white-controlled governments to forcefully remove them from their land.
Braklaagte, the farm in the Northwestern corner of the country near Botswana border, was in terms of the land acts a "black spot"in "white" South Africa.
When the Apartheid regime failed to effect the forced removal of the community under the resolute leadership of their traditional leader, John Lekoloane Sebogoi, they were first expropriated and later forcefully incorporated into the Bophuthatswana homeland. Thus losing their South African citizenship. The Braklaagte community lived through serious violence before being reincorporated into a reunified South Africa in 1994.
The purpose of the book is not to tell the Braklaagte story for its own sake, but to interpret the narrative in the context of the discourses of South African historiography. This is archieved by focusing on three issues:
The role of ethnicity and traditional leadership in Apartheid South Africa.
The relationship between insecurity of tenure and rural poverty.
And the Braklaagte experience as proof of African agency in the face of oppression.
Kobus du Pisani is Professor of History in the School of Social and Government Studies at the Potschefstroom Campus of the North-West University. His research interest include Afrikaner masculinities, the environmental history of arid regions in South Africa, and cultural heritage management.