The South African War (1899-1902) was ostensibly a “White man’s war” between the British Empire and the two Boer Republics, the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek and the Orange Free State, but both sides involved Africans in the war. Africans were active participants in the war and some were interned in concentration camps, like Boer civilians. Many died there of diseases, exposure to the elements and conditions in the overcrowded camps.
Many books and articles have been written on Boer concentration camps and the war, but most literature on African concentration camps only began to appear after 1994. There are still many gaps in knowledge of these camps, because British records of African camps are incomplete. This study drew on archaeological methods (pedestrian surveys and the excavation of test pits) to help identify the location of the African concentration camp at Greylingstad. The farm Bakkiesfontein 568 IR at Greylingstad was selected as a case study to clarify the exact location of the African camp in that area. The farm was chosen because there are a number of African graves, a dry stream, and ruins of an old house. The area investigated is also near a railway and old station, and the remains of a Scottish Rifles fort. The artefacts found in the test pits and during the pedestrian surveys included metal objects, European ceramics and pottery pieces, glass pieces and even plastic. The features identified included stone walls (circular and rectangular) and a stone circle. Based on the findings, it was concluded that Bakkiesfontein 568 IR was indeed where the African concentration camp was located.
This article aims to examine the portrayal of African migrants and South Africa’s
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figure of the stranger have featured in the ...
This paper identifies four perspectives on the idea of ecodomy as ancestry in contemporary studies on
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