I AM disagreeably surprised that Business Day saw fit to publish the article by Thando Mgqolozana that called for the occupation of land by force (Land grab the only way to restore justice, January 20). In most countries, dispossessing the legal owner by force is a criminal offence and calling for people to do so, incitement to commit a crime.
His reasoning also shows an ignorance of history, civilisation and economics. Humans originated in Africa and gradually spread out over the globe. One wave of humanity followed another and the first occupiers were soon pushed off their land, killed or enslaved by subsequent waves, this process continuing until well into the 20th century. Mgqolozana seems to assume that land was never forcibly acquired in Africa until the whites arrived. Since the advent of the first humans, there has been a history of forced occupation of land.
The original occupiers, the San, and later the Khoikhoi, began to lose their old hunting and grazing grounds through the influx of African farmers from the north that probably started in 300-500 AD and continued well after the first Europeans arrived at the Cape in the 17th century.
If the Europeans had not arrived, this black African invasion would have reached the Cape.
The question of who today is the rightful owner of land anywhere is extremely difficult to answer and there is probably no universal “right” answer. At first sight, we may consider the land should be returned to its previous occupier. However, as the previous occupiers almost certainly acquired the land themselves forcibly at some stage, do they really have a better claim than the current owners? And at what point do we stop the clock and say that those in possession have good title for the future?
As far as farm land is concerned, the result of land grabbing would surely be that the new owners would have neither the skills nor the finance to work the land economically, causing a severe shortage of food, as in Zimbabwe.
Since I have concluded (for the time being) my 'historical research' on the subject South Africa, I came to the fresh opinion that if we all want to have better lives in this magnificent country, we MUST aim to achieve mutual understanding and the ideal would be tolerance. This is my new quest for the famous zero defect. Mutual understanding in 2015 is very far away from most of us. It is rather a case of total denial, or even condemnation. I am referring to the important stuff here: Culture, tradition, religion and inbred ways of seeing and doing things. We all have them, but especially in Africa, they could not be more different from each other. I personally know a lot of highly educated, South African born and bred white women, and I got their honest attitude in a mini-opinion poll. Before I go on I want to point out the link to the Wikipedia - encyclopedia on the right sidebar. You can ask questions in the search bar and the link will lead you to the respective page. For example 'tokolosh', or 'sangoma' or 'racism' or 'apartheid' etc.pp Back to my opinion-poll: Let's take one of the most important aspects in African daily life: the 'tokolosh'. He is a small ape like creature with an evil mind and everybody is scared of him. Certain things really displease him and one of many result in not putting the head end of your bed against the wall (you might squash him!)and putting your whole bed on top of bricks, again not to squash him. In the European culture he might be called a 'polter-geist', poltering around in cupboards etc. and never being really seen. Here, millions hear and see the tokoloshe every day. When I came here I, for the life of mine, could not understand why my pillows ended up on the floor behind my bed each night. The rural housekeeper of mine (Emily) seems to have liked me a lot and always pulled the whole bed off the wall to protect me from the 'tokolosh'. It takes time and especially the curiosity to find out these things. Anyway, one of my white ladies, when I asked her about all this, claimed from her heart: The tokolosh is long dead! Hahahaha! Another, being queried about 'sangomas', said: That is a long dead tradition. Sangomas are so-called traditional healers who's craft is entirely based on ancestor worship. These days they advertise themselves on social media, in family magazines and most importantly by word of mouth. Plus: they keep on making thousands and thousands of people happy and better!! Most African babies have colorful string bracelets on their little
arms, given to the family by their sangoma, to protect them.
It's complicated! But it is all totally undeniable and partly understandable. And -if you set your mind to it - it is acceptable. In this case I can only say: poor thousands of white missionaries, who did not get it quite right..... So I will from now on not dwell on the negatives any more, but highlight the abyss in a way, that hopefully will bring about understanding and tolerance. I realize that I have taken upon me a mammoth task, but it's more than worth a try,and for most white people (not all!) a novel way to try and get peace with each other.
Here is a short video clip concerning the reality young sangomas of today: http://mg.co.za/multimedia/2014-06-02-sangomas-of-the-21st-century#.VYkmnp5ZylY.gmai