Rural Resistance in South Africa

The Mpondo Revolts after Fifty Years

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Much has been written about anti-apartheid resistance by the marginalized people of South Africa, as well as its violent repression by security forces in urban areas (e.g. Sharpeville massacre; Soweto riots). Very little attention has been paid to resistance by rural people. The Mpondo Revolts, which began in the 1950s and reached a climax in 1960, rank among the most significant rural resistances in South Africa. Here Mpondo villagers emphatically rejected the introduction of Bantu Authorities and unpopular rural land use planning that meant loss of land. The volume presents a fresh understanding of the uprising; as well as its meaning and significance then and now, particularly relating to land, rural governance, party politics and the agency of the marginalized.
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Biographical Note

Thembela Kepe, Ph.D (2002), University of the Western Cape, is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Toronto. He is co-editor of Land, Memory, Reconstruction and Justice: Perspectives on Land Claims in South Africa (Ohio University Press and University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2010).

Lungisile Ntsebeza, Ph.D. (2002), Rhodes University, is Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town and holds the NRF Research Chair in Land Reform and Democracy in South Africa. He is the author of Democracy Compromised (Brill and HSRC Press)

Review Quotes

Rural resistance in South Africa: the Mpondo revolts after fifty years, ed. by Thembela Kepe and Lungisile Ntsebeza. Brill, 2011. 282p bibl index afp (Afrika-Studiecemtrum series, 22); ISBN 9789004214460 pbk, $58.00. Reviewed in 2012may CHOICE. • New from Brill •

Leading scholars in South African history provide an engaging retrospective of the nature and meaning of a series of important rural revolts by Africans against the apartheid government. As the authors show, the revolts in the Pondoland area of the Transkei during the 1950s comprised a series of protest actions against the introduction of the hated Bantu Authorities Act. These culminated in killings and open rebellion in 1960. Thereafter, widespread rural opposition to the state persisted through the decade. The well-crafted chapters explore the revolts in three related sections. Chapters in part 1 reexamine the nature of resistance and the context in which it emerged. Part 2 chapters explore the broader implications of the revolts for other forms of African resistance. Part 3 provides chapters that analyze the meaning of the revolts and how they influenced historical memory in South Africa. Despite its limited focus, this volume sheds new light on a critical period in the country's history as well as on rural African history and the post-colony in general.
Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and above. -- A. S. MacKinnon, University of West Georgia

Table of contents

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements ..................................................................................vii

1. Introduction ............................................................................................1
Thembela Kepe & Lungisile Ntsebeza

PART I ON THE REVOLTS
2. Resistance in the Countryside: Th e Mpondo Revolts Contextualized .........................21
Lungisile Ntsebeza (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
3. Reading and Writing the Mpondo Revolts .......................................43
Jimmy Pieterse (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
4. Govan Mbeki’s Th e Peasants’ Revolt: a Critical Examination .........67
Allison Drew (University of York, England)
5. The Mpondo Revolt through the Eyes of Leornard Mdingi and Anderson Ganyile.........................91
William Beinart (University of Oxford, England)
6. All Quiet on the Western Front: Nyandeni Acquiescence in the Mpondoland Revolt........................115
Fred Hendricks and Jeff Peires (Rhodes University, South Africa)

PART II INFLUENCE OF THE REVOLTS
7. Hoyce Phundulu, the Mpondo Revolt, and the Rise of the National Union of Mine Workers.............143
T. Dunbar Moodie (Hobart and William Smith Colleges, New York, USA) (with Hoyce Phundulu)
8. The Moving Black Forest of Africa: Th e Mpondo Rebellion, Migrancy and Black Worker Consciousness in KwaZulu Natal .....................................................165
Ari Sitas (University of Cape Town, South Africa)

PART III MEANINGS AND SIGNIFICANCE
9. The Shock of the New: Ngquza Hill 1960 .....................................191
Diana Wylie (Boston University, USA)
10. Tangible and Intangible Ngquza Hill: A Study of Landscape and Memory...........................209
Liana Müller (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
11. A Bag of Soil, a Bullet from Up High: Some Meanings of the Mpondo Revolts Today....................231
Jonny Steinberg (University of Oxford, England)
12. Discontent and Apathy: Post-apartheid Rural Land Reform in the Context of the Mpondo Revolts......243
Thembela Kepe (University of Toronto, Canada)
13. ‘We don’t want your development!’: Resistance to Imposed Development in Northeastern Pondoland.....259
Jacques P. de Wet (University of Cape Town, South Africa)

Index .........................................................................................................279

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