Exploring historical and Intergenerational trauma in a rural community in the Western Cape

Unpacking the hypothesis of intergenerational trauma within a marginalised rural community in the Western Cape.                                        by Joline Young[1]                                                                    20 December 2015

Abstract

This paper explores intergenerational and historical trauma within a marginalised rural community in the Western Cape whose lineage stems largely from the San and Khoi people who were dispossessed and enserfed by trekboers settling in the region in the 18th century, and to a much lesser extent to people enslaved in this area.[2] Furthermore this paper explores the success of an NGO based in this community in addressing what is hypothesised in this study to be intergenerational trauma in this community. This study is also informed by literature pertaining to healing programmes dealing with intergenerational trauma within Aboriginal communities in Canada, America and Australia as well as existing research on the subject in South Africa. This paper explores the way in which the symptoms of what is hypothesised as intergenerational trauma in aboriginal communities in Canada, America and Australia are strikingly similar to those displayed within this marginalised rural community in the Western Cape.

Key words:

Intergenerational trauma, San, Khoi, enslaved people, marginalised rural community in the Western Cape,

Introduction

The challenge for members of marginalised communities of San, Khoi and ‘slave’ descent, is not so much the paucity of records, but the lack of access to research about their history. Primary archival research material and secondary literature pertaining to Khoi, San and enslaved people at the Cape remains largely hidden in academia; a historically far removed place for most rural communities of seasonal farm-workers both in terms of physical location and academic expression. This is a problem that was recognised by the late Prof Robert Shell who wrote in 2003:

For too long history has been written by trained historians employed by universities and funded by large granting institutions. Such history is often of such a demanding and esoteric nature that the subjects of the history do not recognise themselves. Consequently, such books are neither read nor sold in the subject communities. Such books are also expensive. The people are therefore cheated of their own past and, ultimately, of their identity.[3]

The non-governmental organisation featured in this study was chosen for this research for two pertinent reasons. Firstly, it serves a largely intact isolated rural community whose heritage is mainly linked to the dispossessed San and Khoi people in this region. Secondly, this NGO is addressing the social problems in this community through educating themselves and the community about their history.

Brief review of literature pertaining to the San and Khoi people

Diverse arguments and opinions about the experiences and fate of the San and Khoi people by historians of Cape history have necessitated careful review of conflicting narratives, some of which are listed below:

Certainly the 1977 publication of Richard Elphick’s Kraal and Castle was a move away from a largely disparaging and dismissive colonial inspired narrative assigned to indigenous San and Khoi people. Like many other historians mentioned in this review, Elphick’s primary goal was to understand the destruction of the ‘traditional Khoikhoi economy, social structure and political order’[4] in the Western Cape. He concluded that this came about within the first sixty years of VOC settlement at the Cape[5], which he described as being due to ‘an array of pressures from the “colonial system”’.[6] In that same year Shula Marks sought to challenge stereotypes about San and Khoi people that defined their dispossession as being due to an inherent weakness on their part.[7] She argued that many San and Khoi people strongly resisted European settlement at the Cape throughout the seventh and eighteenth century. She went on to say that ‘the violence which punctuated every decade of the eighteenth century, and which culminated in the so-called ‘Bushmen wars’ were in large measure the Khoisan response to their prior dispossession by the Boers’.[8] However, Marks argued that the dispossession of San and Khoi was due to a combination of ‘failure to unite effectively’[9] and an apparent ‘propensity for acculturation’.[10] The latter was ascribed particularly to chiefs who collaborated with the Dutch, ultimately to the detriment of their people.[11]

Leonard Guelke and Robert Shell differed with Mark’s ‘acculturation theory, stating instead that the defeat of the Khoi and San people came not through the barrel of a gun nor the Smallpox Epidemic of 1713,[12] but rather through ‘a slow, non-catastrophic process [in which] the Khoikhoi were gradually squeezed out of the lands they had once occupied as European settlers alienated the springs and permanent water courses’.[13] A more systemic and detailed exploration of the reasons for the  Khoi and San subjugation comes through in  Nigel Penn’s Forgotten Frontier published in 2005[14]. Penn focussed on the neglected history of ‘Khoisan –colonial contact between 1700 and 1770’[15] on the Cape’s northern frontier, a region relevant to this paper. Penn outlines the sheer violence of the contact and the pivotal role of the VOC in supporting the trekboer onslaught on the Khoi and San people[16]. Furthermore he argues that their disenfranchised state was effectively entrenched by the British colonial order through the Caledon Code of 1809 with the introduction of a ‘pass system’[17] as well as the colonising effects of mission activity on Khoi in the area.[18] Significantly Penn argues that the greatest casualties of European settlement in this region were the San, who were literally starved to extinction.[19] In 2014 Mohamed Adhikari took this argument further stating that the experience of the Cape San peoples in the hands of the Cape settler society was genocide.[20] Adhikari argues that where commercial stock farmers driven by profits in international capitalist markets[21] ‘invaded the lands of foraging societies it was generally so’.[22]

A common theme in all these narratives is the brutal violence that overshadowed the lives of indigenous San and Khoi people after contact with European settlers.[23] However, the psychological cost of this trauma and the intergenerational impact was not adequately explored in these narratives. It is an omission that requires remedying if we are to facilitate healing of the effects of this trauma on communities such as this one. Using an interdisciplinary approach encompassing both History and Psychology, this paper draws my case study of this rural community into the debate around historical trauma and its transmission to subsequent generations.

Historical context

When Mark Solmes, a professor of psychology at the University of Cape Town bought a farm in Stellenbosch in 2001, he encountered difficulty in trying to reach out to farmworkers, finding that the more he was trying to reach out and show his staff that he was ‘different’ the more things went awry. After much exasperation he concluded that this behaviour was a manifestation of the ‘deeply entrenched model of abuse of the farms’.[24] It was at this stage that Sommes turned to the tools of his trade as a psychologist. Sommes discusses this as follows:

In an act of desperation I fell back on what I knew and said, ‘well I’ve got to take a history.’ So we stopped farming, and I was going to take their history and try to fix it – we were the problem. There was something pathological going on between us and we needed to find out where this was coming from.[25]

In this same vein, before the focus of this paper returns to the NGO and the members of the marginalised rural community on whom this research is based, I feel it pertinent to understand how history has shaped this community.

Until 1878 this town formed part of a larger region in the Karoo, after which it was annexed as a separate village, named in honour of a wealthy businessman.[26] However, the story of the descendants of the people of this town begins long before this time. Dispossession of the indigenous San and Khoi people in this region dates to the migration of trekboer communities into the dry Cape interior from the beginning of the 18th century.[27] Like elsewhere on the Cape’s northern frontier, following a series of wars between the San and Khoi and the Dutch, which in this area was heightened in the 1750’s,[28] San and Khoi people and their offspring in this area were absorbed by ‘trekboers’ as forced unpaid labour. The experience of the San who, unlike some of the Khoi,[29] refused to collaborate with the Dutch was particularly vicious and is described by Nigel Penn thus:

The typical mode of operation was for a commando to sneak up on a group of sleeping San at night and quietly encircle them. At first light the commando members would then fire their muskets at the sleeping figures, killing the men and, if they pleased, taking some women and children captive.[30]

The violent capture of San women by trekboer commandos was underscored by the murder of their husbands and their infants ‘(too young to be carried by the farmers for the purpose to use them as bondsmen)’[31] whose brains were knocked out against the rocks ‘in order to save powder and shot’.[32] The psychological impact of such experiences on these women must have been profound and has no doubt travelled down to subsequent generations.

As Nigel Penn has uncovered from primary archival sources, the plight of the San people at the hands of trekboers was highlighted by John Barrow, secretary to the Lord Macartney during the period of the first British Occupation of the Cape (1795 to1803) when he stated that ‘it was the San who merited British protection and the Boers who were the inhuman and uncultivated savages’.[33] However, such feelings of offence at the behaviour of trekboers and authorities in the interior were also expressed by Dutch officials. In 1794 Commissioner Sluysken requested an enquiry into the ‘inhuman’ conduct of the veldwachtmeesters’ and veldkorporaals towards the wives and children of ‘innocent Khoikhoi’ in this region who were rounded up and distributed amongst themselves.[34]

Robert Shell asserted that ‘This process of capture and enserfment of the Khoi and also the San continued throughout the remainder of the eighteenth century, but became most apparent after the abolition of the slave trade in 1808’.[35] However, as Brenner has shown in his study of coerced San and Khoi labour in rural areas, ‘the status of Khoisan certainly resembled that of slaves’.[36] Certainly in 1826 a farmer in this region asserted that his entire labourforce was made up of Khoi people, including ten children of whom would be bound to him ‘until they are twenty five, and perhaps until they are twenty nine years of age’.[37] As early as 1795 farmers in this region demanded that ‘any Bushmen or Hottentot women caught singly or on commando either previously or now, shall henceforth be the property of the farmer employing them, and serve him for life. Should they run away, their master shall be entitled to pursue them and punish them na merites.’[38] There was no place to hide and in this region farmers demanded that ‘No runaway Hottentot shall be allowed sanctuary in any colonie (kraal) but shall be accosted and warned by the District Officers and despatched directly back to the Lord and Master, or else taken in custody by the messenger.’[39]

The cultural genocide of the San and Khoi people

Speaking of the arguments surrounding ‘assimilationist ideology’, social psychologists Manuela Barreto and Naomi Ellemers assert that within this ideology ‘migrants can only be fully included in the host society if they relinquish their native culture and substitute it by the host culture’.[40] The paradox for the San and Khoi and their descendants within this community are that although they were not the migrants, they were forced to assimilate to the culture of their colonisers, in a manner that relegated them to inferior status within their natal land. A potent factor in their land dispossession, which shares similar features to the fate of the Australian Aboriginal people is the way ‘there was a denial by the white colonizers of the reality of Aboriginal peoples as human beings’.[41] This resulted in the cultural genocide of those who survived the physical genocide of colonisation.

While a thorough genealogical analysis of the people of this rural community is beyond the scope of this paper and would, due to the magnitude of the research required, be best investigated through my future doctoral study, the available historical data suggests that the roots of this historically virtually intact community are strongly anchored in the indigenous Khoi and San people.[42] The negative social value that continues to be attributed to marginalised groups in South Africa, particularly to those of San and Khoi descent, is further exacerbated by the scant attention given to the genocide of the San and Khoi people. The frustration of this state of affairs felt at ground level is highlighted in a Cape Times article by T L Andrews, a South African journalist living in Germany. Andrews argues that victims of genocide carried out by Europeans in Africa are not acknowledged in the same way that victims of genocide in Europe are and states that ‘the inequality among genocides will remain a manifestation of broader inequality in the world’.[43]

The enslaved people

The Khoi and San people were not the only casualties of colonisation at the Cape. Enforced labour through slavery was also central to this system. The foreign born enslaved people can best be described as unwilling immigrants whose arrival at the Cape was traumatic. They were alienated from their families and natal homes and their labour was extracted through violence, or the threat of violence. However, against this backdrop there was differential treatment and ‘slave hierarchies’. Furthermore, the manner of treatment meted out to the enslaved in urban Cape Town, no matter how cruel, was always considered kinder than the treatment meted out to enslaved people in rural areas.[44] The cash-strapped trekboers availed themselves to the enforced labour of indigenous San and Khoi women and children as most could not afford to become slaveholders.[45] However, the few enslaved people who happened to find themselves in the hands of trekboers were greatly pitied. During the course of slavery at the Cape, to be an enslaved person in a rural environment was considered the worst form of punishment, as trekboers in rural areas had built up a reputation for being extremely violent towards their labourforce.[46] This is significant when considering the differential outcomes for enslaved people and their descendants at the Cape.

The term ‘Coloured’ first came into usage at the Cape in 1825, when Sir Richard Plasket requested that the census be changed so that people formerly described as ‘Free Blacks’[47] were to be termed ‘Coloured’.[48] Following  the emancipation of enslaved people in 1834 (with the four year Apprenticeship period ending in1838) all people who were not socially constructed as ‘White’ or ‘African’ were collectively socially constructed as ‘Coloured’.[49]

This identity construct formed during British Colonial rule at the Cape, was reinforced during Apartheid.[50]According to the Population Registration Act (30 of 1950) (Government Gazette Extraordinary 26 May 1967) there were seven categories of ‘Coloured’ people: Cape Coloured, Malay, Griqua, Indian, Chinese, other Asiatic and other Coloured, the last being a category for those who fitted into none of the other categories.[51] The tragedy of social constructions is how they become absorbed by the Other, in what Charmaine McEachern describes as auto-ethnography, whereby ‘people undertake to describe themselves in ways that engage with representations others have made of them’.[52]

The ‘Coloured’ identity construction is thus problematic because it does not acknowledge the possibility of ancestral lineage beyond this identity construction. Conversely, it has required a number of diverse peoples to fulfil a colonial and Apartheid idealised vision of what this identity construction is supposed to mean and as such is in and of itself a source of trauma.[53] In essence what this community and their ancestors have experienced is cultural genocide.

Speaking of genocide Jared McDonald rightly states:

Genocide entails more than just mass murder. The definition outlined in the United Nations Convention of 1948 includes inflicting ‘serious bodily or mental harm’.[54]

M.B[55]., the originator of the NGO, discussed his own experience of this identity construction saying ‘any community is lost if they don’t know their identity’. This cultural loss was inflicted on their ancestors and has been transmitted intergenerationally.

For the Khoi and the San, the trauma of this cultural genocide was accompanied by huge economic cost. Through the Caledon Code of 1809 the relegation of the Khoi from a once livestock-holding indigenous people into a landless working class became formalised to the extent that their very access to the land was limited as they were forced to carry a ‘pass’.[56] During this period the San were also battling with the ravages of their dispossession and were said to be in ‘desperate poverty’, some of who were reported to be ‘eking out an existence on drought-ravaged plains by scratching for bulbs and roots’.[57] Through the Apprenticeship Law of 1812, the children of the Khoi and significantly, also the San, were drawn into a net of enforced labour on the farms for ten years, commencing at the age of eight.[58] A significant by-product of this law was that these children were to be ‘instructed in the ‘Christian religion’ and the ‘English language’.[59] The San had their own religion linked to ‘a spiritual being known as /Kaggen’, a belief system which manifested itself most strongly in their art.[60] Thus the removal of their children onto settler farms and their enforced initiation into Christianity resulted in a loss of their natal culture and religion. In short, through this cultural genocide they ‘lost their ethnic identity’.[61] The notorious system of ‘divide and rule’ utilised so successfully by the Apartheid regime was also enforced on the San and the Khoi by both the Dutch the British colonial authorities, who accorded the least consideration to, and inflicted the most severe brutality on, the San.[62]

Thus, although both groups were subjected to trekboer brutality, the Khoikhoi were granted legal equality in 1828, but not the San. To this end the vulnerability of the San to ‘lawless colonial frontier’[63] violence intensified. It was through this violence that the children of the San parents who were murdered by commandos were absorbed as labourers on settler farms. Because the majority of the survivors of the Commando attacks on the San were children, the violent and traumatic separation from their parents also resulted in the loss of their ethnic identity and ancestral culture.[64] In this way they were assimilated into settler culture, in a manner that relegated them and their descendents to the bottom of a constructed social hierarchy where they were to live their lives as a docile cheap labourforce.[65] In the early 1830’s these children’s identities became merged with that of the Khoi through official colonial identity constructions.[66] By 1838 their descendants would be absorbed into an even more ambiguous identity construction, namely ‘Coloured’.

Jared McDonald poignantly encapsulates the plight of the San in the following way:

The rupturing of intergenerational connections destroyed their distinct culture and with it, the foundational relationship between San and the land.[67]

The majority of the descendants of the dispossessed indigenous San and Khoi people lived as poorly paid farmworkers, where they were exposed to the excesses of the ‘dop system’, a system whereby they were ‘rewarded’ for hard work with alcohol[68], a situation that can best be described as ‘social death’.[69] With the severing of their historical ties to the land through colonisation, there emerged an ironic situation where the people with foundational historic and indigenous ties to the land were rendered into a state of ‘un-belonging’. Furthermore, in addition to the intergenerational effects of colonialism with its sinister by-products of dispossession, enslavement, cultural genocide of the Khoi and San people in particular, and overt racism and humiliation, this community is also emerging from the more recent hangover of Apartheid, the primary aim of which was to create ‘an eternal underclass of subservient peoples, providing a docile and cheap labourforce for the ‘master race’.[70] Both these historical events relegated this community and their descendants into a socially constructed hierarchy within which they were regarded as ‘second-class citizens’.[71]

From a Blikkies Band to an NGO

In 2002 M.B., a member of a marginalised rural community in the Western Cape, comprising no more than 3000 people, started a ‘blikkies band’ for the youth in his community where they made music with empty paint and biscuit tins. His aim was to encourage the youth to overcome their dire circumstances through making music. The group, who marched through their own and neighbouring towns playing music from recycled tins, came to be featured on television and subsequently caught the attention of a Britain-based author who assisted with fundraising. From these meagre beginnings money was raised to purchase a building and the NGO was formed. The influence of the NGO has grown exponentially and targets farms schools, the two village schools and has also been accredited to run diversion programmes for children sentenced by the SA courts. The NGO also runs holiday programmes that benefit approximately 350 to 500 children. Some of the skills taught encompass music, art, pottery and even botany. At the forefront of these initiatives is the NGO’s founder and also a human rights activist who had ‘retired’ to this town and is now busier than ever with his work as treasurer (and so much more) at the NGO. The NGO founder states that primary aim of the NGO is to re-build the shattered self esteem of this community, starting with its youth and to ‘break the cycle of poverty, domestic violence and alcoholism / drug misuse within the family and community’.[72] This paper hypothesises that many of the social problems that the NGO is working hard to overcome are related to historical and intergenerational trauma related particularly to Khoi and San dispossession in this region.

Unpacking intergenerational trauma

Intergenerational trauma is ‘a form of historic trauma that is transmitted across generations’.[73]According to Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, professor of psychology at the University of Free State and highly acclaimed author of ‘A human being died that night’ ‘It’s a well-known phenomenon in psychology that children can internalise their parents’ traumas and make their painful experiences feel almost as strong as if they were their own.’[74] In this way trauma is carried down intergenerationally from one generation to the next.

The hypothesis of historic / intergenerational trauma was first explored by Aboriginal people in Canada and Australia in the 1980’s as a means to explain ‘the seeming unending cycle of trauma and despair in their communities’.[75] Since then it has become a focus of study by psychologists and much has been written about the effects of trauma on indigenous communities internationally.[76] However, the traumatic impact of San/Khoi dispossession and slavery in the Western Cape and its intergenerational traumatic legacy is still not widely acknowledged in South Africa.

As Shanaaz Hoosain, a local scholar[77] who has done groundbreaking research on intergenerational trauma in displaced families at the Cape so rightly states, ‘the trauma of displacement and historical trauma of slavery was not acknowledged as traumatic by the dominant society because South African society was based on institutional racism’.[78]As Ashley T. Brenner has so eloquently shown, the violence meted out to San and Khoi people by the trekboers was infinitely more brutal than that meted out to enslaved people in urban Cape Town.[79]  This paper hypothesises that historical trauma has been passed down in families in this community from one generation to the next. This phenomenon has occurred in various ways. For example, as in this community and others, intergenerational trauma was carried through stories of trauma passed down in families, in this way passing down the trauma itself to the children through second hand knowledge and empathy with the original traumatic experience. The psychologist Molly S. Castello speaks of this phenomenon, saying ‘sometimes anxiety falls from one generation to the next through stories told’.[80] Conversely unacknowledged traumas could be carried down intergenerationally through poor parenting by people psychologically scarred by historical trauma, with each generation re-enacting the trauma.[81]

Robert Shell referred to the impact of the intergenerational trauma of slavery at the Cape, saying ‘the social costs and hidden injuries for future generations are plainly incalculable’.[82] To this end Shell’s speculations about intergenerational trauma stand out as a deviation in historical literature, where intergenerational trauma was not considered.

Similar historical trauma was experienced by the indigenous San and Khoi people, who inhabited this region and whose descendants have continued to live as a largely intact community over many generations, a small proportion of whom may have intermarried with people of ‘slave’ descent, of whom there were few in this region.[83] The emasculation of males during slavery and San / Khoi dispossession in the Western Cape by European colonisers is well documented and the consequences have been far-reaching.[84] Thus, in the Western Cape today as in many other provinces in South Africa, whole communities go about their daily lives repeating behaviours that are characterised as, or perceived to be, normal. These behaviours include substance abuse and violence, all strong indicators of communities struggling with ‘hopelessness, depression and a general self destructive outlook.’[85] It is a phenomenon that is described by Dr Joy du Gruy as post traumatic slave syndrome.[86] While some may argue that the societal problems mentioned above are simply manifestations of poverty, it is the addition of negative social value and historical trauma that creates difference. Du Gruy argues that for African Americans the ‘social denial of both historical and present-day racism has taken on pathological dimensions.’[87] As such there is a difference between overcoming poverty without the added component of racial prejudice and historical trauma as opposed to overcoming poverty linked to racial prejudice and historical trauma.

Speaking of the sexual exploitation of women in the VOC Slave Lodge, Robert Shell, describes how every night from 8.00pm to 9.00pm the enslaved males were sent to empty the town’s pales, while the Lodge was turned into a brothel.[88] The ramifications of the trauma of rape experienced by enslaved women both at the Lodge and in private homes; as well as the rape of San and Khoi women, has travelled intergenerationally for many with the inappropriate sexualisation of young girls and women.[89] This problem is a manifestation of deep woundedness in a society where the chances of a young woman being raped or inappropriately sexualised are dangerously commonplace. Added to the traumas experienced by women and young girls in marginalised communities, is the perception that they themselves are at fault for this state of affairs. Certainly this line of thinking was at the crux of an article written by a radio broadcaster named Kuli Roberts who made an overarching statement referring to the sexuality of all women of mixed ancestry at the Cape that was both discourteous and disparaging.[90] While her comments were largely based on ignorance, they certainly perpetuate a stereotype. What is troubling too about this particular incident is how a woman who herself no doubt experienced trauma and humiliation during Apartheid felt comfortable to publically perpetuate this same behaviour on a marginalised group of women in South Africa, many of whom are extremely vulnerable due to the ravages of poverty and historical trauma.

This trauma continued with the implementation of the Apartheid forced removals in this area when members of this community forcibly removed from their homes, with the entire community placed beyond a koppie where they were situated beyond the view of residents who were socially constructed as ‘white’. Having for many generations been hidden away behind a hill, many people may have perceived themselves as something shameful, something that needs to be hidden away.

Low parental income, a problem that affects both urban and rural marginalised communities in the Western Cape, limits opportunities for children to prosper socially and educationally, exacerbating problems of low self esteem. The Tik[91] ‘epidemic’ affecting youth in poor communities in the Western Cape is a tragic manifestation of this.[92] Sylvia Walker argues that marginalised groups ‘such as those found on the Cape Flats’ are often the targets of drug dealers. [93] Certainly poverty is the ultimate trauma as it renders people vulnerable to abuse. Conversely in trying to combat their own poverty, there are those who exploit others for personal gain.

As an aside, historically this was the case for many people who arrived at the Cape from Europe, where they themselves were escaping grinding poverty in their countries of origin.[94] These were people who were themselves treated with great cruelty by the European aristocracy where women were, for example similarly raped. Research has strikingly revealed that the modes of treatment of enslaved and dispossessed people at the Cape mimicked the treatment of the poor in Europe[95]. In 1930 Henry W. Thurston argued that there was a fine line between slavery and feudalism in Europe. He emphasised the point stating that under feudalism ‘children were primarily tributary to the welfare of the manor as a unit, which in turn owed everything to the overlord’.[96] He states further that ‘under slavery children were subject to their parents and the unregulated will of the slave owner’.[97] Thurston also describes how the state of pauperism in Europe following the collapse of the feudal system with the introduction of the currency of money, led to such extreme measures for Europe’s poor that the poor were ‘sold by auction’.[98] Strikingly too the similarity in the treatment of Europe’s poor post feudalism mimics the treatment of oppressed people in South Africa. They were similarly affected by vagrancy laws and were similarly ascribed with a negative social value.[99]

In a study by Jerome September, a youth connector at the Citizens Movement focusing on the substance abuse crisis in South Africa, key traits that he attributes to people displaying such wounded behaviour are ‘self-sabotaging behaviour and a sense of hopelessness.’[100] The people he describes as being most affected by this substance abuse crisis in South Africa are men of apparent mixed ancestry in the Western Cape. Speaking of intergenerational trauma, the Canadian psychologist Joe Solanto makes similar observations about Aboriginal men in Canada who he says use alcohol as a form of ‘self medication’. [101] Men in this marginalised rural community in the Western Cape display similar phenomena, which is being carried down to the youth:

JY: What do young people do over the weekends?

RS: Joline, I am not going to lie to you. It’s drinking, it’s alcohol, it’s dagga. But there are children who don’t do this.

***

The community today

If you drive into the town today you will see a group of inebriated people, mostly middle-aged men, outside the bottle-store and a smaller group of inebriated men begging for money outside the local supermarket. If you don’t venture beyond this point, this is all you will see of the community and this is what you may base your assumption of the community on. However, if you do venture into the area where this community resides, you will discover that there is so much more to this community than this.

The life experiences of the people in this community are best described as double-sided. On the one hand they have to cope with the ravages of poverty and social problems like alcohol abuse, dagga and the slowly creeping entry of methamphetamine, popularly known as ‘Tik’[102]  which is being brought into the area from the city.

Unemployment is rife in this community, with many depending on seasonal work on the farms. Income for many families in this community peak at R1500.00 a month, which means that hunger is a constant theme in the lives of people and that the children are most vulnerable. Were it not for the NGO’s weekday programme where children are given a meal a day, their situation would be critical. I queried with one of the interns how anyone could survive, let alone buy alcohol, on these meagre earnings and he said that many people were in a constant spiral of debt to their employers who would deduct the debt at the end of the month and then advance a loan for the next month. Another said that unemployed people got money to buy alcohol by begging:

Most of them are sitting on the café stoop and they ask you, give me R1.00 and that is where they get the money.

The arrival of Tik in this community is concerning as the ‘sudden increase’[103] in crime in the urban Western Cape from 2003 / 2004 has been directly related to Tik.

In many ways the targeting of the Western Cape for Tik distribution by drug dealers can be described as a silent Holocaust of the youth of mixed race in the Western Cape for the health risks it imposes upon them. These include severe weight loss, anorexia, severe dermatological problems, higher risk of seizures; inducing a tremor similar to Parkinson’s disease convulsions, stroke and renal failure. They also become a danger to their communities and society at large as the use of Tik induces uncontrollable rage and violent behaviour combined with confusion, memory loss, paranoia, depressive reactions and panic disorders.[104]

The ‘increased sense of sexuality’[105] brought about with the use of Tik poses dangers for sexually-related crimes by those using Tik and has also been documented as having impacted on the spread of the HIV virus. Julie Berg describes this phenomenon in the following way:

Not only are ‘tik’ users more likely to be HIV positive, but there is some support for the claim that the HIV virus replicates and mutates more rapidly in the presence of ‘tik’.[106]

One of the interns also attributed the rise of HIV to alcohol abuse, saying that ‘when people drink alcohol they want to have sex’. Furthermore, as with the problem of foetal alcohol syndrome; children born to parents who use Tik are at risk, most notably for impaired ‘brain development.’[107]

At the moment the Tik problem is limited to a small portion of the community and I am told by the interns that drug dealers use FAS children, some aged as young as ten, to sell the Tik in the community. According to the interns these are vulnerable children who have left school due to learning difficulties related to foetal alcohol syndrome, a legacy of the dop system, whose parents are not capable of sufficiently supporting their material and emotional needs.

The initiative by the NGO to mitigate the spread of Tik in the community includes outreach projects for next year that will focus on the harmful nature of Tik. This will be done through plays that the interns and other NGO staff will run in the wider community, which are hosted on farms and in nearby towns.[108] Notwithstanding all the challenges facing this community, there are also many positive aspects to their lives.

I see an incredible sense of community that is sadly disappearing for people in urban areas. Children still play together outside their homes, which is a far cry from the urban way of life where many children spend most of their time indoors playing computer games on their own. Being a small, close-knit community, this area is still generally safe to live in. In the afternoons on weekdays, groups of schoolchildren can be seen walking home from school. There is a sense of camaraderie among the older pupils, which is made possible by shared life experiences strongly anchored in their community. Over weekends and in the late afternoons on weekdays, groups of children can be seen playing football. Although the RDP houses are small, some of the older homes are larger and solidly built. Significantly, no matter the size of the home, residents show a great sense of pride in their homes, which are painted a variety of colourful shades, offering a sense of harmony to the backdrop of the beautiful landscape. Small gardens containing a mixture of vegetables and flowers, demonstrate this community’s connectedness to nature in their rural environment. There is none of the pollution that one sees in urban settings and as one of the interns mentioned to me; he loves his hometown because the air is clean. Cleanliness is a defining feature of this community, providing as it does a sense of stable orderliness as a means of counteracting the vulnerabilities caused by poverty. However, the lack of access to quality education and a lack of ancestral knowledge beyond a colonial constructed identity, ‘Coloured’, has resulted in the constant chipping away of self esteem for many in the Western Cape. A leading figure in the community and the originator of the NGO refers to this phenomenon when he says:

I believe ‘Coloured’ is no identity. In the past it was a joke if you said you are Khoi or you are San. That was a joke. And now people start realising that you have to know where you come from to know where you are going

He further adds that for himself, learning about his history through the history programme at the NGO, has been ‘life changing’.

The NGO as the hub of the community

As you enter the building that houses this NGO on a Saturday, your eye will immediately be drawn to the pool table, which on a weekend or in the afternoons is the centre of serious play by youngsters from the community. However, on a week day the sounds that emanate from this building depend on what time of the day it is.  In the afternoons there is the sound of the children who attend the Aftercare where they do art, music and drama and on Tuesdays they have access to the Toy Library, which is equipped with lego, dolls, puzzles, scooters and sports equipment. By 3pm when the high school musicians arrive for their music practise, the building comes alive to the sounds of drums, acoustic guitars and other musical instruments as the resident band practises under the guidance of their music teacher.

In the mornings the building sounds different. It is relatively quiet except for the sound of the telephone at the reception area and more importantly, the sounds of laughter and deep discussion coming from the five interns in the computer / lecture room. It is here that I have spent a total of seven days spanning two separate visits, with this group of young people, who have been awarded a  twelve month internship with the NGO. While the community outside went about their daily business, the interns, and I pondered identity constructions, covered the fundamentals of oral history interviewing guided by my own training in oral history with Sean Field at the Centre for Popular Memory at UCT, which included interviewing each other and sharing aspirations for the future. We also did a workshop on Cape slavery, where the interns and other members of the NGO were given an overview of slavery at the Cape during both Dutch and British colonial periods by myself. We discussed issues such as gender, religion, natal alienation and diverse outcomes related to differential treatment.

The interns / interviewees

The young people I have had the privilege of working with are aged between aged between 19 and 22. Three of them are males and two are females. They have all grown up in this community and interact with each other with the ease of communication that comes from a long established community background. During a second visit spanning three days, I interviewed the interns and two staff members at the NGO. The interviews were conducted one on one with the interviewees speaking of their aspirations and dreams. They spoke of their hopes for, and concerns about, their community and how they felt they could make a difference. Pertinently they spoke about the role that the NGO has played in shaping the course that their lives have taken.

M.B., theoriginator of the NGO is a middle-aged man who grew up in the community. He considers the greatest success story of the NGO programme to be that children are getting tertiary education. M.B. himself has benefited from partaking in the research project that the NGO undertook with the interns in 2014, that covered the community’s Khoi history. M.B. says that this knowledge has ‘impacted’ on his life and that he is proud of his Khoi ancestry.

S.F. aged 22 is a softly spoken, gentle-natured young woman. She was born in a nearby farming town and moved into this community with her parents at the age of 5. She describes a very happy childhood in this community. Her mother works as a domestic worker and her father is a farmworker. S.F. has a two year old daughter and lives with her husband who is a security guard. She is the oldest of three children and has a sister who is studying to become a schoolteacher and a brother who is studying to become a carpenter. Some of her family work on the farms. Although she has completed matric, she says there was no money for tertiary education when she matriculated and that she did not know about the availability of study bursaries at the time. However, her siblings have accessed bursaries through the NGO. Her dream for her daughter is to ‘finish matric and get a great job’. Her dream for South Africa is that there will be more jobs for people. S.F. joined the NGO programme as an intern this year. She did not benefit from the research into the Khoi that last year’s interns benefitted from and says that she does not know anything about the San and the Khoi.This was expressed with a sense of bewilderment.

R.S. aged 20 is a polite, well spoken and extremely engaging young man. He was born in the city and moved to this rural area at the age of 5. Unlike his peers, R.S.’s father is from the city, however his mother comes from this community. He is the youngest of four children. R.S. attended the local school in the community up until Grade 2 and then moved to the formerly ‘white’ school in this town. His parents run an informal business from their RDP home, where they sell tin food ‘on the book’. R.S.’s girlfriend ‘comes from the farm’. They have a baby girl aged two, who was born when R.S. was in Grade 11 and his girlfriend in Grade 9. They live with R.S.’s parents who assist them financially. R.S. appears to be very protective of his girlfriend who comes from an abusive home environment where she was at risk. He also appears to be a very proud and loving father. He says he would like to marry his girlfriend as soon as he is economically able to. He says he loves living in his community as he feels it is safer than Cape Town.

D.P. aged 22 years, is a bright, extremely likable young man who gets along well with his peers and appears to be a leader in his group. The second born in his family, he was born in this town and spent all of his life here. He lost his mother to cancer at the age of 14 and does not see much of his father, who he describes as a ‘drunkard’. D.P. says that he likes helping people. This is something that has likely been instilled within him from a young age, as he describes taking care of his mother every morning and after school for many years before she died. He also has a younger brother who he cares for and they all live with his grandmother who D.P. takes care of as she is not well. D.P. seems to be the anchor in this family as his older brother also displays a tendency toward alcohol abuse. The positive male role model in D.P.’s life was his maternal grandfather, who was a minister, a very religious man and teetotaller. The home their grandfather left them, although not very large, is a comfortable old brick home with a lovingly decorated lounge and a well-tended garden.

B.J. is a self-assured reserved, but pleasant woman who is 30 years of age. She works as an After Care teacher at the NGO. She has a diploma in youth development. She lost her mother when she was young and grew up in the home of her maternal grandparents. B.J. does not seem willing to discuss her father at length, but says her grandfather, who died seven years ago, was a father figure all his grandchildren. She has fond memories of her grandfather and describes how on a Friday she and her grandfather would go and buy chicken that the family would braai on a Saturday. She describes her grandfather as ‘the link that tied us all together’, saying that when she graduated she felt hugely proud that her grandfather attended her graduation. B.J. is married with one child. B.J. says she sees herself getting old at the NGO and says her greatest wish is that the NGO will always be there for the community.

A.K. is a polite young man who is 19 years of age lives in the community with his mother, to whom he is very close. His parents are divorced and his father lives in a neighbouring town, but they have a good relationship. A.K. attended the ‘formerly white’ school in the town, however, he left before completing matric due to conflict with one of the teachers. At the ‘pre-interview’ he described this conflict as being due to the principal still ‘having Apartheid in him’ and treating him in a way that left him feeling humiliated and ostracised. At the second interview he said that the principal had in fact met with him and that they had healed the rift. A.K. plans to complete his matric next year, but it is not clear whether he will return to his old school.

E.U. is a well presented, polite young lady who is 20 years of age and lives with her boyfriend. Her mother lives in a neighbouring town. Her parents are divorced. E.U. has matric and plans to go to college, however, she has recently discovered that she is pregnant

Oral history thematic interpretation

There were certain themes that arose in the oral history interviews. Many themes were positive and these related particularly to activities connected to the NGO. These include holiday camps, youth outreach and discussions about their aspirations for the future. The interns themselves were jovial with each other, but also treated each other, myself and staff at the NGO with consideration and respect. During discussions they spoke about concerns for some of their peers in the community. This related mostly to alcohol abuse and the recent arrival of Tik in the community. Overwhelmingly interviewees spoke of the problem of alcohol abuse in the community with most if not all interviewees having had first-hand experience of the impact of alcohol abuse in their own families. A young male intern asserted impassively, ‘my father is a drunkard’. A gently spoken female intern said simply ‘My father was also a drinker and I know little things that happen.’

The use of alcohol is well documented as a coping mechanism in cases of severe trauma, particularly trauma related to extreme violence.[109] Historical trauma is even more far reaching[110] and the impact of alcohol dependency as a manifestation of this is encapsulated in the following statement by a former farmworker to a journalist in 2007:

There’s a culture of drinking, the parents drink – the women the whole week and the men on weekends. I’ve lived on four farms and seen it on all of them. It’s a behaviour pattern, a sickness, that passes from one generation to the next. [my emphasis][111]

One of the interns concurred, that ‘the dop system has become a way of life’. [112]

M.B. collaborates with this statement saying:

Our people were paid in a form of alcohol in the past and I think that is still being a way part of us because sometimes, people rather prefer taking alcohol as pay than to have money.

Alcohol deadens the psyche from overwhelming pain and for many, especially the males who were emasculated and rendered incapable of protecting and adequately supporting their wives and children, the use of alcohol would have been far-reaching in anaesthetising themselves against their powerlessness.

However, the problem of alcohol abuse also affects many women. M.B. describes this in the following way:

Some of the women are still drinking because maybe some are alcoholics. Some grew up where their mothers and fathers were drinking and so they think that is the right way to do things.

Foetal alcohol syndrome affects a number of children in this community. FAS children who come to the NGO are easily recognisable as they are small in stature with facial abnormalities. They are also plagued with ‘poor co-ordination, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, speech and language difficulties, mental retardation or low IQ and poor judgement skills’.[113] B.J. works with children at the NGO and describes the challenges that face the children there who have foetal alcohol syndrome:

It is quite sad, they try so hard. If they don’t understand something, you can do everything to try to make them understand, to cut with a scissor (sic), but if they can’t do it they can’t do it.’

Conversely for M.B. the experience of growing up with a mother and stepfather who drank has hardened his resolve not to touch alcohol. 

M.B.: I don’t want my children to go through things that I grew up with. They never ever see me with a glass of liquor. Because I believe in my life that you as a father have to lead the way so that your child can[not] point a finger at you and say ‘it’s because you daddy, because you drink, that is why I started to drink.’

J.Y.: So you don’t touch alcohol?

M.B.: No I don’t touch alcohol.

Legacies of the past

The young people I worked with are caught between histories, having been born post Apartheid, but still experiencing some of its vices. Experiences of discrimination at the previously ‘whites only’ school emerges in subtle ways

RS: You know Joline the Apartheid, like I said had a huge effect on everyone and for instance, the secretary was a white and if I would ask for copies for a task and they would say no.

JY: How did that make you feel?

RS: I feel a bit sad you know and even when I was in matric there was a teacher who said one day: ‘Wow, Mr N [principal] is back so the team is now back again so we can start putting the children outside the class.’

Putting children out of the class when a lesson is taking place is a serious impediment to learning, causing these children to lose the thread of the learning process and in frustration just giving up. Despite these experiences R.S. also describes positive experiences and mentions teachers who had a positive effect on him. However, there were also signs that R.S. was repressing the negative memories and immediately replacing them with positive ones:

JY: What didn’t you like about the school?

RS: ‘The way certain people treated you, but there was one teacher, Mrs C, she was the best!’

The sociologist Stanley Cohen describes repression as the ‘archetypal defence mechanism: keeping out of awareness information that evokes the psychic pains of trauma, guilt and shame.’[114] It is a way of remembering and forgetting. Cohen expands on this phenomenon in the following way:

We enter a state of double unawareness – both of the original repression and of our efforts to hide its emergence now. This is really a triple forgetting: we forget, we forget that we have forgotten, then we forget what we start to remember.

However, during an interview with M.B., the originator of the NGO, he remembered an experience during Apartheid, where he was humiliated by a group of ‘white’ males in a neighbouring town when he tried to visit a girlfriend who was a domestic worker in the town. These men wouldn’t allow him to continue walking towards the home where his girlfriend lived and he was forced to leave the area without visiting his girlfriend. To me, the irony of this humiliating and emasculating experience for M.B. is how his historical right to the landscape was negated. Although this experience had been buried for many years, through the safe space of a personal interview and in the secure environment of the NGO, M.B. was able to voice this troubling memory and put it to rest.

***

The impact of the NGO in this community has been life-changing for many young people who are now receiving tertiary education. They also experience positive role-modelling with art, music and dance programmes as well as the youth outreach programmes. These programmes encompass exploring the height of their ancestor’s culture, most notably the rieldans, a traditional Khoi dance.

Other programmes offered by the NGO include a sports programme offering cricket, handball, bowling, tug-of-war and tennis in the summer and rugby, soccer, netball, bowling and table tennis in the winter, with sport matches held on Saturdays. There is also a holiday school programme that offers arts and crafts, play building, games and sports and a farm school outreach that offers storytelling, reading, arts and crafts and play building. A two year ‘Young Leaders Programme’ is run by the NGO, which offers structured weekly workshops for youth on Fridays from 14h00 to 17h00. There are also educational excursions and occasional residential weekends. Significantly there is a matric outreach programme that offers individual counselling in career-pathing, and final year high school students are assisted with applications to tertiary institutions and bursary support. A donation of bicycles to the NGO has facilitated the commencement of a bike club run three times a week on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Here the youth are taught cycling, training in road safety and bike maintenance. They are also being prepared for participation in marathons.[115]

At the core of these initiatives is the desire to break through the shadows of an unremembered past, in order to heal the woundedness of historical trauma and communal repression, which has psychologically shackled this community and their ancestors. Through the initiatives and programmes run by the NGO there is a shift away from the negative social value that has been foisted upon this community intergenerationally. Significantly, through the influence of the NGO, many of the socially constructed ‘white’ residents in the town have become inspired by the programme and want to help.

As such there is now a level of giving coming from some in the formerly ‘whites only’ part of the town with residents giving of their time to share skills such as art, music and pottery with young people at the NGO.

Admittedly some of these ‘helpers’ are new residents to the area and comprise largely of retired academics. However, M.B. asserts that some of the original residents are also helping:

M.B.: Yes, I think there is a better understanding now from people at that side of the hill now, because most of the people from that side of the hill are more aware of what we are doing now and they are reaching out to us more than they used to in the past.

J.Y.: Are these the same people who used to live here in the past or are these new people?

M.B.: There are some new people and some old people that stayed here.

J.Y.: And is it the new people who are helping?

M.B.: I think the new and the old people, they are both helping us.

In these and many others ways the NGO is facilitating a break with the past. The most significant aspect of this NGO is that it is not only dealing with the symptoms, but is seeking to find a cure. To this end they are researching the history of this region and educating as many people as possible about their heritage. One interviewee has linked the sharing nature of the community to their Khoi lineage:

I believe our people were people that did share a lot and er because if I think of when they slaughter maybe a sheep or a cow they always share. And that is also built into my life

***

At the end of each year the NGO organises a parade in the town where the better off and not so better off members of the town march to the centre of town where festivities are held that draw people together.

This year the theme of the festival was slavery and youth from the NGO put on a play about the history of slavery in this area. The play was recently held on a Sunday evening in the grounds of the village school and attended by members of both the privileged and non-privileged in this area. Disappointingly, when the theme of slavery was acted out, some ‘privileged’ people got up and left, leaving me wondering to what extent their behaviour was informed by denial.[116] However, the play was still well attended with some 300 people present and their departure did nothing to spoil the overall feeling of goodwill and massive appreciation of this captivating event. As I marvelled at the incredible talent displayed by the animated dancers and singers whose ages ranged from four to twenty four, it dawned on me that had Apartheid not ended and had this NGO not been formed, these young people would have been doomed to a live their lives as poor-paid farmworkers’ seeking solace in the bitter harvest of the dop system.

Conclusion

The extent to which people are accorded social value is the extent to which their historical experiences and traumas are regarded or disregarded. This has been a reality for this rural farmworking community and many others. Historically this community was considered by the dominant society to be little more than vessels of cheap labour whose labour was coerced through violence and the dop system. As such the trauma of violence they experienced was not acknowledged and has been left untreated and festering from one generation to the next.

The intergenerational legacy of the violence experienced by the indigent community in this region is not something that can be eradicated overnight. This legacy reflects itself through the hopeless dependence on alcohol, used as a means of coping with the symptoms of historical trauma that many in this community still cannot give context to. Not knowing their history and not being able to perceive themselves beyond an identity that was constructed to dehumanise and destabilise them, there are still those people who fumble their way through a hazy blur of alcohol. This offers some comfort to a people who are struggling to perceive themselves as having any social value, within a society that for centuries has accorded them none.

Through the initiatives of the NGO a powerful shift in consciousness is being facilitated, via a range of opportunities. Their efforts are being bolstered by the efforts of some of the ‘better off’ in the town who share valuable skills with the youth of this community via the NGO. In this way the NGO has been phenomenal in breaking down socially constructed barriers in the town and promoting a healthy sense of self worth amongst vulnerable youth through workshops, art, music, pottery, games and through assistance with applications to tertiary institutions. The conscientising effect of discovering their indigenous roots during the research done on the indigenous San and Khoi people at the NGO last year, has been cathartic for those who have benefitted from this knowledge, and has had a profound effect on their self esteem. The outreach work of the NGO in visiting farms and doing plays which focus on pertinent themes such as teenage pregnancy and substance abuse has created a positive ripple effect from the NGO to neighbouring areas.

The NGO has become the hub of the community and is a safe place for young people to socialise and grow. Through these powerful initiatives the NGO is facilitating a rupturing of the legacy of the past with young people aspiring to a future that will be different to their parents.

Although there are some young people who have not bought into the NGO experience, with each successful young person who comes out of the NGO programme, there is a positive role-model for the youth in the community to look up to and thus the beacon of hope shines brighter. Through the educational opportunities facilitated by the NGO many young people in the community are seeing a way out of poverty. In this way they are showing their elders and their peers that it is possible to hope for, and work towards, a new tomorrow.

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Please note that in order to report the identities of interviewees, the name of the NGO has not been supplied and certain identifying characteristics of the interviewees have been obscured.


[1] I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cynthia Kros and David Wilkins for taking the time to read this paper and for offering valuable feedback. Any errors in this document are my own. I would also like to thank Nigel Worden who superbly supervised my Masters thesis at UCT, for recommending my work for this publication. This research was conducted as part of the University of Free State Mellon Foundation Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation programme headed by Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela. I would like to thank Pumla for availing me the opportunity to do this research and for her dedication and kind support of the project.

[2] Ashley Brenner ‘The “Dutch have made slaves of them all, and… they are called Free”: Slavery and Khoisan Indentured Servitude in the Eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony’ (Emory University: MA thesis, 2009) pp. 25-26. According to Brenner, the number of enslaved people in areas furthest from Urban Cape Town, such as the area of this research, were very small.

[3]Prof Robert C-H Shell, From Diaspora to Diorama, The Old Slave Lodge in Cape Town, (Cape Town: Ancestry 24, 2003) , p. 4

[4] Richard Elphick, Kraal and Castle, Khoikhoi and the founding of White South Africa (London: Yale University Press, 1977) p.xvii.

[5] Ibid, p. xv11.

[6] Ibid. p.238.

[7] Shula Marks in Shula Marks, ‘Khoisan Resistance to the Dutch in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, The Journal of African History, Vol. 13, No. 1 (1972) Shula Marks in Shula Marks, ‘Khoisan Resistance to the Dutch in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, The Journal of African History, Vol. 13, No. 1 (1972), p.57.

[8] Shula Marks in Shula Marks, ‘Khoisan Resistance to the Dutch in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, The Journal of African History, Vol. 13, No. 1 (1972) p.80.

[9] Ibid. p. 76.

[10] Ibid. p.76.

[11] Ibid. p.76.

[12] See for example R. Ross, Smallpox in the Cape of  Good Hope in the 18th century in C.Fyfe and D.M. McMasters (Eds.) African Historical Demography (Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh, 1971) pp.416-428.

[13] Leonard Guelke and Robert Shell, Landscape of conquest: Frontier water alienation and Khoikhoi strategies of survival, 1652 – 1780’ Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 18, No. 4 (December 1992) p.803.

[14] Nigel Penn has recently published another book, see Nigel Penn, Murderers, miscreants and mutineers: early colonial Cape lives (Auckland Park: Jacana Media, 2015)

[15] Nigel Penn, The Forgotten Frontier, Colonist & Khoisan on the Cape’s Northern Frontier in the 18th century (Cape Town: Double Storey Books, 2005) p. 1.

[16] Ibid. p.55. ‘the Company was itself responsible for the systematic despoliation of the Khoisan: by permitting settlers to occupy their land; by authorising official livestock bartering’ expeditions while preventing, or attempting to prevent, unofficial expeditions from taking place; and by defending the colonists against the determined resistance which resulted from these actions.’ No Ibids

[17] Ibid. 268.

[18] Ibid. p. 22.

[19] Ibid. p. 287.Journal doesn’t like Ibid – please use author’s surname and abbreviated form of the title e.g. Penn, Forgotten Frontier

[20] Mohamed Adhikari, ‘The Bushman is a Wild Animal to be Shot at Sight’ in (Ed. Mohamed Adhikari) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Lansdowne: UCT Press an imprint of Juta and Company Ltd, 2014) p. 59.

[21]Mohamed Adhikari, ‘We are Determined to Exterminate Them’ in (Ed. Mohamed Adhikari) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Lansdowne: UCT Press an imprint of Juta and Company Ltd, 2014) p. 8.

[22] Ibid. p. 29.

[23] Ashley Brenner  ‘The “Dutch have made slaves of them all, and… they are called Free”: Slavery and Khoisan Indentured Servitude in the Eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony’ (Emory University: MA thesis, 2009) p.2.

[24] Mark Solmes ‘On wine, land and transformation’ in UCT Alumni News (2014/2015) p. 16.

[25] Mark Solmes ‘On wine, land and transformation’ in UCT Alumni News (2014/2015) p. 17.

[26] Jose Burman, The Little Karoo(Cape Town: Human & Rousseau, 1981) p.45.

[27] Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) p.35. You don’t need to have all the details if (as I think you have) you have already referenced this work.

[28] Shula Marks, ‘Khoisan Resistance to the Dutch in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, The Journal of African History, Vol. 13, No. 1 (1972) p. 72.

[29] Shula Marks, ‘Khoisan Resistance to the Dutch in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, The Journal of African History, Vol. 13, No. 1 (1972) p. 76.

[30] Nigel Penn, ‘The Destruction of Hunter-Gatherer Societies on the Pastoralist Frontier: The Cape and Australia Compared’ , in Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) p. 165.

[31] Robert C-H Shell,, Children of Bondage, A social History of the Slave Society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652 – 1838 (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1994) p.32.

[32] Ibid, p.32. fix Ibid

[33]Nigel Penn, ‘The Destruction of Hunter-Gatherer Societies on the Pastoralist Frontier: The Cape and Australia Compared’ , in Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) p. 168. You can use abbreviated form of reference here

[34] Nigel Penn, The Forgotten Frontier, Colonist & Khoisan on the Cape’s Northern Frontier in the 18th Century (Cape Town: Double Story Books, 2005) p. 197.

[35] Robert C-H Shell, Children of Bondage, A social History of the Slave Society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652 – 1838 (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1994) p.32. check  throughout – use abbreviated forms for references already footnoted

[36] Ashley Brenner ‘The “Dutch have made slaves of them all, and… they are called Free”: Slavery and Khoisan Indentured Servitude in the Eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony’ (Emory University: MA thesis, 2009) p. 2.

[37]Robert C-H Shell, Children of Bondage, A social History of the Slave Society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652 – 1838 (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1994), p.33.

[38] Ibid, p.32. check for Ibids throughout

[39] Ibid. p.32.

[40] Manuela Barreto and Naomi Ellemers, ‘Multiple Identities and the Paradox of Social Inclusion’, in Fabrizio Butera and John M. Levine (Eds.) Coping with minority status, responses to exclusion and inclusion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009) p. 270.

[41] Beverley Raphael,Patricia Swan and Nada Martinek ‘Intergenerational Aspects of Trauma for Australian Aboriginal People’, in Yael Danieli (ed.) International handbook of multigenerational legacies of trauma (New York: Plenum Press, 1998) p. 327.

[42] Nigel Penn, The Forgotten Frontier, Colonist & Khoisan on the Cape’s Northern Frontier in the 18th Century (Cape Town: Double Story Books, 2005) p. 197. Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) p.35. Ashley Brenner ‘The “Dutch have made slaves of them all, and… they are called Free”: Slavery and Khoisan Indentured Servitude in the Eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony’ (Emory University: MA thesis, 2009) pp. 25-26.

[43] T L Andrews,’ Only some of the past is memorialised, Equality of genocides needed’ (Cape Times, Monday, June 15, 2015) p. 11.

[44] Robert Shell, Children of Bondage, A Social History of the Slave Society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652 – 1838 (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1994) p. 97.

[45] Ashley Brenner ‘The “Dutch have made slaves of them all, and… they are called Free”: Slavery and Khoisan Indentured Servitude in the Eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony’ (Emory University: MA thesis, 2009) p. 39.

[46] Robert Shell, Children of Bondage, A Social History of the Slave Society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652 – 1838 (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1994) p.214.

[47] The term ‘Free Black’ was given particularly to people who arrived at the Cape from Java to serve sentences under the VOC. Once they had served their sentences many remained at the Cape and influenced the spread of Islam. The term was also ascribed to people who were manumitted from slavery.

[48] WCARS, Records of the Magistrate of Simon’s Town 1793 – 1985: 1/SMT 2/5, Volume number SMT 10/18, folio 86, 21 September 1825.

[49] See ‘redefined identities and the term Coloured in Joline Young ‘Enslaved People of Simon’s Town’ (UCT: MA thesis, 2013) p.78.

[50] This section on ‘Coloured Identity Constructions’ was first cited by me in an oral history project titled: ‘Joline Young, ‘Displaced Lives Research Project Report’ (UCT: Centre for Popular Memory, 25.10.2010) p. 16.

[51] Michael Whisson, The Fairest Cape?, (Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations, 1972), pp.v-vi

[52] Charmaine McEachern, ‘Mapping the memories’: politics, place and identity in the District Six Museum, Cape Town’, in Social Identities in the new South Africa, (ed. Zegege Abede), (Cape Town: Kwela Books, 2001), pp.230

[53] For an insight into this phenomenon see Mohamed Adhikari, Burdened by race, Coloured identities in southern Africa (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2009)

[54] Jared McDonald, ‘Like a Wild Beast, He can be Got for the Catching’: Child Forced Labour and the ‘Taming’ of the San along the Cape’s North-Eastern Frontier, c. 1806-1830’ in Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) p.84.

[55] The identity of the originator and all other interviewees are being kept anonymous for their own privacy and in fulfilment with the requirements of the Ethics Committee of the University of Free State.

[56] Jared McDonald, ‘Like a Wild Beast, He can be Got for the Catching’: Child Forced Labour and the ‘Taming’ of the San along the Cape’s North-Eastern Frontier, c. 1806-1830’ in Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) p.70.

[57] Nigel Penn, ‘The Destruction of Hunter-Gatherer Societies on the Pastoralist Frontier: The Cape and Australia Compared’, in Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) p.170.

[58] Jared McDonald, ‘Like a Wild Beast, He can be Got for the Catching’: Child Forced Labour and the ‘Taming’ of the San along the Cape’s North-Eastern Frontier, c. 1806-1830’ in Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) pp.70-71.

[59] Ibid, pp.70-71.

[60]Lauren Cohen ‘’Dop system’ leaves a massive hangover, Rampant alcoholism and Foetal alcohol Syndrome are a legacy of paying for work with drink’, (Sunday Times: News & Opinion’, August 19, 2007) p.18.

[61] Shula Marks, ‘Khoisan Resistance to the Dutch in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, The Journal of African History, Vol. 13, No. 1 (1972) p. 76.

[62] There is much debate over whether the Khoi and San were one group or two distinct groups. Some considered the Khoi to have been a separate group to the San while others say that the San identity could have been attributed to a Khoi person who had lost his cattle and was thus eking out a living through hunting and gathering until he was able to return to his herding ‘Khoi’ lifestyle. However, Nigel Penn in The Forgotten Frontier shows a strong distinction in the treatment of San and Khoi people. He aptly illustrates how this distinction  was made by  the British Colonial Government who ascribed differential treatment to the Khoi and San people.

[63] Nigel Penn, ‘The Destruction of Hunter-Gatherer Societies on the Pastoralist Frontier: The Cape and Australia Compared’, in Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) p.171.

[64] Jared McDonald, ‘Like a Wild Beast, He can be Got for the Catching’: Child Forced Labour and the ‘Taming’ of the San along the Cape’s North-Eastern Frontier, c. 1806-1830’ in Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) p.70.

[65] Ibid, pp.70-71.

[66]Ibid, p.87.

[67] Jared McDonald, ‘Like a Wild Beast, He can be Got for the Catching’: Child Forced Labour and the ‘Taming’ of the San along the Cape’s North-Eastern Frontier, c. 1806-1830’ in Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) p.85.

[68] Lauren Cohen ‘’Dop system’ leaves a massive hangover, Rampant alcoholism and Foetal alcohol Syndrome are a legacy of paying for work with drink’ (Sunday Times: News & Opinion’, August 19, 2007) p.18.

[69] Jared McDonald, ‘Like a Wild Beast, He can be Got for the Catching’: Child Forced Labour and the ‘Taming’ of the San along the Cape’s North-Eastern Frontier, c. 1806-1830’ in Mohamed Adhikari (ed.) Genocide on settler frontiers, When hunter-gatherers and commercial stock farmers clash (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014) p.85.

[70] Michael A. Simpson, ‘The Second Bullet’, in Yael Danieli (ed.) International handbook of multigenerational legacies of trauma (New York: Plenum Press, 1998) p.. 505

[71]Gagné, Marie-Anik. ‘The Role of Dependency and Colonialism in Generating Trauma in First Nations Citizens, The James Bay Cree’, in Yael Danieli (ed.) International handbook of multigenerational legacies of trauma (New York: Plenum Press, 1998) p. 369.

[72] This footnote has been removed to ensure anonymity.

[73] Anon. ‘Growing our children up strong and deadly, healing for children and young people’, (Torres Strait Island:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation booklet) (2008) p. 3. Url number http://www.sharingculture.info/what-is-historical-trauma.html. Date accessed 16.12.2015.

[74] The Nordic Africa Institute ‘Investigating the wounds of young South Africans’ 20 October 2015. Url number http://www.nai.uu.se/news/articles/2015/10/20/161214/index.xml. Date accessed 19.12.2015.

[75][75] Anon. ‘Growing our children up strong and deadly, healing for children and young people’, (Torres Strait Island:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation booklet) (2008). Url number http://www.sharingculture.info/what-is-historical-trauma.html. Date accessed 16.12.2015.

[76] For an insight on this subject see Yael Danieli (Ed.), International Handbook of Multigenerational legacies of trauma (New York: Plenum Press, 1998).

[77] Hoosain completed a PhD in the Department of Social Work at UWC in 2013.

[78] Shanaaz Hoosain, The Transmission of Intergenerational trauma in Displaced Families (UWC: PhD thesis, 2013) p.v.

[79] Ashley Brenner  ‘The “Dutch have made slaves of them all, and… they are called Free”: Slavery and Khoisan Indentured Servitude in the Eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony’ (Emory University: MA thesis, 2009) p. 60.

[80] Molly S. Castello, ‘How Trauma is carried across generations’ in Psychology Today 28 May 2012. ‘Sometimes anxiety falls from one generation to the next through stories told.’

[81] Anon. ‘Growing our children up strong and deadly, healing for children and young people’, (Torres Strait Island:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation booklet) p. 5. 

[82] Robert C-H Shell, Children of bondage, a social history of the slave society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652 – 1838 (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1994) p. 227.

[83] Ashley Brenner  ‘The “Dutch have made slaves of them all, and… they are called Free”: Slavery and Khoisan Indentured Servitude in the Eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony’ (Emory University: MA thesis, 2009) pp. 25-26.

[84] See for example Robert Shell, Children of Bondage, A Social History of the Slave Society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652 – 1838 (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1994) and Robert Morrell, Changing Men in Southern Africa, (South Africa, University of Natal Press, 2001) p. 14.

[85] See Dr Joy du Gruy, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome url number oydegruy.com/resources-2/post-traumatic-slave-syndrome/ Date accessed 15.12.2015. See also Dr Joe Solanto Interview ‘Intergenerational trauma and healing’, 3 February, 2014. Url number www.recoverystories.info/intergenerational-trauma-healing-part-1-by-joe-solanto/. Date accessed 16.12.2015.

[86] For an insight into this phenomenon see Dr Joy du Gruy, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome url number oydegruy.com/resources-2/post-traumatic-slave-syndrome/ Date accessed 15.12.2015.

[87] Silva J.A. Talvi, ‘Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary talks about her provocative new book’,  In These Times, Liberty and Justice for all website 10 March 2006. Url number Inthesetimes.com/article/2523. Date accessed 19.12.2015.

[88]Robert C-H Shell, Children of bondage, a social history of the slave society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652 – 1838 (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1994) p. 71.

[89] Anne Bakilana and Faldie Esau, ‘Young People’s Social Networks, Confidants and Issues of Reproductive Health’, CSSR Working Paper No. 44 (Rondebosch: The Centre for Social Science Research, UCT, 2003) p.23.

[90]Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Dare we hope? Facing our past to find a new future (Cape Town: N B Publishers, 2014)p. 145.

[90] Shanaaz Hoosain, The Transmission of Intergenerational trauma in Displaced Families (UWC: PhD thesis, 2013) p.v.

[90] Charles Portney, Intergenerational trauma. An introduction for the clinician in Psychiatric Times, 01.04.2003. Url number http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/articles/intergenerational-transmission-trauma-introduction-clinicianhttp://www.psychiatrictimes.com/articles/intergenerational-transmission-trauma-introduction-clinician (Date accessed 18.11.2015).

[90] Anne Bakilana and Faldie Esau, ‘Young People’s Social Networks, Confidants and Issues of Reproductive Health’, CSSR Working Paper No. 44 (Rondebosch: The Centre for Social Science Research, UCT, 2003) p.23.

[91] ‘Tik’ is a popular term in the Western Cape for the substance Methamphetamine. As cited in Julie Berg, The rise of Tik and crime, South African Journal of Criminal Justice, 3, 2005, p. 311.

[92] Julie Berg, The rise of Tik and crime, South African Journal of Criminal Justice, 3, 2005, p. 315.

[93] Sylvia Walker, Dealing in death: Ellen Pakkies and a community’s struggle with Tik (Cape Town: Oshun Books, 2009) p. 210.

[94] Robert Shell, Ahl Kâf, The Muslim People of the Cape of Good Hope 1653 – 1894 (UCT: BA Hons   ) p. 12. ‘this place Cape Town is so full of Eastern Convicts, sent hither from India who, after the term of their imprisonment has expired, became free and remain here, competing with the poor whites of European descent in procuring their livelihood, and consequently very injurious to the latter.’

[95] See Henry W. Thurston, The Dependent Child, A story of changing aims and methods in the care of dependent children (New York: Columbia University Press, 1930). Thurston discusses the phenomenon, of slavery and feudalism pp. 1-9 and indenture pp. 10-18.

[96] Henry W. Thurston, The Dependent Child, A story of changing aims and methods in the care of dependent children (New York: Columbia University Press, 1930) p.3.

[97] Henry W. Thurston, The Dependent Child, A story of changing aims and methods in the care of dependent children (New York: Columbia University Press, 1930) p.3.

[98] Henry W. Thurston, The Dependent Child, A story of changing aims and methods in the care of dependent children (New York: Columbia University Press, 1930) p.21.

[99] Henry W. Thurston, The Dependent Child, A story of changing aims and methods in the care of dependent children (New York: Columbia University Press, 1930) Henry W. Thurston, The Dependent Child, A story of changing aims and methods in the care of dependent children (New York: Columbia University Press, 1930) p. 13. See also Elizabeth Fox Genovese and Eugene D, Genovese, The Mind of the Master Class (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); David Brion Davis, Inhuman bondage, The rise and fall of slavery in the new world (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) and David Brion Davis, The problem of slavery in the age of revolution, 1770 – 1823 (New York: Cornell University Press, 1975). I am grateful to David Wilkins for making me aware of the latter two studies.

[100] Jerome September, Youth “Woundedness” and the substance abuse crises in South Africa – A contribution towards understanding this “Wicked” Problem! In LeadSA Url number leadsa.co.za/?p=12231 Accessed (19.11.2015).

[101] Dr Joe Solanto Interview ‘Intergenerational trauma and healing’, 3 February, 2014. Url number www.recoverystories.info/intergenerational-trauma-healing-part-1-by-joe-solanto/. Date accessed 16.12.2015.

[102] Julie Berg, The rise of Tik and crime, South African Journal of Criminal Justice, 3, 2005, p. 311.

[103] Julie Berg, The rise of Tik and crime, South African Journal of Criminal Justice, 3, 2005, p. 311.

[104] Julie Berg, The rise of Tik and crime, South African Journal of Criminal Justice, 3, 2005, p. 312.

[105] Julie Berg, The rise of Tik and crime, South African Journal of Criminal Justice, 3, 2005, p. 313.

[106] Julie Berg, The rise of Tik and crime, South African Journal of Criminal Justice, 3, 2005, p. 313.

[107]Health E-News Service, ‘Tragedy of Cape’s Tik Babies’. Url number: http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/tragedy-of-cape-s-tik-babies-1.1397021#.Vk79NNIrLIU. Date accessed 20.11.2015.

[108] This information was given to me by the administrator of the NGO.

[109] Til Wykes and William Yule, “The psychopathology of violence” in J.K. Mason (ed) The pathology of trauma (London: Edward Arnold, Second edition 1972) p. 343.  

[110] Eduardo Duran, Bonnie Duran, Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart and Susan Yellow Horse-Davis, ‘Healing the American Indian soul wound’, in Yael Danieli (Ed.), International Handbook of Multigenerational legacies of trauma (New York: Plenum Press, 1998) p. 342.

[111] Lauren Cohen ‘’Dop system’ leaves a massive hangover, Rampant alcoholism and Foetal alcohol Syndrome are a legacy of paying for work with drink’ (Sunday Times: News & Opinion’, August 19, 2007) p.18.

[112] Oral history interview with M.B. on Saturday 30 May, 2015.

[113] Lauren Cohen ‘’Dop system’ leaves a massive hangover, Rampant alcoholism and Foetal alcohol Syndrome are a legacy of paying for work with drink’ (Sunday Times: News & Opinion’, August 19, 2007) p.18.

[114] Stanley Cohen, States of Denial, Knowing about atrocities and suffering, (USA: Blackwell Publishers Inc.: 2002), p. 119.

[115] Annual report of the NGO circulated to its partners by Mr D J of the NGO, October 2015.

[116] For an insight into this phenomenon see Stanley Cohen, States of Denial, Knowing about atrocities and suffering (USA: Blackwell Publishers Inc.: 2002)pp.10-11. Cohen says ‘whole societies may slip into collective modes of denial not dependent on a fully-fledged Stalinist or Orwellian form of thought control.  Without being told what to think about (or what not to think about) and without being punished for ‘knowing’ the wrong things, societies arrive at unwritten agreements about what can be publicly remembered and acknowledged.  People pretend to believe information that they know is false or fake their allegiance to meaningless slogans and kitsch ceremonies. Besides collective denials of the past (such as brutalities against indigenous peoples), people be may be encouraged to act as if they don’t know about the present. 

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