Distorting African history for racial gains

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Dr Freddy Kustaa

White racist distorters of African history claim that a small group of Khoisan met the colonising Dutch at the area that became the city of Cape Town, and that the rest of the surrounding areas were vacant. They go on to claim that the land in South Africa was never taken by whites from the Khoisan people in the Cape Province, but the whites just acquired vacant lands through “hard work and honest means.”

All these claims made by the racist white groups represent sheer distortion of South African history and the whole southern African region including Namibia. The Voortrekker Boers who represented the pro-slavery mentality and practice in the Cape Province left that area of South Africa in protest after the British abolished slavery in 1833. The Boer farmers then trekked to what they called the Boer Republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State and took over the lands of black people. Again, in this case as pointed out above, they repeat the lie that they did not take land by force from black people because they found sufficient vacant land on which to settle their people.

At that time, these areas of South Africa were inhabited my many black groups which today are represented by the Tsonga, Venda, Pedis, Tswana, and Sotho, including the Matabele people of King Mzilikazi ka Khumalo (c. 1790 – 9 September 1868), the founder of the Matabele Kingdom. Besides the no-man lands that King Mzilikazi kept for safety reasons between himself and the groups that he dominated in that area, there were no so-called vacant lands that the racist white groups talk about. King Mzilikazi, a former military commander in King Shaka’s army, quarreled with the Zulu King and left Kwa-Zulu. After leaving Kwa-Zulu, with his army Mzilikazi dominated the area of northern South Africa. Mzilikazi fought the invading and colonising Boer commandos (Voortrekkers), and was forced to flee with his people to Zimbabwe where the Matabele people still live today.

The region of South Africa that fell under the Boer Republics included what is now known as the provinces of North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and Gauteng. These provinces are part of the region of Africa called the Cradle of Human Origin. This area of human evolution includes the East African Rift (EAR) that starts in the Afar region of northern Ethiopia and extends all the way to Mozambique just above northern South Africa. The EAR transects through Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique.

In the EAR, the countries with regions that have rich hominoid bearing soils include Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. Major anthropological and paleontological discoveries have been made in these countries such as the discovery in Afar, Ethiopia of Lucy (Australopithecus) dating to 3.2 million years ago; Northern Kenya of Turkana boy (Homo erectus) dating to 1.6 million years ago; and Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania of “handy man” (Homo habilis) dating to 2.1 and 1.5 million years ago.

The older hominoid remains such as Luci (Australopithecus) that are only found in Africa prove beyond a reasonable doubt that modern humans who now inhabit the earth originated in Africa. Therefore, it is understandable that racist historians and white supremacy theorists would seek to distort this history that gives prominence to Africa in the story of our origin as human beings.

The paleontological history nullifies the historiography of racist whites who think that they are a separate breed of people who are allegedly superior to all groups that are black or that look different from them. In this context, the historical attempt of racist whites to drive a wedge between the Khoisan and Bantu-speaking people and depict the Khoisan as the only indigenous African group and the Bantu-speaking people as a colonising group from out of space is highly misguided and will never work.

As human beings (homo sapiens) we all originated in Africa. For example, the San people form a link between us and our early homo sapiens ancestors who lived a life of hunting and gathering as the San people themselves have done for centuries. We respect the San people as our older brothers and sisters, and this is why in the Otjiherero language they are referred to as Ovakuruvehi or Ovakuruha meaning that they are the old ones of the land (earth).

The rock paintings that the San left behind in mountains and caves prove that they are the oldest people who have lived all over Africa from east to west and from the southern tip of South Africa to North Africa. The racist distorters of our African history like Hofmann don’t know that the San are the very people who have been involved in cyclical migrations in the whole of Africa for centuries, much more so than the Bantu-speaking groups whose migrations in Africa he falsely associates with colonisation.

In the South African provinces of North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and Gauteng, since 1925, major archeological and paleontological discoveries have been made concerning early human settlements dating back to the time of our early ancestors, the hominoids, who were half ape and half human, the Taung child, Australopithecus africanus, discovered in 1924 in the North West Province and dating to about 3.3 to 2.1 million years ago.

* Dr Freddy Kustaa is based in St Paul, Minnesota, USA.

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