Synopses & Reviews
Layers of dispossession and disruption are definitive of South African history. Bouncing from Griqua Philippolis (1824-1862) to Afrikaner Orania (1990-2013), this book shows how land rights are prioritised in pre-apartheid and post-apartheid contexts. The result is a new way of looking at the country's history - different to the version of history partially redressed by an idiosyncratic system of restitution and reconciliation during transformation.
'Settler Colonialism and Land Rights in South Africa has the feel of a publication designed to open, rather than resolve, a
scholarly debate. It outlines a new potential interpretation of the relationship between precolonial and postcolonial South Africa...It raises possibilities regarding indigeneity and rights that remain intensely controversial in South African politics and popular culture.
At first glance, the premise of Edward Cavanagh's slim monograph suggests a conference panel devised by harried organizers desperate to connect divergent papers. It is a testament to Cavanagh's vision and his writing that after reading the book this comparison seems not only entirely reasonable, but perhaps even essential to understanding the nature of land rights in contemporary South Africa...Settler Colonialism and Land Rights in South Africa: Possession and Dispossession on the Orange River makes new and insightful claims about the connections between pre-1867 Southern Africa and the postapartheid dispensation.' - Poppy Fry, Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies
This local history of Griqua Philippolis (1824-1862) and Afrikaner Orania (1990-2013) gets at the crux of the ever-pertinent land question in South Africa. Identifying the many layers of dispossession definitive of the South African past, the book presents a provocative new argument about land rights and the residues of settler colonialism.
About the Author
Edward Cavanagh is currently scholar-in-residence at the University of Ottawa, Canada, courtesy of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. He is the co-founder of the journal Settler Colonial Studies, and has published in the fields of law and history.
Table of Contents
A Note on Terminology
Introduction: Land, Sovereignty, and Indigeneity in South Africa
1. The Erasure of Past Interests in Land at Philippolis
2. The Griqua Land Regime and its Challenges
3. The Erasure of Past Interests in Land at Orania
4. The Oranian Land Regime and its Challenges
Conclusion: Land Regimes and Property Rights on the Orange River
Afterword: On Restitution and Dispossession