How amazing is it that an invisible boundary-line can separate race, culture and tribe. In the name for these identities, people are willing to kill, steal and destroy each other so to covet, expand and protect what they believe belongs to them.
The history of South Africa is characterised by racial violence, territorial conflict, wars of conquest, and inter-ethnic rivalry.
The San have lived in the region for millennia acquired domestic stock in what is now modern day Botswana. Their population grew, and spread throughout the Western half of South Africa. They were the first pastoralists in southern Africa, and called themselves Khoikhoi, which means ‘men of men’ or ‘the real people’. This name was chosen to show pride in their past and culture.
Most of the rest of the population, however, trace their history to immigration since.
Indigenous Africans in South Africa are descendants of Khoikhoi and Bantu immigrants from further north in Africa, who first entered what are now the confines of the country.
White South Africans are descendants of later European settlers, mainly from the Netherlands and Britain.
The Coloureds are descended at least in part from all of these groups, as well as from slaves from Madagascar, East Africa and the then East Indies.
There are many South Africans of Indian and Chinese origin, descendants of labourers who arrived in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
On a crisp, clear morning 100 years ago, thousands of British, Belgian and French soldiers put down their rifles, stepped out of their trenches and spent Christmas mingling with their German enemies along the Western front. In the hundred years since, the event has been seen as a kind of miracle, a rare moment of peace just a few months into a war that would eventually claim over 15 million lives.
I’m of Indian descendants, born in South Africa and reside in the United Kingdom. Most especially I’m born on earth and belong to the species of the human race. However my passport tells me otherwise as I’m an alien to foreign countries.
But is it not also true that no one particular ethic group owns South Africa and that they all are foreigners?