Saturday, September 09, 2006
Slaves brought to South Africa?
To many abroad it seems somewhat peculiar when we talk of slaves being brought to South Africa. Many South Africans are also largely ignorant of this aspect of our history and heritage that dominated almost two centuries of colonial life. Those South Africans, even amongst some of the most learned, who do know something about slavery in the Cape have also often got caught up in a web of skewed information about this era due to ideological manipulation of history under the Apartheid system. Thus one will often find the word slaves prefixed as ‘Malay’ slaves even although there were hardly any slaves taken from what we today know as Malaysia and only just over 21% of all Cape slaves originated in the many islands and territories of the Indonesian Archipelago. There is much mythology to wade through in coming to a reasonably good understanding of slavery and Creolisation in Cape Town and South Africa. These pages are dedicated to telling this story so as to give a better understanding of the history and heritage of those who are called ‘Coloured’ today and to explore the hidden ties that bind so many across ethnic divisions in South Africa.