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Black Mountain

Land, Class & Power in the Eastern Orange Free State

Colin Murray

Hardback (Print on demand)
£28.99

This is a remarkable chronicle of the struggles of many people - black and white - whose lives have been rooted in one district of the South African highveld over the last hundred years. Thaba Nchu (Black Mountain) was the territory of an independent African chiefdom until it was annexed by the Orange Free State republic in 1884. By 1977, one-third had emerged as part of 'independent' Bophutswana with consequent 'inter-ethnic' antagonisms. As a result, on an adjoining piece of bare veld, there had developed the largest slum in South Africa, Botshabelo - a massive concentration of poverty and unemployment. The stories told by the inhabitants of the slum in 1980 led to this book. Detailed archival evidence and contemporary oral history illuminate all the important themes of the political economy of the rural highveld of South Africa from the mineral revolution of the late nineteenth century to the erosion of apartheid in the late twentieth century.

About the Author

Colin Murray has a background in anthropology and intensive experience of field research over many years in Lesotho and the Free State (South Africa). He recently retired as Professor of African Sociology at the University of Manchester. Peter Sanders served as an administrative officer in Basutoland (now Lesotho) from 1961 to 1966. He wrote a biography of Moshoeshoe (1975) and, with Mosebi Damane, an edited translation of the praise poems of the Basotho chiefs (1974).

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