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New Africa Books

When Rustling became an Art: Pilane's Kgatla and the Transvaal. Frontier 1820 –1902.

When Rustling became an Art: Pilane's Kgatla and the Transvaal. Frontier 1820 –1902.

Regular price R 250.00 ZAR
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An extended biography, written in a clear, forceful narrative style, of a father, son and grandson who led their people to political and military prominence in the western Transvaal and eastern Bechuanaland, during the spread of Boer and British rule in the 19th century.

Theirs is a story of shrewd risk-takers perpetrating calculated violence, fit for the times. For Boers and Africans alike, good enterprises were measured in cattle, and the subjects of this story, the Kgatla under Pilane and his two successors, Kgamanyane and Linchwe, were uncommonly good. Their accretion over three generations of stock and the territory to graze them amidst stronger countervailing forces is testimony to their intellectual prowess, discipline, daring, and close awareness of the region’s turbulent environment.

In addition to the rise of the Kgatla, the account offers the first detailed narrative of early-to-late western Transvaal history involving resident Boer and African communities, along with missionary activity, the relations between the South African Republic and its western border, and the complex movement of African groups into and out of the western Transvaal between 1860 and 1900. It provides a revisionist perspective of Paul Kruger, detailing his land speculation, slave raiding, collaborative dealings with Africans, and his political and religious struggles within the Boer community of Rustenburg District. And it recasts relations between Africans in the Transvaal and its borders with the South African Republican government as characterized more by diplomatic maneuvering than by confrontation.

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