The O­ten­tot­tu and the land que­s­ti­on

George Herald - - News -

7th ar­ti­cle

This is the se­venth de­li­very in a se­ries by Syd­ney Op­per­man in which he sheds lig­ht on the o­ri­g­ins and na­mes of the coun­try's in­di­ge­nous (first) na­ti­on.

W­hen the N­gu­ni cros­sed the Lim­po­po, mi­gra­ting southwards in the 1 200s, the A­maHlu­bi in the 1 300s, and the Zu­lu in the la­te 1 400s, not one of the­se groups broug­ht their own land with them. The sa­me ap­plies to the Eu­ro­pe­ans who ca­me in from the south from the 1 600s on­wards.

The­re was LAND he­re and the land was NOT EMP­TY. The O­ten­tot­tu who li­ved he­re had their own catt­le (Bos tau­rus in­di­cus / Brah­man) and fat-tail sheep from A­sia. The­se a­ni­mals we­re do­mes­ti­ca­ted. A­mongst ot­her t­hings the pe­op­le had their own re­li­gi­on as in­di­ca­ted by their re­li­gi­ous na­me, Qu­e­na (Red Pe­op­le / Rooi Na­sie). The no­ti­on by so­me pe­op­le "that t­hey we­re sa­va­ges" is al­so dispel­led by the fact that t­hey ga­ve me­a­ning­ful na­mes to ri­vers li­ke Tar­ras­kam­ma / Wo­man's ri­ver (ne­ar Clan­wil­li­am), to­day cal­led O­li­fants ri­ver, pla­ces li­ke Xau­ka (con­flu­en­ce of ri­vers), the pre­sent day Mon­ta­gu, and bo­dy parts li­ke "ams" for a mouth. The na­mes of their tri­bes we­re not thumb-suc­ked. For ex­am­ple, the //Ku­rin?gai-Qu­e­na me­ans the 'Sea-food col­lecting Qu­e­na or O­ten­tot­tu' (S­trand­lo­pers) of w­hom Auts­hu­mao (nick­na­me Har­ry / Ha­ri) was the chief.

It is cle­ar that the­se pe­op­le we­re well or­ga­ni­sed. Alt­hough t­hey did not ha­ve "tit­le deeds" to pro­ve "o­w­ners­hip" of this part of the con­ti­nent, it was cle­ar that t­hey had a cle­ar sen­se of "o­w­ners­hip / ste­wards­hip", as il­lus­tra­ted by this quo­te from Di­as and his succes­sors: "w­hen Bar­to­lo­meu Di­as was he­re (at A­gua­da de Sao Bras in 1488) t­hey (the O­ten­tot­tu or Qu­e­na) fled from him and did not ta­ke any of the t­hings which he was gi­ving them, inste­ad one day as t­hey (the Por­tu­gue­se) we­re ta­king wa­ter from a very good wa­te­ring pla­ce, that is he­re at the ed­ge of the sea, t­hey (the O­ten­tot­tu) de­fen­ded it with sto­nes thro­wn from the top of the hill which ri­ses a­bo­ve this wa­te­ring pla­ce, and Bartho­lo­meu Di­as fi­red an ar­row from his cross-bow at them and kil­led one of them". (Trans­la­ti­on from Axel­son [ed] & Boxer,

C.& Bell-Cross, G. & Mar­tin, C 1988, Di­as and his succes­sors. Recti­fied by Cy­ril A. Hrom­nik 2006.)

An en­try in Van Rie­beeck's Dis­pa­tch of 5 March 1657 al­so shows that the O­ten­tot­tu de­mon­stra­ted their o­w­ners­hip / ste­wards­hip: Auts­hu­mao de­cla­red "the land be­lon­ged to his pe­op­le" and "T­hey ven­tu­red al­so to as­sert bold­ly that it does not ple­a­se them that we (the Dutch) b­re­ak up the ground, and de­stroy the grass which grows for the use of their catt­le".

The claim the­re­fo­re of "o­w­ners­hip" by pe­op­le who re­fer to them­sel­ves as "A­fri­cans in par­ti­cu­lar", that the land was sto­len from them and de­cla­red by P­re­si­dent Ra­map­ho­sa "as the o­ri­gi­nal sin" is fal­se, ba­sed on BLATANT LIES.

Any acti­on con­cer­ning this land wit­hout the in­vol­vement of the "in­di­ge­nous pe­op­le" will be il­le­gi­ti­ma­te and de fac­to theft.

We must share this land be­t­ween all who li­ve in it. The mot­to of this coun­try !Ke e: /xar­ra //ke (Pe­op­le who are dif­fe­rent are to­get­her) must be de­mon­stra­ted and streng­the­ned by our acti­ons.

To be con­ti­nu­ed.

Syd­ney Op­per­man, syd­neyop­per­man@, 14 Lynx S­treet, Pa­calts­dorp,

083 378 4237

(Op­per­man's pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cles can be re­ad on­li­ne at­or­ge­he­

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