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Forced Labour in the Pilanesberg: The Flogging of Chief Kgamanyane by Commandant Paul Kruger, Saulspoort, April 1870

Bernard K. Mbenga
Journal of Southern African Studies
Vol. 23, No. 1 (Mar., 1997), pp. 127-140
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2637141
Page Count: 14
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Forced Labour in the Pilanesberg: The Flogging of Chief Kgamanyane by Commandant Paul Kruger, Saulspoort, April 1870
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Abstract

During the 1860s, most of the Kgafela-Kgatla lived on Commandant Paul Kruger's property, Saulspoort, in the western Transvaal. They were forced to render unpaid labour to the local Boers. At first, during the 1840s, Bakgatla-Boer relations were `amicable', but relations deteriorated as the Boers embarked on irrigated farming in the 1860s and demanded labour in order to build dams. In the late-1860s, when Kruger forced Bakgatla men to pull cartloads of stone to the construction site, they refused to render labour and Kruger publically flogged their chief, Kgamanyane. Consequently, he and more than half his people migrated to present-day Botswana. The article situates the incident in the wider contemporary social and political context in which Boer labour practices and racial attitudes prevailed, as well as Kruger's personal problems at the time. It argues that the flogging reveals aspects of the racial ideology of the time and adds to the current literature on corporal punishment in settler societies.

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