Luka Jantjie

Resistance Hero of the South African Frontier
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Dimensions and Pages: 234 x 156 mm, 320 pp
  • EAN: 9781868145492
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 320.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): n/a

An exciting tribute to one man’s courage and dignity in the face of overwhelming odds, and a welcome contribution to the history of resistance to the rapacious colonial conquest of southern Africa.Neil Parsons, University of Botswana

Luka Jantjie is today a largely forgotten hero of resistance to British colonialism. His place in South African history has tended to be overshadowed by events elsewhere in the region. This book attempts to redress the balance by recording his remarkable story. In 1870, at the beginning of the Kimberley diamond mining boom that was to transform Southern Africa, Luka Jantjie was the first independent African ruler to lose his land to the new colonialists, who promptly annexed the diamond fields. His outspoken stand against the hypocrisy of colonial ‘justice’ earned him the epithet ‘a wild fellow who hates the English’. As the son of an early Christian convert, Luka was brought up to respect peace and nonviolence; his boycott of rural trading stores in the early 1890s was perhaps the earliest use of non-violent resistance in colonial South Africa. His steady refusal to bow to colonial demands of subservience intensified the enmity of local colonists determined to ‘teach him a lesson’.

As many of his people succumbed to colonial pressures, Luka was twice forced to take up arms to defend himself and his people from colonial attacks. His life ended in a dramatic and heroic last stand in the ancestral sanctuary of the Langeberg mountain range, the
consequences of which stretched far into the next century.

The book highlights the following aspects:
• Luka as South African hero: one man’s struggle to retain his people’s land and freedom in the second half of the nineteenth century.
• Luka as a ‘modern man’: cattle-farmer, hunter, trader, diamond prospector and a man generally at ease with the modern world and the fast-growing economy of South Africa.
• Recovers the history of a people, the southern Tswana of the Northern Cape, a history which was effectively destroyed from the 1890s onwards by forced removals and land confiscations, with 2000 prisoners sent as indentured labourers to the Western Cape. The story told in this book demonstrates vividly their role in the struggle against colonialism.
• The Langeberg rebellion of 1897, which lasted over seven months, killed many colonial troops, and ended with Luka’s death and controversial beheading.

With Aldridge Press

<strong>Table of Contents</strong>

Chapter 1. Prologue
Chapter 2. Birth and early life, 1835–1858
Chapter 3. Adult responsibilities, 1858–1868
Chapter 4. The defence of the diamond fields, 1867–1871
Chapter 5. The loss of the diamond fields, 1871–1876
Chapter 6. Tension and resistance in the colony, 1876–1878
Chapter 7. Rebellion and the Battle of Kho, 1878
Chapter 8. Dithakong and capture, 1878–1879
Chapter 9. Prison, release and the new Morafe, 1879–1881
Chapter 10. War, land and the British, 1882–1885
Chapter 11. The land commission, 1885–1886
Chapter 12. From ‘murmuring’ to boycott, British Bechuanaland, 1886–1895
Chapter 13. The Langeberg, rinderpest and rebellion, 1895–1896
Chapter 14. The gathering storm, January–April, 1897
Chapter 15. The battle for the Langeberg, April–May, 1897
Chapter 16. Siege and final stand, May–July, 1897
Chapter 17. The aftermath

<strong>Kevin Shillington</strong> is the author of a number of historical and contemporary works including The Colonisation of the Southern Tswana 1870-1900 (1985), Causes and Consequences of Independence in Africa (1997) and History of Africa (3rd edition 2005).

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