In December 2019, Dr Geoff Blundell and Troy Meyers visited Cape Town to undertake research in the National Archives Repository on the Khoisan peoples of the Nomansland region. Nomansland was the name given to the area that fell between the Cape and Natal colonies and beyond the control of the large Cape Nguni polities along the south-eastern seaboard of South Africa. Of course, the area was not really a No-Man’s-land but was the home territory of a number of Khoisan peoples. After 1863, when the Griqua made their epic trek from the interior of the country through the Drakensberg and eventually settled in the region of present-day Kokstad, the area was renamed East Griqualand. The work undertaken by Dr Blundell and Troy Meyers is part of an ongoing collaborative project that looks at the histories of Khoisan peoples in the Nomansland area.
On August 9 1956, 20,000 women staged a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act. They left petitions containing more than 100,000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom's office door. They stood silently outside his door for 30 minutes. The 'pass' was an identification document which restricted a black South African's freedom of movement under apartheid. The pass allowed black women to enter 'white' areas and had come into force under the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950.