Lecture on the San communities of eastern South Africa
On Sunday 6 June, Dr Geoff Blundell, the head of the Human Sciences Department, gave a lecture to members of the Khoisan-descendant and related communities at the Eston Farmers Club, south of Pietermaritzburg. Dr Blundell was one of several speakers, which included Troy Meyers and Dr Bronwynne Anderson. Dr Anderson spoke on Natal Coloured Identity in the context of Wentworth and Greater Durban, while Dr Blundell spoke about the nineteenth-century San communities living in the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces, as well as their relationship to the Lochenberg family. In particular, the talk discussed Hans Lochenberg, who was a prominent chief throughout the Eastern Cape, with elements of the San, Mpondomise, Bhaca and Mfengu recognizing him as their leader. Hans was the son of Jan Nicolaas Lochenberg and a Khoe woman, Sarah. Jan Nicolaas himself was descended from Caatje Hottentin (born ca. 1710), a Khoe woman at the Cape Colony. Hans eventually settled near the Nqadu Forest, between Tsolo and Umtata, in 1870, where the Cape Colony also recognized his chieftainship. The history of Nicolaas, Sarah and Hans is the subject of a research paper recently submitted by Dr Blundell and Mr Meyers. Mr Meyers also spoke to the community about the way forward in relation to the Traditional and Khoisan Leadership Act, which seeks to recognise Khoisan and Khoisan-descendants, whose communities and lands were devastated by colonialism.
Dr Bronwynne Anderson (seated), Troy Meyers (right), Marilyn Couch (left), and Dr Geoff Blundell (centre, behind).