ORIGINS OF THE NAME SOUTH AFRICA
In 1652 the Dutch occupied our Azania and called her, a No Man’s Land. French Huguenots, Germans, and more Dutch arrived in ship loads in the shores of what they called the Cape.
In 1795, the British fought against and defeated the Boers (Dutch) in the ‘Cape Province’ and claimed ownership of that land. A series of conquests and re-conquests ensued between the English and the Dutch, all fighting over our mother Azania, with United Kingdom winning most of the battles.
Following this series of fights, the Independence of the Transvaal Boers was recognised by the British in the convention signed in 1852 at Sand River. This Transvaal territory became known as the Republic of South Africa in 1858. In 1877, United Kingdom annexed this pseudo republic, but was later restored by the Pretoria Convention of 1881. The name changed, becoming Transvaal State.
In 1884, London re-authorised the name, i.e. South Africa Republic.
Following the ‘discovery’ of gold (at Witwatersrand), there was a great influx of foreigners who came to grab as much of the riches of Azania as possible. This influx, threatened the Boers (who were already calling other Europeans, uitlanders, or foreigners, even though they were/are foreigners themselves). This lead to a tension between the Boers and the British, and subsequently gave birth to the ‘South African War’ or Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902.
In 1908 in Durban, representatives from all British colonies, i.e. Orange River, Transvaal, Natal, and Cape, met in what they called a National Convention. This convention was attended by less that one-fifth of the population of Azania. The purpose for the convention was to draft a constitution for a ‘new state’.
In 1909, this draft constitution was passed as an act of the British Parliament
On May, 31 1910 this country was declared a Union of South Africa, with Louis Botha as the first Prime Minister. It is worth noting that this union disregarded the presence of Black people in Azania, and was therefore not intending to draw them to the folds of unity with White people.
On May 31, 1961, this union became a Republic of South Africa following a nation wide referendum by white voters on the 5th of October 1960.
The constitution of the Republic of South Africa maintained all apartheid clauses from the previous constitution. It was this constitution that formalised homelands (Bantu stands).
On September 22, 1984, this country had a ‘new constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act’, promulgated by the Act No 110 of 1983. This is the constitution that gave rise to a notorious Tri-cameral Parliament (where the indigenous people of Azania were not included).
QUEST FOR TRUE CITIZENSHIP
Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), and the Azanian people in general, can only taste the fruits of their liberation if they can regain full ownership of the land. It is from this reason that all people of Azania, Black, Indian, Coloured and White, should join their hands in unity, and call for the renaming of this country as Azania.
This call was first made in 1958 at the All-African Peoples Conference in Accra, Ghana, by Kwame Nkrumah. After on, it was adopted by the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) of Azania, and then later on used formerly as a name of ‘South Africa’ by the Azanian People’s Organization (AZAPO).
After the 1994 elections, voices that called for Azania to be an official name for this country were soon cooled down by the notions of ‘rainbow nation’ and ‘reconciliation’.
Many people died in this country for a democratic free society, where people will be judged not by the colour of their skins, but by the content of their characters. The struggle was largely about the return of the stolen land from White Colonialist Settlers to the Indigenous Black people. This is the land that the likes of Steven Bantu Biko, Muntu ka Myeza and others died for. This is the same Azania that was pre-occupying the class of 1976, and the same Azania that is engraved in the coffin of Steve Biko.
(Funani ka Ntontela)