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Excerpt: Jacob Dlamini on the Migrant Labour System in A Long Way Home

A Long Way HomeA Long Way Home: Migrant Worker Worlds 1800 – 2014, edited by Peter Delius, Fiona Rankin-Smith and Laura Phillips, captures essays and visual material reflecting the hardships and realities of migrant labour in Southern Africa.

The Con has shared Jacob Dlamini’s contribution to this book in which he explores the case of an unnamed African
 man from Mozambique who was killed, and eaten by hyenas, in the Sabi Game Reserve in September 1920, as a way of commenting on the migrant labour system.

Read Dlamini’s contribution:

Sometime in September 1920, an unnamed African
 from Mozambique was killed and his corpse eaten by hyenas inside the Sabi Game Reserve. According to the findings of a government investigation launched by CL Harries, the Sub-Native Commissioner for Sibasa, the African was part of a group of labour recruits travelling from a place called Mpafula on the Portuguese side
of the border to Punda Maria, in the northern section
of the reserve. The group, which included the man’s
son, was led by Mafuta Sitoye and Longone Makuleke, ‘native runners’ for the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association. Popularly known as Wenela, the association was a labour recruitment agency founded in 1900 by the Chamber of Mines to help the mining industry meet its needs. The runners’ job was to accompany recruits from the Portuguese territory through the reserve to a pick- up point in the northern section of the sanctuary, from where the workers would be sent by donkey wagons, trucks and trains to mines in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

Book details

  • A Long Way Home: Migrant Worker Worlds 1800 – 2014 edited by Peter Delius, Fiona Rankin-Smith and Laura Phillips
    EAN: 9871868147670
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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