1st Edition

South African Homelands as Frontiers Apartheid’s Loose Ends in the Postcolonial Era

Edited By Steffen Jensen, Olaf Zenker Copyright 2017
    186 Pages
    by Routledge

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores what happened to the homelands – in many ways the ultimate apartheid disgrace – after the fall of apartheid. This research contributes to understanding the multiple configurations that currently exist in areas formerly declared "homelands" or "Bantustans". Using the concept of frontier zones, the homelands emerge as areas in which the future of the South African postcolony is being renegotiated, contested and remade with hyper-real intensity. This is so because the many fault lines left over from apartheid (its loose ends, so to speak) – between white and black; between different ethnicities; between rich and poor; or differentiated by gender, generation and nationality; between "traditions" and "modernities" or between wilderness and human habitation – are particularly acute and condensed in these so-called "communal areas". Hence, the book argues that it is particularly in these settings that the postcolonial promise of liberation and freedom must face its test. As such, the book offers highly nuanced and richly detailed analyses that go to the heart of the diverse dilemmas of post-apartheid South Africa as a whole, but simultaneously also provides in condensed form an extended case study on the predicaments of African postcoloniality in general. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Southern African Studies.

    1. South African Homelands as Frontiers: Apartheid’s Loose Ends in the Postcolonial Era – An Introduction
    Steffen Jensen and Olaf Zenker

    2. Fragments of the Past: Homeland Politics and the South African Transition, 1990–2014
    Jason Robinson

    3. Material Remains: Artifice versus Artefact(s) in the Archive of Bantustan Rule
    Shireen Ally

    4. This House Is Not My Own …! Temporalities in a South African Homeland
    Steffen Jensen

    5. Custom, Normativity and Authority in South Africa
    Hylton White

    6. South African Land Restitution, White Claimants and the Fateful Frontier of Former KwaNdebele
    Olaf Zenker

    7. ‘Women Use their Strength in the House’: Savings Clubs in an Mpumalanga Village
    Deborah James

    8. Moralising Magic? A Brief History of Football Potions in a South African Homeland Area, 1958–2010
    Isak Niehaus

    9. City Slums, Rural Homesteads: Migrant Culture, Displaced Urbanism and the Citizenship of the Serviced House
    Leslie Bank

    10. ‘Keeping Land for Their Children’: Generation, Migration and Land in South Africa’s Transkei
    Derick A. Fay

    11. Epilogue
    Joost Fontein


    Steffen Jensen is a Professor at the Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University, Denmark, and a Senior Researcher at DIGNITY: The Danish Institute Against Torture. He has published on issues of gangs, policing, justice, human rights, development and victimhood in South Africa and the Philippines. He has recently published Histories of Victimhood (2014) and Human Rights and State Violence: State officials in the South (2009).

    Olaf Zenker is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He has published on modern statehood, rule of law, bureaucracy, justice, land reform as well as conflict and identity formations in South Africa and Northern Ireland. He recently published Transition and Justice: Negotiating the Terms of New Beginnings in Africa (2015) and Irish/ness Is All Around Us: Language Revivalism and the Culture of Ethnic Identity in Northern Ireland (2013).