Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Kronos]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0259-019020140001&lang=es vol. 40 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Paper Regimes</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>Cape slaves in the paper empire of the VOC</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article examines the ways in which the voluminous archive of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) controlled, constructed and delimited the presence of slaves in the paper world of the VOC empire. The extensive paper archive of the VOC recorded slaves in ways which matched the concerns of the administration, such as enumeration in census returns and as objects for inheritance or sale in estate inventories. Nonetheless, historians have been able to uncover considerably more information about their experience and agency. Much detail is provided in criminal and (to a lesser extent) civil judicial records, which explains the emphasis on individual and collective resistance in the slave historiography of the 1980s. More recently Cape historians have adapted techniques of reading across the grain in order to explore the mentalité and cultural worlds of Cape slaves. However, the VOC archive was not only a record of the ruling classes. Slaves also used writing for their own purposes, either in alternative networks of literacy in Asian languages or by turning Dutch papers into documents for their own advantage, some of which has found its way into the official documents. The combination of these records with oral traditions and community memories have enabled Cape historians to transcend the apparent silence of the official archive. <![CDATA[<b>Writing on skin: The entangled embodied histories of black labour and livestock registration in the Cape Colony, C. 1860-1909</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es It has been suggested that nineteenth-century colonial states in South Africa exercised 'power without knowledge' and that 'archival government' was the product of a post-South African War alliance between the British administration and mining capital in the Transvaal. This argument privileges writing on paper as the only form of archival government. Yet the Cape Colony in the latter half of the nineteenth century used record systems founded instead on writing on skin. Paper registration had failed because there was no reliable way of linking paper identities with the human and animal skins they referred to. Faced with this problem, colonial officials resorted to using the older scheme of writing on the skins of people and animals. The resulting body marks were recorded and the registers or excerpts of registers were distributed in cheap printed form as archives enabling the reliable recognition of men and private property and of pedigree in livestock. This was the recognisable forerunner of twentieth-century registration systems of much greater reach and ambition that transcribed skin mechanically through photography and fingerprinting and so aspired to registering whole populations of people and animals. <![CDATA[<b>False fathers and false sons: Immigration officials in Cape Town, documents and verifying minor sons from India in the first half of the Twentieth Century</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article1 examines the rituals of admission to Cape Town, developed by the immigration bureaucracy at the port, for minor sons from India. It provides a context for why the entry of sons of established Indian residents became an issue. Drawing on local knowledge as well as the official archives, the article takes one into the heart of immigration encounters. Its primary focus is on systems of identification and verification of relationships and ages, the role that documents played, and what this says about state power. It points to a progression from fairly primitive methods employed in the early years to demands for certificates to be completed in India, inter-governmental cooperation, village enquiries in India, and the use of technology such as fingerprinting, photographs and x-rays. Over time the bureaucracy seemingly became more powerful. Yet individuals coming from India, where the documentation of individual identity was not a significant state priority, responded creatively. Paying attention to the documents themselves, this article argues that, despite elaborate paperwork and systems, truths about fathers and sons remained elusive. The article points to how, despite demanding documents from India, officials in Cape Town, with some justification, distrusted these papers. The very documentary systems developed to ensure state control over who would be admitted into the country undermined the state's ability to do precisely that. <![CDATA[<b>Paper trail: Chasing the Chinese in the Cape (1904-1933)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The Chinese Exclusion Act passed by the Cape parliament in 1904 was one of the first pieces of legislation promulgated in the southern region of Africa where a particular 'racial group' was singled out, documented and discriminated against. Although it had trans-oceanic antecedents and tapped into this global anti-Chinese sentiment, unlike the Chinese exclusion legislation elsewhere, the Cape exclusion legislation targeted the entire Chinese 'race'. This article proposes to trace the application of this unwieldy registration system and show how the small Chinese community was registered, identified, monitored and hounded both on paper and on the ground until well after the repeal of the Act three decades later. Through an analysis of these paper records, the article intends to elucidate the nature of this imposition and consider what they tell us of the Chinese it was imposed upon and how they responded. It also proposes that, while the Act was formulated for exclusion, ironically for just under 1,500 of the Chinese resident at the colonial Cape it eventually warranted a double inclusion, one in the form of a certificate of exemption and hence domicile - albeit with perpetual surveillance and scrutiny - and the other as part of the archived historic record. <![CDATA[<b>Forging the frontiers: Travellers and documents on the South Africa-Mozambique border, 1890s-1940s</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es It is well known that the Union of South Africa started to build an onerous border regime at the turn of the twentieth century in order to secure a White Man's Country in southern Africa. Newly formed, ambitious Immigration Departments consequently targeted 'Asiatics', poor whites and finally 'surplus' Africans from the 1920s onwards. An infrastructure of exclusion (detention and deportation compounds, police patrols, fingerprint offices and so on) soon emerged at the region's maritime gateways as the colonial states sought to undermine decentralised indigenous societies characterised by long-term mobility. This article shows that the Union remained vulnerable on its eastern frontier with Mozambique and Swaziland, where 'undesirables' continued to arrive in numbers. Long-distance movement had a long precedent in these borderlands, and it proved difficult for colonial states to forge effective border controls until deep into the twentieth century. Based on extensive and critical engagement with multiple border control archives, the article traces the gradual 'paperisation of the border, and follows a thriving market in identity permits in southern Mozambique and Swaziland, which became important backdoor entry points to the Union. The main people to exploit corrupt local officials and entrepreneurial headmen on either side of the border were those associated with the merchant houses of coastal west India, syndicates from the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira, and long-distance, so-called 'tropical', African migrants. Together they forged sophisticated networks that moved permits, people and money across the region and gave south-east Africa's border builders hard and often thankless paperwork. <![CDATA[<b>'Undesirable inhabitant of the union ... supplying liquor to natives': D. F. Malan and the deportation of South Africa's British and Irish lumpen proletarians 1924-1933</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Between 1924 and 1933 scores of British and Irish immigrants were deported from South Africa for crimes that were mainly of a petty character. Prominent in their records was the offence of supplying alcohol to black people, which had been criminalised under the country's racial forms of prohibition. These deportations took place under the direction of the minister of the Interior, D. F. Malan, later notorious as the initiator of the apartheid policy. The article contends that the process of deportation is revealing of both the social trajectory of some metropolitan migrants to the Empire and of the character of the South African state. While turn-of-the-century British immigrants to southern Africa are generally thought of as upwardly socially mobile, a minority took a downward path. As 'poor whites' they constituted a threat to racial boundaries. Malan, concerned to police these boundaries, sought to remove them from society. But he was constrained by his political alliance with the British immigrant labour movement and in the end was selective in his strategy, deporting the most marginalised or lumpen proletarian, while allowing those who could claim some shreds of respectability to remain. The organisational and bureaucratic processes of deportation are traced in detail. The article endorses Robert Bickers' view that imperial history has given too little attention to poor and working class British immigrants in the Empire. <![CDATA[<b>Demitrios Tsafendas and the subversion of apartheid's paper regime</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article explores how Demitrios Tsafendas subverted the apartheid regime's immigration system designed to keep out people like himself: those with a history of madness and of what could be seen as impure racial origins. What makes this so remarkable is that, after 20 years of illegal immigration, deportation and stays in mental hospitals, Tsafendas not only circumvented South Africa's identity paper routines, he succeeded in assassinating the man credited as the architect of the apartheid state system. For the apartheid government, what was at stake was how Tsafendas managed to get into the country. The assassination of Verwoerd exposed the irrationality at the core of a racial order maintained by a repressive network that included one of the most efficient security police forces in the world. Since no breach of state security could be found, the answer was sought in the failure of a bureaucracy, known for its excessive recordkeeping, to keep efficient track of the life of the assassin. The article also demonstrates the coexistence within the apartheid state of two technologies of power, and the tensions and contradictions that arose when the methods of a dictatorial police state were used against one section of the population to defend the interests of another. The commission of enquiry into Verwoerd's murder exposed the fault lines of a bureaucratic apparatus overburdened by processes designed to shore up an insecure whiteness. <![CDATA[<b>The Book of Life: The South African population register and the invention of racial descent, 1950-1980</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This article examines the project of racial classification under Apartheid through the operations of the population register. It follows, in particular, a shift in the determination of race from the criterion of'community acceptance' in the early 1950s to a purely administrative and bureaucratic matter of descent derived from the paperwork in the late 1960s. The study shows that the project Eben Dönges called the 'Book of Life' was at the heart of the planning and practice of the Apartheid state, but that it took two contrasting forms. The first, associated with the green identity cards issued during the 1950s and early 1960s, derived identities and races for six million people, with surprising success, on the basis of the returns to the 1951 census. The second, associated with the inconvenient 50-page Book of Life that was issued after 1970, was a pure case of unrestrained panopticism and a simple failure, failing even to re-register the original population captured by the green identity cards. <![CDATA[<b>Papering over the cracks: An ethnography of land title in the Eastern Cape</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The article addresses the dualistic legal paradigm prevalent in South Africa's approach to recognising rights in land. The system of title is characterised by precise and quantifiable mathematical formulae formalised through paper records that convey proprietary powers to registered owners. This view is contrasted with the characteristics of land tenure among African families with freehold title in the Eastern Cape who trace their relationship to their land to forebears who acquired title in the nineteenth century. The findings show that relationships reminiscent of 'customary' concepts of the family are not extinguished when title is issued. The land is viewed as family property held by unilineal descent groups symbolised by the family name. This conception diverges considerably from the formal, legal notion of land title as embodied in common law, and from rules of inheritance in official customary law. African freeholders' source of legitimation of successive rights in land is not the 'law' but locally understood norms framed within identifiable parameters that sanction socially acceptable practices. The conclusion raises broader questions about the paradigm that informs South African law reform in a range of tenure contexts, suggesting that current policies are poorly aligned with the social realities on the ground. <![CDATA[<b>Making migrants 'il-legible': The policies and practices of documentation in post-apartheid South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) - the department charged with managing migration - has struggled to control growing migration flows, particularly the increased demand on the asylum system. The DHA has both relied on and sought to undermine documentation attempts as part of its migration management efforts. These shifting practices reveal an official ambivalence toward granting foreign migrants documents and the rights that accompany them. Ensuring that foreign migrants remain undocumented fulfils the DHA's objective of facilitating their removal, but it undercuts the administration's ability to know who is in the country, another expressed DHA goal. Examining two documentation schemes - the asylum system, and the three-month documentation programme targeting undocumented Zimbabweans - this article highlights these conflicting purposes. It explores the DHA's administrative strategies and practices to withhold or deny documentation, and hence legal rights, to foreign migrants even when its stated goal is documentation. Looking at the role that documentation plays in state administration, the article argues that the street-level organisational approach and its focus on implementation best captures the actions of the DHA, underscoring the ways in which street-level bureaucrats can influence documentation policy and practice by determining who gets access to documents. http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0259-01902014000100012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es In South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) - the department charged with managing migration - has struggled to control growing migration flows, particularly the increased demand on the asylum system. The DHA has both relied on and sought to undermine documentation attempts as part of its migration management efforts. These shifting practices reveal an official ambivalence toward granting foreign migrants documents and the rights that accompany them. Ensuring that foreign migrants remain undocumented fulfils the DHA's objective of facilitating their removal, but it undercuts the administration's ability to know who is in the country, another expressed DHA goal. Examining two documentation schemes - the asylum system, and the three-month documentation programme targeting undocumented Zimbabweans - this article highlights these conflicting purposes. It explores the DHA's administrative strategies and practices to withhold or deny documentation, and hence legal rights, to foreign migrants even when its stated goal is documentation. Looking at the role that documentation plays in state administration, the article argues that the street-level organisational approach and its focus on implementation best captures the actions of the DHA, underscoring the ways in which street-level bureaucrats can influence documentation policy and practice by determining who gets access to documents.