Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe
On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
VAN VOLLENHOVEN, Anton C.. The influence of misperceptions on the history of South Africa: The BaPhalane ba Ramokoka land claim as case study. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2012, vol.52, n.4, pp. 520-530. ISSN 2224-7912.
During the past few years, Archaetnos has been involved in various land claims, with a view to collecting historical, anthropological and archaeological information in order to determine the validity of such claims. This was done by doing deeds searches and studying archival material and anthropological literature, followed by a field survey where claimants indicated sites linked to their history and where they were interviewed. In some cases it was clear from the onset that misperceptions about South African history pertain. Even when information is correct, there is sometimes chronological chaos and in certain instances so-called "facts" are being fabricated. The above-mentioned information is used by the Land Claims Commission (LCC) to determine the merit of a claim. The lack of knowledge at this institution frequently results in cases being approved for the process even when such approval was clearly based on incorrect information. The land claim of the BaPhalane Ba Ramokoka community is one such example. In the article the reasons for land claims in general are listed. The merit of the BaPhalane claim, as well as the information obtained during the research process, is then discussed against this background. This is, however, not done in detail, as the article insteadfocuses on the general problem created by historical misperceptions. The findings of the research were that although the BaPhalane had a valid claim to at least four of the thirty-two farms listed, they had no valid claim to at least eighteen others. This was confirmed by the court judgement. It is concluded that the lack of knowledge at the Land Claims Commission results in many cases being unnecessarily investigated. This results in high costs, a waste of time and an unproductive system. It is therefore clear that information is required at a much earlier stage during the land claims process.
Keywords : BaPhalane Ba Ramokoka; land claims; merit; historical misperceptions; costs; productivity.