Ciskei

Last updated
Republic of Ciskei

iRiphabliki ye Ciskei
1981–1994
Coat of arms of Ciskei.svg
Coat of arms
Motto: "Siyakunqandwa Ziinkwenkwezi"  (Xhosa)
"We Shall be Stopped by the Stars"
or "The Sky is the Limit"
Ciskei in South Africa.svg
Location of Ciskei (red) within South Africa (yellow).
Status Bantustan
(nominal parliamentary democracy)
Capital Bisho
Official languages Xhosa [1]
English [1]
Chief Minister  
 19721973
Chief J. T. Mabandla
 19731978a
Lennox Leslie Wongamu Sebe
 19781990b
Lennox Leslie Wongamu Sebe
 19901994
Brigadier General Oupa Gqozo
History 
 Self-government
1 August 1972
 Nominal independence
4 December 1981
 Re-integrated into South Africa
27 April 1994
Area
1980 [2] 9,000 km2 (3,500 sq mi)
Population
 1980 [2]
677,920
CurrencySouth African rand
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg South Africa
South Africa Flag of South Africa.svg

Ciskei ( /səsˈk/ , /sɪsˈk/ or /sɪsˈk/ ) was a nominally independent state a Bantustan in the south east of South Africa. It covered an area of 7,700 square kilometres (3,000 sq mi), almost entirely surrounded by what was then the Cape Province, and possessed a small coastline along the shore of the Indian Ocean.

Contents

Under South Africa's policy of apartheid, land was set aside for black peoples in self-governing territories. Ciskei was designated as one of two homelands or "Bantustans" for Xhosa-speaking people.There are nine Xhosa-speaking groups: the Xhosa, Thembu, Mpondo, Mpondomise, Bomvana, Xesibe, Mfengu, Bhaca, and Ntlangwini. [3]

Ngqika (Rharhabe) Xhosa people were forcibly resettled in the Ciskei, and Gcaleka Xhosa were settled in the Transkei, the other Xhosa homeland. [4] [4] [5] Unlike the other Bantustans, including Transkei, which saw itself as a Xhosa homeland, [6] Ciskei has been described as having "absolutely no basis in any ethnic, cultural or linguistic fact whatsoever" despite efforts by the Ciskei authorities to create a distinctive "Ciskeian" identity. [6]

In contrast to the Transkei, which was largely contiguous and deeply rural, and governed by hereditary chiefs, the area that became the Ciskei had been made up of a patchwork of "reserves" [6] interspersed with pockets of white-owned farms. There were elected headmen, it had a relatively educated working class populace [6] and there was a tendency of the region's black residents, who often worked in East London, Queenstown and King Williams Town, to oppose traditional methods of control. [7] [8] These differences have been posited as the reason for two separate homelands for the Xhosa people being developed, as well as the later nominal independence of Ciskei from South Africa, than Transkei. [7]

After its creation, large numbers of blacks were expelled from designed white areas in the Cape Province by the Apartheid government to Ciskei, in particular, "non-productive Bantus"-women with dependent children, the elderly, and the infirm, and it was also treated as a reservoir of cheap black labour. [8] [9] The diaspora of the Ciskei Xhosa is due to the settler colonialism and internal wars between the Xhosa. [10]

Ciskei had a succession of capitals during its existence. Originally, Zwelitsha served as the capital with the view that Alice would become the long-term national capital. However, it was Bisho (now spelled Bhisho) that became the capital until Ciskei's reintegration into South Africa.

The name Ciskei means "on this side of the Kei River", and is in contrast to the nearby Bantustan of Transkei.

History

A rural area in Ciskei Ciskei2.jpg
A rural area in Ciskei
Map of Ciskei Topographic map of the Ciskei.svg
Map of Ciskei

By the time Sir John Cradock was appointed governor of the Cape Colony in 1811, the Zuurveld region had lapsed into disorder and many white farmers had begun to abandon their farms. [11] Early during 1812, on the instructions of the governor, Lieutenant-Colonel John Graham forced 20,000 Xhosa to cross the Fish River. [11] Subsequently, 27 military posts were erected across this border, which resulted in the establishment of the garrison towns of Grahamstown and Cradock. [11]

At the end of the 19th century, the area known as British Kaffraria between the Fish and Kei rivers had been set aside for the "Bantu" and was from then on known as the Ciskei. [12] Europeans gave the name Ciskei to the area to distinguish it from the Transkei, the area north of the Kei. [13]

After the Union of South Africa formed in 1910, the "Bantu" rights of occupation remained unclear and differed from colony to colony within South Africa. The Native Lands Act of 1913 demarcated the reserves in the Union, and made it illegal to sell or lease these lands to Europeans (except in the Cape Colony). [12] General Hertzog pursued his segregation policy and subsequently passed the Native Trust and Land Act in 1936. [14] This act effectively abolished the right of the Cape "Bantu" to buy land outside of the existing reserves. [14]

The boundaries of the Ciskei region changed as land was added, and excised. A notable excision was the removal of the Glen Grey and Herschel Districts, and their allocation to the newly-independent Transkei, [9] with the populations of the districts moving into the rest of Ciskei to retain their South African citizenship (which was subsequently lost when Ciskei became independent). [9]

By the 1970s, the South African government decided on the final boundaries of Ciskei, as a consolidated area, through the amalgamation of existing reserves allocated to Ciskei, and the purchase of intervening white-owned land. [9] This amalgamation reduced the total length of the Ciskei's borders, making them easier for the South African government to police, as well being an attempt to create a more viable area for the homeland. [9]

Independence

In 1961 Ciskei became a separate administrative region and in 1972 was declared self-governing under the rule of Chief Justice Mabandla and then Lennox Sebe. Mabandla was a Fengu, a group that had allied itself with the British in the frontier wars, and which historically embraced colonial education and were better educated. The Rharhabe were resentful, and with the policy of "retribalisation" by the apartheid authorities, asserted their position, which culminated in the election of Sebe, [15] although Sebe later abandoned his anti-Fengu rhetoric. [16]

In 1978 it became a single-party state under the rule of Sebe, and after an independence referendum in 1980, in 1981 it became the fourth homeland to be declared independent by the South African government and its residents lost their South African citizenship. However, there were no border controls between South Africa and Ciskei.

Black people found to be living without permits in white areas or farms in South Africa, often for generations, were forcibly relocated to Ciskei by Apartheid authorities, often from "black spots" in the neighbouring "white corridor" [17] and moved into squalid resettlement camps. [18] A 1983 study by Rhodes University found that 40% of the children in one camp suffered from wasting caused by malnutrition, and 10% suffered from kwashiorkor, [17] and in another camp, at Thornhill, 50% of children died before the age of 5. [17] Typhoid epidemics also broke out in the resettlement camps, which were often isolated, and lacked health facilities, sanitation and schools, and were far from urban areas. [8] The forced relocations of blacks to the Ciskei resulted in high population densities in the homeland, a situation that persists to the present day. [9]

On several occasions, the Ciskei government imposed collective punishment on communities that opposed its rule, and people fled the Bantustan back into South Africa proper because of the harassment and denial of government services to dissenters. [19]

In common with other Bantustans its independence was not recognised by the international community. Sebe once claimed that the State of Israel had granted official recognition to Ciskei, but the Israeli Foreign Ministry denied this. [20]

Ciskei-Transkei hostilities and Operation Katzen

In 1986 and 1987, [21] Transkei, a larger, wealthier and more populous entity, undertook a series of military raids [22] on Ciskei [7] [23] [24] and attempted to seize control of Ciskei. One of these raids was an attack on leader Lennox Sebe's compound, with the apparent goal of taking him hostage, in order to force a merger of the two Bantustans. [25] Transkei had previously granted sanctuary to Lennox Sebe's estranged brother Charles, the former head of Ciskei's security forces, who had been imprisoned in Ciskei on charges of sedition, [17] [26] and kidnapped Lennox Sebe's son [27] The South African government ostensibly intervened to warn the Transkei government off [7] however, it later emerged at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that the plan to amalgamate the Transkei and Ciskei into a proposed Xhosaland, as well as the freeing of Charles Sebe from prison, had been carried out by South African security forces linked to the Civil Cooperation Bureau, in order to consolidate an anti-ANC front in the Eastern Cape region, as part of the abortive Operation Katzen. [28] [29] [30] [31]

Coup d'état

In 1990 Brigadier Oupa Gqozo deposed Sebe and ruled as a dictator – despite an initial promise of a swift return to civilian rule. During 1991 and 1992 many of the legal foundations of apartheid in South Africa were removed, undermining the rationale for the homelands' continued existence. The African National Congress pressed strongly for them to be reincorporated into South Africa. This was opposed by Gqozo and the other homeland leaders.

Bisho Massacre

On 7 September 1992 the Ciskei Defence Force fired into a crowd (led by Ronnie Kasrils) of ANC members demanding the removal of Gqozo. [32] [33] 28 people were killed and hundreds injured in the Bisho massacre outside the sports stadium in Bisho, the small capital of Ciskei. [32] [33]

Annexation

Gqozo refused to participate in the multiracial negotiations to agree a post-apartheid constitution for South Africa and initially threatened to boycott the first multiracial elections. This became unsustainable, and in March 1994 Ciskei government workers went on strike for fear of losing their job security and pensions in the post-apartheid era. The police then mutinied, prompting Gqozo to resign on 22 March. The Transitional Executive Council (TEC) appointed two administrators, who took control of the homeland to ensure security until the elections could be held the following month. The TEC also blocked the South African government from deploying the paramilitary Internal Stability Unit (ISU) of the South African Police force, as the unit was suspected of fomenting violence in other parts of the country, and after the Ciskei military had threatened to open fire on the ISU if it entered the territory.

Ciskei and all of the other homelands were reincorporated into South Africa on 27 April 1994, after the first post-apartheid elections. Along with Transkei, Ciskei became part of the new Eastern Cape Province, with its capital becoming the capital of the new province, and the former territory of the Ciskei forming parts of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, the Chris Hani District Municipality and the Amathole District Municipality, as of 2016. [9]

Districts in 1991

Districts of the province and population at the 1991 census. [34]

Law enforcement and Defence

Notable persons

See also

Books on Ciskei

Related Research Articles

Transkei former bantustan in South Africa

Transkei, officially the Republic of Transkei, was an unrecognised state in the southeastern region of South Africa from 1976 to 1994. It was a Bantustan — an area set aside for black South Africans of Xhosa descent — and operated as a nominally independent parliamentary democracy. Its capital was Umtata.

Bantustan territory set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia), as part of the policy of apartheid

A Bantustan was a territory that the white National Party administration of South Africa set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South West Africa, as part of its policy of apartheid. The Government established ten Bantustans in South Africa, and ten in neighbouring South West Africa, for the purpose of concentrating the members of designated ethnic groups, thus making each of those territories ethnically homogeneous as the basis for creating autonomous nation states for South Africa's different black ethnic groups. Under the Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act of 1970, the Government stripped black South Africans of their citizenship, which deprived them of their few remaining political and civil rights in South Africa, and declared them to be citizens of these homelands.

Bhisho Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Lennox Sebe Ciskei president

Lennox Leslie Wongama Sebe was chief minister of the Xhosa bantustan of Ciskei, and the country's first president, after its self-rule in 1972.

Kaiser Matanzima South African politician

Chief Kaiser Daliwonga Mathanzima, misspelled Matanzima, was the long-term leader of Transkei. In 1950, when South Africa was offered to establish the Bantu Authorities Act, Matanzima convinced the Bunga to accept the Act. The Bunga were the council of Transkei chiefs, who at first rejected the Act until 1955 when Matanzima persuaded them.

Joshua Oupa Gqozo was the military ruler of the former homeland of Ciskei in South Africa.

Fengu people

The Fengu people refers to a variety of ethnic groups that fled from the Mfecane to enter into various Xhosa speaking areas, but now often considered to have assimilated by the Xhosa people whose language they now speak. The term derives from the verb "ukumfenguza" which means to wander about seeking service. Historically they achieved considerable renown for their military ability in the frontier wars.

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British Kaffraria

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Ronnie Kasrils South African politician

Ronald "Ronnie" Kasrils is a South African politician. He was Minister for Intelligence Services from 27 April 2004 to 25 September 2008. He was a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1987 to 2007 as well as a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP) from December 1986 to 2007.

Apartheid legislation laws implementing the policy of apartheid in South Africa

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Bisho massacre

The Bisho massacre occurred on 7 September 1992 in Bisho, in the then nominally independent homeland of Ciskei which is now part of the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Twenty-eight African National Congress supporters and one soldier were shot dead by the Ciskei Defence Force during a protest march when they attempted to enter Bisho to demand the reincorporation of Ciskei into South Africa during the final years of apartheid.

Chief Justice Thandathu Jongilizwe Mabandla known as Chief Justice Mabandla is the chief of the AmaBhele Tribe in Alice (Tyume). He was born on 16 August 1926 and is the eldest son of the late Simolwna Mabandla

The Rharhabe are a Xhosa sub-group found in the former Ciskei section of the Eastern Cape, and they reside in the former Transkei as well. They are descendants of King Gcaleka's brother Rharhabe. The major and most well-known component of the Rharhabe are the Ngqika ("Gaika") grouping. The descendants of Rharhabe have a long and proud history of colonial resistance.

Transkei Defence Force

The Transkei Defence Force (TDF) was established during March 1981, from the 141 Battalion of the South African Defence Force (SADF). It was the defence force of the Republic of Transkei, a nominally independent bantustan during the Apartheid era of South Africa.

Rank comparison charts of armies/land forces of apartheid states and territories in Southern Africa.

Lt. General Xhanti Charles Sebe was leader of the Ciskei Defence Force- the military of the Bantustan of Ciskei, and its Director of State Security. A former security branch policeman, he later joined the South African Bureau of State Security (B.O.S.S.) before founding the Ciskei state security apparatus.

References

  1. 1 2 Republic of Ciskei Constitution Act, No 20 of 1981, chapter II, section 8 "Xhosa and English shall be the official languages of the Republic of Ciskei and shall enjoy equal recognition."
  2. 1 2 Sally Frankental; Owen Sichone (1 January 2005). South Africa's Diverse Peoples: A Reference Sourcebook. ABC-CLIO. p. 187. ISBN   978-1-57607-674-3. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
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  4. 1 2 B.), Peires, J. B. (Jeffrey (2005). The house of Phalo : a history of the Xhosa people in the days of their independence. Jonathan Ball. ISBN   978-1868421596. OCLC   61529352.
  5. Mills, Wallace G. (August 1983). "The House of Phalo: A History of the Xhosa People in the Days of Their Independence, by J. B. PeiresThe House of Phalo: A History of the Xhosa People in the Days of Their Independence, by J. B. Peires, Berkeley, Calif., University of California Press, 1982, x, 281 pp. $27.50 (cloth), $10.75 (paperback)". Canadian Journal of History. 18 (2): 265–267. doi:10.3138/cjh.18.2.265. ISSN   0008-4107.
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