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Published by HSRC Press Private Bag X9182, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa www.hsrcpress.ac.za First published 2009 ISBN (soft cover) 978-0-7969-2233-5 ISBN (pdf) 978-0-7969-2248-9 © 2009 Human Sciences Research Council The views expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Human Sciences Research Council (‘the Council’) or indicate that the Council endorses the views of the author. In quoting from this publication, readers are advised to attribute the source of the information to the individual author concerned and not to the Council. Copyedited by Lee Smith Typeset by Baseline Publishing Services Cover by FUEL Design Cover illustration from The Death of Hintsa by Hilary Graham, reproduced with kind permission of the Albany Museum, Grahamstown Distributed in Africa by Blue Weaver Tel: +27 (0) 21 701 4477; Fax: +27 (0) 21 701 7302 www.oneworldbooks.com Distributed in Europe and the United Kingdom by Eurospan Distribution Services (EDS) Tel: +44 (0) 20 7240 0856; Fax: +44 (0) 20 7379 0609 www.eurospanbookstore.com Distributed in North America by Independent Publishers Group (IPG) Call toll-free: (800) 888 4741; Fax: +1 (312) 337 5985 www.ipgbook.com

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For Kiera, to account for the absence; Jaymathie and Jayantilal Lalu; and Hansa Lalloo

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Contents

List of illustrations viii Acknowledgements x Introduction: thinking ahead 1 Colonial modes of evidence and the grammar of domination 31 Mistaken identity 65 The properties of facts (or how to read with a grain of salt) 101 Reading ‘Xhosa’ historiography 141 The border and the body: post-phenomenological reflections on the borders of apartheid 191 History after apartheid 219 Conclusion 253 Notes 270 Bibliography and archival sources Index 329

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1 2 3 4 5 6

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List of illustrations

Figure 1

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The cover of the Frederick I’Ons exhibition catalogue; there is little clarity on whether the figure portrayed is Hintsa or Nqeno 71 Figure 2 Charles Michell’s cartographic representation of the landscape in which Hintsa was killed, published in 1835 83 Figure 3 Flight of the Fingoes [sic], by Charles Michell, 1836 84 Figure 4 Warriors Fleeing Across a River/The Death of Hintsa, by Frederick I’Ons. n.d. 90 Figure 5a Portrait of Hintsa, by Charles Michell, 1835 98 Figure 5b Portrait of Hintsa, by George Pemba, 1937 98 Figure 6 The tragic death of Hintsa, triptych by Hilary Graham, 1990 222–223

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Ah, Britain! Great Britain! Great Britain of the endless sunshine! You sent us truth, denied us the truth; You sent us life, deprived us of life; You sent us light, we sit in the dark, Shivering, benighted in the bright noonday sun.
SEK Mqhayi, on the visit of the Prince of Wales to South Africa in 1925, translated by AC Jordan

History always tells how we die, never how we live.
Roland Barthes, Michelet, 104

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Acknowledgements

Perhaps the most daunting task in completing this book is to recall the many people who have had to endure its long incubation. If I mention them by name, it is not so that they may be reminded of their complicity in The Deaths of Hintsa but to thank them for their generosity, insight, friendship and love over the years. To them I attribute my long-held desire to substitute a politics of despair with a politics of setting to work on postcolonial futures. My first foray into writing this book began under the watchful eye of Allen Isaacman and Jean Allman at the University of Minnesota, as a graduate student in African History and as a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship grant. The more detailed study of the story of Hintsa was initially submitted as a doctoral dissertation under the title ‘In the Event of History’ to the University of Minnesota in 2003. Thanks to Allen Isaacman, Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Global Change, I was granted an opportunity to interact with a group of thought-provoking historians of Africa including Maanda Mulaudzi, Peter Sekibakiba Lekgoathi, Marissa Moorman, Jacob Tropp, Heidi Gengenbach, Derek Peterson, Ana Gomez, Alda Saute, Helena Pohlandt McCormick and Jesse Buche. While at the University of Minnesota, John Mowitt, Qadri Ismail, Ajay Skaria, David Roediger, Lisa Disch and Bud Duvall provided many new and exciting directions for developing my thoughts on colonialism, apartheid and postapartheid South Africa. John Mowitt and Qadri Ismail gave new meaning to the idea of academic exchange, with Qadri especially responsible for teaching me a thing or two. The members of the postcolonial reading group fostered friendships conducive to the exploration of ideas. Monika Mehta (for teaching me how to cut), Andrew Kinkaid, Guang Lei, Joel Wainwright and Adam Sitze (for teaching me how not to cut) have, unbeknown to them, been present at every stage of the writing even as I

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deposited myself far across the Atlantic Ocean in a little-known place called the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The History Department and the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) at UWC provided the most enabling environment for the development of new ideas and critique. The staff and students of the History Department offered unconditional support for my research through the years. Leslie Witz, Ciraj Rassool, Patricia Hayes, Nicky Rousseau, Brent Harris, Gary Minkley (now at Fort Hare University) and Andrew Bank made a special effort to read my work and comment on it. I hope this book is an acceptable response to their many questions and queries, and that will be seen as a contribution to the ongoing innovative research in UWC’s History Department. Thanks are also due to Uma Mesthrie, Martin Legassick and Terri Barnes for their encouragement over the years. The Centre for Humanities Research South African Contemporary History and Humanities seminar provided a privileged space for critical readings of my work. In the last years of writing, I was encouraged by many first-year and honours history students who took the time to engage with the ideas of this book. I would like to single out Riedwaan Moosagee, Thozama April, Vuyani Booi, Peter Jon Grove, Noel Solani, Virgil Slade, Maurits van Bever Donker, Shanaaz Galant and Khayalethu Mdudumane for their interest in my work and for journeying with me to the site of Hintsa’s killing on the Nqabara River. The fellows in the Programme on the Study of the Humanities in Africa (PSHA) at UWC were a source of encouragement in pressing me to substantiate my argument for the need for a subaltern studies in South Africa. I would like to thank specifically Paolo Israel, Annachiara Forte, Jade Gibson, Heidi Grunebaum, Crystal Jannecke, Rachelle Chadwick, Annette Hoffman, Jill Weintroub, Maurits van Bever Donker, Zulfa Abrahams, Mduduzi Xakaza, Charles Kabwete, Lizzy Attree and Billiard Lishiko for their generosity and friendship. Finally, Leslie Witz, Susan Newton-King and Andrew Bank offered to take over my teaching to enable me to retreat for a sabbatical to Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where I put the finishing touches to the book.

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A fellowship at the Centre for the Study of Public Institutions at Emory University provided the much-needed intellectual stimulus for fine-tuning the formulations of the book. Ivan Karp and Cory Kratz are responsible for more than they can imagine, including much of the discussion on the discourse of anthropology in the eastern Cape. Both offered encouragement, support and unconditional friendship at a very crucial time in the making of the book. Helen Moffett provided me with significant editorial comment and engaged with the text during my fellowship at Emory. I would also like to thank Durba Mitra, Sunandan Nedumpaly, Ajit Chittambalam, Shailaja Paik and Swargajyoti Gohain who invited me to be a participant in their Subaltern Studies class at Emory University, and Clifton Crais and Pamela Scully for the many conversations. The research for this book was supported by the National Research Foundation-funded project on the Heritage Disciplines based at UWC. I would like to thank Leslie Witz and Ciraj Rassool for finding a place for my research in the overall project that they lead. The PSHA provided a research platform for the development of the argument. Garry Rosenberg, Utando Baduza, Mary Ralphs, Karen Bruns, Fairuz Parker and Lee Smith at the HSRC Press gave me support and guidance in finalising this book. I would also like to thank the many librarians and archivists both here and in the United States for their generous assistance, especially Simphiwe Yako, Graham Goddard and Mariki Victor (Mayibuye Centre, UWC); Sandy Roweldt (formerly at the Cory Library and subsequently at the African Studies Library at the University of Cape Town); Michelle Pickover (William Cullen Church of the Province of SA Collection, University of Witwatersrand); Zweli Vena, Victor Gacula and Sally Schramm (Cory Library); friends at the District Six Museum and the staff at the Albany Museum, Grahamstown, State Archives and Manuscripts Division; and the South African Library in Cape Town (especially Najwa Hendrickse). Early versions of Chapters 1 and 5 appeared in History and Theory, Vol. 39, No. 4, December 2000 and in the South African Historical Journal, 55, 2006 respectively. They are included with permission; and Hilary Graham,

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Bobo Pemba and the staff of the Albany Museum (History) granted me permission to reproduce the images that appear in the book. Friendship is the basis for all writing and hospitality, its condition. Unfortunately, writing may also inflict untold damage on friendships. Vivienne Lalu endured most of the fallout of this project. I am truly sorry for the harm it has caused but would like to acknowledge her steadfast commitment over the years. Others who graciously suffered my writing and obsessions along the way include Ajay, Kilpena, Nikhil and Rahoul Lalu, Ameet, Nital, Meha and Amisha Lalloo, Deepak, Primal, Natver and Badresh Patel, Jim Johnson, Latha Varadarajan, Noeleen Murray, Nic Shepherd, Abdullah Omar, William and Sophia Mentor, Manju Soni, Carolyn Hamilton, Mxolisi Hintsa, Ramesh Bhikha, Dhiraj, Tara and Reshma Kassanjee, Ratilal, Pushpa and Hansa Lalloo, Amy Bell-Mulaudzi, Suren Pillay, Kamal Bhagwan, Saliem Patel, Fazel Ernest, Ruth Loewenthal and members of my extended family. I am grateful for all they have done to support this book. A book that is written over many years invariably leads to friendships across continents and across urban and rural divides. Colleagues at the Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Basel, Switzerland, especially Giorgio Miescher, Lorena Rizzo, Patrick Harries and Dag Henrichson invited me to present some of the arguments of the present book and encouraged me to think beyond borders and boundaries. Similarly, I have made many friends in the Tsholora and Mbhashe in the eastern Cape, amongst whom I wish to single out Kuzile Juza, Sylvia Mahlala, Mda Mda, Nomathotho Njuqwana and Joe Savu. Mostly, the residents who have won rights to the Dwesa Cwebe Reserve following a land restitution process deserve my unconditional gratitude. I hope that our many conversations, agreements and disagreements have helped to make sense of the predicament of the rural eastern Cape. This book is dedicated to Kiera Lalu. At the very least, I hope it may serve to meaningfully account for my absence. As for answering her searching question on whether this book will end up in a museum, we will have to wait and see. It is also dedicated to Jaymathie Lalu, Hansa Lalloo, and my father, Jayantilal Lalu, for all you have done and much, much more.

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Introduction: thinking ahead
Wherever colonisation is a fact, the indigenous culture begins to rot and among the ruins something begins to be born which is condemned to exist on the margin allowed it by the European culture.1

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Two years inTo The TransiTion to democratic rule in South Africa, a little-known healer–diviner, Nicholas Tilana Gcaleka, stumbled onto the stage of history. On 29 February 1996, just over 160 years after the fateful shooting of the Xhosa king, Hintsa, by British colonial forces on the banks of the Nqabara River in the eastern Cape in southern Africa, local newspapers reported widely on Nicholas Gcaleka’s return to South Africa with ‘Hintsa’s skull’, which he had found in Scotland. Guided by a dream in which his ancestors supposedly made an appearance in the form of a hurricane spirit, Gcaleka had undertaken his mission with the hope that the return of Hintsa’s skull would usher in an era of peace in a new democratic South Africa. The rampant violence and corruption that plagued the new South Africa, he proclaimed, was because the soul of Hintsa ‘was blowing all over the world with no place to settle’.2 Judging from the responses to the alleged discovery of Hintsa’s skull, it seemed highly unlikely that Gcaleka’s dream would be allowed to become a reality. In newspaper accounts, some journalists used the opportunity offered by the supposed discovery of Hintsa’s skull to cast light on the demand for the repatriation of bodily remains taken in the period of European

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colonisation more generally. The Irish Times noted that even ‘if Chief Gcaleka is something of a showman, his search is part of a broader, more serious movement [through which] indigenous people are increasingly clamoring for the restoration of human relics removed from their country during the colonial era’.3 Others resorted to descriptions, veiled in acerbic humour, of a maverick power-hungry individual invoking a pre-modern register so as to advance his own ambition and greed. Labelled ‘the chief of skullduggery’, Gcaleka was accused of having a shrewd eye for publicity by his disgruntled spokesperson, Robert Pringle, who went on to describe the mission to recover Hintsa’s skull as a ‘hoax’. 4 The Mail & Guardian quoted Xhosa paramount Xoliliswe Sigcawu, who claimed that ‘the sangoma was a charlatan out to make money and [a] reputation by playing on Xhosa sensitivities’.5 At a meeting in Nqadu, Willowvale, in the eastern Cape in 2001, Sigcawu asked the British High Commissioner to investigate how Gcaleka ‘had come to possess a skull purportedly that of the late Xhosa hero, Chief Hintsa’.6 Mathatha Tsedu, then writing in the Cape Times, stressed Gcaleka’s lack of success in proving the skull’s authenticity, although – as a member of the fraternity of journalists – he wrote with a rare hint of sympathy for the mission.7 Claiming that ‘the head of king Hintsa has been missing since it was lopped off after he was killed resisting colonisation’, Tsedu added, ‘Chief Nicholas Tilana Gcaleka has been waging a one-man war to trace the head and bring it home for proper burial without success.’8 Gcaleka arrived back in South Africa amidst this far-reaching public interest in his ancestral instruction. But once he set foot in South Africa bearing a skull he claimed belonged to Hintsa, Sigcawu summoned him to an imbizo (council) to establish the truth about his discovery. The skull was confiscated,9 placed in the care of the police mortuary in Bisho, King William’s Town, and subsequently handed over to GJ Knobel of the department of forensic medicine at the University of Cape Town, VM Phillips of the oral and dental teaching hospital at the University of Stellenbosch and PV Tobias, the director of the Palaeo-Anthropology Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand, for scientific investigation. In a press

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the deaths of hintsa

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release on 23 August 1996, the scientists commissioned to study the skull concluded that:10 Although one could still argue that there is a remote possibility that the skull could represent a male person with slight build and weak musculature, and of mixed parentage, with a preponderance of European features [Tobias], this skull belonged to a human female, of European or Caucasoid descent, who at the time of death, was middle aged. It can be stated, beyond reasonable doubt, that this skull is not that of the late king Hintsa, who at the time of his death would have been a middle-aged human male of unmixed African origin.11 Quite clearly, the scientists who saw themselves as adjudicators in an important matter of history were equipped with a rather dated vocabulary of ‘race’ for talking about evidence. Even the deliberation of bare bones, it seems from the pronouncements on the killing of Hintsa, had to be enveloped in the primacy of skin. And as a consequence, a significant incident in the colonial past was surrendered to the terms and categories of a forensic procedure that reduced history to mere epidermal difference. Matters, as it turns out, came to a head at the annual Anatomical Society of Southern Africa Conference held at the University of Stellenbosch in 1997. The scientists charged to study the skull submitted an abstract under the title ‘Hintsa’s Head or Phantom Skull?’ In it the authors note: On 29 February, a Xhosa man, claiming to be a sangoma and calling himself Chief Nicholas Gcaleka, disembarked at Port Elizabeth airport with a cranium he had brought from Scotland. He had apparently gone in quest of King Hintsa’s skull, guided, as he said, by spirits which led him to Scotland. Holding the cranium aloft, he pointed to a defect which he asserted was the mark of a bullet. The legal representative of the Xhosa King and traditional leaders disagreed, pointing out that the skull had disintegrated when Hintsa was shot. . .The cranium was subsequently examined by VMP [VM Phillips] and GJL [GJ Louw]. Both noted that, in respect of racially

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and sexually diagnostic features, the findings were equivocal. They detected no convincing features such as would have been expected in a male person of indisputably African origin.12 Leaving aside for a moment the diagnostic procedures that ultimately define ‘a Xhosa man’, the findings of the investigation into the skull were presented to an auditorium made up of members of the scientific community. Unbeknown to the participants, Nicholas Gcaleka had infiltrated the meeting, like a phantom, where, according to newspaper reports, he was treated to the chastisement of a scientific fraternity gathered under the banner of ‘Anatomy in Transition’. Demanding the return of his skull, Gcaleka identified himself as the person who was being ridiculed and added that he had no faith that the scientists commissioned to study the skull had any interest in the ancestors of the Xhosa. If Gcaleka was overstating the point, it was only because the scientists recalled historical narrations of Hintsa’s death without explicitly suggesting how the contestations and doubts surrounding these affected their investigations. Knobel et al. cited ‘varied reports, [in which] it has been claimed that the fatal short [sic] shattered Hintsa’s head, scattering his brain and skull fragments, that [the shot] blew off the top of his head and that it was apparently common practice for soldiers to decapitate victims and take the heads as trophies’.13 The forensic procedure had to be supplemented by historical evidence about the killing of Hintsa, but no indication either of the source of the ‘reports’ or their claims to authority was required. As we shall see, all these reports came from colonial officials who were implicated in the killing of Hintsa. It was not entirely coincidental that Gcaleka should be confronted by the demand for forensic and historical evidence. The combination of the two was in the process of being tested at the time in relation to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TrC). The TrC was officially established by the postapartheid 14 state to investigate and account for gross human rights violations under apartheid. Initially, Nicholas Gcaleka’s quest was not

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the deaths of hintsa

altogether out of place in an environment where the return and excavation of dismembered bodies became a major national preoccupation through the TrC process. It was not surprising that the dismembered bodies of the colonial past were being recalled alongside the deliberations of the TrC.15 However, Gcaleka’s quest had, perhaps unintentionally, brought the very foundational concepts of truth and reconciliation, upon which the TrC process rested, into question by recalling an unresolved historical controversy from the nineteenth century. While his lie was easily dismissed in the public debates following his return to South Africa because it was not forensically and historically verifiable, it proved more difficult to grasp the implications of his search for Hintsa’s skull. At one level, we might find in Gcaleka’s lie more of the constellation of the regime of truth, and how it functions, than is proclaimed through the juridical foundations of the TrC itself. Luise White has proposed that lies, like secrets, are socially negotiated realms of information.16 Good lies, she argues, are crafted, they have to be negotiated with a specific audience, and they have to be made to stick – a lie, a cover story, not only camouflages but explains. Lies, in this formulation, are about excess that demands, inter alia, revised strategies of reading, different from those that historians are accustomed to. For White, lies are not merely inventions, but fabrications that rest at the very heart of society and its histories. The intersection of lies and social life is, we may argue, one way of perceiving of a narrative dimension that is central to the work of history. To simply recognise lies as a condition of life is to neglect the structure of the presumed lie that is so crucial to the functioning of social worlds. In other words, it is to ignore the ways in which lies overlap with regimes of truth or, more importantly, how regimes of truth are lodged in the articulation of what are ultimately considered lies. At another level, the allegations of the lie simply put into greater doubt the very effects of a regime of truth which, while being mobilised to a presumably noble end of national reconciliation, offered little hope of settling the outstanding questions about the colonial past. In speaking of colonialism I am aligning the concept with a suggestion by Nicholas Dirks, who argues

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introduction: thinking ahead

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that colonialism is an important subject in its own right and a metaphor for the subtle relationship between power and knowledge, culture and control.17 Rather than approaching colonialism in purely historicist terms as an essential and necessary development, colonialism in Dirks’s view not only had cultural effects too often ignored or displaced into the inexorable logics of modernisation and world capitalism, but it was also a cultural project of control.18 By focusing on the moral outrage against the lie, and by reducing the basis of judgement to the fact that he lied, no one seemed to inquire into whether raising the question of colonialism as integral to the search for reconciliation constituted a valid historical pursuit. The point is perhaps rendered clearer if we remind ourselves of responses to Gcaleka, who dared to speak what many considered to be a lie in a period when South Africa’s democratic transition was increasingly being defined by the terms of truth central to the work of the TrC. The TrC’s concept of truth was entirely drawn from a juridical discourse that limited the functions of truth to testimony and confession.19 The notion of gross human rights violations therefore limited the scope of the investigations of violence. In relation to the elevation of judicial and scientific concepts of truth that assumed prominence in the TrC’s inquiry into gross human rights violations under apartheid, Gcaleka was readily dismissed as a fraud and an egotistical liar. The forensic evidence supported this conclusion, and Gcaleka seemed to be making the error of conflating truth and reconciliation. His claims were therefore easily relegated to the realms of fantasy and fraud. The healer–diviner from the town of Butterworth in the eastern Cape was laughed at because his fantasy was not one that fell within the rules of the true instituted by, for example, the human rights violation inquiry of the TrC.20 While Nicholas Gcaleka operated outside of the parameters of the rules of the true, he nevertheless touched a raw nerve by invoking the nineteenth-century story of the killing of Hintsa. Neither notions of truth (in relation to the commission of inquiry into his death in 1836) nor reconciliation (in relation to accusations that he was beheaded) applied to

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the deaths of hintsa

the story of the killing of Hintsa in 1835. Gcaleka’s invocation of the colonial past perhaps unwittingly called into question the dominant concepts of history that were at work in the TrC, because it articulated the possibility that the regime of truth functioned in accordance with modes of evidence that regarded the archive as merely a storehouse of documents and not an apparatus that produced and reproduced forms of subjection. The key question was: how could a form of evidence once used to cover up acts of violence be depended on to offer us an escape from the violence of the apartheid past? Nicholas Gcaleka’s fate depended as much on the coincidence between a regime of truth and the modes of evidence of the archive as it did on the judgements rendered about his personality. Much was made in the press of the fees he charged for interviews. He was widely accused of fabricating history by distorting the account of Hintsa’s death for the purposes of self-enrichment. The accusation of distortion, however, was based on the very colonial record of the killing that had been doubted for more than a century in South Africa. Indeed, the historian Jeff Peires refers to the commission of inquiry into Hintsa’s death as a cover-up on the part of colonial officials.21 Lost in the denunciations were the very traces of the contestations that lie at the heart of South African history. At the height of a moment of political transition endowed with historic achievement and significance, there could be no room for doubt. The introduction of the story of the killing of Hintsa was treated as a mere distraction in the overall objectives of transition – from the apartheid to the postapartheid state – that the TrC was instituted to oversee.

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Hintsa, Gcaleka and history after apartheid
The quest for Hintsa’s head not only called into question the categories by which the TrC functioned, but also seemed to inadvertently short-circuit a discussion amongst South African historians after 1994 about the crisis in history.22 This crisis has been variously represented as a drop in student

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interest in the discipline, the disconnection between the economic demands of the present versus the critical assessments of the past, and the forwardlooking imperatives of postapartheid South Africa. Gcaleka’s search for evidence of South Africa’s colonial past, perhaps unwittingly, put a new twist on the historians’ debate. His search for Hintsa’s skull enabled a different question: what difference, if any, might the discourse of history make in unravelling the legacies of authoritarianism? This problem arose even as the political claims about narrating the present strategically, at times selectively, reclaimed history in order to extract some meaning of a nascent postapartheid society. History, it seems, was ever-present as a resource for determining which configurations of political struggle would prevail as national historical narrative. But the appropriation of history to re-envisioning nation and identity tended to emphasise, rather than displace, the disciplinary reason that was the very modus operandi of apartheid. The commitment to establishing alternative histories to apartheid was burdened by the tendency to recycle well-worn modes of disciplinary inquiry (as if these were neutral and timeless) in the interests of making a break from a hideously violent and offensive past. What remained unclear, however, was whether the task of re-narrating pasts could be effectively pursued through the discourse of history. Was it, in other words, possible to elaborate a concept of the postapartheid as a distinct ethico-political displacement of a prior violence by way of the discourse of history? Amidst the laughter and ridicule that surrounded Nicholas Gcaleka in South Africa and in London, in academic conferences and township meetings, the implication of history’s critical function in relation to apartheid’s pasts was burdened by a nagging sense that history’s discourse may offer little opportunity for thinking ahead. In a rare moment, replete with public pronouncements about ‘miraculous social transformation’, a healer–diviner brought an encounter between the colonial past and the postapartheid present to the fore, in which it became not only possible but imperative to inquire into history’s relation to the exercise of power. His fate would be decided by the answer to that question. It is, I would argue,

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necessary that the fate that awaited Gcaleka, as he recounted the story of the killing of Hintsa, be tackled head on. Where there is mocking laughter there is reason to suspect that a regime of truth is at work. This book traces the effects of a regime of truth founded upon colonial modes of evidence that engulfed two subjects who failed to make the cut of history: a king who at the prime of his rule was killed and mutilated by British forces in the early nineteenth century and a healer–diviner who, towards the end of the twentieth century, two years into the birth of a postapartheid democracy, recalled that king’s alleged decapitation. Surrounding the king’s death in 1835, and the healer–diviner’s mission in 1996, are lies alongside truths and histories presented as unproblematic narratives of change. Beyond the specificities of the coincidence, this book explores the role of history so that a postapartheid future need not fall back on the very subjective strategies that marked the excessive disciplinary violence of a highly racialised and stratified system of oppression. It clears the ground for thinking ahead, after apartheid, through a series of reversals and displacements of the techniques of subject formation generic to the colonial archive and its modes of evidence. For this I propose that we allow the misfits of the text 23 to lead the way – without, I should add, too much expectation of where they might lead us. The Deaths of Hintsa brings together two related themes. At one level it brings the laughter surrounding Gcaleka’s mission to retrieve Hintsa’s skull to bear on an investigation of the modes of evidence of the colonial archive, so as to better understand the relationship between history and power specific to the archive. Rather than join the frenzy of public denouncement and ridicule, I wish to take seriously Gcaleka’s implicit provocation that while the foundations of a postapartheid society were being laid, the critique of apartheid’s colonial past was found wanting. The deliberations surrounding Hintsa’s skull, specifically, provide us with an opportunity for mulling over the proliferation of signs at a time, not too long ago, when Nicholas Tilana Gcaleka encountered the history of colonialism. In the turbulence that followed the encounter, he was not, as many suspect,

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introduction: thinking ahead

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excluded from participating in history but perhaps unwittingly caught up in the event of history, that is, in the enunciative modalities of history that defined the difference between what could be said and what was actually said about the killing of Hintsa. Rather than merely identifying an exclusion from a regime of truth, this book asks how Nicholas Gcaleka, instead of being regarded as a historian who had travelled far and wide in search of evidence into the killing of Hintsa, became the object of the very discourse of history that he had helped and hoped, in part, to articulate. It addresses that question by returning to the archival fate that awaited Hintsa after he was killed on the banks of the Nqabara River in 1835. At another level it examines how the transition from apartheid to postapartheid bypassed the colonial archive and therefore failed to anticipate the resilience of its modes of evidence. If history was given any role in adjudicating in the matter of Nicholas Gcaleka, it was not to inquire into the question of the meaning of colonialism, but rather to put Gcaleka in his place, so to speak. By returning to South Africa, bearing evidence in the form of the skull, the healer–diviner unwittingly solicited responses from within a discourse of history, organised around competing constructions of colonialism and anti-colonial nationalism, in which the culpability for the killing of Hintsa was far from being settled. Overcoming apartheid required coming to terms not only with the effects of history, but with the discourse of history itself.

Evidence and imagination in narratives of the killing of Hintsa
As a specific field of intelligibility, South African history, insofar as it might be viewed as a coherent research community, targeted and functioned in relation to regulatory environments that we might call regimes of truth. Even the most left-wing historiography turned to the archive to sustain its arguments, and established its legitimacy via the protocols of proof and evidence. Along the way it tended to elide the function of the imaginary structure – or what Michel de Certeau calls ‘the historiographical operation’24 – that was, and is,

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intrinsic to the discourse of history. The imaginary structure here does not refer to the unreal but rather to that constitutive part of discourse resulting in a crystallisation of a set of exchanges that, if left unchecked, would prevent questioning the reality effect of a discipline like history. To look into that crystal is to envisage how disciplines, which strive to achieve a reality effect, end up producing a subaltern effect that reveals a fundamental continuity in the functions of history as a statist discourse. As a consequence, the discourse of history in South Africa frequently slips into regulatory systems that govern the emergence of normative statements. This is precisely the double bind in which Gcaleka arguably found himself. While the search for evidence was insufficient to meet the expectations of history, his evoking of dreams and imagination was seen as equally deficient in laying claim to reliably participating in the discourse of history.25 Taken together, this was seemingly sufficient reason for his disqualification. To simply cast Gcaleka aside for failing the rules of a regime of truth, either in terms of the rules of evidence or in terms of recourse to the imaginary structure, is to ignore how his quest foregrounds the work of the imaginary structure in the discourse of history. After all, history, as Hayden White has shown, necessarily relies on an imaginary structure in the construction of its narratives.26 In history, the imaginary structure is a necessary and complementary aspect of discourse. If we follow the lead of De Certeau,27 we might say that the imaginary structure is not, as White suggests, merely a structural condition of history, but ‘a restless seeking after the self in the present underpinning the discourse of history’. The disqualification of Gcaleka on the grounds of resorting to imaginary structure thus thwarted a more sustained reflection on how history as a discourse suppresses the function of the conditions of narrativity in its discourse. Gcaleka, perhaps surreptitiously, renders the distinction between evidence and imagination, or history and historiography, inoperable by revealing their imbrications in the modes of evidence of the colonial archive. This inoperability of a key distinction in historical discourse is a recurrent theme in narratives on the killing of Hintsa. Consider, for example,

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two slightly discrepant descriptions of Hintsa – and of the so-called cattlekilling episode of 1856–57 – offered by Jeff Peires in his history The Dead will Arise and Zakes Mda in his novel The Heart of Redness. Although Mda’s novel draws extensively on Peires’s research as it sets out to explore the cattle killing, it is infused in contemporary debates about rural development and fictionalised around tourist development in Qolora, the setting of Nongqawuse’s suicidal prophecy. Peires’s description of Hintsa’s death is echoed in Mda’s text with slight but significant adjustment. Shortly before telling us that Sarhili did not wish to invite upon himself the fate meted out to his father, Hintsa, due to inaction, Peires recalls how: Sarhili [could not] forget that terrible day more than twenty years previously (April 1835) when he had accompanied his father Hintsa as he rode proudly into the camp of Governor D’Urban. Hintsa was given assurances of his personal safety, but he was never to leave the camp alive. D’Urban disarmed Hintsa’s retinue, placed the king under heavy guard and threatened to hang him from the nearest tree. Hintsa was held hostage for a ransom of 25 000 cattle and 500 horses, ‘war damages’ owed to the colony. He tried to escape but was shot down, and after he was dead his ears were cut off as military souvenirs.28 In adhering to the broad outlines of Peires’s account of the cattle killing, Mda offers the following account of the circumstances in which Hintsa was killed. Narrating the unfolding drama of the cattle killing, Mda reminds us of the chasm between the administrative burden of the colonial archive and the demands of anti-colonial memory: The Otherworld where the ancestors lived had been caressed by the shadow of King Hintsa. Even though almost twenty years had passed since King Hintsa had been brutally murdered in 1835 by Governor Sir Benjamin D’Urban, the amaXhosa people still remembered him with great love. They had not forgotten how D’Urban had invited the king to a meeting, promising him that he would be safe, only to cut his ears as souvenirs and ship his head to Britain.29

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The charge of murder in this narrative revision replaces the agency of escaping, D’Urban is made responsible for the shooting rather than George Southey whom the colonial archive identifies as having fired the shot and, not only was the body mutilated but, according to Mda, the head was also shipped to Britain. As the subjects of history emerge in the respective narratives, the event of history recalls the difference between what can be said and what is actually said about the killing of Hintsa, the historical difference, that is, between history as a system of subjection, and history as a system of production. Herein, I wish to argue, lies the fate, and perhaps the salvation, of Nicholas Gcaleka. This is not to suggest that the poetic necessarily represents an alternative to the colonising predicament of the archive. Rather than subsuming the killing of Hintsa into a temporal context of colonial conquest that can be adjudicated by way of methodological feat or by poetic reinscription, which seemingly permits a perspective unfettered by the archive, I wish to argue that the contested alignment of evidence, poetics and the recovery of subjectivity in the narration of history posits an epistemic limit in conceptualising a history after apartheid. That problem may be discerned in what I am calling the fabrication of historical subjectivity – the process by which the subject is necessarily cast as the very object of historical discourse.

Raising the stakes in critiques of apartheid
The story of the killing of Hintsa cannot be told without blurring the distinction between history and historiography. This is the premise of this book, which endeavours to connect the modes of evidence of the colonial archive with the imaginary structure that underlies its narrative possibilities. In delineating the indistinction of the two in the story of the killing of Hintsa, I hope also to outline a way to connect history and historiography so as to activate a postcolonial critique of apartheid that would enable possible new directions in the rewriting of South African history.

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Nicholas Gcaleka’s mission was one instance where the writing of South African history was opened up for deliberation. Gcaleka’s quest brought to the fore the question of the killing of Hintsa in the nineteenth century, which paradoxically led to his very own entanglement in the modes of evidence of the colonial archive. It also had the unintended consequence of generating a discussion about the rewriting of South African history after apartheid. For example, the search for Hintsa’s skull was the inspiration behind a lecture on the rewriting of South African history by eminent social historian Shula Marks in Britain in 1996.30 Marks approached the topic of the rewriting of South African history by discussing the recent retrieval of a skull – alleged to belong to Hintsa – by the healer–diviner Nicholas Tilana Gcaleka. In a bid to interpret the quest for the skull and in light of the failure to prove the skull’s authenticity once discovered, Marks declared that Gcaleka was a man of his time.31 By this Marks meant that Gcaleka served as evidence of an identity that mediates the economic difficulties accompanying unfulfilled political promises in the post-apartheid period – the agent that mediates, and perhaps represents, a social reality. Now a double victim of his own truth game, Gcaleka was to be mobilised against the postmodernists and postcolonialists – themselves agents supposedly seeking to undermine the sacred domains of disciplinary history – as a sign of the legitimacy of what Marks calls materialist history. Mike Nicol similarly sees Nicholas Gcaleka as adding to the modern noise of late capitalism by making claims on shaky historical foundations. Ciraj Rassool, Gary Minkley and Leslie Witz all refer to the difficulty that Gcaleka poses for social history when the evidence of human remains does not fit the requirements of histories of social change. As Gcaleka slipped into his new representative role as a sign of the times, he came to mark the postapartheid present as an imperfect tense. In each case, I suggest, Gcaleka must be seen to be creating the space for thinking about history’s relation to power. But Gcaleka simply did not seem to fit the roles ascribed to him from high above. The misfit of the text often wreaks havoc with the prescriptions

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of discipline, sometimes exceeding expectations and at others falling hopelessly short thereof. If Gcaleka is indeed to offer a different reading of the South African past, and help in unravelling the hegemony of the colonial archive, then we might revalue his position in terms of the potential ascribed to the subaltern subject in tandem with elevating the theme of postcolonialism, discernible in earlier critiques of apartheid. To resurrect this latent postcolonial theme is to ask that we attend to the colonial hangover in the constitution of the subject of history. Any attempt to forge a history after apartheid would in my view need to attend to the strands of postcolonialism as a way to make explicit the relations between disciplinary knowledge and power. In the long run such an approach may help us better comprehend the formation of subjectivity in South African history. Today, in the aftermath of apartheid’s legal dissolution, it is also necessary to reformulate the meaning of apartheid given the seemingly entrenched legacies of authoritarianism that seem to persist in South African society. The postcolonial critique of apartheid is a continuation of a strand of critique that derives from a critical engagement with the intellectual inheritance of Marxist scholarship of the 1970s, which investigated the structural conditions of apartheid. The scholarship of the 1970s, especially the formative debate involving Martin Legassick and Harold Wolpe, helped to activate a revisionist understanding of race and class and to pave the way for the agency rooted in the black experience of rural dispossession and urban labour.32 The critique of apartheid, influenced to some extent by the growth of underdevelopment theories, forged in the context of Latin America, resulted in an analysis in which the concepts of race and class critically interrupted each other. However, these arguments were later appropriated into the narratives of the Cold War and resistance to apartheid in South Africa, tending in the process to become somewhat fixed in their meaning.33 One reason for this is, perhaps, that, in the discourses of liberation movements, the notions of race and class became increasingly regulated through programmatic statements such as ‘colonialism of a special type’, which became the basis of analyses of apartheid within the African

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National Congress (aNC) and the South African Communist Party (SaCP) after 1962.34 Given the imbrication of concepts of race and class and also the need to propose a concept of apartheid that allows us to properly formulate a deeper meaning of the postapartheid, we may have to embark on what I call a postcolonial critique of apartheid. This will require us to dehistoricise the history of race and class by dissolving nostalgic formulations of agency embedded in the willing subject, thereby enabling a relocation of agency in the activating dynamic of discipline through which the subject of contemporary politics is seemingly inaugurated.35 Most importantly, a postcolonial critique of apartheid will ask whether the discourse of history is capable of initiating a different ethical relation to Nicholas Gcaleka by contesting historicist formulations of colonialism. The term ‘postcolonial’ perhaps invites us to explore the conditions under which the colonised subject, even after the advent of anti-colonial nationalism and, one might say, after the dissolution of legalised apartheid, is returned to the position of subaltern. The term has gained such currency in contemporary Africa as a designation of mere temporal distinction with colonialism (a usage with which I remain uncomfortable) that its precise deployment in respect of the interlocking stories of Gcaleka and Hintsa is in need of elaboration. In my reading, the postcolonial offers a critical model of disciplinarity that supplements the unravelling of apartheid in terms of race and class. In a crudely composite sense, the term ‘postcolonial’ ultimately leads us to a critical concept of the subjection of agency which brackets nostalgic concepts of agency to one that takes seriously its disciplinary conditions of possibility. Occasionally, the term ‘postcolonial’ is greeted with some scepticism amongst scholars whose arguments fall within the epistemic frameworks staked out by an emergent but earlier critique of the underdevelopment wrought by late capitalism. Largely basing their disagreements on a temporal understanding of the postcolonial as temporally post-colonial, Anne McClintock, Ella Shohat and Arif Dirlik, among others, early on expressed wariness about the concept, which they believed proved inadequate

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in confronting the effects of globalisation.36 At times the argument about the term’s imprecision held that its targets were misplaced and that there was scant regard for the post-colonial impulse of the 1970s that addressed the problem of the development of underdevelopment accompanying late capitalism. Dirlik in particular was concerned that the post-colonial was needlessly underestimating the category of class and the mechanism of capital in manufacturing its most recent installation in globalisation. For Dirlik, the post-colonial grossly underplays capitalism’s structuring of the modern world. McClintock, Shohat and also, in a slightly different polemic, Aijaz Ahmad37 were concerned that the term ‘post-colonial’ unnecessarily abandoned the resources of history and yet-to-be-exhausted political projects with which to confront globalisation. Together they bemoaned the depoliticising effects of the post-colonial. Ahmad, for his part, entered into a vitriolic critique of the post-colonial as a consequence of the first world location of its intellectuals, amongst whom he singled out Edward Said. Judging from Stuart Hall’s incisive reworking of the idea of the postcolonial as an invitation to think at the limit, these problematisations of the term by McClintock, Shohat and Dirlik were not without consequence.38 Hall, for example, takes Dirlik’s comments about the absence of any talk of capitalism in the work of postcolonial scholars seriously, agreeing that the elision is remarkable, but finds the subsequent conflation of postcoloniality and late capitalism troubling, if not stunningly reductionist to material context. For Hall, the rise of postcolonial criticism might more usefully be seen as an ally in tackling the linear unidirectional narrative of globalisation by posting ‘a critical interruption into that whole grand historiographical narrative’.39 It therefore serves as a counterpoint to the history of globalisation and its accompanying claim of a common humanity by revealing the inheritance of the violent effects of a colonial modernity. In the process the postcolonial also breaks down the inside/outside of the colonial system on which, according to Hall, histories of imperialism have thrived. What I find most enabling about Hall’s critique of McClintock, Shohat and Dirlik is his insistence on the further problematisation and intensification of the term

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‘postcolonial’ if it is to serve as a strategy to harness the discontents with globalisation to political ends. It is not therefore surprising that he should approach the postcolonial as an episteme in the making. If the postcolonial is to serve as accomplice in constructing a history after apartheid by constituting a different ethical and political relation to the subject, it would prove necessary to forego a reliance on the temporal structure that separates history and historiography. Perhaps the best-known effort to test the implications of postcolonial critique is that produced by the Subaltern Studies Collective (SSC) in South Asia. The rise of the figure of the subaltern – a subject that is always also out of synch with the empty homogenous time of capital – has contributed to unfolding a strategy of parabasis – being outside while at once inside the play or argument of history. By putting the subaltern into play in the discourse of history, SSC has also realigned the principal disciplinary distinction between history and historiography that defines the historian’s craft. In so doing, it has called into question unilinear temporal theories of change that dominate the discourse of history and the political effects of the specific histories they give rise to. Let me draw out the productivity of the exchange more carefully so as to emphasise its potential in working towards an epistemic rupture. It is possible to discern in SSC not only an argument with British liberalism in India but also a fundamental disagreement with Marx’s famous essay, ‘On Imperialism in India’, 40 in which he proposed that colonialism was a troublesome but necessary event in the history of capital. SSC draws out the inadequacies of nationalist responses to this narrative of change by implicating its disciplinary forms in the very colonial violence that it sets out to oppose. As I prefer to think of the work undertaken by the collective, it did not merely follow Marx in turning Hegel’s inversion of things right side up, on their feet, as in the famous metaphor for the dialectical challenge posed by the young left Hegelians, but opted to inquire into the failed promise of its spirit that prompted none other than Marx to explore the necessary stage of colonialism in world history. SSC did not merely seek to react in opposition

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to Hegel’s model, but called into question the limits of dialectical thinking. Writing on Hegel’s attempt to shield world historical deeds from criticism, Ranajit Guha, one of the originators of the project, notes: Our critique, which stands at the limit of World-history, has no compunction whatsoever in ignoring this advice [from Hegel]. From the point of view of those left out of World-history this advice amounts to condoning precisely such ‘world historical deeds’ – the rape of continents, the destruction of cultures, the poisoning of the environment – as helped ‘the great men who [were] the individuals of world history’ to build empires and trap their subject populations in what the pseudo-historical language of imperialism could describe as Prehistory. 41 This, however, was not merely to write a social history from below; one that was additive of those who were cast as Europe’s people without history. The elaboration of the concept ‘subaltern’ exposed something of a categorical crisis when history’s relation to power was specifically refracted through the prism of postcolonial criticism. As such, the subaltern marked a necessary limit in the composition of power. This, as Gyan Prakash notes, means that subalternity erupts within the system of dominance and marks its limits from within, that its externality to dominant systems of knowledge and power surfaces inside the system of dominance, but only as an intimation, as a trace of that which eludes the dominant discourse. 42 Even as a ruse of dominance, as a sign internal to a system or an impossible inadequation in a sign system, the term ‘subaltern’ nevertheless conveys a sense of categorical distinction. If Prakash’s formulation echoes my own reading of Gcaleka, there is still some need to explain the shift proposed by subaltern studies from the recuperative project surrounding the preordained subject of history to a reading of the traces of subalternity in hegemonic discourses. The question, it seems, is equally one about the concepts of difference that subaltern studies entertains and whether these might help to activate a postcolonial critique of apartheid.

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In Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s argument about representation and the subaltern in the essay ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ a strategic use of essentialism in a politically scrupulous programme simultaneously highlights the limits of identity politics in an environment overdetermined by the interplay of disciplinary power and reason. 43 The operative phrase – politically scrupulous programme – is of course crucial because in the attempt to recover the subjectivity named by the place-keeper ‘subaltern’, the historian invariably encounters the limits and complicities of her own apparatus of reading. In the case of colonial India and its independence struggle, that apparatus was deeply imbued with the shades of nationalism and Marxism, each promising a future that transcended a violent past but becoming increasingly embroiled in the prescriptions of the Cold War. In the SSC, the subaltern is inserted into the logic of these grand narratives, not because it can be featured as an exemplar of historical consciousness, but because it enables an investigation of the anatomy of failure to complete the critique of colonialism in the discourses of nationalism and Marxism. The work undertaken in the name of the SSC, itself a considerably diverse research agenda bound together by a broad postcolonial intellectual commitment, has resulted, in at least one sense, in a critical deconstruction of historiography – both nationalist and Marxist. In the promise of transition from colonial rule, the figure of the subaltern stood, hyperbolically perhaps, as a demographic differential, to use Guha’s term, that interrupted the flows of historiographical modalities of social change. If indeed that phrase has proved successful in calling attention to failed promises, I want to argue that, in a peculiar if not ironic sense, apartheid too could be seen as an instance of demographic difference, especially if we consider its legislative tyranny of separate development. Yet, there is something more poignant than the reminder of apartheid’s decree in the arguments of the SSC, especially in its attempt to question the theories of change presented by nationalist and Marxist historiography in respect of those whose consciousness needed to be translated into respective metafictions. More crucial is the way in which the

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SSC helps us to think of how nationalism resonates with the universalising narrative of Marxism. Perhaps one way to name that productivity is through the more deconstructive edge of the collective, which annotates its own failure in recovering subaltern agency even as it makes possible a critique of theories of change. The subaltern, to rephrase the collective’s initial strategies, was always also placed under erasure as a result of the operation of regimes of truth. As a consequence the project, for all intents and purposes, is better understood as one aimed at deconstructing historiography. Dipesh Chakrabarty provides us with a useful summary of how these strands came together in the work of subaltern studies in India: With hindsight, it can be said that there were three broad areas in which Subaltern Studies differed from the history-from-below approach of Hobsbawm or Thompson (allowing for differences between these two eminent historians of England and Europe). Subaltern historiography necessarily entailed a relative separation of the history of power from any universalist histories of capital, a critique of the nation form, and an interrogation of the relation between power and knowledge (hence of the archive itself and of history as a form of knowledge). In these differences, I would argue, lay the beginnings of a new way of theorizing the intellectual agenda for postcolonial histories. 44 My engagement with the SSC is premised not so much on its notion of the subaltern as demographic differential but rather on its interruptive strategy for reading, as I have already suggested, the theories of change. I am not necessarily interested in comparative histories in the social scientific sense of that term or in the use of the term ‘subaltern’ to denote yet another subject category in the pantheon of multiculturalism. I do not feel that the term ‘subaltern’ should limit us to a sense of categorical distinction. Mine is a more selective advancement of the project of the SSC which stages an inquiry about the theory of change in the transition from apartheid to postapartheid South Africa, and allows us, as Hall would have it, to intensify postcolonial

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criticism. 45 If histories of change are conventionally believed to be marked by historiographical presuppositions, what specific theory of change guides the shift towards the onset of the postapartheid? My own contribution to the discourse of the SSC is to show how history works to put the subaltern in his or her place by recourse to the modes of evidence that constitute the colonial archive while offering the SSC some recourse to the watchword of apartheid. The intellectual programme charted by the SSC serves as a strategic interlocutor because it expands the sense of the critical work of history in productive and consequential ways. The SSC, especially its more deconstructive tendencies, has highlighted the discrepancy between the philosophical critique of humanism and the historical discourse on the representation of the postcolonial subject. Recall here Frantz Fanon’s rhetorical question which succinctly articulates the point I wish to emphasise: ‘What is this Europe where they are never done talking about man but go about killing men everywhere?’46 The resultant impasse, we might say, that activates the programme of the SSC is aligned with the critique of humanism that permeates the interventions of Fanon both in terms of the problem of subject constitution and the irreducibility of colonised subject in the discourse of Europe. The dialogue with the SSC is aimed at unravelling the crisis of history in a manner that clears the ground for the arrival of a postapartheid future. By ‘postapartheid future’ I mean not only that legal rearrangement of society that signifies a period after apartheid but also a discourse that activates a very precise formulation of the postcolonial, which this book helps to elaborate. What enables the dialogue, I believe, is the manner in which the term ‘subaltern’ indirectly allows for a conceptual correlation between subaltern agency and the constraints of identity politics represented by apartheid. This double bind of agency and constraint is consummately recorded in the phrase ‘subjection of agency’ which, according to John Mowitt, opposes notions of agency that lay claim to the will of the agent rather than viewing the formation of the subject’s agency as a product of a long-drawn-out discursive event. 47 If we are to think of this in relation to the position of

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Nicholas Gcaleka’s quest for Hintsa’s skull, we might say that not making the cut of history is the point at which the long-drawn-out collusion of archive and history is revealed. Why the insistence of combining the term ‘subaltern’ with Mowitt’s formulation of the subjection of agency? Because, I argue, it allows for distance between those forms of narration which seek to recover subaltern agency at the expense of attending to how the reinscription of the subject into the discourse of history produces repetition, not difference. Coupled with the phrase ‘subjection of agency’, subaltern studies may be thought of less as a project of recovery than of tracking subaltern effects in discourse. To mark the important distinction that I am belabouring, it may help to place the terms ‘subjection of agency’ and ‘subaltern’ alongside the cryptic notion of ‘lines of flight’ that permeates the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. They suggest that the line of flight ‘is a sort of delirium’ not unlike that which marks the predicament of postcoloniality and the effort to invalidate the binaries forged under the aegis of colonial decree. 48 Underscoring a distinction between line of flight and escape, Deleuze provides a qualification that we would do well to entertain if we are to reformulate the productivity of the term ‘subaltern’ in the interests of developing a postcolonial critique of apartheid: even when a distinction is drawn between the flight and the voyage, the flight still remains an ambiguous operation. What is it which tells us that, on a line of flight, we will not rediscover everything we are fleeing? In fleeing fascism, we rediscover fascist coagulations on the line of flight. In fleeing everything, how can we avoid reconstituting both our country of origin and our formation of power, our intoxicants, our psychoanalyses and our mommies and daddies? How can one avoid the line of flight’s becoming identical with a pure and simple movement of self-destruction. . .? 49 Lines of flight allow us to relocate the force of agency in the very conditions of constraint to which it is ultimately bound. It sheds light on the specific

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relation between subalternity and subjection of agency so as to establish the conditions for deliberating new meanings for postcolonial difference. One way to proceed, it seems, is to understand apartheid’s relation to colonial violence and its archive anew, in terms of the subjection of agency and its related subaltern effects. If the colonial archive not only preceded apartheid but defined it discursively as a system of modernist tyranny, if it is the source of organising the subjection of agency, then the question that this book poses is: how does one establish a line of flight not only from the violence of colonialism, but also from the tendency for the archive to regulate much of what can be said in its wake? Far from being akin to a superstructure, though, the colonial archive is a reminder of the possibilities of power to code every emergent relation in society, even the resistance to that power that I too ultimately seek to establish through the process of writing this book.50 As theories of underdevelopment increasingly seeped into analyses of apartheid through Marxist scholarship in the 1970s and 1980s, a more discreet strand of postcolonial criticism inaugurated in part by the work of Bernard Cohn and Edward Said simultaneously, but independently of specifically Marxist framings, drew attention to the vast networks of knowledge by which the colonial project created the conditions for the exercise of power.51 That the critique of apartheid as a recognisable social formation opted out of pursuing this latter postcolonial trajectory seems to have stunted the possibilities of intensifying the critique of apartheid, in ways that tackled the disciplinary conditions of apartheid’s exercise of power. Taken together, Cohn and Said placed before us a radical revision of the analysis presented in Michel Foucault’s Order of Things and Archeology of Knowledge;52 theirs was not merely an echo of the trajectory charted in Foucault’s early work. Their arguments on the making of the Orient as an object of knowledge tended to diminish the distance between epistemic formation (the arrangement in an episteme of rational elements and other elements that are not rational) and discursive formation (the regularisation of statements expressed through their positivity). Accordingly, Foucault’s

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description of the classical, renaissance or modern episteme was propped up by the vast edifice of Europe’s expansionist project.53 What Said in particular achieved in his Orientalism, published in 1978, was to intensify the implications of Foucault’s analysis of epistemes and discursive formations by establishing a more definite connection between the disciplinary power and the rise of academic disciplines. The resultant sense of disciplinary reason which Foucault himself would uncover in his Discipline and Punish challenged the very colonial logic and premise of the formation of the human sciences.54 The implicit argument of Orientalism, as I see it, is that any effort to oversee the birth of the postcolonial must be accompanied by a commensurate rupture in the systems of knowledge that established the conditions of possibility of colonialism in the first place. In returning to the themes developed in Orientalism some years later, Said articulated this aspect of his quest in which he situated his own return to the theme of humanism and the problem of a universalising historicism: Along with the greater capacity for dealing with – in Ernst Bloch’s phrase – the non-synchronous experiences of Europe’s Other has gone a fairly uniform avoidance of the relationship between European imperialism and these variously constituted and articulated knowledges. What has never taken place is an epistemological critique of the connection between the development of a historicism which has expanded and developed enough to include antithetical attitudes such as ideologies of western imperialism and critiques of imperialism, on the one hand, and, on the other, the actual practice of imperialism by which the accumulation of territories and population, the control of economies, and the incorporation and the homogenization of histories are maintained. . . We must, I believe, think in both political and theoretical terms, locating the main problems in what Frankfurt theory identified as domination and division of labor. We must confront also the problem of the absence of a theoretical, utopian, and libertarian dimension in analysis. We cannot proceed unless we dissipate and redispose the material historicism into radically different pursuits of knowledge,

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and we cannot do that until we are aware that no new projects of knowledge can be constituted unless they resist the dominance and professionalized particularism of historicist systems and reductive, pragmatic, or functionalist theories.55 This statement not only offers a way to ascertain the complicity of history in sustaining forms of power, but also extends the critique to those histories that present themselves as inclusive and radically opposed to imperialism. The desire to seek an inclusionary narrative of world history has relinquished the need for a critique of historicism which was part of the selective narrative, and its diabolical consequences, in the first place. More importantly, Said is attempting to re-circuit knowledge that does not amount to merely enacting earlier historicist reversals of anti-imperialist narratives of change. In seeking to revisit the relation between apartheid and colonialism, I am suggesting that the search for the meaning of the postapartheid may benefit from the postcolonial expectation of an epistemic rupture and that the latter may be served by a deeper understanding of apartheid. Stated differently, the possibility of a postapartheid that is geared at deepening democracy is perhaps best dealt with by bringing a postcolonial critique of apartheid to bear on it. This would entail bringing to an end historicist constructions in which colonialism, apartheid and the postapartheid (or, in this instance, the post-apartheid) are treated as merely temporally sequential rather than connected through the techniques of disciplinary reason. As the machinery of apartheid is dismantled and its components placed on the proverbial dust heap of history, three very specific questions that have not guided the critique of apartheid hitherto remain to be answered: what kind of disciplinary power did apartheid represent, what kind of normalising effects does it entertain and where would we mark the ends of apartheid? These questions arise from a sense of difficulty in defining what can be best described as the faltering narratives of transition from apartheid to postapartheid.

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Chapter outline
This book is organised roughly into two related sections. The first examines colonial modes of evidence and the imaginary structure that define the deliberations about the killing of Hintsa. The killing of Hintsa is filtered through complex grids of intelligibility that not only constitute the modes of evidence of the colonial archive but also result in the subjection of agency. These colonial modes of evidence significantly organise the deliberations of a settler public sphere and anti-colonial nationalist responses. In the second section, I enact a strategic invalidation of reversals of the colonial archive by drawing on the resources of the Subaltern Studies project. In the process of the exchange with Subaltern Studies, I suggest ways to think about a history after apartheid that also alters our understanding of critical possibilities that inhere in postcolonial histories. A common structure in the argument in each chapter is to see how a particular domain or discursive field emerges and/or is shaped by the tensions or contradictions between other fields or forms. Each identifies a particular constitutive tension. Following a critical reading of the archive on the killing of Hintsa, I consider the internal dynamic of information and aesthetics and landscape and ‘native–subject’. In the subsequent chapters I reflect on the tensions of Empire between settler and colonial histories that deal with the killing of Hintsa and on nationalist narrations that seek to invalidate this inheritance by separating landscape and ‘native–subject’ and rewriting each in turn. In the case of nationalist narration, I argue that it unwittingly perhaps finds itself caught up in the tensions of archive and discipline, and also history and anthropology. The final chapters set to work on unravelling historicist renderings of the relationship between colonialism and apartheid so as to set the stage for a different relation between the discourse of history and the subject of marginality. Chapter 1, ‘Colonial modes of evidence and the grammar of domination’, returns to the story of the killing of Hintsa by British colonial officials in 1835. The central argument of the chapter is that the colonial

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introduction: thinking ahead

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discourses and their modes of forensic evidence framed and limited what could be said about Hintsa. I argue that these modes of evidence, which until Gcaleka’s mission tended to organise our reading of the events surrounding Hintsa’s death, were deeply implicated in an act of violence. As such the chapter is a critique of colonial archives and underscores the need for them to be reread. This chapter sets Gcaleka’s claim against that of a colonial interpretation while exploring his relation to earlier anti-colonial writers and recent historiography. It documents the tensions that surface when attempts are made to revise colonial representations of Hintsa. More recent histories of colonialism have stressed the process by which the colonised subject is objectified. In contrast to the first chapter which focuses primarily on forensic evidence, Chapter 2 argues that the imagined worlds of colonial officials, settlers and missionaries also figured prominently in the constructions of Hintsa and the justification of his murder. The chapter focuses on the mistaken identity of Hintsa in colonial portraiture and his centrality to the formation of a settler public sphere in opposition to the colonial state. The chapter is organised around the paintings of Frederick I’Ons, especially one which is shrouded in secrecy titled The Death of Hintsa, and the practices of portraiture in the British Empire. The story of the killing of Hintsa was not merely a product of empirical fact, as it was claimed in the 1836 commission of inquiry into his death, but also a product of the colonial imagination.56 The modes of evidence that were forged through the colonial archive resurfaced with settler colonial histories. These histories have been largely treated as symptomatic of the racialisation of South African society. In Chapter 3, I argue that their significance does not only lie in their racial investments but also in their form. I focus extensively on an account of the war of 1834–35 by a journalist, Robert Godlonton, and on the six-volume history produced by George Cory. If Godlonton takes up a position as witness, historian and participant in an emergent public sphere in the eastern Cape, Cory realigns this history to smooth over the tensions of Empire. Both Godlonton and Cory, given their ultimate ideological claims, demand to be

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read with a grain of salt if we are to discern the conditions of constraint that each perpetuates through narrating the story of the killing of Hintsa. Hence the chapter title ‘The properties of facts (or how to read with a grain of salt)’. Anti-colonial nationalism contested colonial constructions with the founding of Lovedale Press in the eastern Cape in the 1930s and the rise of what has sometimes been called ‘Xhosa’ historiography. Chapter 4 tracks the figure of Hintsa in the writings of John Henderson Soga and SEK Mqhayi, two major contributors to Xhosa historiography. While seeking to overcome the limits of settler colonial histories of the killing of Hintsa, nationalist history fails to displace the intellectual framework’s conditions of subjection. This is because, I argue, setting to work on a rearrangement of the imaginary structure, the writings that belong to the corpus of Xhosa historiography fail to attend to the disciplinary frameworks that authorise discourses on Hintsa. Nevertheless, the attempt at strategic invalidation of colonial history posits a disagreement at the centre of the discourse of history. In Chapter 5, I propose to return to the scene of colonial annexation of Gcalekaland in the nineteenth century by reading the spectral traces that permeate the colonial archive and its modes of evidence. The chapter is organised around the ways in which Hintsa’s ghost traverses the bureaucratic finalisation of the borders that would many years later define apartheid’s homeland system. Drawing on Ranajit Guha’s notion of the prose of counterinsurgency, I point to a fundamental difficulty in distinguishing between the reliability and liability of the colonial archive. Chapter 6 continues the process of strategic invalidation of the reversal of the colonial archive, this time by exploring the rearrangement of the story of Hintsa in the space of museum exhibitions in South Africa that deal with the story of colonisation. In critiquing the way difference is invoked in the space of the museum exhibition of colonisation, I argue that we home in on the interstitial space between what can be said according to the rules of colonial modes of evidence and what is actually said on the basis of the imaginary structure. This is a space opened up by Nicholas Gcaleka’s mission, which prompts the desire to step out of the shadows of the colonial archive.

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Taken together, these chapters call for a history that makes a conceptual difference in the wake of apartheid, one that addresses itself to the transition from the apartheid to the postapartheid era. This move has to consist of an initial deconstruction of historiography and conceptual ground clearing. Central to this deconstructive move, in my view, is a problematisation of the notion of the colonial archive and its modes of evidence. Historians who have been working with official documents and colonial archives have mostly been aware of the fact that the colonial archive is far from being a neutral storage place, but consists rather of rules of formation which establish hierarchies, labels and categories. However, most historians fail to recognise that they are deeply implicated in this discursive formation. The colonial archive constitutes a pervasive system of knowledge, combining poetics and the exercise of power, which acts upon individuals and regulates their statements. It is from this shadow that I argue we ought to seek a line of flight. Perhaps such a move may enable a repetition of the story of the killing of Hintsa which is different from that which it repeats. Nicholas Gcaleka seemed to have highlighted the limits that apartheid posed on the reworking of modernist concepts of nation and identity. Stepping into the event of history he encountered a discourse that was structured by the conflictual interplay of constraint and productivity. Important to understanding this predicament, I ask that we attend to the difference at the core of a system of representation as a step towards ultimately radicalising the critique of apartheid. One way to accomplish this would be to isolate the difference that is at the core of the discourse of history by investigating how the subject is activated through the epistemic principles of evidence, poetics and the recovery of subjectivity. By Gcaleka’s prompting we are compelled to track the process by which a little-known healer–diviner, in his encounter with the history of colonialism, became entangled in the formation, regulation and transformation of historical statements relating to the deaths of Hintsa. Thinking thus is to engage the possibilities of living after colonialism, and indeed apartheid. ‘After History?’ – ‘History!’ writes Joan Scott.57 And after apartheid?

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the deaths of hintsa

1 Colonial modes of evidence and the grammar of domination
Grammar is politics by other means.1

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in alTernaTive accounTs of the South African past – alternative, that is, to the grids of colonial, liberal and apartheid thought through which the past has been filtered – the particular story of the killing of Hintsa in 1835 is frequently, and perhaps strategically, deferred to a third person narrator or represented in the idiom of doubt. The habit seems to have been formed many years ago in the literary and historical contributions of SEK Mqhayi and SM Molema during the 1920s. Framed variously as a logical outcome of colonial advance, or in terms of the predictability of colonial violence and the product of interpretation by those complicit in the act of murder, both writers preface their references to the event with a measure of doubt. Mqhayi, for example, in seeking desperately to narrate the story of the killing in terms other than those prescribed by a colonial archive, points out that while there is little doubt that Hintsa’s body was mutilated and that his ear was cut off and sent to Grahamstown – home to many settlers who arrived in 1820 – as a trophy, there is some doubt that his head was cut off. Molema, having identified Hintsa as the moving spirit behind the Sixth Xhosa War in his The Bantu Past and Present,2 repeats the sequence of events that have come to be associated with Hintsa’s death: escaped, pursued by Colonel Harry Smith and shot by Southey. Molema

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deflects all responsibility for the story by introducing the sequence of events with the phrase ‘it is said’. The story of the death of a ‘moving spirit’ is thereby entrusted to an anonymous third person while the implicitly sarcastic gesture implied by such a deflection conveys a sense of narrative impasse. Symptomatic of the predicament that surrounds the indecision of narrating the story of the killing of Hintsa is the problem of assigning roles to the various actors in the narrative – the king, the British soldiers, civilian conscripts, and the investigating subject. None of these positions can be taken as given. One reason for this uncertainty is perhaps that these subject positions are each products of an intricate and overlapping network of evidentiary and narrative techniques discernible at the levels of grammar, circuits of information, cartography, a commission of inquiry and history. Taking hold of the story, as I will show, necessarily involves becoming entangled in these respective modes of evidence. The historian seeking to make sense of the killing of Hintsa is compelled also to make sense of the modes of evidence of the colonial archive. It may be useful to consider how the conditions of speaking about the killing of Hintsa generate a narrative that is circumscribed by the discourse of colonial officialdom. The modes of evidence of the colonial archive do not necessarily provide an understanding of the events leading up to the killing of Hintsa, but rather help to define the limits of what can be said about the killing. Stated differently, we might say that the modes of evidence of the colonial archive are a form of rationalisation of the element of doubt that surrounds the story of the killing of Hintsa. The slippage into a language that describes the Xhosa as treacherous was a sign of incomprehensibility on the part of colonial officials. An alternative anti-colonial nationalist history of the event would fester in these spaces of uncertainty. In turn, the failure on the part of the colonial forces to anticipate other responses and explanations had far-reaching consequences for redefining the subjectivities of colonised subjects, settlers and colonial officials. It also formed the basis on which histories of the killing of Hintsa were built, demolished and rebuilt over time.

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In historiography of the 1970s and 1980s the story of the killing of Hintsa is told with extraordinary brevity and with references that lead us back to the colonial archive or through circuitous citations to the sources of power. Upholding a commitment to history from the perspective of the colonised, contemporary historians have signposted their use of colonial documents, alerting the reader to the dangers of an unfamiliar and a politically antagonistic descriptive vocabulary. Clifton Crais remarks, for example, that there ‘is no need to go into great detail recounting the war [in which Hintsa was killed]’.3 It has been well described, he adds, particularly from the perspective of the colonists, by several authors. In proceeding, he stresses the emergence of conflict as a response to colonial expropriations of land and concludes with a summary of the event by suggesting that Hintsa attempted to negotiate with the colonial state and voluntarily entered the British camp in his territory. Made a prisoner, Crais adds, he attempted to escape, was hunted down, shot and mutilated. In perhaps the most important contribution to the history of precolonial society in the eastern Cape, Jeff Peires only manages a brief footnote in his House of Phalo with the rider that the entire court record that serves as historical evidence was extensively stage-managed by Colonel Harry Smith and is of little relevance to the historian seeking to construct an alternative or truthful account of events. As in a recent textbook of the southern African past by Neil Parsons, 4 Peires only manages a few lines on the killing of Hintsa. If the story of Hintsa was glossed over in the House of Phalo it was because the subjectivity of Hintsa is overdetermined by colonial concerns and administrative priorities or, to phrase it slightly differently, by a combination of cadastral prose and the prose of counter-insurgency. The memory of Hintsa is rather inserted into the 100 years of war that engulfed the eastern Cape. In narrating the 1840s and 1850s, for example, the memory of Hintsa serves as a prelude to reinterpreting the reign of Sarhili, Hintsa’s son, primarily by adding a quality of resistance to the narrative of the cattle killing in which many Xhosa embraced a catastrophic prophecy which promised the resurrection of the dead. Thus, on the eve of the War of the Axe

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in 1846–47, Peires emphasises how Sarhili recounted his first introduction to his colonial neighbours, claiming that he never forgot and he never forgave. ‘Where is my father?’ he asked his councilors when the War of the Axe broke out. ‘He is dead by the hands of these people. He was killed at his own house. He died without fighting. . .Today we will fight.’5 In contrast to Crais, Parsons and Peires, Timothy Stapleton, a historian of Rharhabe experience and resistance to nineteenth-century conquest, offers a brief summary of the prehistory of the event – to borrow a phrase from Shahid Amin.6 In Stapleton’s version, D’Urban crossed the Kei River on 20 April 1835 and established a camp near the Wesleyan mission of Butterworth. Under the guise of punishing Hintsa for encouraging the attack on the colony by the amaRharhabe, a descendent Xhosa chieftaincy, Stapleton claims that the governor declared war on the Gcaleka (an upper house of the Xhosa chieftaincy from which Nicholas Gcaleka draws his nom de plume). After a campaign of terror in which kraals were burnt and cattle seized, Hintsa and 40 retainers, it is held, rode into D’Urban’s camp to negotiate a settlement. The account then points out that they were subsequently disarmed and taken prisoner. Hintsa was instructed to surrender cattle and horses – alleged to have been stolen from settlers in and around Grahamstown – to the colonial forces, and to accept responsibility for Rharhabe hostilities. In turn, says Stapleton, Hintsa sent a message to Chief Maqoma describing his capture and warning the regent not to trust the Europeans. In concluding the story we are told that Hintsa was forced to accompany Smith’s patrol on a mission to gather Gcaleka stock, and on 12 May he was shot through the head by colonial soldiers, who proceeded to cut off his ears.7 Despite the f leeting attention paid to the killing of Hintsa in recent historiographies on the eastern Cape, the story assumes a pivotal position in earlier nationalist narration of the early twentieth century. The work of SEK Mqhayi, John Henderson Soga and SM Molema attributes far greater significance to the task of representing Hintsa in light of colonial constructions.

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In these nationalist narrations it is not merely the question of the truth about what happened to Hintsa that is at issue, but also the reconfiguration of a historical subject who enabled a recollection of precolonial social and juridical relations. Such a reworking sought to connect earlier forms of resistance to colonialism to later opposition to segregation and apartheid. A nationalist narration of the killing of Hintsa reveals incommensurability between evidence and epistemology, and the possibility under those conditions for reworking subjectivity similar to that which organises Stapleton’s account. In anti-colonial nationalist narration, the story of Hintsa is located in an eighteenth century split in the House of Phalo into Rharhabe and Gcaleka houses (discussed in more detail in Chapter 4), and colonial exploitation of this social arrangement. The narrative is largely told in terms of patrimony and chiefly authority organised around the emergence of two houses that defined the precolonial Xhosa kingdom. Underlining the central distinction between the Great House and the right-hand house, John Henderson Soga, writing in the 1930s, noted: By courtesy, matters affecting Xhosa customs might occasionally be referred to a chief of the older branch [the Gcaleka branch] especially when a precedent was involved, but this did not prevent the Right-Hand House from following its own line of conduct, irrespective of what that precedent might be, should it choose to do so. Laws promulgated by the court of the Ngqika’s were not subject to interference by the Gcaleka chief.8 Phalo, under whose rule the distinction between the two houses became noticeably marked, died in 1775. His son, Gcaleka, ascended to the paramountcy while Rharhabe emerged as the regent of the right-hand house. Gcaleka died three years later, in 1788, and was succeeded by his son Khawuta. Oral traditions present Khawuta as a very weak leader by claiming that he did not strengthen the position of his rule, which lasted until 1794. The Rharhabe house, under the leadership of Ndlambe and

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Ngqika respectively, experienced a marked consolidation of its power by the beginning of the nineteenth century through allying with the Cape Colony. The Rharhabe chiefdom became so powerful that they attacked the Gcaleka and drove them east of the Kei River near the modern town of Willowvale. The Rharhabe settled to the west of the Kei River, near what is today Stutterheim. After Khawuta’s death, Hintsa became the ruler of the Gcaleka and the paramount king of all the Xhosa. Hintsa, it is admitted in several nationalist texts, had a difficult relationship with the son of Rharhabe, the young Ngqika, brought about by the latter’s conflict with his uncle and proxy chief, Ndlambe. This was aggravated by the fact that Hintsa had given Ndlambe refuge at the time of a leadership dispute in the Rharhabe house and that, for his part, Ngqika had extended an alliance with the British against his uncle. When Ngqika died in 1829, apparently of alcohol abuse, his son Maqoma fought a guerrillastyled war in the Amathole Mountains in which British forces suffered considerable losses.9 The appointment of Benjamin D’Urban in 1834 and the deployment of Colonel Harry Smith to arrange the defence of Grahamstown where settlers had taken refuge, saw a change in tactics towards Maqoma. The British colonial officials at the Cape chose to target the paramount king, Hintsa, east of the Kei River in a town later renamed Butterworth for the war being waged against the colony. They accused Hintsa of complicity in Maqoma’s war and of harbouring cattle allegedly stolen from settlers along the eastern Cape frontier. On a mission to the Mbashe River to retrieve cattle, Hintsa was killed and his body mutilated and, some say, his head was severed. Narrative impasse stems from the manner in which the British cleared the scene of the crime, removed traces that may have enabled an alternative history and left in its place only one story: their own. It seems ironic, though perfectly understandable, that alternative versions of the South African past should defer the narration of this cowardly act, such a crucial event in South African history, to the very perpetrators of murder. More importantly, the deferrals and doubts that frame an alternative history

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of the killing of Hintsa seem to suggest that colonial sources are useful in describing everything around the event except the event itself. Phrased differently, why are colonial sources seen as reliable for accessing some aspects of Xhosa pasts but not others? And how do historians discriminate between reliability and liability or source and discourse? In this chapter, I explore the work that evidence performs (or does not perform) for an alternative history of the event by unfolding the complex web of techniques and procedures through which it is produced within the logic of colonial domination. I am especially interested in how a primary discourse – understood in this instance as a field of intelligibility that is more or less the product of colonial rule – emerges as a primary source – understood as the raw material upon which the historian’s practice rests. In other words, how is an institutionally bound discourse produced as an indispensable resource in the story of the killing of Hintsa? To pose the question along these lines is to ask that we attend to the very constitution of evidence. Evidence, whether in the form of the colonial archive or an archive of opposition, does not necessarily provide a window to some prior reality, nor should we only evaluate it in terms of the categories of ‘objectivity’ and ‘bias’. Rather, I suggest that by apprehending the procedures through which evidence is produced and the rules that inaugurate particular ways of knowing, we may encounter an altogether different perspective on domination.10 This chapter explores the modes of a colonial information economy which rested on the tactics of intelligence and surveillance as these relate to the killing of Hintsa in 1835. My argument, briefly, is that the dismissal of colonial records as biased limits the possibilities of understanding the interior logic and effects of domination, and unnecessarily suggests the possibility of an objective history of the episode in which Hintsa was killed.11 Colonial domination could not have proceeded without the accommodation of the African in the narratives that it produced of the conquest of African societies, even when the narrative was explicitly premised on the will of the coloniser. The terms of that incorporation are crucial to an understanding

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colonial modes of evidence and the grammar of domination

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of the pervasive logic of domination in the writing of history. This chapter asks us to pause at the question of the constitution of evidence and its consequences for narrating the killing of Chief Hintsa along what came to be called the eastern Cape frontier. The tactic may yield a story unimagined and unanticipated by the perpetrators of this cruel act of violence – a story in which we track the itinerary of the emergence of truth as ‘empirical’12 and the social process of the subjection of agency.13 We may have to think accordingly of the ways in which agency is conditioned by the norms, practices, institutions and discourses through which it is made available. In this sense the question of agency may also be posed in terms of the practices and procedures of evidence making and the protocols of history – the social process, in other words, of the subjection of agency.

The colonial archive and the subjection of agency
The colonial archive is not merely a condition for knowledge but an apparatus that inaugurates a very specific form of the subjection of agency.14 Whereas the colonial archive is usually read in relation to its exclusions, its function in the process of subject constitution, its process of objectification in other words, reveals the techniques of colonial governmentality interlaced with the grammar of domination. The colonial archive thereby combines and orders dispatches, cartographic representations, information and intelligence reports, commissions of inquiry and the orders of language in a very specific way to keep the subject in its place.15 Taken together, we may discern very specific modes of evidence in the colonial archive as well as the effects of such an assemblage of evidence. Ultimately, these modes of evidence of the colonial archive operate in a manner that organises our reading of its subjective effects. If we consider the archive along a reformulated notion of agency that does not merely hark back to nostalgic constructions, then we may have to attend to the further question of the materialisation of subjectivity in the colonial archive and the ways in which the latter is conditioned and sustained by

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specific rules and fields of intelligibility. This line of inquiry demands that we attend to the social process whereby agency is conflated with the agent – defined variously as object, subject or mediator – by way of a study of the agency entailed in an activating dynamic – institutions, practices, fields of intelligibility, forms of governmentality and discourses of intellectuals. The introduction of the activating dynamic into a study of history is an attempt at radicalising the project of history so as to undercut the proliferation of essentialist identity politics that seeks to appropriate the work performed in terms of the recuperation of the marginal subject of history. In undercutting identity politics, the demand here is to intensify our efforts by producing more history – histories of concepts, critical histories of historical practices, histories that interrupt the discourse of capitalism and multiculturalism, histories of the formation of objects and subjects, systems of knowledge and the elaboration of discourses. In this way the possibility arises of forcing identity politics, which relies so heavily on history for its legitimacy, into a space of self-referentiality – where it must confront its limits and interests – as it struggles strategically but in a scrupulously visible way. In the wake of the ascendancy of identity politics, one task might be to consider what possibilities – ethical and political – lie in the alternative and potentially enabling practice of history as criticism.16 The question of agency as a sign of resistance that preoccupied an earlier generation of social historians has been reformulated in more recent historiographical interventions with a concept of agency as embedded in narrative possibility. Luise White, for example, affords us a view of written sources as a mode of narration that is constrained by oral narrative and ‘invaded’ (her word) by orality.17 She insists on not treating oral and written sources as discrete narrative genres and thereby bypasses the objective/ biased opposition that often structures history as a discipline.18 The emphasis on genre, mediation and narrative constraint relinquishes the burden of authenticity implicit in an earlier promise of oral history. If, however, oral history was the means through which an obscured African agency was made visible, then how can we account for a concept of agency in what might

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amount to a ‘blurring of genres’ of evidence?19 Without relinquishing White’s innovative treatment of genre, we may pose the question of agency, it seems, in ways other than in terms of the autonomous subject or authorial subject.20 The emphasis on autonomous or authorial subjects readily lends itself to an identity politics that may potentially undermine the pursuit of a postapartheid history. If agency serves alternative history and identity politics equally, is it possible to recuperate a notion of agency without surrendering ground to a politics which establishes identity as an end game? To answer this question we may need to inquire into how, in the story of the killing of Hintsa, the question of agency is tied into the discourse of the colonial archive.

The colonial archive and the killing of Hintsa
Fort Willshire offered a suitably safe venue to hear evidence about the killing of Hintsa, especially when compared to the gruesome detail that surfaced at the commission of inquiry convened in 1836. The metaphorical resonances in the selection of the fort to conduct the investigation into the death of Hintsa were not lost in the choice of venue. It was Colonel Willshire, in whose honour the fort was named, who in 1819 had given Hintsa the assurance that the ‘amaGcaleka would not in the slightest be interfered with if the king complied with what was right and reasonable’.21 That warning seemed to confirm a long-standing belief that Hintsa had been plotting against the British and that his death might be tracked to the first indications and suspicions of treachery. The sense of suspicion that dated back to the governorship of Lord Charles Somerset was reaffirmed through the commission of inquiry into Hintsa’s death, instituted by Sir Benjamin D’Urban in 1836. Through the investigation of the commission of inquiry, Hintsa was blamed and held responsible for his own death. For scholars who stumble upon the military commission of inquiry convened by an embattled governor, Benjamin D’Urban, a year after the

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killing, there is reason to view the record with caution, if not suspicion, that matches that which coloured colonial sentiments about Hintsa. Many contemporary historians have understandably singled out the record of the hearings as unreliable evidence about the killing of the king. The argument, as one might imagine, is that this was an event managed, even choreographed, to counter metropolitan criticism for an incident that most settlers would have considered integral to the maintenance of the British Empire. The story of the killing of Hintsa and the charges of mutilation of his body by subjects of the British Crown after the fateful shot rang out in the depths of the Nqabara River valley were, however, not as easily reduced to the cut-and-dried terms of evidence that the commission proposed. The commission of inquiry in 1836 did not necessarily meet D’Urban’s expectation of neutralising suspicions surrounding the killing. The reason for suspecting that the commission of inquiry operated as mere stagecraft is perhaps a result of the impossibility of disentangling evidence from the grammar of domination. The discipline of history generally approaches the colonial archive with a measure of suspicion because of its supposedly inherent biases. This attitude has merely called forth greater caution in extracting the ‘truth’ of the experience of the colonised, who are thought to be embedded, even buried, in the bureaucratic procedures of documenting the work of Empire in civilising, conquering and controlling.22 The complicity of the colonial archive in justifying an act of violence, however, is not reducible merely to the consciousness of its scribes. In the specific story of the killing of Hintsa, efforts to narrate the killing in ways that depart from colonial constructions and justifications are significantly constrained by the discourse of the colonial archive. Notwithstanding this apparent difficulty confronting the historian, the colonial archive has been subjected to numerous innovative reading techniques that respectively work against or along the grain of official pronouncements. Neither strategy, however, helps to answer the recurring questions: how does the historian who suspects the colonial archive of covering up the traces of complicity in violence distinguish

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between the reliability and liability of the evidence? When can we extract colonised agency, and when is such agency subject to the conditions of hegemonic or discursive constraint? The impasse is not altogether paralysing, especially since it alerts us to the possibility that the colonial archive is itself an apparatus that has the potential to organise our reading. The colonial archive approximates something like a dispositif or what I prefer to call a mode of evidence that renders it indispensable to the exercise of power. The colonial archive should not, therefore, be approached as a resource for the retrieval of the truth about the killing of Hintsa and its aftermath. As an apparatus, it does not readily lend itself to alternative histories that mark a break with the repertoires of colonial and apartheid narration. Neither is the colonial archive a storehouse of documents. It should be approached, rather, as a mode of evidence in which one can discern the social process for the subjection of agency. As an apparatus that activates and assigns subjects, even fabricates these, the archive specifies a level of facticity indistinguishable from an obscured, but necessary, technique of narrativity. The colonial archive is thus not a documentary collection but a technique of historical narrativisation – a distinguishable archival genre with, I will show later, considerable implications for imagining a postapartheid future. First, however, I propose that we consider how the archive operates at the levels of facticity and narrativity in the specific production of evidence about the killing of Hintsa. In contrast to the brevity of contemporary historiographical accounts of the killing of Hintsa, for the period from 1835 to 1836 the colonial record consists of more than 500 official documents of correspondence and reports on conditions in the eastern Cape, and 200 pages of military court records pertaining to the death of Hintsa. Countless adventure novels, diaries, memoirs, autobiographies and travelogues supplement this list. At first glance, the size of the documentary expanse simply reaffirms our general sense of the bureaucratic procedures upon which colonialism came to depend. A close reading, however, suggests that the colonial archive is

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designed around several technologies of evidence gathering and surveillance. It relies on strategies of cartography, autopsy,23 on the building of alliances with the Xhosa west of the Kei River, on missionaries’ and traders’ accounts, travellers’ reports and information gathered from a scattering of settlers on the frontier. In these extensive – often arbitrary – networks of communication that came to be associated with colonial rule, the name of Hintsa is often mentioned alongside certain active verbs such as ‘contrive’, ‘instigate’, ‘plunder’ and ‘invade’, which emerge as stock phrases in dispatches from the eastern Cape frontier to the administrative nerve centres of colonial rule in Grahamstown, Cape Town and London. These grammatical orderings explain, to some extent, the subsequent manner in which Hintsa’s death came to be described, understood and judged in colonial circles. In the colonial context, these terms, which were reserved for the colonised, were neither unusual nor surprising. They suited and indeed qualified the object nouns of colonial rule – also known by the names ‘primitive’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘savage’ and ‘Caffre’. There was, however, a certain paradox in the configuration of the colonised as both capable of acts of intrigue and as objects of colonial rule. If the first of these conferred the possibility of agency on the African subject, the second denied the same subject any semblance of identity or agency of their own. Such a paradox militates, it seems, against the view of those who see in colonial texts a deliberate attempt to deny African subjects the capacity to act.24 It is striking that the deployment of these verbs and nouns was neither random nor arbitrary. In fact, active verbs and object nouns were always organised and perhaps ordered within an accepted system of reportage common to colonial circuits of information and in relation to specific events – such as the killing of Hintsa – which threatened the entire colonial psyche and its moralising and civilising claims. Colonial officials did more than invent a vocabulary through which to describe the colonised as other. They also transformed themselves, in every manner of speaking, into victims of ‘savage’ violence by surrendering

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their position as primary referent. Thus, Governor D’Urban, in one of his dispatches of missionary reports of the Xhosa, represented the latter as: wolves (which in truth they resemble very much) which, if they be caught young, may be brought to an appearance of tameness, but which invariably throw it off, and appear in all their native fierceness of the woods, as soon as the temptation of blood and ravage, which never fail to elicit their natural ferocity, presents itself to their instinctive thirst for it.25 If such statements were clearly motivated by colonial racism, they may also be said to allude to the way in which colonialists presented themselves as victims rather than perpetrators – and this in spite of all their attempts at civilising the Xhosa for what D’Urban thought to be ‘their own interests and gratification in the matter’.26 Colonial officials achieved the reversal whereby they represented themselves as victims rather than as perpetrators through two key mechanisms. Firstly, by reversing the order of subject and object, the Xhosa (and Hintsa in particular) were guaranteed a certain agency. Hintsa, after all, could not be presented as a threat – as an instigator – if he had been rendered incapable of acting. Secondly, the need to confer upon the colonised subject an agency, without denying the British their belief in their superiority or the very justification of colonial rule, depended on a repressive tactic of colonial domination in which assumptions were transformed into facts. This tactic was given the sophisticated and surreptitious name of intelligence gathering. The collection of dispatches and reports that makes up the bulk of the archive pertains to the communications between frontier and colonial headquarters in Grahamstown and Cape Town, between colony and metropole and between traders, missionaries, colonial bureaucrats and military officials situated in Xhosaland and along the frontier. Official reports generally relate to military strategy, the positioning of British troops and the costs – both financial and in terms of the loss of troops – of the

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Sixth Frontier War. The letters of missionaries and traders based along the Kei River were mostly concerned with informing the colonial officials of the movements of the Xhosa along the frontier. Missionaries’ and traders’ reports were included as enclosures to support administrative reports and decisions, and were at times used to show that those settlers who lived amongst the Xhosa demanded more stringent measures than those undertaken by the military. In his report to colonial officials in Britain, Governor D’Urban cited the greater control demanded by the head of the Wesleyan mission in the Cape, WJ Shrewsbury, who had ‘lived among the Xhosa and was therefore as experienced in their character as in colonial frontier history’.27 Shrewsbury had written in January 1835 that ‘all Africans should be registered – every man wearing on his neck a thin plate of tin containing his name and the name of his chief – to identify offenders and enable the British government to know the number and strength of frontier tribes’.28 The claims of expertise and dominance were premised on a desire to know. The correspondence that forms such a core component of the colonial archive on the eastern Cape, however, may also be read in terms of an inability to penetrate the veils of secrecy that so confounded British forces during the period of the wars of conquest in the Cape. In a letter from the trader John Rowles on 17 December 1834, for example, we find suggestions of the limits of colonial knowledge. Rowles writes: I can state, from my own knowledge, that Hintsa’s chief councellors [sic] have been, for last six months, – that is to say, from the period when Hintsa went to the upper country on the pretext of hunting – in close communication with the frontier Caffers; – as soon as one of them returned, another was despatched and this intercourse was continued. Those councellors [sic] remained upward of a month before they returned to Hintsa. I never knew this kind of intercourse to subsist before between Hintsa and the Frontier Caffers. When I asked them what they had been doing among the Frontier Tribes, they made some trivial pretext, such as they went to get assegais, or some cattle or to pay a visit.29

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Notwithstanding these limits, the colonial archive is organised around these fragmentary reports that came from informants located close to the centres of Xhosa political power and from an expansive administrative and military information economy. The traces of the diverse resources upon which colonial knowledge was based may be gleaned from a report from Governor Sir Benjamin D’Urban to the Secretary of State on conditions in the districts of the Cape Colony on 19 March 1835. The report set out to identify the allies and enemies of the British among the Xhosa, a task that proved immensely important for British operations in the frontier zones. Towards the end of his report D’Urban noted, with a hint of concern, that the strongest among the chiefs, Hintsa, seemed untrustworthy: Hintsa, the most powerful of them all (and whose territory extends from the mouth of the Kaie to its sources in the Stormberg Mountains, and between it, eastwards, and the Bashee) has been playing a double game. He has received the plundered cattle into his territory, some of his people have even undoubtedly joined the invaders, and his council (hemraaden) are decidedly hostile; but he himself professes not to be so, and so far as I can discover, in some communications which I have had with him during the last month, he is very desirous of holding off, to await the result of our first movements in advance, and then to act as may best suit his policy at the moment. In this, he may go farther than may be for his advantage; because, if he holds back from giving his essential assistance to the other tribes in the outset, he will weaken them, and when they are disposed of, will be left by himself to meet the ulterior proceedings upon our part, which, if we shall find it expedient to adopt them, I have little doubt we shall have discovered ample cause upon his, to justify our adoption.30 The report appeared as a testament of the extent and importance of the colonial information economy. Judging from the regularity of such reports and the request for detail, the reports proved indispensable to supporters of

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colonial rule who had the opportunity to influence the colonial process at a distance. The suspicion of the double game, however, came largely from the reports produced by missionaries such as Shrewsbury and traders such as John Rowles. To consider the implications of this uncertainty, let us look at a second report to the Secretary of State dated 19 June 1835 to gauge the full consequences of the colonial information economy: It may be in its proper place here to apprize your Lordship of my having, as early as the month of February, ascertained beyond all doubt that Hintsa (the chief of the country between the Kye and the Bashee) had been, if not the original contriver and instigator of the combination among the chiefs of the savage tribes in western Caffreland against the colony, very early referred to and consulted by them therein; that he afforded them his countenance and advice; received into his territory the plundered herds and effects sent thither from the colony; permitted (if not directed) many of his own tribe to join in the invasion; and that, consequently, the border tribes in all their measures relied on his support, and upon the ultimate refuge of his country in case of their failure. This certainty, afterwards still more amply confirmed, had rendered it obviously at once just and necessary that my operations should embrace the country of Hintsa as their concluding stage, and dictated the general outline the plan of them which I gave confidentially to the chief of my staff for his information and guidance, and to which I had afterwards found it necessary to add the postscript in consequence of intelligence then received of a change in the movements of the border tribes.31 At a glance, there is very little discrepancy between the two reports. Both point to the threat posed by Hintsa and to the possibilities open to the British if this were to materialise. One small, though extremely significant exception for my argument emerges upon a closer reading. This relates to the certainty within which the second report is framed. If in the earlier report Hintsa’s actions are presented in terms of possibilities, in the later report we learn

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that Hintsa had been guilty of conspiring with neighbouring Xhosa against the British ‘beyond all doubt’ and that there was a ‘certainty’ that the events should end with the colonisation of Hintsa’s country. Between the doubt and the certainty, another event would guarantee the British the conclusion that they sought. That event was the killing of Chief Hintsa on 12 May 1835. Much of the literature dealing with Hintsa’s death seems to suggest that it was the ability of the British to remain a step ahead of the chief that resulted in the colonisation of the region of the Kei River. To achieve this, the British had to be fully aware of and knowledgeable about what was occurring along the Cape frontier. However, it was not the certainties guaranteed by the information economy but rather that which was beyond colonial horizons of comprehension – the movements, moods and political alliances that were being forged outside of the purview of the colonial state and its informationgathering apparatus – that prompted the British to colonise the land of the Gcaleka and to kill Hintsa. The unknowable – or, more appropriately, the unverifiable colonial imaginary – was not only expressed in the period preceding the killing of Hintsa (as demonstrated by the first report or in racially charged claims that likened the Xhosa to untameable ‘wolves’ ready to prey on colonial society as soon as the opportunity presented itself). If read closely, the unknowable may be discerned from the very tone in which colonial officials such as D’Urban described the event in its aftermath, as they set about telling their story of a treacherous Hintsa who was responsible for his own downfall. In D’Urban’s report to Lord Aberdeen in June 1835, the governor set out to explain the circumstances surrounding Hintsa’s death. Hintsa, in this version, entered D’Urban’s camp on 30 April 1835 to sign a peace treaty in which he agreed to a British demand for the ‘return’ of 50 000 head of cattle and 1 000 horses in exchange for a cessation of hostilities. Upon signing the treaty, Hintsa apparently asked D’Urban for permission to remain at the camp with his son Crieli (Sarhili) instead of returning to his residence. Hintsa had offered himself as hostage to ensure that the British received the cattle and horses, which they demanded as part of the settlement. Initially

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this strange request was treated by D’Urban as a sign of goodwill but later, he claims, he came to see that this move was motivated by Hintsa’s fear of being accused of selling out the Xhosa by forcing them to surrender the cattle and horses. By remaining a hostage at the camp, Hintsa could claim to be a prisoner of the British, who was therefore forced to obey his captors’ orders. But Hintsa, it was suspected, was conducting a war against the British and their allies (the Mfengu in particular) from within enemy lines. This was the double game alluded to in earlier reports. Hintsa, claimed the governor, was directing the attacks of chiefs residing in the Amathole Mountains and every message sent out in terms of the treaty was accompanied by another message – it was assumed – instructing a line of attack or a tactic to bewilder colonial forces as to the whereabouts of the stock they sought. The messages that were sent out to the Xhosa chiefs, Harry Smith would admit years later in his autobiography, were always secretive.32 After five days, Hintsa himself had asked to be taken to his people, accompanied by British troops, so that he could attempt to convince them to surrender the remaining cattle. In this instance, too, Hintsa proved tentative in notifying the British as to where he was leading them. It was during that journey that Hintsa escaped and was subsequently shot in the head and killed while attempting to hide along the bank of the Nqabara River. There are two instances in the report that may help to sustain the claim that an unverifiable colonial imaginary played a crucial role in the killing of Hintsa. In the paragraph where the single reference to 15 May is made – three days after the shooting of Hintsa – it is stated that the extension of the colonial border had become not merely expedient but absolutely and indispensably necessary and unavoidable. The statement reads as follows: The only measure that could promise to repay the expenses of the war, which the colony had been most unwillingly compelled to wage pro aris et focis, and place a defensible barrier between the heart of the colony and the savage tribes of Central Africa, provide security for the future, and a just indemnification for the past.33

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This claim was not unusual. It bears all the characteristics of an expression of colonial arrogance that could claim victory in the face of such brutal acts against those it encountered as obstacles to its expansion. But it was really in the elaboration of that place between the heart of the colony and what is referred to as ‘Central Africa’ that we encounter an anxiety produced by the unknown and the danger that was signalled by the failure to know. In the very next paragraph to the one just cited, D’Urban claimed: A brief reference to the public correspondence of the Colonial Department with the successive governors of the colony for the years past, indeed ever since it has belonged to the British Crown (and its previous history, as a colony of Holland, is the same), will suffice to show that the main and insuperable impediment to its growing prosperity, and the source of its greatest misfortunes, have ever been the insecurity of its frontier, arising from the character of the country through which the advancing boundary line has been successfully traced; of this the two last extensions to the Fish River in 1812, and the Keishkamma and Chumie in 1819, are remarkable and incontrovertible instances. Both of these lines are involved in tangled jungles, impervious woody ravines, and in fact made by nature for the preparatory lurking place of the savage, before he springs upon his prey.34 Grappling with the insecurities of the frontier necessitated the successful tracing of the boundary line – that is, a literal cartographic marking out of a territory that had been annexed. Cartographic claims, however, did not in and of themselves produce the desired securities.35 In February 1835, D’Urban informed the Colonial Secretary that even though the Keishkamma was mapped as belonging to Britain after the war of 1819, ‘Enno [Nqeno], Bothman [possibly Bhotomane] and Dushanie’s [Mdushane]’ people had concentrated forces in the country.36 D’Urban suspected that they had concealed themselves there to await the advance of British troops or to trap the troops ‘for the purposes of further ravages’.37 Each marking or tracing of

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annexed land by colonial officials therefore demanded further annexation and cautioned of the supposed dangers left in its wake. The extension of the line to the Fish River, for example, also pointed to the Keishkamma and Chumie (or Tyhume). In 1835 it pointed toward the Kei River. Given that ‘all manner of danger lurked in those unknown spaces’, the importance of plotting – and extending the traced line – was the only guarantee of security.38 The unknowable, in the case of Hintsa, was not merely that which lay beyond the colonial gaze. Since Hintsa had located himself within the British camp after 30 April 1835 and directed affairs with Tyalie (Tyhali) and Maqoma from behind enemy lines, colonial officials increasingly doubted the reliability of their intelligence work. While they suspected that Hintsa was organising an attack against the British, they were unable to decipher the messages – conveyed either in code or in secrecy, according to D’Urban – that Hintsa had dispatched to the outer reaches of the frontier. Hintsa was capable of threatening the colonial project from both within and beyond colonial spheres of control or surveillance. The sentiment of doubt expressed in the first report that D’Urban sent to the Colonial Secretary was therefore resolved through an act of violence in which those who threatened the extension of a line on a map and the securities that attended to that cartographic practice were killed and mutilated. Hintsa’s death was necessary for colonial expansionism. If cartographic representations were produced in relation to what I have suggested were colonial insecurities and anxieties, how did these simultaneously come to produce a sense of security and certainty? To answer this question, we need to consider the way mapping worked and was organised in the Cape. According to JS Bergh and JC Visagie’s cartographic guide of the Cape frontier zone, two maps were central to the unfolding drama in the region.39 The first 40 was drawn by surveyor-general CC Michell and the second, 41 a sketch map, was, according to Bergh and Visagie, clearly carried and used by Governor D’Urban to record landmarks and place names as the invading force progressed. 42

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Maps, as Thongchai Winichakul reminds us, anticipate a spatial reality rather than serve as a scientific abstraction of reality. 43 Anticipation, however, bears the signature of time so that maps pre-empt the configuration of an encountered space. 44 Maps are therefore not merely representative but also pre-emptive. The work performed by the map is that of displacement and of negotiating the limits of the uncertain and the unknowable. Maps, we may argue, are constitutive of the will to power. If D’Urban’s sketch map constitutes the conditions of the enhancement of power, then Michell’s map – which bears the marks of the surveyor’s skill – fixes the conditions of preservation. In D’Urban’s map we have the replaying of the myth of the empty land. Xhosa polities are isolated and are represented through a singular symbolic inscription. No attempt is made to account for the expanse of Gcaleka, Ngqika, Gqunukhwebe or Ndlambe settlements, nor are the interconnections reflected in any way. Instead, we have a single symbol with the name ‘Hintsa’ inscribed below. Whereas D’Urban’s survey depicts the corresponding locations and movements of the first, second, third and fourth divisions of colonial troops, Michell’s map casts the territory as secure and is more detailed, representing the extent of the various chieftaincies and the areas of influence. If, then, D’Urban’s map anticipated a reality – casting its gaze into a field of vision and opening it up so that possibilities become apparent that may point the way to an enhancement of power45 – Michell’s appropriated the anticipated reality and represented it in terms of a scientific abstraction. Both power enhancement and power preservation belong to the will to knowledge. The convergence of the two operations can be gleaned from James Edward Alexander’s Narrative of a Voyage. 46 Alexander had accompanied the first division along with Michell and D’Urban. The colonial travel account is presented in terms of the trope of adventure, where insecurity is connected to a notion of heroism and bravery while facticity is represented as accomplishment. Here I must limit my comments to two specific suggestions that enable Alexander’s travel account.

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Through cartographic practices, knowledge and colonial force coalesced to produce security for colonial officials and possibilities for the actual annexation of land. Actual annexation lay to rest the insecurities that cartographic practices failed to alleviate. Cartography and colonisation, it may be argued, were mutually reinforcing technologies of displacement, conquest and murder. Literature on colonial mapping underscores this argument. Simon Ryan asserts that in the Australian case, new inscriptions are firstly cartographical but also metaphorical of the transformation of the land by colonisation – the cartographic inscriptions are not simply reflections of reality but organise and license the expropriation and exploitation of land. 47 Similarly, Thongchai Winichakul’s study of Siam and the mapping of what he terms the geo-body frames the relationship between cartography and conquest in terms that echo Ryan’s central argument and that are being developed in this chapter: Force defined the space. Mapping vindicated it. Without military force, mapping alone was inadequate to claim a legitimate space. But a map always substantiated the legitimation of the military presence. Mapping and military became a single set of mutually re-inforcing technologies to exercise power over space. 48 An understanding of the effects of cartographic inscriptions is crucial to making sense of the concept of the frontier in South Africa. To date, the historiographical tendency has been to pose the geographical (or cartographic) and the social as competing categories through which to describe the frontier. Hermann Giliomee, for example, nearly two decades ago, proclaimed: The frontier has not only a geographical but also a social dimension. Unlike a boundary, which evokes the image of a line on a map and demarcates spheres of political control, the frontier is an area where colonisation is taking place. Here two or more ethnic communities co-exist with conflicting claims to the land, and no authority is

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recognized as legitimate by all the parties or is able to exercise undisputed control over the area. 49 It is not certain that the Xhosa shared the conception of the frontier that is suggested by Giliomee’s research on the Cape frontier from 1770 to 1812. This is a point I shall return to in a later chapter. For the moment I wish to pause and contemplate a different answer to Martin Legassick’s suggestion that more attention be paid to the ‘frontier’ itself.50 Based on the preceding discussion on the rules of the formation of evidence, the frontier was also a conceptual or imaginary formation premised on the rules of an information economy, cartography, colonial myth models and colonial anxiety that had devastating political consequences in the eastern Cape. As in Ryan’s argument, cartography in the Cape licensed colonisation because it demarcated certainty and uncertainty, fear and security, the familiar and the unfamiliar. The colonial advance produced evidence in as much as it depended on evidence to effect its advance against Xhosa polities. The frontier, I suggest, is not to be understood only as a place where social forces compete for claims to the land or authority. Rather, it represented a conceptual limit, a mapped space, the formation of which had fundamental political and economic consequences for those caught in the way of its operation. If, as John Comaroff has pointed out, there was a clash of three models of colonialism in the specific instance of the missionary imagination – a state model that emphasised trade and alliances with native chiefs, the settler colonialism of the Boers that converted independent chiefdoms into servile labour, and the civilising colonialism of the missionaries – then perhaps it could be argued that these competing strands came together in the production of evidence that was so central to the annexation of land and so crucial to conceal that which was incomprehensible.51 Insofar as each of these models contributed to knowledge of the Xhosa, and since they were each marked by discrepant interests, the evidence was always partial if not contingent.

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The dominant concept of evidence that suggests itself in explaining the events leading up to the death of Hintsa is what we may call legitimation through knowing. Such knowing is premised on a wide-ranging set of techniques, from intelligence gathering to cartography to autopsy. Each of these technologies also proves inadequate in representing its object, which then establishes the limit to what is knowable. That which is unknowable must be confronted with an act of aggression. The unknowable always carries the potential to return and haunt those securities established by neat lines on a map. Hintsa had shown how permeable those cartographic securities were; and for demonstrating the provisionality of colonial evidence, he had to be destroyed. In ascribing motives for conquest, especially explanations derived from the suggestions of studies of the political economy of conquest, we would benefit, in my view, from considering this overlap of evidence and colonisation. The description of the events leading up to the killing of Hintsa profoundly shaped and foretold the ways in which the actions of British soldiers were justified in colonial circles. Such justification proved important both in terms of the moral high ground that colonialism claimed for itself, and in order to respond to accusations emerging from humanitarian groups in the colonies and the metropole.52 On 15 July 1836, less than one year after the killing of Hintsa, D’Urban instituted a military court of inquiry to investigate and report upon the circumstances immediately preceding and following the death of Hintsa, especially in the light of the charge that he had been shot while begging for his life and the accusation that the dead chief’s body had been mutilated after being shot. The military court established by colonial officials was a response to public debate that raged in the pages of the South African Commercial Advertiser and The Grahamstown Journal – keenly followed by humanitarian campaigners in the metropole – on the question of the mutilation of Hintsa’s body. The inquiry instituted by D’Urban differed from a regular criminal court, as it was solely concerned with verifying or refuting claims about mutilation, and not with establishing guilt or innocence.53 Verification and refutation, I wish to suggest, were

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forms of evidence that differed from earlier concepts of knowing that impinged on the very notion of evidence. If knowing entailed a piecing together of heterogeneous technologies through which information was filtered in partial ways, verification and refutation demanded an exactitude in which the larger context was temporarily suspended. This difference was noticeable both in the kinds of questions posed by the commissioners and in terms of the immediacy with which they came to perceive the event. Thus, for example, the entire record is framed by questions such as: ‘What space and time elapsed between the shot that killed Hintsa and your meeting the Hottentots?’; ‘Was the time so short as to lead you to suppose that the Hottentots were present when the shot was fired that killed Hintsa?’; ‘Whom did you see on the spot when you came up to the body of Hintsa?’; ‘In what part of the body did he receive his mortal wound?’; ‘Did you think the brains you saw was [sic] the consequence of the gun-shot wound?’ and so forth. In his study of the military court of inquiry records, the historian JG Pretorius warns against too easy an acceptance of the explanation offered. According to Pretorius, it is difficult to establish what exactly happened after Hintsa arrived in the British camp, because of the lack of disinterested evidence. Pretorius claims: The official accounts – those of Harry Smith and D’Urban – were written only after the chief’s death, and so were the accounts of other eyewitnesses. Not much importance should be attached to the depositions of chiefs and other persons collected by Smith after Glenelg [Secretary of State for the Colonies] had censured the D’Urban–Smith settlement. The whites among these persons, such as the Wesleyan missionaries, were all friends of D’Urban and Smith, while the Xhosa, such as Tyali and Maqoma, could have made their depositions under pressure or by means of the question-and-answer method, and made to say whatever Smith wanted. All this evidence had the purpose of proving in retrospect certain things about Hintsa and must therefore be treated with utmost care.54

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There is good reason to acknowledge and to accept this caveat. The possibility of extensive British annexation that followed the death of Hintsa, together with the strong chance that various testimonies were solicited under pressure, may have influenced testimony submitted to the commission. Tyalie, one of Hintsa’s closest allies, claimed that his people were never so happy since becoming British subjects and that Smith was their saviour and ‘father’.55 Such statements from a sworn enemy of the British must caution against too ready an acceptance of the testimony. The recuperation of a story in which agentiary possibilities may be assigned to Hintsa is, however, constrained by the extensive way in which our encounter with the event is bound to confront colonial frames of intelligibility. These frames are significant in identifying the limits of a history that seeks to ascribe a place in the story for those formerly excluded, or those who were victims of colonisation. Pretorius, however, ignores the strategies through which these alternate possibilities are excluded. If evidence, as Arnold Davidson has suggested in reference to historian Carlo Ginzburg’s interventions in this regard, is mediated by codes, then we need to ‘enter the codes of evidence’ in order to gauge how they come to privilege certain claims against others.56 The point of ‘entering the codes of evidence’ is not to be seen as an attempt simply to detect interests and bias, but rather to explore the distribution of techniques that produce a facticity that is the foundation of evidence in service of a claim. At best, Pretorius offers us a first-order reading of the court record that situates the text within a larger cultural and political context – the extraneous conditions which accompanied the text’s production. A second-order reading may require us to focus on the evidentiary strategies implicit in the text, which provide the basis for verification and refutation. In this respect, I suggest that we read the record in such a way that the story of Hintsa produced by colonial officials is also necessarily a story that depends on the production of the subaltern as effect. In other words, the story of Hintsa can only be told by recourse to the marginalisation of those actors that offer any hope of an alternative narrativisation. Here we

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must focus on the assignment in the narrative of Klaas (a member of the Corp Guides, a regiment composed of soldiers co-opted from local chiefdoms), the place of Hintsa, and those Xhosa along the banks of the Nqabara River who may have witnessed the killing of Hintsa and the subsequent mutilation of his body. Two charges emerged as central to the court record. The first claimed that Hintsa had been shot while asking to be taken prisoner; the second claimed that Hintsa was mutilated after he had been shot. In his testimony to the commission of inquiry, Dr Ambrose George Campbell claimed that the mutilation of Hintsa’s body was proverbial and spoken of generally in Grahamstown as a trophy of some consequence.57 There appeared upon the church door, claimed Campbell, a number of lines of poetry idolising Southey (the soldier responsible for shooting Hintsa) as the saviour of humankind; and part of Hintsa’s body, whether his ears or his beard, was shown around Grahamstown as a mark of achievement. Klaas, who was named by Campbell as one of his informants, proclaimed that he was close enough to the actual shooting to have heard the chief cry out ‘taru amapecati’ – a cry for mercy – before a second and fatal shot was fired. Klaas also noted that Southey pursued Hintsa down the banks of the river and that he was accompanied by two members of the Cape Mounted Rifles called Windfogel Julie and Nicholaas Africa (identified in the records as Hottentots). After the shooting had taken place, Klaas (who is introduced as a Xhosa speaker) met Julie and Africa, who inquired about the meaning of ‘taru’ – a claim that confirmed that they had heard the chief’s plea for mercy and that George Southey’s failure to understand it proved fateful. Finally, Klaas pointed out that Hintsa’s brain was exposed by the gunshot wound, but that he could not tell for sure if the body had been mutilated – perhaps because he did not remain with the body for any significant length of time. Rather, the claim that Hintsa was mutilated emerged from the testimony of Julie and Africa – and later Dr Laing of the 75th Regiment – who had heard that Southey cut off the ear both as trophy and as proof of having killed Hintsa.

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A crucial mechanism used by the court of inquiry to vindicate the actions of Southey (and Colonel Smith under whose command the operation was carried out) and to discredit the testimony of Campbell, Klaas, Julie and Africa was to emphasise the importance of witnessing. Thus, in questioning Julie and Africa, proximity to the actual shooting was emphasised over claims made on the basis of that which was heard. Witnessing – or autopsy – in this respect conveniently points to a more accepted and preferred form of evidence. Klaas’s testimony is thus discredited because he was not a witness to the event. The commission was determined then to show that Klaas’s testimony was not to be trusted. Commissioner: Did you know whether Hintsa had attempted to resist his pursuers in any manner? Klaas: He threw an assegai. Commissioner: When did he throw the assegai? Klaas: I only heard that he had thrown an assegai at Colonel Smith. Commissioner: Did you see Hintsa escape? Klaas: I was not near enough to see Hintsa running. Commissioner: If you were so far off as not to know who were pursuing him, how did you know that it was Mr Southey who shot him? Klaas: I did not see him, I only heard so.58 Klaas’s testimony, as it appears in the process of archival rearrangement, is important because it frames the rest of the questioning of the commissioners. It might be argued that while the outcome was not surprising, the method by which it was achieved was more important, especially since it depended on the marginalisation of testimony that may have been crucial to an alternative narrativisation of the event. In this respect it was not coincidental that the testimony of Klaas is placed at the beginning of the record. The entire record hinged on discrediting claims based on what was heard and on privileging that which was witnessed.59 Autopsy helped to refute what may have been perceived as second-hand knowledge and came to represent the only basis for verification.

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In this sense, Klaas is rendered marginal to the unfolding commission of inquiry. Klaas’s testimony – based as it was on what was heard – thus guided the questions of the commission as a whole. Autopsy, in the end, proved insufficient in establishing the colonial charge that Hintsa be held responsible for his own death. Firstly, the charge that Hintsa was involved in a conspiracy could not be proved through an insistence on autopsy. Secondly, the repeated reference to the Xhosa who followed events from the opposite banks of the river may have produced an alternative version of the event that undermined colonial claims. Under these conditions it became necessary to prove that Hintsa was plotting against the British while claiming to be at their service. Verification, it seems, could not do without justification. The threat that colonial officials speculated about in the period preceding Hintsa’s killing emerged as an uncontested fact based on the testimony of chiefs (both Hintsa’s allies and those co-opted by the British), missionaries and traders. Following the testimonies of Campbell, Klaas, Julie, Africa and Harry Smith (who provided the colonial justification for the killing of Hintsa), the court record introduces more than 100 pages of letters from traders, missionaries and military functionaries who had encountered the Xhosa east of the Kei River before the killing. The letter by Rowles that had suggested an inability to interpret the emergence of contact between the Xhosa on the frontier and Hintsa was now deployed as a justification for the shooting of Hintsa. Similarly, a letter dated 12 February 1835 from Captain AB Strong to Smith, raising concern over Hintsa’s decision to move his people a short distance from the frontier, was interpreted in 1836 as a plot aimed at threatening the security of British settlers. Finally, John Ayliff – a missionary based at Butterworth – whose letters had earlier complained of Hintsa’s secret intentions which were unsettling the missionary station, provided the court of inquiry with further evidence of a conspiracy. To support the interpretation of this correspondence, the commission heard the testimony of Xhosa chiefs who, as Pretorius has suggested, were used to confirm Hintsa’s guilt. Chief Eno (Nqeno), a lesser chief in the Cape who had

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supported Hintsa’s campaign against the British, stated that Hintsa, Tyalie and Maqoma were in constant communication.60 This claim, which could have been read as an indicator of the permeability of colonial boundaries, now served the general case of the British who wished to establish the truth about a conspiracy. The cumulative effect of these testimonies – located in the larger framework of the colonial archive – was to shift responsibility unequivocally to Hintsa through the invocation of racist myth models frequently used to characterise colonised subjects. In the case of the chief’s testimony, however, it is possible to discern amidst the praises and gratitude for colonial rule the extent and limits of colonial intelligence gathering and knowledge. I have already noted that Hintsa’s actions and behaviour invariably bewildered colonial officials. No amount of translating of the movements of the Xhosa through reports and dispatches clarified the chief’s position vis-à-vis the expectations of the British. Similarly, Hintsa’s advice to Tyalie and Maqoma, informing them of the movements of the British – what might be called a counter-intelligence in the guise of surrender – hampered colonial attempts at retrieving cattle so as to finance the war. The surreptitious exchange was also a repeated source of doubt about the dangers that lurked beyond the securities that colonial society had mapped out for itself. Most importantly, though, the clearest indicator of the limits of colonial knowledge was the inability to anticipate another story. We shall return to this point later. Suffice it to say that in spite of all the collection of evidence – whether through heterogeneous techniques of information gathering or through processes of verification and refutation – the fear that counter-narratives could possibly emerge in the interstices of the uncertainty of colonial knowledge compelled the commission to summon Xhosa chiefs to declare their allegiance to the British and to implicate Hintsa in a conspiracy against those whom Tyalie called ‘British saviours’. Outside of these institutional sanctions there were always other stories to be told. Those stories would, unfortunately, bear the traces of the massive colonial evidentiary base produced so as to defuse the tensions

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of Empire. The alternative stories were, as we shall see, neither discrepant nor blurred. Rather, they were woven in a limitless but generically contradictory way so that the very concept of evidence was brought into question. The colonial archive, therefore, can be thought of as a mode of evidence that is distinguished by its ability to fabricate subjectivity. It achieves this through the subjection of agency and by establishing a difference between what can be said and what is actually said. Contrary to the prevailing common sense that suspects the colonial archive of an act of exclusion, the notion of the colonial archive as a mode of evidence calls attention to the modalities of the inclusion of the subject as a subordinate proposition in discourse. It attends to the rules, language games and discourses that produce the effects of the subjection of agency. As a mode of evidence, the colonial archive invites examination of the processes by which the subject of history is grounded and repeatedly returned to the exercise of power as subaltern. Mostly, it allows us to track the complicity of the discipline of history in this double move at the heart of the colonial archive, even when work on the subject is conducted in the name of resistance. My argument, as also stated elsewhere, is for reading the colonial archive as complicit in the process of the social subjection of agency and, as such, to view it as operating not as a source, but as a discourse – as a specific mode of evidence. The colonial archive should not be seen merely as composed of techniques of governmentality but as a narrative strategy in its own right, one that is capable of organising our reading. I believe that the challenge to historians reading the colonial archive is to point out the inconsistencies (where it stutters in its articulation, as Guha so eloquently puts it) in the story of colonialism and to mark them as sites where another story may have taken place. To claim that subaltern consciousness, voice or agency can be retrieved through colonial texts is to ignore the organisation and representation of colonised subjects as a subordinate proposition within primary discourses. While colonial discourses are premised on a subordinate will – Foucault would say that silence and marginality are constitutive of a discourse – that will is neither

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representative of a subaltern collective consciousness nor independent of the determinations of a colonial will. We might then seek to retain a sense of the colonised as an unfathomable point of irreconcilability – what Spivak calls ‘misfits of the text’ – in dominant frames of intelligibility. To claim that colonial texts unwittingly permit a recuperation of the subaltern is to declare a premature victory, one that may well surrender the consciousness or will of subaltern subjects to the workings of colonial domination. We need perhaps to approach that which is often mistakenly read as subaltern consciousness in colonial records as an effect of domination rather than as representative of the consciousness of the underclasses. What we are treated to in colonial texts is not necessarily the presence of the subaltern, but the mechanics of Europe producing itself as sovereign subject through its other. One cannot hope to retrieve a silence(d) subject (as has been suggested in some recent historiography) by way of the colonial archive. Reading against the grain, a tactic whereby the colonial archive is mined for subaltern agency,61 is perhaps more usefully deployed, I would argue, as a practice of criticism and not for the aims of alternative representations. As I suggested in this chapter, agency has already been organised in relation to a condition of domination. We may then read the colonial archive in terms of a practice of criticism which, according to Ranajit Guha, begins by examining the components of a discourse, the vehicle of all ideology, for the manner in which these might have described any particular figure of speech.62

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2 Mistaken identity
but oh the white man peering slit-eyed, hiding a musket under his arm.1

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how is iT ThaT a figure as prominent in South African history as Hintsa is so consistently a subject of mistaken and conflicted identity in historical representations of the colonial past? Writing in the aftermath of the shooting, Colonel Harry Smith described the persistent doubt about the king’s commitment to return cattle alleged to have been stolen from the colony. Smith recalled that on the journey to retrieve the cattle, Hintsa behaved in a manner that repeatedly prompted the British forces to suspect the king of duplicity. He is said to have procrastinated and prepared a necklace made of grass, probably as a token of luck for the deception he had planned ahead of time. Colonel Smith claims to have warned Hintsa against harbouring thoughts of escaping as they ascended the banks of the Nqabara River. The preparation of the token and the supposedly cunning smile offered by Hintsa as a response to hearing Smith’s warning all seemed to fall into place after the fact of the killing. The cause for suspicion was apparently confirmed for Smith as the news of Hintsa’s death emerged from the depths of the valley in which the Nqabara River flowed and as the danger lurking in the landscape blurred into the events surrounding the killing. These recollections combined to forge an image of the king in the aftermath of the killing.

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The killing of Hintsa was rapidly absorbed into the deliberations of a settler public sphere in Grahamstown. This sphere represented the contestations emanating from the war of 1834–35 in which Hintsa was killed and connected the relatively isolated settler society in and around Grahamstown to a larger framework of Empire.2 A settler community, locked away in the far reaches of the eastern Cape frontier zones, could not merely rely on conventional forms of communication to establish its place in the world of the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie. The debates that raged in the pages of The Grahamstown Journal and the South African Commercial Advertiser during the 1830s between humanitarian liberals and settler conservatives, which Andrew Bank persuasively marks as an inaugural moment of South African historiography, were not sufficient for constituting a settler public sphere.3 Equally important was the work of representing the frontier to metropolitan audiences and winning their sympathies for the struggles being waged on the edges of Empire. Settler sentiment momentarily merged with this official colonial stance on the war. The governor of the Cape Colony, Benjamin D’Urban, used the war of 1834–35 as a pretext for initially mobilising colonial sentiment in favour of a policy of expansion. The killing of Hintsa in 1835, however, exposed the fragile basis of the alliance between settlers in the eastern Cape and colonial officials, especially around the office of the Secretary of State for the Colonies in London. The fragility of the alliance between settler society and colonial officialdom was exposed by the interventions of an emergent humanitarian lobby in Britain, and an expanding oppositional voice in the Cape Colony aggrieved at the ill-treatment of ‘British subjects’ at the hands of the settlers. The killing of Hintsa became another example of a growing problem of Empire, which was made up of competing interests and investments in the colonial project and increasingly defined by the tensions of Empire. 4 News of the demise of the king spread far and wide, serving in turn to forge the beginnings of a settler public sphere in Grahamstown pitted against the views gathering force in the office of the Colonial Secretary in London. It also served the course of the humanitarians as word of the killing

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reached Thomas Fowell Buxton in the House of Commons in London, who in turn referred to the incident to bolster the standing of those arguing against the ill-treatment meted out to subjects in Britain’s colonies. In the euphoria that ensued in Grahamstown following the king’s demise, his name was inserted into tensions involving a fledgling settler public sphere, a discordant Cape colonial officialdom and a largely metropolitan lobby constituted under the banner of a liberal humanitarianism. If the humanitarians found sources of inspiration in the British anti-slavery movement, the fledgling settler public along the eastern Cape frontier resorted to talk about the killing of Hintsa and the threat posed by the Xhosa to the settlement of Grahamstown to stake a claim in the broader politics of Empire. This they did in part by implicating Hintsa in the practices of slavery, thereby hoping to win greater support in the midst of a burgeoning anti-slavery movement. The formation of a settler public sphere in Grahamstown, in other words, benefited from the publicity generated by Hintsa’s killing. Given that it was in part sustained by an act of colonial violence, the deliberations of the settler public sphere allow us to review the civility generally accorded to the deliberative aspects of the bourgeois public sphere by critical scholars such as Jurgen Habermas.5 The point is not merely to pit bourgeois sensibility against colonial culture but also to probe how the colonial archive impinges on an imagined settler public sphere. Ultimately, the very perspectivalism that punctuated the proceedings of the commission of inquiry in 1836, replete, as shown in the previous chapter, with references to the distance from the scene of the killing and the privileging of the scopic over the sonoric, produced a surplus of words and images that seeped into the deliberations of the settler public sphere. As the deliberations between settlers and colonial officials intensified around the outcomes of the war of 1834–35, the need to contain the proliferation and circulation of the name of Hintsa resulted in an attempt at what I call a ‘grounding’ of the subject. By this I mean specifically the way words and images combined to constitute the subject, not only for the purposes of colonial governmentality but also as the subject that most cogently mediated

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and served the emergent interests of a settler public sphere. I want to refer to this excess as an imaginary structure, in part because it continues the process of the interpellation of the subject begun by the colonial archive as it also seeks to limit the scope of enunciation to the dominant interests of settler society. This overlap of elements of the imaginary structure consequently produced a subject of mistaken identity, as the memory of the king was both literally and figuratively pinned to the metonymic grounds of his killing. The deliberations surrounding Hintsa in London and Grahamstown not only reveal how public spheres constitute subjectivities; they also allow us to track the function of the imaginary structure in producing the subaltern as a subject effect. Thinking ahead to 1996, this relationship between enunciation in the public sphere and the grounding of the subject in colonial discourse was perhaps what was also elided in the many responses to Nicholas Gcaleka. In thinking about the imaginary structure that is elided in the public responses to Gcaleka’s dream, we might begin by first considering the place that Hintsa occupied in the discourse of a fledgling settler public sphere in the early nineteenth century. To fully understand this process I want to turn to the textual productions of Hintsa in portraits, diaries, travel writing and art to explore how the subjection of agency was rendered complete in the aftermath of the king’s killing. The subjection of agency, I argue, is achieved by relating the colonised subject to the landscape or what I call the process of grounding Hintsa.

A case of mistaken identity
The image of Hintsa that today features in museums, popular histories and academic texts belongs to the colonial archive and an emergent settler public sphere on the far reaches of the eastern Cape frontier zones in the 1830s. Images of unreliable and treacherous Xhosa chiefs characteristically mediated the formation of a settler identity on the eastern Cape frontier during the nineteenth century. Specifically, the most persistent image of a cunning, untrustworthy and treacherous chief was that associated with a portrait of

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Hintsa produced in the 1830s by the surveyor-general, Charles Cornwallis Michell. Michell’s portrait served as an accompaniment to his cartographic representation of the landscape in which the saga of the death – as opposed to killing – of Hintsa unfolded, and as such was an indispensable prop in understanding the narrative of the war of 1834–35.6 (See Figure 2 on p. 83 and Figure 5a on p. 98). The surveyor-general was part of the entourage that set off with Hintsa to the Mbashe River in search of the allegedly stolen cattle. Produced in the nineteenth century, the portrait by Michell may be explained in terms of a rapid rise in the demand among British military officials for portraits of Xhosa chiefs and studies of African people.7 To explain this demand for images of ‘the enemy’, Lucy Alexander, curator of the Frederick I’Ons retrospective exhibition in 1990, suggests that they served as souvenirs and ‘that it was the expression of admiration for the opponent not unlike that of the trophy hunter’.8 For Alexander, the portraits refer to the ‘ultimate exorcism of the enemy, exceeded only by the physical mutilation – as in the case of Hintsa – of the bodies of the enemy’.9 An aesthetic practice originally directed at the ceremonial presentation of the bourgeois self in industrial Europe was adapted for purposes of casting a formidable enemy and exaggerating the bravery of British military personnel along the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony.10 The portrait of Hintsa returns us to the place of the subject of violence in the colonial lexicon. In the space of colonial enunciation Hintsa would forever be consigned to the status of subordination – that place in the colonial statement reserved for those intransigent opponents of colonial advance. Hintsa, it seems, emerged as a figure of speech, a supplement of the desire to ground and govern the colonised subject as the war of 1834–35 approached. The story of the killing of Hintsa, especially when later told in the register of anti-colonial resistance, would often encounter this location of the proper name of Hintsa in colonial discourse as a specific limit. This was also the case when efforts were made to narrate the event as part of a larger story of colonial excess and violence, of objectification and the loss of subjectivity. What remained intact was the symbolic status accorded to the name of

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Hintsa by colonial officials. While the regime of truth reminds us of the status of Hintsa as object of colonial discourse, the imaginary structure of colonial enunciation reminds us why the truth about the killing of Hintsa is anything but self-evident. Lucy Alexander’s retrospective exhibition on I’Ons is critical for precisely this reason. It draws us into a strategy of reading that compels us to confront the referential illusion of portraiture with the accompanying demand for exploring the subject’s position in the grammar of domination that supports and sustains it. She encourages us not to think of portraiture as a series of objective representations, a point supported by the confusion that surrounds the image of Hintsa. In the catalogue to the retrospective exhibition held in 1990, Alexander expressed some doubt that Frederick I’Ons, who had arrived in Grahamstown in November 1834, would have produced a portrait of Hintsa. I’Ons was one of the leading producers of portraits on the eastern Cape frontier zones in the 1800s. He was responsible for producing a range of portraits of Xhosa chiefs such as Maqoma, Sarhili and Sandile, amongst others. Despite his reputation as a portraitist of Xhosa chiefs, Alexander notes that an oil painting assumed to be of Hintsa may in fact be of a lesser chief, Nqeno (see Figure 1). This seems to be the same chief depicted in a portrait in the 1820 Settlers Museum in Grahamstown (SM 2527) which is labelled as Eno [Nqeno]. The label (alluding to Hintsa) handwritten by John Levison Gower is contemporary. Hintsa died aged 46 in 1835: this looks like an older man. I’Ons may have seen Hintsa in captivity but he certainly met Nqeno. The dignified calm in the chief’s pose seems unlikely to be that of the captive Hintsa.11 Far from being objective portrayals, Alexander suggests that many portraitists subsumed the colonised subject into the genre of nineteenth-century English artistic traditions, especially the picturesque – a distinct product of the nineteenth-century Romantic imagination. In the case of the portrait of Nqeno probably mistaken by its present owner as Hintsa, Alexander tells us

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Figure 1: The cover of the Frederick I’Ons exhibition catalogue; there is little clarity on whether the figure portrayed is Hintsa or Nqeno.

that the depiction is not devoid of colonial desire. In her reading of the case of mistaken identity, she suggests that the elegant pose of the subject resting on a rock signifies possession of land and its underutilisation – the issue allegedly around which the Sixth Frontier War was fought. For Alexander, it is the landscape that invites interpretation of the portrait. Another way of stating this is that the work of interpretation is a necessary condition for understanding portraiture because, even in this most literal sense of grounding, the subject of the portrait is meaningful only insofar as it is related to the circumstances

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of its production.12 If reading the portraits of Xhosa chiefs produced in the 1830s can only be made sense of through the circumstances of their making, we might suggest that it was not to the English picturesque that Alexander should have turned to provide a reading of the portraits of Xhosa chiefs, but rather to more localised settler productions of history.

The settler audience of colonial narration
In the years following the conclusion of the Sixth Frontier War in 1834–35, the genocidal attitudes of settlers on the eastern Cape frontier became increasingly apparent, especially in response to the failure of the colonial government to compensate those subjects of the British Crown who claimed to have lost their livelihoods in the war. A growing sense of disgruntlement, if not anger, amongst settlers in the eastern Cape towards the colonial government can be traced in the letters that circulated amongst those who experienced, directly or indirectly, the war of 1834–35. This was a battle between political missionaries – as some aggrieved settlers labelled the officials seeking treaties with the Xhosa chiefdoms – and land speculators, comprising settlers and their local representatives, which continued well beyond the events of 1835.13 These letters articulated views that were often echoed in the public outcry about the war of 1834–35. For the settlers on the eastern Cape frontier, the recalling of Benjamin D’Urban from the position as governor and the return of the ceded territory to its original inhabitants were construed as acts of betrayal on the part of the colonial office in London. Adding insult to injury, Secretary of State for the Colonies Lord Glenelg’s insistence on the institution of a commission of inquiry into the death of Hintsa clearly angered settlers in the eastern Cape. The local press was increasingly filled with outraged responses at what was seen as a sleight of hand on the part of Glenelg. In the settler mindset, and even more so after official decrees against settler society as a whole in the eastern Cape, the memory of Hintsa could not be erased because it defined the political contests between settlers and metropolitan policy in the 1830s. The memory

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of the king therefore punctuated the settler imagination throughout the nineteenth century. Later, with the stirrings of the 1850s, we learn from the letters that these sentiments had crystallised into demands for the extermination of the Xhosa. In a letter from Harry Smith to Caesar Andrews – secretary to burgher forces in 1835 – during the War of Mlanjeni in 1851, for example, the gallantry of battalions marching to the Mbashe River in the 1830s was recollected nostalgically, if not chillingly: If I had but the two battalions some of whom were with us over the Bashee and a few more such I would make quick work with those villainous Gaika’s. I wish the Boers would come into the Amatholes in straggling parties. They have my permission for extermination, it is now the only word and principle to guide us. I have named General Somerset Commandant General but I should be glad if the Boers would name their own Commandant. Under him they may go on their way and shoot as they like so that they add their force to the general cause. This is a war of Black against White and the White must combine or lose all.14 By limiting claims for compensation to burgher forces that incurred losses while on duty, the colonial government had seemingly alienated large numbers of settlers. The Methodist missionary John Ayliff complained bitterly to Godlonton in 1850 of the loss of his horses in the war of 1834–35, for which he had not been compensated.15 William Southey, Holden Bowker – a commando during the Sixth Frontier War – and others lodged similar claims.16 Repeated calls for the ‘extermination of the native’, subduing the Xhosa and confiscating their land accompanied the sense of bitterness and betrayal. The failure of ever realising these outcomes – of pursuing a programme of genocide and unlocking potential sources of black labour – re-established a certain currency in the story of the killing of Hintsa. In 1865, the battle at Thaba Bosigo, for example, was accompanied by comparisons of the Basotho king, Moshoeshoe, with Hintsa. William Southey noted on that occasion that, like Hintsa, Moshoeshoe ‘does not relish to pay for the terrible depredations committed by

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his people in the Free State’.17 Many settlers in the eastern Cape, in keeping with the vilification of Hintsa, sought to continue the process of expropriation of land despite the reluctance of the colonial state, which had returned land in the ceded territory that had initially been expropriated from the Xhosa after the Battle of Amalinde in 1819 involving Ngqika. Settler interests in the eastern Cape mediated the tensions that surfaced in a discourse that designated the rules of the true following the commission of inquiry into Hintsa’s death. They achieved this mediation partly by rearranging and redeploying the referent ‘Hintsa’ in colonial discourse. The desire to colonise land occupied by Xhosa chiefs had as its correlate the radical rearrangement of the colonised subject in colonial discourse. To explore the politics of this rearrangement, we may have to consider the difference revealed in the modalities of colonial enunciation, especially as these narratives approach the specific story of the killing of Hintsa. Critical to the formation of a settler public sphere was the mobilisation of sentiment around the war of 1834–35 in letters, diaries and autobiographies – documents with a private aura but a public intent. The resilience of the connection between a settler identity and the story of the killing of Hintsa was proved in 1877, some 42 years after his death, when Hintsa made a dramatic reappearance on the stage of colonial advance and its history. The spectre, it seems, was provoked by the pending resurgence of tensions along the frontier. Hintsa’s resurrection was primarily motivated by the trouble that colonialists attributed to the chief’s son, Sarhili, around 1877.18 But colonial officials also alluded to rumours of the ghost of Hintsa circulating amongst the Xhosa, and used the spectre as a warning of pending warfare.19 Knowledge of these rumours served as confirmation for those residing on the frontier that the killing of Hintsa had undermined the position of the settlers in respect of the attitude of their own colonial office. The resultant bitterness was recalled in several diaries and autobiographies of civilians who claimed immediate experience of the war of 1834–35. Caesar Andrews’s Reminiscences of the Kaffir War 1834–1835 was one example of this recurring theme linking the memory of Hintsa to the threat

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of war. The presentation of the diary for publication in 1877 coincided with the presumed threat of a Gcaleka uprising under the leadership of Sarhili. By the author’s own admission, the supposed threat posed by Sarhili necessitated a recollection of the war of 1834–35 in which the latter’s father was a prominent figure. Andrews’s account of the war was not merely aimed at emphasising the victory of the British over the Gcaleka in 1835, nor did it only strive to draw equivalence between Hintsa and Sarhili – although traces of both are readily available in the text. Rather, Andrews was determined to establish pathways to the truth supposedly shorn of the official colonial determinations that governed the narration of the settler experience. Early in his publication, he confesses: It is not necessary for me to make any apology for submitting to those, who may feel interested in the subject, some notes of the events of the war of 1834–1835. I may at once state that I make no pretensions whatever to write in a style intended to produce any other feelings than that of perfect reliance on the part of the reader that what I write in the plainest language is true [emphasis in Andrews] and is compiled from notes made daily during that war, when the writer served as Secretary to the Burgher forces under Colonel Smith, Chief of Staff, afterwards Sir Harry Smith, the hero of Aliwal. I have considered it best to sketch the daily incidents from my diary as they occurred after my duties as Secretary were complete, for, being a tyro in the art of writing, I have feared to lose in accuracy through attempting to gain in style.20 In the tensions of Empire, plain language supposedly promised truth as it addressed a community of settlers whose interests often diverged from the perspectives of the colonial office. Andrews’s plain language makes a concerted effort to link the events of 1834–35 and 1877 as a general strategy of bypassing the territorial policies of colonial officialdom. I shall return in Chapter 5 to the eruption of hostilities in 1877 which the diary narrates. Here it serves to illustrate how the colonial imaginary worked to organise the discourse surrounding Hintsa. The first effect of Andrews’s plain language,

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already mentioned, is contained in the introduction to the diary when he connects Hintsa to Sarhili, and by extension insinuates a continuity of characterological traits. The second example is by way of a parenthetical entry to a description of the events following the killing of Hintsa. The entry reads: Taking his son Kreli [Sarhili] with us, we pursued the spoor of cattle towards the Bashee and came in sight of them before sunset. We observed vast herds being driven off in all directions on the opposite mountain range (Bomvanaland in 1877, where Kreli has recently done the same – repeating history).21

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What we encounter in a reading of this diary is a certain substitution of proper names with what is taken to be the general pattern of settler–Xhosa relations. Hence, in Andrews’s parenthetical detail it is a case of history repeating itself. That repetition, however, did not apply to the reproduction of the diary. The two versions of the diary, that written in 1835 and the subsequent one presented for publication, contain a notable discrepancy in the respective accounts of the death of Hintsa. In the original field notes from which the reworked version was drawn, there is no suggestion that Southey was in any way threatened and that his shot was in response to the threat posed by a fleeing Hintsa.22 The diary reproduces its own authority by being framed by the aura of privacy and secrecy. Its public appearance therefore often conveys a sense of authenticity, if not immediacy. Yet, in every manner of their crafting and choice of subject matter, diaries are extremely public documents. There is an expectation that the text would be read at some point. Andrews’s diary was no exception, caught as it was in the hurly-burly of tensions between the colonial office in England and the settlers on the eastern Cape frontier. In the aftermath of the killing of Hintsa, the Colonial Secretary responded by removing Governor D’Urban from office, demanding the institution of a commission of inquiry and insisting on the return of land, which had been earmarked for settlement, to the Xhosa. The uncertainty and acrimony in relations between metropolitan officials and settlers after the killing of

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Hintsa meant that settler recollections would seek to establish a unified settler identity and response by controlling the narrative of the killing. Andrews’s diary expressed that sense of control over the narration of the killing of Hintsa. It was also a crucial element in negotiating a unified settler identity because in it author, experience, and casting of a moral subject were conflated as a code that unified settler society. Andrews makes a concerted effort to remind the reader that he had accompanied Smith on his expedition against the Gcaleka in the 1830s. He had also testified in favour of the innocence of Smith at the inquiry following Hintsa’s killing. The diary sets out to verify the version of Smith that was presented to the court of inquiry albeit independently, according to Andrews, of access to the record generated by the commission of inquiry. Regretting not having found ‘any record of the evidence in the court of enquiry’, Andrews’s narrative nevertheless supports Smith’s actions in much the same way as the court record does.23 References to Hintsa appear in the midst of the enunciation of settler interests set against metropolitan hegemony over the colonial enterprise. The autobiography of Harry Smith, published in 1901, consolidates this ambition by elevating the settler as unified subject at the expense of the diminishing agency of Hintsa. It proceeds by distinguishing between the subject of history and the subject with history. Having described his journey to the Cape and his first months there, Smith turns to the beginning of D’Urban’s role as governor in 1834. D’Urban’s ascendancy was accompanied by the decision to dispatch Smith to the frontier to deal with the Xhosa, who at the beginning of Chapter 33 of the autobiography ‘burst into the Colony, carrying with them fire, sword, devastation, and cold-blooded murder and spoiling the fertile estates and farms like a mountain avalanche’.24 Smith’s entire narrative is built around the adventures of the journey east from Cape Town. Interspersed in the telling there are extensive references to James Edward Alexander’s writings, especially his Narrative of a Voyage of Observation. We are referred to Alexander’s texts for descriptions of particular events, such as those of 9 March when the Boer Commandant Rademeyer is said to have evacuated a large number of Xhosa from the

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once impenetrable Fish River, or to verify D’Urban’s positive impressions of Smith’s actions.25 Cross-referencing offers more than simply a device for filling narrative gaps. It also gestures, I would argue, towards a secular knowledge that is indispensable for determining the subject of history through the method of proof. The properly historical subject, moreover, is one that separates pleasure from mission, that possesses a consciousness of the importance of pastness, especially those aspects of the past which define the destiny of the self-proclaimed hero. Let us join Smith’s story at the point at which he provides justification for his mission to the Kei River to retrieve what he calls ‘colonial cattle’. Crossing the bed of the Tsomo, Smith describes his ‘most precipitate march on Hintsa’s kraal’.26 Not finding him there, Smith set about burning the kraal. This provocation, it is claimed, brought Hintsa into the British camp in an ‘undaunted manner’.27 It is at this point in the narrative that Smith places before us the weight of secularity, mobilising it against the inveterate weakness of desire: (The poor savage always buries the past in oblivion, and regards the present only. He has not the most distant idea of right or wrong as regards his line of conduct. Self-interest is his controlling impulse, and desire stands for law and rectitude).28 Smith’s statement separates the historical from the presumably ahistorical subject in a manner where the former is cast as the agent of the march of progress. Locked away in parentheses and followed by a description of the grievances against Hintsa that were recorded in writing by D’Urban, Smith’s narrative is not only an account of the triumph of the hagiographic figure of history – it is also a narrative of the triumph of those who possess the spirit of history. In short, history, in this account, belongs to victory in much the same way as it guarantees it. Such untimely subjects as Hintsa were prone to the negative stereotype of colonial discourse. Not too long after the description of the untimeliness of Hintsa, Smith describes the circumstances leading up to the

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killing of Hintsa. For all intents and purposes, the narrative is predictable and well rehearsed. The usual binaries apply: the supposed savagery of Hintsa metaphorised through the slaughter of a beast, described in chilling detail, on the eve before the entourage set out to retrieve the stolen cattle, compared to the remorse felt by Smith following the allegedly unintentional shooting of the king. Slightly removed from the actual scene of the killing, Smith claims to have heard of the outcome of Hintsa’s failed attempt at escape from Southey minutes after the shooting – with, he later added, a sense of melancholy. As may be expected of a discourse of virtues so common to autobiography, no mention is made of the mutilation of the body – its dismemberment – for that act was cast as a product of the imagination of those opposed to progress. The negative stereotype that founds the settler public sphere faced one major difficulty. The subject, Hintsa, refused to acknowledge Southey’s hailing as he scurried down the slope of the Nqabara River. He refused to heed Smith’s and Southey’s call to halt and he did not turn in recognition of the source of the hail. This double failure meant that the negative stereotype would be entirely given over to the task of grounding Hintsa. This was achieved by ensuring that the Hintsa who emerged as a figure of speech of the diary and autobiography was repeatedly and necessarily processed through the relations established between landscape and portraiture.

Travel writing
On its own, Michell’s portrait of Hintsa had little meaning until placed in a larger textual network. Shortly after the commission of inquiry into Hintsa’s death, its meaning was genealogically altered when it was included in the travel writing of James Edward Alexander, a member of the Royal Geographic Society, in the 1830s. Alexander’s An Expedition of Discovery into the Interior of Africa professed a strong desire to discover some of the secrets of ‘the great and mysterious continent of Africa while consenting to exchange civilized for savage life’, a view that was not too far from the

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prevailing views of most of the inhabitants of Grahamstown.29 Desire and discovery, secrecy and mystery belonged to the ongoing saga of the competitive spirit of being the first to find, enter or discover areas unknown to Europeans – Gordon in 1777, Patterson in 1778, Le Valliant in 1781, Barrow in 1797, Truter and Somerville in 1801, Lichtenstein in 1805, Burchell in 1809, Campbell in 1813, Thompson in 1827, Hume in 1834 and perhaps Alexander in 1838. So powerful was the desire to be part of the list of firsts that from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, no less than 175 names of travellers and explorers, including that of Alexander, were carved into the walls of the Heerenlogement Cave in the north-western Karoo in the hope of posterity.30 To have his name included in this list, Alexander had set his sights on the area between the 21st and 24th parallels – the area he identified as being inhabited by the Damaras. His arrival at the Cape early in 1835, sponsored by the Royal Geographic Society, unfortunately coincided with a South Africa that he would later describe as being ‘in a state of commotion’. As Alexander notes, ‘tensions between the Amakosa and the Cape colony meant that it was evidently not the time for geographical research’.31 Instead, he opted for military service and became an aide-de-camp and private secretary to the governor, D’Urban, in 1835. The interruption profoundly affected relations between explorer and sponsor, so much so that in its recollection of the period in the centenary commemorative history of the Royal Geographic Society, Hugh Robert Mill (the Society’s president in 1930) alluded to the tensions that emerged around Alexander’s expedition. Alexander, it appears, was thought of as a promising traveller who would contribute significantly to the map collection in the Society’s library. Given limited financial resources, the Society, according to Mill, made arrangements for Alexander to travel as ‘a man of war and the Government’.32 Effectively, this entailed a nondescript passage, the benefits of which could be shared by settler society and the colonial government. The uncertainty surrounding the terms of contract, then, may have been at the core of the tensions that would engulf Alexander’s mission to the Cape. Mill writes of this tension as follows:

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Before 1834, [Alexander] was on his way. The work went on year after year, and every Council meeting had to consider letters, sometimes several letters, from [Alexander], explaining delays, always asking for more money, and sometimes reporting results obtained which were communicated to the evening meetings. There was trouble in getting Government grants; there was even more trouble in getting replies from Alexander when asked for details and justification for his expenses. This led to threats of a suspension of supplies, and warnings that the society’s credit must not be further pledged.33

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As for the gains for geography – as Mill put it with a tone of disappointment, partly at the losses incurred by the Society – the Delagoa Bay expedition was terminated and instead excursions were undertaken across the Orange River into Damara and Namaqua lands, reaching Walvis Bay on the West Coast. To salvage something of this generally described failure, Mill notes that Alexander enjoyed much big-game shooting and rendered good services to the Cape government, for which he was knighted. Similarly, he is recognised for having gone on to fight in the Crimea and in New Zealand and for rising to the rank of General, until his death in 1885. Alexander’s oeuvre, consisting of five book-length accounts of his travels and experiences, defies the general assessment of failure offered by Mill in 1930. Neither simply a representative oeuvre of colonial mindsets nor merely a window to a colonial context, Alexander’s writing permits us to explore the relationship between discourse and narrative and to investigate the way an imaginary structure is folded into the operation of a system of knowledge. It also reveals what knowledge and the limits of knowledge meant for the colonial enterprise. The war of 1835 that interrupted Alexander’s geographical research and, consequently, the Royal Geographic Society’s ambition of cartographic procurement, was later incorporated into a book on travel writing entitled Narrative of a Voyage of Observation, published in 1837. Chapter 23, which is dedicated to the events that make up the reason for the supposed

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interruption, begins with a cartographical sketch of the Gnanabaka (Nqabara) River. The sketch, produced by the surveyor Charles Cornwallis Michell, was first made available as an accompaniment to the record of the inquiry compiled in the aftermath of the events of 12 May 1835. Michell’s map, appropriately titled Plan of the Ground where Hintsa attempted his Escape, and was killed, featured a representation of the four miles over which the action in which Hintsa was killed occurred (see Figure 2). A distance of one mile was covered in the approach of Hintsa and his escort of British forces as they reached the Nqabara River from the direction of the Guada River (‘a’ to ‘h’ on the map). The second mile started at the point at which the Nqabara River was crossed and illustrates, by way of a perforated line, the decision to follow the cattle trail to the right. The third mile (marked ‘a’ to ‘b’) indicates the distance covered by Hintsa as he tried to escape from Smith’s escort, the chase by Smith and the eventual dislodging of Hintsa from his horse. From the letter marked ‘b’ to an almost undecipherable ‘e’ placed in the Nqabara River, we have the distance covered by Hintsa as he is dislodged from his horse, pursued by Southey and Lieutenant Balfour and eventually shot and killed. The fourth mile brings into view a kraal to which Hintsa was allegedly heading before Smith stopped him. Two further points are ‘f’ and ‘g’, which respectively position Umtini (Hintsa’s councillor) – who had earlier left the party escorting Hintsa and who observed the events – and the other spoor of cattle to the left, which Hintsa dissuaded Smith from pursuing. Like the sketch, the summary of topics that precedes Alexander’s account in Narrative of a Voyage repeats a familiar story of the event. Phrases like ‘The General Proclaims the Kye to be a new Boundary – A Short Review of a Change in Sir Benjamin D’Urban’s sentiments – His Declaration to Hintsa – The Policy of Extending the Colony – Duplicity of Hintsa – Return of Colonel Smith’s Corps – Death of Hintsa’ all work to conjure up the terms of a familiar story. One consequential exception relates to the alleged treachery of Hintsa who had set a trap in advance of the British forces. While there is significant repetition of the plot of the story about the killing of Hintsa in Alexander’s travel account, there is also a unique

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Collection: South African Library, Cape Town

Figure 2: Charles Michell’s cartographic representation of the landscape in which Hintsa was killed, published in 1835.

interplay of illustration and narrative – at least when compared to the commission of inquiry into the killing of Hintsa. ‘On the 7th of May,’ Alexander writes, ‘I witnessed a most interesting sight, and one which causes this day to be of great importance in the annals of South Africa.’34 The statement is followed by an illustration by Michell depicting the migration of ‘Fingoes’ and alluding to the catalyst for the events that are to follow (see Figure 3 on page 84). Illustration is here elevated to underline the importance of the visual and to lay the groundwork for a story in which the idea of a treacherous Hintsa and a dangerous landscape could be invoked as interchangeable signifiers. The slippage between sign systems is best demonstrated later in the narrative where treachery and danger are collapsed:

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It has thus been seen that, during the whole course of the negotiations and transactions with this savage chief, he never acted otherwise than with the greatest duplicity and bad faith; and only in the single instance of his stopping the massacre of the Fingoes, when under the influence of fear for the consequences to himself, did he ever act otherwise: but the day of retribution was at hand.35 In the very next paragraph, Alexander writes of the landscape: On leaving the bed of the Kye [Kei] we discovered, rather late, the dangerous situation in which we had been. There is a blaau tulp or pale blue moroea, which grows there in considerable abundance; and this, when other vegetation is scanty, the cattle devour, with fatal effect to themselves. As we ascended the heights, we passed ox after ox in the agonies of death; and we lost by the poison plant, which inflamed and swelled their insides, at least a hundred head of cattle. Some Fingoes also died from eating the tainted flesh.36

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After JE Alexander, Excursions in western Africa

Figure 3: Flight of the Fingoes [sic], by Charles Michell, 1836.

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We should perhaps read this interchange as expressing the possibilities of violence (a point developed in the previous chapter) and the fragmentation of a conception of the territory beyond the Kei River into the realms of the informational and the aesthetic. Michell’s work as a surveyor and his attention to detail were indispensable in defining a sense of the territory. The attention to detail, mediated as such by way of the visualisation of the landscape, served two interrelated functions. On the one hand, it helped to infuse actual danger in the landscape with associations with Hintsa and vice versa. On the other hand, it demarcated the informational and aesthetic within the broader logic of territorial conquest, thereby connecting an empirical description of the landscape in a way that validates the sense of danger represented by both. The dislocative gesture hinted at here has the added effect of duplicating the specific division between the real and the imaginary. This work of division was arguably crucial to the reconfiguration of the concept of space in the colonial imaginary. An informational logic was guaranteed by counterposing vision to imagination, the real to the aesthetic and order to chaos. By privileging the informational over the sentimental, and to circumvent the threat posed by language to their realist outlooks, travel writers like Alexander invented the category of the real danger wherein the imminence of danger was linked to an event that was marked as real. In effect, what seemed to be conveyed is a notion of landscape – to borrow liberally from Michael Taussig – as a space of death ‘the breadth of which offers positions of advance as well as of extinction’.37 Alexander, for example, tells us how together with Lt. Col. Robert Thompson of the Royal Engineers, and Major Charles Michell, the first surveyor-general of the Cape Colony, he was commissioned to establish the first military post of occupation so as to ‘secure possession of the new territory’.38 The area chosen for what was later called Smith’s Tower was selected for ‘its fine commanding site’ about ‘5 or 6 miles from the Kye’.39 As described by Alexander, the building conveyed a sense of order imposed on an aesthetically appealing but nevertheless unassuming landscape.

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Consider, for instance, ‘a square redoubt of sixty yards each face, enclosing a circular cattle kraal for forty horses, with a ditch and abattoir outside, and the fence fifty yards distant, out of assegai range, all speedily traced, and with jackets off and working parties of pick, shovel and hatchet men set to vigorously complete the work’, 40 as opposed to ‘the banks of a small stream called the Impotshana, near a ravine three hundred feet deep, with precipitous sides which almost approached each other, throwing the bottom filled with trees, into deep gloom, becoming a valley of death’. 41 The story of colonial advance and the tone in which the death of Hintsa was to be narrativised privileged order and reality over a sentimental attachment to the landscape. In Alexander’s text, the actual event of 12 May is explained over six pages, with little if any digression from the script that was performed in the preceding commission of inquiry in 1836. However, colonialism was not only a story of advance but also of retreat, repetition and loss. Alexander’s entry on 13 May, the day after the killing of Hintsa, tells a different story. It warns that the conceptualisation of space emphasising the importance of surveying – the desire to capture, describe and inhabit – was never beyond the spectre of danger. The day is marked in colonial memory by the calamity that befell Major TC White – the assistant Quartermaster General of the burgher force. White, regarded in colonial circles as an excellent scholar and surveyor, was anxious to add ‘to his carefully constructed map of the country through which the troops had passed since the commencement of the war’. 42 Having ignored the dissuasion of Captain Ross and Caesar Andrews, it is believed White proceeded to a hill above the camp where he was attacked and killed. The mourning of the death of White pointed to a double tragedy, for in the event that saw the demise of White, his vast cartographic output, sophisticated equipment and intricate sketches had also disappeared – lost, as it were, to history. Alexander quotes the three troopers who had accompanied White, to narrate the story: The major had placed [them] at different points of observation; and with the corporal beside him, and his surveying table before him, he

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was looking down a krantz, or precipice; when a dozen Kaffirs crept on him from the bush and long grass, threw an assegai from behind through his back, and ran up and finished their work. They also stabbed the corporal through the heart; and then collected the horses. The three videttes, unable to render any assistance, fired off their pieces and retreated. 43 The bodies were discovered, we are told, stripped and bloody, and the double-barrelled guns, the major’s gold chronometer, surveying instruments and map carried off. The mourning implicit in Alexander’s writing of the event conscientiously claimed it as a sign of the revenge effected by ‘Hintsa’s people for the loss of their great chief ’, 44 and not as an attack on the systems of knowledge which inaugurated such violence. The decision to interpret the killing of White as a consequence of revenge for the death of Hintsa perhaps confirms the sense of security provided by the forms of colonial knowledge. Read as metaphor, however, the killing of White served as a warning that the secular was no guarantee of security or, perhaps, that insecurity had penetrated and infected the domains that colonial officials thought of in terms of their gift to colonised subjects. Two deaths dotted the colonial landscape: one, Hintsa’s, which was the result of colonial advance; the other, White’s, which placed before the secular project of which surveying and cartography were such crucial components, the image of extinction and loss. In the end, the secularisation of knowledge that supported colonial advance and its justification was little more than a position from which to control realms originally perceived to be obstacles in the story of Europe. Europe emerged as the only story worth telling and, indeed, worth remembering. Both Michell’s map of the scene of Hintsa’s killing (Figure 2) and his portrait of the king (Figure 5a), appeared in the second volume of Alexander’s travel narrative. In that textual setting the portrait highlights the idiosyncrasies of character much like the relief lines sketch the contours of the landscape. Alongside the cartographic survey of the area in which

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Hintsa was killed, Michell’s portrait conveys an impression of Hintsa, his downward gaze conveying a sense of cunning and intrigue, his mouth and ears shadowed so as to portray a sense of hidden intent. Both portrait and cartographic inscription reflect a sense of betrayal by the landscape which Alexander had previously anticipated as tameable and inhabitable. There is an attempt to associate difficult terrain and impervious country with Hintsa. The convergence that results from the textual network that operates in Alexander’s travelogue and the conjuring of a sense of danger might be explained by the inability of the British intelligence apparatus to anticipate competing linguistic registers through which the landscape was mediated. Displaying a specific linguistic incompetence in anything not English, Smith’s forces were unable to decipher the geography signalled in the name Nqabara given to the river they had crossed on 12 May 1835. Translated from Xhosa into English, nqaba at best designated a difficult, impregnable and inaccessible place – a place that was literally fortified. One wonders whether Hintsa read this linguistic incompetence, this oversight, as a general weakness on the part of the British before deciding to escape from his captors – if indeed we assume that he did make such a decision at all. Alexander’s travelogue, however, suggests that Hintsa was implicated in a specific reading of the landscape. When confronted with other modes of colonial expression, such as the diary and the autobiography, the solidity of the travelogue with its accompanying portraits and maps resembled the information economy of the colonial archive more than the deliberative aspects of the settler public sphere. The homology that emerges from reading Alexander’s travel writing in which the dangerous and impervious country is conflated with the image of Hintsa reaches something of an impasse in the logic of colonial expansion when considered in relation to the demands of the settler public sphere. This impasse relates to the conflicting demands made on the subjectivity of the king by the different genres of narration. In the diary and autobiography there is a necessity to complicate the relationship between landscape and colonised subject to support a stereotypical

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representation of the Xhosa as aggressors. Alexander’s writing, in contrast, followed the institutional prerogatives of the Royal Geographic Society, especially the cartographic imperative to map the world. 45 Cartographic practice in the nineteenth century tended to fix the landscape. The subject that is the effect of this genre of writing mirrors the topography of the landscape. By contrast, in the autobiography of Smith or the diary of Caesar Andrews or, as I will show, in the painting by Frederick I’Ons, the process of colonial expansion required a more discerning and selective application of the tropes of recognition and misrecognition. In this respect the negative stereotype, premised on a representation of the landscape, proved insufficient to the demands of a settler public sphere in Grahamstown. If the diary, autobiography and travelogue circumscribed what could be said about the killing of Hintsa, each genre’s writing of the event contributed in differing ways to the deliberations of a settler public sphere in the eastern Cape. What the settler public sphere demanded was not only the authority enabled by the colonial archive, but also an unmooring of the subject that it might be re-grounded in colonial discourse. The effects of that re-grounding and the consequences of its temporary unmooring from the strictures of surveying for subsequent narrations of Hintsa may be explored in a painting depicting the killing of Hintsa, in an instance when the image exceeds words.

Images that exceed words: the limits of the settler public sphere
Frederick I’Ons undertook the rearrangement of this discursive field in an early nineteenth-century painting which, in 1958, while in the possession of the I’Ons family, gained the title The Death of Hintsa (see Figure 4 on page 90). According to Michael Stevenson, who conducted extensive research on the painting in preparation for its sale at a Sotheby’s auction in the 1990s, there are no markers indicating the title or the year in which it was completed. 46 In both the list of illustrations and in a reproduction of the painting, John Redgrave and Edna Bradlow title the painting Warriors Fleeing

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Collection: Private

Figure 4: Warriors Fleeing Across a River/The Death of Hintsa, by Frederick I’Ons n.d.

Across a River, although this might be an error of listing. 47 Only once the painting was included in the inventory of I’Ons’s collection in the possession of a descendent, Douglas Galpin, does the title The Death of Hintsa appear. Some art historians’ interpretations of the painting support this naming. In her analysis of I’Ons’s painting, Marijke Cosser proceeds by placing I’Ons in the turmoil of the 1830s in the eastern Cape when he first arrived and then by alluding to the possibility – based on family accounts and on the fact that I’Ons had supposedly served in the Grahamstown Mounted Volunteers – that the artist had witnessed the event of the killing of Hintsa. Cosser also notes that the painting of the demise of Hintsa was, by I’Ons’s own admission, thought to be one of his best. Cosser tells us the painting

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was the only one that depicted ‘outright violence’. This, combined with the fact that the painting was never publicly exhibited, leads her to conclude that the depiction represented a potential danger. According to Cosser, ‘I’Ons decreed that the painting was never to leave the confines of the family [and] suggests also the politically sensitive nature of this account.’48 She speculates that one reason for this may be that the depiction contradicted official versions produced by, for example, historians such as George Cory, the early twentieth-century historian who ultimately used the discord surrounding the killing of Hintsa to produce a synthesis of settler and colonial history. Political sensitivity presumably derived from the depiction of Hintsa receiving a shot from Southey ‘who is shadowed behind a rock to the left of the painting’. 49 This, we are told, contradicted official versions that held that British soldiers killed Hintsa in self-defence. I’Ons’s painting engages a spatial slice in time in the composite sequence we have come to call the killing of Hintsa. It is a slice that positions four subjects viewed, it seems, from a position further downstream. On the left bank we have a subject who has fired his rifle (whom Cosser names Southey with the help of the archive); in the centre of the river we have another subject with rifle aimed at a fleeing figure. Wedged between the two we have an injured subject, blood oozing out of a wound to the right side of the body, and perhaps penetrated by another bullet from the fired gun on the left. A fallen assegai lies to the right, its pointed edge directed towards the placidly flowing water, as if to underline an intention to use the weapon. On the opposite bank we see another subject in the motion of escape with his back turned to the observer of the painting. The colonial archive provides a necessary index to the portrayal of the unfolding saga in the painting. As such, the work of art becomes, in this reading, a mere illustration of the archive or one amongst several expressions of witnessing. Viewing the painting as a supplement to the archive may derive from the burden of the title that the work acquired in 1958. In some sense then, the title commits us to a reading of the painting that foregrounds

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the action associated with the killing of Hintsa. Read under its former (presumably incorrect) title, Warriors Fleeing Across a River requires a closer, if not different, reading and analysis of the painting. Here the landscape takes precedence over the space of death. However, neither approach, in my view, is adequate because both fail to come to terms with the painting’s categorisation as an example of historical painting. Nineteenth-century artistic taste, we are told by some art historians, held the historical painting in considerably high regard. The historical painting took the production of the significant moment seriously, even though its concept of event was only one element of a larger composition.50 Analyses of I’Ons’s The Death of Hintsa often neglect the fact that there is more to the historical painting than simply conveying the impression of documenting an event, although we must acknowledge that this was the impression created by the form. The Death of Hintsa places the observer at the limit of the historical and the aesthetic, between image and word, demanding to be read in the encounter with this limit. In relation to the depth and vastness of the landscape, painted with astonishing detail and with an abundance of the eastern Cape’s signature aloes, the killing is an enticing foreground to what had hitherto remained unspoken in the archive of the killing of Hintsa – that the king had in fact been shot in the back.51 The painting made possible a sense that the king was neither escaping nor attacking his pursuer. The overlap with the minority humanitarian view in Grahamstown might explain why I’Ons refused to allow it to be publicly displayed, given that it ran counter to the general tenor of the settler public sphere which implicated Hintsa in his own death. In I’Ons’s painting, landscape and danger once again merge but with danger represented by the figure of Southey, not Hintsa. This dramatic reversal in the narrative of the killing has implications for the archival reading of the story of Hintsa. By following the narrative in the space of death, the eye is also drawn towards the immense

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intricacy of the landscape.52 It is at this point that the image exceeds that which is said about the killing of Hintsa and where colonialism’s other histories may be contemplated. The Death of Hintsa – or the work that now goes by that name – was not a commissioned work. The painting, we could argue, does not merely supplement the archive, as some art historians have suggested, but significantly calls attention to a discursive rearrangement of landscapes and bodies by demanding that the viewer relate to its often competing historical and aesthetic claims. In connecting violence and vision, I’Ons substantially revised the terms of the official archive by reconfiguring the techniques of observation from those preferred by travel writers, diarists and autobiographers through making the aesthetic an indispensable factor in the macabre story of the killing of Hintsa.

Insight/oversight: renegotiating the postapartheid public sphere through images and sound
When Nicholas Gcaleka set off in search of Hintsa’s skull, there was a general feeling that this was an expression of someone whose speech fell outside of the norms of an emergent public sphere in democratic South Africa. Yet, as publicity and indeed curiosity increased about the search for Hintsa’s skull, there was a need for the public sphere to ground the subject. Left to his own fantasies, Nicholas Gcaleka was seen as a threat for having introduced a sense of incoherence to an already fractured public sphere. In arriving at such a hasty conclusion, the question of how the public sphere deals with that which is incommensurate was left unattended. In short, this meant that any response to Gcaleka in the public sphere would be measured by the violence that marked the emergence of that sphere at a point of departure in nineteenth-century colonialism. Rather than his claim leading to the formation of a subaltern counterpublic,53 Gcaleka emerged as a subaltern effect in the sanctioned narrative of postapartheid South Africa. The subaltern entry into the realm of the public sphere, insofar as it fails the requirements of property, publicity and rationality, registers a failure

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that is not only constitutive but also a prerequisite for the functioning of that public sphere. It is for this reason that a public sphere would seemingly expend its resources and energies on deliberating the highly unlikely claims of someone who professed to speak and act on behalf of the ancestors. I want to propose that the entry of the subaltern into the historical formations of the bourgeois public sphere is enabled by the grounding of the colonised subject and sustained by the repetition of the subaltern effect.54 If we were to set this against the expansive publicity that surrounded Nicholas Gcaleka’s search for Hintsa’s skull, we might inquire into how potentially effective the notion of a subaltern public sphere is in diminishing the hegemony of the bourgeois public sphere. If Gcaleka’s mission is anything to go by, then we might say that the search for Hintsa’s skull lent itself to bolstering the liberal rationalist alignments of the public sphere drawn from the colonial past. The publicity surrounding Gcaleka’s mission had effects that corresponded with the publicity generated by the killing of Hintsa in 1835. Both revealed a logic of domination that accompanies the rise of the public sphere rooted in hegemonic discourse; and in both instances the ruse of mistaken and conflicted identity lent itself to shaping the deliberations of a public sphere which reinscribes their respective subordinate positions. If in his search for a meaningful Hintsa, Nicholas Gcaleka was represented as something of a trickster in the media, it was only because he adopted the very strategies of make-believe that defined colonialism. Many of the colonial modes of evidence that organised the archive on the killing of Hintsa, we will recall, called into play the figure of the witness as an authenticating device of a regime of truth. The sonoric resonance of Southey hailing Hintsa to stop before the fateful shooting, and which served as a justification for an act of violence, was significantly diminished in the colonial account. As in the commission of inquiry, the demand for seeing leaves little room for undercutting the dehumanising trajectories of colonial discourse premised on the primacy of vision. The world filtered through the colonial retina is often the condition of possibility for history and, it might be safe to argue, colonial hegemony privileges such a visual economy.

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As the search for Hintsa’s skull unfolded in the local and international press, a deafening noise was readily audible in the nascent postapartheid public sphere. Gcaleka’s quest generated so much public interest that it prompted Brett Bailey, in the play iMumbo Jumbo which deals with the healer–diviner’s dream, to dedicate an entire scene to the media interest surrounding the mission. In a related comment on this media frenzy, Mike Nicol bemoaned the ways in which transnational corporate interests appropriated the search for the skull, reducing it to spectacle and entertainment.55 For Nicol, when Gcaleka’s request for funding landed on the desks of public-relations divisions of Coca-Cola and South African Breweries ‘they must have thought it was a gift from the gods’. Here was a below-the-line project that was good for major media coverage not only in South Africa but in Britain too. It tapped a historic resonance that bound the two countries. It was dramatic. It involved a skull, a sangoma, leopard skins, traditional weapons and some catchy lines. That the project was based on shaky historical foundations was clearly of no concern. This was free advertising. What’s more, the copy wrote itself and the photo opportunities were endless: chief brandishing his cultural weapons bound in airline tape; chief being led through the streets of London by a po-faced bobby; chief getting into large black car; and finally, chief holding skull. This was made for the media: A novelty, a distraction, something more to add to what author Saul Bellow calls the modern noise.56 By extending Nicol’s critique of the crass logic of accumulation, we might say that Nicholas Gcaleka represented for the end of the twentieth century what Sarah Baartman was for the beginning of the nineteenth – with, it could be argued, one small exception. Holding aloft the alleged skull of Hintsa for all to see, Gcaleka’s entanglement in the scopic economy called forth a discrepancy between seeing and believing. Leaving aside Bellow’s own disparaging comment on the absence of a creative genius of the calibre of Proust amongst the Zulu,57 Nicol’s interpretation of the corporatist logic

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undermines the theoretical potential of his own claim. To treat this search for the skull as part of a corporatist plot was to lose sight of the tropes that allowed for this slippage. Let me return to this oversight in Nicol by exploring, once again, what we are made to understand by seeing and believing. Ordinarily, the importance of seeing is ascribed to its immediacy, a point I argued in the previous chapter. But it may also be explained in terms of its relation to consciousness, the process of its filtering. The retina, as Marx claimed in ‘The German Ideology’,58 conveys the clarity of consciousness. The name for this relation is ideology and if, as Marx informs us, ‘in all ideology men and their circumstances appear upside-down as in a camera obscura, this phenomenon arises just as much from their historical life processes as the inversion of objects on the retina does from their physical life processes’.59 Wendy Brown has offered a provocative rereading of this argument, suggesting that for Marx the remedy to the inversion of reality in consciousness ‘may be corrected as completely as the brain corrects the inversion of images on the retina’.60 The eye, Lacan would later claim – as if implicitly revising Marx’s earlier formulation – is a rather discerning organ, endowed with the fatal power to separate between a visual grammar on the one hand and, on the other, relating to the gaze which establishes the subject’s position in this grammar. If anything, the subject’s position in this grammar is a matter of instability, as in the case where the subject does not fit the language of original conceptualisation. Clearly, the Lacanian refinement contributed significantly to the model of interpellation that inspired Althusser’s forays into the operation of ideology. But the overemphasis on the scopic has left much of the discussion of ideology somewhat deficient in explaining the instability that attends to the subject. This is where Nicol’s reading of Nicholas Gcaleka’s mission is most thought-provoking. In the midst of the imagery of Gcaleka bearing a skull, Nicol recalls the cacophony that engulfs the subject.61 This combining of the scopic and the sonoric helps us to conceptualise the subject as more than just that which is seen, but also how it is made to resonate in the public sphere. The coincidence of the scopic and sonoric I call the act of communicability through

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which the subaltern subject is forged. Gcaleka, it could be argued, is similarly a product of the interplay of interpellation and enunciation. Noise has a way of engulfing truth, as in the case when an emergent settler public sphere gathered around the ear of Hintsa in Grahamstown to celebrate his fall.62 The noise that engulfed Gcaleka may have been mistaken for a recent phase of capitalist modernity but, I would argue, it is perhaps better understood as the noise that accompanies the grounding of the subaltern subject in the public sphere. When it became clear that Gcaleka’s claim would not survive the test of scholarly and scientific scrutiny, the portrait of the late king assumed a prominence as a more truthful representation. Traces of Hintsa’s reign are scattered across the eastern Cape. In Butterworth, the site that marks the Great Place63 is identifiable by rusted and wrangled street markings. A tombstone erected by Xoliliswe Sigcawu in 1985, on the banks of the Nqabara River, marks the site of the killing. Similarly, the image of Hintsa found in Museum Africa in Johannesburg, in the Albany Museum in Grahamstown, in Jeff Peires’s The House of Phalo and as the frontispiece of a conference held at the University of Cape Town in 2002 titled ‘Memory and forgetting in the life of the nation’ attests to the continued significance of the killing of the king. All these representations currently in circulation, I wish to argue, belie the controversy surrounding the image of Hintsa. Portraiture, it seems, should be read within the terms of enunciation that seek to ground the subject and limit the realm of the sayable. A focus on colonial interpellation and enunciation opposes the current practice of public representations of Hintsa, which circulate as mere illustration and as inconsequential to the larger historical narrative through which the contemporary South African nation imagines itself. If colonial portraiture is taken as merely an objective representation, there is little possibility of making sense of later nationalist substitution. Let me draw this chapter to a close with a comment why seeing is not necessarily to be equated with believing. The file containing some of George Pemba’s sketches at Cory Library in Grahamstown includes a portrait of Hintsa with initials ‘GMP’ (see Figure 5b on page 98). My forays into the portrait of Hintsa led me to believe that the image that was in circulation

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had been produced by Pemba, probably in the 1930s. But one nagging question remained. On what did Pemba base his portrait of the king? Mda Mda, a prominent lawyer in Butterworth who introduced me to sites related to Hintsa, suggested that Pemba’s image was largely drawn from the descriptions of the king in the opening lines of a commemorative poem by SEK Mqhayi, written at the time of the hundredth anniversary of the killing. Mda’s lead made sense in terms of my estimated dating of Pemba’s portrait to the 1930s. I assumed that in versions of the portrait in circulation, the name of the artist had simply and perhaps unfortunately been removed. Two weeks before Pemba passed away, I travelled to his house in Motherwell in the eastern Cape to conduct an interview on history of the portrait. Having suffered several strokes by then, Pemba was not very lucid and barely managed a few recollections about his artistic creations. Midway through our discussion, I presented him with a programme from a conference held at the University of Cape Town in 2002, on which a sketch of Hintsa was featured. At first, Pemba looked at the sketch and asked why his work was being used without his permission and without payment.

After JE Alexander, Excursions in western Africa

Collection: Cory Library, Grahamstown

Figure 5a: Portrait of Hintsa, by Charles Michell, 1835.

Figure 5b: Portrait of Hintsa, by George Pemba, 1937.

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Then, dropping the programme on the table, he proclaimed with a certainty that had been missing for much of our conversation that the drawing was not his work. He pointed out that it was very much like a sketch that he had found at Rhodes University in the 1930s when he was a student, and which he reworked for the purposes of illustrating Mqhayi’s publication poem, UmHlekazi uHintsa, published in 1937. The sketch that Pemba had based his work on turned out to be the drawing by Michell (Figure 5a opposite). Something happens when the two portraits are placed alongside each other. Pemba’s reworking becomes apparent, especially in relation to the eyes and other facial features of the king. But to discern the subjective envisioning of nationalist representation, one will have to echo the cry of George Southey as he set off in pursuit of the king down the banks of the Nqabara River, ‘Stop! Or I’ll Shoot!’ It is only in listening that deception and nobility are recognisable in the portraits, and through which the attributes of treachery and bravery are discernible. The very contingency that followed from reading the colonial portrait was the cue for impeding the effort to construct a settler public sphere through recourse to the colonial story of the killing of Hintsa. The name of that intervention was anti-colonial nationalism. However, to accomplish its task of interfering with colonial narratives, anti-colonial nationalist narration had first to overcome the historical and aesthetic foundations of a settler public sphere in which the story of Hintsa featured so prominently. That historiographical encounter is the subject of the next two chapters. For now, we must conclude that the portrait of Hintsa offers the outlines of colonial interpellation and enunciation as it participates in the formation of a settler public sphere that is aligned to colonial hegemony.

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3 The properties of facts (or how to read with a grain of salt)
The military operation involved in deconstruction therefore is in one respect an attack on a party of colonialists who have tried to make the land and its inhabitants over into a realization of their plans, an attack in turn partly to release prisoners and partly to free land held forcibly.1

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in grahamsTown and london, news of the demise of Hintsa was the source of a mixture of disquiet and jubilation, controversy and fierce public debate. These sentiments filtered through newspapers, public meetings, street protests and parliamentary debates. The publicity surrounding the circumstances in which the king was killed ultimately exposed the often acute tensions of Empire.2 To complicate matters for the British colonial authorities, the killing occurred at a time of ascendancy of humanitarian liberalism – with all its attendant paternalism towards the native races of Empire – which was increasingly gaining ground in the bourgeois public sphere in Britain. News of Hintsa’s slaying was greeted with protest and, in one instance, the effigy of George Southey (who had shot Hintsa) was reportedly burnt in the streets of London. The Edinburgh Review of January 1836 said of the killing of Hintsa: ‘Here the wounded man, up to the waist in water, leaned against a rock for support, and begged for mercy; the Hottentots [sic] heard his prayer and spared him; but a British officer, climbing the rock above him, shot the unfortunate chief.’3 The killing of Hintsa marked a sporadic spiking in the tensions of Empire, pitting colonial official against metropolitan humanitarian and both against a settler society

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struggling to come into its own at the expense of the Xhosa. Symptomatic of these tensions was the often rancorous public debate in the newspapers of Grahamstown, the Cape Colony and Britain involving representatives of settler opinion and humanitarian sentiment. Given these tensions of Empire, and the animosity that defined the relations between colonial officials and settlers in the eastern Cape, how is it even possible to conceptualise a version of the South African past as settler colonial historiography?4 Most responses to this question tend to be caught in the impasse of the race versus class debate in South African historiography. Very little, if any, attention is paid to the epistemological form of settler colonial history which also, I suggest in the next chapter, enables and posits unfortunate limits for anti-colonial nationalist history.5 As a result of the tendency for historiography to be treated as a system of classification, settler histories are generally identified by the categories that define them, by their place in the ideological spectrum, and not by their form. Alan Lester, for example, tells us how identities were forged in relation to the spaces of colonial violence along the eastern Cape frontier.6 While the elements of a settler public sphere are discernible in Lester’s work, he unfortunately does not follow through with a textual deconstruction of the mediating apparatus that leads to subject formation. This oversight results in a rather disappointing conclusion rooted in identity and a view of subjectivity that sees the colonial archive as a resource rather than an alibi for violence. The story of the killing of Hintsa offers much more to work with than merely the resonant traces of identity. The emphasis on the form of settler history is equally critical to understanding the modes of evidence of the colonial archive and the emergence of a nationalist response. Too often, settler histories are thought of as merely racially exclusive histories of whiteness. Such views are at best tautological because, in approaching the question from the standpoint of racial exclusion, they neglect to address the forms of subjection and their articulations that are necessary for settler histories. Diminishing our sense of the processes of subjection in settler histories undermines the possibilities of understanding what we mean

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by colonialism. In this chapter I wish to return to the question of settler histories by re-examining what is specifically colonial about them. In other words, I wish to avoid a racial reductionism common in attitudes towards settler history because such a move entails an unfortunate return of the same charge of racial categorisation. Settler histories are distinguished not by their whiteness but by their form, by what I call the modes of evidence of the colonial archive and its resultant subjection of agency. It was this subjection of agency that ultimately enabled settler pasts, which were initially distinctly at odds with colonial officialdom and the burgeoning humanitarian movement in Britain, to become not merely a (largely discredited) version of what happened, but actually sustained settler colonial historiography. This chapter proposes to disable historicist constructions of colonialism by unravelling the making of a settler colonial history. I propose to read neither against the grain nor with the grain but, as Marx once suggested, ‘with a grain of salt’ so as to invalidate colonialism’s temporalities in the interests of making apparent my concern with the processes of subjection. Such a move towards the textuality is intended to overcome an impasse in South African historiography which tends to treat colonialism in purely historicist terms. In South African historiography, colonialism is often thought of as a point of assemblage of the racial foundations for later forms of segregation, apartheid and capitalist accumulation. It is often construed in public discourse and scholarship as a stepping stone to more recent installations of systems of oppression. Colonialism appears as an absent cause in the later development of capitalist relations of exchange, extraction and production. In South Africa, the history of colonialism as a specific technology of power, as opposed to the basis for later economic development, was perhaps prematurely terminated by historians such as CW de Kiewiet who were interested in defining the specific factors that shaped a local system of capitalist accumulation.7 For example, De Kiewiet, a leading historian of his time, argued that the greatest social fact of the century was neither gold nor diamond mining, nor even agriculture, but the universal dependence on black labour. For him, acknowledgement of this fact

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significantly affected the approaches adopted, presumably by historians, to colonialism and to South African history more generally. As he wrote in the 1930s, perhaps anticipating the restrictive anti-colonial nationalist narrative of colonial dispossession: Out of the heaving and thrusting of the nineteenth-century there has emerged no romantic tradition comparable with the literature of adventure in which the North American Redskins [sic] were the heroes. The explanation is at least partly to be found in the different social and political position of the descendents of Pontiac, Sitting Bull, or Osceola in the forgotten and inoffensive Indian reservations of modern America, and the descendents of Hintsa, Chaka, and Sekukuni in the packed and controversial reserves, in the compounds of industrial towns and in European kitchens. In the inglorious change from an enemy to a servile proletariat there is little room for romance. South African schoolboys play at Cowboys and Indians, not at Boers and Zulus; for Zulus, Basuto and Bechuana are too manifestly an unheroic and desperate social problem.8 The capitalist outcomes of colonial conquest, in De Kiewiet’s formulation of South Africa significantly affect the games we play; even the historiographical ones. Subsuming the historiographical question of colonialism into the general question of capitalist accumulation and transition – whether in notions of colonialism of a special type or in notions of racial capitalism – has had, in my view, serious consequences for the critique of colonialism and apartheid. In some respects the critique of the forms of capitalist accumulation has obscured – and perhaps rendered inconsequential – the critique of colonialism as a condition of power in its own right. In South African historiography, the critique of colonialism therefore assumed a secondary status and the forms of articulation of colonial hegemony were generally surrendered to the larger conclusions of a racially defined system of capitalist accumulation. At best, when histories of colonialism emerged they contained an anticipatory narrative of what

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was to follow. This might explain why colonialism is so removed from our discussions on the postapartheid. De Kiewiet’s insistence on addressing the problem of black labour was tempered only later by the work of Jeff Peires, who seemed to be arguing that the transition to capitalism in the eastern Cape was not a foregone conclusion. Rather, capitalism was the product of an often violent engagement with pre-existing social formations that had their own histories. In The House of Phalo, Peires targeted the complexity of the precolonial Xhosa social formation – the history, as he put it, of the Xhosa in the days of their independence. The history depends in large measure on oral traditions and a very crucial set of interviews with Mda Mda, a lawyer based in Butterworth who is often seen by scholars as an important resource for oral accounts of the eastern Cape. In his study, Peires finds that cattle were central to demarcating class boundaries between chiefs and commoners so that the struggle between these two groups, he argues, took the form of a struggle for cattle. Since cattle were the primary means of reproduction, Peires points out it was also the means of controlling subjects who depended on cattle. Peires emphasises the blurring of the realms of political control and economic organisation in precolonial societies. In this respect he draws a distinction between ownership and possession where the latter was the reward of the commoner and the former the means through which the chief expressed power over his subjects. Evidence for this analysis is drawn from both oral histories and accounts of settlers and officials such as W Shaw and Andrew Smith. Cattle were the sign of obligation and exchange, of control and reproduction. In distinguishing between ownership and possession, Peires draws an analogy between the position of the serf in the Middle Ages in western Europe and the Xhosa commoner, both of whom had access to the means of production even when it was owned by the lord or chief respectively. Peires’s House of Phalo is dedicated to the confrontations that undermined Xhosa feudal relations and paved the way for emergent, if not truncated, capitalist social relations. The task, however, was also to prove the distinctness of

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precolonial social formations. Here he invoked the homestead principle which, he argued, coexisted with a royal ideology to define Xhosa political and social formations. Clifton Crais’s study of the making of a colonial order in the nineteenth-century eastern Cape, published almost five decades after De Kiewiet’s Imperial Factor, expresses the ambition of exploring the emergence of the combinatory formation he calls ‘racial capitalism’.9 Crais sees the colonial order that emerged in the eastern Cape as paradoxical, formed out of discrepancies of colonial culture between metropolitan control and settler capitalist ethos. It is then the working out of this paradox through redefining power and profit in dominant discourse that produced the conditions for the emergence of a racialised capitalism and a system of forced labour. Crais, for example, writes: But could ‘barbarism’ become a legitimate basis of ‘civilization’? The British believed in varying degrees, in the capacity of Africans for ‘progress’, but many Africans were not particularly interested in becoming the docile and deferential laborers the elite so desired. In the opinion of many humanitarians, only the ‘worthless’ African would ‘abandon his liberty for the bondage’ of laboring for white settlers in the colony. What became increasingly clear to both the British colonial elite and a rising number of bureaucrats was that economic growth in the colony would ultimately rest not on free labor, but on its opposite. Counter to their most cherished ideals, economic growth and human progress depended on subjection and the violence which accompanied the denial of freedom.10 Whereas De Kiewiet argued in terms of the necessity of black labour for the South African social formation, Crais articulates the concomitant force of culture and limits of power that accompanied the making of a servile black labour force. Crais marks the process of servility as uneven and haphazard – thereby wedging a space in De Kiewiet’s story for an African agency and resistance – so that it deepens the incidental nature in which black labour is

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invoked in an earlier historiography. The attempts to connect materiality of power to modes of accumulation, however, result in an impasse that inhibits the theorisation of that connection. That functionalism is particularly evident in the claim that: The manner by which white settlers ‘comprehended’ the ‘black’ ultimately legitimated imperial expansion and the development of a racial capitalism in South Africa which rested on massive state coercion.11 Or in reverse: It was the development of agrarian capitalism and the protracted struggle over land and labor which accompanied it which initiated a fundamental change in the perception of the African in the colonial eye.12 If we were cryptically and perhaps somewhat unfairly to caricature these different arguments, we might say that whereas De Kiewiet worked towards seeing colonialism as an absent cause in the development of capitalism in South Africa, Peires and Crais have called attention to the competing nationalist and anti-capitalist potential that arises from critical histories of colonialism. Yet, it is the incommensurability between the positions of Peires (who picks up on an earlier intellectual tradition initiated by SEK Mqhayi, JH Soga and WB Rubusana, amongst others) and Crais (who stakes out a critique of racial formations based on the cultural conditions of the rise of racial capitalism) that strikes me as crucial and that prompts me to return to the discourse of colonialism in the eastern Cape.13 I wish to argue that the discord is not necessarily a product of a transcendent political choice but rather inheres in the very narrative dynamics and textual forms that underlie settler, colonial and even nationalist discourses. One reason why colonialism is such an unstable category in the discipline of history, I would argue, is that it is prone to historicist constructions. This historicist tendency emerges because colonialism takes the shape of a stage in historical development that precedes the critique

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encountered in nationalist narration. The convergence of a developmentalist conception of history and nineteenth-century colonialism, however, facilitated the assignment of subject positions and also later enabled a nationalist response by making available the techniques of subjection necessary for the functioning of power.14 As competing and complementary forms of social subjection, apartheid and colonialism may be differentiated systemically even though they are essentially cut of the same epistemic cloth. This is not to conflate nineteenth-century colonialism and twentiethcentury apartheid but to explore their shared expressions in determining the conditions of possibility for the production of subalternity, which is a major feature of postcolonial subjectivity. The mission to retrieve Hintsa’s skull is in this sense critical for debates about postapartheid South Africa because it calls attention to how difficult it would prove, under conditions of this colonial inheritance, to walk out of the narrative of power in which the subject is returned, again and again, to the position of mere supplement of power.

What is called a settler history?
In settler historical narratives, the story of the killing of Hintsa proceeds with the onset of war in 1834–35, which provides a contextual rationalisation for the British pursuit of Hintsa some 300 kilometres from the scenes of confrontation and hostilities. The mathematics of losses supposedly suffered by British colonists was a product of a politically expedient process of calculation, tabulation and recording.15 In terms of the general list of losses for the 1834–35 war, it was claimed by British officials that 111 418 cattle and 5 438 horses had been lost. The cumulative loss in monetary terms totalled 288 625 pounds. The demand for cattle communicated to Hintsa was presumably part of this larger total, since it was alleged that he received the largest share of cattle taken by the Rharhabe from the colony. Clothes, guns, tools, bedding, books, crops, furniture, saddles, soap, corn, wheat and butter are also listed as losses in the record.

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Among the families that supposedly suffered the greatest loss, by their own admission, was the Southey family – the same family to which George Southey, the person responsible for shooting Hintsa, belonged. In the chronological list of losses for the period after 9 July 1835, 600 cattle were reported stolen from the Southey’s farm alone. The entry is for the period of the immediate aftermath of the killing of Hintsa.16 In the general list of losses for the duration of the war, we are informed that the Southey family lost 40 horses, 610 cattle and 1 060 goats, all valued at a total of 3 010 pounds.17 While the discrepancy for cattle lost by the Southeys in the two reports is minimal, it is not certain how the general losses were incorporated into later demands made by D’Urban to Hintsa. In all likelihood, the recording of losses was geared towards a confrontation with the Xhosa. Colonial officials tried to bolster their claims as much as possible in order to secure a moral high ground. Like mapping, it was part of a general strategy of colonial conquest, not simply an instance of ‘bias’. Settlers, too, used the opportunity presented by official reports of cattle theft to exploit the situation. The compiler of the statistics warned of the general unreliability of the figures received from settlers reporting losses. In what appears to be a preface to the list of losses sustained during the war, the archival record is preceded with the following caution: The total number of claimants will be nearly 3 000 as some statements contain 10–15 names. I do not vouch for this account being exact as the state of many of the documents prevent the amount of losses being ascertained with any degree of accuracy. Whenever the parties undergo a strict examination as to the correctness of their statements and the balance of the property very considerable reductions will take place.18 One reason for this uncertainty was that claims were being submitted on behalf of family members who resided at a distance. The possible exaggeration of losses may similarly have proved beneficial in justifying colonial encroachment but it also placed strain on colonial officials to meet

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the reparation demands of claimants, especially after the war. The ‘facts’ pertaining to losses sustained are therefore complicated by the ways in which the archive records and presents its figures. It is this interplay of calculation and miscalculation, of doubt expressed as numbers, that enters the field of history, first as a factual basis for D’Urban’s demand to Hintsa for the return of the cattle and other items and then as factual pretexts ‘that were always [also] becoming texts’.19 Alex Wilmot’s biography of Richard Southey, published in 1904, went on to draw on this factual base to come close to hinting at revenge as a reason for killing Hintsa. Wilmot writes: The Southey’s had lost their all – stock, house and furniture. They were left destitute in consequence of a totally unprovoked irruption of savages, and were aware of cold-blooded and brutal murders of white men and women. No wonder that they and the other settlers felt their blood boil in the veins when charges were hurled against them. Their losses during the war consisted of about 800 head of cattle, 1 000 sheep and goats, as well as 50 horses and all their household effects.20 Once again the discrepancy is only slight and since Wilmot avoids the academic protocols of referencing in this instance, it is difficult to ascertain from where he derives his figures. Crucial for the purposes of the discussion here, however, is the way in which the ledger of losses seeped into a settler history and a biography as the basis of fact. There were, however, other consequences. If, as I argued earlier, the conditions of knowledge, and indeed the settler public sphere, always also articulated with the conditions of violence, then we may have to inquire into the specific forms of historical knowledge about the Xhosa produced as a result of this coincidence. My initial suggestion is that the histories of the killing of Hintsa were products of discrepant ways of knowing. In this respect, the ethnographic concerns of Colonel Collins in the early nineteenth century combined with a more open contest about who earned the right to be called victims of the war of 1834–35.

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The story of the killing of Hintsa was one instance amongst several others where such a crucial dilemma was worked over.

Knowledge of the Xhosa
In his ethnographic survey of Hintsa’s polity, Colonel Collins noted the following in his journal of ‘a tour’ to the Storm Mountains in 1809: Not many years since [1780], Hinsa’s [sic] people resided on the right bank of the Kyba, where traces of his kraals still exist. An unsuccessful war with Gyka forced him to abandon that country; which he now only uses for hunting. The country now occupied by Hinsa’s people, is situated near the sea, between the Kyba and the Bassee, rivers of equal magnitude, and distant about forty miles from each other. In addition to the Gooa several more small streams serpentise through this fine tract, among which the Koho at a short distance east of Hinsa’s residence, which is situated in the middle of his territory, and the Juguga, a few miles beyond the Koho, are most deserving of notice. As the Kaffirs are themselves unacquainted with their population, it is impossible for a stranger to know it. We guessed, however, that this tribe might consist altogether of about 10 000 souls. They are all under the absolute control of Hinsa, but divided among a number of subordinate chiefs. It is not less difficult to form an estimate of the numbers of their cattle, than respecting their population. I think it probable that they may exceed 20 000.21 The report is significant for at least two reasons. Firstly, all the proper names relating to the Xhosa underwent significant orthographic alteration in subsequent years. Thus, Hinsa would later be written in the colonial archive as either Hintsa or Hinza, Gyka would become Nqika and later Ngqika, and Bassee would be rendered as Bashee and later Mbhashe. What might be too easily dismissed as inconsequential relates to a second aspect of the excerpt, namely the desire to ‘know the population’.22 Knowing the population

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in this ethnographic exercise pointed to something other than its cultural formation or its orthographic inscription. It also pointed to the demand for a census – a counting – of people and cattle. Shortly after Collins estimated the size of Hintsa’s polity, he turned his attention to a breed of cattle, observed in the different kraals, that had ‘colonial marks’ and to Hintsa’s two horses, thought to be of colonial stock. Avoiding the consequences of unsubstantiated accusation, Collins issued a friendly caution to Hintsa, informing the latter that he understood the cattle to have been stolen from colonists and then exchanged for others ‘in order that the proprietors should not be enabled to discover them’.23 Collins promised ‘advantageous bargains’ if the chief desisted from the temptation to participate in exchanges of this kind in the future. Early travellers such as Colonel Collins made every effort to deploy the voice of the ‘informant’ as integral to the knowledge that was produced in order to subject ‘the Xhosa’ to ethnographic scrutiny. Judging from the presentation of the report and its subsequent reproduction in Donald Moodie’s The Record, Collins gave an account of his travels based on interviews with leading Xhosa chiefs such as ‘Hinsa’ and ‘Gayka’. One result of these conversations was detail relating to the everyday life of the amaXhosa: the division of labour, rituals around marriage and, more importantly, what was described as differences between the Gcaleka and Rharhabe houses. In almost every consideration of the detail, the centrality of cattle as cultural symbol was identified. In Collins’s account of his journey, this knowledge supposedly acquired through the medium of orality was further substantiated by the practice of observation that distinguished travel writing from other forms of narration. Travel ethnography was an interested enterprise on at least two levels. Firstly, Collins used the acquired knowledge – ethnographic snapshots – to define the relationships that were desired by settler society with the Xhosa. In other words, by narrating difference, Collins tried to insert settler society into perceived and prevailing social relations without disturbing prefigured cultural distinctions between colonist and Xhosa. His mission was to

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convince Xhosa chiefs not to enter settler spheres of control for the purposes of ‘begging’ and simultaneously to encourage trade as the proper realm of contact. Thus Collins writes: I had been further directed to inform him [Hintsa], that as soon as the differences between the Kaffer people had been terminated, and they were all peaceably residing as formerly beyond the Great Fish River, it was the intention of the colonial government to give directions for their being annually supplied with such things as they might want in exchange for cattle and ivory, and I pointed out the great advantage they would derive from afterwards sending those things to more distant countries.24 The demand for a relationship based on trade is premised on a hope for a common understanding of property as a basis of exchange. The presupposition that supported this contract was that property was exchangeable and that it ideally belonged to the realm of economic relations. Secondly, to draw the Xhosa into an agreement on trade relations, and to ensure that the settlers remained the central beneficiaries of the economic equation, it proved necessary to elevate certain Xhosa to a recognisable and distinct authority, indeed to affirm their position as chiefs. This was accomplished primarily through the work of knowledge of an ethnographic kind. Collins instructed – and in fact begged – both Hintsa and Ngqika to engage in legitimate commerce around cattle, which was to emerge as the interchangeable signifier of property. To Ngqika, who had been desperately trying to secure cattle to pay for bride wealth, Collins offered the advice that ‘the more elevated his station, the more necessary was it for him to give the example of propriety’.25 Such advice pointed in every manner to the necessity to retain the semblance of Xhosa culture as a discreet social category. Without this level of separation, a concept of property as a specifically European invention could not function. Yet, cattle, status and property were concepts with discrepant meanings, even amongst settlers and colonial officials. Collins’s resolution to this

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discrepancy was to collapse notions of cattle as property – the basis for settler relations with the Xhosa – and cattle as the distinguishing referent of Xhosa culture. The recommendations that followed Collins’s ethnographic conclusions were implemented by the British governor at the Cape, Lord Charles Somerset, before 1820. If we are to extend the general argument of a recent history of the frontier by Tim Keegan,26 we might say that the implementation of policy based on Collins’s report resulted in the area between the Fish and the Kei Rivers being declared neutral and ceded territory after the battle of Ndlambe in 1818–19. The result was a marked separation between Xhosa and colonist. By the late 1820s, however, Collins’s ethnography was proving contradictory and unreliable. In the 1830s, Keegan points out, the ivory frontier had receded, and increasingly Africans were becoming dependent on the sale of livestock, animal products and agricultural produce for access to British manufactured products. This shift in trade, Keegan suggests, significantly undermined self-sufficiency and drained cattle resources among the Xhosa. It also demanded new relations with the Xhosa and with this came the demand for new ways of knowing the Xhosa – ways of knowing that did not exclusively operate on the premise of difference established by way of ethnography. In the face of mounting pressure from metropolitan interests, the settler public sphere drew on a concept of history to shift the claims about difference to a more fundamental distinction based on a formulaic understanding of the stages of economic development. Such arguments would also need to take account of the discrepancies at the level of social organisation and the principle of property that was at the heart of difference in the levels of development. The first move, it seems, entailed inscribing the Xhosa as antecedent of a settler concept of history – a concept that became especially discernible with the end of slavery in 1834. The second move – not necessarily separable from the first – was to highlight difference in understanding the meaning of property. The first move would ensure that settler versions of property would win out in the second.

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In this respect, D’Urban indirectly posited the necessity for a uniform concept of property which, in his view, also necessitated colonisation. We might argue further that in D’Urban’s estimation such a concept could not rely on the colonisation of land alone but had to work at appropriating cattle to the rules of property. When, therefore, D’Urban asked his translator, Theophilus Shepstone, to translate the conditions for a ceasefire for Hintsa’s benefit at their meeting outside of Butterworth in 1835, he was asking for more than a literal translation of the terms of the agreement. He was also asking Shepstone to inform the king that cattle now belonged to the realms of exchange value. In so doing, the concept of value in cattle was expanded upon so that it now circulated in the realms of private ownership, money and trade and also, in the case of an infringement of the rules of property, of punishment. A concept of property in cattle therefore connected the Xhosa to the realms of settler accumulation and simultaneously produced the Xhosa as an uneven factor in the paradigm of European development. The war of 1834–35 may be considered as an attempt to risk a decision that would clarify the form of subjection of the Xhosa. But a conception of difference premised on race presumably proved highly contentious under conditions of changing trade relations. Here Glenelg’s response to D’Urban’s expansionist policy and his desire for normalised trade relations simultaneously illustrates the demand for representations of the Xhosa as worthy of being trading partners. In December 1835, Glenelg, who eventually went on to reverse D’Urban’s expansionist policy following the war of 1834–35, refuted the latter’s characterisation of the Xhosa as ‘irreclaimable savages’ on several counts. Most important for our purposes was Glenelg’s argument about the inappropriateness of applying the label of ‘irreclaimable savages’ to natives with whom a trade amounting to about ‘30 000l per annum in the purchase of European commodities had been established on the frontier’.27 In addition, ‘as many as 200 British traders were living far beyond the boundaries of the colony, protected only by the integrity and humanity of the uncivilized natives. . .To such a people,’

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Glenelg added, ‘the character of “irreclaimable savages” cannot with justice be assigned’.28 The self/other distinction, we could say, proved to be inadequate when considered in relation to the emergent demands of trade on the frontier. The respective positions of Glenelg and D’Urban reflected a larger metropolitan debate about pursuing a policy of either free trade or colonisation. But in reversing D’Urban’s expansionist policies, Glenelg had effectively bypassed settler interests and structures of accumulation on the one hand, and settler constructions of race-based difference on the other. In the midst of this controversy between the government and a settler public sphere, however, a new history would be forged to legitimise the claims of those subjects of the British Crown who lived in the eastern Cape. Robert Godlonton, a journalist and vocal proponent of settler interests, would contribute significantly to what I shall call settler history.

Settler history
One of the foundational texts of settler collective memory and history was, as Alan Lester has suggested, Robert Godlonton’s A Narrative of the Irruption of the Kafir Hordes published in 1836 in the immediate aftermath of the Sixth Frontier War in which Hintsa was killed.29 Godlonton’s narrative was aimed at the reconstruction of the settler’s past, an analysis of the present predicament of the colonists and a defence of their activities.30 In Lester’s assessment, Godlonton’s text pointed to the demands for a specifically settler identity that promoted unity and cut across class, gender and political divides. Godlonton’s text, in this reading, was aimed at narrating the cause and course of the Sixth Frontier War and sought to win favour with metropolitan audiences who may otherwise have sided with humanitarian propaganda about the extreme forms of settler violence against colonised peoples. Irruption is a text that leads us towards an understanding of how the Xhosa came to be known, defined and colonised. We could argue that the text is invariably, if not specifically, about the Xhosa even though it is often seen

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as a text of settler history. At the level of plot, Godlonton’s narrative depicts a persecuted settler community, misunderstood by metropolitan adherents of humanitarian ideology and defending itself against the intolerable pressures of the Xhosa. It is a story of reasonableness versus tyranny, of patient settlers against persistent Xhosa. Compiled from journalistic extracts drawn from The Grahamstown Journal, of which he was editor, and official documents generated by the war of 1834–35, Godlonton’s account might be read as assembling the prose of cadastral domination for narrowly settler interests. According to Arjun Appadurai, this is a prose composed partly of rules, partly of orders, partly of appendices, and partly of letters and petitions, which must be read together.31 Cadastral prose, in other words, is made up of administrative records pertaining to colonial governmentality. Rather than simply refining a rationalist empiricism, Godlonton’s deployment of cadastral prose is best understood when placed in the service of a narrative of the stages of development in which the Xhosa were produced as an antecedent of history. The prose of cadastral domination had uses beyond simply supporting a general story of progress. Its target was John Philips’s Researches in South Africa, which was seen to be at the heart of instigation of metropolitan criticism of settlers.32 Philips had scoured the Dutch and British archives from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries to prove his argument of widespread violence against indigenous populations by colonial officials and settlers. As a member of the London Missionary Society, Philips’s work had serious consequences for metropolitan policies, including being particularly influential in shaping Glenelg’s views on the unjust treatment of colonial subjects. To counteract this, the likes of Donald Moodie and Robert Godlonton set about constructing histories that supported local colonial interests over those of metropolitan lobbyists. Unlike Moodie’s The Record, Godlonton’s history was specifically presented in the form of an eyewitness account. Godlonton assembled a vast array of official documents, weaving these together with personal observations and journalism to portray the war of 1834–35 and the

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circumstances that led to the killing of Hintsa through a mixture of journalism and history. The benefit of the use of journalism as a strategy in this context was that it produced a totalised sense of process composed of the movements captured in unfolding events and the development of history. These two complementary temporalities not only reveal the text’s operation but also point to the totalising claims of settler histories. The movement of unfolding events, of the everyday in other words, I will call for the purposes of the argument ‘movement in the first degree’; larger-scale movements of society I will refer to as ‘movement in the second degree’.33 Such a metaphorical distinction is intended to help us understand the intersection between knowledge production and the conditions of war. Movement in the first degree began by presenting the Xhosa as perpetrators of acts of aggression against settlers and missionaries. The torching of the Methodist Mission Station in Butterworth in 1827, the destruction of the London Missionary Society Station under Reverend Brownlee along the Buffalo River, the desperate escape of Reverend Ayliff northwards to the safety of the Clarkebury Station, and the capture and torture of traders such as Eccles and Horton who operated in Hintsa’s territory are incidents reported to illustrate the social conditions that preceded hostilities. For this Godlonton relied extensively on descriptions by Reverend John Ayliff, who in his own narrative presented a picture of intrigue and suspicion. Ayliff, for example, writes: Late at night, the manse door was opened, and Nonsa [sic], the great wife of Hintsa, and whom Mrs. Ayliff had nursed through a dangerous illness, entered, and fearing that some one might be listening to what she had to say, whispered, ‘Sing some of your hymns’. During the singing, Nomsa said, ‘There is a snake in the grass, and you will not see it until you tread on it. Take warning and go.’34 Combined with this, we are treated to the story of the advance of colonial forces under Somerset into what was considered neutral and later ceded

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territory. The aim of movement in the first degree was the simple one of reversing the criticism of settlers as oppressors contained in, amongst others, the campaigns of John Philips and his humanitarian lobbyists. Godlonton notes: Whilst on the one hand the character of the Kaffir has been placed in the most favourable light, on the other, the Frontier Inhabitants have been held up to the scorn and abhorrence of the English public as the systematic oppressors of the poor and the defenceless. Their struggles to defend their homes and their families against the continued invasions of the natives have been stigmatised as wanton aggressions, and their attempt to recover their property from the hands of the active despoilers who are incessantly plundering them, as unjustifiable inroads upon a quiet and comparatively inoffensive people.35 Cadastral prose served movement in the first degree well because, firstly, it highlighted, as I suggested earlier, the agency of the Xhosa and opposed their characterisation in humanitarian discourse as victims of settler excesses. Secondly, it narrated events in such a way as to demonstrate a unity of purpose on the frontier, especially when this concerned relations between the British and Dutch farmers. Godlonton, for example, emphasised the fact that: several of the most gallant affairs which took place during the war were those in which the Dutch farmers particularly distinguished themselves. It is pleasing as it is just to accord this need of praise. Much has been done to excite between the English and Dutch inhabitants a suspicious jealousy; but we are happy to say that late events have discovered the injustice of the attempt; and it may be confidently expected that the only rivalry between them in future will be a generous emulation as to who shall most efficiently advance the true interests of this land of their joint adoption.36

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Finally, cadastral prose served movement in the first degree insofar as it tabulated the extent of losses of cattle, horses, sheep and other commodities. Drawing on the ledgers of reported losses and the general calculations produced to cost military operations, Godlonton’s narrative of atrocities produces a corresponding number to substantiate his elaboration of an argument in favour of those he thought to be ‘true sufferers’ – those incidentally vilified in humanitarian propaganda. Movement in the first degree would end with a quarrel, a set of demands and a killing – a kind of synthesis aimed at turning the accusation of the humanitarians on its head. In the quest for reversing blame, the narrative outlines Hintsa’s evasion of colonial attempts to negotiate the return of cattle thought to be in possession of the paramount. One example of such negotiation relates to the apparent mission undertaken by FieldCommandant Van Wyk who, according to Godlonton, was dispatched to warn Hintsa that the latter would be treated as an enemy to the colony unless he ceased to ‘countenance the hostile chiefs; neither affording them harbor, residence or protection’.37 Hintsa, we are told, declined the interview. Matters apparently came to a head when missionaries and traders in ‘Tambookie country’ were increasingly threatened and when on 21 April a British settler, Armstrong, was killed.38 On 24 April, we are told, the governor decided to record the causes for quarrel in writing for Hintsa’s attention. These are given as: 1st – for the causes already set forth by the Commandant Van Wyk (relating to coalition with hostile chiefs and receiving a large share of the cattle plundered from the colony), no satisfaction thereon having been given. 2nd – because in the month of July last, a subject of his Britannic Majesty (William Purcell) living within the territory of Chief Hintsa, (indeed not far from the chief’s residence at the time) under the chief’s sanction and permission to trade with his people, was deliberately murdered at his own door by a Kafir of the tribe of Hintsa, or by a Fingo servant. . . for which no atonement has yet been made; and though this atrocious

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and unwarrantable act that was then duly made known to Hintsa, no effectual steps have ever been taken for the punishment of the murderer. 3rd – for the recent murder of Armstrong, a British subject, by which also Hintsa’s people broke the conditions of my truce, and commenced hostilities. 4th – for the violence, rapine and ill-treatment practices against the British missionaries at Butterworth. 5th – for the violence, rapine and outrages committed also upon the British traders.39

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Five days later, on 29 April, the quarrel was translated into demands, which were not only written but also translated into Xhosa by Shepstone for the benefit of Hintsa. 1st – I demand from Chief Hintsa the restoration of 50 000 head of cattle, and of 1 000 horses. 25 000 head of cattle and 500 horses immediately, as hostilities will continue till they are delivered, and 25 000 head of cattle and 500 horses in one year from this day. 2nd – I demand that Hintsa, as the acknowledged chief of western Xhosaland, shall lay his imperative commands, and cause them to be obeyed, upon his chiefs of the tribes Tyali, Macomo, Eno, Bothma, Dushani, T’slambie, Umhala, and their dependents, instantly to cease hostilities, and send in, and give up to me, all the fire-arms which they may possess. 3rd – I demand that the murderer of William Purcell be immediately brought to the condign punishment of death by the Kafir authorities, and in the presence of Commissioners, whom I shall appoint to witness the execution and to whom the Chief Hintsa will cause to be delivered 300 head of good cattle for the benefit of the widow and family of the murdered man. 4th – I demand, that the same atonement be made for the murder of Armstrong, as that demanded for the murder of Purcell.

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5th – I demand that for the due and full execution of the above conditions, the Chief Hintsa shall deliver into my hands here, on the spot, and immediately, two hostages, to be chosen by me from among the chief persons about him. 40 The act of writing and translation was more than a summary of the grievances held by colonists against the Xhosa. It was also the culmination of a general belief in what colonial officials thought to be their moral right and legitimate purpose. It was a right demanded on the basis of prefigured notions of private property and justice – the foundational concepts of an order fundamental to settler ideology – and accentuated by movement in the first degree. However, concepts of private property and justice, so crucial in movement in the first degree, could not exist without movement in the second degree – that is, movements ascribed to society on a larger scale. In Godlonton’s narrative, movement in the second degree is introduced by way of a digression in the plot – by the happenings of 17 April 1835, when the Mfengu were said to have approached the colonists for protection against their Xhosa overlords. Taking advantage of the anti-slavery sentiments in the metropole, Godlonton describes the life of the Mfengu as a dislocated and enslaved population. The term ‘Fingo’, Godlonton noted, ‘is not their national appellation, but a reproachful epithet, denoting extreme poverty and misery, – a person having no claim to justice, mercy or even life.’41 Having been dispersed by Shaka, the Mfengu had fled westward and there, Godlonton claims, they were received by Hintsa and his people and rendered entirely dependent. 42 In fact, they were thought to have suffered in the ‘tenure of the most abject slavery’. Their general tasks, we are told, were herding cattle, hewing wood, drawing water and cultivating the ground for their supposedly cruel taskmasters. But that was not all. As if to recognise the injustices of serfdom and slavery, Godlonton pointed out that:

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when, by extraordinary exertion, the Mfengu had obtained, by the sale of any little surplus produce beyond that required for their own use, a few head of cattle, they were either forcibly taken from them, or they were charged with the crime of witchcraft, their bodies put to the torture, and their property confiscated. 43 More damning was the information gathered from Reverend John Ayliff, who had spent five years as a missionary near Hintsa’s residence, and the researches of Reverend Kay regarding the capture of female children from the Mfengu for the ‘most odious purposes’. 44 The nuanced distinctions between possession and ownership that we have encountered in Peires’s attempts to construct a history of the Xhosa in the days of their independence were of course lost on Godlonton. Rather, he focused on the apparent centralisation of ownership and control by Hintsa, a strategy that was in keeping with settler designs on expansion. Coincidentally, such a course of centralisation, premised on the will of the paramount, was reminiscent of the account of the feudal relations out of which the British bourgeoisie had emerged. Far from being invested in minority histories, Godlonton’s description of the Mfengu represents an attempt to characterise Xhosa social relations in terms of a framework of feudalism and also to prove the practice of slavery. The settlers, in his characterisation, had sought to liberate the Mfengu and their property from the precarious tenure of the supposedly ‘capricious, cruel and avaricious task-masters’. 45 In this sense the defeat of the Xhosa – or the supposed liberation of the Mfengu – was integral to the story of progress and in keeping with the march against preceding feudal social relations. The conceptual underpinnings of cadastral prose, then, encountered their logical outcomes in the larger story of the development of society. Cadastral prose and the story of progress were constitutive elements of an anticipatory structure of time, narrative and subjectivity. In Godlonton’s hands, this was a resolution posited in the general direction of settlement rather than solely modelled on the possibilities of ongoing trade. In this

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sense it was a truly colonial history because it promoted progress at all costs – a progress guaranteed by force and not, as in the missionary constructions of humanitarian lobbyists, by gradual conversion and improvement. Ultimately, in Godlonton’s depiction of the war of 1834–35, the difference between the settlers and the Xhosa was increasingly defined in terms of a combination of movement in the first degree and movement in the second degree.

Beyond the ideology of settler histories
There is a tendency to see settler histories as merely biased, an idea that has also framed nationalist constructions of colonial history. Unfortunately, to reduce settler histories to a methodological aberration is to ignore the complex weaving together of the subject of history through its narration and constructions of historical time. One example must suffice, since it also features prominently in the list of demands for reparation put to Hintsa that Godlonton outlined. In his History of the Abambo, John Ayliff tells the story of the killing of the English trader, Purcell, near Butterworth. Purcell is said to have beaten one of Hintsa’s subjects who had behaved ‘insolently’ in his trading store. According to Ayliff, Hintsa ordered Purcell to pay a fine for the blows, which the trader refused unless the alleged offender also be made to pay. In Ayliff’s description of the killing of Purcell there is no doubt that his provocation was the reason for his death. The refusal to pay the fine, according to Ayliff, roused the anger of Hintsa and cost Purcell his life. The killing is set forth as follows: On the Sabbath morning, in the middle of July, a Native came to Purcell with two horns which he wanted to sell. Purcell was at breakfast, and through the open window, he called out that he did not trade on Sunday. The Gcaleka then said he would leave the horns and come on Monday to trade, and asked Purcell to come out and take them. Purcell went out, was immediately stabbed in the right breast, and dropped down dead. There is reason to believe that his murder was committed at the command of Hintsa. 46

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We are left at a loss as to the reason for believing that Hintsa condoned the killing of Purcell. One reason may have been Purcell’s provocation and his subsequent refusal to pay the fine. The connection, judging from Ayliff’s description, lay in a more complex passage of historical narration that gave rise to the exercise of colonial power. The conditions that made it possible to forge a settler history depended on the way the colonised subject was situated in a larger prefigured temporal framework of history. Godlonton’s history was similarly not merely biased or a product of a deeply entrenched perspective that emerged from within a settler-dominated public sphere; it was also a necessary step in returning to the subject of colonial discourse. A settler history would not be adequate if it did not return to the subject both in terms of an agency tasked with the possibilities of change and one whose subjection was necessary for such change to occur. In Godlonton’s narrative, the elevation of the concepts of progress, justice and property significantly elided the reliance on a constitutive imaginary structure. He was, after all, a journalist. Godlonton’s was an account of the war of 1834–35 that had seemingly been necessitated by the outcry amongst a small but vocal humanitarian lobby about the killing of Hintsa. The anthropological presuppositions that gave rise to a colonial imaginary structure, which I called attention to in the discussion of grounding Hintsa in the previous chapter, would resurface later to undermine the counter-claims about the killing of Hintsa and the distinct possibility of an alternative history that emerged from within a fractured public sphere. The fracture was formed around a vocal liberal campaign that charged the settlers with abuse of local populations without, we should note, surrendering the story of the master journeymen of the British Empire leading the way to progress and civilisation. The pronouncements that sparked the crisis in Grahamstown were made by humanitarian liberals and organised around the reports of Reverend John Philips. Philips provided the humanitarians with the basis for arriving at competing versions of what happened to Hintsa, which detracted from the official version that surfaced

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in the commission of inquiry in 1836 and instigated a deliberation that was indispensable to the formation of a settler public sphere. Much of this deliberation was carried out in the pages of the South African Commercial Advertiser, a newspaper that professed the humanitarian course and that itself prompted the journalist Robert Godlonton to offer his history of the war of 1834–35. Based on the report of the commission of inquiry in 1836 – which became the official statement on the killing of Hintsa – and the defensive stance adopted by Godlonton and others in Grahamstown towards the much smaller, yet vocal lobby of the humanitarians, the story of the killing of Hintsa affirmed the modes of evidence of the colonial archive and supported the process of the subjection of agency. However, for all their expressions of the higher pursuits of property and progress, settler historical narratives could not escape the effects of the imaginary structure, discussed in the previous chapter, upon which they were founded in the first place. Godlonton’s record of the events of 1834–35 expresses a commitment to applying universalising concepts of progress and property drawn from nineteenth-century bourgeois economics to a notion of history that privileges proximity to the events recounted. It has pretensions of an objective history by connecting things as they appear in ideas to things as they really are. In a Marxist reading, it would qualify for the pejorative charge of being ideological because of an inversion of the concept of property at work in its narration. In other words, Godlonton needed to distort the representation of cattle in Xhosa society in order for his notion of progress to work. The underlying distortion has resonances with Marx’s discussion of the universalising claims of bourgeois economics in his study ‘The German Ideology’. There Marx notes: Although it is true that the categories of bourgeois economics possess a truth for all other forms of society, this is to be taken only with a grain of salt. They can contain them in a developed, or stunted, or caricatured form, but always with an essential difference. 47

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One way to read with a grain of salt, as Marx proposes in relation to his account in ‘The German Ideology’, is to set the record straight by correcting the distortion that was at the very core of a settler historical narrative. This sense of setting the record straight, I will argue in the following chapter, was a project that consumed the energies of an anti-colonial nationalist response to colonialism and, more specifically, an event such as the killing of Hintsa. However, I want to argue that the demand for reading with a grain of salt might be more usefully directed at those concepts, metaphors and utopian ideals that prompted settler histories. This is crucial for reorienting the critique of colonialism and extending an anti-colonial argument beyond the requirement of limiting critical history to serve as a corrective of that which precedes it as a form of history. The challenge, it seems, is to overcome the limitations of ideology. In a significant reorientation of ideological critique, Paul Ricoeur points out that Marx resorts to a metaphor of the inverted image found in a camera or in the retina to elaborate a concept of ideology. Ricoeur argues that the ‘essential difference’ that is invoked in Marx’s rendering of the universalising claims of bourgeois economics need not be thought of entirely in terms of later formulations of base and superstructure. Rather, he calls for much closer attention to connect the notion of ideology to an imaginary structure, or utopian impulse, if we are to take seriously the call for an epistemological break. 48 As I see it, Ricoeur seeks to pry open a space in the model of overdetermination proposed by Althusser to name ‘the simultaneous action of infrastructure and superstructure’ for a reconsideration of what I have been calling the subjection of agency. In the context of the present argument, this would amount to an understanding of how Hintsa became the subject of settler history and how settler history came into being in part by assembling narratives of the killing of the king. A settler history was not merely a product of placing the colonised subject in a particular relation to settler interests. It was also a product of broadly prescribing to the modes of evidence of the archive. As a result, the subject of official discourse usually reappears in settler history to legitimise acts

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of violence and to justify these actions by linking progress and property to presupposed bonds amongst settlers, colonial officials and metropolitan elites. Contemporary historiographical evaluations of settler history tend to emphasise the ways in which these histories are produced in the cleavages of the public sphere or they tend to construe settler histories as purveyors of racial ideology. These arguments are of course crucial in the political positions adopted by the discipline of history to oppose apartheid, although these very epistemological choices remain aloof of the Mannheimian paradox in which the charge of ideology boils down to yet another ideological claim. Perhaps by alternatively setting our sights on the potential for an epistemic rupture we may begin to unravel the workings of ideology through annotating its relation to the question of colonial subjectivity in history. This might require, as I stated earlier, tracking the points at which history elides its imaginary structure, if only that it might offer us a way of stepping out of the shadows of the colonial archive. If, however, the specific utopian form of the imaginary structure that Ricoeur promotes in his understanding of the concept of ideology offers us one possible pathway out of the shadows of the colonial archive, it is equally crucial to understand how deeply it might be imbricated in the process of the subjection of agency. The previous chapter was dedicated to outlining this level of complicity. The entanglement, moreover, may incite us to single out how the imaginary structure is deployed in the operation of settler historiography which combines the cadastral prose of officialdom with a settler public discourse to produce a coherent settler colonial historiography. In the tensions of Empire we should consider how the subaltern is frequently conscripted to produce hegemonic histories. One such moment may be discerned in the early twentieth century, when George Cory, an amateur historian and professor of chemistry based at Rhodes University, set out to forge a synthesis of the South African past from the fragments of the colonial archive.

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George Cory and the making of settler colonial historiography
In the early twentieth century, George Cory combined extensive oral interviews with ‘old people’ and archival research in the records of the Civil Commissioner’s Office in Grahamstown as part of his effort to produce a new synthesis of the South African past. Judging from the publication of the six-volume The Rise of South Africa, the research was aimed at reconciling the histories formed in the settler public sphere and colonial administrations in order to form the outlines of a settler colonial historiography. What is striking is how this reconciliation was achieved through reference to and the mobilisation of the figure of Hintsa and the story of his demise. The research undertaken by Cory was indeed extensive. He made an effort to interview descendants of Hintsa, even though he tended to privilege the documentary records of colonial administration and settler narratives. At a magistrate’s court in Willowvale in 1910, Cory interviewed Hintsa’s son, Lindinxuwa, as part of his ongoing research. Lindinxuwa contradicted settler characterisations of Hintsa, who like Hintsa’s father, Kauta, was described by Lindinxuwa as ‘a peaceful man [who] did not make war on adjacent tribes [sic]’. 49 As for the charge of being treacherous, Lindinxuwa characterised Hintsa as someone with a strong sense of loyalty. Referring in particular to the tensions between Hintsa and Ngqika (of the Rharhabe branch of the family), he pointed out that even though Ngqika betrayed Hintsa in the battle of Amalinde, the latter ‘would not succumb to English demands for cattle stolen by Ngqika since he did not think it proper to betray his relative’.50 In short, Lindinxuwa refused to surrender Hintsa to the colonial officials’ descriptive vocabulary reserved for intransigent enemies. Yet, The Rise of South Africa made no specific mention of the testimony offered by Hintsa’s descendant. The reason appears to have been Cory’s judgement of Hintsa: Hintsa was richly endowed with all the vices of the savage, cruelty, treachery, avarice, and the deepest cunning, all of which had actuated him during the last few days of his life. But he had over-reached

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himself on this occasion, and was caught in the trap he had set for others. It was but too clear why the troops had been led into that wild region, and also what would have been the fate of a small force had it accompanied him; for the hills and the immediate surroundings were crowded with his people. And there had been wanting, any further evidence of the mischief premeditated by Hintsa, it was supplied by the presence of Umtini and the servant with the fresh horse which had been sent so mysteriously from the camp and which was there in readiness for the chief. Hintsa got no more than the reward for his perfidy.51 How did Cory arrive at such a characterisation of Hintsa, especially after all his effort to interview a descendant of the king? Cory’s perspective had to be supported by a particular organisation of the narrative of the killing which corresponded to the modes of evidence of the colonial archive described in Chapter 1 of this book. Interspersed in the six volumes of The Rise of South Africa, Cory engages a portrait of Hintsa that serves to repeat not only the content of the colonial archive but also its form. Some of this content is derived from Lindinxuwa; the remainder is derived from the visit by Colonel Collins to the Great Place between the Kei and Mbashe Rivers in 1809. In the nearly 100 years that passed following the encounters between Collins and Hintsa on the one hand, and Cory and Lindinxuwa on the other, the marks of uncertainty in the original report from Collins to Lord Caledon, colonial governor in the early 1800s, were noticeably erased. Cory made an appearance in Willowvale on 28 January 1910 specifically to meet Lindinxuwa but was disappointed to find that the chief was not there; he had, Cory learnt, travelled some 20 miles to sort out a land dispute. Hargraves, the resident magistrate, sent a messenger to request Lindinxuwa to return as soon as possible. The interview commenced on 29 January in the courthouse. ‘I was furnished with a table,’ noted Cory, ‘below the magistrates desk.’52 The description of the setting of the interview was not inconsequential, as I will show.

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The old man with his chief councillor, Gosani sat in chairs at one end, the Court interpreter Pamla next to me. A number of natives interested in the proceedings sat in the court, while others blocked up the windows. Lindinxura [sic] is a fine looking fellow – about six feet tall and stout in proportion – he was slightly bent with age, tho [sic] he is only about 75, his hair was almost white, short beard and whiskers. Both he and Gosani were in European costumes. Gosani had a rather sinister appearance, but Lindinxura had a somewhat royal bearing. Having seated himself my mission was explained to him.53 The historian’s description of the setting replays the themes of doubt and certainty – expressed through descriptions of Lindinxuwa and Gosani – that marked the strategies generic to the colonial archive for narrating Hintsa’s killing. Cory’s meticulous recording of the circumstances and the content of the interview was not merely a product of the standard of historical methodology. It plotted in detail what would be Cory’s conclusion about the character of Hintsa. After a familiar outline of family genealogy and geography by way of the indexicality of graves of his ancestors, Lindinxuwa proceeded to narrate the story of the killing of Hintsa, with a few twists to the official tale. Cory’s account selectively drew on this narrative, especially by taking seriously Lindinxuwa’s insistence that Hintsa had lost his temper and decided to escape. While latching onto the affirmation of Hintsa’s escape, he ignored suggestions of the king as a prisoner. He also tended to ignore Lindinxuwa’s response to the question about the mutilation of the body. Asking him about the mutilation of Hintsa’s body, he said it is true – Hintsa’s head was cut off. It is a disgraceful thing to say that thing [i.e. to talk about it]. All the Gcalekas say that Hintsa’s head was cut off. That is why Kreli never had any peace of mind with the Europeans until his death and ever since we have been fighting with the white people until now, on account of that thing. Hintsa was buried at Nqabara by his chief councillor, Ncoko.54

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Quite clearly, Lindinxuwa’s testimony was beginning to show signs of the nationalist retrievals of the story of the killing of Hintsa, especially with the probable threats of land dispossession on the horizon at the beginning of the twentieth century. There was, however, another more telling reason for ignoring the bulk of the account supplied by Hintsa’s son. Midway through the interview, the chief explained that he was thirsty because of all the talking. Gosani, according to Cory’s notes, concurred. With the permission of the magistrate, a permit was issued for Cory to purchase a bottle of brandy which, we are told, Lindinxuwa and Gosani took neat, before proceeding to speak about the beheading of Hintsa. Cory may have been encouraged to complete the portrait of Hintsa as a treacherous and unreliable king after hearing the account given by the supposedly inebriated Lindinxuwa, in spite of what the chief communicated to him about the killing of Hintsa before taking a swig of brandy. That view would, however, have to take into account his more accommodating stance on John Philips or his later invitation to poet and writer SEK Mqhayi to produce what Cory called ‘a native version’ of the killing of Hintsa. On Philips’s humanitarian pursuits, Cory suggests that future students of African history may find in the personal papers of John Philips, unavailable to him at the time, that ‘all the dispatches of Governors, statements of Judges and officials are unworthy of credit’.55 This attitude sits uncomfortably with his dismissive or at best selective treatment of Lindinxuwa’s comments in 1910.56 The dismissive attitude towards the content of the interview was not merely a question of bias on the part of Cory or his distrust of what might be said after half the bottle of brandy was drunk neat, as he tells us. What we have here is a relation to the archive that bears heavily on the effort to produce coherence in the nineteenth-century settler narrative. Cory ought to be read seriously, not only because his is a corpus that can be cast as an example of settler colonial history, but also for allowing a glimpse into how settler history is made out of disparate strands of official and public deliberation and, of course, reliant on the accretion of narrative and discourse through which Hintsa’s killing is mediated. Cory’s history is responsible for reconciling

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and smoothing over the disparities between settler and official colonial contests. This is the production not of a settler history but of a settler colonial history that is both sustained by and committed to the modes of evidence of the archive. Cory’s depiction of Hintsa begins with Colonel Collins’s visit to the Kei in 1809. He tells us that when Collins arrived at the Great Place, Hintsa was away, supposedly hunting. The reason for the visit to Hintsa was to gauge how many ‘white people, fugitives from law and justice, were taking refuge in these parts’.57 While waiting for Hintsa, Collins and the young Andries Stockenström who had accompanied him discovered Henry MacDaniel, a deserter from the Cape Colony, a ‘boer refugee’ called Lochenberg and some runaway slaves who explained their presence in Gcalekaland by way of the cruelty of their former masters. All, we are told, refused the offer to return to the Cape Colony. The meeting, as Cory seems to suggest, proved rather meaningless in comparison to the effort Collins made to reach the Great Place. Hintsa, he claims, ‘manifested a friendliness towards the Colony; he promised to assist both in sending back exiles and in preventing others from entering and taking refuge in his country’.58 Nowhere in this narrative do we find explicit reference to the concern with concepts of property and progress that were so prominent in the nineteenth-century account of Godlonton. Also erased is the caution presented to Hintsa about harbouring stolen cattle. By the time Cory was constructing his history in the 1920s, the Union of South Africa had set in place the notions of rights to property and ownership, so that concepts of property and progress must have appeared as a fait accompli and therefore unnecessary to return to. This is perhaps what differentiates the history produced by Cory from that of Godlonton. Instead, Cory’s account of the journey of Colonel Collins makes available the tropes of the empty land and the necessary racial markers that would qualify it as a settler colonial history. The racial markers went directly to the character of the Xhosa chiefs. Collins’s earlier visit to Hintsa’s brother, Buru, ends in a very specific description of the chief. Little is mentioned of the conversation other

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than the fact that Buru was unwilling to discuss matters related to Hintsa or the ‘tribes’ that fell under him.59 Yet, Cory provides a detailed description of Buru as being of ‘about twenty-four years of age; his countenance was rendered interesting by a good-humored smile and a very fine set of teeth; his figure was tall and elegant, but, as well as his face was rendered more like that of a Hottentot than a Kaffir by being all over smeared with ochre’.60 About Hintsa, Cory cites the degrading analogy found in the autobiography of Harry Smith in which it is claimed that the king was ‘a very good-looking fellow, his face though black the very image of poor dear George IV’.61 In narrating the story of the killing of Hintsa, Cory was faced with a major problem. If he was to resort to constructing Hintsa as a treacherous king, who, it could be proven, was leading the British troops into a trap, and if this testimony had been recorded as part of D’Urban’s commission of inquiry in 1836, then the killing of the king would have amounted to an assassination and an act of premeditated murder. The historian had to transform the earlier forms of reasonable doubt into a sense of reasonable suspicion and spontaneity – without of course implicating those who killed Hintsa in an act of murder. Cory’s depiction of the killing of Hintsa does not depart from the version of events that surfaced in the 1836 commission. Large parts of the testimony are reproduced in his history, and there is an unquestioning acceptance of the explanations given by British soldiers. To support this alignment with the commission of inquiry, Cory negotiates the uncertainty of that record in ways that deepen the suspicion surrounding Hintsa, and which ultimately, in the eyes of the British soldiers and later Glenelg himself, made him responsible for his own death. Not only did the alignment combine with presuppositions of property, progress and justice generic to Godlonton’s narrative but also with the properties of facts folded into the colonial imaginary. Taken together, I suggest, these formed what I call settler history. Two examples may help to highlight this crucial point of convergence in settler colonial history. The first relates to the meeting between D’Urban

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and Hintsa shortly before Hintsa’s fateful journey. The meeting is shrouded in contradiction and Cory negotiates this difficulty by recourse to the subjectivity of Hintsa himself. As might be expected, the discussion of the meeting is preceded by the communication of a set of demands to Hintsa: His Excellency recounted to him the wrongs of which he was accused and formulated the terms on which hostilities would cease. These terms were, that 50 000 cattle and 1 000 horses were to be restored to the Colony. Of these, one-half was to be forthcoming immediately or as soon as they could be collected, and the remainder was to be sent in a year’s time; that Hintsa, being the paramount chief of the whole of Kafirland [sic], was to command Tyali, Maqoma, Nqeno, Bottoman and the other chiefs to cease hostilities and to deliver up to the Governor all the fire-arms they possessed; that for each of the murders of the trader Purcell and the settler Armstrong, 300 head of good cattle were to be given to the relatives of those unfortunate men; and finally that two approved hostages were to be left with the Governor for the due fulfillment of all of this.62 Notwithstanding the similarity in recording the demands as Godlonton had done, Cory also includes a further statement about Hintsa’s response to the requirement that he meet the demands in 48 hours. Hintsa, on hearing the demands, ‘sighed, apparently despondent, gave his head a toss, and said he would consider it’.63 The reference to the gestures leads one to a heightened sense of anticipation. To illustrate the accompanying surprise that followed Hintsa’s decision to abide by D’Urban’s stipulations, Cory invokes the theatrical manner of Colonel Smith’s announcement: ‘Now let it be proclaimed far and near that the great Chief Hintsa has concluded peace with the king of England, and let the canon fire,’ whereupon three loud reports from the field-pieces half-deafened all and reverberated among the distant hills.64 Following an exchange of gifts with Hintsa and his wife Nomsa and the appearance of his son, Sarhili, at the camp, the king supposedly offered

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himself and his son as hostages. They were, however, assured that they were not prisoners and free to leave when they chose. At this gesture, we are told, the governor was ‘disarmed of suspicion’ towards the king. Cory does not tell us here what the cause for suspicion was in the first place. That much must be inferred because it cannot be corroborated. This is precisely where the imaginary structure is called into play in the work of history, often organised around those who fail to function by the rules governing the true. Once again, a subaltern effect reveals the compromise between a regime of truth and the imaginary structure that constitutes the colonial archive. Settler colonial history therefore demands a reading in reverse or, as Marx put it in ‘The German Ideology’, with a grain of salt. Such a reading grasps the consolidation of modes of evidence at the point at which settler colonial history presents itself as an ideological claim. Thus, the second point of convergence in settler colonial history relates to making sense of the suspicion surrounding Hintsa’s decision to adhere to D’Urban’s demands. Everywhere, says Cory of the atmosphere that prevailed on the eve of the war of 1834–35, there were signs, though perhaps indistinct, of a coming storm.65 How does the historian deal with this level of suspicion or that which is anticipated? Cory traces the sources of suspicion in those subjects who do not make the cut of the true, yet are critical to delineating a line of action. He finds a perfect possibility in the ‘rascal’ Hermanus. On the eve of the war of 1834–35, Cory’s narrative turns to the figure of Hermanus or Xogomesh, the supposedly ‘dangerous rascal’ who had spied on Maqoma for the British.66 Generally, Hermanus is lambasted as the scourge of Albany and accused of theft and leading a rebellion to attack Fort Beaufort later in 1851. Hermanus seemed to have exploited the conditions of quiet ferment which threatened the Colony late in 1833. Tucked away in a footnote, Cory offers us an assessment of the role played by Hermanus leading up to the outbreak of hostilities in the 1830s: History repeated itself in the career of this man. . .he was a Gaika and a man of considerable ability; spoke Dutch as well as his own language and also understood English; he thus became very

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useful in the many negotiations which subsequently took place between the Government and the Kaffirs. Like Makana he had acquired considerable information and knowledge on a variety of matters not usually possessed by those who had the disadvantage of his surroundings. ‘His ideas of religion were whimsical and extraordinary. He believed in a Supreme Being, and an Evil One, but allotted more power to the latter than to the former – that creed suited him best. “As to de oder people”, meaning the other Persons of Trinity, he said “he knew notin at all about dem”. Intelligent and acute on most points, yet he was as much the victim of superstition as the most untutored savage of his tribe.’ – (Biography of the Rebel Hermanus, Godlonton and Irving’s Kaffir War, p. 144). Shortly after these times he gave great offence to his compatriots by disclosing to the Government some conspiracies which came to his knowledge, and as, in consequence, his life was not safe in Kafirland [sic].67 As in the case of Nicholas Gcaleka, charges of lies are lodged in a regime of truth, in this case one that leads to an explanation of the violence that befell Hintsa by ratifying its official documentary trace. The speech of Hermanus – ‘he knew notin at all about dem’ – and the ridicule of his dubious religious beliefs are uncomfortably placed alongside the reliability of the information he supposedly provided about Hintsa’s plot against the British. In the end, Hermanus is the place keeper of suspicion that would allow for a justification of the killing of Hintsa and coherence in settler history which cemented over the cracks that the killing produced in an emergent public sphere in South Africa. The story of the killing of Hintsa, with the attendant doubt created by the ‘rascal’ Hermanus, supplements and links the elements of cadastral prose to produce a measure of coherence in settler colonial history. The problem here is not merely one of representation but one of the catalytic function that the trope of suspicion performs in the larger story of the killing of Hintsa. At one level, it conveys a sense of why it was that Hintsa was suspected, on the basis of intelligence gathered from Hermanus,

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of leading the British troops into a trap. At another level, this information derived from a ‘rascal’ such as Hermanus served to anticipate but did not determine British actions. This is why the intelligence provided by Hermanus did not feature in the commission of inquiry convened in 1836. Yet, it was critical to the justification for the killing of Hintsa in the context of the public sphere. What Cory’s voluminous history of the rise of South Africa achieved in respect of the story of the killing of Hintsa was to realign the fissures and discordant elements that had appeared between the settler public sphere and the colonial government. Such a history functioned to undermine the liberal humanitarian appeals that drew on acts of colonial violence such as that related to the killing of Hintsa. To achieve this, Cory was compelled to justify the killing of Hintsa by making an ideological choice. In the process, he drew on narrative elements that fell outside of official records, but nevertheless were known in the public sphere, to produce a syncretic tradition of historiography that folded an imaginary structure expressed through the sentiment of suspicion into a documentary trace that, together, brought about the coherence of an ideology of settler colonial history.

Settler colonial history
The imaginary structure of colonial rule conveyed a sense of a contradictory impulse at the core of the narratives of Empire. Much of this impulse was a product of attempts to justify acts of colonial violence. In the case of the killing of Hintsa, the trope of suspicion is one which casts some doubt on the story of the perpetrators of the act of violence. Nevertheless, it also conveys a sense of justification for the killing. For this reason, it is not sufficient to identify the racial histories attributed to settler historiography. The work of settler historiography is not merely categorical but also conceptual. In this chapter I have argued that the conceptual work that emerges in relation to the narration of the killing of Hintsa relates to the manner in which it seamlessly links ideas of property, justice and progress as indispensable

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to colonial hegemony. They are interdependent of the very temporalities of settler historiography. Such a historiographical crafting smoothed over the cracks that had appeared in the public sphere in Grahamstown as a result of the war of 1834–35 and the killing of Hintsa. If Godlonton’s journalism established the basis for later productions of a more coherent settler historiography, Cory’s is symptomatic of a history founded on the terms of cadastral prose of domination. Rather than reduce such history to an ideological identity, I have argued that we may have to attend to its form. In Cory’s The Rise of South Africa I see a conservative realignment of the public discourse of Godlonton with the official version that emerged from the colonial commission of inquiry into Hintsa’s death and the liberal public sphere. Critical to understanding the form of settler colonial historiography, I would argue, is how it is intimately dependent on the production of the subaltern effect. The trope of suspicion introduced through the footnoted character of Hermanus and the general unreliability of his information helps to connect conservative elements of the public sphere with an official evidentiary mode of subjection. Suspicion is the tissue of such a connection and the subaltern subject its unreliable mediator. The manner in which Hermanus is entered into Cory’s narrative recasts the motive for killing Hintsa. Therefore, it is perhaps useful to treat settler historiographies not as merely racial histories but as a form of history that helps to secure the subjection of agency. The advantage gained by reading settler histories with a grain of salt is that we are able to view this historiographical production as deeply implicated in subjection, but necessarily through a process that also leads to the production of the subject of history in the service of a reconciled settler colonial history.

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4 Reading ‘Xhosa’ historiography
. . .who would not drink nectar but from the skulls of the slain.1

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if The sTory of The killing of Hintsa is embedded in the modular form of the colonial archive, the question, to paraphrase Partha Chatterjee, is: what is left to the alternative imagination of anti-colonial nationalists? Benedict Anderson, in his Imagined Communities,2 would have responded that there was very little alternative. In his Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World, Chatterjee responds to Anderson’s notion of the modular form of the west as follows: If nationalisms in the rest of the world have to choose their imagined communities from certain ‘modular’ forms already made available to them by Europe and the Americas, what do they have left to imagine? History, it would seem, has decreed that we in the postcolonial shall only be perpetual consumers of modernity. Europe and the Americas, the only subjects of history, have thought out on our behalf not only the script of colonial enlightenment and exploitation, but also that of our anticolonial resistance and postcolonial misery. Even our imaginations must remain forever colonised.3

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The attempt to dislodge the monopoly of the colonial archive in talking about the history of the eastern Cape resonates with Chatterjee’s concern that opposition to colonialism may turn out to be merely, or simply, derivative. If we were to rephrase Chatterjee’s question slightly, we might ask what the utopian underpinnings of nationalist history were and to what extent these formative conditions of opposing colonialism allowed it to extricate itself sufficiently from the prescriptions of colonial history. More succinctly, we might revitalise a phrase coined by Shula Marks several years ago in her discussion of the ‘ambiguities of dependence’ to capture the sense of entanglement mentioned by Chatterjee. 4 One of the sources of nationalist ambiguity, according to Marks, is that it was staffed by ‘men of two worlds’.5 The constraints imposed on nationalist imagination are not unrelated to an intelligentsia caught between the conceptions of a precolonial social order, Christianity and a more ruthless and exploitative system of modern governmentality. The very access to the English language and literacy brought by the missionaries made possible the ‘new imagined political community’6 implied by nationalism. However, the question of nationalist ambiguity might be posed not merely as a historical question but also as a historiographical one. The relationship of the discipline of history to nationalist historiography is a source of considerable discomfort in contemporary southern Africa. In an article on Zimbabwe, for example, Terrence Ranger made a plea to distinguish between nationalist historiography and patriotic history, given the way history has served as an alibi for the bolstering of a Zanu PF version of the past.7 Elsewhere, there has been more vehement critique of nationalist historiography on the basis of its hagiographic and biographic form which promotes elite projects by way of a monolithic and undifferentiated category of the people. Ciraj Rassool, for example, has criticised the biographic complex in South Africa, but as a strategy aimed at reviving and animating the contestations at the heart of an emergent democratic public sphere.8 But, having noted the discomfort with nationalist historiography, what do we make of nationalism’s political critique of

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colonialism? The difficulty in locating the source of the ambiguity of nationalism calls for revisiting nationalist historiography as a textual network. Rather than only emphasising the limits of nationalism, we may have to place nationalist historiography in a particular relation to the colonial archive and disciplinary formations so as to understand better its ambiguity. Nationalist historiography ought to be read as texts of opposition that coincidentally lend themselves to an elaboration of disciplinary reason.9 In the specific case of the story of Hintsa, nationalist historiography is primarily discernible by its critique of settler colonial historiography. However, somewhat unwittingly, the work produced by nationalist writers, mainly in the first half of the twentieth century, was increasingly sustained by the changes taking place in the disciplines of history and anthropology in South Africa. With the rise of segregation and later, after 1948, apartheid, disciplines such as history and anthropology underwent significant shifts, especially as a result of their encounter with the pervasive, if not elusive, ‘native question’.10 In most instances, this was a product of changing institutions, international influences following the defeat of fascism in Europe, which impacted on scholarship locally, and a reorientation of the very objects of disciplinary inquiry in South African scholarship. At stake in this fissure was an effort to extend disciplinary knowledge to the social problem of the ‘native’ that would, in some instances at least, result in a concept of pluralism to counter the racial segregationism propounded by the state. Paul Rich gives some indication that the overlap of terms between liberal pluralists and state was deliberate. He informs us that the philosopher RFA Hoernle, and AW Hoernle, a social anthropologist at the University of the Witwatersrand, helped to direct liberal thought towards ‘establish[ing] a dialogue with the segregationist state’ because of its importance as a political position which South African liberals had to adopt.11 At the same time, there was growing dissent at the static cultural objects of humanist disciplines that neglected the prospects of social change as a condition for knowledge. Amongst these dissenters were historians such as WH MacMillan and CW de Kiewiet and anthropologists such as

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Max Gluckman. While MacMillan and De Kiewiet emphasised the role of industrialisation in their respective studies, Gluckman set about challenging the foundations of social anthropology by arguing that the focus on culture resulted in a functionalism that thwarted scholarly attention to social change, even when it professed to analyse such change. The ‘native question’ was the source of considerable disciplinary upheaval. Quite clearly the problem could not, it seems, be solved in the frameworks of history and anthropology without producing narrowly defined empirical specialities. Paul Cocks has shown that MacMillan objected to the empiricism of cultural anthropology, arguing that the localised study, presumably overwritten with notions of experience, did not allow for an understanding of the interdependence of cultures, nor did it lead to an understanding of how adaptable Africans were to the forces of modernity.12 Segregationist policies had revealed the deep complicities that ‘culture’ as an object of knowledge shared with the exercise of power in South Africa. The attempts to rework disciplinary knowledge, however, brought the disciplines of history and anthropology into greater antagonism, while simultaneously deepening the divide between liberal discourses of progress and social criticism of the racial logic of accumulation in South Africa.13 In the light of segregationist policies of land expropriation, the intellectual frameworks were torn between concepts of pluralism and the notion of South Africa as a single social field which linked political actors.14 In the midst of this acrimony, a vocal strand of scholarship argued for a deeper understanding of the interdisciplinary possibilities if the insights of history and anthropology were combined. Max Gluckman’s critique of Bronislaw Malinowski, especially the latter’s virulent anti-historical position in favour of functionalist anthropology, pointed out that while it might be possible to understand the effects of the Glen Grey Act of 1899, it offered nothing in the way of altering the land policy in South Africa.15 Gluckman argued for closer attention to history and noted the limits of anthropology when he curtly argued: ‘A government unmoved by the sufferings of thousands of people is not likely to be moved by the pretty chart of an

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anthropologist. Knowledge alone cannot make a moral policy; it can as easily serve an immoral one.’16 In 1975, Jeff Peires presented a critique of the failure to dislodge the pluralist agenda in anthropology that had subsequently emerged as indistinguishable from the justifications for the homeland system dividing the Ciskei and the Transkei in the eastern Cape.17 Peires argued vehemently against the anthropological studies of WD Hammond-Tooke, especially his aetiological errors of reading the present into the past and thereby providing justification for apartheid social engineering. Peires complained that the conclusions drawn by Hammond-Tooke were founded on the forms of evidence collected amongst mission-trained western Xhosa, which emphasised the independence of the right-hand house, located west of the Kei River, in relation to Hintsa’s Gcaleka east of the Kei River. In other instances, the conclusions relied on deliberately distorted colonial administrative accounts. The problem for Peires lay in the sources of Xhosa history and the ahistorical approach of anthropologists’ understanding of the right-hand house. The ambiguities of nationalism presumably lie in attempts to construct a history of Xhosa society in opposition to that described through the colonial archive but ultimately understood through the frameworks of disciplinary knowledge. Filtered through the disciplinary grids of knowledge, nationalist historiography was reductively read as ‘cultural history’. The implicit refusal to abide by the terms of the colonial archive in the former was mobilised in support of a disciplinary response to segregation in the case of the latter, at times to reinforce the very segregationism that was the object of critique. Nationalist historiography was understood as supplementing disciplinary disagreements, debates and contests that were either explicitly or implicitly crossreferenced. At times, it rejected ethnic signifiers tout court in exchange for more universal categories of class and progress. At other times, it recuperated ethnic signifiers only to attempt to exceed the limitations posed by those very categories in a period of segregation. In this, nationalist historiography was often appended to the competing configurations of historicism and culturalism that marked disciplinary debates. Given that some of the foremost contributors to writing in

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isiXhosa were members of the South African Native Congress (the precursor to the aNC), in the early 1900s the shift from nationalist historiography to cultural studies, at the very least, worked to reorient significantly the political force of knowledge to normative and accepted disciplinary study.18 In this chapter I want to examine the shift from Xhosa historiography (which I will show was an expression of nationalist historiography) to its more reductive rendering as cultural studies. I am interested in what happens to nationalist narration of the killing of Hintsa when it is connected to the reorientations of historical and anthropological knowledge that serve as responses to a state-sponsored and -defined concept of the ‘native question’ in an environment of rapid industrialisation and social dislocation. In short, what happens to nationalist narration when it is read simultaneously in relation to the claims of the colonial archive and Bantu Studies, that disciplinary formation that emerged in the midst of the intensification of segregationist policies in South Africa in the first half of the twentieth century? I will focus on three texts that, taken together, might enable a different approach to the ambiguities of nationalism. These include John Henderson Soga’s The South-Eastern Bantu and SEK Mqhayi’s Ityala Lamawele (The Trial of the Twins) and his commemorative poem ‘UmHlekazi uHintsa’ (Hintsa, The Great).19 All three texts specifically set out to reverse colonial representations of Hintsa, while keeping apace with academic disciplines reorganised around the ‘native question’. Nationalism’s ambiguity, to anticipate the argument briefly, lies in its unfortunate inability to outwit the interwoven historicist and culturalist tendencies of colonial discourses and academic disciplines. Yet, in thinking about its entanglement and its symptomatic knots, we may create the conditions for reconsidering what is entailed in writing history after apartheid.

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Strategic invalidation
A common criticism of anti-colonial nationalism suggests that it merely substitutes the rule of the colonist with the rule of the indigenous elite.

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The standard version of this argument goes along the lines of an indigenous elite taking over the reins of power by assuming control of the economic means of society. Contrary to this view, the writings of Soga and Mqhayi point to its inherent oversimplification. By challenging the foundations of colonial history, both Soga and Mqhayi located the force of colonialism in its historical and cultural presuppositions. Soga was seemingly moved to offer a reinterpretation of the history of the amaXhosa by the de-peasantisation that was under way after 1913 while Mqhayi, judging from the emphasis of his writing, was concerned with the erosion of the juridical basis of precolonial society with an encroaching system of resident magistracies in the eastern Cape. John Henderson Soga’s South-Eastern Bantu was published in 1930 by the editorial committee of the journal Bantu Studies at the University of Witwatersrand Press after repeated failure to have it published in Xhosa through Lovedale Press following a dispute over the use of old orthography. The text appears to be organised around a fundamental contradiction in official state renderings of the history of the Xhosa, especially the appropriation of the history of division in the House of Phalo. In an assessment of the original Xhosa text, Jeff Peires praised the work as the greatest historical work produced in the Xhosa language.20 However, he also hinted that Soga’s narrative tended to support the conclusions of anthropologists such as Hammond-Tooke, who emphasise the relative independence of the right-hand house in relation to the overriding power of Hintsa’s Gcaleka house. This view, Peires argues, seeped into anthropological writings on the Xhosa and later became the foundation of the policies of segregation and apartheid homelands.21 Let us set aside momentarily the insinuation that Soga was partly and perhaps indirectly contributing to Hammond-Tooke’s anthropological studies and consider the connection that Peires alludes to more carefully. Peires’s major criticism of Soga’s work relates to its claims of being representative of all Xhosa historiography. In cautioning against an unquestioning acceptance of Soga’s history, he notes:

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The western Xhosa were the first to be incorporated into the Colony, and the first to get a western education and to write things down. Except for two Thembu, all the important Xhosa writers have been western Xhosa. The eastern Xhosa were incorporated only in 1885 and have contributed little to the written record. J.H. Soga, whose compendious works written in the late 1920s are still our basic source for Xhosa history and customs, was the grandson and great-grandson of councillors of the amaNgqika chiefs. The emphasis which he placed on the independent position of the right-hand house ought not therefore to be accepted without reservation.22 Peires is clearly referring to Soga’s repeated appeals to the division in the House of Phalo that led to the formation of two autonomous political units around 1750, a view that tacitly, according to Peires, filtered into the later anthropology of Hammond-Tooke. According to this reconstruction, the Xhosa house was split into two units organised around the sons of Phalo – Gcaleka and Rharhabe. Soga adds that the division was a product of the attempts by Gcaleka to seize control of the reins of government from his father, apparently long before it was his legitimate right to do so. The result was the movement of the Gcaleka across the Kei River, initially to a place called Komgha and later, in 1790, under the leadership of Gcaleka’s son Khawuta, to Gcuwa (later Butterworth). Soga provides a much more critical representation of Gcaleka, going so far as to invoke the burdens of being a ‘witch-doctor’ and having a mother who was a ‘termagent [sic]’ and ‘given to reviling everybody in her tantrums’.23 Khawuta, who rose to power in 1792, was said to have brought peace to this sorry state of affairs and paved the way for the rise of Hintsa who, it is claimed, had the same temperament and sense of justice as his father. However, Soga’s text is not merely a precursor to anthropology but a postscript to settler colonial history. The story of the House of Phalo that Soga initiates assumes a significantly different meaning when placed alongside earlier official British representations. He for example stressed

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that one of the fundamental flaws in British characterisations of the Xhosa they encountered was the view that the Xhosa represented a cohesive and undifferentiated political unit. They also misunderstood the nature of the division. At times such characterisations were especially expedient since they identified a centralised core through which demands and disagreements could be mediated. At other times, these characterisations facilitated and expedited systems of reportage since they reduced the complexities of the frontier to a common denominator and cause. Soga writes to remind us that the British were not always completely ignorant of the lines of descent and the locations of power in Xhosa society. Thus, for example, Lord Charles Somerset, the governor who preceded D’Urban, deliberately played off divisions between the amaRharhabe and the amaGcaleka in the period preceding the Sixth Frontier War. Soga noted that in 1817 Somerset acquired land from Gaika (Ngqika). Since Gaika was not the sovereign chief of the Xhosa, Soga argued, he had ‘no authority to alienate their land’.24 Similarly, D’Urban quite strategically targeted Hintsa as the paramount chief to articulate demands for the return of cattle supposedly belonging to colonists in order to advance the limits of the colonial frontier.25 Yet, in Soga’s estimation, Hintsa was uninterested in the tensions between colonist and amaRharhabe and only got involved upon the provocation of the British. Representations of the Xhosa as a divided house were therefore exploited by British officials for narrow political reasons, not least to extend the frontier by expropriating land belonging to the Xhosa. Recognition of authority was determined by prior design on the acquisition of land or strengthening the political position of the colonists. The reference to the split in the House of Phalo was therefore also one that attempted to revise the basis of Hintsa’s involvement in the war of 1834–35. The first element of nationalist strategic invalidation available in Soga’s text is an effort to change the dominant signifier by translating cultural traits assigned by colonial discourse into legitimate history. It is worth quoting Soga’s text at length to grasp the tenor of this process of translation from culture to history:

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Hintsa was the eldest son of Kawuta, and Nobuto was his mother. His mother is said to have been the daughter of Tshatshu, whose father was Xoba and grandfather was Tukwa of Tembuland. The first wife of Hintsa was Nomsa, mother of Kreli [Sarili], and his wife of the Right Hand was Notonto, mother of Chief Ncapayi. . .As a lad Hintsa was placed in charge of the herdsmen of the royal herds of Kawuta, at Ndlambe’s feed-kraals. The battle of Amalinde was fought when he was a young man. We meet Hintsa again as a nominal commander-in-chief of the forces of the Gcaleka in 1834, the fighting general being the Regent, Nqoko. In the following year he was made particeps criminis in the war against the AmaRarabe [sic], in other words, against the Gaika’s, which was afterwards designated ‘the War of Hintsa.’ The Qauka, and the Ntshinga, the two divisions into which the Gcalekas were divided for war, had not been called on, nor had the Ama-Velelo and the Tsonyana sharpened their assegais, for Hintsa, the chief, had declared himself neutral. The war started, or was hatched, in the territory adjacent to the Fish River. In the official reports it was described as the Sixth Kafir War. In the chapter referring to Maqoma, we made mention of a standing grievance which irritated the Xhosa’s, viz., the alienation to the Europeans, with Gaika’s consent, of the territory lying between the Keiskama and Fish Rivers. This gave rise to border reprisals in which cattle were extensively plundered by both sides. While this was happening, word came to the effect that the land between the Keiskama and Tyumie was to be handed over to the Xhosas by the Government. Whether this was an official pronouncement or not, is not clear, but the historian Theal says of it that Dr. Philip was the bearer of this news to the Kafirs. But in whatever manner the report came, it had the effect of appeasing the ferment in the Xhosa mind for the space of two months. But when the promise was not fulfilled trouble again arose. The Xhosa hosts of Maqoma and Tyali got moving, crossed the Fish River and entered into

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European Territory. The lesser, semi-independent tribes also crossed at several points, extending from the neighbourhood of the Nkonkobe (Great Winterberg) to the sea, and the war fluctuated between the combatants, both sides encountering successes and defeats. At length the ama-Xhosa army was forced back to the Amathole Forests and the Fish River by Lieut. Col. Henry Somerset, and was hemmed in there by the European forces, under command of Colonel England, with two thousand men. While it was thus surrounded, the Governor (Sir Benjamin D’Urban) set out for Gcalekaland with a large force under Sir Harry Smith and thus carried the war into Gcalekaland, Hintsa’s country.26 By changing the key referent in the story of colonisation, by tampering with signification, Soga had of course enabled a rereading of the justification for colonisation – movement in the first degree – presented by Godlonton and other settler sympathisers. Hintsa is a factor in the war of 1834–35, but in the last instance. His role as a co-conspirator in initiating hostilities is completely denied in this rendering of the onset of the war. On Van Wyk’s earlier mission to restore branded cattle to the colonists, Hintsa, we are told, was similarly ignorant of what was being asked of him. The location of Hintsa in this narrative reversal helps to clear the space for a complete overhaul of the story of the Sixth Frontier War. If in colonial history D’Urban had targeted Hintsa as the main instigator in the war, Soga offered to change the subject by recasting the Mfengu as the catalyst to the war. The change was not simply a categorical shift in subject but a reappraisal of the motive sought by the British to act against an unwitting Hintsa. For Soga, colonial misrepresentation of Xhosa history was intrinsically bound to the unfolding saga of colonial conquest in the nineteenth century. In his handling of the story, the two operations – colonial history and conquest – are inseparable. He pondered at length how it was that D’Urban came to insist that the Mfengu were the slaves of the Xhosa. ‘My object,’ Soga exclaimed, ‘is to ascertain the reason which led Sir Benjamin D’Urban to

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the belief that the Fingoes were held in slavery by the Gcaleka’s.’27 To this he gave a simple answer. He argued that D’Urban had been so genuinely moved by the abolition of slavery that he translated local conditions on the frontier in terms of the politics of the metropole. Thus, the Mfengu would inevitably come to be represented as slaves under the tutelage of the Xhosa and this in turn would become the primary motive for war against the paramount chief. A crucial part of the argument that followed depended on the way the British had thought of the Mfengu as slaves. At one point, Soga states that ‘for ninety-three years – from the time of the date of Hintsa’s death to 1928 – the condition of the Fingoes who sought sanctuary in Gcalekaland has been falsely represented as slavery’.28 Colonial historians, he argued, had been content to accept the misrepresentation as fact. Soga’s point was not a minor one. The entire historical foundation upon which the history of colonialism was premised was questionable, especially since it was largely formed by the archive that itself was created to justify acts of violence and misrepresentation. Soga’s argument depended on the example of misrepresentation of the Mfengu. His aim was to dispel conceptions of a lagging Xhosa economic formation supposedly dependent on serfdom and slavery. As in settler colonial accounts, Soga too proceeds with the displacement wrought by the mfecane.29 This was a familiar story of the southward migration of destitute, famine-stricken and helpless subjects who entered Hintsa’s country. Hintsa’s response, according to Soga, was to welcome the newcomers, to grant them land and to place them under their own chiefs – the latter highlighting their semi-independent condition. So Soga’s answer to the question ‘Were the Fingoes really slaves under Hintsa?’ was a categorical denial. ‘Fingoes,’ he argued, ‘were in no sense slaves under Hintsa.’30 The idea of the Mfengu as slaves of the Xhosa is attributed to the missionaries (especially Ayliff, who was noted to have been on unfriendly terms with Hintsa) and traders who resided amongst the Xhosa. In addition to this, Soga bemoaned the absence of the private correspondence of D’Urban, which he believed might hold the key to conferring upon the

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Mfengu the status of slaves. As for proof of his own assertions, Soga referred to ‘those who knew by personal experience’31 (including a Hlubi family in his own neighbourhood) and who affirm that there was nothing in the nature of slavery during the reign of Hintsa. Even by the scholarly standards of definitions of a slave, the Mfengu did not qualify as slaves. If, in terms of these definitions, slaves are individuals who are not free agents, who are bought and sold for the material profit of their owners and who have no property which they can claim as their own, the Mfengu would be disqualified on each count. The Mfengu enjoyed the right to mobility, they were not subjected to the trafficking in human cattle and when they arrived in Hintsa’s country in 1828, they were given land. More importantly, though they arrived in Hintsa’s country as paupers, when they departed Gcalekaland for Peddie in 1835, they took with them 22 000 head of cattle – an average of 11 head for every Mfengu male.32 Finally, Soga quotes Samuel Mqhayi’s Ityala Lamawele as a description of the methods and customs observed by the courts of the Gcaleka with regard to the ill-treatment of any Mfengu. In other words, the Mfengu had their individual liberty protected by law and therefore, by definition, did not qualify as slaves. Soga pointed to a fundamental conceptual confusion that emanated from settler colonial history, one brought about by the conflation of the terms ‘serfdom’ and ‘slavery’. Serfdom underscored a sense of obligation rather than bondage. But to collapse the terms of serfdom with the metaphor of slavery, as colonial historians such as Godlonton had done, was simultaneously to expose not only ignorance but also a propagandistic intention. This was precisely what Soga alluded to when he reverted to the story of serfdom to contest the arguments of colonial historians. In drawing attention to a misrepresentation of social relations in Gcalekaland in the 1830s, Soga was likewise questioning the judgements

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made in colonial history and the conclusions that were drawn. His main contention, it seems, was that the history of the Xhosa was being constructed from the time of colonialism rather than from precolonial precedents that pre-dated colonialism. The time of colonialism was, we might say, out of synch with the time of precolonial Xhosa society. A fundamental misrepresentation was at the heart of the motivation of the colonists to act. Such a misrepresentation could only be understood if the subject of the story were the Mfengu and not Hintsa and if the time of history was one that favoured the colonial project. Finally, the shifts enabled by strategically invalidating the founding assumptions in colonial discourse prompted Soga to set about altering the position of Hintsa in the overall narrative. Soga posited a different causality for the onset of the war of 1834–35. He turned to the figure of Maqoma, a descendant of Ngqika, who had opposed the ceding of the territory between the Fish and Keiskamma Rivers to the British. Again, we may read this as an effort to shield Hintsa against colonial accusations and blame. ‘Around December 1834,’ Soga argues: Maqoma’s army crossed the Ncwenxa below Fort Beaufort, Tyali’s impi sprang north; Mhalla, Nqeno, Siyolo and Botoman, together with the AmaGqunukwebe, crossed the Fish River by several drifts. All wars have some starting point, even when they have been hatched and prepared. In this war it was the head of Xoxo, son of a lesser house of Gaika. It happened in this way. A small patrol of soldiers, commanded by William Sutton, was sent out to destroy a new kraal which was being erected by some of Tyali’s people, the ImiNgcangatelo, on a ridge between the Gaga and the Mankazana. Arrived there, they burnt the huts, and seized sundry cattle, which as it happened, belonged to Tyali. The soldiers were followed by Tyali’s younger brother, Xoxo. On his coming up with them, shots were immediately exchanged. It was here that Xoxo was wounded in the head, although not seriously; but because the blood of a chief had been spilt, the war cry resounded on all sides.33

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The return to the causes of the war amongst the amaRharhabe does not appear to be coincidental, though. By freeing Hintsa of any responsibility and restating the role of Maqoma in the war, Soga is clearly attempting to assert the major issue of the war to have been fought over the question of land. He redirects the story of the killing of Hintsa towards understanding the ways in which colonial history presented itself as a story of progress as opposed to a story of displacement and violence by reading the history of the nineteenth century in the frameworks of the land question that dominated black politics in the early twentieth century. The attempt may be viewed, at least provisionally, in terms of not surrendering the grounds of history to the inevitable justifications of colonial discourse. The rearrangement of the narrative of the war of 1834–35 amounted to a battle over control of the Xhosa past. Writing in the aftermath of the 1913 Land Act, which saw the massive relocation of African peasants and tenant farmers from the land which they had previously farmed and inhabited, Soga proceeded by meticulously defining his concept of colonisation. The primary motive behind colonisation, he argued, was a struggle over land. His analysis of the war of 1834–35 was first and foremost represented as a struggle over the ceded territory between the Keiskamma and Fish Rivers. In the process, the entire basis of cadastral prose, which apportioned blame by foregrounding Xhosa atrocities and theft of cattle, is reversed by way of a redistribution of blame: ‘This gave rise to border reprisals in which cattle were extensively plundered by both sides.’34 Yet, Soga’s corrective of colonial history seems somewhat deficient of a statement about the fate of the subject, Hintsa, who had become entangled in the apparatus of colonial governmentality. Soga makes no such effort at recuperating Hintsa specifically, opting to work strictly within the structure of historical discourse to invalidate colonial explanations. Unfortunately, the focus on the misrepresentations of settler colonial history which helped to align colonialism with land dispossession fell short of tackling what I call the subjection of agency that ensued from the operation of colonial modes of evidence. Soga’s alternative history, as a history aimed at strategic

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invalidation of settler colonial histories, did not sufficiently account for the work of the imaginary structure that helped to ground the subject of colonial discourse. That task depended on the possibility of refiguring Hintsa. Nevertheless, by changing the key referent in the story of colonisation, by tampering with signification, Soga had of course enabled a rereading of the other justification for colonisation – movement in the second degree – which, like movement in the first degree, was the cornerstone of the history produced by Godlonton and taken up later by historians such as George Cory. Rather than engaging in a formulaic reduction of nationalism to elitism, we might consider the reconstitution of the object of colonial knowledge in nationalist discourse. Such a move mostly begins with the notion of misrepresentation as a basis for contesting the knowledge that sustained colonial intrusion in the eastern Cape. The process of disruption and dissolution wrought by colonialism in the nineteenth century allowed for a recodification of precolonial relations as positive and recoverable – a politics, in other words, of hope(fulness) that emerged in the midst of the process of further land expropriation in the 1930s in South Africa.35 Contrary to Godlonton’s earlier assurance that the disagreement with Hintsa was legitimised by cadastral prose, Soga suggests that it was largely a product of colonial designs on acquiring the land that formerly qualified as ceded territory. D’Urban’s attitude was to be viewed as little more than an act of provocation. This is not all. Soga also gives us Hintsa’s responses to the demands that emanated from the initial exchange. Responding to colonial demands that he hand over ‘the enemy’ who had taken refuge in his country, Hintsa is said to have replied: ‘If your children were being punished by me, and ran to you, their father, and I followed them up, and said to you: Hand over your children so that I may again chastise them, would you be willing?’36 Soga’s entire ambition was to point to misrepresentation in both the motives for war and the understanding of the political structure of Xhosa society. The war against Hintsa was therefore, in his estimation, engineered by D’Urban, but premised on flawed knowledge of Xhosa precolonial society.

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By misrepresenting the relations between Rharhabe and Gcaleka, D’Urban also sought to undermine the basis of an independent Xhosa kingdom. At least in one version of the history of precolonial Xhosa society, history was deeply complicit in colonial conquest. What Peires later found to be troubling in his assessment of Soga’s writing was perhaps that the tendency to demand a corrective of colonial misrepresentations did not go nearly as far in overturning the logic of the reserve policies of the twentieth century. The strategy of invalidating settler colonial history seemed unnecessarily to recast the divisions between Rharhabe and Gcaleka as a long-standing feature of precolonial society. Soga’s reversal of settler colonial narratives is for all intents and purposes commensurable to the anthropology of Hammond-Tooke, which served as the basis of the reserve policy that divided the eastern Cape into the Ciskei and the Transkei. This de-historicised anthropology of Hammond-Tooke, backed by the corrective offered by writers like Soga, perhaps unwittingly converged to justify the reserve system and later apartheid’s homeland system in the eastern Cape. It is for this reason that Peires argues that a perspective developed in relation to the western Xhosa should not be accepted without reservation. His suggestion for dealing with the inadequacy is to encourage more work on the eastern Xhosa. Perhaps he is alluding to a domain of history that had somehow escaped the attention of the British colonial apparatus; a different imaginary structure, less tainted by colonial administrative decree and more reliable as a source to describe precolonial social relations. Peires did not reckon with the extent to which the nationalist imaginary had been marked by the operations of colonial domination, missionary education and anthropology more generally.

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Nationalist narration, history by numbers and the aesthetics of historical reconstruction
That Soga’s history allegedly overlapped with the anthropological foundations of the segregationist state in the eastern Cape in the twentieth century should not, however, diminish our sense of his critique of the

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presuppositions that operated in settler colonial historiography. Beyond the ideological tussles entailed in the writing of history, the question of whether a focus on the eastern Xhosa would result in different conclusions remained to be answered. The question may be considered in relation to SEK Mqhayi’s ‘native version’ of the death of Hintsa in the third edition of his Ityala Lamawele, written at the prompting of George Cory. While allied to Soga’s disqualification of colonial history, Mqhayi’s writing offered a different way to conceive of nationalist narration as historical criticism. Mqhayi’s account of the killing of Hintsa challenges Cory’s characterisation of Hintsa as treacherous and conniving, while also contesting the foundations of colonial history in empirical fact and universal concepts of law.37 This is where Mqhayi effectively mounts his critique of colonial history. ‘The beginning,’ Mqhayi writes, ‘of this thing [the death of Hintsa] was on account of cattle and horses asserted to have been stolen by Ama-Xhosa from the white farmers, the spoor thereof being said to have traced across the Chumie [sic] River; the shooting promiscuously of any first Xhosa come in contact with.’38 At the beginning of the story of the killing of Hintsa, it seems, is the very standard of proof that upheld settler colonial history. Mqhayi claimed that the charges against Hintsa were ‘asserted’ and ‘never substantiated’. This assertion, according to Mqhayi, was again repeated when D’Urban presented Hintsa with a list of demands upon entering the English camp. Hintsa, we are told by Mqhayi, was expected to pay: 50 000 cattle and 1 000 horses with a further fine of 600 head as the price of two white men who died while trading in Hintsa’s territory. Of all this, the half must be paid forthwith; the other half in the course of six months. Beyond the above was demanded an additional 50 000 cattle as compensation for expenses of this expedition.39 In Mqhayi’s account of the ‘death’ of Hintsa, the level of the fact is treated as an extension of the act of colonial violence. The facts of history are surrendered to the actions and demands of colonial forces, dislodged from

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their objectivist renderings and marked, in turn, as subjective claims. In this manner, the differential dynamics of Xhosa politics in relation to colonial operations are specifically highlighted. Mqhayi, for example, reflects on the tactical differences between Maqoma and Tyali on the one hand and Hintsa on the other. Maqoma and Tyali are referred to as tsha-ntliziyo (heart burners) for their determination to fight on the grounds that it was better to die in the veld than to be murdered in their houses – a tactical discrepancy completely missed by colonial officials. Hintsa is represented in this account as preferring a more diplomatic approach, declaring his reluctance to fight. The king, supposedly, remained innocent of the charges of theft and aggression that D’Urban had concocted in the attempt to establish that Hintsa was playing a ‘double game’. For Mqhayi, Hintsa’s diplomacy while in the British camp with Buru and his son, Sarhili, was met with threat and intimidation. Demanding that Hintsa issue a law that would prevent his people from interfering with the Fingoes (Mfengu), D’Urban threatened to hang Hintsa if he used the opportunity to send through ‘underhand’ messages to his people to engage in warfare. Later the king was threatened with banishment to the island of Nxele (commonly also known as Robben Island) or with being shot. 40 Faced, we are told, with these pressures, Hintsa was compelled to escort the British to retrieve the cattle that had been demanded. This was later ‘construed’ by the British as a plan to escape which ‘meant the war would be heavier than it otherwise would be’. 41 In Mqhayi’s qualification we have an implicit indication of the motive for the killing of Hintsa. In its careful phrasing, the statement alludes to a further threat by D’Urban to banish Hintsa to the island while being concerned with the implications of an escape for the British more generally. The figure of Hintsa that was crafted in this short counter-narrative is intricate, especially when considered in relation to the rather stereotyped descriptions emanating from Cory’s history. Here we have the ingredients necessary for a recasting of Hintsa as a leader endowed with the qualities of diplomacy in the face of engulfing violence, a victim of intimidation, a

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resister in his attempt to escape rather than betray his people, and a figure feared by the British. These varying characterisations significantly interfered with colonial depictions of Hintsa as treacherous and unreliable. They also implicitly marked colonial representations of Hintsa and Xhosa politics as being premised on knowledge that was enabled by violence. There is, however, a larger question at stake in the narrative that relates to the conditions of their making and, more pertinently, to the way they function as a critique of the empirical edifice of colonial history, primarily by narrating the prehistory of colonialism. Precoloniality was very much a concept of nationalism’s modernity. Somewhere, and somehow, in the vernacular narratives of precolonial history we can begin tracing the recuperation of the subject that was originally grounded in colonial discourse. That intervention was more than merely the proclamation of a ‘foundational fiction’ of an imagined community. Mqhayi’s writing was definitely an experiment in producing nationalist history. What defined it as such was its desire to make its argument on the stage of world history. We should therefore read nationalist narration not merely in terms of what it asserts as its point of departure, but also in terms of how the decision of where to begin is the point at which it seeks to insert itself into a universal history. In other words, by recalling its founding narrative of filiation, we should perhaps also investigate what impact it ultimately seeks to make on the stage of world history. It is here that nationalist historiography presents itself as more than a history of Xhosa identity; as more than a mere search for an imaginary home(land), but as a fervent effort to establish, even interrupt and reverse, the flows of the spirit of world history. By rescuing Hintsa from the virulent descriptions and portrayals of colonial officials, Mqhayi forfeited the task of discounting, challenging or negating the numerical facts presented in the case of the colonists. He elected to defer the realm of numerical facts to the authority of British officials. The strategy, it seems, was to conflate numerical fact with colonial claim and in so doing tacitly to give up the fight on the ‘number front’. It is here that we

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may begin to appreciate the process that presented the story of Hintsa as equal to the task of challenging a history founded on the colonial archive that emphasised a British monopoly over concepts of justice, property and progress. Unlike Soga, Mqhayi not only attempted to speak a true discourse of the killing of Hintsa but chose patiently to describe the cultural milieu in which the king’s juridical power was to be understood. Mqhayi’s recuperation of the figure of Hintsa in his Ityala Lamawele first published in September 1914 questioned concepts of the law derived from colonialism and, in so doing, opened a second level in his text that expounds a culturally determined jurisprudence, universal in its aims but particular in its exercise. To make sense of this complex and subtle argument it may help to begin with a brief synopsis of the plot of Ityala Lamawele. The story relates the struggle between twins, Wele and Babini, each seeking to lay claim to being the heir of their deceased father, Vuyisele. The point of irresolution leads to the case being transferred to an imbizo, constituted under the auspices of the king, Hintsa. At first the case seems to be a simple one of establishing who is the older of the twins, and therefore the rightful (read customary) heir. However, as the deliberations unfold, we are introduced to a level of intense difficulty. Wele, who is alleged to be the younger of the two given that he was delivered after Babini, claims to be the heir on the grounds of: a) receiving inquithi (the ritual cutting of a finger of a first born); b) exchanging an inkwili (bird) for the heirship when the twins were younger; c) being circumcised before Babini; and d) looking after his father’s house and everything in it. Babini’s counter-claim is that he is the heir because of birthright. Hintsa summoned several witnesses to testify on the matter, including the midwives (Singiswa, Teyase and Yiliwe) who delivered the twins, the headman of the clan, elderly experts on questions of custom and so forth. Each, in turn, acknowledged the complexity and uniqueness of the case. Throughout, Hintsa is said to have offered an attentive ear (ironic when thought of in relation to the mutilation of the ear by Smith’s forces), listening carefully and seldom intervening in the unfolding saga. Having heard all the

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arguments and advice, claims and counter-claims, Hintsa offered his verdict after consulting with the sage Khulile, a commoner living along the Nqabara who was knowledgeable about Xhosa law of primogeniture. The consultation with Khulile not only helps to establish the existence of Xhosa law but also helps to undo the colonial construction of a despotic precolonial king. Khulile’s ‘death’ in the narrative, according to AC Jordan’s reading, ‘synchronizes with the arrival of the Fingo’s from the East (the area of the Zulu kingdom) and of the news of a White race coming “from the sea”’. 42 This, in Jordan’s view, is the point at which ‘fiction and fictitious characters disappear, and we have true history’. 43 As for the markers of this ‘true history’, Jordan notes: The relations between the Xhosa and these new-comers, the diplomacy exercised by the White men in driving a wedge between the Xhosa and the Fingos on the one hand and between the two rival sections of the Xhosa on the other, the mutual jealousies and the bitter rivalry that broke the unity of the Xhosa and contributed towards their downfall, – all these are related with commendable restraint by Mqhayi. In beautiful style he traces the fortunes of the Xhosa people beyond the ‘emancipation’ of the Fingos, beyond the death of Hintsa, beyond Sandile’s exile, beyond Maqoma and Sir Harry Smith, right up to the disaster of the Mendi, by which time the subject is no longer the Xhosa alone, but the Bantu of South Africa more generally. 44 The shift between ‘fiction’ and ‘true history’ is of course an untenable distinction in light of my critique of the repressed imaginary structure in colonial discourse. The distinction at the core of Jordan’s reading betrays two earlier arguments he makes of Mqhayi’s writing. The first relates to his claim that Mqhayi was not ‘a great creator of character’. 45 Thus he concludes that in Ityala Lamawele, which presents a ‘beautiful picture of social life among the Xhosa during the reign of Hintsa. . .hardly any character stands out in the story, and consequently the impression left in the reader’s mind is the collective dignity and refinement of the chief and his subjects’. 46

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The second recalls Mqhayi’s attitude towards the discipline of history. According to Jordan, after giving up his post as sub-editor and editor of Izwi Labantu (The Voice of the People) and Imvo Zabantsundu (Native Opinion) respectively, Mqhayi was offered a post at his Alma Mater, Lovedale: [B]ut during the few years in the world Mqhayi’s views on South African History and how it should be taught in African schools had undergone such modification that he found himself compelled either to be false to his own convictions and teach history as the authorities would have him teach it, or give up teaching altogether. He decided on the latter. 47 It may be instructive to view this resistance to official history as a catalyst to contest the juridical assumptions, and therefore the cultural claims, of colonial history. Ityala Lamawele, then, would serve as a history of Xhosa juridical practices that extended beyond colonial misrepresentations. In the preface to Ityala Lamawele, Mqhayi suggested that his was an attempt to prove that Xhosa law is not different to the law of the ‘enlightened countries’. For Mqhayi, the failure to acknowledge the juridical basis of Xhosa society resulted in the stereotype of despotic rulers who dominated without any sense of constraint. While this position overlooked the specific ways in which the system of indirect rule invented the domain of customary law, Mqhayi pointed out the basis of the stereotype of precolonial societies: Abantu abamhlope bate bakufika pakati kwetu, kwako ukubuzana nokupikisana pakati kwabo bodwa, abanye besiti akuko mbuso kumaXhosa, into ekoyolulaulo nje lwenkosi, xa isenamandla okoyisa, esuka igwebe igqibe kume ngayo nokuba uluntu luyakolwa nokuba alukolwa. 48 (When the white people arrived among us, there was questioning and debating among them, some saying there was no form of government among the Xhosa’s, the only thing that existed was the despotic rule of the chief. He had the power to bully and to pass verdicts that would be final, whether the society was satisfied or not.)

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Mqhayi countered this perception by meticulously annotating the process of consultation that attends to judicial practices among the Xhosa and by insisting that the king was not the sole decision-maker. In the end Hintsa’s decision is based on the advice of a commoner, Khulile Majeke from Nqabara. In Majeke, Mqhayi finds the possibility of dissociating the paramount king from colonial associations with absolutism. After consulting Lucangwana, his trusted adviser, he sent for a commoner despite the protestations of Bucwana, the prosecutor. Sezingapina ngok’inkunzi zalomzi kaPalo? Fuda sisiti nguHintsa kupela akuko yimbi Inkunz’elwel’eziny’inkunzi Ndidane ndayinko Ndakuv’ukuba izentinile Ayikwel’ikutenina Lenkunzi. Lwapel’usapo Kukutshisana ngasemva Ngomzikizikan’ ogqitywe kwa ngabafazi NguTeyase noSingiswa kwamazolo Akuko nto iyakuvel ’eNqabara 49 (How many bulls are now there at Phalo’s house? We thought it was Hintsa and no one else. The bull that mounts other bulls. Was I disappointed when I thought it had castrated itself! And handed (power) over to those of Majeke at Nqabara Why is this bull not mounting? The family is being destroyed through burning one another at home Over a simple thing which has been dismissed by Teyase and Singiswa a long time ago There is nothing that will come out of Nqabara) Bucwana’s protestations are ignored by Hintsa, who chooses to base his decisions on the knowledge of a commoner. While Jordan seemingly overstates the failure on the part of Mqhayi to sustain and develop characters, he is correct

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to suggest that the excerpt produces a concept of law as pastoral pact. This normalisation of power in the writing of Mqhayi opposes the selective narrative based on the colonial archive. It also, incidentally, posits the universality of law. This reformulation of the law could, however, only be sustained by securing the cultural field through which it gained acceptance. In his brief introduction to the trial of the twins, Mqhayi expressed concern for the marginalisation of Xhosa culture in the face of ‘enlightenment’ from the west. For Mqhayi, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that Xhosa culture does not vanish. In the preface to the 1931 edition, Mqhayi noted his concern: Inteto nemikwa yesi Xhosa iya itshona ngokutshona ngenxa ye-Lizwi nokanyo olukoyo, oluze nezizwe zase Nthonalanga. . . La ke ngamazwembezwembe okuzama ukuxatalaza kulomsinga uzakutshayela isizwe sipela.50 (The Xhosa language and custom are gradually disappearing because of Christianity and civilization which are at present, brought by western nations. . .These, therefore, are genuine efforts to try and resist this current which is going to sweep away the whole nation.) That Mqhayi expressed opposition to the missionary civilisation process may have contributed largely to the incorporation of Ityala Lamawele into a category of anti-colonial writing. This sentiment, however, was more clearly discernible in the cultural claims that the text makes. The position that Mqhayi occupies in relation to the question of culture is that of ethnographic insider. The layered descriptions of the lives of Babini and Wele – from the time of the difficult births, through the difficult years of childhood in which the question of seniority repeatedly emerged, to the controversies surrounding circumcision, to the point of the trial – are each explained with ethnographic insight into the rituals of the everyday. The text contains references to rituals – such as ulwanga lwempofu – in which social hierarchies are given specific meaning, the female initiation ceremony of ngetonjane through which young women are socialised, and the ceremonial

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slaughtering of a beast called yatsalwa umxhelo. One consequence of this privileged narrative is that it produced the notion of culture as selfcontained. Much has been said in favour of reading Mqhayi’s work within the general framework of a politics of filiation. Cultural difference, and indeed similarity, emerged as a crucial point of departure to challenge the weight of colonial history. In the play of difference and sameness, the question that confronts us is whether there is a way in which we may read the literary text of Mqhayi as a work of historical criticism. Any attempt to reconstitute history had to take account of lost origins – the sign of the womb that spawned Babini and Wele in this instance. It is a familiar and recurring theme in the work of Mqhayi and Soga – the latter having devoted considerable attention to the life of Sarhili, Hintsa’s son, in his writing. In some respects the return to origins must be treated as a response to the insufficiency of colonial history by invoking the category of the prehistory of colonial violence. Historians have often critiqued this view for its overt romanticism – a critique that says very little about Europe’s romances of its origins – or for its historicist implications. For nationalism the return to origins – even when presented as a foundational fiction – is crucial for a story of identity and necessary for pointing to the insufficiency of the temporal plot of colonial violence. The notion of origin is freed from history as progress and redeployed in the affirmation of cultural difference. Without reifying this sphere of difference, we might argue that it at least designates the productivity of nationalist narration. Edward Said has instructively drawn our attention to the productivity of nationalist narration in his reflections on the poetics of Yeats and the problem of ‘nativism’. Although Said critiques this nativist tendency for its pursuit of a precolonial essence, he nevertheless argues that it: re-inforces the distinction (between ruler and ruled) by revaluating the weaker or subservient partner. And it has often led to compelling but often demagogic assertions about a native past, history, or actuality that seems to stand free not only of the coloniser but of worldly time itself.51

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An important qualification in Said’s approach to the question of ‘nativism’ is that he finds, in the articulation of essence, an interruption and an unsettling of worldly (read secular) time. Read into Mqhayi’s Ityala Lamawele, we may go on to say, with Said, that while Babini’s claim highlights the insufficiency of the coloniser’s story of progress, it simultaneously approaches the search for origins, which is nationalism’s inaugural concept of history, as equally important for the story of progress. The controversy between Wele and Babini, then, might mark the inadequacy of the spirit of world history in enabling a politics of nationalism. This is possibly why Babini’s claim to be the first to be delivered from the womb is not jettisoned but placed alongside the patriarchal responsibility that issues from the character of Wele. The competitive spirit of firsts – displayed in the ambitions of Alexander, Andrews and Smith discussed earlier in this book – is rendered insufficient in Mqhayi’s writings. Instead, it is the combination of this competitive spirit with the demand for responsibility (Wele) that produces the ethical subject of history. In the end, Ityala Lamawele may be read as a text which rescues justice from the monopoly of truth and relocates it in the realm of ethics. Ityala Lamawele displaces the work of colonial repetition, which produced the categories of real dangers and the figure of history in colonial discourse, and recasts the ethical subject of history as indistinguishable from the discourse surrounding the construction of an ethnic subject. The silent and measured figure of Hintsa is contrasted in the quest between Wele and Babini. Hintsa is given the task of a just resolution to the conflict and it is to justice that the attributes of listening and reconciliation are assigned. The figure of Hintsa issues wisdom that reconciles the origin of essences to a politics of the present. As a consequence, the temporal and figural referents of colonial narratives are thereby provisionally reconstituted in the writing of Mqhayi. In the process of rewriting, a certain displacement occurs in which the secular project of history is confronted with the force of an imaginary structure.

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In the commemoration of Mqhayi in August 1999 in Khayelitsha township in Cape Town, or in the proclamation of Mqhayi as the imbongi (praise singer) of the nation, Mqhayi’s writings are often read in terms of rescuing and sustaining a concept of nation that is linguistically and ritually defined. DDT Jabavu considered it to be ‘an original effort to give a picture of Xhosa court life before the advent of the Europeans’.52 Others, such as Oscar Dathorne, read Ityala Lamawele in the idiom of tribal (read ethnic) history.53 In commentaries on the text we may discern the emphasis that Ityala Lamawele is primarily a text that inaugurates a difference with colonial history. Issued in 1914, two years after the formation of the South African National Native Congress, the aporia that gives rise to a reconciliatory – if not patriarchal – closure of the story could be seen as an argument for an identitarian unity that extended beyond the definitions of Xhosaness. Clifford Dikeni tellingly treats Ityala Lamawele as an extended metaphor.54 He argues that its allegorical mode may be read as a refutation and rejection of the misconceptions that missionaries and colonialists had about black people. Thus, while Ityala Lamawele seems to be dealing with a legal contest between Wele and Babini, about who the rightful heir to Vuyisele may be, Dikeni argues that the story contains the subterranean hints of a deeper critique of colonisation. One indication of this is narrative style, which as Dikeni suggests defies western narrative conventions in that characters are merely incidental to the plot. Jordan makes a similar point when he argues that Mqhayi’s narrative lacks in structure, at least to one familiar with the organisation of western narrative structure. Whereas Dikeni insists on a particularly African mode of narration, others have sought to place it in direct confrontation with colonial history. Jordan has, for example, insisted on recognising Mqhayi’s contribution to anti-colonial nationalist thought. Much of the anti-colonial potential ascribed to Mqhayi’s writing was his utopian aims in the weaving together of concepts of justice derived from a dependence on a Christian missionary discourse that extended the pastoralism attributed to the institution of chieftaincy. Unlike the violence that underwrote colonial society and its history, for Mqhayi these pastoral tonalities of power presented

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an alternative relation to its subjects than the repression that defined South Africa in the early twentieth century. The story of how this historical critique was reduced to a mere expression of cultural studies might help to explain why culture was no match for the cunning of colonial reason.

From anti-colonial history to cultural studies
Both Soga and Mqhayi’s writings serve as a critique of settler colonial history. Both help to illuminate the common threads of nationalist narration. Soga specifically tackles the modes of evidence of the colonial archive, while Mqhayi grapples with the imaginary structure through which colonialism grounded the subject of Hintsa. Tackling both the constraints of the colonial archive and its supplementary imaginary structure that allowed it to overcome the internal tensions of Empire, Soga and Mqhayi might be read as offering an alternative history to settler colonial ones. Unfortunately, both writers (but Mqhayi more than Soga) are generally read as contributing vernacular Xhosa cultural histories rather than offering a strategic invalidation of colonial histories. At one level, I wish to argue that the potential for the cultural appropriation lies in their insufficient attention to the forms of their own interventions in the discourse of history. I shall return to this point in the following two chapters. At another level, the disciplinary conditions in which their work was produced meant that with time the anti-colonial impetus in their work was significantly blunted. Missionary censorship combined with the spirit of world history and the spectre of vanishing cultures to turn the foundational texts of nationalist historiography into cultural studies. The publication process further helped to facilitate this reductionism. The truncated form in which Mqhayi’s writing eventually appeared had more to do with personalities at Lovedale Press and the ideology of associated missionaries than with the author. Amongst Mqhayi’s many writings, Peires singles out Ityala Lamawele as a text that was ‘mutilated’ by the missionary RHW Shepherd and robbed of its incisive political critique of colonialism.

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Textual mutilation, incidentally, can be tracked in the excision of the commentary on the physical mutilation of Hintsa in 1835 from Mqhayi’s writing. Almost 100 years after the charge of physical mutilation of Hintsa on the banks of the Nqabara River, Mqhayi’s Ityala Lamawele was rendered literally unrecognisable as it was being prepared for Xhosa language teaching in government schools and the training of magistrates in South Africa. That which remained of Ityala Lamawele, after it had been editorially mutilated (see comment by Peires below) by the missionaries RHW Shepherd and WG Bennie, represented the bare bones of the narrative produced by Mqhayi. Peires describes the constraints posed by the editors of Lovedale Press as follows: The effective monopoly of the Lovedale Press in the era of Shepherd stifled the development of a meaningful vernacular historiography. Objections by the Lovedale Press left an author no choice but to submit or withdraw his [sic] manuscript altogether. Controversial references to British and missionary roles, ethnic differences, or contemporary politics were eliminated. Vivid references to natural human functions were taboo. Authors were not allowed to present their views of religiously touchy issues such as circumcision and witchcraft. The exigencies of finance haunted both publisher and authors, and in some cases resulted in the non-publication of manuscripts. The need to provide acceptable school textbooks would have driven Lovedale to censorship, bowdlerisation and the New Orthography regardless of its own inclinations. Delays in publication were to prove fatal in several cases. No matter how much one makes allowances, it is hard to forgive Lovedale Press for its part in the loss of three manuscripts by the greatest figure in Xhosa literature [Mqhayi] or for its role in mutilating its greatest classic [Mqhayi’s novel Ityala Lamawele, the lawsuit of the twins].55 Missionary interventions and censorship targeted historical writing in ways that often resulted in a reaffirmation of the settler colonial history as modular. Given these general conditions of constraint, the question that

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arises is how Ityala Lamawele came to be construed by Jeff Opland, a scholar of Xhosa oral poetry, as a historical novel.56 By this I do not merely wish to imply how the novel was seen to engage with history as a convention but rather from where it derives its historical sense that qualifies it as ‘cultural history’. One possible response to this question is to ask how, and through which techniques, Mqhayi’s Ityala Lamawele has come to be sustained as a text with historical significance? Rather than plotting this preservation of the text in terms of subsequent cultural interpretations, I want to propose that we consider also how the text is inserted into a network of arguments in which the figure of Hintsa presented itself as a site of specific substitutions. In effect, I am asking how the figure of Hintsa, which served as a point for responding to settler colonial histories, was reworked and inserted into competing ideological positions? What Soga and Mqhayi accomplished was to resurrect the figure of Hintsa, endowed with the moral qualities of a great leader but ultimately caught between the spirit of world history and the notion of vanishing cultures. In various ways these respective disciplinary positions echoed many of the controversies in the nineteenth-century settler public sphere, especially the diametrically opposed positions held by Godlonton and the Reverend John Philips referred to in Chapter 3. Soga and Mqhayi’s texts seemingly wrote themselves into the bifurcated state that Mahmood Mamdani describes in terms of the creation of citizens and subjects in the 1930s.57 Both indirectly produced the cultural and historical raw materials that would be used against their very own political projects. Segregationist and apartheid discourses needed the resources of citizen and subject to produce their diabolical constructs of racial difference. The state that produced this bifurcation through the instruments of customary law and decentralised despotism required both cultural and historical resources to achieve the political formation that Mamdani so productively outlines. Customary law was being upheld by a vast network of shifts in disciplinary knowledge, both in terms of the impact of economic change and the need for cultural preservation. Ultimately, the coincidence of developments from within disciplinary knowledge allied to the

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readjustments in understandings of race and the effects of industrialisation cast a spell on the intellectual trajectories of nationalism as it too was forced to grapple with the ominous native question.

The spectre of world history
By the 1930s, at the time when Soga was writing, the forging of a historical figure in nationalist narration could not avoid the interpretive frameworks created by the insertion of South Africa into global capitalist relations of production and exchange. What emerged was an increasing production of economic histories that sought to locate the local in the expansive dynamic of capital. In this milieu, the question of resurrecting Hintsa could hardly be undertaken without also engaging the spectre of world history or what I will call the career of Geist – or historical spirit – in South Africa. A protracted but necessary digression through two examples of the career of Geist in South Africa, which by the first half of the twentieth century seemed to defy Hegel’s rather exclusive approach to world history, is necessary to make sense of the disciplinary conditions for the rise of ‘cultural history’. In 1917, three years after the publication of Ityala Lamawele, SM Molema, a contemporary of Mqhayi, offered a presidential address to the African Races Association of Glasgow and Edinburgh titled ‘Possibilities and Impossibilities’ in which the complex relation between nationalist historiography and concepts of progress may be gauged. Published in 1920 as part of a larger collection of essays under the title The Bantu: Past and Present, the paper is a vehement critique of the appropriation of a philosophical concept of progress by racial science. Without resorting to polemic, Molema painfully highlights the pitfalls of racial science, which was engrossed in establishing the reasons for what it termed black inferiority as a product of biological disposition or environmental and historic reasons. For Molema, the debate denied the possibility of what he termed the improvement of the black man. But in opposing the concept of progress that founded racial science, Molema was

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hard-pressed to offer an alternative concept. One approach was to rescue the idea of progress from racial science and to relocate it in ‘philosophic history’. Two points are crucial here. Firstly, we have the general argument, in Molema’s essay, that the black man is capable of progress. Secondly, progress is defined by variable movements in history away from the past and towards a present and a future (‘it is by a sufficient acquaintance with the past, and also with the present, that the future can be, in a measure, foreshadowed’).58 It was therefore necessary to reclaim progress as a possibility for nationalist writers like Molema. In his conclusion to his public address, Molema identified the key distinction in the deployment of the trope of progress: It is a law of all scientific investigations to presume a uniformity and orderly sequence in phenomena that are being observed, whether these be physical, chemical or biological. It is a basic, fundamental principle, an axiom and a law of philosophical history – in its inquiry into the social, moral, or intellectual evolution of man – to presuppose human progress and human perfectibility, throughout humanity, even though the visible progress may be haphazard, irregular, desultory, and zigzag; even though it may be full of failings and falterings. The underlying principle is – what one man can do, another can generally do also; what one nation can achieve, another nation can also achieve.59 If we take Molema’s intervention seriously, we may argue that in the twentieth century nationalist constructions of history were placed in a position of irreducible compromise with the story of progress. In squaring up, as he did, with the exclusivity normally attributed to the story of progress as a monopoly of Europe, Molema had of course stopped short of naming the subject that would pre-empt the possibilities of what early nationalist writers described as the capacity for improvement. And yet, the compromise with the story of progress meant that the colonised subject could only participate in one of two histories.

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In one version, the colonised subject is portrayed as being devoured by the advent of capitalism in its imperialist stage. Such a perspective clearly dominated the writing of CW de Kiewiet, whose Imperial Factor in South Africa, published in 1937, marked a break with the segregationism that permeated academic history writing at the time. De Kiewiet described the extent of the alienation of the colonised subject from the land and the rapid alteration of the landscape in the nineteenth century. Following the war of 1851, De Kiewiet wrote of the relative calm enjoyed on the eastern Cape frontier up to 1877. This he attributed to a population that had been ‘drawn deeply into the mechanism of colonial society’.60 As he put it: Within South Africa there was not to be found a single tribe that was sufficient unto itself. The natives bought, they sold, they worked. The racial separation of white and black could not obscure how much they were part of one another. The distinction drawn between the civilisation of the European and the barbarism of the native no longer corresponded in adequate manner to the difference in their economic and social positions. Their contact, and ultimately their conflict, were caused not by different but by similar interests. Tribe was linked to tribe in a subtle bond, welded not by the natives themselves, but by the European; for everywhere the stronger pressed upon the land and the life of the weaker, appropriating the one and transforming the other.61 Proof of the transformation of the colonised subject relied heavily on narrating the substantial transformation of the landscape that followed nineteenth-century conquest in southern Africa more generally. In addition to the agricultural practices and overcrowding resulting from European expansion on the eastern Cape frontier, for De Kiewiet the transformative moment in the landscape coincided with the spread of drought in the eastern Cape. De Kiewiet argued that in all regions of the world where soil subject to drought is intensively worked, it becomes powdery and is easily blown into the dust that sifts down upon the South African landscape in the brilliant sunsets of winter. One consequence was that the entire ‘native population’ –

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including those from the eastern Cape – was ‘unable to produce enough wealth to satisfy its needs, which contact with Europeans had served to increase’.62 Notwithstanding the economic implications and the emergence of new social arrangements that preoccupied De Kiewiet’s historiography, the impact of the drought on the frontier sparked the war of 1877 and the landscape was, he argues, altered forever. So drastic may have been the outcome that De Kiewiet cited official accounts, which in turn suggested that ‘the country was spoken of as “dead” amongst the natives’.63 At a political level, the peace that followed the conclusion of the war in 1878 saw the introduction of the Transkeian Territories and the system of native government with the creation of a native reservation. The dissident texture of De Kiewiet’s writing was accomplished by identifying specific relations of dependency that defined the onset of South African industrialisation. De Kiewiet constructed his history by combining a focus on relations of production on the land with a sense of changing social relations in a period of emergent industrialisation. Historiographically speaking, we might say that he sought to undermine the exclusivity of an Afrikaner nationalist discourse which refused to come to terms with the indispensability of black labour in the process of industrialisation, and targeted the imperial factor as primarily responsible for the subjugation of black South Africans. To the black man, argued De Kiewiet, not to the white man, does South African history owe its special significance. And, he argued that the greatest social fact of the century was not gold or diamond mining, or even agriculture, but the universal dependence on black labour. Unfortunately, De Kiewiet too hastily foreclosed the reading of nationalist historiography, which sought to reverse the brutal effects of colonial power with depictions of the pastoral conditions of precoloniality. If De Kiewiet was rearticulating the arguments about land and colonisation found in Soga’s writing, his approach to the effects of rapid industrialisation seemed to contradict Mqhayi’s. The pastoral tone of Mqhayi’s writing seemed better suited to an ethnography that attended to the problem of vanishing cultures.

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The spectre of vanishing cultures
The other version of Geist’s career also acknowledged the widespread effects of industrialisation. Rather than proclaiming the transformation of the colonised subject into industrial worker, it set out to reclaim the last vestiges of this subject in the name of culture. Between 1928 and 1930, Duggan Cronin travelled some 2 718 miles from the diamond fields of Kimberley through the towns of Elliotdale, Tsomo, Ngqanakwe and Idutywa, amongst others, to produce ‘a faithful photographic record of native life before the opportunity [was] lost’.64 The areas he visited formed part of Gcalekaland, the seat of Hintsa at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Following an exhibition of this record in then Salisbury in July 1939, Duggan Cronin reflected on the motive for his visual quest: Forty two years ago, my work in the [mining] compounds threw me among natives of all types, and from many different tribes, in whom I began to take a sympathetic interest. After mastering the art of photography in 1904, I at once started making photographic records of these people. . .I am not a negrophile, but I believe in giving the natives a square deal. Whatever may be our opinion of them we must admit that they are our greatest economic asset.65 Beyond the specific paternalism attributed to the visual referent lies the network of citations that enabled a recuperation of a culture presumed to be fast fading away. Duggan Cronin would mark his project by way of declaring ‘a genuine interest in the Native and sharing in the remorse that Bantu culture should fade away’.66 To counteract the negative consequences of ‘civilisation’ on native life, Duggan Cronin set out to capture the ‘fine physique of the native’s industry and their peculiar customs, superstitions, art and all the different aspects of their lives. The photograph mediates an encounter with modernity and, in the case of Duggan Cronin’s photographic studies, with an African life supposedly eroded by modernity. We may even say that the photograph

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mediates an encounter with the modernity of power. This is one response to the question of what the photograph is evidence of. The perspective is not, however, new in the study of photographic practice in the colony and the postcolony, where scholars have extensively documented the practice of re-enactment in the age of photographic reproduction.67 The motifs that structure the work of salvage are nostalgia, melancholy and a sense of loss.68 As such, the photographic oeuvre of Duggan Cronin partially displaces the trophy portraiture and colonial landscape painting of the nineteenth century and institutes in its place a discourse of replenishment. The coincidence of the setting of Duggan Cronin’s first photographs of native subjects in the mining compounds of Kimberley attests to the convention of the photographic re-enactment and to the process of subjection. Such a view, while crucial for the development of a postcolonial critique, often overemphasises the negative, as opposed to productive, dimensions of power. The question that we are compelled to ask in relation to the productivity of power is what else, other than repression, the photographs are evidence of. One suggestion may be to consider them as within the dominant cultural anthropologies associated with the discipline of Bantu Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. This was clearly within the logic of liberal pluralism, which had neglected to envisage the pending crisis of apartheid in the intellectual arguments about segregation. Reflecting on Duggan Cronin’s photographs displayed in the Bantu Gallery in Kimberley, anthropologist AW Hoernlè suggested that they represented the last outpost against the march of civilisation in the subcontinent of Africa. The general interest in native life and the desire to affirm the ‘vanishing cultures’ of Africa were explained in terms of the increasing disciplinisation of the native in a rapidly industrialising South Africa. For one hundred years the white man has been in contact with the Bantu in South Africa. He has fought and subdued him; he has tried to Christianise him; he has employed him for manual labour and menial jobs. The one thing he has not done, until quite recent years

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has been to study the Bantu and to record the salient features of their civilization now threatened by increasingly rapid disintegration in contact with white civilization. Now, when it was almost too late, this work is at last being taken in hand. Bantu languages and Bantu culture have, during the last ten years, been taken up by our universities as subjects of scientific research and study. Scenes from Bantu life and ceremonies have been filmed. The government helps with grants. Even missionaries now have, generally, some anthropological training and seek to understand and preserve much of what formerly they ignored and destroyed. The native as subject of human interest for his own sake, is at last coming into his own.69 The work of recuperating the subject, and the disciplinary subjection of those thought to be the last remaining traces of precolonial tradition – victims, so to speak, of the march of progress – depended extensively on discovering the historical basis for ethnographic research. Before undertaking his journey to Gcalekaland, Duggan Cronin scoured the existing historical writings on the eastern Cape, which included those of Moodie, Theal and HA Bryden. His field notes also refer to assistance gained from, amongst others, John Henderson Soga. Among his research concerns, once again extensively reflected in his notebooks, were the histories about the killing of Hintsa in 1835 and the cattle-killing episode of the 1850s, especially the role of Sarhili, Hintsa’s son, in the latter event. While the specific relationship between historical research and the photographic enterprise is generally difficult to ascertain, the implications of the connection should not be underestimated. The connection has serious consequences for the treatment of the photographic oeuvre as not merely a repetition of an earlier ethnographic practice but a concerted attempt at photographing African history. Many commentators have viewed Duggan Cronin’s work as an ethnographic record of a vanishing culture. For example, in 1954 the Cape Times noted that the collection of over 4 000 photographs ‘is a remarkable record of the dress, ornaments, weapons, customs and

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habitations of fast-vanishing tribal life’.70 This too may have been the impression of the financial backers of Duggan Cronin’s project, which included De Beers Diamond Mines, the Carnegie Corporation and the Union Research Board. Unimaginable as subjects of history, most commentators saw Duggan Cronin’s photographic study of native life as an exclusively ethnographic exercise. Writing in the Diamond News, Cyril Harris noted that Duggan Cronin had ‘secured studies of thousands of Natives in their real pristine glory – uninfluenced by Western civilization and happy in their primitive yet picturesque kraal, where they live according to their own creeds and cultures’.71 Many commentators reduced the photographs to the status of mere documents by stressing their ethnographic value. Reviewing Duggan Cronin’s portraits in 1987, Joey de Jager argued that the subject ‘is experienced not primarily as an individual but as belonging to a certain cultural group and that the artist does little more than document as tastefully as possible, the particular role that the sitter is obliged to assume’.72 Basil Humphreys attributed the documentary value to the systematic method used by Duggan Cronin. Humphreys noted: In all the pictures other than the portraits, Duggan Cronin endeavoured to show a typical scene of the countryside of the region of the tribe [sic] concerned. In addition, he illustrated the industries, the customs and the ceremonies. And with each tribe he included one of his famous ‘Madonna’ pictures – a mother and child study which, however strange to western eyes, is still very moving. Justly framed also are his portraits of great tribal personalities of the past four generations, today of inestimable historic interest and a record of a rule and way of life now passed.73 At the level of signification, the separation of the ethnographic and the historical attests to what Elizabeth Edwards has called the temporal ambiguities inherent in photography. By defying the diachronic connections, the photograph has the potential for transference while being linked, as

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Edwards again suggests, to its referent. The result is perhaps ‘a visualization of a past made present while playing simultaneously on timelessness’.74 The backdrops for this staging of modernity are crucial in designating the narrative of loss. Interspersed in the scenes and rituals of what Duggan Cronin might have considered tribal or native life, are scenes that recall not only a culture thought to have passed, but also a history that resulted in loss. Most significant in this regard are photographs related to places that mark the reign of king Sarhili. The photographs of Hohita Falls and the place where Sarhili held his court re-enact the scenes reminiscent of a form of political power laid to rest by industrial modernity – or history for that matter. Negotiating loss by way of the temporal ambiguity of the salvage photograph – or the process of re-enactment – is the very condition for the emergence of a particular mode of disciplinary inquiry. Edwards draws a similar conclusion in her discussion of the Torres Strait expedition when she argues that ‘the intellectual preconditions of the past allowed for the demonstrational validity of reenactment’.75 But shortly thereafter, she argues that there was another perspective on re-enactment – that of the people of Torres Strait. Like Haddon who led the Torres Strait expedition, Duggan Cronin offered a glimpse of an encounter around the photograph involving Chief Ngubezulu of Elliotdale and himself. But unlike Edwards, who contemplates the ways that cultures write themselves into ethnographies, we might consider what kinds of subjectivities are effected by this moment of exchange. Considered in relation to the threat posed by industrialisation, Duggan Cronin’s native studies reinvented the category of ‘tribe’ as the site of lost history. The photographs were selected and published in eight volumes with accompanying commentary by leading anthropologists and administrators. Each volume specified cultural differences and included portraits of chiefs and the categories that defined the traces of a precolonial social formation. Beyond a narrowly ethnographic reading, Duggan Cronin’s photographic studies of native life are accompanied by a massive

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reconstruction of an idealised landscape. At one level, such a landscape must be seen as antithetical to the rapidly developing mining town of Kimberley, where his photographic enterprise was initiated. At another level, the project clearly sets out to recreate the imagery associated with an imagined pre-industrial past. The panoramic photographs of Bomvanaland and Gcalekaland that inaugurate the collection of studies in the eastern Cape, and the attempt to locate ‘culture’ in this landscape through the photographing of scenes of everyday life, lend themselves to a reading of landscape as idealised or, more appropriately, a reading of an idealised subject in an idyllic landscape. Duggan Cronin seemed to have reversed the logic of De Kiewiet: beginning at the point of industrialisation in South Africa and working his way towards the countryside. The journey brought him closer to the consequences of industrialisation and the last vestiges of vanishing cultures. His aesthetic rendering of ‘native life’, however, merged with a pluralist argument in anthropology, espoused by the likes of AW Hoernle, which reinforced and appropriated the pastoral undertones of ‘cultural history’ that may be traced in the mutilated narratives of SEK Mqhayi.

Re-imagining Hintsa
By the 1930s the story of the killing of Hintsa was deeply ensnared in nationalism’s encounter with colonialism, segregation and disciplinary knowledge. The entanglement would haunt subsequent efforts at recasting Hintsa. In 1937 Lovedale Press issued a poem by Mqhayi to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the death of Hintsa. Mqhayi’s poem consists of a 35-line introduction, followed by seven sections ranging in length from 21 to 65 lines addressed to the British, the Ngwane, the Thembu, the Bomvana, the Zulu, the Mfengu and the royal Xhosa house. The days have come! The days have come! The days of the remembrance of Hintsa have come. This Hintsa belongs to the Khawuta of Gcaleka

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This Gcaleka belongs to Phalo of Tshiwo, This Tshiwo belongs to Ngonde of Togu One hundred years have passed since he died, But he is still saying great things to the nations of the world 76 The days, as it were, had clearly come for re-imaging Hintsa. In order to still say ‘great things to the nations of the world’ – to world history perhaps – Mqhayi’s poem was prefaced by the revised image of the king referred to in Chapter 2. The artist George Milwa Pemba, while enrolled in the department of Fine Arts at Rhodes University in the eastern Cape, produced the sketch of Hintsa that accompanied the poem. Pemba’s sketch, as suggested earlier, engaged in a procedure of recovery which directly challenged an image drawn from sources of domination. The image is supported by Mqhayi’s poem, especially in its involvement in dramatically repositioning Hintsa. The effect is conveyed by positioning the king in relation to his subjects, enemies and neighbours. As the opening lines suggest, Mqhayi’s effort corresponded to the work undertaken by Pemba in recasting the image of Hintsa. The days of The Grumbling of Nobutho have come; The Treader of the land till it becomes a floor. The Welcomer of different nations, The Home of different races, The Father of different homeless wanderers. Praise Hintsa, nations of the world! You British, why are you so silent? What is it, you Mfengu? Bomvana, I hope you are not forgetting, Even you Sotho of Qhudeni, Can you be so silent on Hintsa’s day? When we are talking about his prime?

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[An address to the Ngwane] Ross’s son says you should build a Memorial. I say Ross’s son Bringer of Reform! Leopard’s Face was saying it himself,– The white chief of Gcalekaland. They said Mfengu and Xhosa unite! And organise Hintsa’s Memorial Service. And organise a great ceremonial feast, So that he should never be forgotten in Xhosaland, So that his good name should remain forever, Which is also inscribed in European books. Peace, European gentlemen! You are trying to incite us though we are old men, Old Xhosa men who need to be cooled down. Peace, nations, for, mentioning you! It’s not spite but glorification. Khawuta’s son should have his own day,– He should be acknowledged by the whole of Africa, Because they have learned about the white man from him,– The nations benefitted, he was blunted.77 Without reducing Mqhayi’s poem to the status of a manifesto, I wish to call attention to certain features crucial to exploring the consequences of the embodiment of difference. The first of these is drawn from Jeff Opland’s analysis, which highlights the uses of eulogy and narrative in the poem.78 In the case of eulogy, Opland contests Jordan’s earlier analysis, which holds that the poem is lacking in unity, thereby failing in its epic aspirations. Opland, however, suggests that the unity be read in relation to the praise for Hintsa and the obligation of each of the constituencies addressed to preserve the memory of the king. He then contrasts this aspect of the poem with the narrative dimensions addressed to the Ngwane and the Mfengu, for example,

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in which the need to memorialise Hintsa is mobilised as a metonym for unity in the present. Second, the figure of history is firmly in place here – a throwback to the popular nineteenth-century didactic mode of history as biography. But the subtle contrast of memory and memorial that Opland alludes to is suggestive of a reconciliation that is not only internally contrasted in the poem. Read in relation to the earlier Ityala Lamawele, we could say that the reconciliation between Babini and Wele is transposed into the later twentieth century as providing the contours of the idea of an inclusive (read representative) nation, one which nevertheless takes ethnicity and culture as crucial foundational categories. More appropriately, though, the demands of eulogy and narrative impose competing claims on the reading of the poem. If eulogy builds on the theme of unity (‘Praise Hintsa, nations of the world!’), the narrative components of the poem pave the way for an entry into the story that goes by the name of Europe (‘He should be acknowledged by the whole of Africa,/Because they have learned about the white man from him,–/ The nations benefitted, he was blunted’). What, we may ask, has been learnt about the white man from the demise of Hintsa? Which nations benefited when ‘he was blunted’? Should these lines be read as a negation or an affirmation of the trajectory charted by the west – for the career of Geist? The repetition of the filial relationship contained in the eulogy leads to an implicit critique of a history ‘Which is also inscribed in European books’ and which has the potential to incite ‘old Xhosa men’. Like Ityala Lamawele, the poem also establishes levels of difference through which culture enables a particular critique of history. Culture, in fact, emerges as an objection to the colonial monopoly of history. The difficulty of rewriting history in the presence of the legislator that these intellectuals were compelled to deal with highlights a specific problem of nationalist history. Its attempts to serve as a corrective of colonial constructions or its attempts to haul out its cultural treasures or its attempts to resurrect its fallen heroes failed to displace the underlying historicism of its cultural reconstruction. That failure necessarily made its resources

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available to disciplinary appropriation and thereby reconnected it to systems of governmentality, not least through the anthropological expeditions of the Native Administration Department. The limits of nationalist narration, as it became entangled in disciplinary reason, allowed for little more than a construction of cultural difference, the very condition I would argue of segregationism and apartheid. By the 1940s and 1950s the outcomes of this slippage could be discerned in the concept of history that founded nationalist responses to apartheid. One brief example of this is Selope Thema’s ‘Out of Darkness’.79 Thema was a member of the aNC in the 1940s and 1950s and a contemporary of SM Molema. Writing enthusiastically about his years at Lovedale, Thema highlighted his passion for history, especially the opportunity it afforded him to compare English and South African history. Like many of his contemporaries, Thema believed that African leaders like Shaka and Moshoeshoe were under-represented in history, thereby enhancing the prestige of the white race. More important, though, was the spirit of contestation that permeated the writings of Thema who, in reflecting on the history of the eastern Cape, claimed: the so-called ‘Kaffir wars’ were said to have been waged solely for the purposes of plundering lonely farmers; but an impartial enquirer would have discovered that although there was a great deal of plundering and pillaging the wars were prompted by an ardent desire to rid the country of European invaders. They were similar wars to those waged by the Britons against the conquering Romans, AngloSaxons and Danes; or by the Anglo-Saxon tribes against invading Normans. The motive that prompted these wars was not that of stock theft, but that of self-preservation. It was not for the sake of the farmers’ cattle and sheep that black men made that futile but noble attempt to ‘drive the White man into the sea.’ It was not for the sake of mere plunder that the Amaxhosa people, in obedience to the false prophecy of a misguided girl burned their corn and killed their cattle in the hope that the White man would be driven into the sea. Nor was it merely to bring calamity upon the Xhosa nation that Nonqawuse

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‘prophesied’ the day when the great men of the past would rise from their graves and lead the Xhosa nation to victory over the White man. It was for something greater, something nobler than all this. It was for the independence of the African race, for its right to develop along its natural lines so as to determine its destiny without let or hindrance.80 In the framework of anti-colonial struggle, history was always also a resource for squaring up with an oppressive power. With nationalism’s supposed postcolonial arrival, the stage was set for a renewal rather than dissolution of history. Historical prerogatives seemed more entrenched than ever and far from being destroyed through their union with notions of culture. Unfortunately, the triumph of recurrence is also the point of the ostensibly inescapable cunning of reason. If, as Partha Chatterjee argues, nationalism proves inadequate for the cunning of reason, then we could say that that failure is idiomatically expressed in the unchallenged historicism that bound nationalism to colonial discourse.81 As Sande Cohen suggests, historicism attempts to achieve a cultural ‘timeless time’, an image which holds together categories such as origin and result.82 Historicism, he argues further, renders an image of an unavoidable presentation handed down by ‘history’ which braids past, present and future in the here and now. Historicism, in other words, has the tendency to flatten history. In seeking to rewrite the story of Hintsa, anti-colonial nationalist narration may have contributed to precisely such a flattening of history. Once sanctioned, historicism would allow for an endless refashioning of the figure of history, even lending itself to the most reactionary and dangerous forms of nationalist articulation. Five years after the publication of UmHlekazi uHintsa, the king would be mobilised once more against the British, but this time worked into the inaugural story of Afrikaner nationalism: the Great Trek. In 1943, on the eve of the ascendancy of Afrikaner nationalism, Professor CJ Uys – the renowned Afrikaner nationalist historian – published a series of articles in the popular Afrikaans magazine Huisgenoot, proposing a revision of the standard historiography of

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the killing of Hintsa.83 Uys claimed that with the discovery of new sources, such as Shepstone’s diary and previously undisclosed letters by D’Urban, it was possible to glean the consequences of the war of 1835 in prompting the Great Trek and to disclose the huge British cover-up that followed the killing. Presented as an alternative account of the event of the killing of Hintsa to that produced by Theal and Cory, Uys proceeds to tell his version of events in four parts under the headings Die Moord Op Hintsa, Die Inval in Gcalekaland, In Die Britse Lokval, Die Tragedie Loop Ten Einde. 84 Much of the story that Uys presents turns on the prejudice of British soldiers towards their Afrikaner counterparts and on proving that the British were liars. The basic thesis is that the Sixth Frontier War dramatically transformed the Great Trek, that iconic event that defined a nascent Afrikaner nationalism, from a scattered sentiment to a politically cohesive action. Whether or not beginnings tally with ends in nationalist narration, its modes of subjection should make us wary about its transformative potential.

Border discourse
The colonial and nationalist texts generally share a commitment to historicism, even though an insurgent nationalism arrives bearing the baggage of culture and a deep suspicion of colonial history. In turn, historicism reduces the debate on the past and the present to the lexicon of truths and lies. Reading in a framework of historicism – in terms, that is, of a linear view – is to envisage a past incessantly reworked to sustain a political claim in the present. Thus, we would have to acknowledge that Hintsa is reinscribed into a nineteenth-century present in the language of secularisation, into a twentieth-century insurgent nationalism as a founding figure of a re-imagined nation and as an inaugural figure of Afrikaner nationalism. If the proper name ‘Hintsa’ represents a significatory knot, it is only because his name accommodates the substitutions necessary for engaging the career of Geist and placing the colonised subject on the stage of world history.

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The strategic invalidation that serves as a key element at work in nationalist narration, however, should not be read as an ideological script only, but also for the form in which it presents its utopian designs. The general failure to reflect on the form of the argument meant that nationalist writers often opened themselves to appropriation by emergent disciplinary projects. In its relation to disciplinary reason, nationalism merely results in the further subjection of agency. Perhaps the approaches to strategic invalidation in nationalist narration may have benefited from a more scrupulous attention to form. Peires leaves us with a sense that both Soga and Mqhayi themselves ultimately emerged as subjects of disciplinary knowledge rather than producers of knowledge. Their work, after all, came to sustain the claims of liberal pluralists, apartheid anthropologists and nationalist historians. The reversal of the story of Hintsa was clearly insufficient in producing an effective history which would require not only telling a different story of Hintsa but unravelling the discourse through which his name is made available. In a peculiar way, the return to the writings of Soga and Mqhayi correspond to Nicholas Gcaleka’s testing of the limits of the colonial archive by way of invoking an imaginary claim about the spirit of Hintsa blowing all over the world with no place to settle. When Khonoza Mbambatho publicly introduced himself as Nicholas Tilana Gcaleka in the 1990s, his pseudonym reiterated a place name that is commonly associated with the poet and writer SEK Mqhayi, who in the early 1900s may perhaps have expressed sympathy for his claim about the beheading of Hintsa in 1835.85 IsiXhoba sikaTilana (Tilana’s rocky ledge) was the name of a hillock near the township of Berlin between King William’s Town and East London which was renamed Ntab’ozuko (Mount Glory) in honour of Mqhayi. This is where Mqhayi, named imbongi of the nation by the writer AC Jordan, lived for a period of about 20 years and where he was later buried on 29 July 1945. The association between Nicholas Tilana Gcaleka and SEK Mqhayi is, however, neither entirely coincidental nor merely topographical. Mqhayi’s Ityala Lamawele is among the few recorded instances pointing to the possible

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beheading of Hintsa. Mqhayi’s writings, like Gcaleka’s dreams, do not neatly fit narrative techniques of South African modernisms, although it would be impossible to read their respective narratives other than in the disciplinary conditions of such modernisms. That ought not to be seen as an act of reconciliation at any cost. It is appropriate to take forward the project of strategic invalidation, first in relation to colonial modes of evidence that sustained apartheid and second in relation to the postapartheid narration of the story of colonialism and the killing of Hintsa. But how, given the limits and appropriations of nationalist narration, does one chart the contours for a history after apartheid? Nationalist history and historiography serve as a reminder of the limited space for manoeuvrability available to contest colonialism through the discourses of history and anthropology. In the remaining chapters I inquire into whether historical criticism might offer a way to disentangle the link between the colonial archive, apartheid and the discourse of history that nationalist narration failed to address.

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5 The border and the body: post-phenomenological reflections on the borders of apartheid
We must delve into the archaeologies of the dead.1

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Thus far, i have underTaken to understand more clearly the relation between colonialism and apartheid in South African historiography in a manner that refuses to reduce colonialism to a receding factor in the rise of modern South Africa. In the aftermath of apartheid’s formal dissolution (as most qualifications insist on putting it these days, as if to stress its informal persistence), that connection has helped to highlight what was unforeseeable in the radical trajectories mapped out by scholars who sought to reorient knowledge in the direction of opposing apartheid. Many scholars, amongst them Clifton Crais, Ran Greenstein, Gary Minkley and Andrew Bank, have pointed to the nagging resilience of racial formations, not as mere ideological formations but as deeply entrenched cultural effects and formations in South Africa.2 For these and other scholars, returning to the problematic of racial formation was not a return to the foundational dogma of the liberal historiographical tradition in South Africa that stressed the irrationality of race in relation to the onset of more rational processes of economic development. Rather, it pointed to the need for new ways of speaking of apartheid which took into account the apparatus through which the racialised subject is defined and activated.

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The study of racial formations often flowed from the potential of Martin Legassick’s seminal ‘The Frontier Tradition’, which challenged the liberal views of the historian Eric Walker by highlighting the functionality of race to the sociology of class. The frontier tradition which served liberal historiography failed to relate race to the changing material base of society. The inspiration of the later turn to racial formation was in the normalisation of race in the practices of power, derived in part through models of dispersal rather than a concentration of power. What these scholars were stressing was that the postapartheid might be met with the capillary structure of power that Foucault described for his metaphor of the process of subjectivation.3 This, I would argue, was the latent, and at times unanswered, postcolonial question coming home to roost. The move in the direction of studying racial formations more singularly was, however, somewhat tentative, perhaps given that it was presented on the cusp of the end of formal apartheid. What I call a tentative first step can be discerned in a polemic about South African history by Clifton Crais, in which he points out: The first [opening for a more emancipatory production of history] concerns the deconstruction of the white mythology of history in South Africa, a critical analysis of the relationship between the production of history and the stabilisation of power. Read against itself, the canonical writing of the South African past unfolds as a series of transpositions and, ultimately, a sort of incessant struggle with the ghosts of Theal and Cory. Each new ‘school’ of historians invents, so that it can destroy in almost Oedipal fashion, its intellectual progenitor. 4 To counter this repetitive Oedipal scene in South African history, Crais proposes an opening that takes into account the speech of subalternity. In an example that I find both moving in its suggestiveness and poignant in relation to Nicholas Gcaleka’s dream, Crais leads us through the capillary networks of power to the aetiologies of the historical consciousness of the oppressed. Referring to a contemporaneous cue in 1992, Crais notes:

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Today, the spirit of the second-generation nationalist D.D.T. Jabavu has possessed the body of a female relative who until recently taught at the University of Transkei. Like most of the African elite in the first half of the twentieth century, during much of his life Jabavu had employed the language of the colonisers. His spirit has returned to counsel the living not to make the same mistake twice.5 Historians of South Africa have seemingly been painfully aware of heeding this advice. But in a conjuncture filled with expectation following years of resistance, the openings proposed by Crais need to be coupled with a critique of the disciplinary conditions that make it impossible for nationalism to heed its own advice. The question of South African history was not merely one of the subaltern subject speaking, or its role in mediating historical consciousness, but one of subalternity, the very structural condition of constraints and forms of history that ended, repeatedly perhaps, in an Oedipal drama. This difficulty is not entirely unforeseen in Crais’s polemic. Very early on he poses a question which I believe we must take up through the question of subalternity, if only to join him in a search for an opening. Does history’s inability, he asks, to offer itself as an emancipatory practice stem from its own unwillingness to confront its origins and its will to power, its own suppression and silence? If we answer this question via a traversal of the range of subaltern positions in the aetiology of the historical consciousness of the oppressed, as Crais suggests, then I’m not sure that we can heed the advice not to make the same mistake twice. This is because the subaltern subject is also an effect of an apparatus of power, a theme I have threaded through notions of the subjection of agency or subjectivation in earlier chapters. While I am sympathetic to the gesture proposed by Crais, I would prefer to establish different relations with the question of subalternity without the burden of expectation of living up to a prefigured emancipatory ideal or the resurrecting nostalgic notions of agency. Rather, the figure of subalternity might only lead us to the very limits of a discourse that functions to produce the subject in the quagmire

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of disciplinary reason and to strategically invalidate its operations. Thinking at this limit is part of the task of intensifying the critique of apartheid and lending support to the postcolonial search for constituting an epistemic rupture that might reorder the pursuits of knowledge in the midst of the modes of evidence of the colonial archive, which gives rise to the subjection of agency. As a modality of oppression, apartheid, I will argue, was activated by modes of evidence of the colonial archive – a strategy that ultimately gives rise to the condition of the subjection of agency. It is this connection that is rendered intelligible by the phrase ‘disciplinary reason’ and which compels us to examine how knowledge, specifically historical knowledge, created the conditions of possibility for apartheid. The colonial archive is critical to the double game that the watchword ‘apartheid’ recalls, because it is here that the trajectories of exclusion and inclusion of the subject are rehearsed and put into circulation. In attempting to make explicit the association between apartheid and the techniques that come to constitute the colonial archive, this book serves to remind us that the postapartheid is unimaginable without effecting a strategic invalidation of the modes of evidence of the colonial archive which enabled the violence of apartheid. If, in other words, apartheid was the sign of difference genealogically cobbled together through the dual appeals of nation and identity, then we may legitimately desire undercutting these basic concepts as a way of preparing the ground for the emergence of the postapartheid. However, the process of ground clearing, I argue, would require us to strategically repeat the story of nation and identity differently, perhaps through what I call a restaging of a postcolonial critique of apartheid. As seen in the preceding chapters, apartheid was inconceivable without the apparatus of the colonial archive. The colonial archive provided apartheid with its multiple metaphors and strategies of demarcation and segregation. In Ezekiel Mphahlele’s recollection of this paternity, apartheid established ‘fences of barbed wire across the country, across allegiances, across the landscape of African nationalism’.6 The modes of evidence specific

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to the colonial archive were not only the foundation on which apartheid was built but its very discursive condition. Apartheid was, we might say, entangled in colonial modes of evidence and borne in the shadow of the colonial archive. Apartheid’s resilience as a metaphor of the experience of racial segregation and also subalternity resides in the combination of repressive and subtle techniques in the exercise of power that it represents. Apartheid conjures up images of borders and boundaries that assume a certain number of corporeal effects. In this chapter, I wish to trace their arbitrariness by way of a post-phenomenological reflection on the borders of apartheid as a step towards unravelling the modes of evidence of the colonial archive. I do so by tracking the stories of the ghost of Hintsa in the late nineteenth century as the borders that would define apartheid’s homelands were fixed and fastened through an interlocking discourse of administration, archive and knowledge production. In a critique of history’s relation to the archive, I attempt to unravel the processes by which the colonial archive sustains apartheid and by which history is caught in its shadows. By the same token, I want to argue that we might see some merit in unlearning the structure of history which places before us the real and the imagined as discreet, as opposed to mutually reinforcing, domains of enunciation. Such formulations only serve to place the subject in an irreducible compromise with power, by which a figure like Nicholas Gcaleka finds himself trapped in the position of object. As the postcolonial critique of apartheid enables an investigation of our entrapment in the modes of evidence of the colonial archive, I argue that we should strategically anticipate its subsumption into the bland historicism of the hegemonic narratives of globalisation. When considered as an episteme in formation, the postcolonial may potentially serve to reconfigure the postapartheid as a specifically oppositional discourse to globalisation. My argument thus far has been that this might be achieved if we work towards an epistemic rupture in the midst of the transition from apartheid to postapartheid, one in which the subject is freed from the grip of a normative

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discourse of power. Two programmatic consequences suggest themselves based on the story of the killing of Hintsa. The first relates to the possibility of stepping out of the shadow of the colonial archive so as to disable its determining force in discussions on the subject. The second is to ask that the discipline of history might inaugurate a different relation to the marginal subject of knowledge, which I take up in the next chapter. In both instances, the challenges posed by the Subaltern Studies Collective in South Asia on the issues of the narratives of transition and the subject of history may offer suggestive options for the reconstitution of South African history. At issue in this chapter specifically is a radical reworking of the relation to the colonial archive by targeting the very structure of the border – the residual trace of apartheid – that has contained the story of the killing of Hintsa thus far as a story of the homeland. We might say that this chapter is about the virtuality of the border as much as it is about its actuality. We might also say that it is a story of how boundaries become borders when folded into the circuits of a colonial archive. Borders form, I wish to argue, in the ‘prose of counter-insurgency’. The notion of the prose of counter-insurgency is of course indebted to the work of Ranajit Guha, who has implicitly asked that we not only see the colonial archive as producing an imagined community but also anticipate its operation as an imaginary structure. Guha encourages us to consider the distributions of metaphor, metonym and, we might add, synecdoche in translating the consciousness of the rebel into terms familiar to power and history – terms that resonate with the spontaneity associated with colonial charges of insurgency and revisionist constructions of anti-colonial resistance. As I see it, the argument proposed by Guha does not merely call for accounting for colonialism via its archive, but also for working towards effecting an epistemic break with its conceptual reign over the postcolonial present.7

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Bordering on the eastern Cape
In 1975, the Department of Bantu Administration and Development published the findings of an ethnological study by Arthur O Jackson detailing the ethnic composition of the Ciskei and the Transkei. The ethnological arm of the department, under the watchful eye of a senior anthropologist, had emerged as critical to the historical and anthropological verification of apartheid’s borders, especially those concerned with the homeland policy of the state. This is what Jackson reported: The information on the occupation of the Ciskei and Transkei dating furthest back into history, is oral tradition. The earliest documentary data, however, come from the observations of mariners shipwrecked along the coast. The latter sources indicate that part of the Transkei was already occupied by the Bantu in 1650, whereas calculations based on the former indicate that the Bantu entered the Transkei about a century earlier (Wilson, 1959). The first noteworthy westward migration across the Kei River took place in 1702. In 1752 the Keiskamma River was considered to be the westward limit of Cape Nguni expansion, and formed the boundary between them and a sparse Hottentot population. The eastern limit of European settlement was for a long time Bruintjies Hoogte and the Gamtoos River. This frontier was extended to the Fish River in 1775. In 1778 an agreement was reached with some of the Xhosa chiefs (the Xhosa were the furthest west of the Cape Nguni) determining the Fish as the boundary between them and the Cape Colony. In 1819, at the conclusion of the fifth frontier war, the boundary was extended to the Keiskamma and the Tyumie Rivers. This boundary was confirmed by proclamation at the conclusion of the seventh frontier war in 1847. At the same time the area up to the Kei River was proclaimed British under the designation of British Kaffraria. This area was finally annexed to the Cape Colony on April 17, 1866.8

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Jackson was a minor apparatchik in the Department of Bantu Administration and Development. Most of his work on tracing the historical precedents for the border between the homelands of the Ciskei and the Transkei, along the lines of the Rharhabe and Gcaleka split in the House of Phalo were, it seems, indebted to the earlier narratives of Theal, the ethnography of Hammond-Tooke, and official legislative proclamations of state. Jackson supplemented these earlier narratives with brief ethnographic research on genealogies, made on several short visits to the eastern province in the early 1970s, from which he derived a demography of the ‘tribes’. From this vantage point the colonial boundary was seen to have its precedent in oral tradition. A boundary between oral narrative and official proclamation was, it appears, being breached in the interests of putting in place a border of apartheid. The conclusions of Jackson’s ethnographic report encountered their limit in a project of South African history writing that set itself the task of opposing the very premises of apartheid. Writing in 1975, at the time of Jackson’s report and the consolidation of the borders of the homeland system, Jeff Peires, for example, presented an alternative reading of statist constructions of the border between the Ciskei and Transkei in an article titled ‘Rise of the “Right-hand House”’. In considering the potential value and limitations of oral tradition, Xhosa historical writing and European sources respectively, Peires highlights the extent to which each may have contributed to the history of the House of Phalo, the patriarch under whose leadership the Xhosa state fissured into the Rharhabe and Gcaleka chieftaincies in the late 1700s. Outlining the contours of Xhosa historiography, Peires distinguishes vernacular narratives from the constraints imposed on them by anthropologists such as Hammond-Tooke, whose tendency was to perceive of the realm of orality merely in terms of tradition.9 The anthropological discourse conveys the impression that apartheid’s homelands (the Ciskei and the Transkei) were natural outcomes of precolonial divisions. Peires criticises scholars such as Hammond-Tooke for the ‘aetiological error’ (making inferences from the present) and for treating orality as cultural rather than historical narratives.10 In contrast to

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Hammond-Tooke, Peires suggests that the presumed fission in the House of Phalo does not adequately represent continued political unity of the precolonial state and, as such, emphasis on fission in the House of Phalo tends to support the logic of apartheid’s homeland system.11 One consequence of the aetiological error, according to Peires, is that it gave rise to a related lack of time depth and the concomitant problem of telescoping.12 In his critique of the ethnographic premises of apartheid’s engineering, Peires argues that a fission, not a division, marked the split in the House of Phalo and that the origin of an apartheid border was being read back into the social structure of the precolonial past. Opposition to the constructs of apartheid’s legacy has continued unabated, even in the aftermath of its formal dissolution. In two recent studies – Anne Mager’s exploration of the emergence of the Ciskei and Clifton Crais’s forays into the techniques of governmentality in the making of the Transkei – that deal with the problematic of South Africa’s homeland borders, written in the aftermath of their official dissolution by the postapartheid state, efforts are made to connect the history of borders in the eastern Cape to the making of colonised subjectivity.13 Mager emphasises the constructedness of the border that came to define the Ciskei, preferring to read how gendered subjectivity required a constant reworking of that border. She insists that her approach is at odds with the idea of the Ciskei as an entity largely unchanged since the 1840s and defined as the territory between the Fish and the Kei Rivers. Deployed uncritically, she suggests, the term ‘Ciskei’ remains a colonial one and gender came to play a fundamental role in reconstituting its outlines.14 For his part, Crais highlights the instrumentality implicit in the making of the borders of the Transkei, especially involving the operation of mapping, census and cultural constructions. His The Politics of Evil provides several important insights on the annexation of Gcalekaland in 1885. He argues, for example, that the move followed on the heels of various commissions and reports in the early 1870s, 1876 and 1883, which established borders and defined tribal groups. The 1883 commission, he argues, marked

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‘both the culmination of developments in the Transkei in the preceding decade and the beginning of a more fundamental codification of customary law and clarification of colonial rule’.15 Crais attributes these borders and definitions to ethnographies of the state, bringing together the overlapping strategies of cartography, census and cultural construction – a process of making the Xhosa knowable and therefore governable. The Politics of Evil provides a useful thumbnail sketch of the magistracies and how the techniques of governmentality rearranged precolonial spatial arrangements. As Crais suggests, encompassing headmen and chiefs in a system of village and location resulted in a destruction of economy and ecology. The net effects of a colonial episteme were indeed severe. If the effects were borne by those who were targets of a civilising mission, and if those effects doubled as strategies for entrapping Africans in a colonial tribalism, such a claim is established by recourse to the very archive of colonial governmentality. This, for example, is what Crais tells us midway through his discussion on the production of boundaries: The colonial archive for the 1870s and 1880s is replete with discussions of boundaries, their drawing up and the anxiety and contestation they invariably caused, and the displacing of people that frequently followed the colonial organisation of political space. Africans made it clear that they lived in a world in which boundaries were not ‘fixed’ and in which political claims very frequently overlapped. People living in what became known in anthropological discourse as ‘maximal lineages’ did not inhabit contiguous areas. ‘There is no fixed boundary,’ one chief told the chief magistrate; ‘our people are intermixed.’ Some of his people were ‘about 18 miles from my Kraal. The space between us is filled up by’ people attached to other chiefs.16 In traversing the voluminous resident magistrates’ reports, especially from the magisterial district of Elliotdale, there is little reason to doubt that territorial boundaries are products of overlapping techniques of

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governmentality and that its aim was ultimately the inventions of discreet cultural and gendered subjects. I have no reason to doubt that the colonial archive produces, as an effect, a sense of imagined communities. But here I want to offer a different reading of this material, one that takes account of the forms of the archival material as much as their specific content. Hintsa’s ghost is one of those features that peppers the later colonial archive of the eastern Cape. My concern is with the potential of the colonial archive to organise our reading and, more precisely, with the difficulty of stepping out of the shadow of the colonial archive. The archive, I will argue, especially the colonial archive, is not merely a collection of techniques. It is an apparatus in itself, one that has called forth different configurations of reading amongst historians. Think only of ideas of reading against or along the proverbial grain.17 To distinguish my argument from those of Crais and Mager, I wish to recall the now familiar phrase ‘the prose of counter-insurgency’, proposed by Guha for the unreadable traces of subalternity in official archives and their derivative historiographies.18 Important in Guha’s choice of phrase is the idea that the prose of counter-insurgency is not reducible to insurgency as such. Similarly, the traces of insurgency are not to be understood in a merely prelinguistic sense but as constitutive of the discourse of the archive. In this chapter, the prose of counter-insurgency calls attention to an administrative trace of the network of counter-insurgent spying and surveillance through which we may begin to explain the subaltern effect of the discourses of borders and boundaries. The phrase ‘prose of counter-insurgency’ suggests why attending to the imaginary structure of the colonial archive, notwithstanding its pervasive function as instrument of power, is important in advancing the critique of colonialism and, of course, apartheid. The will to knowledge that renders insurgency intelligible as an object of knowledge is constitutively bound up with police power in the broadest sense. It is not a question of unknowable cultural difference in the anthropological sense, but a political and post-phenomenological question of understanding the institutional conditions of possibility for what appears self-evident in one’s own (historiographical) experience.

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1885. . .
In the resident magistrates’ reports, 1885 appears as a milestone in the relationship between the Xhosa sovereignty of Gcalekaland and its annexation to the Cape Colony. As if seeking to create the impression of the inevitable outcome of the slow march of time, the archivist’s preface to the reports links these specific outcomes to the reigns of two nineteenth-century kings, Hintsa and his son Sarhili. Sarhili, as will be recalled from the earlier discussion, had accompanied Hintsa to the British camp shortly before the fateful killing. The names of both Xhosa sovereigns, descended from the House of Phalo, have assumed metonymic status in colonial records of the story of colonisation in the eastern Cape, especially the area east of the Kei River known as Gcalekaland. The two reigns – Hintsa’s and Sarhili’s – are connected by the archivist’s timeline which serves to introduce the inventory of the chief magistrate of Thembuland and his respective resident magistrates.19 It is worth quoting the timeline in full because it coincides with the framing of my contribution to the discourse of the border, one punctuated by the grammar of domination and the subjection of agency. We might call it a bare bones narrative of the historical time of a border. In 1835 the eastern boundary of the Cape Colony was extended to the Kei River [Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette no.1536, 29.5.1835, Proclamation 10.5.1835]. East of the river the tribes [sic] remained independent although government representatives were stationed with the important chiefs to enforce the treaties [W.M. Fynn with Kreli and H.F. Fynn with Mapas: CO 5831, proclamation 29.12.1836]. In 1858 the area between the Kei and the Bashee rivers was conquered by the colonial forces and settlements of Fingoes and other favourably disposed blacks from British Kaffraria established at Butterworth and along the Bashee River (Idutywa) under the supervision of a Special Magistrate. In 1864 the formerly hostile Gcalekas were allowed to return west of the Bashee and a British Resident for all the tribes and magistrate

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for the Idutywa Reserve appointed to reside in the neutral area between the settlements of Gcalekas and Tambookies. On the recommendation of the Commission of Native Affairs in 1865 more Fingoes and Tembus from the colony were settled in the territory east of the Kei River and this led to the growth of the districts of Fingoland and Emigrant Thembuland. In September 1878 a chief magistrate was appointed for the districts of Fingoland, Idutywa Reserve and Gcalekaland, which were collectively to be called the Transkei. Seven magistrates were appointed to assist the chief magistrate: three in Fingoland (Nqamakwe, Tsomo, Butterworth), one at Idutywa Reserve and two in Gcalekaland (Kentani and QaraBashee area – later Willowvale). In 1879 Fingoland and Idutywa were annexed to the Cape Colony as the Transkei and the regulations for its administration laid down. In 1885 Gcalekaland was also annexed to the colony.20 The extension of the colonial border to the Kei River in 1835 was folded into the making of the story of the killing of Hintsa. This, as I argued earlier, was achieved through a process of the subjection of agency specific to a colonial mode of evidence.21 The dispersal of the effects of an information economy combined with a grammar of domination that involved making the active verb of colonial reportage – instigate, invade, contrive and plunder – resonate with the object nouns of its discourse – primitive, uncivilised, savage and ‘Cafre’. The grammar of domination was never too far from the effects of colonial domination. The one is incomprehensible without the other. In keeping with the initial elaboration of the concept of a colonial mode of evidence, I wish to argue that the finalisation of the border can be traced in the cracks that appeared in the system of indirect rule involving the late king’s son, Sarhili. On 16 October 1885, the resident magistrate in Elliotdale in charge of Bomvanaland sounded an enthusiastic note of victory over having secured Sarhili’s registration and also that of his subjects. Assuring the chief magistrate, Major Elliot in Umtata, that he was unable

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to speak highly of Sarhili’s behaviour, he nevertheless acknowledged the assistance provided by the Gcaleka chief in ensuring the successful relocation of his people and abiding by the conditions laid down for him. ‘All Bomvana’s [sic],’ he pointed out, ‘living on the Gcaleka side of the line have been removed by me to the Bomvana side and all Gcalekas living on the Bomvana side have been moved to the Gcaleka side; so as to prevent any dispute in the future as regards boundaries.’22 No sooner had he proclaimed this victory than Langa, a Bomvana chief who had allegedly served the British government loyally until that point, apparently demanded compensation for land given to Sarhili to occupy. Langa’s demand resulted in a flurry of submissions on the meaning of colonial boundaries, if not their meaninglessness. At issue was the area between the Mbashe River and Nzulu (Mpaku River mouth at Hole-in-theWall), which the colonial state had surrendered to Sarhili in exchange for his registration and submission to the system of hut tax, a key facet of the system of indirect rule. The resident magistrate’s triumphalism notwithstanding, the boundary he had proclaimed as a final act in the colonisation of the Xhosa was as unstable as ever. Rather than seal the victory of colonialism, it revealed the cracks in the system of indirect rule. The reason, I argue, is because borders and boundaries are as much a product of the imaginary structure as they are products of systems of rationality. It is strange how readily the historian appropriates the spectres that haunt the colonial past as fact, especially if such spectres support rationalist conclusions. Take as one random example Eric Walker’s A History of South Africa, published in 1928, which relates the following narrative of Frere, a colonial official who was later to play a major role in the destruction of the Zulu kingdom, on a visit to the eastern Cape colony: In August 1877, Frere had learned that the Frontier Police had just crossed the Kei River into the independent Transkei to protect the Fingoes from Kreli’s hostile Gcalekas. He at once sent Brownlee, his Native Affairs Minister to summon Kreli [sic] to his presence; but that chief, remembering how his father, Hintsa, away back in 1835, had

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come in under safe conduct and been shot while trying to escape, declined to put himself in power of any Cape Governor.23 We might pause to ask how this knowledge of Sarhili being haunted by the spectre of his father was arrived at so that Walker might conclude, subtly perhaps, that Sarhili was effectively resisting the power of the Cape governor. The answer to this question is not as easily supported by a a self-referential verification within the colonial archive. The ghost of Hintsa travelled a more circuitous route into the history of the last nineteenth-century war of conquest involving Sarhili, and became a more complicated presence in defining the borders and boundaries of the colonial imaginary. A spectre therefore haunted the many counter-insurgency reports provided by police, ‘native detectives’ and resident magistrates from the area along the Mbashe River following the war of Ngcayecibi.24 As happens with such ghostly matter, it presents itself as an unreadable trace, sparsely bridging the gap between the confirmatory claims of evidence and the prose of counter-insurgency. At the height of the war of 1877–78, colonial officials alluded to rumours of the ghost of Hintsa circulating amongst the Xhosa.25 Sarhili had apparently invoked the spectre as a reminder to his followers of what had happened to his father at the hands of the British and as a means of mobilising his people against colonial bureaucrats intent on incorporating the Gcaleka who had settled along the Mbashe River into the system of hut tax. Around the same period, Caesar Andrews, who claimed to have been part of the expedition to the Mbashe in 1835 in which Hintsa was killed, opted to publish his diary so that it might serve as a lesson for those having to deal with the son, Sarhili. Andrews noted (with, as I suggested in Chapter 2, parenthetical detail that expressed the benefit of hindsight): Taking his son Kreli [sic] with us, we pursued the spoor of cattle towards the Bashee and came in sight of them before sunset. We observed vast herds being driven off in all directions on the opposite mountain range (Bovanaland [sic] in 1877, where Kreli has recently done the same – repeating history).26

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Later, after Sarhili was defeated, such spectral claims, leaving aside the matter of accuracy, overlapped with administrative procedures of the resident magistrate and his small coterie of police in the district of Elliotdale. In particular, the so-called ‘native detectives’ were the conduit for ‘information’. In 1881 they sounded the alarm of danger lurking in the forests of Mbashe Valley, claiming that Sarhili was up to no good. The resident magistrate emphasised the careful work of his detectives, suggesting that they had worked in different directions and in ‘total ignorance of one another’s movements’27 and nevertheless reached the same conclusions. The detectives reported that Sarhili and a number of other chiefs had taken refuge in the forests of the lower Bashee and were accompanied by a large number of armed followers. They claimed that between 1 000 and 2 000 men ‘hostile to the colonial government’28 had amassed in the area. In particular, the detectives claimed that the armed men had been on the lookout for government spies whom they were ordered to kill without mercy upon discovery, and that Sarhili was in contact with the Pondo chiefs and the baSotho who were expected to provide assistance in ensuring the ‘subjugation of the white man and the overthrow of the Government’.29 The nature of these suspicions corresponded in their broad outline to the story of the killing of Hintsa in 1835. Hintsa, too, had been suspected of plotting against the British in what the colonists called Maqoma’s war. He too was seen as setting a trap for the British and accused of liaising with Rharhabe chiefs to rebel against the British. Most importantly, colonial officials suspected Sarhili of playing a double game that allegedly repeated the tactics adopted by Hintsa.30 In this discourse, Hintsa was not merely invoked as exemplar but as the return of the repressed. Echoing the latter coincidence, the resident magistrate confirmed that Sarhili was trying to use the colonial administration to secure land for settlement, as he was plotting to ‘rise again from the ashes of defeat’31 and attempt to overthrow the British government. A few days after the first report, on 19 May 1881, the resident magistrate wrote that messengers were sent from Captain Blyth to inform Sarhili of a mistake made in conveying the idea that he would be given a

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location near King William’s Town. Sarhili was invited to another meeting to clarify what government actually meant. In the reports of ‘reliable sources’ it was claimed that ‘Sarhili had become concerned, saying that if the former message was a lie, how was he to believe that the present [meeting] was not a trap to catch him’.32 If he should meet, Sarhili proposed that it be on the Umbonga Heights, an area known for its rough terrain and intricate geography, not unlike the Nqabara where Hintsa was killed. This followed, it was claimed, rumour that had reached the Mbashe of Major Elliot’s plans to send a force to Bomvanaland to capture Sarhili and to punish the Bomvana for harbouring him by ‘converting their country into a bush to hide him’.33 The so-called ‘reliable sources’ pointed out that: if government should decide to meet Kreli [Sarhili] at Umbonga (which he confidently expects) he will go there prepared to fight in the event of treachery, and will be accompanied by a large impi of Halas, as well as his present followers, that he will send one impi on ahead to lie concealed some distance beyond the place of meeting so that if treachery is contemplated he will have the Government party hemmed in, another impi bring himself at Embonga while a third impi will be placed near the Nechana to defend his rear.34 Intelligence has a way of creating a sense of intrigue even when there is none. The correspondence to the story of the killing Hintsa can be tracked in notions of traps, rumours and deception, all of which were central to the prose of counter-insurgency. And with notions of Sarhili’s apparent threat, the resident magistrate was warned to be on his guard at the smallest provocation, especially since his detectives had been discovered, making it difficult to obtain further information. The resident magistrate’s informants were clearly much more central to the unfolding events than initially presumed in the historiography of the eastern Cape. As for the respective colonial officials, their allegiances appear to be far from clear. One example is the way Klaas Tanda enters the colonial record. Klaas Tanda, whom the resident magistrate called ‘our old friend’, was present at the meeting

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called by Sarhili near the lower end of the Nechana on 15 May, where Tanda identified the detectives. If Tanda was dismissed by September 1881, his son, Josiah, continued to work as a constable in the colonial police, although he too was suspected of being a conspirator.35 The colonial administration was enormously skilful at turning such uncertainty generated by the work of counter-insurgency to its own political advantage. The work of detectives combined with a handful of colonial administrators and headmen, for example the Bomvana Chief Langa or Moni before him, in an effort to make sense of an allegedly duplicitous Sarhili. While the statements of Sarhili’s deception were familiar, arriving at such a conclusion required a skill in the use of official reportage. The following quotation from one such report gives us a precise basis from which to evaluate such skill: Late events, especially the tacit non-acceptance by Kreli [sic] of the terms afforded him by government have shown how suspicious he is, or rather how covetous and exacting under the pretence of being suspicious and afraid of the Government; but when it is remembered that his people have flocked around him and have for several months past been jealously watching, lest government – exasperated by his persistent finessing – should send a patrol in pursuit of him – it can readily be understood, how this district has been kept in anything but a quiet settled state and how its office work has been impeded. Scarcely can a constable from this office go through the district on duty but what it is considered that he is a spy from the Government, endeavouring to find out Kreli’s hiding place and his life is therefore by no means free from danger.36 Why was it necessary to cast suspicion on Sarhili? Perhaps in recalling the memory of his father and his fate, the name of Hintsa also served as a reminder of his relations with the Bomvana. This at least is what the reports seem to suggest. In his demand for land he refused to surrender the idea that the Bomvana were his subjects and that that relation extended to the generosity of his father, who had given the Bomvana refuge and ended up

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marrying Nomsa, daughter of the Bomvana chief. Sarhili was born of this marriage. The prose of counter-insurgency sought to unravel the monopoly Sarhili was claiming over the Bomvana. The resident magistrate noted, in red ink along the margins, that his informant had ‘just come again to tell me that a doctoring ceremony took place the day before yesterday among the impis in the Bashee and Nechana Valleys’.37 A year later, the threat of rebellion or the attack on ‘spies’ had not materialised and the colonial narrative of a pending threat was interrupted when Sarhili summoned the new resident magistrate, Henry Vice, to a meeting. Vice reports that he was met by 400 or 500 men and that Sarhili demanded to know ‘what great crime he had committed’.38 If it was on account of the war of 1877–78, Sarhili believed that he should be forgiven as had been done for the others who participated in the rebellion. He claimed that ‘he was living in the bush with the wild beasts and wished to return to his old homestead to remain there comfortably’.39 A few days later, Sarhili apparently thanked the resident magistrate for the pardon granted to him and asked that he be allowed to reside at Qora in Gcalekaland with his family. Vice’s report to the chief magistrate in Umtata must have appeared as a mixed signal. Unfortunately, it was interpreted not as a crack in the colonial system of indirect rule but as an act of submission on the part of Sarhili. The view of the resident magistrate proved too optimistic. His numerous reports detailing negotiations with Sarhili were interrupted by the seemingly disconnected case of Mbebe, a man who resided in ‘Kreli’s territory’. Quite clearly, the relocation proposed by Sarhili was too amicable for those around the resident magistrate who were invested in the outcomes of counter-insurgency. Gaining the adherence of Sarhili was no guarantee for the task of implementing the system of indirect rule. If anything, it would prove necessary to enforce the suspicion surrounding Sarhili, at least in the interest of introducing the system of indirect rule and its various elements amongst his followers. The pretext, it seems, was provided by the story of Mbebe, who would serve as a catalyst in the story of Sarhili’s alleged untrustworthiness.

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Early in 1883, a man by the name of Quwe from the Idutywa district reported a case of his missing wife and daughter. He claimed that they had been to Bomvanaland on a visit to Mbebe, the woman’s father, for the purpose of begging a beast from him. Having not arrived, Quwe proceeded to Mbebe’s household to enquire after his family’s whereabouts. He returned home to Idutywa believing Mbebe that they may have taken a different route. But with time, he returned to Mbebe’s where he was told that the heads of two persons had been found in the bush near the kraal. The matter was then reported to the resident magistrate’s office in Elliotdale, where two policemen were dispatched to investigate and, if necessary, arrest Mbebe. During the arrest, Mbebe was forcibly released by 30 armed men headed by one Sombali. Sombali sent a message to the resident magistrate stating that Mbebe was ‘not a government man’ but was rather ‘one of Kreli’s men’. 40 The statement from the policemen, Langeni and Nenka, painted a macabre picture of the discovery: We first came across the head apparently that of a girl, a number of bones were lying about, a little further on I saw the head of a woman. Quwe was present and recognized it to be that of his wife. On enquiring from the young man who first discovered the bodies he told me they were very much decomposed and saw several dogs tearing them to pieces. . .I then said I must arrest Mbebe. Sombali said Mbebe is Kreli’s man and that no magistrate can arrest him. 41 Failure to arrest Mbebe and Sombali, even after receiving permission from Sarhili, proved to be a major setback for Vice. By seeking the extradition of Mbebe, Vice sought to make inroads into areas claimed to be under Gcaleka, rather than colonial, authority. This made the work of colonial officials exceedingly difficulty. Vice might have believed that receiving permission from Sarhili to arrest Mbebe and Sombali would be seen as a tacit acceptance of his attempts to extend colonial authority to the Mbashe valley. But when Sombali and Mbebe escaped, and when Sarhili handed over five cattle belonging to Mbebe to the policemen, Vice was left profoundly embarrassed.

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On 17 May Sarhili claimed he was still looking for the men but argued that they may have been frightened off by the presence of the policemen. Vice’s failure to establish Gcaleka vulnerability to colonial law was worrying indeed. It certainly necessitated his removal from office, which was announced on 18 July 1883. His successor, J Morris, made much of the failure, often pleading for action against the Gcalekas for corrupting the sentiments of the Bomvana to colonial authority. Sarhili, it would seem, had once again slipped through the cracks of the system of indirect rule. Unlike Vice, Morris proved to be a more conventional administrator who chose tried and tested techniques of extending colonial administration. These included the techniques of mapping, census and the collection of hut tax. Territorial demarcation and the creation of administrative units produced enabling conditions for Morris. Under his watch, there seems to have been a diminishing dependence on spying and detective work in the areas of the lower Mbashe River. Yet, the prose of counter-insurgency left an indelible mark on his administrative style. On 21 November, Morris attempted to eclipse the domain of surreptitious speech and rumour by requesting permission for a new census to be taken. Apparently, the existing registers were unreliable and this affected the ability of the resident magistrate to collect hut taxes. In a confidential letter to the chief magistrate a few months after he had assumed office, Morris wrote despairingly of ‘the Gcaleka who only acknowledge Kreli and repudiate the right of Government to control them in anyway’. 42 In his letter he noted: The Gcaleka occupy a portion of Bomvanaland about 20 miles from the Bashee mouth thereby causing a feeling of animosity to exist amongst the Bomvana’s [sic] who as legal subjects of Government object to this occupation being forced upon them by these people and request that the government take some steps to remove them as they cannot be responsible for the results as there is already a strong feeling existing which may at any moment cause collision. These Gcaleka refuse to pay hut tax, thereby raising the idea among the

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Bomvana’s of being oppressed as their natural reply is ‘Why must we pay hut tax? When Kreli’s [sic] people are exempt from such tax, although they are living in our country and with which they taunt us.’ They are living in a lawless and savage state and in such inaccessible gorges and passes of the Bashee valley, that it is utterly impossible to send a single policeman or even my whole force (eight men) amongst them, on any duty, without danger. 43 Morris cited the murder of a Gcaleka man by members of the Bomvana as an incident that aggravated tensions and necessitated colonial intervention. The Gcaleka, he pointed out, came into the district as refugees and were scattered among the Bomvana headmen. These headmen, he claimed, were being ignored and the Gcaleka were asserting rights to which they had no claim. More worryingly, the area along the coast had been transformed into ‘a refuge and haunt of thieves and lawless characters’. 44 Having pointed out the dire conditions that supposedly prevailed in his district, Morris called for the removal of the Gcaleka. The origins of this panic did not emanate from the rituals surrounding the collection of hut tax, but from the lack of ‘information’ forthcoming. Increasingly, Morris had to rely on the Bomvana headman, Langa, for his reportage. But this allowed for some continuity in the representations of the Gcaleka, especially the sense of intrigue that emanated from the work of counter-insurgency. Morris was forced to seek information by other means, including past records which, he complained, were useless in providing information on Gcaleka men, women, children and stock that needed to be removed from Bomvanaland. 45 To counteract the dearth of information, the Gcaleka were summoned en masse to a meeting on 19 February 1884 for the purposes of registration – or so it seemed. Morris pointed out that 700 people attended the meeting accompanied by Sarhili. They refused to register. But he also reported that he was enabled by the meeting to frame a return which was an approximate estimate. He also made it clear that while he avoided giving them any

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information, he ‘had learned from the general bearing of the Gcalekas that they will not remove from Bomvanaland unless they receive a tract of their own country and that a very large portion’. 46 While Morris claimed to have gained valuable information from the meeting, by April he was denying reports that ‘Sarhili had visited him with 500 armed and mounted men, demanding documents and the restitution of the country failing which Mr Morris would shortly hear from him again’. 47 The threat, although denied, now claimed that while Sarhili had agreed to be registered, the Gcaleka refused, fearing the unstated demand to pay hut tax. This slight deviation pointed to the infinite malleability of information, especially in sowing division so as to expedite the colonial administration of indirect rule. The effect of the prose of counter-insurgency was that it produced a state of insecurity. This insecurity, we might argue, could be gleaned from the cracks that appeared in the system of indirect rule. Coupled with a desperate famine in the region, the question of boundaries became the only mechanism for creating peace of mind amongst colonial officials. Yet, the ghosts that haunted the securities of colonial administration would not rest. The raw materials provided by the detectives, colonial police and resident magistrates were replete with a prose that was wholly other, yet simultaneously indispensable. The resultant impasse compelled a breakdown at every level. Morris wrote of the inability to administer hut tax in May 1884 and a few months later decried the Bomvana for being incapable, because of their presumed backwardness, of fulfilling the requirements of the system of taxation. The Bomvana complained about the uneven application of the law. Morris pointed out that he had no jurisdiction over Sarhili. Any attempt to ask the latter to mediate in questions related to transgressions of colonial law would merely secure Sarhili’s legitimacy. The boundary was more than a means of creating administrative units for the efficient functioning of government. It also served to demarcate the realms of the secure and the insecure, certainty and uncertainty. It was not so much an instrument as it was a product of the difference at the heart

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of a system of representation. And the greater the effort to materialise the boundary, the more difficult it would prove to realise it. 48 In a moment that bears all the signs of resignation, Sarhili is reported to have sent a message with his son Khota to the resident magistrate, underlined with a sense of uncertainty of the intent of the colonial administration: I see I have fallen by acting as I did towards Major Elliot. I did not mean war. I was expecting great things but found them to be small. I am willing to abide by all the conditions with exception to paying up of hut tax within a month – a matter impossible in consequence of starvation at the present time. I shall talk over the boundary you offer without a question and live peaceably with the Government and I shall put down all arms from today – that these have got me into trouble. 49 A few weeks later Sarhili sent another message assuring Elliot that he would not cause the Major the slightest trouble when he came to point out the boundary. He even joked that he believed Elliot had forgiven him on account of his (Sarhili’s) birthday.50 But Elliot never arrived. Instead, the boundary was proclaimed by the resident magistrate, Morris. The chief magistrate, for his part, may have calculated that the Gcaleka/Bomvana boundary paled in comparison to the ability to extend the Thembuland boundary further to the Hole-in-the-Wall. The prose of counter-insurgency had created a minor distraction in the form of the Gcaleka/Bomvana boundary in order that it might extend its grip over Gcalekaland. Sarhili had forgotten to glance over his shoulder – to guard his rear, as he was said to have remarked while preparing for a meeting with the resident magistrate some years earlier. In the three submissions by Chief Sirunu, Chief Tyali and Sarhili in October 1885, attention was devoted entirely to the extension of the new boundary that limited and constricted the territorial claims of both Bomvana and Gcaleka. Crais tells us that a meeting had indeed taken place between Elliot and Ngangelizwe, although the document is now damaged and no date is discernible.51 However, he concludes that Ngangelizwe considered his

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control to extend south just over the line separating Mqanduli and Elliotdale districts. Crais argues: ‘This area was a classic borderland, which appears in the archival record as multi-ethnic, that had been contested earlier by the chief and the Xhosa paramount Kreli [sic]. Ngangelizwe especially disliked the fact that the magistrate was permitting “people to reside. . .without procuring the opinion of the chiefs.” ’52 Peires argues that the Thembu were taken under colonial protection and left Sarhili and the Gcaleka surrounded and encircled.53 The prose of counter-insurgency had clearly obscured the different levels of colonial discourse and if the statements by Sirunu, Tyali and Sarhili are of any use, it is that this realisation came too late. Chief Sirunu is reported to have complained bitterly that a boundary line was made without any of the Bomvana being consulted. ‘I allude,’ he added, ‘to the boundary of the Mcwasa River, and further when I once mentioned the matter to major Elliot, chief magistrate, he was quite ignorant with regard to a boundary line having been laid down.’54 Then he made it clear that the boundary of Bomvanaland as known was from Nzulu (Mpaku River mouth) to its source at Ngcwaguba. Tyali recalled a past that reached back in time to relations between the Bomvana and the Gcaleka. He spoke of an exodus from Pondoland when the Bomvana killed Ngungushe, the Pondo chief. Hintsa, chief of the Gcaleka, had offered them the area between the Mbashe and the Umtata border, taking the area of Old Morley as the boundary with the Thembu. The Bomvana Chief Gambushe’s son had married Hintsa’s sister, and Hintsa had married Gambushe’s daughter, Nomsa. Although given the area up to the Umtata, they had only settled it up to the Mpaku River mouth (Hole-in-the-Wall), the rest given up to Chief Pali’s amaTshezi. Tyali pointed out that: the land now occupied by Pali was never Tembuland, it was Gcalekaland; as proof of what I am saying the father of Gcaleka died and was buried at the Ngcwaguba and you will not even now get a Gcaleka woman to drink of the water of that stream nor gather wood from the forest close by.55

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Sarhili, too, echoed these sentiments, speaking of his father’s embracing of the Bomvana and of the ancestral claim to the border now cutting through the heart of what he considered Gcalekaland. ‘The Bomvana are my people and when I fought with Ngangelizwe it was to protect them.’56 Unfortunately, oral history proved incapable of halting the annexation of Gcalekaland. With the prose of counter-insurgency, the boundary between cadastral prose or what historians sometimes call official evidence and orality had been breached to establish the borders of indirect rule. Behind these annotated claims of disgruntlement lay the laughter of the chief magistrate and his gloating bureaucracy – an empty gesture in the declaration of victory. This, as Guha has argued, often appears as a blind spot in radical historiography which fails to acknowledge the terms of law and order in every occurrence of the voice of insurgency in the colonial archive. Such then is the episteme of the border, neither a site of transgression nor an absolute limit. Borders only ever appear to matter where they never really are. This at least is the provisional conclusion of a reading of the prose of counter-insurgency which blurs boundaries, establishes borders and defers endlessly to other levels in the orders of discourse as it envelops colonised subjects and their historians.

Borders that matter
The materialisation of the borders of apartheid in South African historiography has, I argued in this chapter, been achieved with little concern for the prose of counter-insurgency. The epistemological status of borders should not be assumed but questioned in the interests of founding a history after apartheid, one that sets out to disqualify the foundational fiction of the border in the discourse of history. The interest in the border often marks feminist and postcolonial sites of critique of disciplinary knowledge, viewing these border discourses as productive of both meanings and bodies. However, the possibility of transnationalism with its promise of hybridity and new forms of political

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solidarity encounters its limit in the demand for a politics of location, especially one attentive to the circuits of global capitalist modernity. No sooner had border crossing become the preferred way to do scholarship than the realisation of difference set in once more. The transnational has a habit of slipping into the groove of the transactional. My argument for a postphenomenological discussion of the border is an effort to arrest this slippage in the interest of redefining what we mean by scholarly exchange. But we must start more modestly with an earlier coincidence in which a boundary between orality and official script was breached in the process of instituting apartheid’s border. I argue that what this early discourse alludes to is an alignment of evidence and poetics in constructing a mode of evidence. To recall briefly, by modes of evidence I mean a specific alignment of modes of evidence of the colonial archive and the imaginary structure which produces a certain number of effects around the subject. In particular, I argue that its effects largely recall the fractured postcolonial effects upon the subject of African history, not the unified subject of ‘nationalism’s biographic complex’.57 Rather than reading the archive as bearing traces of spontaneous resistance from subalterns, in this chapter I argued that we ought to read it as symptomatic of the prose of counter-insurgency. The reports of suspicious activity in the Mbashe Valley in the late nineteenth-century eastern Cape, of the circulation of the ghost of Hintsa, and of history repeating itself were all products of the prose of counter-insurgency which, I argue – following Ranajit Guha – is not reducible to a prelinguistic level of insurgency. The prose of counter-insurgency sees the verbal report of the ‘native detective’ or policemen translated into the secondary discourse of the resident magistrate, who offers it to the chief magistrate and then passes it on to the historian for revision as a text of resistance. We now have as a consequence radical history written in the terms of law and order. In the process, very little if any effort is given to answering how the historian distinguishes between the reliability and liability of evidence of the colonial archive.

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6 History after apartheid
Europe, in the enigmatic process of its globalization and its paradoxical disappearance, seems to project onto this screen, point by point, the silhouette of its internal war, the bottom line of its profits and losses, the double-bind logic of its national and multi-national interests.1

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The assignmenT of The role of agent in the discourse of history is not an arbitrary decision but one that is intended to mediate the relationship between the discipline of history and the public sphere.2 This is true of the settler public sphere in which Hintsa was co-opted and the post-apartheid public sphere to which Nicholas Gcaleka was conscripted. One of the greatest difficulties in narrating the story of Hintsa is where precisely to locate agency. Assigning agency in such a complex story has to account for the forms of subjection which give rise to the possibilities of agency in the first place, even when such agency is tasked with overcoming the structural conditions of power. The work of the investigating subject is equally obscured in the process. This, however, is not merely an oversight. It is the very condition of history that derives its sources from the activating potential of the archive which authorises, and at best shapes, its discourse. To call into question the forms of subjection generic to the colonial archive is simultaneously to ask if the history activated by that apparatus could have a different relation to the subject formed in a system of domination. With the rise of social history, especially in Africa, the subject that functions

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as a driving force in the discipline of history is the subject of marginality. The study of African history has repeatedly sought to offer this subject a role beyond its subservience for which it is produced by hegemonic forms of power. The subject of African history is a willing subject of resistance, adaptation, consciousness, collaboration, speaking of its victimisation, perpetration, or set to work in the unenviable role as cultural broker. In re-evaluating Nicholas Gcaleka’s search for Hintsa’s skull by way of a discussion of the subjection of agency, I have asked not only for unravelling the work of history in facilitating the subjection of agency but also whether it is possible for the discipline of history to have a different relation to those who do not make the cut of its discourse. Is it possible to adopt a different relationship to the concept of marginality that is constitutive of the discourse of history, one that treats marginality not merely as evidence of some objective socio-economic condition but, more fundamentally, as a symptom of the processes by which the modes of evidence of the colonial archive are constituted and from which knowledge production proceeds? More importantly, what implications might this new relationship have for what I am calling ‘history after apartheid’, that is, a history that seeks to step out of the shadows of the colonial archive and its far-reaching operations? Although these questions have framed the argument of this book, especially as they relate to the responses generated by Nicholas Gcaleka’s alleged retrieval of Hintsa’s skull in 1996, it may be useful to restate the problem in terms that serve to recall the attempt to read Gcaleka’s mission as an indication of disillusionment with postapartheid South Africa. The desire to present Nicholas Gcaleka in terms of an identity that mediates the economic difficulties accompanying unfulfilled promises in the postapartheid period, as Shula Marks suggests, is displaced, in the argument of this book, with an inquiry into how his subalternity is an effect of, and an irreducible crisis for, a regime of truth and alternative histories. By concentrating upon the modes of evidence, without which this regime of truth is invalid, this chapter seeks to go beyond the reversal of the colonial archive that is attempted in nationalist narrations of the killing of Hintsa.

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My aim is to show that the demand for a reinterpretation of history – or its rewriting – is inadequate to the task of thinking after apartheid, precisely because that demand ultimately amounts to little more than a repetition of a formal segregation of history from historiography that is lodged at the very core of a system of representation. The search for a passage out of the shadows of the colonial archive cannot depend on merely disqualifying the claims made on the basis of evidence or on invoking an imaginary structure to posit an alternative history. I have shown so far that both these tactics lead to repetition without difference. Perhaps the only way of stepping out of the shadows of the colonial archive is to mark a difference in the midst of its discourse, that is, in finding in the misfit of the text the sources for the break up of a regime of truth, its modes of evidence and the imaginary structure which, combined, resulted in the subjection of agency. My textual cue for pursuing this line of argument is an exhibition of the colonisation of the eastern Cape at the Albany Museum in Grahamstown. As you may recall from the earlier discussion, Grahamstown was the setting of an emergent settler public sphere which was activated in part by the war of 1834–35 and the killing of Hintsa. The Albany Museum was, and is, very definitely a museum of the frontier. In Cory’s The Rise of South Africa, it is named as containing the skull of the ‘rascal’ Hermanus, and in recent exhibitions it has put on display ornaments and an assegai seized from Hintsa on the fateful day when he was killed on the banks of the Nqabara River in 1835. Since 1994, the Albany Museum has taken its first steps towards reconciliation, through revising the gallery on the history of the eastern Cape. We have, in the museum’s text displays, a more favourable representation (by postapartheid standards) of the 100 years of war that engulfed the eastern Cape in the nineteenth century. However, it is a history that now relates to the rise of a new national narrative, one that sympathetically details interpretations associated with Xhosa historiography while offering a glimpse into settler colonial histories. It does not seek to provide a balanced history though, as the need to provide a corrective to settler colonial history is more pressing. In the process of correction, several aspects of the exhibition attest to post-apartheid

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remaking. Among these, a painting by Frederick I’Ons titled Chiefs Crossing a River is, juxtaposed with a triptych by Hilary Graham titled The Death of Hintsa, painted in 1990, which helps to convey suspicion of mutilation of the king following his killing. Graham’s triptych serves as an alibi to my argument. He presents visual cues for the killing of Hintsa in a museum that is searching for a postapartheid identity. Graham’s paintings cut through the exhibition, offering a glimpse into colonial violence while testing the limits of what can be said about the killing of Hintsa. The textual cue in the title of Graham’s third panel – Smith cuts off Hintsa’s ear – accompanied by the museum’s parenthetical note ‘(this is the artist’s view and not a proven fact)’ opens up the very problematic that has defined my argument. Graham portrays a scene of frenzy where no amount of factual accounting can produce a sense of order or narrative cohesion, while the parenthetical correctives offered by the museum to the title of each panel are telling indeed.

Collection: Albany Museum

Figure 6a: The death of Hintsa, by Hilary Graham, 1990, Panel 1: The tragic death of Hintsa (Chief Hintsa and Harry Smith negotiate the return of stolen cattle).

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Figure 6b: Panel 2: Smith shoots Chief Hintsa (in fact George Southey fatally shot Hintsa).

Figure 6c: Panel 3: Smith cuts off Hintsa’s ear (this is the artist’s view and not a proven fact).

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Exhibiting colonial history
In the Albany Museum exhibition, there are signs of a nineteenth-century framework of order and a supposedly monolithic settler colonial history being replaced by multiple interpretations and competing histories. In the introductory panel to the exhibition, the revision of nineteenth-century histories of the eastern Cape is made explicit: This exhibition provides a brief summary of the complex history of the eastern Cape from 1780 to 1910. Contact amongst the peoples of the eastern Cape led to conflict and conquest, which in turn, contributed to the making of modern South Africa. People, depending on their particular social, economic, cultural and political background, will perceive and record what they see around them differently. Historians are also influenced by their own world-views. This exhibition relies mostly on quotes, pictures and objects to tell a story. It is merely a stepping stone for your own interpretation. 4 The unspoken desire expressed here is, of course, that the assemblage of quotes, pictures and objects – the products of a history of colonisation – may inspire another interpretation. The curators of the Albany Museum find the potential for interpretation in stories, such as that of the killing of Hintsa, which have for so long been understood as a dead end amongst historians.5 Reminding readers that historians are not time travellers who can leap back into the distant past to study it first-hand, Gerard Corsane argued in the pages of The Phoenix, the museum’s magazine, that: historians can seldom claim that they know or can present all the exact details of what happened in the past. Although they should aim at being objective and disciplined they will not end up with absolute truths. Instead, using the evidence critically and professionally, they can only ever hope to provide an interpretation of what they think occurred. The readers of historical interpretations will also be

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influenced by their points of view, but through consensus they will decide which interpretations are acceptable.6 The demand for reinterpretation is of course the demand for another meaning. But this does not refer to just any meaning. Rather, as the excerpts drawn from the exhibition suggest, this is meaning connected to a sense of modern South Africa and bound to rules that demand objectivity, discipline and truth – however difficult these may be to realise. The desire for multiple interpretations, new meaning, objectivity, discipline and truth, however, encounters its limit in the particular story of the killing of Hintsa. In talking about the killing, the exhibition offers the following apology that combines two rather discrepant propositions: ‘Although the true facts of Hintsa’s death will remain shrouded due to a lack of evidence, he has since been seen as a heroic symbol of Xhosa nationalism.’ For the purposes of this chapter, I will refer to these as propositions A and B respectively. Not too long ago the renowned British historian and philosopher Robin Collingwood would have dismissed the first proposition as a problem that should not occupy the historian. So far as Collingwood was concerned, the rules of the game of history meant interpreting all the available evidence with the maximum degree of critical skill. In his famous The Limits of Historical Knowledge, Collingwood suggested that historical thinking ‘does not mean discovering what really happened, if “what really happened” is anything other than “what the evidence indicates”’.7 He, of course, did not anticipate the problem that emerges when the evidence itself produces doubt – when it was constituted as doubt – over what really happened, as we shall shortly see in the discussion on the story of the killing of Hintsa. The suggestion implicit in the Albany Museum’s text is that it was precisely the lack of evidence that produced the conditions for another history, one that symbolically deployed the figure of Hintsa in the narrative of anti-colonial nationalism. How then did the project of refiguring Hintsa in ‘Xhosa nationalism’ bypass the despair that Dipesh Chakrabarty once claimed had accompanied

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every attempt to provincialise Europe? More importantly, how does Xhosa nationalism make its claims in the face of Europe’s doubtful archive? And how, more specifically, does nationalist reinterpretation relate to Chakrabarty’s sense that ‘insofar as the academic discourse of history is concerned, “Europe” remains the sovereign, theoretical subject of all histories, including the one’s we call “Indian,” “Chinese,” “Kenyan,” and so on’?8 How did it then become possible in the Albany Museum to expand the realm of the sayable within a discourse where Europe and its archive served as a silent but primary referent? I will proceed with a general comment on the demand for truth about the killing of Hintsa before turning to the symbolic reproduction of Hintsa in Xhosa nationalism, which implicitly is a necessary response to the violence of colonialism. To explore what is entailed in this response, I want to draw on Chakrabarty’s Provincialising Europe as a textual accomplice to my reading of propositions A and B.9 Chakrabarty moves from the premise of the asymmetries that shape the grand narrative of history towards exploring how to renew the privileged narrative of modernity from and for the margins. In a sustained critique of historicism, Chakrabarty argues against seeing postcolonial histories ‘as addressing a lack or incompleteness and that assumes an additive view of totality’.10 To substitute the historicism that leads to a totalising concept of the present, he produces a more substantive theory of plurality – that is, a non-totalising concept of the present – in what he calls ‘history 1’ (universal and necessary history posited by the logic of capital) and ‘history 2’ (pasts encountered by capital as antecedents but not as belonging to its own life process).11 To be fair, Chakrabarty makes a concerted effort to distinguish between minority and subaltern histories, the latter which often, as John Beverley reminds us, involves ‘a parodic debunking of authority’.12 For the purposes of this chapter, I want to read proposition B in the terms specified for history 2, even though, I suspect, the former does not fit the conceptualisation of resistance that Chakrabarty wants to articulate. While postcolonial criticism has produced significant critiques of history 1, its relationship to history 2 is less clear. This is where something

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like the solidity of a postcolonial criticism gives way to a division of the tasks of exposure on the one hand, and the displacing work of an affirmative deconstruction on the other. The tasks of exposure, it would seem, highlight the domination of reason through an effort at exploring the politics of representation. Referring to the anthropologist Talal Asad’s work, Aamir Mufti suggests that the function of genealogy in this context is to uncover and expose the dynamics of the storytelling through which the west is produced as a universal project at numerous political and cultural sites around the world.13 Similarly, David Scott writes that ‘one strand of the critique of colonialist discourse, one which owes much to Edward Said’s Orientalism, has been centrally concerned to demonstrate how colonialist textuality works at the level of image and language to produce a distorted representation of the colonized’.14 This strategy, Scott adds, has sought to expose the devices through which the colonised have been denied voice, autonomy and agency. Pasts located in history 2 often articulate, to quote Slavoj Zizek, as a: multiculturalist problematic of the colonized minority’s right to narrate their victimizing experience, of the power mechanisms that repress otherness, so that, at the end of the day, we learn that the root of postcolonial exploitation is our intolerance toward the Other and, furthermore, that this intolerance itself is rooted in our intolerance toward the ‘Stranger in Ourselves,’ in our inability to confront what we repressed in and of ourselves.15 The slippage into multiculturalism that concerns Zizek has of course also troubled many postcolonial critics. Leela Gandhi, for example, points out that it is Said’s contention that in their desperate assertions of civilisational alterity, postcolonial nations submit all too easily to a defiant and puerile rejection of imperial cultures.16 The result is an acceptance of nativism by postcolonial nations which, according to Said: is to accept the consequences of imperialism, the racial, religious, and political divisions imposed by imperialism itself. To leave the

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historical world for the metaphysics of essences like negritude, Irishness, Islam or Catholicism is to abandon history for essentialisations that have the power to turn human beings against each other.17 We must read in this statement a general opposition to quasi-transcendentalism, even as the limits of western humanist discourse are clearly marked in the work of postcolonial criticism. Contrary to Zizek’s concern for the multicultural implications of postcolonial criticism, Said’s interventions have often involved ‘thinking at the limit’ of the west.18 This is not dissimilar to Chakrabarty’s anti-historicist project of reading history 1 in tandem with history 2, or the subaltern studies project where a demographic differential is the site of an enabling critique of historiography even as it is often the mark of political failure. But, the recovery of the subaltern, to cite Gayatri Spivak, is also the moment of its erasure.19 In other words, the emergence of subaltern studies cannot merely rest with the assignation of the subject of difference, or only with its constitutive role in the formation of the sovereign subject. Rather, subaltern studies also involves an intensification of the crisis of history. The qualification is important given the transcendental claims made in the disciplinary field of African history. A good example of this synthesis can be found in Steven Feierman’s ‘African Histories and the Dissolution of World History’.20 Feierman tracks the various attempts to insert Africa into global processes of world historical change only to find an expanded narrative field which achieves the decentring of Europe. But when read in relation to VY Mudimbe’s The Invention of Africa, the victory indeed seems hollow.21 In contrast to the quasi-transcendentalism of Feierman’s claim, Mudimbe explores how ethnography was inserted into every conceivable way of talking about, and of course knowing, Africa so that the space of the exploration of gnosis is not a void. To read Mudimbe is to encounter the interconnected grids of discipline, institution and epistemology that sustain colonial marginality in subsequent orders of discourse. Like Paul Veyne’s

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study of Greek mythology in a philosophical programme of truth, Mudimbe’s examinations of the invention of Africans are products of the combinatory force of knowledge and gnosis or myth.22 Mudimbe’s study of the order of knowledge of Africa is a reminder that the text of decolonisation has to confront not only the inaugural moment of subalternisation but also the episteme that is constitutive of the conditions of possibility through which Africa is invented. Effectively, this translates as the necessity to debilitate further the claim made on the basis of the archive while investigating how these conditions of possibility are also the scene for the experiments in decolonisation. In the preceding chapters I delineated the strategies and the techniques by which the discipline of history gathers the past in its orders of knowledge. I argued that the order of historical knowledge confronts, from the vantage of postcolonial criticism, its limit in the very practices that framed the logic of colonisation. I was especially interested in tracking the assemblage of rules, techniques, practices and discourses of evidence that characterise the grammar of colonial domination. By bringing the archive to a crisis, by subjecting it to a form of radical critique, I want to explore the conditions of possibility that may have given rise to the statement about Xhosa nationalism in the Albany Museum as it sought to reinterpret the colonial past for postapartheid times. In other words, I wish to understand how proposition A enables proposition B in the Albany Museum, to suspect it, so to speak, of a quasi-transcendentalism. In so doing, I do not simply wish to show how B was excluded from A, or how B posits a limit to A, but rather how A and B in their cross-hatching define the epistemic crisis of history. That is to say, in what way is the commonplace proposition that the ‘true facts of Hintsa’s death will remain shrouded’ completely consistent with the apparently discrepant proposition that he ‘has since been seen as a heroic symbol of Xhosa nationalism’? The crisis of history is marked by the way in which incommensurable propositions are rendered meaningful through a system of representation that elides its own operation at the expense of a process of subjection. Making sense of the crisis

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of history is an opportunity for envisaging a history after apartheid in which a reconstitution of a relation to marginality is also the point at which to continue the project of strategic invalidation of the reversals of the colonial archive, but to different ends to those posited by anti-colonial nationalism.

Hintsa and the search for truth
In the story of the killing of Hintsa the charge of misrepresentation has always been accompanied by the demand for a truer account of the event. This, as I argued in Chapter 3, is an inaugural point of nationalism which always proceeds by suspecting the colonial prose of containing not merely misrepresentations, but blatant lies. In proclaiming that the ‘true facts’ about Hintsa’s death will never be known, proposition A shares in this distrust of the colonial representation. Rather than being a consequence, as proposition A suggests, of a lack of evidence, I would argue that the dismay at not knowing the ‘true facts’ about Hintsa’s death is because there was too much evidence, not a lack of evidence. The excess of evidence, often drawn from the writings of subaltern soldiers who were out of the loop of official networks of communication, supported a growing metropolitan lobby that morally objected to the oppressive and violent attitudes of the settlers in the eastern Cape. Initially, the demand for a truer account came from those who were morally outraged at news of the mutilation of the body. Confronted with the unsettling effects of a lobby that threatened to fracture the identity between metropole and colony, colonial officials set about narrating the events in ways that would limit criticism to the question of morality rather than colonisation. Henry James Halse, then a Grahamstown resident, confessed in 1875 to having leaked the story of the death of Hintsa that resulted in a public outcry in London and, subsequently, a military commission of inquiry. In an autobiography written specifically for his children and close relatives, and

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accompanied by the instruction that it be read only after his death, Halse reflected on the ‘excitement’ about the killing and mutilation of Hintsa. Claiming to be the unintentional cause of the excitement, he wrote: I had written to my father from the camp and among other things had given him an account of this affair. As news from the camp was greedily sought after, he showed the letter to several persons, among others, Dr Ambrose Campbell who was always at war with the authorities, and was the editor of a paper. He got hold of it and made so much of it in England that a commission of enquiry was ordered two years after to enquire into particulars. I heard of it, a summons, for me as witness was prepared, but I was at the time preparing for a journey into the interior, I hurried my movements and started on horseback, leaving my wagon to follow. Thus the summons was not served. All the other witnesses being well primed, denied any knowledge of the mutilation, and the enquiry came to an end, much to the annoyance of Dr Campbell who tried, but could not revive it after my return.23 In many ways Halse’s account contradicted the version that dominated the proceedings of the commission. This is not to suggest that Halse did not believe that Hintsa deserved his fate. On the contrary, he, like many others, believed that Hintsa was a victim of his own treachery. Similarly, his account generally followed the contours of the dominant narrative that described Hintsa’s escape, his alleged attack on Smith, the pursuit by George Southey and the subsequent shooting by the latter as told to the commission of inquiry. But there are significant departures from what Halse referred to as the ‘primed responses’ of participants in the killing. Firstly, Halse claims that Major White, who had accompanied Smith and had been sketching the territories which were traversed by colonial forces, was killed before Hintsa.

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Halse writes: On the evening of the third day White did not return to camp and a party were next morning sent in search, whom we soon found with his party of four men, one English servant and three Hottentots, brutally murdered and mutilated. The poor fellows had evidently been surprised, caught and killed without making any resistance. We buried the bodies and moved on.24 In Halse’s recollection, it was after this incident that Hintsa made his escape and was pursued and shot. Interestingly, in Smith’s autobiography, Caesar Andrews’s diary and James Alexander’s travel narrative respectively, the killing of White is dated as 13 May, a day after the killing of Hintsa. Theophilus Shepstone, the interpreter, claims in his diary that Hintsa died on the 12th and Major White on the 14th.25 In these narratives, it is claimed that White was probably killed in revenge for the killing of Hintsa. However, Halse allows us to ask whether the accusation of revenge, perhaps, did not in fact belong to the British soldiers charged with escorting Hintsa. Secondly, Halse’s account contradicts those testimonies that denied that Hintsa’s body had been mutilated following his death. Having killed Hintsa, Halse tells us that ‘William Southey cut off Hintsa’s ears and Dr. Ford of the 72nd [cut] the upper lip and flesh of the cheeks and chin, which they carried off as souvenirs’.26 This, Halse added with hindsight, ‘was a very wrong and barbarous thing to do, but we did not think so at the time, and it might have been the cause of doing the colony a serious injury’.27 Reference to ‘injury to the colony’ possibly reflects the responses, especially in London, to news of the killing and mutilation of Hintsa. In the metropole, news of the killing was greeted with widespread moral outrage and protest. The burning of an effigy of Southey in the streets of London is taken to indicate how strong the response was to the killing and to news of the mutilation of Hintsa.28 Much of this protest coincided with the rise of liberal humanitarian opinion and the slave emancipation lobby in the metropole in the 1830s.

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Many colonists hastily set about defending their actions in reply to the public outcry against the violent treatment meted out by the settlers towards the ‘indigenous people’.29 Those immediately involved in the killing of Hintsa denied the charges of mutilation of the body. Writing in The Grahamstown Journal in 1836, Lieutenant Balfour stated that he did not see Southey cut off Hintsa’s ears and that he could not take it upon himself that such a thing was done. He claimed that he and Southey left the bush together and that at that time Hintsa’s body was not mutilated except by the shots fired. Having denied the accusation of mutilation, many settlers sought to deflect attention away from the actual killing by blaming missionaries such as John Philips, who it was claimed ‘had taken up an attitude towards the British settlers’ and was ‘entirely carried away with sympathy towards the natives, whom he looked upon as a people who were oppressed and robbed by the colonists’.30 Missionaries such as Philips were held entirely responsible for stirring up sentiment against the colonists in England and for the reversal of D’Urban’s colonial policy that favoured settlers. As for the killing of Hintsa, colonial officials painted a picture of a treacherous Xhosa king who was ultimately responsible for his own death. Sir John Herschel, the Cape intellectual, regarded the death of Hintsa as a casualty ‘naturally incident to the attempt to escape, in which a man knowing his wish takes the chances and fails’.31 Had Hintsa escaped, Herschel continued, it would have placed Smith’s troops in danger. George Southey, who shot Hintsa, was seen by many to have operated purely and legitimately within the parameters of duty. In a letter claiming to furnish a true statement of Hintsa’s death dated 7 February 1836 from King William’s Town and probably addressed to Southey, the writer claims: The conspicuous part which you performed in the affair will naturally excite you on perusal of the false statements which have been sent forth to deceive the public; but feel satisfied that you only performed a duty which however disagreeable, circumstances rendered necessary – and which entirely resulted from the treacherous conduct of the chief himself. Whoever knows the character and habits of the Kafir is well

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aware that to take him prisoner is almost impossible, and that, as he never extends mercy to his enemy, so is he determined never to receive it, resisting in the most desperate manner.32 By placing racial stereotypes in the service of justification for an act of violence, colonial officials were clearly hoping that metropolitan criticism would succumb to the common sentiment of racial solidarity. That so much more was written about the event after 1835 suggests that such hopes, at best, were dashed. In an entry dated 12 May 1835, George Southey describes the action that saw the demise of Hintsa: Colonel Smith’s horse being the swiftest, he came up to him first (after Hintsa had escaped) and snapped his pistol. Finding that it misfired, he threw it at Hintsa’s head, the second pistol also misfired and that followed the first. The Colonel then struck him with the first, but all to no purpose. He then seized him by the ‘Kaross’ at the back of the neck and pulled him from his horse. Hintsa finding himself on the ground and closely pursued, drew an assegai and threw it at the Colonel. While this was going on I gained ground on him, sprang from my horse and called out to him to stop or I would shoot him – He looked round but took no further notice and I fired and struck him in the left leg, just under the calf and close to the bone. He fell upon his hands, got up again and went down the hill. . .the Colonel ordered me to fire again. I did so and the ball passed through his body on the right side just under the ribs – he fell and rolled over but was soon on his legs again and kept the same way down the hill and into the bush – A rustling of assegais brought me to a spot where Hintsa lay, concealed under a large stone in the river and while in the act of lifting his assegai, I shot him through the top of his head which laid him dead on the spot.33 Southey’s account would eventually form the core of subsequent narrations. Read alongside the various accounts, the brevity of George Southey’s version is

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betrayed by the inclusion of narrative detail that substantially revises the core explanation. Halse, for example, included himself in the action and claimed to have fired a shot in the direction where he had last seen Hintsa’s head. Theophilus Shepstone, who had not accompanied Smith’s troops to the Bashee, but who had heard of the event subsequently, entered an account in his diary in which he added that when Smith called out to the king, the latter turned around and smiled. In Shepstone’s account, the smile is linked to an earlier observation where ‘each of Hintsa’s men gathered a single piece of grass, which he collected and tied in a circle and appended to his necklace’.34 This, Shepstone thought, was intended as a charm, as Hintsa thought it would stop the bullets or favour his escape. Smile and charm were, in Shepstone’s analysis, part of a premeditated plan that deserved the outcomes that were achieved. Taken together, Southey, Halse (notwithstanding the points of contradiction relating to the death of Major White and the issue of mutilation alluded to earlier) and Shepstone’s accounts correspond to the narrative of treachery which was held to be the central reason for killing Hintsa and upheld by the portrayal of the king. This was a story that would be repeated at the military commission of inquiry in 1836 and the revisions – the inclusion of additional information such as the distance of 200 yards from which Southey first shot at Hintsa – were all marshalled as authenticating techniques. In the spirit of collective memory, the basic claim that Hintsa deserved his fate was proven. In an environment where colonial homogeneity was assumed but never really guaranteed, there were always other stories that would inadvertently surface. Moral outrage at the killing of Hintsa was not merely the preserve of metropolitan lobbyists or the amaXhosa. In his recollections of frontier experiences, Captain Charles Lennox Stretch made clear his view of the killing as brutal conduct. For expressing these views, Stretch was approached by both Captain Murray and Lieutenant Balfour and cautioned about his pronouncements on the event. And while Balfour accused Stretch of a personal vendetta, the latter referred him to four officers of Balfour’s regiment – Peddie, Leslie, Fisher and Lacy – who all remembered Mr Driver, Southey and Shaw,

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all members of the 72nd Regiment, confirming that Hintsa had called out for mercy several times. Many years later, Stretch added further claims of brutality and mutilation in his journal that contradicted the official version. He noted: Captain Murray and Lieutenant Fisher were on guard over Chief Hintsa and were directed to shoot him and Boko [Hintsa’s brother] if they attempted to escape. The feelings of these gentlemen and other officers of the corps, 72nd Regiment, were very keenly expressed on this occasion. Mr. Simmons informed me when the former chief fell, having in vain called for mercy, Mr. Nourse cut out the emblems of his manhood, Mr. Shaw the ears and skin of his chin, while a certain doctor with a bayonet endeavoured to extract some of his teeth.35 The reports of genital mutilation, of the extraction of teeth and of the involvement of soldiers other than Southey and Ford in the mutilation of the body, which generated so much outrage amongst metropolitan humanitarians, give one the impression of an expansion of the realms of the sayable. Stretch, for example, claims to have overheard a conversation between Driver and Lieutenant Leslie of the 72 nd Regiment. Driver, it is claimed, said that ‘Hintsa called out lustily for mercy, but you know Southey had much to revenge’.36 Even as it questions the motives for the shooting, this statement, it seems, in its insistence on proving that Hintsa had called out for mercy, limits the discussion to a lack of moral judgement on the part of colonial forces. The work of moral outrage was to be performed on the grounds of a suspicion of lies – itself a moral claim framed by the desire for killing in good faith or colonisation without violence. The overproduction of evidence was clearly what prompted colonial officials representing settler interests to convene a commission of inquiry into the killing of Hintsa. To counter the growing accusations against the colonists, the commission of inquiry emerged, for all intents and purposes, as an archive that would function as a regime regulating statements about

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the killing of Hintsa. The commission re-established the constraints of speech by making the modes of evidence specific to its violence the basis for all further commentary. The commission ultimately ensured that the archive was authorised by the cadastral prose of the state. In some respects we could say that proposition A in the Albany Museum completely understates the colonial response to the overproduction of evidence which saw the convergence of the archive and the state in the management of truth.37 To rephrase proposition A along these lines is to bring it into some correspondence with the universalising logic of what Chakrabarty calls history 1. For history 1 to function, however, it needs history 2 – that is, pasts encountered by the universal signifier but not belonging to its own life processes – as antecedent. But in Chakrabarty’s formulation of the problem, there is also a need to maintain some conceptual independence for the antecedent by proclaiming it as not part of the life process of the universal signifier. In some respects this mark of difference – the identification of the antecedent – is always also a strategy, which in the hands of Chakrabarty carries the potential to modify and interrupt the totalising thrusts of history.38 The question, of course, is how effective this strategy is for enabling thinking after apartheid, by which I mean not only its historical contextual specificity, but also its operation as a watchword for the intrinsic violence of a politics of difference. Framed as such we may ask how proposition B in the Albany Museum as an expression of history 2 undermines and perhaps even renders ineffectual the tasks of modification and interruption ascribed to it by Chakrabarty. We could say then that it is equally important to track the process through which the antecedent was incorporated into – or resonated with – an archive that both enabled and prescribed the realms of discourse. The ascendancy of Hintsa within nationalist narration more broadly speaking, accompanied a view that everybody belonged to history and that everyone in fact possessed history. Claiming this history in his Nobel Prize address in December 1961, Chief Albert Luthuli, then president of the aNC, noted how:

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Our history is one of opposition to domination, of protest and refusal to submit to tyranny. Consider some of our great names; the great nation-builder Shaka, who welded tribes together into the Zulu nation from which I spring, Moshoeshoe the statesmen [sic] and nation-builder who fathered the Basuto nation and placed Basutoland beyond the claws of South African whites, Hintsa of the Xhosas chose death rather than surrender his territory to white invaders. All these and other royal names as well as other great chieftains, resisted manfully white intrusion.39 Six months later, in June 1962, Luthuli made a similar plea in the pages of New Age, a left-wing newspaper, in which he called on ‘non-whites to draw inspiration from the great battles of Shaka, Mosheshoe [sic], of Gandhi and Hintsa’. 40 Thomas Karis and Gwendolen Carter, in their documentary history of South Africa, remind us of the lurking presence of the legislator, pointing out that Luthuli’s exhortation was to be his last public statement in South Africa. The new Sabotage Act of 1962, they add, prohibited the reproduction of any statement made anywhere at any time (including any time in the past) by a person who was banned from attending public gatherings. Mandela, too, would recall at his trial in 1962 how: Many years ago, when I was a boy brought up in the village in the Transkei, the elders would tell tales about the wars fought by our ancestors in defense of the fatherland, as well as the acts of valour by generals and soldiers during those epic days. The names of Dingane and Bambatha among the Zulus, of Hintsa, Makana, Ndlambe of the AmaXhosa, of Sekhukhuni and others in the north, were mentioned as the pride and glory of the entire African nation. 41 In his statement during the Rivonia trial on 20 April 1964, Mandela repeated this anecdote. This time, however, he added that these stories motivated him to serve his people. Both Luthuli and Mandela narrate the nation in terms of the inspiration drawn from the founding fathers. The male subject notwithstanding, both Luthuli and Mandela allude to the need to reconstruct

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the narrative of the nation. The idea of the nation, Geoffrey Bennington reminds us, is inseparable from its narration. 42 And while such narration addresses national origins, myths of founding fathers and genealogies of heroes43 it is also, despite nationalism’s refusal to acknowledge it adequately, always haunted by the spectre of the legislator. The two are never really far from each other. One is unintelligible without the other. What is crucial here is the way in which history became the primary site for negotiating the universal and the particular so that history emerged as the system of knowledge within which the legitimacy of colonial domination could be contested. Perhaps the most eloquent and sustained articulation of the need for a battle to be waged on the ground of history came from Steve Biko, the leader of the Black Consciousness Movement who was killed in 1977. Writing in 1972, a few years before his untimely death, Biko noted with dismay that the history of the black people is presented as a long lamentation of repeated defeats. In the same piece he notes: Strangely enough, everybody has come to accept that the history of South Africa starts in 1652 [the date that mythologises the arrival of Van Riebeeck at the Cape of Good Hope]. No doubt this is to support the often-told lie that Blacks arrived in this country at about the same time as Whites. Thus, a lot of attention has to be paid to our history if we as Blacks are to aid each other in coming into consciousness. We have to rewrite our history and describe in it the heroes that formed the core of resistance to White invaders. More has to be revealed and stress has to be paid on the successful nation-building attempts by people like Shaka, Moshoeshoe and Hintsa. 44 In this search for history, Hintsa emerged alongside many other founding ‘fathers’ such as Shaka and Moshoeshoe. For nationalist narration these founding fathers embodied the discrepant values of difference and sameness, the latter in the articulation of their contribution to the first semblance of anti-colonial nationalism. Nationalism qualifies as a quasi-transcendental

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discourse because it establishes difference only with the view to reconciliation further down the line. Insofar as it represents a transgression at all, that transgression is located within the logic of the colonial legislator, exposing the limitations of its representational capacity. Hintsa, like Shaka and Moshoeshoe, emerged as a more representative figure embodying the nationalist virtues of resister, nation-builder and statesman. The discipline of history generally shares this limit with nationalism in its often deliberate attempts to undo colonial constructions of the past. In the Albany Museum, as in many other museums, nationalism is represented by two conditions – ethnic origins and the proclivity to state formation. Hence, we are often left with the paradoxical notion of Xhosa nationalism. In rather crude terms we could say that nationalism, as it is presented in the museum of the frontier, is the sum of anthropology, geography and history. While the anthropological has always been suspected because of its pivotal role in the dreaded homeland system of apartheid, the subversion of settler colonial narratives seemed to require history in order to make an effective argument. The result was the development of a disciplinary object called the ‘precolonial state’ which made provision for ‘museumized access to ethnic origin’45 that sought to sidestep the implications of apartheid ideology. The precolonial state may have had ethnically derived identities but, the museum tells us implicitly, they were in every manner comparable to the apparatus of the state as it came to be known in nineteenth-century Europe. The precolonial state was precolonial in its essence but universal in its functioning as a state. And to prove that the Xhosa had a viable concept of history, the Albany Museum presents us with an account that stresses the exercise of state power and the functioning of an apparatus that covers the fundamental aspects of social life: the distribution of resources, the regulation of everyday life, warfare, diplomacy and economic power. What this amounts to is nothing less than conceptual equalisation between the precolonial and the colonial. To think after apartheid is to remain sensitive to the way such equalisations manifest themselves even today in and as the very sediment

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that grounds our concept of the present. In the Castle of Good Hope, longtime symbol of colonial oppression, the painting of Sarhili, Hintsa’s son and heir to the Xhosa kingship, by Frederick I’Ons is accompanied by a discourse of the virtues of the precolonial state. The text panel explained the burden of Sarhili’s reign as follows: Chief Sarhili’s entire life was affected by the inhumane death of his father, yet he protected and treated with consideration any European in need of his help at the mercy of his people. C.H. Malan, a British Officer [sic], later wrote: ‘Sarhili did not attack or threaten the British government, he did not injure a white man. In personal character he is in every sense a noble man and it has been his most earnest endeavour for the last twenty years to keep on good terms with the English nation.’46 Dancing to the tune of the colonial master was not without its problems, especially when it involved figuring the category of the people who were presented as the subjects of such a benevolent chief. Despite the sense of generosity towards the settler society conveyed in the Castle of Good Hope, we are given a glimpse of the consequences of the failure of colonial society to recognise the deep sense of responsibility that Xhosa chiefs had towards their subjects. Chief Sarhili’s relationship with the colony, the exhibition suggests, was always troubled as he tried to protect his territory: The 1857 Eastern Cape disaster [referring to the cattle-killing episode] should be told for its tragedy and its meaning. Therefore, the chief’s support for the Nongqawuse cattle killing episode led him to admit responsibility for the suffering of his people. Thus he said: ‘I was a great chief, being as I am the son of Chief Hintsa, who left me rich in cattle and ordering my people to do the same, and I shall be left alone as my people must scatter in search of food; thus I am no longer a chief. It is all my fault; I have no one to blame but myself.’ Such words reveal the obligation of trust chiefs had towards their people. 47

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Taken together, these statements may be read as indicating that the presentation of respectability towards the English coloniser was not reciprocated. This threatened not only the rule of Sarhili, or Hintsa for that matter, but also their sovereign responsibility towards the subjects that served as the basis for precolonial states. The discourse of virtues, which De Certeau calls the genre of biography, was central to an earlier nationalist narrative which sought to figure the precolonial state in terms that demonstrated the responsibilities supposedly prevalent and generic to the modern state. The clearest examples may be found in the writings of JH Soga in his study of the political formations in the eastern Cape. In his biography of Sarhili, Soga’s ambition is to describe the heir to Hintsa as a humanitarian and as a ruler with limited powers – that is, in opposition to the colonial description of precolonial leaders as despotic. The motifs for this biographical construction depend on Sarhili’s attitudes towards the British but also, and more importantly in my view, on relationships with the governed. Guided by the expertise and experience of a Xhosa elder, Bambaniso ka-Kalipa, Soga weaves together a story in which ruler and ruled operate within a sphere of negotiation. In part, the arena of indecision about the boundaries of power and expression are an indication that Sarhili assumed power when, as Soga points out, ‘the times were so out of joint’. 48 The reference is clearly one directed at the difficulties associated with the onset of forms of indirect colonial rule and perhaps the consequences of Sarhili’s supportive stance during the cattle-killing episode which, history tells us, led to the decimation of the Xhosa polity. Soga constructs a conscious subject, true to his paternal inheritance, when he sets out to describe Sarhili as opting for a situation of limited power. On a certain day Kreli [Sarhili] had occasion to go to the kraal of an important man who lived near the Butterworth River (e-Gcuwa). He had a small retinue accompanying him, among whom was Bambaniso son of Kalipa. The latter had served the chief for a considerable time, and thought that, by this time, he should have received something for his services, but this had not materialized. He privately told Maroto, one

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of the councilors, and a relative of Kreli’s about the matter. Maroto, who was full of mischief, proposed a little scheme. He advised Bambaniso how to act in the circumstances, and that he would have an opportunity shortly as the chief was preparing for a journey. As soon as they had taken the road Bambaniso proceeded to put the plan into execution. The chief was wakened early in the morning by Bambaniso entering his hut, and inquired, ‘What is it?’ ‘Mus’ ukundi-fundekela’ (don’t worry me) replied Bambaniso. The chief then rose and said to him ‘Why do you not smoke?’ The question was ignored. Kreli now said ‘Go and call Maroto for me.’ ‘Andiz ukuya’ (I am not going) replied the apparently saucy servant. ‘Well call Dalasile and tell him I want to see him.’ ‘Andiz ukuya, andi nguye umntu wako’ (I am not going, I am not one of your people). The wise old Chief Kreli saw under the surface of this unusual behavior, but, secretly amused, determined to draw out bit by bit this rude servant until the cause of his pantomime was laid bear [sic]. Kreli had a deepseated but quiet humor which he allowed play as a counterfoil to the tedium and boredom of official duties. 49 Bambaniso’s intransigence, of course, was not only directed at Sarhili but also at those who surrounded the chief. In the end it is not certain to whom the quality of humour belongs, but it is quite clear that servants had as much access to pantomime and humour as rulers. In the case of subaltern access to humour, however, the chances are quite substantial that it was directed more at parody than any playfulness that may be attributed to those in power. A second incident bears out this claim more clearly. The chief had a small black and white dog, of the terrier type, called Dondi, of which he was very fond. The young man who served the chief as domestic servant, having placed the food before him, usually sat near by while he ate. On one occasion while the chief, surrounded by his councilors, partook of some meat, his little dog sat facing him a few yards away. Kreli cut a piece of the meat and threw it to his little

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favorite, but in its passage through the air one or other of the young men would catch it and eat it. This went on a number of times, the chief pretending not to notice what was taking place. Each time a piece of meat was thrown to the dog it was retrieved and appropriated by the servants. Meanwhile some of the councilors silently looked on amused at this undignified conduct of the young men, while others showed by their countenances disapproval of this seeming want of respect. At last Kreli took notice. ‘Hi betu?’ (what is this, friends?) ‘Ma-Gcaleka kanindi buzele kwaba bafana ukuba benza nina.’ (Ye Gcalekas enquire for me what these young men mean by this conduct). Not waiting to be asked by one of the councilors, one of them said, ‘Singabantwana be-nkosi, akunakuti kutyiswe inja silambile’ (we are the children of the chief, it cannot be that a dog should be fed while we are hungry). Kreli then took the little dog and placed it between his knees, and fed it by hand, thus circumventing his attendants.50 Soga directs the subaltern gestures towards unsettling the colonial constructions of precolonial political formations as despotic. In this regard, it qualifies as a work of anti-colonial writing that enjoins the writings of SEK Mqhayi. Anti-colonial narration limits us to the referent of the state and its logic articulated through concepts such as nation and social cohesion. Stated differently, we could say that anti-colonial nationalism narrates the possibility of the nation state without surrendering the rationality of its pre-existence in Europe’s history. As Partha Chatterjee reminds us in Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World, this is what Hegel calls the ‘cunning of reason’.

Statist histories and their ends
The nationalist desire for history, that is, its desire in part for a re-evaluation of its precolonial past in the light of what it considers colonial distortion, is also the logic by which it necessarily pursues the ideal of the nation state.

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In the narrative of JH Soga, dealing with the incomprehensibility of the subaltern gesture is tantamount to inserting the subaltern, as Spivak calls it, ‘into the long road to hegemony’.51 The subaltern subject in the historical narrative that nationalism carves for itself exposes the way in which the life of the nation is mediated by the concept of the state. The road to hegemony, like the road to hell, is of course paved with the good intentions of knowledge. Like anti-colonial nationalism, proposition B in the Albany Museum responds to the violence of colonialism by narrating the history of the precolonial state. The presentation of the whip, said to belong to Hintsa and confiscated at the time of his demise, is symbolic of the attempt to represent the authority vested in the precolonial state. So, too, are all the components of the exhibition that convey the history of 100 years of warfare in terms that mourn the passing of the dissolution of the precolonial state. The Albany Museum is not, as it first appears these days, a contact zone but a representation of the order of a form of nationalism founded on the legitimacy derived from the resource of the precolonial state. This is its interpretive limit, which it unfortunately fails to acknowledge when it invites viewers to use the exhibition as a stepping stone to develop their own interpretations. The routes from nationalist standpoint to Spivak’s ‘museumized access to ethnic origin’, however, are punctuated by the vast edifice of apartheid which redirects difference and sameness, essentialism and universality into the oppressive and detested homeland or bantustan system. It is this modality of indirect rule under apartheid that rearticulates the logic and teleology of the precolonial state, what in Mamdani’s terms may be thought of as the conditions for the emergence of the bifurcated state in Africa.52 The productivity of the interpretive limit rests with its ability to shape the politics of reparation in the name of an oxymoronic formulation called Xhosa nationalism. Paul Salopek of the Chicago Tribune writes about the demand by the Xhosa royal house for reparations amounting to 1.5 billion dollars and for which they were prepared to go to the World Court.53 Citing

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Ian McIntosh, the director of the indigenous rights non-governmental organisation, Cultural Survival, Salopek notes that ‘what we’re seeing is an unintended side effect of globalization; the more the world economy wants to homogenize us the more people look back and cling to their roots’. King Xoliliswe Sigcau – who claimed direct descent through 20 Xhosa kings, including a heroic great-grandfather who was captured and shot dead by British soldiers in 1835, according to Salopek – is quoted as saying: ‘My message to the British royal family is clear. A hundred years is not a long time for us. We will not give up our claim. We will remember.’ At one level we must see this demand to remember and the demand for reparations as a powerful point of mobilisation against the localised effects of late capitalism. But as it presents itself as a strategy, the reparations movement also reconstitutes the terms of precoloniality, which in the globalised metropole assumes the name of cultural diversity. This rendering of the precolonial state as always present is perhaps what was also implied by the British press when it referred to Nicholas Gcaleka’s arrival in London as a visit by a chief and not a healer–diviner. More recently, the narrative of the precolonial state was articulated at the founding moment of what has been hailed as the recovery of the African continent. In reflecting on the historical impoverishment of a continent, the founding document of Nepad (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) proclaims: Colonialism subverted hitherto traditional structures, institutions and values or made them subservient to the economic and political needs of the imperial powers. It also retarded the development of an entrepreneurial class, as well as a middle class with skills and managerial capacity.54 There is no mention of the subaltern underclasses here, no reference to the wretched of the earth let alone an acknowledgement of the dire consequences of apartheid and its Cold War destabilisation. The language is, we might say, simply statist. Ranajit Guha has outlined the mediated aspects of a history

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that became, as he puts it, a game for two to play in India in ways that have important resonances for dealing with the crisis of history more generally and for constituting a history after apartheid more particularly. Guha writes, for example, that: the colonized reconstructed their past for purposes opposed to those of their rulers and made it ground for marking out their differences in cultural and political terms. History became thus a game for two to play as the alien colonialist project of appropriation was matched by an indigenous nationalist project of counter-appropriation. The two have been linked in an indecisive battle ever since.55 But where, asks Guha, lies the originality of Indian culture of the colonial era and why does it defy understanding either as the replication of the liberal-bourgeois culture of nineteenth-century Britain or as mere survival of an antecedent precapitalist culture? In his response to this question, he attributes the availability of the antecedent to the necessary failed universalism that resulted in dominance without hegemony and a nationalist claim to history that entailed a struggle for recognition. This failure by design on the part of British colonialism was accompanied by a condition of power which Guha represents diagrammatically as shown in Figure 7.

Coercion D Dominance Power Subordination S Figure 7: Guha’s representation of power. Collaboration Resistance Persuasion

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Guha critiques historiography for playing an academic confidence trick and for neglecting resistance because it potentially unsettles the tidiness of historiography.56 It is as if by representing the hegemonic forms of power, historiography, too, has slipped into the liberal fictions of the state. In sharp contrast to overcoming the historiographical blind spot, he asks for another concept of the political mediated by resistance to the condition of power encountered in historiography. This he marks by way of calling for a radical contingency which he seeks to capture in the phrase ‘dominance without hegemony’, a case of ‘one Indian battle that Britain never won; the battle for the appropriation of the Indian past’.57 I draw on Guha to indicate what evidence of resistance is anticipated in Chakrabarty’s history 2 as it acts upon the universalising tendency of history 1. Guha’s qualification demands a resistance that opposes the statist logic of nationalism that merely ends in an affirmation of the trajectory charted for it by the prose of world history. Proposition B is a strategy of resistance that is incapable of modification of the universal logic of capital. As such it does not qualify, even at the point of negation, as an adequate politics of resistance. In his more recent History at the Limit of World History, Guha confronts the idea of world history with the historicality of everyday life, where the statist preoccupations give way to an idea of history as a renewable resource.58 What Guha seems to be demanding is not merely the renewal of politics but the renewal of the very concept of resistance.59 Such a concept, as I understand him to be arguing, must begin with critiquing the simplistic negation which marked the ascendancy of anti-colonial nationalism and helps to open up a level of experience, which he calls the historicality of everyday life, as a proper domain of the historian’s attention. On the whole, Guha’s objection is to the overpowering presence of Hegel in the discipline of history that has selectively accredited those narratives that affirm the conceptual rationality of the state. Evidence of subalternity has generally been mobilised by Guha and his colleagues to counter the state-centred logic that resulted in nationalism’s

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failure to displace colonial discourse. In the hands of the subaltern studies project, the evidence of subalternity is what enables a decoding of the complicity between colonial power and knowledge production, one that recalls Foucault’s double usage of the notion of discipline. Propositions A and B from the Albany Museum (A. Although the true facts of Hintsa’s death will remain shrouded due to a lack of evidence, B. he has since been seen as a heroic symbol of Xhosa nationalism) do not represent the resistance to historiography that they self-confidently seem to be expressing. This is because a subaltern gesture performed by Nicholas Gcaleka has appeared in the interstices of the two propositions and given meaning to their shared interests in a statist concept of history. Read in relation to propositions A and B, we might conclude that history 1 and 2 are in fact cut of the same epistemic cloth in affirming the destiny of the state as passage of all history. Subaltern studies is, in my understanding, less about representation than it is a way to disentangle the ways histories have functioned to subject agency. It contributes to unravelling the epistemic inheritance of colonial subjection. However, what is quite clear is that the project has not adequately come to terms with the concept of difference that flows from the contingency it institutes in the discourse of history by recalling the paradoxical consciousness of the subaltern. It is no wonder that the project, since its inception, accommodates several concepts of difference which include the figure of the subaltern as demographic differential or as a signifier of the radical plurality of history. What I have argued is that the subaltern does not recall the difference in the system that Guha and Chakrabarty might be suggesting. Rather, subalternity recalls the radical singularity of historical discourse which dissolves difference and leaves in its place the bare outlines of the way history has come to serve power. A history after apartheid must recall through the figure of the subaltern the marks of this singularity as it helps to chart lines of flight from its entangled predicament. To inculcate the evidence of subalternity is to opt to study the ways in which evidence has operated in the discipline of history, much like the

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modern bourgeois state, as a regulatory technology, no different to the modes of evidence of the colonial archive. To refuse a position that amounts to ethnographic inclusion of the subaltern in a pluralising gesture, in my view, is to stay with the crisis of history and to ask whether it can deal with subalternity in ways other than as a mode of evidence. Evidence is another way in which the subaltern is not allowed to speak, except of course if we take the historians’ translation as adequate to the force of this speech. This book has refused to place Nicholas Gcaleka in the position of native informant by representing the crisis of history to him. It has called on him to refuse to be part of history that operates as a regime of truth. Rather, as a way to think after apartheid, I have called attention to the work of history as constitutive of power – and, of course, vice versa. I have tracked the contours of an archive dedicated to constituting the will to power of colonial rule, the ambitions of nationalism in its claim to history, the institutional investments of the discipline of history and the museum of the frontier in prolonging a programme of truth as a will to power. Most importantly, I have engaged Gcaleka in ways that recall for us Foucault’s intervention that ‘transgression is not related to the limit as black to white, the prohibited to the unlawful, the outside to the inside, or as the open area of a building to its enclosed spaces’.60 Rather, Foucault argues, a transgression: is like a flash of lightening [sic] in the night which, from the beginning of time, lights up the night from the inside, from top to bottom, and yet owes to the dark the stark clarity of its manifestation, its harrowing and poised singularity; the flash loses itself in this space it marks with its sovereignty and becomes silent now that it has given a name to obscurity.61 Throughout this book, I have attempted to argue that Gcaleka was not evidence of some prevailing socio-economic crisis but a product of a mode of evidence that operated to demarcate what can be said and what is actually said. He is subaltern by virtue of being an effect of a vast colonial and epistemological complicity in which his suggestion of Hintsa’s beheading

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is entangled. As he grows silent, and as the laughter and accusations of lies subside, we learn that he has had no effect on history 1 other than to name those purveyors of history 2 who are complicit in returning the subject to the archive in a subordinate position. But in failing to make the cut of history, he perhaps unwittingly reminds us that ‘knowledge is not made for comprehension, but [precisely] for cutting’.62

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Conclusion
Discourse is not life; its time is not yours.1

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where does nicholas gcaleka leave us? I have argued through the pages of this book for a reworking of the concept of the subaltern at the heart of what has come to be known as subaltern studies. Rather than limiting the use of the term ‘subaltern’ to a representative sign of the position of the subject, we might think of activating a discourse against subalternity through a critique of disciplinary reason.2 Subalternity, I suggest, is not to be confused with the project of social history which seeks to recuperate a repressed or forgotten subject of history. The subaltern is not the ‘other’ of historical discourse, as Dipesh Chakrabarty reminds us. And the word ‘subaltern’ does not function merely as a placekeeper of categorical difference but as a subject in/difference between what can be said and what is actually said. If anything, the subaltern is constitutive of historical discourse, if not its most elided effect. Working against subalternity is to place the reality effects of the discipline of history alongside its subaltern effects. Similarly, calling attention to this elided sphere not only highlights the relationship between history and power but also how the subaltern is repeatedly read as the subordinate proposition in historical statements. In terms familiar to the argument of this book, I have

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attended to the question of how it is that Nicholas Gcaleka became a sign of post-apartheid times. Three tactical considerations define my response to this overriding question. The first relates to the way the subaltern effect is the mark of difference between what can be said and what is actually said, under conditions in which the latter is elided by the reality effect of the discourse of history. I argue that this level of difference essentially helps us to see how the modes of evidence of the colonial archive might serve as the condition of possibility of apartheid as both a system of exclusion and inclusion. I have attempted to show this paradoxical but necessary operation through accounts of the subjection of agency related to the story of the killing of Hintsa in 1835, which in part prompted Gcaleka’s quest for the return of the king’s skull. The second tactical consideration relates to the disciplinary formations to which modes of evidence of the colonial archive give rise. I have argued that the colonial archive produces a second level of distinction at the core of a system of representation by distinguishing history and historiography. The distinction functions primarily to once more elide the imaginary structure upon which the discourse of history depends. Even when nationalist anticolonial narration seeks to strategically invalidate the claims of the colonial archive by setting to work on the imaginary structure, it nevertheless runs up against the constraints posed by the orders of discipline. Finally, I have tried to take forward the task of strategic invalidation by making nationalism’s encounter with the limit placed on it by the orders of discipline, the very target of critique. I have not only attempted to step out of the shadows of the colonial archive or call attention to the disciplinary forms of history and historiography to which it gives rise. I have also attempted, with the help of Nicholas Gcaleka and the Subaltern Studies Collective, to argue for a critique of disciplinary reason so that the very notion of apartheid is reconstituted and given new meaning in a critique of the postapartheid present. In so doing, I have called attention to the normalising effects of apartheid that haunt the present.

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The subaltern effect, when targeted, offers us a brief glimpse of the interweaving of discourses, narratives, ideologies, disciplinary methodologies and languages that reveals our entanglements in history. Unravelling such entanglement is, however, an opportunity to consider how the discourse of history acts as an alibi of power by eroding the very imaginary structure that results in the production of the subaltern as an effect. In this limited structural sense, the subaltern is the mark of an impossible adequation in a sign system, the difference, if the repetition is permitted, between the modes of evidence of the colonial archive and the imaginary structure. Why this stress on the reworking of the question of subalternity? In this book I have argued that the figural realism that operates in the discourse of history will only ever produce the figure of the subaltern as an object. At most it will produce the subaltern because of an attachment to a nostalgic sense of agency. Rather than reproduce this subject position, we might see subaltern studies as a limited field of critique that is aimed at forging the beginnings of a postcolonial episteme. Given the long nineteenth and twentieth centuries of colonial and neocolonial violence against which it works, subaltern studies does not, nor should it, strive to produce a single monolithic research agenda. Subaltern studies is neither a gesture of pluralising history nor a process of objectifying the subject of history. It takes as a point of possible dialogue the singularity of the effects of an episteme that is founded on colonialism and the struggles against it. The work undertaken in South Asia under the banner of subaltern studies is instructive in the sense that it sets forth a possible platform for engagement and places before us the demand for a rigorous understanding of those critical models that have sought to work against domination. Taking Edward Said’s spectre that haunts the discourse of this book seriously, we are bound to make the same mistake twice if we do not see knowledge as integral to the exercise of power.3 Subaltern studies does not constitute a discernible historiographical current that can be taught as an appendage to the graduate introductory class in world history, as a sign of the inclusive benevolence

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of the master’s narrative. 4 It is not a school of history but a long-drawn-out effort at creating the conditions for an epistemic rupture of the European narratives of progress that reorient the pursuits of knowledge away from the forms of power they have hitherto upheld. This explains the variety of subaltern studies. In the South Asian context, subaltern studies was marked as a specific and limited project of investigation, a process of ground clearing, to use a phrase coined by Gyan Pandey, a leading member of the Subaltern Studies Collective. The term ‘subaltern’ was deployed in the context of the discussion to reassess the inheritance of Cold War political narratives as they defined theories of change in India and Africa. This is work that is yet to be systematically undertaken in southern Africa where the Cold War left in its aftermath mangled bodies and a legacy of political despair. In Latin America, subaltern studies has produced a subject in difference with the state. Here the work of John Beverley and Walter Mignolo, amongst others, has made a more forthright claim on the Gramscian concept of subaltern which necessarily limits the hegemonic claims of the state.5 In Latin American subaltern studies, it is clear that Guha’s notion of ‘dominance without hegemony’ is an inaugural point of dialogue. Broadly, in both Latin America and South Asia, and I hope Africa at some point, the inaugural commitment derives from the thwarted theories of change that once defined the possibilities of dislodging the abject script produced first by colonialism and thereafter by late capitalism. There is, and must be, a critical place for Africa in this larger conversation other than as a reference for a modern form of pathos. The term ‘subaltern’ as it is used in the pages of this book helps to animate, if not intensify, a postcolonial critique of apartheid. It is intended to prompt us in the direction of a critique of disciplinary reason that, as I suggested in the introduction to this book, inheres as the latent possibilities of earlier critiques of apartheid. Disciplinary reason, in John Mowitt’s instructive use of the phrase, brings together a sense of disciplinary power in the Foucauldian sense and the operation of academic disciplines.6 One

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element of the critique of disciplinary reason is that it allows scholars to come to grips with the question of history in the ideological conditions of the Cold War, which resulted not merely in repression but also produced the effects of normalised power. The distinction today drawn between nationalist and patriotic history in Zimbabwe, for example, falls short of considering this dual concept of power. Similarly, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa has smoothed over the Cold War conditions of violence by merely calling attention to the repressive techniques of apartheid and not its normalising, but equally disastrous, forms of expression. I have railed against nostalgic concepts of agency that attend to Cold War narratives by asking that we think of apartheid as radically present in prevailing conceptions of the postapartheid. In other words, we might say that we need another concept of apartheid in the postapartheid present, if we are to overcome the legacies of authoritarianism. Such a concept may emerge from a possible dehistoricisation of the history of race and class and through inaugurating a different relation to the subject of marginality that was initially subsumed into various theories of change. Another perhaps more ambitious reason for turning to subaltern studies is that it allows us to attend to the conjuncture marked by the end of apartheid and the rising tide of globalisation. Too often, globalisation is seen merely as the corporatisation of institutions of modern power, resulting in the marginalisation of the African subject. At the institutional site of the university this has resulted in an expansive critique of the corporatisation of the university. While I am sympathetic to such a view as a bald statement of the erosion of the earlier nineteenth-century enlightenment commitments of the university, I also find it somewhat reductionist, especially from the vantage point of someone who teaches and argues from the institutional site of the university indelibly marked by apartheid. Here the corporatisation of the university is a meaningless phrase because the corporate model, metaphorically speaking, merely gives rise to a sweatshop, eroding the ethical possibilities of humanistic scholarly exchange and resulting in the further impoverishment of the institutional site of the university. Instead,

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globalisation and its corporate facades mask a more fundamental and growing interdependence between discipline and technology in Africa, a convergence that I would argue is a particular hangover of the Cold War. Often this convergence takes shape in development discourses in contemporary Africa. The historicism of much of this development discourse, directed as it often is at creating efficiency of government, technological acquisition among elites and token relief for the poor, merely reproduces the conditions of marginality that have been well-known features in African societies. The models of the convergence of discipline and technology produce the dual and interchangeable effects of intrumentalisation of power and, once again, the normalisation of its exercise. Most recently, this tendency has surfaced in the digitisation of African resources in a move that can only be described as the virtual stampede for Africa. The consequence of this particular example of the overlay between technology and discipline is significant since it produces acute forms of the subaltern effect. The overt disciplinisation of society produces forms of abjection that call for a reorientation of relations of knowledge. My effort to turn subaltern studies into a more directed project of the critique of disciplinary reason via an argument forged in relation to the question of transition in South Africa relates to the ways in which academic exchange might circumvent the legacies of authoritarianism that defined the Cold War experience in southern Africa. A subaltern studies that seeks to foster a critique of disciplinary reason is a move to intensify the process of academic exchange in the direction of forging new critical models. I believe that such a process may help to realign the humanities in relation to and against the effects of the supposed corporatisation of the university which, currently, even in its most under-resourced predicament in Africa, positions itself as a mere development agency. A critique of disciplinary reason is aimed at specifically taking the latent postcoloniality in earlier analyses of apartheid to its limit. The tasks, however, are less programmatic, and deliberately so. We need more histories, of concepts, discourses, representations, narratives and formations of

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subjectivities, which might eventually lead us towards the rupture that we desire. The effort to step out of the shadows of the colonial archive is only part of that larger constellation of historiographies, some already under way, that help to make sense of the predicament of the postapartheid present. Along the way, my own efforts to make sense of the quagmire of the archive works to supplement those critiques that have an eye on the present and often diverge from those that narrowly define their work in terms of intellectual history. Generally, however, I share in the radical trajectories that once marked the struggle against apartheid, although not, again, uncritically. For example, while I am sympathetic to those histories that tackle the formidable crises of the third world ushered in by globalisation, I am equally critical of those anti-globalisation movements that fail to consider the heightened disciplinary conditions that give rise to such conditions in the first place. Stated differently, I am not convinced that the anti-globalisation movements, given their specific priorities, are sufficiently prepared to take up the challenge of forging a new episteme that does not reproduce the conditions of marginality through the very process of seeking to challenge a contemporary predicament. The two projects, as Edward Said reminded us, should never be seen as mutually exclusive. The project that I have unfolded in this book is only the beginning of unravelling the procedures of an archive that does not simply represent, but also subjects, agency. It is, I believe, critical to consider this relation of archive and subjected agency, in part because, as Qadri Ismail suggests, it allows us to see colonialism as an epistemic event. If colonialism put in place modes of evidence that later not only structured settler colonial representations but also acted as conditions of constraint on the imaginations of anti-colonial nationalist narrations, then the question of entanglement in the discourse of history needs serious critical scrutiny. I believe the constellation of knowledge/power we know as apartheid will continue to haunt the discussion of the postapartheid as long as the underlying consequences of historicism are not subjected to critical scrutiny.

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History/historiography
In the discipline of history, the archive is cause for differentiating between history and historiography. The distinction rests with the assembling and weaving together of ‘facts’ into a coherent narrative of a prior reality (history) on the one hand, and the study of the practices and operations of the conditions under which such assemblages appear (historiography) on the other. Michel de Certeau alludes to precisely this separation of domains of inquiry when he points out that: the situation of the historiographer makes study of the real appear in two quite different positions within the scientific process: the real insofar as it is the known (what the historian studies, understands, or ‘brings to life’ from a past society), and the real insofar as it is entangled within the scientific operations (the present society, to which the historians’ problematics, their procedures, modes of comprehension, and finally a practice of meaning are referable). There are in effect two types of history, according to which one of these positions of the real is chosen as the center of attention. Even if hybrids of these two types are more prevalent than the pure cases, the types can be easily recognized. One type of history ponders what is comprehensible and what are the conditions of understanding; the other claims to reencounter lived experience, exhumed by virtue of a knowledge of the past.7 Historiography, then, may be understood as a study of the mobilisation of the factual domain as it frames various programmes of truth in the present of the historian. However, as I argued earlier, such distinctions are inadequate in accounting for and critiquing colonial processes because they tend to obscure the specific operation of colonial modes of evidence. The futility of the distinction between history and historiography rests with its general failure to account for the problem of the reliability and liability of the archive on the one hand, and the relationship of the discipline of history to colonialism on the other. The difficulty is eloquently expressed by Marx

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and perhaps best helps to qualify the problem that confronts the postcolonial historian. In ‘The Grundrisse’, Marx writes: Although it is true that the categories of bourgeois economics possess a truth for all other forms of society, this is to be taken only with a grain of salt. They can contain them in a developed, or stunted, or caricatured form but always with an essential difference. The so called historical presentation of development is founded, as a rule, on the fact that the latest form regards the previous ones as a step leading up to itself, and, since it is only rarely and only under quite specific conditions able to criticize itself, it always conceives itself one-sidedly. The Christian religion was able to be of assistance in reaching an objective understanding of earlier mythologies only when its own self criticism had been accomplished to a certain degree, so to speak, [potentially]. Likewise, bourgeois economics arrived at an understanding of feudal, ancient, oriental economics only after the self criticism of bourgeois society had begun. In so far as the bourgeois economy did not mythologically identify itself altogether with the past, its critique of the previous economics, notably of feudalism, with which it was still engaged in a direct struggle, resembled the critique which Christianity levelled at paganism, or also that of Protestantism against Catholicism.8 By this very logic, neither the postapartheid nor the postcolonial can be seen as mere outcomes of the processes of apartheid and colonialism respectively. That transition will depend on the self-criticism that attains to the most recent installation of a social form. In this book I have argued for a critique of the very foundational categories which today have come to obscure the origins of apartheid in rather normative forms of the exercise of power. Rather than seeing apartheid as aberration, we should heed Foucault’s reminder that the racial state can in fact be traced in the institutional forms that served the interests of defending society more generally. Apartheid was not racism’s first word, but its last. The violence of apartheid was, we might say, a latent feature of the formation of the modern state. In staging a

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postcolonial critique of apartheid, I have attempted to offer some possibility for constituting a concept of the postapartheid which discerns it from the genealogies of the modern racial state. In the process, I have defined apartheid as a constellation of colonial modes of evidence that threaten the elaboration of a meaningful concept of the postapartheid. For postcolonial criticism more generally, the insistence on the schism between history and historiography as a defining feature of the discourse of history disavows the necessary relation between colonial violence and the discipline of history. Postcolonial criticism, on the one hand, operates in relation to a discipline of history which derives many of its methods, materials and frameworks from colonial discourse. On the other hand, to insist on such a necessary relation, as Marx does in his account of the rise of bourgeois society, is to find oneself in a compromise with a developmentalist conception of history – a history, as Guha puts it, of a conquest foretold.9 Lodged in this aporetic space, the postcolonial critique of apartheid must think its way through such undecidability as the grounds for its discourse while also clearing the space for possible postapartheid futures. The name of this game, as I understand it, is strategic invalidation – a certain catachrestic reading of the sphere of representation which both opposes the colonial archive and critiques the process of reversing its claims. Or in Marx’s memorable phrasing, it could be thought of as a practice of reading with a grain of salt. Such a reading is not merely a matter of invoking suspicion when encountering the discourses of power. Rather, it is a reading that cuts; a deconstructive reading that is affirmative in the most politically scrupulous sense of the term. The scene for staging this reading, at least in the argument of this book, is the colonial archive which has been subjected variously to scholarship aimed at recovery, or directed at describing the invention of tradition, the processes of mediation and the formation of imagined communities. Often missed in these renderings of the archive is the understanding that they are also formed by the epistemic violence we associate with colonialism. So rather than merely being an antecedent

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to capitalism, I wish to argue that colonialism is also a precedent for understanding the relationship between history and power.10 It would appear that the relationship between archive and discourse as bound up with a colonising predicament has been more readily confronted in disciplines other than history. Historians have tended to treat the distinctions between raw material and writing in terms of a methodological problem and not in relation to their formation in a colonising logic. Perhaps historians, too, should follow the example proposed by Jose Rabasa, and consider refining the commonplace knowledge is power with the equation discourse is violence.11 Similarly, Qadri Ismail has argued that history is not just an argument about change through time, but one about progress. History is, according to Ismail, impossible without colonialism.12 This is not, as I understand it, a call to ‘abandon history’. Rather, it is an invitation to explore the connections between fact and faith or the disciplinary condition by which an archive produced under conditions of colonisation is filtered, processed and repackaged only to give rise to the subaltern effect.13 This is to demand that history’s relation to colonialism itself be subjected to sustained critique.

The event of history
Critical to undertaking a study of history’s relation to colonialism is the need to reorient our notion of the event of history away from the hegemonic constructions of event in discourses of history and nationalism. I would argue instead for a concept of event that is itself entailed in the critique of disciplinary reason. At one level, the sheer intensity of the violence that marked the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in many parts of Africa has had repercussions for the constellation of disciplinary reason, even when the distinction between the two has not been altogether clear. At times, the discussion has degenerated into a comparative analysis of violence, of a quantification of and squaring up to its relative intensities. At other times, the realist impulse has given rise to forms of representation that have tried

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to insulate the memory of violence from its supposed aestheticisation. Yet, elsewhere, the futility of distinguishing the components of a representational system into what Shahid Amin calls event, metaphor and memory has resulted in a feeling that the effects of violent histories have been shortchanged in modernist narrativisation, which emphasises progress at all costs. If violence is the signature of our modernity, then perhaps we might say that this very violence is that which we cannot seem to escape. The uncertain relation of history to the intrinsic violence of modernity also places it in an uncertain relation to the encounter with the violence of apartheid. Given the aporia, it has become necessary to return to the place of history in this modernist predicament, not as a source but as a symptom. If apartheid is symptomatic of modernism’s violence, then we might say that its history has not really escaped the realms of complicity. The discourse of history, we might say, hosts modernity’s supposedly inescapable paradox. That much is known to us. This must not, however, be equated with the post Cold War preoccupation with the end of history, a slogan that, whenever used, does little more than anticipate the onset of further mutilation and death of the other. Neither should we reduce history to a question of mere difference, to plurality and representation. This latter stance is merely a quotidian expression of a secret desire to produce repetition. It can only lead to exhaustion, even for the most ardently argued brand of humanism. This book has argued for a postcolonial critique of apartheid to enable a difference that does not foreclose but keeps watch over the future by nurturing the conditions of an epistemic rupture. This yet to be specified desire for a knowledge that does not lend itself to the exercise of power marks my effort to elaborate a critique of disciplinary reason. There are three elements to this postcolonial critique of history. The first corresponds to the critique of the archive as the ground for historical narration. The second encounters the limits of nationalist reversal, and the third offers a critique of the postcolonial effort at the recovery of subjectivity. Each element establishes a difference in the discourse of history as it seeks out

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lines of flight from the impasse of the violence of our modernity. Taken together, these three surfaces over which I have traversed in this book call for a reconceptualisation of history after apartheid. Prone to historicist constructions, I have suggested that a history after apartheid amounts to a project of strategic invalidation of the reversal of the colonial archive aimed at the possibility of producing an epistemic rupture in the long run. At one level, my aim has been to unsettle those conventional points of departure that authorise historical narration. I am thinking here specifically of the archive as an apparatus that ensures the subjection of agency. In drawing out the incommensurability between the claims of Nicholas Gcaleka and the evidence of the colonial archive, I have called attention to the subjective effects that flow from the ways in which the colonial archive ultimately organises our reading of the story of Hintsa’s killing. I have asked that the archive be construed as central to defining the modernist event. As a regime of truth, it polices the difference between what can be said and what is actually said. The language game of the archive, however, does not allow for the recovery of subjectivity. The archive, and the colonial archive in particular, does not merely produce the colonised subject as an effect but as a subaltern effect. It produces the colonised subject, we might say, as incomplete, as not quite a subject – even mutilated in the case of Hintsa. The archive functions as a mode of evidence and an apparatus of constraint even at the expense of dispensing with the imaginary structure so central to its constitution. It should not therefore be read against or along the proverbial grain. It is for this reason that the archive in this book is not construed as a system of representation but as an apparatus essential for the process of the subjection of agency. Nicholas Gcaleka became embroiled in this notion of the historical event. In the process, his emergence as an object of the discourse of history in which he sought to participate recalled precisely how such a transformation was brought about through a realignment of the archive, nationalist narration and the postcolonial recovery of subjectivity. The singularity of that encounter revealed, in the argument of this book, the loose ends that lend themselves to the process of strategic invalidation.

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Gcaleka’s mission, at its most basic level, allows us to problematise the archive by leading us towards an understanding of the techniques in the making of regimes of truth. The aim here has been to read the archive in relation to the formation of possible statements about the killing of Hintsa. Rather than seeing the archive as a storehouse, I have considered the enabling possibilities for thinking of the archive along lines proposed by Foucault’s Archeology of Knowledge. Foucault offers a conception of the archive that prompts us to inquire into the challenge posed by anti-colonial nationalist discourse when he argues: Between language (langue) that defines the system of constructing possible sentences, and the corpus that passively collects the words that are spoken, the archive defines a particular level: that of a practice that causes a multiplicity of statements to emerge as so many regular events, as so many things to be dealt with and manipulated. It does not have the weight of tradition; and it does not constitute the library of all libraries, outside time and place; nor is it welcoming oblivion that opens up to all new speech the operational field of its freedom; between the tradition and oblivion, it reveals the rules of a practice that enables statements both to survive and to undergo regular modification. It is the general system of the formation and transformation of statements.14 The archive in this conception is synonymous with a regime of truth which functions as a mode of evidence; an event in as far as it forms and transforms statements. Foucault is not merely calling attention to the distinction between speech and silence, as social historical approaches to the archive might suggest. He is instead alluding to the deprivation of continuity in the archive which, we might say, breaks the thread of transcendental teleologies.15 What are we to make of nationalist attempts to transform the regulated statement of colonial domination that is suggested by Foucault’s refiguring of the archive? What did anti-colonial nationalism actually say that was different to that which the colonial archive proposes?

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There may be little doubt that anti-colonial nationalism aimed to produce such a transformation of the colonial statement that Foucault identifies in his schema. The question, however, is how it set out to achieve this difference. In addressing this question we may take our cue from the ways in which Nicholas Gcaleka was turned into the object of the very discourse of history that he sought to articulate. The responses generated by his mission enable us to grasp the sense of the ‘actually said’ in Foucault’s formulation as not simply opposing the silence of the archive but focused on its excess of words. By this I mean that the archive, including the colonial archive, is a constitutive apparatus that regulates even those statements that do not initially seem to belong to it. The nationalist representations of Hintsa point to the exploitation of this presumed space offered within the constraints of colonialism. Anticolonial nationalist narration occupies the space of the imaginary structure but without the necessary caution about how it is in fact bound to the prescriptions of that archive which it seeks to overturn. In the story of Hintsa, we see that in striving to produce a difference in representation nationalism does not produce any qualitative difference in the functioning of the colonial archive. Like the colonial archive, nationalism, even when it confers agency on the subject, necessarily finds itself in a position of compromise with the colonial archive. This is because in its efforts to counter colonialism, nationalism is up against the disciplinary apparatus that conditions its effort at imagining other histories. Stated differently, we might say that the schema that gives rise to the referential illusion in the history of nationalist narration is a repetition of the very condition of the reality effect of the colonial archive that achieves the subjection of agency. Roland Barthes explains this complex operation, which in my own argument resulted in transformation of the subject into a sign of the times, as follows: In the first phase (this decomposition is, of course, only metaphorical), the referent is detached from the discourse, it becomes exterior to it, grounds it, is supposed to govern it: this is the phase in res gestae, the discourse simply claims to be historia rerum gestarum: but in a

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second phase, it is the signified itself which is repulsed, merged in the referent; the referent enters into direct relation with the signifier, and the discourse, meant only to express the real, believes it elides the fundamental term of the imaginary structures, which is the signified. Like any discourse with ‘realistic’ claims, the discourse of history thus believes it knows only a two-term semantic schema, referent and signifier; the (illusory) merging of referent and signified defines, as we know, sui-referential discourses.16 It is this elision that Gcaleka’s mission serves to open up in my discourse, in part because it calls the bluff of historical narration by overstating the work of the imaginary structure. In the process, it invites the closing in of a regime of truth that otherwise operates as a discreet apparatus for regulating statements. Nicholas Gcaleka’s mission exposes the intricate relations between knowledge and power as they work to sustain the subaltern subject. The end of apartheid has been declared without a sufficient critique of colonial conditions of knowledge that enabled a modern system of segregation. The colonial process of disciplining subjects has not sufficiently shaped the critique of apartheid in the direction of setting the scene for an epistemic break from that past. Yet, if we take Nicholas Dirks’s suggestion about the specificity of the exercise of colonial power seriously, we may say that colonialism should not be seen as a stage of historical (under)development but, more importantly, as ‘an epistemological event’.17 In the latter sense, the colonised subject is always also a misfit of the text, one that leads the way for staging a postcolonial critique of the reconstitution of marginality in the present. History, if we were to alter the statement from Barthes’s Michelet slightly, does not only teach us how we die but also how we emerge and live, in the shadows of the archive.18 In this sense, the event of history is not a major rupture in the march of time and narrative. Rather, it is a painfully consistent measure of the complicity of the discourse of history as a normalising structure of knowledge that returns the subject to a subordinate position in the statement. It is not surprising then that the event of history calls for a

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programme of learning to unlearn history, especially its subaltern effects, as it simultaneously strives to make the postcolony liveable. The postcolonial critique of apartheid is a necessary step along the way to disentangling the complicity of knowledge in the exercise of power. For this we need a critique of the excessive disciplinisation that rearranges the position of the subject vis-à-vis the emerging orders of globalisation. Nicholas Gcaleka, the supposed misfit of the text of democratic transition, has led me to the limits of the discipline of history rather than out of the shadows of the colonial archive. He made no promise of doing anything to the contrary. The expectation was entirely mine. We may yet have to ask which of us truly qualifies as misfit of the text, especially if we accept that the time of discourse is not (y)ours.

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Notes
Notes to the Introduction: Thinking ahead
1 Cited in S Biko, ‘White racism and black consciousness’ in H van der Merwe and D Welsh (eds), Student perspectives on South Africa (Cape Town: David Philip, 1973), p. 200. 2 M Nicol, ‘Historical accuracy falls prey to spectacle and entertainment’, Cape Times (14 March 1996). The turn to the institution of chieftaincy in the aftermath of 1994 may have something in common with the themes addressed by L Ntsebeza, Democracy compromised: chiefs and the politics of land in South

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Africa (Leiden: Brill, 2005). I share in the overall caution of the romanticism that accompanies narratives of chieftaincy, especially given the role of chiefs in the system of subjection, in the form of decentralised despotism or otherwise as Ntsebeza prefers. See also M Mamdani, Citizen and subject: contemporary Africa and the legacy of late colonialsm (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1996); and P Lalu, ‘Leaving the city: gender, colonialism and the discourse of development in the eastern Cape’ in N Murray et al. (eds), Desire lines (London: Routledge, 2007). 3 4 E O’Laughlin, ‘Quest for head raises questions about number of skeletons in museums’, Irish Times (27 February 1996). ‘The chief of skullduggery’, Cape Times (4 March 1996). See also ‘Now skull find has heads shaking’, Cape Times (29 February 1996), in which it is reported that Gcaleka would ‘only agree to interviews with journalists willing to pay a sum of two hundred and ninety rand, an amount that had increased from an earlier amount of two hundred and three rand’. 5 6 7 8 9 E Koch, ‘Chief’s head to be put to the test’, Mail & Guardian (29 March–3 April 1996). Staff reporter, ‘We’re sorry, Brits tell Xhosa’s, but that’s all’, Argus (19 September 2001). M Tsedu, ‘Black eye’, Cape Times (4 October 2000). Tsedu, ‘Black eye’. Mda Mda, a lawyer from Butterworth, explained the process of the confiscation of the skull. According to Mda, the skull was confiscated in the presence of the Xhosa paramount, the police and the historian Jeff Peires. Mda interviewed by author, Butterworth (May 2000). 10 ‘Statement on the findings after examination of the skull, alleged to have been that of the late king Hintsa’ (Cape Town, 23 August 1996). Professor Knobel, one

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of the authors of the statement, personally consulted several experts in the field of physical anthropology, forensic medicine and forensic odontology. Phillip Tobias, referred to as the doyen of South African physical anthropology in the report, was also extensively consulted. 11 ‘Statement on the findings. . .’, p. 1. skull?’, Anatomical Society of Southern Africa Conference, ‘Anatomy in Transition’, University of Stellenbosch, 1997. 13 Knobel et al., ‘Hintsa’s head or phantom skull?’. 14 ‘Postapartheid’ and ‘postcolonial’ are sometimes hyphenated and sometimes not. The author has used the hyphen to designate a specifically temporal sense while 12 GJ Knobel, GJ Louw, VM Phillips and PV Tobias, ‘Hintsa’s head or phantom

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the unhyphenated versions apply to a more conceptual usage. 15 I have in mind here the problematic that Derrida addresses. See J Derrida, Spectres of Marx: the state of the debt, and the work of mourning, and the new international, translated by P Kamuf (New York: Routledge, 1994). 16 L White, ‘Telling more: lies, secrets and history’, History and Theory 39:4 (December 2000), pp. 11–22. 17 N Dirks, ‘Colonialism and culture’ in N Dirks (ed.), Colonialism and culture (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992). 18 Dirks, ‘Colonialism and culture’. Dirks’s argument is useful in considering the problem in South African historiography, which approaches colonialism in purely historicist terms – in terms that merely recite configurations of the past as simply an essential and necessary development. Historicist approaches lend themselves too readily to emergent conditions of power so that it becomes possible to prove transcendence. To avoid the pitfalls of historicism it may be necessary to not merely proclaim the uniqueness of colonialism as a system of domination, as Dirks does, but also to inquire into modes of operation and the difficulties entailed in thinking our way out of its trappings. It is in this shift that I ask that we consider the colonial archive as a specific mode of evidence that defines not merely the qualities of domination but also the structure of recurrence. To effect such a temporal reworking is to ask that we consider the colonial archive as fundamental to the story of the transition from apartheid to postapartheid. 19 See A Sitze, Articulation, truth and reconciliation in South Africa: sovereignty, testimony and protest writing (PhD thesis, University of Minnesota, 2003). 20 A Krog, Country of my skull (Johannesburg: Random House, 1998).

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21 J Peires, The House of Phalo: a history of the Xhosa people in the days of their independence (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1981). 22 See C Saunders and C Kros, ‘Conversations with historians’, South African Historical Journal 51 (2004), p. 1. See also P Laurence, ‘Nurturing ahistorical South Africans’, Financial Mail (11 August 2000). 23 Those that fall short of the stringent requirements of evidence and proof that qualifies valid historical statements or that fail to make the cut of a democratic public sphere. 24 M de Certeau, The writing of history, translated by T Conley (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988). 25 See for example Foucault’s productive engagement with Artemidorus’s treatise on the interpretation of dreams in The care of the self: the history of sexuality, Vol. 3,

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translated by R Hurley (New York: Vintage Books, 1988). It is crucial to note for the purposes of my argument that Foucault sees in the inaugural interpretation of dreams the genealogy of the problematisation and institutionalisation of pleasure, ethics and sexuality. This is instructive for my own weighing in on the imaginary structure, which must be seen not as an alternative to power but also its very condition. 26 H White, Tropics of discourse: essays in cultural criticism (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978). 27 De Certeau, The writing of history. 28 J Peires, The dead will arise: Nongqawuse and the great Xhosa cattle-killing movement of 1856–1857 (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1989), pp. 84–85. 29 Z Mda, The heart of redness (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 86. 30 S Marks, ‘Rewriting South African history’, Bindoff Lecture, University of London (June 1996). See also E Koch, ‘Mandela, the chief and the king’s head’, Mail & Guardian (16–22 February 1996); E Koch, ‘Chief’s head to be put to the test’, Mail & Guardian (29 March–3 April 1996). 31 The Makoni dignitaries – Philemon Zambe Makoni, FC Makoni and JC Makoni – who went to Britain in 1987 to retrieve the head of Chief Chingaira Makoni were also seen as men of their time. According to Terrence Ranger, they were possibly motivated by a succession dispute; by chiefly interests not wholly incongruent with those encountered in the tragi-comedy of colonial administrators attempting to come to terms with ‘African tradition’. Ranger claims that their quest – and its apparent congruence with colonial attempts to establish chiefly genealogies – vindicated his shift from nationalist history to a people’s history; one culled from the rusty heads of poverty. In his recollection of the visit to Oxford by the Makoni representatives, Ranger points out that they had with them oral and other esoteric evidence and

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written sources, including his Revolt in southern Rhodesia (London: Heinemann, 1967). Expressing polite astonishment at not being told the truth while in Makoni, Ranger was rebuked for pursuing the lives of peasants rather than those of the chiefs. At this point in the text Ranger abruptly, and perhaps with a hint of irritation, ends the account of the meeting and hastily goes on to point out that these were the least likely men in Makoni to see the point of a people’s history. For Ranger the meeting is illustrative of the preponderance of nationalist themes. In this respect the study of peasant consciousness that he had subsequently undertaken appeared premature, as the mythic forms of cultural nationalism that gave Revolt in southern Rhodesia its authority persisted. The paradox is not merely thematic, as Ranger has us believe. Equally crucial, it seems, is the implicit suggestion of the need to theorise

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the discrepancies that mark the times of history, discourse and writing. In this way the declarative stance taken by Ranger could be substituted with an enabling critique. That such eminent scholars as T Ranger, S Marks and L White have written about the controversies surrounding body parts and heads suggests that the matter cannot simply be treated as a site of nationalist mobilisation. See Ranger, ‘Chingaira Makoni’s head: myth, history and colonial experience’, Hans Wolff Memorial Lecture, African Studies Program, Indiana University, 29 March 1988. 32 H Wolpe, ‘Capitalism and cheap labour-power in South Africa: from segregation to apartheid’, Economy and Society 4 (1974), pp. 425–456; H Wolpe, ‘The theory of internal colonialism in South Africa’ in I Oxhaal, T Barnett and D Booth (eds), Beyond the sociology of development (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975). 33 A postcolonial impulse is discernible in Marxist interventions that cautioned against racial reductionism in analyses of apartheid. Harold Wolpe, a lawyer and later sociologist by training and one of the foremost critics of apartheid in the 1960s and 1970s, cautioned against viewing apartheid as merely a continuation of segregationism by arguing that its emergence could be tracked in the diminishing significance of precapitalist relations through passage of the 1913 Land Act. Racial ideology, Wolpe pointed out, must be seen as an ideology which sustains and reproduces capitalist relations of production. The view was elaborated in response to emerging perceptions, expressed in work by scholars such as Martin Legassick, that after the Second World War segregation was continued as apartheid or ‘separate development’. The attempt to generalise the effects of apartheid, while useful in accounting for the transfer of violence from countryside to town, did not allow, in Wolpe’s reckoning, for an investigation of the specificity of native reserves in maintaining capitalist relations. The so-called native

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reserves sustained capitalist relations and were simultaneously undermined by the ensuing underdevelopment that flowed from the logic of the migrant labour system. Apartheid, Wolpe argued, was a response to the growing unreliability of the countryside in propping up an enlarging urban industrial sector in South Africa after the Second World War. The influential exchange between Wolpe and Legassick not only had tactical implications for political opposition but also substantially reconfigured the problematic of apartheid. At one level it located the debate about apartheid in a larger postcolonial critique of the development of underdevelopment. Amongst others, Wolpe’s citations lead us back through the work of scholars such as Andre Gunder Frank, Ernesto Laclau in Latin America, and Arrighi and Bundy

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who investigated the effects of rural impoverishment in southern Africa. The specificity of apartheid was increasingly, it seems, related to the general logic that presumably applied, if only symptomatically, to a global dynamic of world capitalist relations. At another level, it relocated the emphasis of struggle against this global arrangement by introducing notions of the articulation of modes of production as a primary arena within which to make sense of racial ideology. And at yet another level, it anticipated a postapartheid future in which the elements of marginalisation (particularly of the rural) and violence (especially in the urban) would be ended through targeting the emergent contradictions between the capitalist mode of production and African precapitalist economies. One might say, with the benefit of hindsight, that both rural marginality and urban violence are still very much features of a postapartheid society and therefore there is little to be gained from rehearsing untested theories of change that were once the foundations of South African radical scholarship. Such hasty conclusions threaten to overlook a crucial development in the trajectory of this critique, namely the point at which its postcolonial potential is folded into the determinations of the Cold War. The 1962 adoption of the programme of colonialism of a special type to describe the conditions of cumulative effects of national racial oppression and class exploitation changed significantly by the 1970s. Its new meaning increasingly drew on theories of underdevelopment. Politically, it solidified an alliance between the South African Communist Party (SaCP) and the African National Congress (aNC). However, it also simultaneously elevated a concept of decolonisation specifically framed in terms of the rhetoric of the Cold War. Designations such as ‘liberal’, ‘Marxist’ and ‘nationalist’ could not escape the paradigmatic frameworks and attendant binaries that defined the Cold War in southern Africa.

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See A McClintock and R Nixon, ‘No names apart: the separation of word and history in Derrida’s “Le Dernier Mot du Racisme”’ in HL Gates, Jr (ed.), ‘Race’, writing and difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986); Mamdani, Citizen and subject; B Bozzoli, Theatres of struggle and the end of apartheid (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004); M Hardt and A Negri, Multitude (London: Penguin, 2004). 34 The aNC specifically used the phrase to contend with the increasing strength of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa in 1977. See for example P Lalu, ‘Incomplete histories: Steve Biko, the politics of self-writing, and the apparatus of reading’, Current Writing 16:1 (2004), pp. 107–126. 35 The task of dehistoricising history has been proposed by D Scott, ‘Dehistoricising history’ in P Jeganathan and Q Ismail (eds), Unmaking the nation (Colombo:

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Social Scientists Association, 1995). John Mowitt has argued that constructions of agency are nostalgic because, ‘instead of pursuing a line of reflection in which one is seeking to specify a systematic production of the possibility of both power and resistance, the defence of agency-cum-agent appears to retreat behind the theoretical and political advances of the past half-century in quest of an entity who can make decisions about political choices and be responsible for them’. See J Mowitt, Percussion: drumming, beating, striking (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003), p. 51. 36 A McClintock, ‘The myth of progress: pitfalls of the term post-colonialism’, Social Text 31/32 (1992), pp. 84–97; E Shohat, ‘Notes on the postcolonial’, Social Text 31/32 (1992), pp. 99–113; A Dirlik, ‘The postcolonial aura: third world criticism in the age of global capitalism’, Critical Inquiry (Winter 1992), pp. 328–356. 37 A Ahmad, In theory: classes, nations, literatures (New York: Verso, 1992). 38 S Hall, ‘When was “the postcolonial”? Thinking at the limit’ in I Chambers and L Curti (eds), The post-colonial question: common skies, divided horizons (New York: Routledge, 1996). 39 Hall, ‘When was “the postcolonial”?’, p. 250. 40 K Marx, ‘On imperialism in India’ in R Tucker (ed.), The Marx–Engels reader, second edition (New York: WW Norton, 1978). 41 R Guha, History at the limit of world history (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), p. 4. 42 G Prakash, ‘The impossibility of subaltern history’, Nepantla: Views from the South 1:2 (2000), pp. 287–294. 43 GC Spivak, ‘Can the subaltern speak?’ in C Nelson and L Grossberg (eds), Marxism and the interpretation of culture (Champaign, IL.: University of Illinois Press, 1988). 44 D Chakrabarty, Habitations of modernity: essays in the wake of subaltern studies (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), p. 8.

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45 I am not of course the first to call for greater attention in African history to the work of subaltern studies. See, for example, J Comaroff and J Comaroff, Ethnography and the historical imagination (Boulder: Westview Press, 1992), where they suggest that subaltern studies may be crucial to unsettling the categories that enabled colonialism. See also I Karp and DA Masolo, African philosophy as cultural inquiry (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000); A Mbembe, On the postcolony (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001). 46 F Fanon, A dying colonialism, translated by H Chevalier (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1965). 47 Mowitt, Percussion. 48 G Deleuze and F Guattari, cited in G Deleuze and C Parnet, Dialogues II,

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translated by H Tomlinson and B Habberjam (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987). See also, H Bhabha, Nation and narration (New York: Routledge, 1990). 49 Deleuze and Guattari, cited in Deleuze and Parnet, Dialogues II, p.38 50 M Foucault, The will to knowledge: the history of sexuality, Vol. 1 (London: Penguin, 1978), pp. 92–97. In these pages we find the most profound rephrasing of the repressive hypothesis. But I would argue that it be read alongside Gilles Deleuze’s arguments about potentiality in writing. See Deleuze and Parnet, Dialogues II, p. 50. 51 BS Cohn, ‘The command of language and the language of command’ in R Guha (ed.), Subaltern studies IV: writings on South Asian history and society (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1985); E Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978). 52 M Foucault, The order of things (London and New York: Routledge, 1989); M Foucault, The archeology of knowledge and the discourse on language, translated by AM Sheridan Smith (New York: Pantheon Books, 1972). 53 See E Said, ‘Michel Foucault, 1926–1984’ in J Arac (ed.), After Foucault: humanistic knowledge, postmodern challenges (New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 1988); also Foucault, Order of things. 54 M Foucault, Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison, translated by A Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1975). 55 E Said, Reflections on exile (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000), pp. 210–211 (my emphasis). 56 P Veyne’s Did the Greeks believe in their myths? An essay on the constitutive imagination, translated by P Wissing (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988) is not inconsequential to this line of argument. In Veyne’s argument the constitutive imagination is not a displacement of truth but its very condition.

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57 J Scott, ‘After history?’, History and the Limits of Interpretation Symposium, Rice University, February 1996. Available at http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~culture/papers/ Scott.html, p. 11. Accessed on 6 July 1998.

Notes to Chapter 1: Colonial modes of evidence and the grammer of domination

1

D Haraway, Simians, cyborgs, and women: the reinvention of nature (New York: Routledge, 1991), p. 3. SM Molema, The Bantu: past and present (Edinburgh: W Green and Son, 1920). C Crais, The making of the colonial order: white supremacy and black resistance in the eastern Cape, 1770–1865 (Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 1992), p. 115. N Parsons, A new history of southern Africa (London: Macmillan, 1993). Peires, House of Phalo, p. 85. S Amin, Event, metaphor, memory (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995). T Stapleton, Maqoma: Xhosa resistance to colonial advance (Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball, 1994). JH Soga, The south-eastern Bantu: Abe-Nguni, Aba-Mbo, Ama-Lala (Johannnesburg: Wits University Press, 1930), pp. 189–190. See also J Peires, ‘The rise of the “right-hand house” in the history and historiography of the Xhosa’, History in Africa 2 (1975), pp. 112–125.

2 3

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4 5 6 7 8

9

The causes of Ngqika’s death have been disputed by Timothy Stapleton. See T Stapleton, ‘The memory of Maqoma: an assessment of Jingqi oral tradition in Ciskei and Transkei’, History in Africa 20 (1993), pp. 321–335.

10 There have been other instances where a potentially important critique of colonialism has been forfeited through a treatment of the colonial archive as biased. In his critique of Terrence Ranger’s study of the Shona–Ndebele uprising of 1896, Julian Cobbing contests Ranger’s reading of the archive and his treatment of the mwari and mhondoro cults as central to the uprising. Cobbing draws on the charge of bias in seeking to refute the centrality of cults and emphasising their conservatism. In this way the secrecy and uncertainty in colonial accounts are left completely unexplored in the interests of enabling a counter-narrative. J Cobbing, ‘The absent priesthood: another look at the Rhodesian risings of 1886–1887’, Journal of African History 18 (1977), pp. 61–87. 11 Drawing on Foucault’s Archeology of knowledge, Stoler argues that the archive is not an institution but ‘the law of what can be said’, not a library of events, but that ‘system that establishes statements as events and things, that system of

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their enunciabilities’ (p. 87). In qualifying this claim, Stoler argues that ‘we have become more suspect of colonial vocabularies themselves that slip away from their historical moorings and reappear as our explanatory concepts of historical practice’ (p. 92). The reintroduction of the theme of suspicion is the point at which the colonial archive is seen not only as limiting but also as productive. The difference between the recuperative project of reading against the grain and the proposal to read along the grain is that the latter asks us to ‘pause at, rather than bypass, its conventions, those practices that make up its unspoken order, its rubrics of organisation, its rules of placement and reference’ (p. 94). See A Stoler, ‘Colonial archives and the arts of governance: on the content in the form’ in C Hamilton et al. (eds), Refiguring the archive (Cape Town: David Philip, 2002).

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12 See Comaroff and Comaroff, Ethnography. While the Comaroffs pursue this itinerary in terms of enchantment – a claim that recalls Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of enlightenment (London: Verso, 1947) – I wish to pursue the question in terms of the relationship of history to the empirical. 13 I am especially indebted to J Mowitt’s Text: the genealogy of an anti-disciplinary object (Durham: Duke University Press, 1992), which offers a provocative and instructive discussion in this direction. I would also like to acknowledge a debt to Spivak’s discussion on metalepsis – in D Landry and G Maclean (eds), The Spivak reader (New York: Routledge, 1996) – and Judith Butler’s discussion of speech and agency in Excitable speech: a politics of the performative (New York: Routledge, 1997). 14 Here I must anticipate critique similar to that made by Benita Parry in Delusions and discoveries (London: Verso, 1998) of Gayatri Spivak, Abdul Jan-Mohammed and Homi Bhabha, in which she claims that they are unable to listen to the voice of the native. Spivak responds as follows: ‘When Benita Parry takes us to task for not being able to listen to the natives, or to let the natives speak, she forgets that the three of us, postcolonials, are “natives” too.’ See GC Spivak, ‘Poststructuralism, marginality’ in Outside in the teaching machine (New York: Routledge, 1993), pp. 59–60. In her controversial essay ‘Can the subaltern speak?’, Spivak critiques Foucault and Deleuze for failing to advance a theory of interests. But rather than opting for recuperation, Spivak argues for developing work on the constitution of the Other as object and subject. Following Derrida, she argues that that project is also concerned with the constitution of Europe’s ethnocentrism. 15 Important here is Spivak’s discussion of metalepsis in GC Spivak, The postcolonial critic: interventions, strategies and dialogues, edited by S Harasym (New

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York: Routledge, 1990). See also Butler’s discussion on speech and agency in Excitable speech. 16 Although couched in different terms, I found an article by B Jewsiewicki and VY Mudimbe rather reassuring in its call for pluralising the research agenda of African history. See B Jewsiewicki and VY Mudimbe, ‘Africans’ memories and contemporary history of Africa’, History and Theory 32:4 (1993), pp. 1–11. 17 L White, ‘ “They could make their victims dull”: genders and genres, fantasies and cures in colonial southern Uganda’, American Historical Review 100:5 (1995), p. 1381. For examples of attempts at problematising oral histories see I Hofmeyr, ‘Wailing for purity: oral studies in southern African studies’, African Studies 54:2 (1995), pp. 16–31; C Hamilton, Terrific majesty: the powers of Shaka Zulu and the

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limits of historical invention (Cape Town and Johannesburg: David Philip, 1998); and C Rassool and G Minkley, ‘Orality, memory and social history in South Africa’ in S Nuttall and C Coetzee (eds), Negotiating the past: the making of memory in South Africa (Cape Town: Oxford University Press, 1998). 18 For an innovative use of this method see Hamilton, Terrific majesty. The concept of mediation has been more thoroughly theorised by R Williams, Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society (London: Fontana, 1985) and Spivak, ‘Can the subaltern speak?’. Spivak especially allows us to review what we take as the function of representation by invoking two terms from Marx, Darstellung and Vertretung. Luise White’s intervention points in this direction but is not theorised to the same extent. See also Spivak’s more recent weaving together of ‘The Rani of Sirmur’ – GC Spivak, ‘The Rani of Sirmur: an essay in reading the archives’, History and Theory 24:3 (1985), pp. 247–272 – and ‘Can the subaltern speak?’ which revisits the question of the female informant in feminist historiography. This is not to deny the sophisticated historical critiques and critiques of history that address the objective/bias binarism. See for example De Certeau, Writing of history; Veyne, Did the Greeks believe?; D LaCapra, Rethinking intellectual history (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983). Suffice it to say that outside of this critical tradition, the discipline of history retains its commitment to this facile and unproductive binarism. 19 The phrase belongs to Clifford Geertz. I acknowledge its reductionism in relation to Luise White’s specific intervention. Nevertheless, I am proposing a transactional reading in which the possibilities and promise of an overall intervention are temporarily suspended so as to contemplate the argument being pursued in a different direction. In this respect, I also stress that White’s

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interventions extend beyond the limited reading suggested here. For an example where White’s reading of Geertz fails dismally, see ‘The traffic in heads: bodies, borders and the articulation of regional histories’, Journal of Southern African Studies 23:2 (June 1997), pp. 325–338. The focus on genre has gained widespread currency in recent African(ist) historiography. See for example I Hofmeyr, We spend our years as a tale that is told (Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 1994); K Barber, I could speak until tomorrow (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991) and J Fabian and TK Matalu, Remembering the present (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). 20 This is not to suggest that other formulations of the notion of agency (or oral narratives) should be jettisoned. The debate on gender and life strategies of

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women in African history has seen the concept of agency strategically mobilised to interrupt the modes of production narrative. See for example B Bozzoli, ‘Marxism, feminism and South African studies’, Journal of Southern African Studies 9:2 (April 1983), pp. 139–171; S Geiger, Tanu women: gender and culture in the making of Tanganyikan nationalism (Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1997). 21 G Cory, The rise of South Africa, Vol. 1 (London: Longman’s, Green and Co., 1921), p. 395. 22 I elaborate on this point in Chapter 5. See also C Crais, The politics of evil (Cape Town: Cambridge University Press, 2003); A Mager, Gender and the making of a South African bantustan: a social history of the Ciskei, 1945–1959 (Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1999). 23 F Hartog’s The mirror of Herodotus (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988) explores the relationship between observation and evidence at greater length. Autopsy is based on observational technologies but also privileges a form of evidence and proof. 24 Such paradoxes are by no means unique. T Niranjana, Siting translation: history, poststructuralism and the colonial context (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), p. 3, argues that translation, paradoxically, also provides a place in ‘history’ for the colonised. 25 Cape of Good Hope: Caffre War and Death of Hintsa, Blue Book 279 of 1836 (hereafter Cape of Good Hope): Dispatch from D’Urban to Earl of Aberdeen (19 June 1835), p. 15. 26 William Beinart has drawn attention to a similar tendency in his ‘Political and collective violence in southern African historiography’, Journal of Southern African Studies 18:3 (September 1992), pp. 455–485. For Beinart ‘colonial or white settler

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thinking had an extraordinary capacity to invert causation for a whole range of social phenomenon [sic], including violence’. The relationship of ‘thought’, ‘capacity’, ‘causation’ and ‘social phenomenon’ is, however, in need of further explanation. We may have to consider not only how thought performed such a mean feat but also which conditions enabled thought to perform this inversion. This may allow us to assess ‘thought’s’ relationship to ‘violence’ in slightly different terms. Thought and violence may be seen as mutually reinforcing operations rather than viewed within a logic of seriality. 27 Cape of Good Hope, D’Urban to Aberdeen (January 1835), p. 20. 28 Cape of Good Hope, Shrewsbury to D’Urban (January 1835), p. 41. 29 Cape of Good Hope, Rowles to D’Urban (17 December 1834), pp. 26–27.

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30 Cape of Good Hope, D’Urban to Secretary of State (19 March 1835), pp. 10–11 (my emphasis). 31 Cape of Good Hope, D’Urban to Secretary of State (19 June 1835), pp. 15–16 (my emphasis). 32 H Smith, The autobiography of lieutenant-general, Sir Harry Smith (London: Murray Publishers, 1901). 33 Cape of Good Hope, D’Urban to Aberdeen (19 June 1835), p. 19. 34 Cape of Good Hope, D’Urban to Aberdeen (19 June 1835), p. 19. 35 An expedition by British forces against the Ngwane in 1828 led colonial forces across the Kei River to Mbolompo, south of the Mthatha River and the Mpondo chieftaincy. It did not lead to annexation of land but rather to the capture of labour. Those captured were taken to Fort Beaufort, according to Timothy Stapleton, and sold to white farmers. The capture resulted in the killing of 400 Ngwane who had hidden in a nearby forest and the capture of 100 women and children. Colonial officials claimed that the expedition was undertaken in the interests of saving the Ngwane from Hintsa and Vusani. Stapleton, however, suggests that it was an attempt to procure labour. See Stapleton, Maqoma; see also Crais, Making of the colonial order. Crais argues that the colonial state joined the Thembu, the Mpondo and the Xhosa in the war against the Ngwane and that many of the survivors were rendered destitute refugees or sources of servile labour. 36 D’Urban made clear his intentions of reclaiming these lands which had been occupied by various chiefs, describing them as beautiful and fertile. 37 Cape of Good Hope, D’Urban to Aberdeen (19 June 1835), p. 20. 38 Cape of Good Hope, D’Urban to Aberdeen (19 June 1835), p. 20.

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39 JS Bergh and JC Visagie, The eastern Cape frontier zone 1660–1980: a cartographical guide for historical research (Durban: Butterworths, 1985). 40 Listed in the Cape archive as map M1/2666 Military Sketch of the Route of the 1st Division of the Army which invaded Caffreland in 1835. . .being sketched with accuracy by Chas. C. Michell, Surveyor General, Provl. A.Q.M., c.1835. 41 M2/873 Eastern Province of the Cape of Good Hope and Kaffirland. . .with the movements [of troops] in March, April and May, 1835 in Kaffirland. 42 Bergh and Visagie, Eastern Cape frontier zone. 43 T Winichakul, Siam mapped (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1994). 44 In this respect I found the article by Phil Porter and Thomas Bassett on the elusive mountains of Kong very suggestive. Porter and Bassett suggest that all maps state

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an argument about the world and are propositional in nature. See P Porter and T Bassett, ‘From the best authorities: the mountains of Kong in the cartography of West Africa’, Journal of African History 32 (1991), pp. 367–413. 45 M Heidegger, The question concerning technology, translated by W Lovitt (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1977). 46 JE Alexander, A narrative of a voyage of observation among the colonies of western Africa. . .and a campaign in Kafirland, Vols 1 and 2 (London: Henry Colburn Publishers, 1837). 47 S Ryan, ‘Inscribing the emptiness: cartography, exploration and the construction of Australia’ in C Tiffin and A Lawson (eds), De-scribing empire: post-colonialism and textuality (New York: Routledge, 1994). 48 Winichakul, Siam mapped, p. 126. 49 R Elphick and H Giliomee, The shaping of South African society (Cape Town: Maskew Miller Longman, 1979), p. 296. 50 M Legassick, ‘The frontier tradition in South African historiography’ in S Marks and A Atmore (eds), Economy and society in pre-industrial South Africa (London: Longman, 1980). 51 J Comaroff, ‘Images of empire, contests of conscience: models of colonial domination in South Africa’ in F Cooper and AL Stoler (eds), Tensions of empire: colonial cultures in a bourgeois world (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997). 52 For a discussion of these tensions of Empire see T Keegan, Colonial South Africa and the origins of the racial order (Cape Town: David Philip, 1996). 53 J Naidoo, Tracking down historical myths (Johannesburg: AD Donker, 1989). 54 JG Pretorius, British humanitarians (Pretoria: State Archives, 1988), p. 179.

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55 Evidence by Tyalie, MF1253, South African Library, Minutes of Proceedings of Court of Inquiry, 4 May 1836, p. 58. 56 A Davidson, ‘Carlo Ginzburg and the renewal of historiography’ in J Chandler et al. (eds), Questions of evidence: proof, practice and persuasion across the disciplines (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), p. 313. 57 Evidence by Campbell, MF1253, South African Library, Minutes of Proceedings of Court of Inquiry, 29 August 1836, pp. 1–2. 58 Evidence by Klaas, MF1253, South African Library, Minutes of Proceedings of Court of Inquiry, 29 August 1836, p. 3. 59 Hartog makes a similar claim in Mirror of Herodotus, p. 261. Citing Benveniste, Hartog claims that ‘if two men are in dispute [in litigation], one saying “I saw

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for myself” and the other saying “I heard for myself,” the one who says “I saw for myself” is the one whom we must believe’. That rule applies as much to Greek as it does to other Indo-European languages. The above is not always the case, according to Benveniste, who cites Latin as an aberration. Important for our purposes here is Hartog’s claim that the juridical sense of histor is premised on a definite connection between seeing and knowledge. This is similar to Hegel’s sense of ‘original history’, discussed in his philosophy of history. 60 Evidence by Eno, MF1253, South African Library, Minutes of Proceedings of Court of Inquiry, 23 May 1836, p. 61. 61 In the work of Terry Eagleton and Gayatri Spivak the idea of reading against the grain assumes a different tactical implication. Spivak suggests that a reading against the grain is enabled by moments of transgression in the text. But transgression is not seen in terms of an invasion, à la Luise White. Rather, it is intrinsic to the very operation of the law. Transgression may interrupt or bring a discourse to crisis, but we should guard against making too much of its transcendental quality. GC Spivak, A critique of postcolonial reason: toward a history of the vanishing present (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999). I found Adam Sitze’s formulation in his work on protest writing and the discourse of transitology especially illuminating here. See A Sitze, The immune system (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, forthcoming). 62 R Guha, ‘The prose of counter-insurgency’ in R Guha and GC Spivak, Subaltern studies II (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983).

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Notes to Chapter 2: Mistaken identity
1 2 David Manisi cited in J Opland, Xhosa poets and poetry (Cape Town: David Philip, 1998), p. 319. For a historical geography of the spatialisation of the eastern Cape frontier zone see A Lester, ‘The margins of order: strategies of segregation on the eastern Cape frontier, 1806–c.1850’, Journal of Southern African Studies 23:4 (December 1997), pp. 635–654. 3 4 A Bank, ‘The great debate and the origins of South African historiography’, Journal of African History 38 (1997), pp. 261–281. The phrase ‘tensions of Empire’ is from F Cooper and AL Stoler, Tensions of empire: colonial cultures in a bourgeois world (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997). The Tensions of empire are not only restricted to settlers and colonial officials. A public sphere may also be marked by categories of gender and class interests. 5 J Habermas, The structural transformation of the public sphere: an inquiry into a category of bourgeois society (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989). I believe that the inaugural violence that sometimes founds the settler public sphere is reason for caution against an all-too-easy localisation of the field of public discourse through notions of subaltern counterpublics that Nancy Fraser has more recently championed. If anything, the settler public sphere calls attention to the inaugural violence that accompanies the rise of the public sphere more generally. N Fraser, ‘Rethinking the public sphere: a contribution to the critique of actually existing democracy’, Social Text 25/26 (1990), pp. 56–80. 6 7 Michell’s portrait was reproduced in JE Alexander, Excursions in western Africa and narrative of a campaign in kaffir-land, Vol. 1 (London: Henry Colburn Publishers, 1840). While I will make this argument in relation to the practice of nineteenth-century portraiture, it may also be useful to see H Berresem, ‘The “evil eye” of painting: Jacques Lacan and Witold Gombrowicz on the gaze’ in R Feldstein et al. (eds), Reading seminar XI: Lacan’s four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995). 8 9 L Alexander, Frederick I’Ons retrospective exhibition catalogue (Port Elizabeth: King George VI Gallery, 1990), p. 5. Alexander, Frederick I’Ons, p. 5. histories of photography (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989). The transformation 10 A Sekula, ‘The body in the archive’ in R Bolton (ed.), The contest of meaning: critical

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in the object of portraiture may have been spurred on by metropolitan deployment of photography to delimit the terrain of the other and the contingent instance of deviance and social pathology that accompanied the invention of the social body. 11 Alexander, Frederick I’Ons, p. 22. Alexander neglects the association of the leopard skin kaross as a symbol of kingship that both Harry Smith and later George Cory noted in their respective accounts of the death of Hintsa and which might yet serve as a historical truth claim. 12 See also P Bove, ‘The Foucault phenomenon: the problematics of style’, foreword to G Deleuze, Foucault (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988), p. xv. Bove writes: ‘For Foucault, the “regime of truth” cannot be represented without tracing, among other things, the position and function of the intellectual

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“politically in his [sic] specific relation to a local form of power.” ’ 13 A43, Godlonton Letters, No. 70, S Rowles to Godlonton (26 June 1851), William Cullen Church of the Province Records, University of the Witwatersrand. 14 A1350, Caesar Andrews Papers, Smith to Andrews (January 1851), William Cullen Church of the Province Records, University of the Witwatersrand. 15 A43, Ayliff to Godlonton (12 September 1850), William Cullen. 16 A43, No. 813, William Southey to Godlonton (4 January 1865), William Cullen; A43, Holden Bowker to Godlonton (20 June 1860), William Cullen. 17 A43, William Southey to Godlonton (23 September 1865), William Cullen. 18 The concept of a secondary discourse has been elaborated upon in Guha, ‘Prose of counter-insurgency’. 19 Cape of Good Hope Blue Book on Native Affairs (Cape Town: Saul Solomon, 1878), p. 29. 20 A1350, The Diary of Caesar Andrews (1875), p. 2, William Cullen. 21 A1350, Diary of Caesar Andrews, p. 35. 22 A1350f and A1370f, Caesar Andrews Papers, William Cullen. 23 A1350, Diary of Caesar Andrews, p. 47. 24 Smith, Autobiography, p. 11. 25 Smith, Autobiography, p. 28. 26 Smith, Autobiography, p. 34. 27 Smith, Autobiography, p. 35. 28 Smith, Autobiography, p. 35. 29 JE Alexander, An expedition of discovery into the interior of Africa (London: Henry Colburn Publishers, 1838), pp. vi–vii. 30 Alexander, Expedition of discovery, pp. 175–176.

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31 Alexander, Expedition of discovery, p. viii. 32 HR Mill, The record of the Royal Geographical Society 1830–1930 (London: Royal Geographic Society, 1930), p. 44. 33 Mill, Record of the Royal Geographical Society, pp. 44–45. 34 Alexander, Narrative of a voyage Vol. 2, p. 144. 35 Alexander, Narrative of a voyage Vol. 2, p. 157. 36 Alexander, Narrative of a voyage Vol. 2, p. 157. 37 M Taussig, ‘Culture of terror-space of death: Roger Casement’s Putumayo report and the explanation of torture’ in N Dirks (ed.), Colonialism and culture (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992), p. 135. 38 Alexander, Narrative of a voyage Vol. 1, p. 159. Michell’s surveys of the eastern Cape

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proved indispensable to subsequent efforts at mapping the region. In 1848, J Arrowsmith published a map called ‘Eastern frontier of the colony of the Cape of Good Hope’, which was compiled from manuscript surveys and sketches supplied by Michell. See D Schrire, The Cape of Good Hope, 1782–1842: from De la Rochette to Arrowsmith (London: Map Collectors Circle, 1965), p. 7. 39 Alexander, Narrative of a voyage Vol. 2, p. 158. 40 Alexander, Narrative of a voyage Vol. 2, pp. 158–159. 41 Alexander, Narrative of a voyage Vol. 2, p. 158. 42 Alexander, Narrative of a voyage Vol. 2, p. 171. 43 Alexander, Narrative of a voyage Vol. 2, p. 172. 44 Alexander, Narrative of a voyage Vol. 2, p. 172. 45 D Livingstone, The geographical tradition (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1992). 46 Personal communication with Michael Stevenson (16 May 2001), Newlands, Cape Town. 47 JJ Redgrave and E Bradlow, Fredrick I’Ons: artist (Cape Town: Maskew Miller Longman, 1958). 48 M Cosser, Images of a changing frontier: worldview in eastern Cape art from Bushman rock art to 1857 (MA thesis, Rhodes University, 1992), p. 53. See also A Taylor, ‘True picture of Hintsa’s death?’, Cape Times (16 August 1996). Taylor argues that I’Ons reconstructed the scene from eyewitness accounts. Claiming the painting as one of I’Ons’s finest landscape depictions, Taylor points out that the work depicts ‘the scene after Southey’s second shot, with Hintsa pleading and his companion slinking off across the river while soldiers fire from the cover of the rocks’. 49 Cosser, Images of a changing frontier, p. 53.

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50 See for example L Marin, ‘Poussin’s The Arcadian Shepherds’ in S Suleiman and I Crosman (eds), The reader in the text: essays on audience and interpretation (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980). 51 According to Jonathan Smith, certain aesthetic approaches to landscape seem to yield a world without limits, constraints, inhibitions or consequences. See ‘The lie that blinds: destabilizing the text of landscape’ in J Duncan and D Ley (eds), Place/ Culture/Representation (New York: Routledge, 1993). 52 Andrew Bank makes a similar deduction in respect of the lure of the landscape in I’Ons’s painting detailing Sandile’s meeting with his chiefs. See his ‘Art, emancipation and empire’, South African Historical Journal 39 (November 1998), pp. 3–43. Bank notes that The Grahamstown Journal commented on the painting

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titled War Meeting by pointing to the ‘beautiful background, big enough for ten farms and a rising village’. 53 Fraser, ‘Rethinking the public sphere’, p. 67. To speak of a subaltern counterpublic is, however, to ignore the extent to which that subject is already ingrained in the discourse of the bourgeois public sphere. The point is crucial given the extent to which the notion of subaltern increasingly comes to stand in for the conventional forms of resistance ascribed to the underclasses. My reformulation of the question of the public sphere asks for caution around the pluralisation of public spheres proposed by scholars such as Nancy Fraser. Especially crucial in Fraser’s reformulation of the public sphere is the introduction of a subaltern counterpublic. In its conventional Habermasian usage, the public sphere unnecessarily embraces the tendency to bracket the problem of social inequality, thereby ratifying its bourgeois precedents. Drawing on later historiographies and strands of feminist theory, Fraser explores how through an interplay of publicity and privatisation, the insularity of the bourgeois public sphere is shot through with the subtext of exclusion. In her view, that exclusion is necessarily, but contradictorily, constitutive of a bourgeois public sphere. Gradually her argument encourages us not to be faithful to the conceptions of the public sphere that originate from within its own selective narrative. This is not to ask for mere localisation but for plurality of publics in a highly stratified field. It is significant that Fraser is able to mobilise support for subaltern counterpublics that withdraw and regroup for the purposes of agitating toward wider public spheres. I would ask that we proceed with caution before proclaiming the resistance potential of subaltern counterpublics. 54 Fraser, ‘Rethinking the public sphere’. It may be useful to read the implications of Fraser’s reformulation alongside Peter Worsley’s argument that the creation

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of the nation state requires cultural standardisation by way of the subordination of ‘subaltern’ ethnic communities. Worsley makes this argument in order to elaborate a concept of the plural society. See P Worsley, ‘The three modes of nationalism’ in S Plattner and D Maybury-Lewis (eds), The prospects for plural societies (New Hampshire: American Ethnological Society, 1984). 55 M Nicol, ‘Historical accuracy falls prey to spectacle and entertainment’, Cape Times (Thursday 14 March 1996). Brett Bailey, The Plays of miracle and wonder: bewitching visions and primal high-jinx from the South African stage (Cape Town: Double Story, 2003) 56 Nicol, ‘Historical accuracy’. Nicol’s attempt to associate the search for the skull with the forms of frenzy common to late capitalism by invoking Saul Bellow

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seems strange in this instance. Was it not the same Bellow who condescendingly inquired ‘show me the Zulu Proust’? See E Said, Humanism and democratic criticism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), p. 27. 57 Said, Humanism and democratic criticism, p. 27. 58 K Marx, ‘The German ideology’ in R Tucker (ed.), The Marx–Engels reader, second edition (New York: WW Norton, 1978). 59 Marx, cited in W Brown, Politics out of history (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2001), p.78. 60 W Brown, Politics, p. 78. 61 I found Martin Jay’s elaboration of the decentring of the eye and the critique of the primacy of vision in Taylor instructive, especially regarding where this genealogy of ocularcentrism leads. Its pursuance, however, is not possible in the present work. See M Jay, ‘The disenchantment of the eye: surrealism and the crisis of ocularcentrism’ in L Taylor (ed.), Visualising theory: selected essays from V.A.R. (New York and London: Routledge, 1994). 62 See for example G Cory, The rise of South Africa, Vol. 3 (London: Longman’s, Green and Co., 1932), p. 323. In a footnote Cory notes: ‘The author had an interview some years ago with a very old Mr. Bowker who had a clear recollection of those times, and whose bias, if he had any, was on the side of the colonists. He stated that, as a trophy of that campaign, he had shown to him in High Street of Grahamstown, two human ears wrapped in a piece of brown paper, which were said to have been those of Hintsa.’ 63 The Great Place refers to the seat of the royal house. In Hintsa’s time the Great Place was in Gcuwa. Sarhili’s Great Place was in Hohita. Currently, the Great Place is located in Nqadu near the town of Willowvale.

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Notes to Chapter 3: The properties of facts (or how to read with a grain of salt)
1 2 3 4 Edward Said, ‘The problem of textuality: two exemplary positions’, Critical Inquiry 4:4 (Summer 1978), p. 683. See for example Cooper and Stoler, Tensions of empire. Cory, The rise, Vol. 3, p. 320. The term resonates with Christopher Saunders’s discussion of GM Theal as a settler historian. He, however, sees this historiography only in terms of racial attitudes which he believes were carried over into subsequent historiography, even in contested ways. In rereading Cory’s six-volume The Rise of South Africa, I suggest that there is greater correlation with the participant observation of Godlonton. Cory, in some senses, bridged the gap between official colonialism and the histories that dominated the settler public sphere. Saunders offers a useful point of departure for this discussion. See C Saunders, The making of the South African past (Cape Town: David Philip, 1988). 5 I am aware of Fredric Jameson’s critique of Hayden White’s supposed figural relativism that issues from the ‘conceptual machinery’ in his tropological studies of history. See F Jameson, The ideologies of theory: essays 1971–1986, Vol. 1, Situations of theory (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988). I am of course aiming at a more Foucauldian formulation of the problem in referring to the notion of event. According to Foucault: One can agree that structuralism formed the most systematic effort to evacuate the concept of the event, not only from ethnology but from a whole series of other sciences and in extreme case from history. . .But the important thing is to avoid trying to do for the event what was previously done with the concept of structure. It’s not a matter of locating everything on one level, that of the event, but of realizing that there are actually a whole order of levels of different types of events differing in amplitude, chronological breadth, and capacity to produce effects. Later, in a specific reference to history, he points out that ‘one’s point of reference should not be the great model of language (langue) and signs, but to that of war and battle. . .History which bears and determines us has the form of a war rather than that of language’. See M Foucault, Power/Knowledge selected interviews 1972–1977 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1980), p. 114. See also P Rabinow and H Dreyfus, Michel Foucault: beyond structuralism and hermeneutics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983).

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6 7

Lester, ‘Margins of order’. I have argued a similar point in relation to the history of the South African Communist Party and its attempts at resolving the ‘native question’ in the 1920s and 1930s. See P Lalu, Lived texts, written texts and contexts: Eddie Roux and the making of the South African past (MA thesis, University of the Western Cape, 1995).

8 9 11

CW de Kiewiet, The imperial factor in South Africa: a study in politics and economics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1937), p. 2. Crais, Making of the colonial order. Crais, Making of the colonial order, p. 125 (my emphasis).

10 Crais, Making of the colonial order, p. 95.

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12 Crais, Making of the colonial order, p. 129 (my emphasis). 13 See for example S Boniface Davies, ‘Raising the dead: the Xhosa cattle-killing and the Mhlakaza-Goliat delusion’, Journal of Southern African Studies 33:11 (March 2007), pp. 19–41. 14 See M Legassick, ‘The state, racism and the rise of capitalism in nineteenthcentury Cape Colony’, South African Historical Journal 28 (1993), pp. 329–368. 15 For further discussion of the centrality and consequence of the number in the colonial imagination see A Appadurai, ‘Number in colonial imagination’ in C Breckenridge and P van der Veer (eds), Orientalism and the postcolonial predicament (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993); M Poovey, A history of the modern fact (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998). 16 LG47, Chronological List of Losses Reported, 9.7.1835. State Archives, Cape Town. 17 LG46, General List of Losses Sustained by Eastern Frontier Inhabitants in the Kaffir War, 1834–35, State Archives, Cape Town. James Edward Alexander put the cattle losses on the Southey farm at 800. See Alexander, Excursions in western Africa, p. 410. A record of losses was also featured in the documentation of the commission of inquiry, with the Southey name featuring prominently. 18 LG46, General List of Losses. 19 T Richards, The imperial archive (New York: Verso, 1993), p. 4. 20 A Wilmot, The life and times of Sir Richard Southey (Cape Town: Maskew Miller, 1904), p. 23. 21 Colonel Collins, ‘Journal of a tour to the north eastern boundary, the Orange River and the Storm Mountains, 1809’ in D Moodie (ed.), The record; a series of official papers relative to the condition and treatment of the native tribes of South Africa, Part V 1808–1819 (Cape Town: Balkema, 1960), p. 42 (my emphasis).

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22 Bernard Cohn makes an analogous point in respect of India. He argues that ‘knowledge of the history and practices of Indian states was seen as the most valuable form of knowledge on which to build the colonial state’. See BS Cohn, Colonialism and its forms of knowledge (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 5. 23 Moodie, The record, p. 46. 24 Moodie, The record, p. 45. 25 Moodie, The record, p. 45. 26 Keegan, Colonial South Africa. 27 K Knorr, Documents related to British colonial theories, 1570–1850 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968), p. 301. 28 Knorr, Documents, p. 301.

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29 R Godlonton, A narrative of the irruption of the kafir hordes into the eastern province of the Cape of Good Hope, 1834–1835 (Grahamstown: Meurant and Godlonton, 1836). 30 A Lester, ‘ “Otherness” and the frontiers of empire: the eastern Cape colony, 1806–c.1850’, Journal of Historical Geography 24 (1998), pp. 2–19. 31 Appadurai, ‘Number in colonial imagination’. 32 J Philips, Researches in South Africa (London: James Duncan, 1828). 33 The New World Dictionary (second edition) describes degree as ‘any of the successive steps or stages in a process or series’. Its usage here is consistent with that of Marx rather than that of De Kiewiet, the difference being that the former concentrates on the implications of historical development whereas the latter treats degree in the more restrictive sense to mean relative intensity. K Marx, ‘The Grundrisse’ in R Tucker (ed.), The Marx–Engels reader, second edition (New York: WW Norton, 1978). 34 See J Ayliff, The history of the Abambo (Butterworth: Gazette, 1912), p. 26. 35 Godlonton, Irruption, p. 6. 36 Godlonton, Irruption, pp. 113–114. 37 Godlonton, Irruption, p. 122. 38 Godlonton, Irruption, p. 149. 39 Godlonton, Irruption, p. 150. Of course, the narrative played down specific incidents of colonial violence and neglected to tell us what several other accounts claimed, namely that Hintsa’s residence was torched. 40 Godlonton, Irruption, p. 154. 41 Godlonton, Irruption, p. 141.

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42 See AC Webster, ‘Unmasking the Fingo: the war of 1835 revisited’ in C Hamilton (ed.), The mfecane aftermath: reconstructive debates in southern African history (Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 1995). 43 Godlonton, Irruption, p. 142. 44 Godlonton, Irruption, p. 144. 45 Godlonton, Irruption, p. 145. 46 Ayliff, History of the Abambo, p. 23. 47 See J Fracchia, ‘Marx’s Auf hebung of philosophy and the foundations of a materialist science of history’, History and Theory 30:2 (May 1991), pp. 153–179. 48 P Ricoeur, Lectures on ideology and utopia, edited by GH Taylor (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986).

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49 MS 17038, Cory Notebook 4, Cory Library, Grahamstown, p. 396. 50 MS 17038, Cory Notebook 4, Cory Library, Grahamstown, p. 396. 51 Cory, The rise, Vol. 3, pp. 154–155. 52 Cory, The rise, Vol. 3, p. 155. 53 MS 17038, Cory Notebook 4, Cory Library, Grahamstown, p. 395. 54 MS 17038, Cory Notebook 4, Cory Library, Grahamstown, p. 400. 55 G Cory, The rise of South Africa, Vol. 2 (London: Longman’s, Green and Co., 1926). 56 The interviews are used very selectively by Cory. In the third volume his interviews with Mfengu elders are included to make the case for their ill-treatment at the hands of Hintsa. This is supported by the claim made in these interviews that the Mfengu were on the verge of a revolt at the time that war broke out. 57 Cory, The rise, Vol. 1, p. 185. 58 Cory, The rise, Vol. 1, p. 185. 59 Cory, The rise, Vol. 1. 60 Cory, The rise, Vol. 1, p. 183. 61 Cory, The rise, Vol. 1, p. 185. 62 Cory, The rise, Vol. 3, p. 140. 63 Cory, The rise, Vol. 3, p. 140. 64 Cory, The rise, Vol. 3, p. 141. 65 Cory, The rise, Vol. 2. 66 Cory, The rise, Vol. 2; see also R Ross, ‘Hermanus Matroos, aka Ngxukumeshe: a life on the border,’ Kronos 30, (November 2004), pp. 47–69. 67 Cory, The rise, Vol. 1, p. 396. Towards the end of the footnote, Cory tells us that after being shot in 1851 Hermanus’s body was captured and exposed to public view.

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A very large skull, he tells us, in the Albany Museum in Grahamstown is said to be that of Hermanus.

Notes to Chapter 4: Reading ‘Xhosa’ historiography
1 2 3 Marx, ‘Imperialism in India’, p. 664. B Anderson, Imagined communities (London: Verso, 1983). P Chatterjee, Nationalist thought and the colonial world: a derivative discourse (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), p. 38. See also P Chatterjee, The nation and its fragments: colonial and postcolonial histories (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993).

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4

S Marks, The ambiguities of dependence: class, nationalism and the state in twentieth century Natal (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1986), p. 5. Marks notes that ‘in South Africa segregation serves not simply as the institutional and ideological buttress of the white monopoly of power at a time of rapid social change; it is the central mechanism for the reproduction of cheap and coercible migrant labour’.

5

Marks, Ambiguities, pp. 72–73. For a good example of this ambiguity of African intellectuals see B Peterson, Monarchs, missionaries and African intellectuals: African theatre and the unmaking of colonial marginality (Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2000).

6 7

Marks, Ambiguities, p. 56. T Ranger, ‘Nationalist historiography, patriotic history and the history of the nation: the struggle over the past in Zimbabwe’, Journal of Southern African Studies 30:2 (June 2004), pp. 215–234. (The Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF), formed after a merger of Zanu and Zapu in 1988, is currently (2 April 2008) the ruling party in Zimbabwe.)

8 9

C Rassool, The individual, auto/biography and South African history (PhD thesis, University of the Western Cape, 2004). See for example L de Kock, ‘Sitting for the civilisation test: the making(s) of a civil imaginary in colonial South Africa’, Poetics Today 22:2 (Summer 2001), pp. 396–397.

10 Adam Ashforth has described the emergence of the ‘native question’ in official discourse. A Ashforth, The politics of official discourse in twentieth century South Africa (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990). 11 See P Rich, Hope and despair: English-speaking intellectuals and South African politics, 1896–1976 (London: Routledge, 1983), p. 48.

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12 P Cocks, ‘Max Gluckman and the critique of segregation in South African anthropology’, Journal of Southern African Studies 27:4 (December 2001), pp. 739–756. 13 See Max Gluckman’s 1946 critique of the anthropologist B Malinowski in M Gluckman, Order and rebellion in tribal Africa (London: Cohen and West, 1963). 14 Max Gluckman was a particular exponent of this view. See Cocks, ‘Max Gluckman’. 15 The Glen Grey Act of 1899 was a mechanism to compel African farmers into the employ of white farmers through the processes of labour taxation and limited governance in ‘native reserves’. 16 Gluckman, Order and rebellion, pp. 210–211.

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17 Peires, ‘The rise of the right-hand house’. 18 A Odendaal, Vukani Bantu! Black protest politics in South Africa to 1912 (Cape Town: David Philip, 1984). 19 Soga, South-eastern Bantu; SEK Mqhayi, Ityala Lamawele (Alice: Lovedale Press, 1931); SEK Mqhayi, ‘UmHlekazi uHintsa’ (Alice: Lovedale Press, 1937). 20 J Peires, ‘Lovedale Press: literature for the Bantu revisited’, English in Africa 7 (1980), pp. 77–83. 21 Peires, ‘Lovedale Press’. 22 Peires, ‘Rise of the “right-hand house” ’, p. 118. 23 Soga, South-eastern Bantu, p. 141. 24 Soga, South-eastern Bantu, p. 155. 25 See Keegan, Colonial South Africa. 26 Soga, South-eastern Bantu, pp. 178–179. 27 Soga, South-eastern Bantu, p. 169. 28 Soga, South-eastern Bantu, p. 179. 29 See Webster, ‘Unmasking the Fingo’. 30 Soga, South-eastern Bantu, pp. 178–179. 31 Soga, South-eastern Bantu, p. 180. 32 This is a statistic that incidentally also appears in the work of Godlonton and represents a clever subversion of his general assumptions on Mfengu slavery. Soga, South-eastern Bantu, p. 95 33 Soga, South-eastern Bantu, p. 172. 34 Soga, South-eastern Bantu, p. 178.

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35 It may be useful to place Soga’s text alongside other anti-colonial writing, to discern its responsiveness to the contemporaneous problem of race and ethnicity confronted by nationalism. By the first half of the twentieth century, Soga’s contemporaries – Sol Plaatje, Pixley ka Seme and SM Molema – were acutely aware not to affirm policies of segregation in their criticism. Molema in particular opted to chart the geographies of power in terms of the categories of governance, pursuits (as in agriculture, for example) and institutions such as lobola (bride wealth), marriage and polygamy. Unlike the scattered ethnographic reflections of Colonel Collins in the early 1800s, Molema traced power in its hierarchical arrangements. What is crucial in Molema’s work is the strategy of reversal that appears to be a common thread of nationalist narration. For example, in Bantu, past and present, Molema

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begins his discussion of moral codes with the claims that ‘the government of the Bantu was essentially patriarchal’ and that ‘among the military tribes of the east coast (the Xhosa and Zulu polities) the government tended towards despotism’. By the time village organisation is discussed, Molema turns to the trope of collectivity and social and economic equality. For Molema, the mark of difference is not to be sought in social organisation but in the spirit that informed the social structure. ‘The fiber running through the feeling of brotherhood,’ says Molema, invoking the productivity of spirit, ‘was consanguinity – each member of the tribe believing himself related by blood and descent to another member’. In drawing out the force of contrast, Molema writes: The combinations and contrasts of capitalism and pauperism, competition and despair, sinecures and sweated labour, gorgeousness and squalor were impossible under the Bantu policy. Individualism, as understood in the Western world, could not thrive. Collectivism was the civic law, communism and a true form of socialism the dominating principle and ruling spirit. (See Molema, Bantu, past and present, p. 115.) Even the more conservative Pixley ka Seme, one of the founders of the modern South African Native Congress, urged the movement’s supporters as early as 1911 that, ‘The demon of racialism, the aberrations of the Xhosa–Fingo feud, the animosity that exists between the Basuto and every other African must be buried and forgotten. . .We are one people’ – see A215.78, African Lodestar: Official Organ of the aNC Youth League (Transvaal), (December 1951), Dr SM Molema Papers, South African Library, Cape Town. By rewriting the history of the nineteenth century in a manner that helped to interpret the predicament of the twentieth century, and by ascribing motives

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other than the liberation of the Mfengu as the causes of the war of 1834–35, Soga was placing himself firmly in the framework of a nascent nationalist intellectual history. The sentiment was more generalised and taking root as Soga wrote. Thema, a leader of the ANC in the 1950s, summed up the common theme of nationalist historiography when he argued that misrepresentation was the cause of war. To serve as a corrective, nationalist historiography had to transcend the limits of identifying the pitfalls and consequences of colonial history. The precolonial was emerging as a site for an alternative historiography to the story produced by colonialism. 36 A215.78, African Lodestar, South African Library, Cape Town. 37 P Scott, Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi, 1875–1945: a bibliographic survey (Grahamstown: Department of African Languages, Rhodes University, 1976).

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38 Scott, Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi, p. 43. 39 Scott, Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi, p. 44. 40 Nxele Island gets its name from Makana Nxele, the Xhosa prophet who was exiled there in the nineteenth century. 41 Scott, Samuel Edward Krune Mqhayi, p. 44. 42 AC Jordan, ‘S.E.K. Mqhayi’ in F Wilson and D Perrot (eds), South African Outlook 103:1225 (June 1973), p. 100. 43 Jordan, ‘S.E.K. Mqhayi’, p. 100. 44 Jordan, ‘S.E.K. Mqhayi’, p. 100. 45 Jordan, ‘S.E.K. Mqhayi’, p. 100. 46 Jordan, ‘S.E.K. Mqhayi’, pp. 100–101. 47 AC Jordan, Towards an African literature: the emergence of literary form in Xhosa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), p. 106. 48 Mqhayi, Ityala Lamawele, p. 115. 49 Mqhayi, Ityala Lamawele, p.115. 50 Mqhayi, Ityala Lamawele, p. v. 51 E Said, ‘Yeats and decolonisation’ in T Eagleton (ed.), Nationalism, colonialism and literature (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990), p. 82. 52 Cited in OR Dathorne, African literature in the twentieth century (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1974), p. 43. See also DDT Jabavu, ‘The Fingo slavery myth’, South African Outlook 65:769 (June 1935), pp. 123–124. 53 Dathorne, African literature. 54 C Dikeni, An examination of the socio-political undercurrents in Mqhayi’s novel Ityala Lamawele (MA thesis, University of Cape Town, 1992). 55 Peires, ‘Lovedale Press’, pp. 82–83.

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56 Opland, Xhosa poets and poetry. 57 Mamdani, Citizen and subject; see also Lalu, ‘Leaving the city’. 58 Molema, Bantu, past and present, p. 335. 59 Molema, Bantu, past and present p. 335. 60 De Kiewiet, Imperial factor, p. 149. 61 De Kiewiet, Imperial factor, p. 149. 62 De Kiewiet, Imperial factor, pp. 149–150. 63 De Kiewiet, Imperial factor, p. 149. 64 G Anstey, ‘South Africans in black and white’, Sunday Times Lifestyle (27 August 2000). 65 AM Duggan Cronin, ‘Ethnic photographic studies of the natives of Africa’, Rhodesia

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Scientific Association: Proceedings and Transactions 37 (September 1939), pp. 1–19. 66 Anstey, ‘South Africans in black and white’, Sunday Times Lifestyle (27 August 2000). 67 See E Edwards, ‘Performing science: still photography and the Torres Strait expedition’ in A Herle and S Rouse (eds), Cambridge and the Torres Strait (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). 68 Derrida’s discussion of Levi-Strauss is crucial here. See J Derrida, Of grammatology, translated by GC Spivak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998). 69 B Humphreys, ‘The Duggan Cronin Bantu Gallery’, Kimberley Lantern x1:2 (December 1961), pp. 74–75. 70 ‘Unique memorial’, Cape Times (3 September 1954). 71 C Harris, ‘Pictorial monument to a vanishing culture’, The Diamond News and the S.A. Watchmaker and Jeweller (November 1951), p. 20. How Harris could have discerned happiness in the expressionless sitters of the posed portraits produced by Duggan Cronin is of course difficult to ascertain. 72 J de Jager, ‘The portrait exhibition’, Pretoria News (28 April 1987). 73 Humphreys, ‘Duggan Cronin Bantu Gallery’, p. 76. 74 Edwards, ‘Performing science’, p. 117. 75 Edwards, ‘Performing science’, p. 120. 76 J Opland, Xhosa oral poetry: aspects of a black South African tradition (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1983), p. 256. (The translation is drawn from Opland. Thanks to Siyabonga Ndebe for checking the translation against the original version.) 77 Mqhayi, ‘UmHlekazi uHintsa’. 78 Opland, Xhosa oral poetry. 79 A215.78, SM Molema Papers, RV Selope Thema ‘Out of Darkness’, South African Library, Cape Town.

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80 A215.78, Molema Papers, pp. 31–32. 81 Chatterjee, Nationalist thought. 82 See K Kearns, Psychoanalysis, historiography and feminist theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 119. 83 Huisgenoot (19 and 26 February 1943; 5, 12 and 19 March 1943). 84 Die moord op Hintsa (The murder of Hintsa), Die inval in Gcalekaland (The invasion of Gcalekaland), In die Britse lokval (In the British trap), Die tragedie loop ten einde (The tragedy comes to an end). 85 South African Press Agency, ‘We regret injustices to Xhosas, but we didn’t apologise’, Argus (19 September 2001).

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Notes to Chapter 5: Post-phenomenological reflections on the borders of apartheid
1 2 M Espin, ‘Beyond the realm’, unpublished poem, Cape Town, 1998. See C Crais, ‘Race, the state, and the silence of history in the making of modern South Africa’, paper presented at the African Studies Seminar, Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town, July 1983. See also R Greenstein, ‘Racial formation: towards a comparative study of collective identity in South Africa and the United States’, Social Dynamics 19:2 (1993), pp. 1–29; G Minkley, ‘A counterraid into that other country of racial past: comments on Greenstein’s “Racial formation” ’, Social Dynamics 19:2 (1993), pp. 30–37; A Bank, ‘Bushmen’ in a Victorian world (Cape Town: Double Storey Books, 2006). 3 4 5 For a discussion of subjectivation see J Butler, The psychic life of power (California: Stanford University Press, 1997). Crais, ‘Race, the state’. Crais, ‘Race, the state’. Crais tells us that the mistake related to Jabavu’s use of the coloniser’s language. For an extended discussion of this point see Odendaal, Vukani Bantu! 6 7 E Mphahlele, An African image (London: Faber and Faber, 1962), p. 52. This argument may also have to take seriously feminist strategies for tackling the question of borders. Perhaps what a critical postcolonial sensitivity articulates in relation to a feminist transnationalism is that the border refuses, and must be made to refuse, phenomenological reduction if it is to avoid the pitfalls of power. It may help to return to a representative statement by Donna Haraway that summarises the new-found inspiration to write on borders and boundaries as ‘productive of meanings and bodies’. If borders are constitutive of effective histories

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of subjects, Haraway also attends to how borders and boundaries are always also implicated in language. Hers is an important reminder that borders are not merely constructed but critical to activating new alignments and political solidarities. Such feminist strategies, however, often encounter a limit in the politics of difference that emanates from some strands of postcolonial criticism. Recall here Caren Kaplan’s careful reworking of Haraway’s appeals for feminist and postcolonial transnationalism in her essay ‘The politics of location’. With a hint of despair, she concludes that boundaries or asymmetrical differences continue to exist despite the celebration of contradiction or theoretical affirmations of hybridity. Iconic of this situation is the reception of the life story of the Guatemalan activist, Rigoberto Menchu, in the North American academy. In processing a genealogy of feminist

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encounters with difference similar to that produced in readings of I Rigoberto Menchu, Kaplan calls for a self-reflexive practice of cultural politics that critiques the limits of modernity. Critical to Kaplan’s reformulation of the limits of transnational feminism is the argument of postcoloniality which holds that ‘borderlands’ that flow from the texts of writers such as Gloria Anzaldua remind us of the need for analysis of discourses of difference as proposed by Lata Mani and Chandra Mohanty. The resultant aporia is incidentally also where we might set to work on breaking free of the moulds of power. See Haraway, Simians, cyborgs, and women; C Kaplan, ‘The politics of location as transnational feminist critical practice’ in I Grewal and C Kaplan (eds), Scattered hegemonies: postmodernity and transnational feminist practices (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994). See also R Menon and K Bhasin, Borders and boundaries: women in India’s partition (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1998); E Burgos-Debray (ed.), I, Rigoberto Menchu: an Indian woman in Guatemala, translated by A Wright (New York: Verso, 1984). 8 AO Jackson, ‘The ethnic composition of the Ciskei and Transkei’ in Ethnological Publications, No. 53 (Pretoria: Department of Bantu Administration and Development, 1975), p. 2. For an example of the incororation of the eastern Cape frontier into Afrikaner nationalist narration see L Witz, Apartheid’s festival (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003). 9 Peires, ‘Rise of the “right-hand house”’. Peires contests the explanatory value of fission and proposes a more probable sense of segmentation in its place. 10 Peires, House of Phalo, p. 172. 11 See also Mager, Gender, pp. 113, 122, n.93. ‘To ensure a “tribal separation” between the Xhosa of the Transkei and Ciskei, it was desirable that Sandile be elevated to the status of paramount of all the Xhosa outside the Transkei. Fortunately,

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“custom permitted. . .a division between the tribes of the Great House and the tribes of the Right Hand House”: Zwelidumile Sigcau in the Transkei and Archie Velile Sandile in the Ciskei.’ The claim stems from notes of a meeting held in the chief magistrate’s office on 4 August 1960 regarding paramount chiefs of Xhosa and Rharhabe. For an elaboration of the consolidation of homeland boundaries in the Ciskei see L Wotshela, ‘Territorial manipulation in apartheid South Africa’, Journal of Southern African Studies 30:2 (June 2004), pp. 317–337. 12 Peires, ‘Rise of the “right-hand house”’. 13 In an earlier discourse which views the making of the Transkei as an administrative entity, the emphasis is on a dissolving popular will in precolonial institutions. See G Mbeki, Transkei in the making (Durban: Verulam Press, 1939), p. 7. Mbeki writes:

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The chiefs and the headmen have to hold meetings in their respective locations to acquaint their people with instructions from the magistrate; messengers of the court issue their summons through the chiefs. The chiefs have to report on any irregularities in their area, such as sudden deaths, outbreaks of disease among men and beasts, and a crop of other duties. They maintain peace within their area; they are an embodiment of all that a human society requires for its assured existence, but they are the worst paid men. The natural powers of chiefs, as trustees of their people are now gone. They remain with powers bestowed upon them not by social consent but by people who formulate policies that have, in the first instance, the consideration of their vested interests. 14 Mager, Gender. 15 Crais, Politics of evil, p. 85. 16 Crais, Politics of evil, p. 88. 17 See here especially Stoler, ‘Colonial archives’. 18 Guha, ‘Prose of counter-insurgency’. 19 In colonial reports Sarhili is referred to as Kreli. 20 Inventory to the records of the chief magistrates, Transkei, CMT, 1875–1912, State Archives, Cape Town. 21 P Lalu, ‘The grammar of domination and the subjection of agency: colonial texts and modes of evidence’, History and Theory 39 (December 2000), pp. 45–68. 22 Correspondence from Resident Magistrate, Elliotdale, to the Chief Magistrate, Thembuland (16 October 1885), State Archives, Cape Town (hereafter CMT 1/51). 23 E Walker, A history of South Africa (London: Longman’s, Green and Co., 1928), p. 369. 24 See for example M Spicer, The war of Ngcayecibi, 1877–78 (MA thesis, Rhodes University, 1978).

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25 Cape of Good Hope Blue Book on Native Affairs (Cape Town: Saul Solomon, 1878). 26 A1350, The Diary of Caesar Andrews (1875), p. 35, William Cullen Church of the Province Records, University of the Witwatersrand. 27 CMT 1/51, 6 May 1881. 28 CMT 1/51, 6 May 1881. 29 CMT 1/51, 6 May 1881. 30 For a discussion of the trumped up charges against Hintsa see Lalu, ‘Grammar of domination’. 31 CMT 1/51, 6 May 1881. 32 CMT 1/51, 19 May 1881. 33 CMT 1/51, 19 May 1881.

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34 CMT 1/51, 19 May 1881. 35 CMT 1/51, 19 May 1881. 36 CMT 1/51, 31 August 1881. 37 CMT 1/51, 19 May 1881. 38 CMT 1/51, 13 September 1882. 39 CMT 1/51, 13 September 1882. 40 CMT 1/51, 23 April 1883 (my emphasis). 41 CMT 1/51, 23 April 1883. 42 CMT 1/51, 23 April 1883. 43 CMT 1/51, 30 November 1883 (labelled confidential). 44 CMT 1/51, 30 November 1883. 45 CMT 1/51, 19 February 1884. 46 CMT 1/51, 19 February 1884, 75/84. 47 CMT 1/51, 1 April 1884. 48 I am calling attention to something like an internal limit to the process of materialisation. See Note 7 of this chapter. 49 CMT 1/51, 3 September 1885. 50 CMT 1/51, 18 September 1885. 51 Crais, Politics of evil. 52 Crais, Politics of evil, p. 57. 53 Peires, Dead will arise. 54 CMT 1/51, 20 October 1885, 445/85. 55 CMT 1/51, 23 October 1885. 56 CMT 1/51, 23 October 1885. 57 The phrase is taken from Rassool, The individual.

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Notes to Chapter 6: History after apartheid
1 2 J Derrida, ‘Racism’s last word’ in HL Gates (ed.), ‘Race’, writing and difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986), p. 337. The double sense implied by ‘after’ in the title of this chapter underlines the necessity of pursuing – that is, going after – apartheid as well as asking the discipline of history whether it is capable of thinking ahead, after, that is, apartheid. Derrida’s ‘Racism’s last word’ has prompted this chapter in several directions. See also his response to the criticism of Rob Nixon and Anne McClintock, ‘But beyond. . .(Open letter to Anne McClintock and Rob Nixon)’, in the same edited volume. 3 The new exhibition is perhaps an attempt to alter Albany’s image as a museum of the frontier. Unlike the museum that featured in the pages of the periodical Lantern in 1961, which suggested a place of great silence, the museum today is more likely to be associated with the dynamics of a contact zone. J Clifford, ‘Museums and contact zones’ in Routes: travel and translation in the late twentieth century (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997). Elaborating on the notion of ‘contact zone’, Clifford draws on Mary Louise Pratt’s[ref?] idea of a contact zone which she defines as the space of colonial encounters, the space where peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations, usually involving conditions of coercion, radical inequality and intractable conflict, see ML Platt, Imperial eyes: studies in travel writing and transculturation (New York: Routledge, 1992). For Clifford the advantage of Pratt’s conceptualisation is twofold. Firstly, it works at displacing the term ‘frontier’, which is grounded in a European expansionist process. Secondly, the term is important in that it provokes ongoing stories of struggle. Of course, this is a strategy that marks ethnography after the critique of its colonising legacy. 4 5 6 7 Introductory panel, Contact and conflict: the eastern Cape 1780–1910, Albany Museum, Grahamstown. The point about the dead end that the killing of Hintsa represents was emphasised by Gerard Corsane in the museum’s magazine The Phoenix. G Corsane, ‘The assassination of Hintsa?’ in The Phoenix: Magazine of the Albany Museum 8:1 (1995), p. 19. R Collingwood, ‘The limits of historical knowledge’ in Essays in the philosophy of history (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1965), p. 99.

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8

D Chakrabarty, ‘Postcoloniality and the artifice of history: who speaks for Indian pasts?’ in HA Veeser (ed.), New historicism reader (New York: Routledge, 1994), p. 342.

9

D Chakrabarty, Provincialising Europe (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000). The text is Chakrabarty’s own working through the question of provincialising Europe, a question he pondered in the 1994 text ‘Postcoloniality’. See also D Chakrabarty, ‘Reconstructing liberalism? Notes toward a conversation between Area Studies and Diasporic Studies’, Public Culture 10:3 (1998), pp. 457–481, for a further elaboration of the concept of difference.

10 Chakrabarty, Provincialising Europe, p. 249. 11 Chakrabarty, Provincialising Europe, p. 250. University Press, 1999), p. 36. 13 A Mufti, ‘The aura of authenticity’, Social Text 64, 18:3 (2000), pp. 87–104. Also relevant here is Gayatri Spivak’s criticism of the literary turn as expounded by Hayden White and Dominick La Capra. See Spivak, ‘The Rani of Sirmur’, p. 247–272. Also Fredrick Jameson’s critique of Hayden White’s Tropics of discourse (1978) in Jameson, Ideologies of theory. 14 D Scott, Refashioning futures: criticism after postcoloniality (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1999), p. 24. 15 S Zizek, ‘A plea for Leninist intolerance’, Critical Inquiry 28 (2002), pp. 545–546. John Beverley has argued that the subaltern studies project is ‘not so much preoccupied with the articulation of multiculturalism as a value in itself as with bringing to a critical point the antagonisms created by the social relations of inequality and exploitation inherent in multicultural difference’. Beverley, Subalternity and representation, p. 165. 16 L Gandhi, Postcolonial theory: a critical introduction (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998). 17 Cited in Gandhi, Postcolonial theory, p. 109. 18 This is a phrase that Stuart Hall has used in talking about the project of postcolonial theory. Hall writes: Colonisation, from [the] ‘post-colonial’ perspective, was no local or marginal sub-plot in some larger story [recall here the contrary view of the West African historian Jacob Ajayi 30 years earlier, that colonisation assumed far too much prominence in African history]. In the restaged narrative of the post-colonial, colonisation assumes the place and significance of a major, extended and ruptural

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12 See for example J Beverley, Subalternity and representation (Durham: Duke

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world-historical event. By ‘colonisation’, the ‘post-colonial’ references something more than direct rule over certain areas of the world by imperial powers. I think it is signifying the whole process of expansion, exploration, conquest, colonisation and imperial hegemonisation which constituted the ‘outer face’, the constitutive outside, of European and then Western capitalist modernity after 1492. See Hall, ‘When was “the postcolonial”?’, p. 249. This chapter is of course a further development on the ‘something more’ that the postcolonial is seen to reference. 19 Cited in Beverley, Subalternity and representation, p. 100. 20 S Feierman, ‘African histories and the dissolution of world history’ in R Bates, VY Mudimbe and J O’Barr (eds), Africa and the disciplines (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).

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21 VY Mudimbe, The invention of Africa: gnosis, philosophy, and the order of knowledge (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988). 22 Veyne, Did the Greeks believe? 23 PR3563/3, Transcript of an Autobiographical Manuscript of Henry James Halse (1817–1880), pp. 31–32, Cory Library, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 24 PR3563/3, Transcript, p. 30. 25 A96, Diary of T Shepstone (March–December 1835), Natal Archives Depot. Shepstone writes: ‘Major White was in the habit of taking four or five men and leaving the division for the purpose of surveying and making a chart of the country. It was on one of these expeditions that he bit his life.’ 26 PR3563/3, Transcript, p. 5. 27 PR3563/3, Transcript, p. 6. 28 SMD71, Hintsa’s Sjambok, Bowker Library, Albany Museum, Grahamstown. 29 Wilmot, Life and times, p. 21. 30 Wilmot, Life and times, p. 21. 31 MS6785, Letter from John Herschel (1836), Cory Library, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 32 SMD1146e, Letter from King Williams Town (7 February 1836), Bowker Library, Albany Museum, Grahamstown. 33 George Southey’s Diary (12 May 1835), University of Cape Town, Centre for African Studies. Thanks to Noeleen Murray of the University of Cape Town’s Centre for African Studies for making this document available to me. 34 A96, Shepstone’s Diary. 35 Transcript of Stretch, Cory Library, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. It is not clear at what point or what prompted Stretch to add to his journal. It must

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certainly have occurred after September 1835 when D’Urban appointed the captain, together with three others (including Smith), to sign treaties with the Ngqika chiefs regarding their location on the frontier. K Bell and WP Morrell (eds), Select documents on British colonial policy, 1830–1860 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1928), p. 462. 36 Transcript of Stretch. 37 The point being developed here shares Jacques Ranciere’s concern with literarity. The work of literarity he explains as follows: The ‘excess of words’ that I call literarity disrupts the relation between an order of discourse and its social function. That is, literarity refers at once to the excess of words available in relation to the thing being named; to that excess relating to the

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requirements for the production of life; and finally, to an excess of words vis-à-vis the modes of communication that function to legitimate ‘the proper’ itself. See D Panagia, ‘Dissenting words: a conversation with Jacques Ranciere’, Diacritics 30:2 (2000), p. 115. 38 Chakrabarty, Provincialising Europe. 39 T Karis and G Carter, From protest to challenge: a documentary history of African politics in South Africa, 1882–1964, Vol. 3 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1977), p. 664. 40 A Luthuli, New Age (June 1962), cited in Karis and Carter, From protest to challenge, Vol.3, p. 664. 41 N Mandela, No easy walk to freedom (London: Heinemann, 1965), p. 147. More recently, a similar description appeared in Mandela’s autobiography, Long walk to freedom: the autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Randburg: Macdonald Purnell, 1995). 42 G Bennington, ‘Postal politics and the institution of the nation’ in H Bhabha (ed.), Nation and narration (New York: Routledge, 1990). The essay reappeared in a fuller elaboration in G Bennington, Legislations: politics of deconstruction (London: Verso, 1994). 43 Bennington, ‘Postal politics’. 44 Biko, ‘White racism’, p. 200. 45 Spivak, A critique, p. 310. 46 Castle of Good Hope, text panel 41. 47 Castle of Good Hope, text panel 41. In a recent television production, Saints, Settlers and Sinners, written by John Matshikiza, this same statement is treated as a confession of guilt by Sarhili. 48 JH Soga, Ama-Xosa: life and customs (Alice: Lovedale Press, 1931), p.110

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49 Soga, The Ama-Xosa, p. 110. 50 Soga, The Ama-Xosa, p. 110. 51 See Spivak, A critique, p. 310. 52 See Mamdani, Citizen and subject. 53 P Salopek, ‘South African tribes are seeking reparations against British Crown’, Chicago Tribune (18 February 2001). 54 Nepad, ‘Inaugural statement’ (October 2001), p. 5. 55 R Guha, Dominance without hegemony: history and power in colonial India (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997), p. 3. 56 Guha, Dominance without hegemony. 57 Guha, Dominance without hegemony, p. 1.

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58 Guha, History at the limit. 59 This is particularly the case in Guha’s notion in Dominance without hegemony that the work of Indian historiography was to expropriate the expropriators. It is also the sentiment contained in the eloquent opening lines of the text in which Guha claims: ‘There was one Indian battle that the British never won. It was a battle for appropriation of the Indian past.’ See Guha, Dominance without hegemony, pp. 1, 99. 60 D Bourchard (ed.), Language, counter-memory, practice: selected essays and interviews by Michel Foucault (London and Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977), p. 35. 61 Bourchard, Language, p. 35. 62 Foucault, Archeology of knowledge, p. 216.

Notes to the Conclusion
1 2 3 4 5 M Foucault, ‘The politics of discourse’ in G Burchell, C Gordon and P Miller (eds), The Foucault effect (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), p. 70. The distinction between subaltern and subalternity is present in its inaugural use in Gramsci. See Said, Reflections on exile. See for example Chakrabarty, Habitations of modernity. J Beverley, ‘Theses on subalternity, representation and politics’, Postcolonial Studies 1:3 (1998), p. 317. Beverley argues that ‘to move beyond the nation state as a point of reference for left politics, as the dominant tendencies in cultural and postcolonial studies suggest today, seems “ultra-leftist”. Hegemony is still to be won, or lost, at the level of the nation state and/or the local state.’ It is worth noting that Beverley connects the term ‘subaltern’ to the ideological interpellations of the

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national popular. This is also ‘the condition for opposing transnational capitalism’. We might say that this is a strategic use of the term ‘subaltern’ to contest the problems of globalisation. Unfortunately, his critique is not supplemented by a critique of disciplinary reason, which is available in the work of Guha and members of the Subaltern Studies Collective in South Asia. See also G Yudice, The expediency of culture: uses of culture in the global era (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003). Yudice connects the notion of subaltern to a civil society impulse that serves to mobilise marginal constituencies against globalisation. This, of course, is contrary to Beverley’s suggestion that the subaltern and civil society are not commensurable concepts. However, Beverley does say there are points when subaltern negativity overlaps with the concept of civil society. In his view, though,

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the state remains a kind of ‘constitutive outside’ of the subaltern. 6 7 8 9 Mowitt, Text. De Certeau, Writing of history, p. 35 (my emphasis). Marx, ‘The Grundrisse’, p. 242 (my emphasis). R Guha, ‘A conquest foretold’, Social Text 54, 16:1 (1998), pp. 85–99. source of tradition has explored the conditions under which one idea of precolonial Zulu society emerged. Focused on the production – as opposed to the invention – of history, Hamilton outlines the emergence of an archive by emphasising the processes of mediation and representation. The shortcoming here, of course, is that this approach perhaps unwittingly replays the schism at the heart of the discipline of history, thereby sheltering the discipline from self-criticism. See Hamilton, Terrific majesty. 11 J Rabasa, ‘Dialogue as conquest: mapping spaces for counter-discourse’ in AJ Mohammed and D Lloyd (eds), The nature and context of minority discourse (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). 12 Q Ismail, ‘Discipline and colony: The English patient and the crows nest of postcoloniality’, Postcolonial Studies 2:3 (1999), pp. 425–426. 13 I use the term ‘archive’ in the same sense that Foucault does. The archive, in this formulation, is viewed as the formation, transformation and dispersal of statements. See especially Foucault’s Archeology of knowledge, p. 130, for an elaboration of this conception of the archive. 14 Foucault, Archeology of knowledge, p. 130. See also Said, ‘Problem of textuality’, pp. 709–710. Said writes:

10 Carolyn Hamilton’s discussion of the James Stuart Archive as establishing a living

notes to the conclusion

307

Foucault’s lesson is that while in one sense he complements Derrida’s work, in another he takes a step in a new direction. The vision of history he has been propounding takes as its starting point the great shift in knowledge at the end of the eighteenth century from a despotic to a strategic articulation of power and of knowledge. The disciplines that arose in the nineteenth-century were specialized ones in which the human subject was first collapsed into swarming detail, then accumulated and assimilated by sciences designed to make the detail functional as well as docile. 15 See Rabinow and Dreyfus, Michel Foucault. 16 R Barthes, The rustle of language, translated by R Howard (Oxford: Basil Blackwell Press, 1986), pp. 138–139 (my emphasis).

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17 N Dirks ‘Colonialism and culture’. 18 R Barthes, Michelet (New York: Hill and Wang, 1987), p. 104.

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Inquiry (hereafter ‘Minutes’), 4 May 1836. Evidence by Campbell, MF1253, Minutes, 29 August 1836. Evidence by Klaas, MF1253, Minutes, 29 August 1836. Evidence by Eno, MF1253, Minutes, 23 May 1836. Chapter 2 A43, Godlonton Letters, No. 70, S Rowles to Godlonton (26 June 1851), William Cullen Church of the Province Records, University of the Witwatersrand (hereafter ‘William Cullen’). A1350, Caesar Andrews Papers, Smith to Andrews (January 1851), William Cullen. A43, Ayliff to Godlonton (12 September 1850), William Cullen. A43, No. 813, William Southey to Godlonton (4 January 1865), William Cullen. A43, Holden Bowker to Godlonton (20 June 1860), William Cullen. A43, William Southey to Godlonton (23 September 1865), William Cullen. Cape of Good Hope Blue Book on Native Affairs (Cape Town: Saul Solomon, 1878). A1350, The Diary of Caesar Andrews (1875), p. 2, William Cullen. A1350f and A1370f, Caesar Andrews Papers, William Cullen. Chapter 3 LG47. Chronological List of Losses Reported, 9.7.1835. State Archives, Cape Town. LG46. General List of Losses Sustained by Eastern Frontier Inhabitants in the Kaffir War, 1834–35, State Archives, Cape Town. Ms17038, Cory Notebook 4, Cory Library, Rhodes University, Grahamstown.

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Chapter 4 A215.78, African Lodestar: Official Organ of the aNC Youth League (Transvaal), (December 1951), Dr SM Molema Papers, South African Library, Cape Town. A215.78, SM Molema Papers, RV Selope Thema ‘Out of Darkness’, South African Library, Cape Town. Chapter 5 Inventory to the records of the chief magistrates, Transkei, CMT, 1875–1912, State Archives, Cape Town. Correspondence from Resident Magistrate, Elliotdale, to the chief magistrate, Thembuland (16 October 1885), State Archives, Cape Town.

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Cape of Good Hope Blue Book on Native Affairs (Cape Town: Saul Solomon, 1878). A1350, The Diary of Caesar Andrews (1875), p. 35, William Cullen Church of the Province Records, University of the Witwatersrand. Chapter 6 PR3563/3, Transcript of an Autobiographical Manuscript of Henry James Halse (1817–1880), Cory Library, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. A96, Diary of T Shepstone (March–December 1835), Natal Archives Depot. SMD71, Hintsa’s Sjambok, Bowker Library, Albany Museum, Grahamstown. MS6785, Letter from John Herschel (1836), Cory Library, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. SMD1146e, Letter from King Williams Town (7 February 1836), Bowker Library, Albany Museum, Grahamstown. George Southey’s Diary (12 May 1835), University of Cape Town, Centre for African Studies. Transcript of Stretch, Cory Library, Rhodes University, Grahamstown.

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Index
A Africa, Nicholaas 58–59 African National Congress 15–16 agency 38–40, 42, 44, 62–63, 68, 103, 106, 119 (see also agents) subjection of 16, 22–24, 27, 38, 42, 62, 68, 103, 126–128, 139, 155, 188, 193–194, 202–203, 219–221, 254, B Bambaniso 242–243 Bantu: Past and Present 31, 172, 295–296n35 Bantu Studies 146–147, 177 Bergh, JS 51 Boers 73, 119 Bomvana 181–182, 204, 207, 208–216 borders 49, 195–217, 298–299n7 (see also boundaries) boundaries 50, 53, 61, 195–200, 204–205, 213–217 (see also borders) C cadastral prose (see prose, cadastral) Campbell, Ambrose George 58–60, 231 capitalism 6, 14, 16–18, 39, 103–108, 172, 174, 217, 246–247, 256, 262–263 cartographic representation (maps) (see under texts) cattle 34, 36, 46, 48–49, 61, 65, 69, 78–79, 84, 105–115, 120–123, 126, 129, 133, 135, 150–155, 158–159, 210 colonial demands for stolen 34, 36, 48–49, 69, 78–79, 109, 112, 121–22, 129, 135, 155, 158–159, 185 strategic invalidation of (see invalidation, strategic) Armstrong 120–121, 135 autobiographies (see under texts) Ayliff, John 60, 73, 118, 123–125, 152

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255–259, 265–267 agents 14, 22, 39, 57, 78, 219 (see also agency) Ahmad, Aijaz 17 Albany Museum (see under museums) Alexander, James Edward 52–53, 77–78, 79–89 Alexander, Lucy 69, 72 Andrews, Caesar 74–77, 86, 89, 205, 232 anthropology 2, 27, 125, 143–148, 157, 177–178, 180–181, 188–189, 197–201, 240 apartheid 4–30, 42, 103–104, 108, 128, 143, 145, 147, 157, 171, 185, 191–199, 216–127, 240, 245, 254, 256, 262–265, 268–269 (see also segregation) critique of 13, 24, 143 postapartheid studies (see under postapartheid) resistance to (see resistance) archive, colonial 9–15, 22, 27–30, 32, 37–63, 91–92, 102–103, 126, 128–131, 141–146, 161, 165, 169, 188–189, 194–196, 200–201, 205, 216–217, 221–222, 250, 254–255, 259, 262, 265–269

329

killing of 12–13, 33, 178, 241–242 as a means of control and reproduction 105–108 trade in (see trade) censorship 169–170 census 112, 199–200, 211 Chakrabarty, Dipesh 21, 225–226, 228, 237, 248, 249, 253 change 22 Ciskei 145, 157, 197–199 (see also homelands; Transkei)

Comaroff, John 54 Commission of Inquiry 6–7, 28, 32–33, 40–41, 55–57, 58, 60, 72–78, 125–126, 134, 235–236 compensation, for losses (see under settlers) Cory, George 28, 91, 128–139, 158–159, 192, 221 Cosser, Marijke 90–91 counter-insurgency and insurgency 201, 216 prose of 33, 196, 201, 205, 207–217 Crais, Clifton 33, 106–108, 192–193, 199–201, 214–215 Cronin, Duggan 176–181 culture 1, 6, 67, 106–107, 112–114, 143–149, 163–187, 198–201, 220–224, 246–247 (see also multiculturalism) D Death of Hintsa (Frederick I’Ons) 28, 81–93, 89–90, 90 &fig, 222 Death of Hintsa (Hilary Graham) 222–223 &fig de Certeau, Michel 10–11 decolonisation 229, 274 (see also colonisation) de Kiewiet, CW 103–108, 143–144, 174–175, 181 Deleuze, Gilles 23–24 detectives, ‘native’ 205–208, 213 diaries (see under texts) Dikeni, Clifford 168 Dirks, Nicholas 5–6, 271 Dirlik, Arif 16–17 discourses 18–20, 22–23, 27–32, 37–41, 62–64, 106–107, 127–128, 139, 160, 162, 167–168, 174–175, 193, 195–196, 198, 201–203, 206, 215–220, 226–229, 237, 240, 242, 258, 264–269

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class 15–17, 102, 145, 192, 246, 257 Cohn, Bernard 24–25 Cold War 15, 20, 246, 256–258, 273–275n31 Collingwood, Robin 225 Collins, Colonel 110–114, 130, 133 colonial archive (see archive, colonial) colonial government (see government, colonial) colonial history (see history, colonial) colonialism 5–6, 9–10, 18–23, 54, 103–108, 127, 142–143, 147, 154–156, 160–161, 169, 189, 191, 196, 201, 204, 226, 246–247, 255–256, 259–269 and apartheid (see under apartheid) as a base for capitalism (see capitalism) history of (see history, colonial) postcolonial studies (see postcolonial studies) post-colonial studies (see under postcolonial studies) of a special type 15–16 colonisation 2, 29, 48, 53–57, 115–116, 151, 155–156, 168, 175, 202, 204, 221, 224, 229, 230, 236, 263 (see also decolonisation)

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anticolonial and nationalist 62, 68–70, 74, 78, 89, 94, 125, 146, 149, 154–156, 167, 186, 215, 249, 262 of history 8–14, 16, 18, 23, 27, 29–30, 169, 189, 216, 219–220, 226, 249, 254–256. 259, 262, 264–265, 268 D’Urban, Benjamin 12–13, 40–41, 44, 46, 48–49, 51–52, 56–57, 72, 76, 77–78, 115–116, 134–136, 149, 151–152, 156–159, 187, 233

G Gaika (see Ngqika) Gcaleka, house of 34, 35, 48, 52, 75–77, 112, 124, 131–137, 145–153, 157, 181–183, 198–205, 210–216 Gcalekaland 29, 133, 151–153, 176, 178, 181, 199, 202–203, 209, 214–216 Gcaleka, Nicholas Tilana 1–9, 13–15, 68, 93–97, 188, 219–220, 249, 253–254, 265–269 Geist 172, 176, 184, 187 Giliomee, Hermann 53–54 Ginzburg, Carlo 57 Glenelg, Lord 56, 72–73, 115–117, 134 globalisation 17–18, 195, 257–259, 269 Gluckman, Max 143–144 Godlonton, Robert 28, 116–124, 125–126, 134–139, 151, 153, 156, 171 Gosani 131–132 government, colonial resistance to (see resistance) sources of information 37–38, 42–46, 55, 138–139, 213 (see also evidence) Gqunukhwebe 52 grain, reading against and along 41, 63, 103, 278, 283 Guattari, Felix 23–24 Guha, Ranajit 19, 29, 63, 196, 201, 216–217, 246–249, 256

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E Elliot, Major 203, 207, 214–215 ethnography 111–116, 165, 178–180, 198–200, 228, 250 evidence 9, 10, 27, 32, 35, 38, 42, 54–57, 61, 94, 103, 117–118, 126, 133, 145, 177, 205, 216–217, 221, 225, 227, 230, 236–237, 249–250, 265 (see also texts; truth and lies) modes of 7, 9–14, 22, 27–30, 31–63, 94, 103, 126–127, 137, 189, 194–195, 217, 220–222, 250, 255, 259–260, 262 exhibitions, museum 29, 69–70, 176, 221–226, 241, 248 (see also museums) colonial history exhibition at the Albany museum (see under museums) F feminist criticism 216–217, 279, 287, 298–299n7 Fingo (Fingoe) (see Mfengu) Foucault, Michel 24–25, 192, 249–250, 266–267 frontier 50–51, 53–54, 66, 114–116, 149, 192, 221, 240, 250

H Hall, Stuart 17 Halse, Henry James 230–232, 235 Hammond-Tooke, WD 145–147, 148, 157, 198–199 Hegel, Georg 18–19 Hermanus 136–139, 221

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Hintsa 129–138, 151, 154–155, 158–160, 181–184, 206–208, 215, 229–242, 267 colonial and settler attitudes towards 40–41, 46–47, 65–66, 73–75, 84, 118–121 colonial demand for cattle and horses (see under cattle) Commission of Inquiry into death of (see Commission of Inquiry) imprisonment of 34, 49, 78, 136 inspiration for nationalists 237–240

history (see also historicism; historiography) from below 19 discipline of 7–8, 163 discourse of 11, 13 event of 10, 13, 30, 263–269 historiography (see historiography) history after apartheid 13–15, 18, 219–251, 265 nationalist (see history, nationalist) oral 39–40 patriotic (see under history, nationalist) precolonial (see history, precolonial) racial 138–139 rewriting of 14, 166 settler (see history, settler) subjectivity in 13, 15, 20, 30, 35, 38, 69, 88, 102, 108, 123, 128, 135, 199, 264–265 history, 1 and 2 226–228, 237, 248, 249, 251 history, colonial 29, 91, 123–124, 132–134, 142, 147, 151–154, 158m 160, 163, 166, 168–170, 187, 221, 224 settler (see history, settler) strategic invalidation of (see invalidation, strategic) history, nationalist 18, 21, 32, 34–35, 99, 107, 127, 132, 142–189, 193–194, 220, 225–230, 239–250, 254, 257, 259, 264–269 (see also historiography; history; history, colonial; nationalism, anti-colonial) ambiguity in 142–144 as a critique of colonial history 142–189 and patriotic history 142, 257 history, precolonial 33, 35, 105–16, 147, 153–157, 160, 163, 166, 175, 178. 180, 198–200, 240–246

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killing of 4, 6, 12, 48–49, 55–57, 58, 66–67, 76, 79, 82–83, 91, 101–102, 131–132, 138–139, 158–160, 186–187, 224–226, 229 –235, 249–250, 254, 265–266 Lindinxuwa, son of (see Lindinxuwa) mutilation of 31, 55–58, 131–132, 161, 170, 222, 230–236, 265 relationship with other Xhosa leaders 49, 61–62, 129–130 skull of 1–9, 93–97, 219, 254 social and political polity 111–112 texts concerning (see texts) as trade partner (see trade) historicism 6, 16, 25–27, 103, 107–108, 145–146, 157, 184, 186–187, 226–228, 257–259, 271n18 (see also historiography; history) dehistoricisation 16, 257 historiography 13, 33–35, 102–105, 128, 129–139, 141–189, 221, 225, 228, 248, 254–255, 259, 260–262, 271n18 (see also historicism; history; history, colonial; history, nationalist; history, settler)

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history, settler 102–111, 114, 116–128, 132–134, 137–139, 148, 153, 155, 157–158, 169–170, 221–222, 224 (see also historiography; history; history, colonial) homelands 147, 195, 198 (see also Ciskei; Transkei) house of Phalo divisions in 35, 147–150, 198–200 fission 199 Gcaleka, house of (see Gcaleka, house of) Great House 55, 300

K Keegan, Tim 114 Khawuta 35 Klaas 58–60 Knobel, GJ 2–4 knowledge systems 25 Kreli (see Sarhili) L labour, black 103–108, 175 land 33, 51–54, 71, 73–74, 76, 101, 107, 115, 130, 132–133, 144, 149–150, 152–153, 155–156, 174–175, 204, 206, 208, 215 landscape 27, 68–77, 79, 83–93, 174–175, 181 Legassick, Martin 15, 54, 192, 273–275n33 Lester, Alan 102 letters (see under texts) lies (see truth and lies) Lindinxuwa 129–132 lines of flight 23–24 London Missionary Society 112, 117–118 Lovedale Press 29, 147, 169–170 M MacMillan, WH 143–144 Mager, Anne 199 magistrates 130, 170, 200–217 maps (see under texts) Maqoma 34, 36, 51, 56, 61, 135, 136, 150, 154–155, 159, 162 marginalisation (see marginality) marginality 27, 51, 59, 62, 165, 220, 228, 230, 257–259, 268, 274 Marks, Shula 14 Marxism (see Marxist scholarship)

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Rharhabe, house of (see Rharhabe, house of) right–hand house 35, 145–148, 198, 200 House of Phalo 33, 97, 105 humanitarians, liberal 101–102, 125–126, 132, 138, 232, 236 hut tax (see taxes) I identity 70–71, 102 India 18 indirect rule 163, 203–204, 209–216, 245 industrialisation 144, 146, 172, 175–177, 180–181 information, colonial sources of (see under government, colonial) invalidation, strategic 27, 29, 103, 146, 149, 154–156, 169, 188–189, 194, 230, 254, 262, 265 I’Ons, Frederick 70, 89–93 (see also Death of Hintsa (Frederick I’Ons)) Ismail, Qadri 259, 263 Ityala Lamawele 146, 153, 158, 161–171, 184, 188 J Jackson, Arthur O 197–198 Jordan, AC 162, 164, 168, 183, 188 Julie, Windfogel 58–59

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Marxist scholarship 15, 20–21, 24, 126, 174–175, 273–275n33 Marx, Karl 18, 103 Mbebe 209–210 McClintock, Anne 16–17 Mda, Mda 105 Mda, Zakes 12–13 mfecane 152 Mfengu 49, 83–84, 120–124, 151–154, 159, 162, 181–183, 202–204 portrayal as slaves (see slavery)

N narration and narratives 4, 8–13, 20, 23, 27, 34–36, 39, 42, 72, 75, 77, 88, 92–93, 99, 124–126, 138, 146, 157–158, 166, 172, 185–189, 237, 239, 244, 254, 259, 264–268 Narrative of a Voyage 52, 77, 81–82 Narrative of the irruption of the Kafir hordes 116 nationalism, Afrikaner 175, 186–187 nationalism, anti-colonial 10, 16, 20–21, 29, 49, 141–146, 156, 160, 166–167, 172, 181, 186–188, 193, 194, 216–217, 225–226, 229–230, 239–240, 245, 248–250, 263, 266–267 (see also history, nationalist) Xhosa 225–226, 240, 245–246, 249 nationalist history (see history, nationalist) ‘native detectives’ (see detectives, native) ‘native question’ 143–146, 172 Ndlambe 35–36, 52 Ngqika 35–36, 52, 74, 111, 113, 129, 149, 154 Nicol, Mike 14, 93–94 Nongqawuse 12, 241 Nqeno 60, 70–71 O Opland, Jeff 171, 183–184 oral histories and traditions 25, 39, 105, 197–198, 216 orthography, changing 111–112 P paintings (see under texts) Parsons, Neil 33–34 Peires, Jeff 7, 12, 33–34, 97, 103–108, 123, 145–148, 157, 169–170, 188, 198–199, 215

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Michell, Charles Cornwallis 51–52, 69, 82, 87, 99 Minkley, Gary 14, 191 misrepresentation 151–157, 163, 230, 296 (see also representation) missionaries 43–47, 54, 56, 60, 118, 120–121, 124, 152, 157, 165, 168–170, 233 modernity 17, 144, 160, 176, 180, 217, 226, 264–265 modes of evidence (see under evidence) Molema, SM 31, 34–35, 172–173, 242–246 Moodie, Donald 112, 117 Morris, J 211–214 Moshoeshoe 73–74 Mowitt, John 22–23, 256–257 Mqhayi, SEK 29, 31, 34–35, 98, 107, 132, 146–147, 158–171, 175, 181–183, 188–189 Mudimbe, VY 228–229 multiculturalism 21, 39, 227–228 museums 29, 148–250, 221–229, 237, 240, 245 Albany Museum 221–226, 229, 237, 240, 245, 249, 302n3

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Pemba, George 97–99, 182 Phalo 35 divisions in house of (see under house of Phalo) house of (see house of Phalo) Philips, John 117, 119, 125, 132, 171, 233 Phillips, VM 2–4 photography 176–181 pluralism 143–145, 177, 181, 188 plurality 226, 249, 264 Politics of Evil 199–200

propositions A and B 226–228, 229–230, 237, 245, 248–249 prose, cadastral 33, 117–123, 128, 137, 139, 155–156, 216, 237 prose of counter-insurgency (see under counter-insurgency) public sphere (see sphere, public) Purcell, William 120–121, 124–125 R race 3, 15–16, 102–107, 115–116, 128, 133, 171–173, 185–186, 191–192, 234, 256, 261–262 Rassool, Ciraj 14, 142 representation 20, 22, 28, 30, 62–63, 65, 89, 97–99, 137, 146–163, 214, 221, 227–230, 245, 247, 249, 254, 258–259, 262–267 (see also misrepresentation) cartographic (maps) (see under texts) resistance 24, 33, 35, 39–40, 46, 49, 62, 69, 163, 196, 217, 220, 226, 239, 247–249 Rharhabe, house of 34, 35–36, 108, 112, 129, 148–149, 155, 157, 198, 206 Ricoeur, Paul 127–128 Rise of South Africa 129–130, 138–139, 221, 289 Royal Geographic Society 80–82, 89 Rubusana, WB 107 rule, indirect (see indirect rule) Ryan, Simon 53 S Said, Edward 24–25, 159, 166, 255 Sarhili 12, 33–34, 74–76, 131, 166, 178, 180, 202–216, 241–243

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postapartheid 4, 7–9, 16, 21–22, 26, 42, 93–95, 194–195, 220–221, 254, 257, 259, 261–262 post-apartheid 14, 26, 219–222, 254 postapartheid studies 8–9, 26, 189, 192 post-apartheid (see under postapartheid) postcolonial studies 13–27, 141, 177, 186, 192, 194–196, 216–217, 226–229, 255–256, 258, 261–265, 268–269 post-colonial studies 16–18 power 8, 14–15, 19–20, 23–26, 30, 33, 42, 52–53, 62, 103–108, 125, 144, 147–149, 161, 163–165, 175–177, 186, 192–196, 201, 219–220, 227–228, 240, 242–243, 246–250, 253, 255–264, 268–269 Prakash, Gyan 19 precolonial history (see under history) precolonial society (see under history) Pretorius, JG 56–57 Pringle, Robert 2 progress 78–79, 106, 117, 123–128, 133–134, 144–145, 155, 156, 166–167, 172–173, 263–264 property 93, 114–116, 122–123, 125–126, 128, 133–134, 138–139, 161 (see also trade)

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segregation 103, 143–147, 157, 171, 174, 177, 181, 194–195, 268 (see also apartheid) serfdom 105, 122, 152–153 (see also slavery) settlers 66–68, 72–77, 117–118, 119, 123–125, 230, 233 claimed losses for compensation 73, 108–110, 120 history (see history, settler) Shepstone, Theophilus 115

structures, imaginary 10–11, 13, 27, 29, 68–70, 81, 125–128, 136, 138, 156–157, 162, 167, 169, 196, 201, 204, 217, 221–222, 254–255, 265, 267–268 subaltern 18–23, 57–58, 62–63, 68, 93–94, 97, 108, 128, 136–139, 192–193, 195, 201, 220, 226, 228–230, 243–250, 253–258, 263, 265, 268–269 subalternity 19, 24, 108, 192–195, 248–250, 253–255 subaltern studies 19–23, 228, 249, 255–258 subaltern subject 15, 63, 96–97, 139, 193, 245, 268 Subaltern Studies Collective 17–23, 27, 196, 254, 256 subjection 7, 13, 29, 102–103, 106, 108, 115, 125, 139, 177–178, 219, 229, 249, 270n2 of agency (see under agency) subjectivity (see under history) T taxes 204–205, 211–214 texts 68 autobiographies 77–79, 88 diaries 88, 74–77 journalists’ articles 117–118 letters 72–73 maps 51–55, 87, 89 paintings 89–93 political sensitivity of 90–91 portraits 68–72, 87 sketches 82 travelogues 79–89 Thema, Selope 185, 297 Thembu 202–203, 214–215

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Shohat, Ella 16–17 Sigcawu, Xoliliswe 2 slavery 67, 122–123, 133, 151–153, 232 (see also serfdom) Smith, Harry 31, 33, 34, 56–57, 60, 65, 73, 75, 77–79 Smith’s Tower 85–86 Soga, John Henderson 29, 34–35, 107, 146–158, 166, 169, 171–178, 188, 295–296n35 Somerset, Charles 114, 119 South African Communist Party 15–16 South-Eastern Bantu 146–147 Southey, George 13, 31, 58–59, 76, 79, 91, 101, 109–110, 231–236 family losses 109–110 sphere, public 27–28, 66–68, 74, 79, 88–89, 92, 97, 99, 102, 114–116, 125–129, 137–139, 142, 171, 219–221, 287n53 Spivak, Gayatri 20, 63, 228, 245 SSC (see Subaltern Studies Collective) Stapleton, Timothy 34 strategic invalidation (see invalidation, strategic) Stretch, Charles 235–236

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Tobias, PV 2–4 trade 113–116 (see also property) transition 6, 7, 10, 20–21, 26, 30, 104–105, 195–196, 258, 261 Transkei 145, 157, 175, 197–200, 203 (see also Ciskei; homelands) travelogues (see under texts) TRC (see Truth and Reconciliation Commission) truth and lies 5–6, 38, 42, 75, 94, 97, 136–137,

W War of the Axe 33–34 Warriors Fleeing Across a River (see Death of Hintsa (Frederick I’Ons)) White, Hayden 11 White, Luise 5–6, 39–40 White, Major TC 86–87, 231–232, 235 Wilmot, Alex 110 Winichakul, Thongchai 53 Witz, Leslie 14 Wolpe, Harold 15, 273–275n33 X Xhosa society colonial and settler attitudes towards 40–41, 46–47, 65–66, 73–75, 84, 118–119 communication between leaders 46, 49, 61 divisions amongst (see under house of Phalo) Gcaleka, house of (see Gcaleka, house of) Hintsa’s relationship with other Xhosa leaders (see under Hintsa) nationalism (see under nationalism, anti–colonial) resistance to colonial rule (see resistance) Rharhabe house (see Rharhabe, house of) social and political formations 105–108, 111–112, 149–150, 153–154 Xogomesh (see Hermanus)

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187, 220–221, 224–226, 230, 236–237, 250–251, 260, 261, 265–268 (see also evidence) Truth and Reconciliation Commission 4–5, 6–7, 257 Tsedu, Mathatha 2 Tyali 51, 56–57 Tyalie (see Tyali) U UmHlekazi uHintsa 146, 186 underdevelopment theory 15 universities 257–258 V Vice, Henry 209–211 violence 18, 24, 41–43, 67–69, 93–94, 102, 106, 116–117, 121, 128, 137–138, 152, 155, 158–160, 166, 168, 234, 236–237, 248, 255, 261–265 Visagie, JC 51

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