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Authority record

Dzivhani, Stephen Mukhesi Maimela

  • Person

Stephanus Mukhesi Maimela Dzivhani was born c. 1888 at Sibasa in Chief Makwarela's area of the Northern Transvaal, of the Ngoma tribe. His mother was a princess of a royal family, his father was a headman. As a youth he was interested in musical instruments and soon picked up music and songs. His father bought him a xylophone to play at festivals.

He came into contact with Berlin missionaries through his brother and between 1907-1913 he trained at Botshabelo Training Institution in the violin, lessons on the organ and joined the college brass band. As a teacher he taught at the Lutheran Mission School, the first school in Sibasa. Classes were held under a tree, until Lali or Chief Mphaphuli agreed that a school building should be erected. It was here his songs markedly impressed the Superintendent and some were compiled in the Venda hymn books. Keenly interested in church matters, he translated most of the Lutheran hymn book into Venda, besides adding and composing numerous other hymns. As he started life as a teacher in the early years of this century, later becoming headmaster, he was used by chiefs in the area mainly Chief Mphaphuli, to mediate between the traditional authorities and the White government. He also had to keep records of court cases at the Chief's kraal.

In 1918 he went to King Williams Town to marry a teacher there - Selina Manyakan Yaka, a Xhosa. They had two boys and three girls. Ulrica, the eldest, took her B. A. degree at Fort Hare and became a teacher in Bulawayo. She had a son, Steven, who studied and want to Switzerland intending to take up medical science. Dzivhani's son, Herbert, who became blind, matriculated at Eerste River Blind School. He was killed in a car accident in Natal. The other surviving child, Bennett, matriculated and became a teacher.

Stephen Dzivhani himself became a lay preacher at the Lutheran Beuster Mission and opened up other schools in the Sibasa area, He worked for seven years without pay and became an agent for a commercial miller for the Otenda Mills at Sibasa under the Mealie Control Board.

Bantu Men's Social Centre

  • Corporate body

The society was formed in Johannesburg in 1923 with the object of forming a nucleus for social intercourse for 'natives' employed on the Witwatersrand. Motto of the society was Stronger in body, mind, spirit and character. Provided recreational, educational and leisure time activities for Black men working in Johannesburg and the reef and also served as a meeting place for Non-White societies and organizations. On 31 December 1971 the centres premises at 3a Eloff Street were closed by the Johannesburg City Council in accordance with the Group Areas Act.

The Executive Committee submitted an appeal through the council to the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development for assistance in establishing of new centre in Soweto but there was no outcome to the appeal.

In 1976 the premises were renovated and were let to the West Rand Areas Bantu Administration Board.

Activities of centre and people of note who supported the centre:

Sports and athletics: Ballinger, W.G.

Educational classes: Bennett, P.J.

First Aid: Bridgman, F.B.

Gamma Sigma debating clicks: Hoernle, R.F.A

Music tuition and eisteddfords: Jones, J.D. Rheinallt

Dramatic society: Phillips, Ray E.

Films: Pim, J. Howard

Guest evenings: Pin, J. Montague

Library-First provided by Transvaal: Rathebe, J.R.

Carnegie Grant and from 1940 by the: Taberer, H.M

Johannesburg Public Library: Taylor, Dexter J., Webber, Walter

Fisher, Ephraim Leonard

  • Person

House of Assembly, Cape Town

Dr Ephraim L. Fisher, The United Party's chief spokesman on health and M. P. for Rosettenville, born in Johannesburg in 1906, educated at King Edward VII College and received his medical training at Witwatersrand University and St. Bartholomews Hospital, London. He has lived and worked in the southern suburbs since then. He was a member of the Transvaal Provincial Council from 1949-1958 and became chief whip of the U. P. Caucus. He won the Rosettenville parliamentary seat in 1958 and since then has always championed the under-privileged.

His special political interests include hospitalization and mine worker education. In the economic sphere he has always arrived at the banishment of fear of oppression and injustice in the minds of all South African citizens.

He has frequently called for a revision of the public health services and advocated the incorporation of a new scheme for pensions for the aged and infirm. One of his most significant contributions in politics was getting a select committee on hospitalization in the Transvaal.

Through his efforts too that Provincial Council agreed to a Select Committee on horse-racing.

In his younger days he played cricket and football for his university and hospital. He married Miss Anne Misell and had a daughter, Mary.

Gluckman, Dr Henry

  • Person

Dr. Henry Gluckman, former Minister of Health and Housing; President of the Timber Trade Federation (1958-1966); Chairman of the South African Wood Council (1964); Director of Hillman Bros; President of the National War Memorial Health Foundation.

Goodman, Colin S.

  • Person

Chief Housing Engineer, Johannesburg City Council

Feetham, Richard

  • Person

Feetham was appointed deputy town clerk of Johannesburg in October 1902; he served under the town clerk, Lionel Curtis, who was a friend from his New College days. In April 1903 Feetham became the town clerk when Curtis was made Assistant Colonial Secretary. Two years later, in April 1905, Feetham resigned from the Town Council and was appointed to the South African Bar; he acted as legal adviser to the High Commissioner of South Africa from 1907-1910, and again from 1912-1923. In 1907 Feetham began his political career as a member of the Transvaal Legislative Council (1907-1910). In 1915 he was elected to the Union House Assembly as a Unionist for the Parktown constituency in Johannesburg; he later became a member of the South African Party. During World War I, Feetham gained a commission in the South African Cape Corps and served in East Africa and briefly in Egypt (1916-1918). Feetham resigned from Parliament in 1923 to take silk, and was appointed to the bench of the Transvaal Division of the Supreme Court. In 1930 he was appointed Judge President of the Natal Provincial Division, and in 1939 became Judge of Appeal in Bloemfontein. In 1938, Feetham was elected vice-chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and became its chancellor in 1949. He was also appointed chairman of various commissions both in South Africa and abroad including the Southborough Committee on Constitutional Reform in India (1918-1919), the Irish Boundary Commission (1924-1925), the Kenya Local Government Commission (1926), the Shanghai Municipal Council Commission (1930-1931), the Transvaal Asiatic Land Tenure Commission (1932-1935), and the Witwatersrand Land Titles Commission (1946-1949).

Jackson, Alfred de Jager

  • Person

Alfred de Jager JACKSON is the author of: Manna in the desert: a revelation of the great Karroo.

Zebediela Citrus Estate

  • Corporate body

"Zebediela" derives from a corruption of the name given to Mamukebe, an Ndebele chief, whose diplomatic skills in the mid-19th century Northern Transvaal earned him the appellation "Mabediela" - the one who pacifies

In the Sekukuni War of 1852 waged by the South African Republic against the Pedi, Zebediela supplied a contingent of four hundred auxiliaries in addition to furnishing supplies of corn and cattle. In return for this show of loyalty, Zebediela's clan were exempted from taxation for a while, and in 1885, a location was beaconed off by the Z.A.R. for them.

In 1917 a massive tract of land adjacent to Zebediela's location was purchased by African Realty Trust, a company incarnate as I. W. Schlesinger; Schlesinger (1871-1949): financier, entrepreneur, founder of what was to become the South African Censorship Board, one-time employer of A. W. G. Champion and a benefactor of the University of the Witwatersrand. Originally from the Bowery in New York, Schlesinger came to South Africa in 1902 as an extremely successful Insurance broker.

The following year he launched the African Realty Trust and with the proceeds of land sales in Orange Grove, Killarney, Parkhurst. and Marlboro, he established the African Life Assurance Society in 1904. By 1905 he had bought out J. B. Robinson's South African Bank, developing it into the Colonial Banking and Trust Company to which in 1911 was added the African Guarantee and Indemnity Company. With a base secure in banking, property and finance, Schlesinger began to diversify his business interests. In the entertainment field, he set up African Consolidated Theatres and African Film Productions Limited, the latter producing the weekly 'African Mirror' - the world's second oldest newsreel. The South African Broadcasting Corporation itself derives from a chain of radio stations sponsored by Schlesinger in the mid-1920s. Afamal, to name another Schlesinger enterprise, claimed for many year's to he the largest advertising agency outside Britain and the U.S.A.

One of Schlesinger's more ambitious schemes was the establishment of Zebediela Citrus Estate. Purchased in 1917, development of the estate began immediately with bush-clearing projects, dam building and soil preparation; the first trees were planted in 1918 and within a decade, nine square miles of orange trees had been planted, the fruit of which was already entering the export market.

Schlesinger's agents were mandated to invite investors locally and overseas to finance the scheme by purchasing 5-acre stands and leaving the company to take responsibility and a commission for producing the crop. Various marketing techniques were used, with U U. Robins-Browne, Schlesinger's man in Singapore, apparently appealing to the colonial mentality in his claim that 'The native of South Africa is a very fine specimen of a servant., being, big, healthy and strong. They cost about: ú3 per month. '

The three thousand black workers at Zebediela were, however, paid considerably less. In 1879 the Native Commissioner for the district reported that '[Zebediela's] people are rich and well-to-do - as none of his young men will work elsewhere than at the 'Diamond fields' - where they 'earn high wages'.

However, by the early twentieth century, much had changed. The diamond fields were no longer such an attractive option, and the Estate's management reported that the supply of labour on the estate was plentiful, and prepared to accept a wage of roughly 25/- per month, excluding provisions. In the 1930s however, the South African economy moved from a period of depression to one of rapid development, with the demand and competition for labour increasing accordingly as migrants sought: the more favourable labour markets of the Witwatersrand. The shortage of labour at Zebediela became acute.

The management of Zebediela was now obliged to recruit labour further afield through the established recruiting agencies operating from Messina, the Mozambican border, and across the Limpopo. Thus from the mid-1930s, the bulk of Zebediela's labour was drawn from Nyasaland, Portuguese East Africa and Northern Rhodesia. This provided no long term solution to the labour shortage, as desertion rates were high; in the opinion of A. R. van Blerk, Estate Secretary, 'The northern native, after his rough trek through the African jungle, could not settle to steady rural routine and was an easy prey to the lures of the not too scrupulous operators in the labour racket of some 30, 000 extra-Union Africans recruited, at the rate of 2300 n year over 1: 1 years, only 40% remained to serve their contracted time'. (3)

This high rate of desertion was, however, not an unreasonable response to the onerous work, low wages and poor living conditions which obtained at the estate. Indeed, a managerial report recorded the opinion of a Department of Native Affairs Representative in the late 1930s who 'condemned our old compounds as uncomfortable, insanitary and likely to become a disgrace if ever we had a serious outbreak of disease. Against this it was agreed that the raw native labourer is naturally dirty and prefers the squalor of a wattle and daub hut to a brick and iron-roofed building'.

Fortunately this attitude did not persist. In the 1940s, much effort was expended in devising living conditions compatible with labour stabilisation and economic rationality. Particularly valuable was the input of P. J. Quin, Director of the estate from 1936 to 1965, an outspoken opponent of 'the de-Africanising of the African', and a person highly regarded by the Nationalist government. On the basis of the findings of Quin's sociological study of the Bapedi, the accommodation and diet of Black workers on the estate were improved considerably.

It has been argued that Zebediela constituted something of a prototype for rural industry in South Africa. Indeed, its receptivity to industrial and mechanical advances - facilitated by the immense financial strength of the Schlesinger Organisation - was exceptional.

For many years the estate relied on white female seasonal labour, employed as packers and graders during the annual packing season; drawn largely from the local community these women, aged between 16 and 45, were accommodated within the benevolent confines of a hostel in which the virtues of thrift, propriety and Christianity were encouraged. It is interesting to note that recruiting officers of the Union Defence Force during the Second World War were advised that their cause was unlikely to be met with enthusiasm at Zebediela, as over 80% of the women did not support the government's stance vis-à-vis the war.

In the mid 1950s, economic rationality dictated that a transition be made from white to black seasonal female labour, a development which contradicted earlier racist assertions that black women were incompetent in that capacity. Nonetheless, the transition coincided with a major survey of labour relations and arrangements conducted by a consultancy, Bedaux Company of Africa, which resulted in the adoption of a sophisticated labour programme based on the principles of Taylorism.

Letaba Estates was an enterprise similar to Zebediela, although run on a smaller scale. Originally intended a settlement scheme for ex-servicemen after World War I, the incidence of malaria and snakes and the estate's general isolation apparently dissuaded immigrants from settling there permanently. Schlesinger's involvement in the estate in this period, the 1920s, is unclear; the estate was laid out by United Fruit and Citrus Farms Ltd, a company owned by the Investment Corporation of Africa Ltd, after the former owners, Messrs Judas and Gluckman, had incurred large debts with the Colonial Bank. Letaba Estates came under overt Schlesinger control in March 1931.

An adjacent farm, Beaconsfield, was purchased from the owners of Valencia Estates, the Foy family, in 1939.

In 1953 ownership of Letaba was transferred from Letaba Estates Ltd, to another Schlesinger holding company, the African Irrigated Land Company Ltd (AILCO). Established in 1923, AILCO had been concerned with managing Kendrew Estate, a somewhat unsuccessful venture in the Graaff-Reinet district, where irrigation problems effectively prevented the proposed citrus cultivation scheme from succeeding.

In 1967, Consolidated Citrus Estates (CCE) took over the management of Letaba and Zebediela from AILCO and African Realty Trust (ART) respectively, with the effect of concentrating all citrus production under one company. Valencia Estates, adjacent to Letaba, joined the fold in 1965.

CCE had, meanwhile, been running a citrus estate at Muden, in Natal, since 1957. This enterprise had been founded in 1917 as Golden Valley Citrus Estates; for various reasons, primarily recurrent labour shortages and its situation in the Midlands' hail belt, the farm was not a financial success and thus in 1944 Golden Valley went into voluntary liquidation.

Muden was then bought by the Pan African Land Company, a Schlesinger subsidiary which managed the farm until it was taken over by African Canning and Packing Company (ACPC) in about 1950.

ACPC, a Port Elizabeth-based canning factory (and the major shareholder in AILCO) dated back to 1921 when it was established to service Schlesinger's interests in several large pineapple plantations near Grahamstown at Langholm Estates - another ART project.

Subsequent developments within the Schlesinger Organisation are barely alluded to. It seems that ART sold out to African Consolidated Investment Corporation, a body closely allied to the two major property holding companies Townsview Investments (Pty) Ltd, and SOREC - Schlesinger Organisation Real Estate Corporation.

One body which remains enigmatic is the Native Farmers Association of Africa. Formed in 1912 by one of the founders of the African National Congress, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, the company was originally floated to enable Africans to buy land before the passage of the Native Land Act of 1913. Within months the company ran into financial difficulties, and was obliged to accept a partnership with Schlesinger, an arrangement which was to benefit Schlesinger greatly.

It was this Association which purchased, amongst others, the farms Daggakraal and Driefontein which later became the object of the Nationalist government's resettlement policy.

During the 1960s, Schlesinger's insurance arm, African Eagle and Guarantee Life, expanded rapidly; presumably it was this fact which attracted the attentions of the Anglo American Corporation. In 1974 Rand Selection, a subsidiary of Anglo American, bought John Schlesinger's controlling share in the Schlesinger Organisation. Included in the deal were such money spinners as Western Bank (later trading as Wesbank, a Barclays Bank enterprise) and Soroc and Townsview, later amalgamated with Amaprop.

Little remains of the Schlesinger Empire in South Africa today. Mandy Morons, Chief Executive of Schlesingers from the mid 1960s, resigned in favour of Gavin Relly in 1975 to concentrate on the development of Schlesinger European Investments, a new comglomerate based in London. At the last count, Rand Selection had a stake of 40% in SEI; by now, it is probably considerably more (sic).

Nb. Schematic Diagram of "Schlesinger Organisation" is not included in this published copy


1 Rangoon Gazette, 11 May 1927

2 S. N. I

3 Farmers Weekly, 1 June 1958

4 A. R. Van Blerk, 'Labour Report', 1953

Calata, Rev. James Arthur

  • Person

James Arthur Calata was born at Debe Nek, near King William's Town in the Cape Province in 1895 and later trained as a teacher at St. Matthew's College, 1915-1920. In 1921 he left teaching to become an Anglican priest. He was ordained in 1926 as a Deacon in the Anglican Church in Port Elizabeth and, after a short spell at Somerset East, proceeded to Cradock where he served as minister from 1928 until his retirement in 1968.

The Rev. Calata, however, was also a central figure in African social and political life being involved in, amongst others, the Pathfinders Movement, the African Parents Association, the Society of Saint Ntsikana, and the African National Congress in 1930. In 1935 he acted as Chaplain of the A.N.C. and as Secretary General between 1936 and 1949 when he resigned because he was not in favour of the Programme for Action. He was instrumental in getting A. B. Xuma elected President of ANC as he saw he was able to attract more educated people within the movement.

He was held and tried for treason in 1956 and acquitted. He was banned in 1962 for having 2 twenty-year-old photographs of an ANC deputation on his wall.

Marquard, Jean

  • Person

Jean Marquard was born 4 September 1941 in Cape Town, educated at St. Cyprian's School, Cape Town, where she matriculated 1st class; Stellenbosch University, attaining her B.A. with distinction in English; B.A. Hons. , cum laude; M.A., cum laude; B. Phil. on nineteenth century literature, Oxford University (Oxon); D. Phil. on W.C. Scully at the University of the Witwatersrand.

She lectured in the Department of English in the universities of Stellenbosch, Pretoria and the Witwatersrand. At the University of the Witwatersrand she was involved with extra-mural teaching with the Institute for Adult Education, tutored students working through UNISA and the Jewish Teachers Training College.

Her research consisted of an anthology of South African short stories; The Theme of Renunciation in the Novels of Henry James and a Critical History of the South African Short Story in English.

She published 'A Century of South African Short Stories' and edited a reprint of 'Kafir Stories' by W.C. Scully (Donker), with introduction. She wrote many articles, short stories, reviews and review articles, and radio interviews. Her creative writing consisted of poetry and short stories. She attended many conferences and was elected chairman of the Association of University English Teachers in Southern Africa (AUETSA).

Jean Marquard was married three times and had two sons. She died of cancer at the early age of 43 in 1984.

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