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Only top-level descriptions Historical Papers Research Archive, University of the Witwatersrand
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Papers of Joan Pim

  • ZA HPRA A882
  • Archief
  • 7 November 1805 - 26 October 1977

The Joane Pim papers span the years 1939-1974, with the preponderance between the years 1950-1974 when Miss Pim was actively employed by the Anglo-American Corporation, although there are a few items going back as far as 1805.

They contain correspondence, minutes, reports, addresses, lectures, manuscript and typescript notes and notebooks, photographs and photographic albums, press cuttings, slides and plans as well as her book 'Beauty is Honorary'. Her private correspondence is to be regarded as 'Closed Access' for the next 10 years (until 1 January 1985).

The papers should be of great interest to several departments within the University. Her collection of slides illustrating her work in beautifying the gardens of many fine private homes, as well an the mines, would he of particular interest to the Department of Architecture and Town Planning. The botanical specimens and notes would he welcomed by the Department of Botany. Miss Pim's work covered the whole of South Africa and with the growing awareness of the need to preserve the best of the past, her papers are of national interest. Her death is a great loss to environmental consciousness in South Africa and particularly to landscape architecture of which the was a pioneer.

All the papers and printed items are of immense research value and will be preserved and made available to bona fide students and researchers.

Pim, Joane

Tsiamelo: A Place of Goodness

  • ZA HPRA A3291
  • Archief
  • 1984

Made by Ellen Kuzwayo, Betty Wolpert, Blanche Tsimatsima. Directed by Betty Wolpert.

The collection consists of background material to the documentary film "Tsiamelo: A place of goodness, produced by Betty Wolpert. The film is based on a project undertaken by Ellen Kuzwayo, where she tells the story of the friendship between her grandfather and Sol Plaatje, and their efforts to have the 1913 Native Land Act repealed. The consequences of this act on succeeding generations are explained, and made vivid to the viewer through the story of the removal of mrs. Kuzwayo's aunt, Blanche Tsimatsima, from the family farm Tsiamelo.

The collection contains mostly photographic material, being copies of existing archival originals, prints of family photos, photos taken during the film production, few copies of letters and a digital copy of the video "Tsiamelo - a place of goodness".

The material was given to Annari Van der Merwe who forwarded it to Historical Papers in 2009. The video was obtained by the Library of the University of the Witwatersrand, and is now available in digital format as well.

The inventory to this collection was compiled by Nokuthula Zinyengere, May 2010.

Narration of "Tsiamelo - A Place of Goodness.

The video starts with Ellen Kuzwayo on a walk in London at the age of 70, accompanied by a song recorded by Sol T. Plaatjes in London in 1922.

Tsiamelo' is a film about the dispossession of black people in South Africa. She explains that on Friday the 20th June 1913 the South African native was not a slave but a pariah in the land of his birth, it was a time when pigment of the skin did not conform to the regulation hue.

Solomon T. Plaatje.

She speaks about Africas greatest sons Sol T. Plaatje who was born in the Orange Free State in 1876, and later became a journalist, scholar, politician and co-founder of the African Native National Congress (ANNC) in 1912 and its first General-Secretary. He documented some of the most frightening historical events of his time, events which had a detrimental effect on the lives and overall development of the black people of South Africa, amongst them his famous diary during the Siege of Mafeking.

She tells us the story of Plaatje and how he went to a school run by the Berlin Missionary Society. Mrs. Westfront, the wife of one of the missionaries, recognized his enormous natural talent and abilities and was to have profound influence on him. She explains how seventy years ago, in 1914, Plaatje went with a group of delegates of the African Native National Congress (ANNC) to London, asking for the repeal of certain aspects of the Land Act of 1913. Lord Harcourt, Secretary of State for the colonies chose to disbelieve them and accepted the Prime Minister of South Africas assurance that nothing detrimental was going to happen to the people of South Africa.

The delegates' request to pay their respects to the Queen was rejected, General Botha and Lord Gladstone felt that it would be an inconvenient precedent. She explains how the course of history might have been different if Lord Hargourt had listened. As trusting and loyal subjects they felt betrayed by Britain, on the outbreak of war in 1914 Plaatje remained in England and the rest of the delegation returned to South Africa. The African Native National Congress immediately shelved their campaign, they felt that if they pledged their loyalty to the Empire they would obtain full citizenship as a result of their support. But a subsequent visit in 1919 brought no results too.

Thaba Nchu, Orange Free State.

She then speaks of the 1913 Native Lands Act, and how it drastically impacted on the right of Africans to own land. And she visits Botshabelo, a place just outside Thaba Nchu, meaning place of refuge, established in 1979 with a population of over a hundred thousand people, which by July 1980 already had 258 adult graves and 269 childrens graves in its graveyard.

Jeremiah Makgothi.

Ellen Kuzwayo also speaks about her Grandfather Jeremiah Makgothi, who owned a small house in Thaba Nchu over 130 years ago. She speaks of her family, like Aunt Blanche Tsimatsima, Jeremiah Makgothis (Ellens grandfathers) youngest daughter.

She speaks about the strong ties between her grandfather and Sol Plaatje, relating how Plaatje sent a book to Jeremiah from England. One of the most treasured possession of her family is a Setswana reader which Plaatje compiled in London with Doctor Jones, published at the end of 1916. Ellens grandfather was one of the first people to receive this book (Book of Common Prayer).

Ellens grandfather was the only laymen to sit on Doctor Moffats commission to translate the Bible into Setswana. Most of his friends and colleagues lived within a few minutes of his house all these men were farmers - Moses Masisi, Rev Goroyane, W Z Fenyang and I T Makgothi. Ellen Kuzwayo explains how all her grandfathers colleagues were deeply concerned with the problems facing their country at the turn of the century. As most of them were missionary educated and devout Christians, they drew their ideals and aspirations from two overlapping worlds. Plaatje was a constant and much loved visitor to all their homes, and they supported Sol. T. Plaatje in his lifes work both financially and as colleagues and friends. Behind these men were women with strong values, beliefs (Mrs Masisi, Mrs Fenyang and Mrs Goroyane) and a deep sense of commitment and profound courage. Kuzwayo honors the women of the Orange Free State, relating how they protested against the carrying of passes by women, for which they were brutally treated and imprisoned.

Jeremiah Makgothi taught at a school for both black and white children, and Dr J. S. Morokas mother was one of his pupils. When Ellen Kuzwayos mother was ill she was being treated by Dr. Moroka, but her mother eventually died from heart trouble.

Aunt Blanche.

Aunt Blanche was a qualified teacher midwife then became a farmer. When her brother Peter Magokoti died, he had a piece of land that was passed onto him by his parents when they passed on. After his death Aunt Blanche inherited the land but she had problems with the authorities who stated that by birth women do not inherit property from their parents if they had changed their name and are married. She went and complained about the issue and she stated Ill be men give me trousers she won the case and got the title deeds for the land (As she speaks she is shown in the video at Sehohwane Valley with Ellen Kuzwayo).

Blanche Tsimatsimas farm Sehohwane valley, once owned by her family for generations, was taken from her in 1974. Everyone was born on the farm, they were good farmers. She built houses on the farm when she inherited it, but before she could finish the houses they were to be moved. She received a letter from the government stating that her farm had been proclaimed as a white area, and that the Government offered her 48 Rand for the land. She refused and asked them to double the amount, the farmer who wanted to buy the land told her not to plough but she went on ploughing because he had not bought the farm yet. He eventually bought it but died before he could plant or get into the house which he had built.

Aunt Blanche explains how Mr Harinham, Jeremiah Makgothis (her father) friend, took care of her after her parents death, and she states that black and white people used to help each other on the farms. She has an interview with Mrs Plaatje aged 85 years who is her friend, and they lived walking distance within each other. They explain how they were taught hymns that taught them not to drink Liquor. They also speak of 1976 how it was symbolic, how the children destroyed beer halls and told their parents not to drink because they felt it was like destroying their nation. Rev Rudolf, Rev Daniel, Rev Dugmore, Rev Househam, were early white missionaries who taught them. And although the missionaries educated them, they also applied their own superiority and their prejudices of what was worthwhile and what was to be discarded, thereby impacting on traditional practices of African communities.

Ellen Kuzwayo.

Ellen Kuzwayos farm was taken from her in 1974. In the film she visits a Thaba Nchu school and describes were the furniture used to be. She traces her steps back in time, she gets a ride on a horse cart, and the cart brings back many of her memories of her grandparents.

Ellen Kuzwayo then lived in Soweto for 27 years, and she noted how she was so busy with her daily life that she sometimes forgot the past. She also spoke about how she began to heal and that the farm was short lived. She talks about the 1977 incident, how she was arrested on the 19th of October around 4. 30am, and detained for five months. And she talks about Sowetos poor quality of life.

The Native Lands Act of 1913 was the beginning of the disposition of black people, still continuing into the 1980s, supported by black spots, group areas, ethnic grouping, resettlements and systematic removal of people disregarding them as human beings because of the color of their skin. At the end of the film Ellen Kuzwayo mentions a Setswana proverb you dig a hole for others you may end up falling there yourself.

Film by: Ellen Kuzwayo, Betty Wolpert and Blanche Tsimatsima.

Camera: Paul Berriff, Brian Tilley and Ian Alcock.

Sound: John Pearson, Alan Gerfardi and Tony Anscome.

Assistant Producer: Claire Goodman.

Personal Assistant: Ruth Vaughan.

Film Editor: Margarette Bendall.

Assistant Film editor: Duncan Harris.

Director: Betty Wolpert.

Wolpert, Betty

Barnett Collection of Photographs

  • ZA HPRA A3311
  • Archief
  • 1890s-1913

The photographs of Joseph and David Barnett cover the early years of Johannesburg, its buildings and streets; gold mining, mainly on the Witwatersrand, but also as far as Barberton; events like the Jameson Raid in 1895, the Matabele Rebellion in 1896, the Queen Victoria Jubilee in 1897, and the South African War (Anglo Boer War) in 1899-1902; as well as personalities like Cecil Rhodes and Paul Kruger.

Joseph Barnett was born in 1861(?) in Brynmawr, Wales as one of 6 children of Barnett and Ellen Isaacs. He came to Johannesburg around 1888/9, where he started a photographic business in 1895, later joined by his brother David. Both brothers obtained contracts with periodical publications like the illustrated London journal "Black & White". Joseph Barnett died while on holiday in Wales and was buried at his birthplace on the 23 July 1897.
His brother David not only continued with the business Barnett & Co., but also took over Joseph's appointment as special correspondent of "Black and White", taking the photographic work of the brothers further. In the years to follow he contributed many of his pictures of the South African War (1899-1902), published by 'Black and White', and later launched a series of postcards in about 1902. David Barnett died at the age of 90 in 1964.

"The Star" Newspaper

Dr Samuel Evans, Papers

  • ZA HPRA A619
  • Archief
  • 1777

The papers of Samuel Evans consist of 3 boxes of correspondence, notes, memoranda and printed items illustrating his activities in Egypt and in South Africa, particularly with reference to mining, banking and communications.

Including printed items, memoranda, notes, press clippings and correspondence relating primarily to mining and economic development, the "Stands" scandal of 1892, the Dynamite Monopoly and the National Bank of South Africa. The 2 vols contain printed items and reports on petroleum deposits in Egypt. Correspondents: T.W. Beckett, F.C. Bourne, H. Eckstein, J. Eloff, Sir J.P. Fitzpatrick, H. Jennings, C.H.B. Leonard, W. Leyds, E. Lippert, Sir E. Vincent and Wernher, Beit & Co.

Evans, Dr Samuel

Ecumenical Monitoring Programme in South Africa (EMPSA) records

  • ZA HPRA AG2466
  • Archief
  • 1992 - 1994

The Geneva office of EMPSA, responsible for recruiting, screening and selecting international monitors for the purposes of the programme, could then forward names to EMPSA South Africa for a final decision and endorsement. In practice, given the urgency of the situation, much of the liaison took place directly between international partners (church bodies; non-governmental organisations) and EMPSA South Africa.

Correspondence, lists, profiles on monitors and application forms resulted from this 'recruitment drive' and they are included in the collection.

The Johannesburg based EMPSA head office was responsible for coordinating the programme within South Africa. It provided the base from which monitors were deployed to various regions. Minutes, reports, correspondence, press statements and publications generated by this office are included.

Detailed reports, each with its own distinctive character, submitted by successive monitoring teams deployed in priority areas such as KwaZulu Natal, the Eastern Cape and the PWV make up the bulk of this collection. It should be kept in mind when reading the reports that some of the monitors, unfamiliar with the circumstances in which they found themselves and given the shortness of their stay (approximately six weeks), experienced difficulties in adjusting to the many demands that were placed upon them during the course of their work. Thus certain reports might represent events in a 'subjective light'.

This in no way invalidates their relevance as social documents attempting to convey the intensity of events as they unfolded. Daily and weekly reports (this includes correspondence) supplements the monitors regional final reports. During the approach to the elections, and the elections themselves, the EMPSA monitoring presence was increased. Election teams were grouped under specific areas in a particular region and their reports can also be found under daily/weekly reports.

Monitors were handed background information packs at the start of their programme. They were also issued with a uniform which served to identify the programme. These items are to be found in the collection.

EMPSA worked closely with church networks and established links with other non-governmental organisations, both nationally and internationally. Some of these records are reflected in the collection, notably the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the Independent Forum for Electoral Education (IFEE), the National Peace Accord, the Network of Independent Monitors, the Panel of Religious Leaders for Electoral Justice, Media Monitoring Projects and other observer missions to South Africa.

Other topics in the form of background documents are also included. They include education/youth, election monitoring and observing, policing, negotiations and violence.

Ecumenical Monitoring Programme in South Africa (EMPSA)

Justice and Peace records

  • ZA HPRA AG2613
  • Archief
  • 1982 - 1996

This collection is drawn from the Johannesburg Office of Justice and Peace. However it also contains material pertaining to national structures such as the SACBC and its various commissions including the Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace with the Episcopal Vicar at its head.

This Office had painstakingly built up a resource centre which focused on certain topics such as Aids, Human Rights, Negotiations, Elections etc. In certain cases material which is duplicated elsewhere has been removed and reintegrated with other collections. This includes publications produced by The Black Sash, The Human Rights Commission, The Independent Board of Inquiry and Peace Action, all of whose papers are housed in Historical Papers. Journals which have been removed include: Constitutional Talk, RDP News, MPD News - Newsletter of the Institute for Multi-Party Democracy, Africa South, Work in Progress, NRDF Rural Monitor, Prodder Newsletter - Programme for Development Research and certain United Nations publications. All of the above can be found in various library depots situated on Wits Campus.

Justice and Peace

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