History of Southern Africa
J. D. Omer-Cooper
This new edition of a popular text has been revised to incorporate recent advances in scholarship, especially concerning the early history, settlement, and relationships of the Khoisan and Bantu-speaking peoples; the causation and course of the Mfecane; the nature of precolonial Nguni and Sotho-Tswana societies; and the dynamics of change in contemporary South Africa.
repeated. Those who were not crushed by the process sought safety in woodlands and swamps or joined new heterogeneous communities of refugees, like the Chokwe (“Those Who Fled”) of the western savanna. These new communities often became slave raiders themselves. THE OVIMBUNDU Through the 18th and early 19th centuries the slave trade remained at the centre of Angola’s economic existence, with Benguela replacing Luanda as the chief port. As a result, the Ovimbundu kingdoms on the Bié Plateau,
constitutional and appealed mainly to the educated elite. The ANC had its counterparts farther to the north, partly because many early nationalists had either studied or worked in South Africa. Native associations and welfare associations evolved among the educated elite from the second decade of the 20th century and gave birth to congresses in Southern Rhodesia in 1934, Nyasaland in 1944, and Northern Rhodesia in 1948, all forerunners of more radical anticolonial movements. Despite regional
independence was launched. Portugal, faced with similar challenges in other African territories (Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde), responded with enormous military effort. Mondlane was killed in 1969, but the leadership of Frelimo was ably assumed by Samora Machel, and the Portuguese remained frustrated and militarily ineffectual against Frelimo’s small-scale guerrilla engagements. By 1974 Frelimo forces could move about most of the north in relative freedom and had infiltrated central
supported by Rhodesia, South Africa, former Portuguese settlers, and Mozambicans opposed to Frelimo. Renamo began economic sabotage and a campaign of terror against the rural population shortly after independence. In 1984 the governments of Mozambique and South Africa signed the Nkomati Accord, under which each country would no longer support the other country’s opposition movement (ANC in South Africa and Renamo in Mozambique). Because this agreement did little to curb Renamo’s activity and was
president of the ANC in 1991, succeeding Tambo, who was in poor health and died two years later. TRANSITION TO MAJORITY RULE Mandela and de Klerk, who both wanted to reach a peaceful solution to South Africa’s problems, met with representatives of most of the political organizations in the country, with a mandate to draw up a new constitution. These negotiations took place amid pervasive and escalating violence, especially in the southern Transvaal, the industrial heart of the country, and in