More than 100 years since its passage, the Natives Land Act continues to haunt South Africa - its lingering impact is at the centre of this weekend's ANC elective conference. In the year the law was passed, to strip Africans of their land and turn them into wage labourers, Sol Plaatje travelled to see the effects. "'Pray that your flight be not in winter,' said Jesus Christ; but it was only during the winter of 1913 that the full significance of this New Testament passage was revealed to us," Plaatje wrote in his book, Native Life in South Africa. "We left Kimberley by the early morning train during the first week in July, on a tour of observation regarding the operation of the Natives Land Act; and we arrived at Bloemhof, in the Transvaal, at about noon."Compulsory unsettlement What did the young activist and journalist see? "A native sufferer sold his stock for a mere bagatelle and left with his family by the Johannesburg night train for an unknown destination. More native familie...

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