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December may, for some, be a time to set off to another part of SA with a bag of light summer attire and a decent book or two, with the only troubling thought being where to spend New Year’s Eve. For others in our history, it’s been a time to relocate — with some heavy military hardware in tow, and the goal of displacing a people or overthrowing a government.

The first, third, sixth and eighth of the nine frontier wars all began in the December/January period. And let’s not forget the Battle of Blood River on December 16 1838 (a day that’s accrued more names than Gqeberha: Dingane’s Day, Day of the Vow, Day of the Covenant, Day of Reconciliation)...

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