Repatriation begins at home: violence against South Africa’s underclass a colonial legacy that needs closure

Andrew Smith

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Violence in South Africa continues to be endemic, as witnessed by the huge numbers of murders each year in the townships. This is probably a legacy from the colonial period (including Apartheid) that was institutional against the indigenous people of the country. This paper traces the history of this violence, and particularly the insensitive way the bodies of the poor were collected and sent to museums around the world. It also looks at the debates on scientific study of human remains today, and concludes that with the involvement of the descendents of the aboriginal people some form of closure may be possible once the sensitivities are recognised and accepted on both sides.

Retour au programme