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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Colin Rae's Malaboch: The Power of the Book in the (Mis)Representation of Kgalusi Sekete Mmaleboho
Author:Kriel, LizeISNI
Periodical:South African Historical Journal
Geographic terms:South Africa
Great Britain
Subjects:colonial conquest
military operations
History and Exploration
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02582470208671417
Abstract:In 1894, Colin Rae arrived in Pretoria (South Africa) to take up a temporary position in the city's Cathedral Mission. Instead, he accompanied the Pretoria Commando as chaplain on their campaign with the Boers against an African community on the northern outskirts of the Transvaal, the Hananwa people of Chief Kgosi Kgalusi Sekete Mmaleb˘h˘. On his return, Rae started to work on a book about his war escapades which was published in 1898. The present article traces the remarkable way in which Colin Rae's book continued to feature prominently as a respectable source in the past fifty years' historiography on the Boers' 1894 campaign - despite the fact that it is marred by rather obvious flaws concerning its authenticity and reliability. The paper asks why historians, normally priding themselves on the authority of their narratives on the grounds of their close scrutiny of 'the facts', have failed to detect the flaws in the Rae text for so long. It also looks at Christoph Sonntag, the 'other' eye-witness, whose diary had the potential to contest the status of Rae's text as the definitive eye-witness account of the Boer Hananwa War. Sonntag, however, became controversial for his own role as an actor in the events of 1894. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]