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Masters Degrees (History)

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    Broadening the Black Sash’s reach: a biographical study of women activists in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
    (2023) Kheswa, Sandile Derick.; Hiralal, Kalpana.; Denis, Philippe Marie Berthe Raoul.
    This dissertation examines the contribution made by Black Sash women to the anti-apartheid struggle in the Natal Midlands region. It gives special attention to the biographical narratives of three women who were members of the Black Sash organisation in the Natal Midlands region. These women are Joan Kerchhoff, Mary Kleinenberg, and Anne Harley. This study explores how, for thirty years, these activists who belonged to two different generations of the Black Sash employed different modes of resistance. Furthermore, this study will examine their participation in the anti-apartheid movement, which is unique as they were willing to take risks and go to jail. These Black Sash activists rose to the call of duty and took a stand against injustice, taking a stance that other white people refused to accept. They were passionate in their beliefs, serving jail sentences, and suffered hardship as they lost friends and were often socially ostracised. These activists discarded the white privileges afforded to them by the apartheid government. They dedicated their lives to combating injustice while fighting for their vision for the future, a free and democratic South Africa. It was due to their involvement in the anti-apartheid movement that the fight against the apartheid regime was not merely a black versus white issue but rather against an oppressive system. Their participation in the anti-apartheid movement transformed the liberation movement into becoming multi-racial, albeit their numbers were small. Thus, this study on the three Black Sash women will integrate the role of white women and contribute to the liberation narratives of South Africa. It will demonstrate that the antiapartheid struggle was a collective effort and included a small group of whites, who were to become in some ways the white consciousness of South Africa. This dissertation via the narratives of Joan Kerchhoff, Mary Kleinenberg, and Anne Harley, highlights the contestations between gender oppression and political oppression that so characterised the anti-apartheid struggle. It also provides a more in-depth insight into women’s political collective organisation in the Natal Midlands. Also, it helps us to understand the complex relationship that existed between the Black Sash and other women’s organisations.
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    A doctor of conscience: an analysis of the life of Ivan Toms, a medical practitioner, conscientious objector and LGBTQ rights activist in South Africa, 1952 to 2008.
    (2022) Lea, Cameron Trevor.; Noble, Vanessa.
    Using a micro historical lens, this thesis examines the life history of Ivan Toms. Born in 1952 in Cape Town to a white middle class family, after qualifying as a medical doctor, Toms was conscripted into the South African Defence Force (SADF) as a non-combatant doctor in 1978. He, like many 17- to 65-year-old South African males of European descent, were required (i.e., it was made compulsory) to join the SADF to protect the white minority government from what it regarded as anti-apartheid threats both in South Africa and north of its borders. As a conscript, he experienced first-hand the brutality of the apartheid regime’s military arm while serving in the SADF in South West Africa (now known as Namibia). After his return, he witnessed the apartheid regime’s violence at the Empilisweni informal settlement clinic, which he helped establish in the Cape Flats area. These experiences, together with his experiences of being gay, propelled him to become a founding member of the End Conscription Campaign (ECC), which ultimately led to his imprisonment. During the early 1990s, after his release from Pollsmoor prison, he became a health and gay rights activist until his untimely death in 2008. This thesis on Dr Ivan Toms contributes to the historiography on South Africa’s militarization and Conscientious Objection history. A microhistory on a Conscientious Objector like Toms, not only makes a concerted effort to provide a deeper understanding of the multi-faceted life experiences of a particular individual, but through an analysis of his life, try to comprehend more about the broader history of the period of military conscription and Conscientious Objection in apartheid South Africa. In addition, while there has been a surge of interest in the study of black anti-apartheid activists in the post-apartheid period, there has been a shift away from analysis of white activists who contributed to the anti- apartheid movement. This study seeks to bring me attention back to the struggles of such an individual who was active in the ECC, LGBTQ rights movement and health rights struggle.
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    Community, identity, and memory: Group Areas and the forced relocation of "Coloureds" to Woodlands, Pietermaritzburg, 1960 - 1990.
    (2021) Msweli, Qhelani Banzi.; Vahed, Goolam Hoosen Mohamed.
    This dissertation investigated the impact of the Group Areas Act (GAA) of 1950 on the Coloured community in Pietermaritzburg. The implementation of Group Areas resulted in the residents of Pietermaritzburg being rehoused in racially segregated townships and suburbs. The township of Woodlands was established for Coloureds. This dissertation uses oral history and a life history approach, supplemented with archival research, to examine the experience of the Coloured residents of Pietermaritzburg before the implementation of Group Areas, the experience of forced removals, how residents coped with the pain of being moved from their old communities. In contrast, others were pleased with the better quality housing and amenities they were given and how they reestablished aspects of community life in Woodlands, including building places of worship, sport, and education. This study, more broadly, explores the idea of community, showing how it comes into being, race as a social construct as what is considered Coloured has always been subject to change, and the (re)making of Coloured identities that resulted from the residents of Woodlands being placed in a defined physical space and having to work together to build institutions and infrastructure in their township. This study shows that while many take for granted the apartheid-era racial categorisations such as Coloured, African, Indian, and white, identities are multiple and fluid. Group Areas were instrumental in concretising the essence of being Coloured, but in the post-Apartheid period, that category, too, is subject to change. Finally, this dissertation considers the attitudes forged amongst Coloureds concerning the African and Indian residents of Pietermaritzburg in particular, showing that ideas of a racial hierarchy were embraced by some Coloureds and were not confined to whites.
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    Jonathan O Chimakonam: intellectual biography of an African philosopher.
    (2021) Shabane, Lindokuhle Emmanuel.; Vahed, Goolam Hoosen Mohamed.
    This dissertation studies the life and work of Nigerian-born philosopher and logician Jonathan Okeke Chimakonam, who is currently a Professor in South Africa, and is considered a direct heir of the concepts and ideas of the debates that took place from the 1970s to 1990s on whether or not African philosophy existed. This dissertation studies that debate and tracks how the ideas and concepts from it shaped Chimakonam’s philosophical outlook. When a young Chimakonam joined the academia, he decided to focus on one existential problem: ‘Where is the African mind?’ This dissertation reads Chimakonam’s search for the African mind as the direct influence of the debate on the existence of African philosophy. As this dissertation shows, Chimakonam has argued that the greatest threat faced by Africa today is the vitiation of African thought systems along with their logic. He believes that one of the consequences of this decline is that some African leaders commit crimes and atrocities because they use Western logic. This may have been avoided if they used an African logic. To Chimakonam there was always a mismatch between African and Western logic such that anything an African does on the bedrock of Western logic will be tainted, inauthentic, and unoriginal. If Africans are seeking originality, they should base their ideas on African logic. Since Chimakonam saw this as a matter of urgency, he constructed a logic from which African systems of thought could emanate. He called the prototype of that logic Ezumezu logic. This newly drawn logic needed a methodology that explained it, and Chimakonam proposed conversational thinking, a method of philosophizing that comes from Ezumezu logic; it is a concrete way of applying Ezumezu logic. This dissertation tracks the development of Chimakonam’s idea of African philosophy which is situated in the broader debate on the rationality of Africans. It further argues that Chimakonam’s ideas on African logic can be understood to be progressing from radical relativism, which is a belief that there is a peculiar African logic inaccessible to other cultures, to a measured relativism, which is a belief that though logic may be relative it can also be universalizable.
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    A social history of clients’ perspectives on and use of traditional healing therapies in KwaMashu M Section, KwaZulu-Natal, 1960s-2000s.
    (2021) Nawe, Thabile Bridget.; Noble, Vanessa.
    This thesis focuses on the history of traditional healing from the client’s perspective. It does this by examining the perspectives on and experiences of various African men and women who lived in KwaMashu’s M Section in Durban between the 1960s and 2000s. These clients are of different ages, education levels and socio-economic backgrounds. This study seeks to determine what these people think about the value and use of the services of traditional healers and traditional medicines in their community. It also seeks to understand whether their perceptions of and use of traditional healing therapies in this KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) community have changed over time and in what ways. In addition, it examines whether KwaMashu M Section clients have historically adopted pluralistic health-seeking strategies and thus encouraged borrowings across different healing traditions. The research is important as many Africans living in KwaZulu-Natal continue to use traditional healing therapies on a daily basis. This means that it remains a popular alternative to biomedical health care services. Moreover, although there has been much literature produced on the subject of traditional healers, few scholars have worked on the “patient’s view” on this subject. My research contributes to this wider historiography on traditional healing by exploring the voices of clients of traditional healers. It seeks to expand the focus on patients in medical history.
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    Forced removals in Northern Natal: a comparative study of the Steincoalspruit and Roosboom communities in historical perspective.
    (1993) Mmutlana, Rufus Mokgotlha.; Edgecombe, D. Ruth.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Religion and gender inequality a case study of the Baptist Union of South Africa (BUSA) with particular reference to the eThekwini Municipality.
    (2021) Benn, Rebecca Joy.; Hiralal, Kalpana.
    Historically, Baptist churches have marginalised women. Baptist churches within South Africa are still primarily male-dominated religious organisations. This study looks into the belief held by many that it is unbiblical for women to lead men spiritually and how this has been used continually to exclude women from leadership positions. The study highlights how the exclusion of women from formalised leadership positions leads to women's contribution in the church-going unnoticed and undocumented, meaning that South African Baptist Churches' historical narrative is incomplete. This study focuses on the Baptist Union of South Africa (BUSA), with particular reference to churches within the eThekwini municipality in post-apartheid South Africa. It examines five branch churches which are or at some point were member churches of BUSA. It is essential to note that these branches are not the only BUSA-affiliated churches within eThekwini but were selected because of access to archival material, due to their cultural and theological viewpoints, and owing to each church being among the most influential Baptist churches in eThekwini. This study examines gender attitudes and roles within the five churches within BUSA. In particular, the lived experiences of women within these member churches. It also analyses how religious, theological and cultural ideas shaped and defined gender roles within BUSA. A study of BUSA will provide insights into gender attitudes and roles within churches at different historical periods in KZN history.
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    The portrayal of history by African writers in "Bantu World", 1932 - 1936.
    (1994) Khunyeli, Thabo Benjamin.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    The pass system in colonial Natal. 1845-1910.
    (1995) Kunene, Sazi.; Wright, John Britten.
    Abstract available in pdf.
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    Mobilization, conflict and repression: the United Democratic Front and political struggles in the Pietermaritzburg region, 1983-1991.
    (1996) Bhebhe, Ngqabutho Nhlanganiso.; Nuttall, Timothy Andrew.; Wright, John Britten.
    In the eight years of its existence, from 1983 to 1991, the United Democratic Front had a major impact on the pace and direction of political struggles in South Africa. The UDF was a loose alliance of organizations, whose strength was determined by the nature of the organizations affiliated to it. This thesis explores the nature of the problems faced by the UDF in the Pietermaritzburg region, and how it sought to respond to them. Chapter one -covers the period from 1976 to 1984. This chapter surveys the political context in which the UDF was formed, beginning with the Soweto uprising of 1976, and continuing with the growth of extra-parliamentary organizations in the late 1970s and early 1980s, leading up to the formation of the UDF in 1983. This chapter ends with emergence of organized extra-parliamentary activities in Pietermaritzburg in 1984. Chapter two assesses the period between 1984 and mid-1986. This was the time when the UDF activists began to mobilize in the region, and it was during this period that UDF structures were set up. This period also witnessed growing tensions between youth and parents, and between UDF and lnkatha supporters. The chapter ends when the state clamped down on extraparliamentary activities by declaring a national state of emergency in June 1986. Chapter three assesses the period between mid-1986 and the second half of 1989. This was the period when the South African state and lnkatha came out in full force to suppress the UDF. Through the use of emergency regulations, the state detained and restricted UDF activists, and in February 1988 eventually banned organization. During this period, the UDF and lnkatha supporters were engaged in violent clashes. These struggles took on the proportion of a civil war in the region, particularly in 1987. However, political events took another turn in the second half of 1989, when extra-parliamentary organizations resurfaced and embarked on mass defiance campaigns. Extra-parliamentary organizations, organized these campaigns under the mantle of the Mass Democratic Movement. Chapter four starts by assessing the impact of the mass defiance campaigns and ends at the time when the UDF was officially disbanded in August 1991. These last two years were dramatic for the UDF, nationally and regionally. In Pietermaritzburg, immediately after a series of successful mass demonstrations, UDF activists began a programme of restructuring the Front. The process was short-lived because in February 1990, when the South African government unbanned previously banned political organizations, including the UDF, African National Congress, Pan Africanist Congress, and others, the UDF had to begin to redefine its political role. Most UDF activists crossed over to the ANC, and in- 1991 the leaders of the UDF decided to dissolve the organization. In the Pietermaritzburg region the UDF disbanded more quickly than in other regions, largely because of the particular problems that the Front had experienced in this region.
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    The incorporation of Alfred County: aspects of colonial Natal's annexation strategy and subsequent consolidation on the South-Western Frontier 1850s-18180s.
    (1995) Mbhodiya, Sipho Henry.; Benyon, John Allen.
    The official and permanent British occupation of the Cape was finalised by the convention concluded in London on 13 August 1814, when Britain decided to retain the strategic Cape from the United Province!:» of the Netherlands. Britain had previously twice taken over the Cape during the twenty years of mortal struggle with France. Natal, on the other hand, became British territory in 1843, and it received its Representative Government in 1856. The point is, by 1860, one would have expected Natal and the Cape Colony to have established a tradition of friendship or mutual trust, not for its own sake, but for a combined effort to overcome the common problems in the sub-continent that faced these two coastal British colonies head on. Both colonies were confronted with the preferred British home policy of non­ expansion. Both colonies experienced the temptation to violate this non­ interventionist policy, as turbulence beyond the borders continued to threaten stability, law and order within their territories. Thus they were keenly concerned , about preserving piece among the African Chiefdoms within and beyond their borders. They also had a similar task of devising a measure of ruling the indigenous people within their territories. Both colonies relied upon the High Commissioner, who spent most of his time in the Cape Colo.n y, to handle their affairs beyond their borders. Thus one would have expected that the Cape Colony and Natal would have cemented a complementary relationship for the mutual benefit of both colonies. The envisaged mutual relationship foundered on the rocks of colonial rivalry. There were accusations and counter-accusations. Natal did not accord the High Commissioner full trust, because, at times, he appeared to represent the interests of the Cape Colony alo_ne. The situation was delicate, because the High Commissioner was the Cape Governor, the Commander-in-Chief and then the High Commissioner for the territories adjacent to both Natal and the Cape Colony. Thus the expected collaboration between Natal and the Cape Colony could give way to apathy and jealousy, and, to make the situation worse, their spheres of influence overlapped. The Treaty of Amity of 1844, signed between Faku, the Mpondo Chief and Sir Peregrine Maitland, the Cape Governor, recognized the former as paramount chief of the whole territory abutting on Natal's southern boundary, the Mzimkhulu river, down as far as the Mthatha river. It, therefore, followed that, if Faku failed to stabilize the territory and if the resulting in stability affected Natal, the latter would read the riot act to Faku. Faku would eventually opt to cede the Mzimkhulu­ Mtamvuma territory to Natal in 1850. But the Cape Colony cried foul, because the High Commissioner was not consulted; and this Faku-Harding Treaty of 1850 then clashed head on with Sir George Grey's plan for the Transkeian territories. Neither side was prepared to back down. The scene was set for Shepstonism versus confederation, with Sir George Grey being both a "player" on the Cape side as Governor and an "umpire" as High Commissioner. Thus Shepstonism (in "Nomansland") was to be contained. Natal and the Cape Colony, it appeared then, were operating on one dogmatic principle: whatever Natal could do, the Cape Colony could do better! This trend of antipathy and rivalry transcended the term of office of Sir George Grey. Sir Philip Wodehouse inherited the rivalry and, on the side of Natal, Lieutenant-Governor Scott was more than willing to take up the challenge of Cape domination. This rivalry thus placed the Duke of Newcastle on the horns of dilemma: it would be awkward for him to overrule the High Commissioner, Sir George Grey, and.later Sir Philip Wodehouse; nor could he completely ignore the views of John Scott. Both parties wanted to reverse imperial non-expansion and annex "Nomansland" in order to stem the tide of turbulence in that territory. Ultimately, Newcastle was brave enough to take the decision. He offered the division of "Nomansland" in the hope it would accommodate both sides - that is, Sir George Grey's Cape plan of settling the Griquas of Adam Kok could be carried out south of the Drakensberg Mountains; while Natal could annex the smaller northern part of "Nomansland". At the time of annexation, the question of who obtained land and closed the frontier was, thus, essentially a competition between the larger southern (Cape) colony and the smaller northern (Natal) colony. For Natal, it was a question of "half-a-loaf of bread is better than none", as the most valuable land, which was suitable for farming, was given to the Griquas of Adam Kok. On 1 January 1866 Natal annexed her small pickings and named them the "Country of Alfred". Natal's plans for "Nomansland" were disrupted, as the most fertile lands were lost to Adam Kok. But the colony did need a committee to report on the three essential elements in any situation where a frontier has to be "closed". These are: details of the terrain and its geography, the characteristics of the basic cultures to be accommodated, and plans for the process by which relations between the indigenous societies and the colonizing authority would be maintained. Such a committee was set up under the chairmanship of J. Bergtheil. On the strength of the findings and recommendations of the Bergtheil Committee, it was resolved to appoint a magistrate whose administrative task was to dominate, and give the law to, the entire territory annexed to Natal along the European or colonial lines of administration. The first magistrate was Lieutenant H.K. Wilson. His administration experienced major problems, as there was lack of capital, markets, towns and the necessary infrastructure. This meant that the "closure" of the frontier in Alfred County, 1866- 1880, was a long, slow and uneven process which cannot be easily subjected to any strictly cumulative chronological order.
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    The interaction between the missionaries of the Cape eastern frontier and the colonial authorities in the era of Sir George Grey, 1854-1861.
    (1984) Weldon, Constance Gail.; Benyon, John Allen.
    In the work of radical historians and in Xhosa tradition the Cattle Killing has become the supreme example of the deliberately destructive impact of a colonial governor, helped by missionaries, on the Black peoples of the eastern frontier of the Cape. This figure of controversy, Sir George Grey, was Governor of the Cape and High Commissioner from 1854-1861. As a civilian, he sought to pacify the Xhosa through 'civilization1 and education. To do this he enlisted the help of the frontier missionaries, who themselves desired a stable Xhosa society to aid their work. The result, it has been alleged, was the final demise of effective Xhosa resistance to the encroachment of imperial forces and white settler society. By the early 1850s the work of the missionaries on the frontier was at an all-time low. And so they certainly did hope that Grey's plans, of which the extension of education was part, would provide a long-sought breakthrough for them. But this, in turn, has led to the accusation that the missionaries acted merely as mercenary imperial agents and as a 'collaborating group' for the extension of colonial authority over the Xhosa, rather than for the benefit of their would- be converts. Because of the nature of the allegations, it seemed a significant historical exercise to investigate more closely the nature and extent of the links which the missionaries did in fact forge with Sir George Grey. It must be admitted that Grey's frontier plans, together with the steady erosion of traditional society over the years, economic distress in the mid-1850s, and the Cattle Killing dealt a deathblow to effective Xhosa resistance to colonial encroachment. Radical historians have blamed Grey and the missionaries of deliberately engineering the Cattle Killing for their own Machiavellian purposes. There is not enough evidence to convict Grey on this charge, but certainly his actions, or lack of them, during the crisis suggest that once the Cattle Killing had started he deliberately allowed it to develop to the point where the Xhosa could be more easily subordinated. It can not, with any justification, be said that the missionaries had a part either in instigating or maintaining the crisis, though they were not slow to hope for some advantage from it in the shape of a more receptive Xhosa nation driven by adversity to 'humble themselves before God1 and accept conversion. The Xhosa were deeply divided over Nongqawuse's prophecy - which was a fact that tended to work very much to Grey's advantage. He also used the crisis to break the chiefs who survived the disaster and to evict Sarhili from his ancestral land in Kaffraria Proper. On what seems to have been fabricated evidence, Grey accused Sarhili, together with Moshoe- shoe, of plotting the Cattle Killing to force the Xhosa into war with the Colony. Far from this being the case, the Cattle Killing should rather be regarded both as a millenarian movement and as a feature of a so-called 'closing' frontier. Grey had hoped to use the crisis to extend his 'civilizing' plans to Kaffraria Proper; but though his expulsion of Sarhili to beyond the Mbashe River prepared the way, he did not receive official sanction to go ahead with his plans. This, together with other setbacks to his plans, may well have led Grey to accept a transfer to New Zealand in 1861, sooner than had been expected. It has been suggested that the Cattle Killing resulted in an unprecedented advance by the missionaries, but detailed investigation of their records has shown this to be untrue. The influence attributed to the missionaries has, thus, been somewhat overrated and their links with Grey, who was essentially a man of independent and arbitrary action, exaggerated. Although their converts were few, missionaries did, however, foster far-reaching changes in traditional society. One of the most notable was the growth of peasant communities around the stations, which supplied a viable alternative to wage labour in the pre-capitalist colonial society. They also contributed to the stratification of Xhosa society and to the creation of an educated elite which would become leaders in a new industrial situation of contracting options. Grey was Governor at a time when the frontier was in the process of closing. A study of his era is, thus, relevant not only in terms of the relationship between the missionaries and the personality embodying the authority of the colonial state - and their consequent combined impact on Xhosa history but also in terms of more general frontier studies.
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    Exploring the migration experiences of Muslim Yao women in KwaZulu-Natal, 1994-2015.
    (2016) Mbalaka, Joseph Yusufu.; Hiralal, Kalpana.; Vahed, Goolam Hoosen Mohamed.
    There is very little to no research accessible on Muslim Yao women in South Africa; the available literature focuses primarily on Muslim Yao male migrants. This study critically examines the lived migration experiences of Malawian women in South Africa. This research is contextualized within the larger narrative of migration to South Africa in the post-apartheid period and experiences of many migrant communities in recent years. It will interrogate and explore the migration experiences of Muslim Yao women in KwaZulu-Natal between 1994 and 2015. The Yao form the largest proportion of the Muslims of Malawi and have a long tradition of emigrating from their original homeland to other regions, including South Africa. This study aims to historicise their experiences through a life history and narrative approach of the women who have migrated to Durban. These are Muslim Yao women who are engaged in the civic life of their communities and in public participation in various ways. Key themes examined in this dissertation include the reasons for their migration to South Africa, the challenges and constraints they face as immigrants, and how Yao Muslim women are negotiating their identity in multiple contexts – with fellow Malawians, other, predominantly Indian, Muslims, and black South Africans with whom they are in contact in various settings on a daily basis. The complex and complicated triangular relationship between Malawian women, local indigenous peoples (officially designated as “Black African” in the census), and Indians is explored in this study. Currently there is little work of the kind envisaged here, as most existing works on post-apartheid Muslim Yao migrants deal primarily with men. These studies focus on limited aspects of the lives of Muslim Yao women in South Africa. This study will contribute to our understanding of Malawian women migrants in South Africa. The working hypothesis of this study is that in the process of creating a new life in South Africa, Malawian women are contributing to the economy of Malawi through remittances in significant ways, engaging in the civic life of their communities in very public ways and changing perceptions of Islam as being predominantly an “Indian” religion in KwaZulu-Natal. In addition, this study will add to current debates on migration by focusing on issues of gender, identity, and agency in Africa.
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    Divided facilities : early cottage hospitals and the provision of health care Services in Natal, 1880-1910.
    (2018) Ngubane, Nontobeko.; Noble, Vanessa.
    This dissertation investigates the history of the introductory of the cottage hospital system in the colony of Natal. This thesis examines the history of three cottage hospitals that were erected in Natal from the late 1880s to 1910, namely; Umsinga (1889), Newcastle (1901) and Dundee (1903). This thesis examines the reasons behind the formation of these public health care facilities and how they worked. Furthermore, this study considers the contributions made by these cottage hospitals in the magisterial districts where they were erected. Initially, these cottage hospitals were located in small villages that were fully funded by the colonial government, but in later years were also built in more urbanised areas. Similar to other institutions, these cottage hospitals were not immune from inequalities that were associated with race. This research also considers whether or not these cottage hospitals were used as tools or instruments of empire by the British. Finally, this study also investigates the decline of the cottage hospital system in Natal in 1910, including the effect the formation of the Union of South Africa had on these health care institutions.
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    A social history of the experiences of Africans with physical disabilities who were associated with the Cripple Care Association (renamed the Association for the Physically Challenged) in KwaZulu-Natal, 1970s to 2000s.
    (2017) Nxumalo, Siyabonga.; Noble, Vanessa.
    This thesis provides an analysis of the social experiences of people with disabilities who belonged to the Cripple Care Association (CCA), which was later, renamed the Association for the Physically Challenged (APC). The experiences of people living with disabilities during apartheid and post-apartheid are different from one person to another. During apartheid race, class and gender influenced the lives of people with disabilities in what would become the province of KwaZulu-Natal especially in accessing resources. During the apartheid period, the state played a limited role in assisting and caring for the needs of people with impairments in South Africa. This compelled families to take an active role in caring for the needs of such persons. After 1994, the democratic government in South Africa produced a variety of policies for the betterment of people living with disabilities. This research also considers the experiences of people with disabilities who have lived in the post-apartheid period and looks at whether the lives of people with physical impairments has changed for the better.
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    Against the odds : a social history of African women medical doctors in South Africa, 1940s-2000s.
    (2017) Rehman, Amanda-Bea.; Noble, Vanessa.
    This thesis focuses on the lives of six women medical doctors of African ethnicity, from the 1940s to the 2000s. These women are of different generations and were all born in South Africa. They trained in South Africa and have worked in a variety of institutions across the country. It investigates how the profession of medicine has evolved over time and what role a changing political climate has had on the development of the medical profession; particularly in terms of race and gender. It considers the broad historical context within which South Africa’s general medical training and professional development took place during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It then looks at the early lives of the six interviewees, which include their childhood and later motivations to study medicine. It also investigates the medical training experiences of these African women doctors. The lives and experiences of black women doctors after they graduated from medical school with a Bachelor of Medicine (MBChB) degree, during the apartheid period, is also discussed. Their training experiences, internship experiences and the experiences of their working lives in post-apartheid South Africa is a focus of this study too. Finally, it considers the impact of recent political transformation on the racial, gendered and class dimensions of the medical profession.
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    Demystifying the Muslimah : changing subjectivities, civic engagement and public participation of Muslim woman in contemporary South Africa.
    (2015) Asmal, Fatima.; Vahed, Goolam Hoosen Mohamed.
    This study interrogates the validity of generalizations about Muslim women. While Islam is undoubtedly important in the lives of most practising Muslim women, rather than regarding their actions and behaviours as governed by Islamic law, the study seeks to historicise their experiences through a life history approach of five women engaged in the civic life of their communities (however widely this may be defined) and in public participation in various ways. Using oral history as a methodology, it investigates what drew these women to civic participation; the nature of their participation in terms of the organisations they are members of and the activities they are involved in; the stimulus for civic engagement and public participation and their achievements in this regard as well as the impact of participation on their identities and subjectivities. Most existing work on Muslim women deals with issues such as sexuality and reproductive choices, the AIDS pandemic or conversion to Islam. This study adopts a life history approach to understand multiple aspects of the women’s lives, including and especially their civic and public engagement.
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    Natal and the 1960 Republican Referendum.
    (1990) Stewart, William James.; Duminy, Andrew Hadley.