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UNDERSTANDING THE BULHOEK MASSACRE: VOICES AFTER THE MASSACRE AND DOWN THE YEARS

DOI: 10.5787/26-2-244

Keywords: BULHOEK MASSACRE , followers of Enoch Mgijima (Israelites) , South African Native National Congress (SANNC) , mixed reactions political organisations , the conflict between the Israelites and the government

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Abstract:

Die gevolge van die Bulhoekopstand het uiteenlopende reaksies ontlok. Afhangend vanuit watter politieke oogpunt die aangeleentheid benader is, het die toerekening van blaam gewissel van die Israeliete self tot die Regering se optrede. Hierdie verskillende reaksies word ontleed. The squatting and defiance of the law by the followers of Enoch Mgijima (Israelites) at Bulhoek was an unwelcome exercise by the people who stayed in the vicinity of Queenstown. Various African leaders, including the members of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC), tried to persuade the Israelites to leave Bulhoek peacefully. The massacre generated mixed reactions from different political organisations: within parliament, the general public and from various newspapers. There were many fiery debates about the tragedy after the massacre and the trial.1 Almost every newspaper in the country at the time carried reports about the events of 24 May 1921. The newspaper reports give a clear indication of who was blamed for the Bulhoek massacre. It is the purpose of this article to analyze what the nation at the time thought of the conflict between the Israelites and the government and what African political leaders thought of the event down the years.

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