James Oatway

Schmidtsdrift, Northern Cape, SOUTH AFRICA

Amilia Manuel, in traditional attire, sits in front of the Kiosk in Schmidtsdrift, a former South African Defence Force base, which is still home to a group of !Xun San.In the 1970s, San Bushmen from the Khwe and !Xun tribes in Namibia and Angola were duped and coerced into joining the South African Defence Force's (SADF) secretive '31 Battalion'. Their tracking skills and knowledge of the bush environment were invaluable to the South African army which was fighting a number of covert operations against organisations like the South West African People's Organisation (SWAPO) in Namibia and the People's Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA - the armed wing of Angola's now ruling MPLA Party). When Namibia gained independence in 1990, the former members of '31 Battalion' were worried about retribution for their collaboration with the enemy. The SADF agreed to resettle them on remote farmland in the Northern Cape. After the end of Apartheid a few years later, the former soldiers and their families were abandoned by the government. Now, some 8,000 people are languishing on a converted farm near Kimberley, and on another farm near Schmidtsdrift, surviving off benefits and struggling with alcoholism, HIV and domestic violence.

Object Name
Copyright
James Oatway
City
Schmidtsdrift, Northern Cape
Country
SOUTH AFRICA
Restrictions
Max size
High Resolution
4000 x 2649 pixels
33.87 x 22.43 cm (300 dpi)
13.33 x 8.83 inch (300 dpi)
3.7 MB size on disk
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