Constance Boniswa Tshabalala, the daughter of Sienah and Joseph Mothlale, was born on the 19thof July 1961 in Bloemfontein – 49 days after South Africa became a republic outside the British Commonwealth. At the age of one and a half years, she went to live with her grandparents, Michael and Mary Mothlale, and her brother in Elsies River, Cape Town.
Dr. Hendrik Snyders and Marianna Botes of the History Department, and Elmar du Plessis of the Department of Collections attended the National Conference of the SA Society for Cultural History (SASCH) from 18-19 October at the Naval Museum in Simon’s Town, where all three presented papers.
Sixty-one years ago in 1958, a local golfer, David Motati (on the far right in the attached picture), won a stroke play event at the non-white golf course in Bloemfontein. Motati, also known by his nickname ‘Bobby Locke’ (after a famous white South African golfer), famously went on to caddy for Gary Player in the subsequent whites-only SA Open according to the South African Golf Association’s website . Today, this event and player is totally forgotten and even less is known about the history of golf within South Africa’s black communities.
Soccer, the most popular sport in the world, had an early start in the old Orange Free State. According to the available evidence, the first recorded soccer or football games in Bloemfontein were played during 1876 between St. Andrews College and the Cathedral Choir. Beyond Bloemfontein, the game found an early foothold in towns like Heilbron, Kroonstad, Bethlehem, Lindley, and Jagersfontein during the 1880s and early 1890s. These developments were driven by merchants, railway workers, miners, and a range of other immigrants that made the Republic its home.
If you want to build a prosperous and peaceful country, especially in a post-conflict and diverse society like South Africa, it is essential to strive for unity and reconciliation. The constitution of South Africa encourages all South Africans, irrespective of race or creed, to strive for mutual respect, social cohesion and reconciliation. This includes respect for each other’s identity, our diversity, and our shared heritage. The Preamble of our Constitution states: