South African Indian responses

This chapter considers the apparent resurgence of imperial royalism at a moment when a rhetoric of democratic rights and tone of defiance suffused South African Indian political discourse. It explores the deepening of political divisions within the leadership in early 1947. The chapter draws attention to the 'moderates', a grouping marginalised in a dominant historical narrative of Indian politics that prioritises the emergence of progressive cross-racial and transnational alliances that would mobilise against apartheid in succeeding decades. It focuses on positions taken by the moderate leadership during bitter disputes over the visit and sheds light on an alternative, if discredited, trajectory taken in South African Indian politics. Most striking was the 'complete split in the Indian community' that arose from the 'ill-advised' attempts of Congress to boycott the royal visit, giving the moderates an opportunity to challenge the radical leadership.

in Royals on tour
African encounters with Prince Alfred on his royal tour, 1860

This chapter describes the ceremonial encounters between Prince Alfred, youngest son of Queen Victoria and several African chiefs and leaders during his visit to the Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Natal in 1860. The first of a series of royal tours designed to solder the loyalty of Britain’s diverse colonies to the crown, and to cultivate an association between the British Royal House and indigenous monarchies, the physical presence of the son of the reigning monarch amongst her African subjects played a crucial role in making flesh the mythology of the ‘Great White Queen’ as protector, redeemer and source of rights and liberties of all peoples of the Empire. Taking place prior to the final phases of dispossession and colonisation, the chapter demonstrates the different ways in which chiefs such as Sandile of the amaNgqika Xhosa, Moshoeshoe of the BaSotho and Moroka of the Barolong; and Natal chiefs such as Ngoza and Zikhale responded to the symbolism and ceremonial stage provided by the tour. The chapter argues these encounters were deeply ambivalent, but that they were significant in the establishment of a tradition of ‘black loyalism’ with all its ambiguities and contradictions.

in Mistress of everything