Forced removals and migration: a theology of resistance and liberation in South Africa

Selaelo T Kgatla

Abstract


This paper investigates the intensification of the scope of migrant theology by forced removals in the 1960s and 1970s in South Africa. Forced removals in South Africa were carried out by the white government, especially in the late 1950s and 1960s, with the support of the white churches (particularly white Afrikaans churches) underpinned by a series of laws which entrenched racial segregation and inequality and which led to millions of black peoples being forced to leave their ancestral land and white cities to live in barren and overcrowded places. The policy of forced removals accompanied by its resultant reprisals led to a mass exodus of many black people going to settle in the neighbouring countries either to join the arms struggle or further their studies abroad. Those who remained in the country were forced to resist the policy either through violent protest or peaceful resistance. The policy led to black people developing theologies of survival in the country of their birth since they were exposed to a condition of poverty, exploitation and alienation from their cultural heritage, while ensuring exclusive privileges to whites in the country. The paper seeks to investigate how the migrants developed a theology of resistance amidst their dislocation and the heavy-handedness of the government.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7832/41-2-9

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ISSN 2312-878X (online); ISSN 0256-9507 (print)

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