Copyright (c) 1996 The John Marshall Law School
The John Marshall Law Review
ESSAY FROM THE 2ND ROBERT KRATOVIL MEMORIAL LECTURE PROGRAM IN REAL ESTATE LAW: LAND REGISTRATION AND LAND REFORM IN SOUTH AFRICA
29 J. Marshall L. Rev. 809
South Africa is the only country in Africa that spans the continent from East to West, from the warm Indian ocean to the cold South Atlantic. It therefore has a natural variety that is staggering; incredibly rich flora and fauna (980 indigenous tree species and 900 bird species) with magnificent game parks and vast landscapes. In addition, the people who inhabit South Africa are as diverse as the country itself, ranging from stone age hunt- er-gatherers to BMW-driving yuppies. Therefore, South Africans take umbrage at scoffs such as the following by poet Roy Camp- bell who wrote: "South Africa renowned both far and wide for politics and little else besides." 1
South Africa is an old civilization. Some of the most primitive examples of humankind were found at Sterkfontein. On the other hand, in a recent essay, Gerd Behrens said the following about South Africa: " . . . many feel that Francis Fukuyama had South Africa in mind when he wrote his famous essay: the advent of a black led government fits the bill for 'the end of history,' and Nel- son Mandela is perfectly cast as 'the last man'." 2
I. The Influence of Roman Dutch Law on South Africa
For much of its history, Khoisan nomads, such as the Hottentots and the Bushmen, inhabited South Africa. Migrating cattle ranching blacks from East Africa and white settlers from the South eventually forced the Khoisan nomads into the largely uninhabited desert regions of the North West. The nomads ...
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