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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE SCOTS IN SOUTH AFRICA (article first published : 2008-03-6)

The Scots have made a huge contribution to the development of South Africa (as they have in many other parts of the world), and some of the most distinguished Afrikaans families have Scottish roots.

John MacKenzie is a Scottish professor with a fine academic record at five universities, Lancaster, St Andrew’s, Aberdeen, Stirling and Edinburgh. The 175-page book, The Scots In South Africa which covers the period from 1772 to 1914, is the result of extensive research into the role of the Scots in South Africa in many fields, notably the church, education, government, the sciences and business.

Names such as Livingstone, Moffatt, Murray and Fraser are part of the history (and geography) of Southern Africa. Fairbairn, Pringle and Greig, who fought hard for Press freedom two hundred years ago, were all Scots; and indeed the history of South African journalism is adorned by a long line of Scottish names.

Obviously this book will appeal most to South Africans of Scottish descent, but there is plenty of material of broad interest to other readers. The scholarship is impressive.

Nigel Dalziel, who has a doctorate from Lancaster University, was responsible for much of the research, but the book was written by John M. MacKenzie, as he makes clear in a foreword.

The Scots In South Africa by John M. MacKenzie, with Nigel R. Dalziel is published by Wits University Press. - Michael Green




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