Lie of 1652 aims to correct a certain version of the history of South Africa that is commonplace, one that begins in 1652 with the settling of the Dutch. It disproves the belief that the Cape was ‘empty land’ before 1652, and tells a history of resistance to colonisation, of enslaved peoples, and of the loss of land. A richly informative and significant book.
The Lie of 1652 by Patric Tariq Mellet
In this radical critique of established pre-colonial and colonial history, Mellet centres land dispossession, the destruction of livelihoods and the brutality of slavery in South Africa. Drawing on scholarly work and his own experience of searching for identity, Mellet provides a bold new perspective on the loss of land and belonging. Characters such as Autshumao, Krotoa and Doman come to life in the story of the founding of a port at Cape Town – over 50 years before Jan van Riebeeck arrived.