The "Empty Land" Myth: A Biblical and Socio-historical Exploration
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AbstractPersistent discourse on the contentious "empty land" theory remains relevant within a biblical and socio-historic milieu, especially in the history of a colonialised country such as South Africa. Seeing that there are still arguments in favour of the "empty land" theory, the authors of this article undertook a venture to engage with the "empty land" theory as a myth. This article consists of four parts: the first part discusses the myth of "empty land" in the Old Testament Bible in relation to the "empty land" myth in South Africa. Secondly the researchers will argue for the occupation of land by the indigenous people of South Africa as early as 270 AD-1830. The vertex for the third argument is of a more socio-economic nature, namely the lifestyle of the African people before colonialism. The article contends that people were nomadic and did not regard land as property to be sold and bought. There were no boundaries; there was free movement. Finally, the article explores the point of either recognition of Africans as human beings, or in a demeaning way viewing them as animals to be chased away in order to empty the land, thereby creating "emptied" land.