Solomon Plaatje: “Awaking on Friday morning, June 20, 1913, the South African native found himself, not actually a slave, but a pariah in the land of his birth.”
Native life in South Africa, authored by Solomon Plaatje (1876-1932) captures the introduction of the Natives Land Act of 1913, which became effective on the morning of Friday 20 June 1913. Twenty-nine years earlier, 1884-1885, Europeans gathered at the Berlin Conference and unilaterally decided on how they would divide Afrikan land among themselves. The colonisation of Afrika was formalised. The 200 odd years before 1884 were spent consolidating Europe’s need to civilise Afrikans who had never heard of Jesus and the Bible. Afrikans, soon enough, got to learn that those who loved the loving Jesus, had other means to civilise them. So it is that, as the gun stood in the doorway and the whip on the flagpole, the bible lay at the bedside. Europeans settled on Afrikan land.
Solomon Plaatje’s book, Native Life in South Africa covers what Europeans thought was their final act of total dispossession; Afrikan land, dreams, language, belief, personality, ingenuity, thought, culture and natural resources. Little did they know that Solomon Plaatje’s efforts would see him as the first Secretary General of the South African Native African Congress; later renamed the African National Congress – ANC.
Awaking on the morning of Friday 20 June 2003, as a native South African, I did not consider myself a slave, nor a pariah in the land of my birth. Exactly 90 years after the introduction of the Native Land Act, I made my way to the Pretoria High Court. Nine years earlier, Solomon Plaatje’s political party had entered into an arrangement with European settlers. In this arrangement of 1994, came the promise of constitutionalism and the rule of law which guaranteed, equality, freedom and much more.
In the court room I met three European males. Justice Brian Southwood was on the bench and Advocate Owen Salmon had Donald Lindsay MacRobert as his instructing attorney. Salmon and MacRobert, had come to get Justice Brian Southwood to bring judicial credence to a blatantly dishonest report that appeared in the Sunday Times on 02 December 2001.
“The Apartheid Museum as a concept was conceived four years ago by business tycoons Solomon and Abraham Krok, as a carrot to be dangled before the Gauteng Gambling Board in the hope of securing a gambling licence for the Gold Reef City Casino”.
The Jewish Times of last week, 13 June 2019, still tells warm stories about the Kroks:
“It was 90 years ago that Chai Sora lay in the delivery room of the Queen Victoria hospital near Hillbrow in Johannesburg. Much to the surprise of the doctors in the maternity ward, when Solly Krok popped out, the labour was not yet over. Nineteen hours later, Abe made his appearance and the legend of the Krok twins was born.”
When I asked GOOGLE to tell me about significant events on 20 June 1913; the search engine responded: “It was Friday under the birth sign of Gemini; the sign of the Twins”
The case of Hollywood Curl vs Twins Products (1988) tells the story of an Afrikan American entrepreneur, Vide Kannike Martins who registered the company Hollywood Curl (Pty) Ltd, while the Krok twins held exclusive rights to the trademark HOLLYWOOD. The Kroks brought in Advocate Brian Southwood, with Owen Salmon as instructing attorney. Their legal argument whipped Ms Martins, the descendant of enslaved Afrikans. The Appellate Court, in providing three statutory reasons, set a binding legal precedent for all to follow:
“It should also be borne in mind that the protection afforded by Section 10 of the Company’s Act is additional to, and not in substitution of, any statutory protection of trademarks and the common law remedies relating to passing-off. Hollywood Curl (Pty) Ltd will be prevented from using that name to describe its business and goods. For these reasons I conclude that the judge a quo correctly found that Twins was entitled to relief under s 45(2).”
Don MacRobert is no slouch when it comes to intellectual property law. He enjoys an online presence through which he lectures thus: “A trademark registration is useful to prevent third parties from registering companies which may have confusingly similar names.”
In Case Number 32237/2002 TPD, before Justice Brian Southwood, the Applicant that came to expunge my trademark was a “company” with the name: The South African Apartheid Museum at Freedom Park, Registration Number: 2001/019108/08. It was, according to Gold Reef City Casino, “incorporated” on 14 August 2001. In August 2001, I owned two registered trademarks: The Apartheid Museum® (Class 41 and Class 35) standing of full force and effect on the Trademarks Register. After 18 years in litigation, there are over 25 Court Judgments, through all Superior Courts, in favour of a “company” that, according Messrs Southwood, Salmon, MacRobert and Krok and the SCA, cannot possibly exist as a Juristic Person, with a legal right to sue or be sued in a court of law.
On 28 November 2014, in Case Number 37609/2014 JHB GLD, Acting Judge Raylene Keightley sentenced me to a term of imprisonment because I flatly refused to apologise to anybody for disseminating material that exposed criminality and racism in the judiciary and among all those who conspired with the Registrar of Companies to break the law.
Solomon Plaatje, the author died on 19 June 1932 – 87 years to the day that I began to write this story. Completed exactly 106 years after Afrikans were dispossessed of their property, I have now been made to understand that I am enslaved. Denied equality and the right to property, I am, as Solomon Plaatje so painfully lamented, a pariah in the land of my birth.
Founder: The Apartheid Museum®