"He got a Land Affairs grant earlier this year, enough to buy a hectare and a bit from me."

Poster calling for the return of District 6 to land claimants in Cape Town
Public DomainPoster calling for the return of District 6 to land claimants in Cape Town - Credit: Henry M. Trotter
In apartheid South Africa, there was no more contentious issue than that of land, and specifically who had the right of ownership. Even before the National Party came to power in 1948, restrictions had been placed by the introduction of The Natives Land Act 1n 1913, and this process of disenfranchisment continued under apartheid.

When the post-apartheid government came into power, and a new constitution came into play, all citizens of the country were given certain rights, including the right to own land. These reforms clearly benefited ambitious blacks such as Petrus, who were no longer forced to eek out a living working for someone else, but could own and farm their own property.

However, the issue of the continued white ownership of land became something of a flashpoint, particularly in rural areas. While any racial group had been given the right to own land, they couldn't simply sweep in and seize the land, even if it was seized from them in the first place, as the formal procedure had to be followed. This procedure has contributed to an atmosphere of impatience; an impatience, which when combined with a desire for retribution, has led to high rates of violence being reported with white farmers as the target. This violence has led to concerns that South Africa would become the new Zimbabwe