This book analyses and evaluates the resilience of Southern African Development Community (SADC) land issues from a variety of perspectives. It shows that certain commonalities distinguish South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe from other SADC States to make them the worst affected in the sub-region with regards to unequal land distribution that is directly linked to apartheid-rule. Although the other SADC States parties had achieved political freedom from their European colonial masters under the United Nations (UN) decolonization programme2 in the early 1960s, South Africa had had to wait until 1994; Namibia until 1990; and Zimbabwe until 1980. This makes these three States the longest apartheid-governed African colonies ever. Consequently, they face more serious challenges in relation to land use/allocation in the African sub-region also because farming is a dominant sector of SADC economies. Although the former Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique had also

gained their independence rather late in comparison – November 1975 and June 1975 respectively, the white settlers had chosen to retreat at independence rather than stay and insist on the legal protection of the economic and social legacy of assimilado and other dehumanising colonial practices they had benefited from. This is in stark contrast to Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia where significant proportions of the beneficiaries of apartheid-rule appear determined to use legal means to frustrate their respective majority-rule governments’ efforts to correct the salient economic and social legacy of apartheid-rule. Briefly, assimilado was the status granted to native Africans considered by the

colonial authorities to have met certain formal standards indicating that they had successfully absorbed the Portuguese language and culture. It was supposed to grant them many of the race and class privileges of Europeans3 and release them from forced labour and paying of hut taxes. They could travel without seeking prior authorization. They could register the births of their children and obtain a Portuguese identity card. However, the process of attaining assimilado itself was a long and degrading affair, and the status itself remained under threat of

Office been to have either backslidden to their native ways, or could no longer satisfy the new and more stringent requirements.4