Photographs and text by JFC Clarke | Contributions by Darryl Accone, Johnny Masilela and Zwelakhe Mthwethwa



Acknowledgements and Sources
The view west along Boom Street into Marabastad on a weekday afternoon in 1970.


I would like to acknowledge the assistance I received from past and present inhabitants of Marabastad who have helped me so generously with the names of people and places, exact locations and anecdotal information. In particular, I would like to thank Dr. Shakera Ismail, Omarjee Vally, Martin Davids, A.R. Dawood, Steeve Vally Omar, Lawi Mukadam, Scotty Mahommad, Yakoob Essop, Jewel Accone, Rodric Leyds, Tavener Hartze and Nolan Leyds.

I am also indebted to the following people for their generous assistance and support: Ansie Steyn, Christo Rabie, Ingrid Byerly, Mandla Dube, Brett Pyper, Leonie Botes, Jon Smith, Greg Oakes, Nicola Smith, Leslie Bands, Vivienne Stiemens, Johnny de Beer, Sbongiseni Mdlalose, Boitumelo Maetla, Ishfaaq Aboo and Reinhart Hartzenberg. I would like to thank Ludwig Jacobs for his help with the photographs in the formative stages of this project, my mother Brenda Clarke for her careful reading of the text and Jan Middeljans for his assistance with historical photographs and maps. My particular thanks to Clinton Harrop-Allin for his encouragement and valuable comments on the text and to Eunice Basson for her suggestions and generous sharing of her extensive knowledge of old Pretoria and related historical material. To my wife, Jessica, my love and gratitude for her constant support and encouragement.

To Hassen Mohideen, Johnny Masilela, Darryl Accone and Zwelakhe Mthwethwa about whom I have written in the Preface I give special thanks. Without their contributions, support for the project, and their generous assistance in many different ways it would not have been possible to complete this book.


The book The Aga Khan and Africa, presented to me by Murad Keshavjee in 1970, was an initial source of inspiration and information. It was compiled by Habib V. Keshavjee and printed by the Mercantile Printing Works, Durban. There is no publication date in the book but it was probably published between 1947 and 1950.

I referred to the following books and theses when writing Marabastad: A Story of Adversity and Survival:

Allen V. 1971. Kruger's Pretoria. Cape Town: A.A. Balkema.

Bonner, P., Esterhuysen, A., Jenkins, T. (ed.) 2007. A Search for Origins. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.

Carruthers, V. 2000. The Magaliesberg. Pretoria: Protea Book House.

Crawford, D.C.B. 2002. African and Coloured music of Pretoria, with special reference to Marabastad and its implications for marabi music and later developments in African music in Johannesburg. Pretoria: Unisa. Unpublished MA (Music).

Dunston, L & T. 1975. Young Pretoria 1889 - 1913. Pretoria: Private publication.

Engelbrecht, S.P. (ed.) 1955. Pretoria (1855 - 1955): History of the City of Pretoria. City Council of Pretoria.

The book includes a chapter written by H.P. Junod entitled The Bantu Population of Pretoria with a subsection on Marabastad.

Friedman, M. 1994. A history of Africans in Pretoria with reference to Marabastad 1902-1923. Pretoria: Unisa. Unpublished MA (History).

Kennedy, R.F. 1967. The Catalogue of Pictures in the Africana Museum. Johannesburg: Africana Museum.

Paulsen, M.M. 2005. The Malay Community of Gauteng: syncretism, beliefs, customs and development. Johannesburg: University of Johannesburg. Unpublished MA.

I have collected a number of newspaper articles about Marabastad which were published in: The Pretoria News, Beeld and The Sunday Times. I found the article entitled 'City land claims delve into tangled settlement history', Pretoria News 17 September 1997, particularly informative. This article incorporated information taken from an article by R.C. de Jong entitled 'The need for total removal', published in Research by the National Cultural History Museum, Vol. 4, 1995.

The Internet has also proved to be most valuable and I was able to glean information from various websites. In particular, I found Integrated Urban Design Framework for Marabastad which can be viewed at, to be an important publication. It was compiled by Aziz Tayob Architects Inc. and Meyer Pienaar Tayob Architects & Urban Designers for the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and was published in a revised and final form in 2002. Part A of the publication includes a chapter entitled The History of Marabastad. This is a well researched and comprehensive historical account with photographs and maps. In the Preface of the Urban Design Framework mention is made of the research on historical buildings of Marabastad by Prof. Schalk le Roux which was incorporated into the publication. The website at includes sections on Schoolplaats, Marabastad and the Southern Ndebele.

My main source of information for the captions of photographs has been past and present inhabitants of Marabastad. The permanent exhibition on Marabastad at the National Cultural History Museum in Pretoria is interesting and informative and well worth a visit - especially before a first visit to Marabastad. A number of maps of old Pretoria in the National Archives also gave insights into the development of early Pretoria, Schoolplaats and Marabastad.

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