Added: November 5, 2016 – Last updated: November 5, 2016


Author: Chet James Paul Fransch

Title: "... wood, carved by the knife of circumstance ..."?

Subtitle: Cape Rapists and Rape in South Africa, c. 1910-1980

Thesis: Academisch Proefschrift, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Stellenbosch University

Year: 2016

Pages: ix + 284pp.

OCLC Number: 950867247 – Find a Library: WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | African History: South African History


Link: VU-DARE: Digital Repository of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Free Access)


Abstract: »“… wood carved by the knife of circumstance…”?: Cape Rapists and Rape in South Africa, c. 1910-1980, interrogates the notion that rapists are a product of an inherent nature and/or are nurtured by their environments to commit acts of rape. It also attempts to contextualise the changing definitions, motivations, justifications, and rationalisations given by theorists, politicians, jurists, the medical profession, society, communities, families, rape victims, and rapists. The central thesis questions, a slight adaptation from that of Joanna Bourke, are: “who were the rapists in the Cape?”, “why did they do what they did?” and “how particular are they to the Cape?” By contextualizing existing studies on rape with the accounts within the rich primary archives, Cape rapists are not merely located, defined, and explained, but are also contextualized within broader South African and global categories of rapists in what unfolds as a history of contested (and sometimes competing) notions of consensual sex, sexuality, and non-consensual sexual violence.« (Source: Thesis)


  List of Figures (p. v)
  Abbreviations, Acronyms and Terms (p. vii)
Chapter 1 Introduction
  Contested Notions of Consensual and Non-Consensual Sexual Violence: Global Theories and Myths (p. 2)
    Who Were They?: Defining the Rapist (p. 3)
    Potential Rapists: All MANkind? (p. 5)
    Hidden Rapists (p. 23)
    Alleged and Convicted Rapists (p. 30)
  Dissertation Outline (p. 33)
  Methodology (p. 34)
  A Note on Terminology (p. 39)
Chapter 2 Theorising Rape in South Africa and Explaining the Cape Rapist
  Locating, Explaining and Contextualising South African Rapists (p. 43)
    From Colonial Era to Segregation: The Lasting Legacy of the Black Peril Scares (p. 43)
    Apartheid Politics and Rape (p. 49)
    Post-Apartheid Legislation Blows the Cover Off Previously Hidden Rapists (p. 59)
  Towards A 20th Century History of Rapists in the Cape (p. 80)
  Concluding Remarks (p. 82)
Chapter 3 The State and the Judiciary: Legislated Rapists During Segregation and Apartheid
  Curbing Sexual Violence or Regulating Sex?: State Legislation and the Cape Judiciary (p. 85)
    Defining the Rapist: Changing State Legislation (p. 85)
    Regulating Sex: State [In]Attention to Rape in the Cape? (p. 90)
      A Misnomer - Immorality Act or Sexual Offences Act of 1957: Negotiating Race, Class and Immorality (p. 91)
      “Pornography is the Theory: Rape the Practice”? (p. 102)
      Paying for Sex is Illegal! Prostitutes Cannot be Raped? (p. 103)
  Changing Legislation, Changing Definitions and Increasing Numbers of Rapists in South Africa? (p. 106)
  Conclusions (p. 117)
Chapter 4 Judicial Procedures: Towards Locating the Cape Rapists, c. 1910-1975
  Managing the Courtroom: Cape Court Procedure (p. 118)
    Scrutinising the Victim? (p. 126)
    Alcohol and Drugs (p. 132)
    Rapists Are More than Pathologised Beings (p. 136)
  Punishing or Rehabilitating the Rapist?: Sentencing Trends in the Cape Courts, c. 1910-1975 (p. 144)
    The Death Sentence (p. 145)
    Flogging in the Cape (p. 149)
    Incarcerating the Offenders (p. 151)
  Public Reaction to the Cape Judiciary by the 1960s (p. 159)
  Conclusions (p. 163)
Chapter 5 Identifiable Types of Rapists in the Cape Courts, c. 1910 to 1980
  Classifying the Unclassifiable: Racially Segregated Rapists? (p. 166)
    Black Rapists (p. 166)
    White Rapists (p. 170)
  Identifiable Types of Rapists at the Cape (p. 176)
    Serial Rapists (p. 177)
    The Fine Line Between Incest and Rape (p. 180)
    Statutory Rapists (p. 183)
    Baby Rapists (p. 188)
    The Rise of the Juvenile Rapists (p. 191)
    Gangs and Gang Rapes in the Cape (p. 194)
  Conclusions (p. 207)
Chapter 6 The Cape Coloured Rapist, c. 1960-1980
  Public Reactions to Rape in the Cape: Environmental Issues that Framed the Rapists, c. 1960 – c.1980? (p. 211)
  Intra-racial Class Distinctions? (p. 223)
  Class to Caste? (p. 234)
  Conclusions (p. 236)
  Conclusion (p. 239)
  Bibliography (p. 245)
    Archival Sources (p. 245)
    Primary Sources (p. 245)
    Films (p. 247)
    Seminars (p. 247)
    Unpublished Works (p. 248)
    Secondary Sources (p. 248)
    Selected Internet Sites (p. 269)
  Appendix (p. 270)
  Abstract (p. 280)
  Samenvatting (p. 281)
  Opsomming (p. 282)
  Résumé (p. 283)
  Acknowledgments (p. 284)

Wikipedia: History of Africa: History of South Africa / History of South Africa (1910–48)