In this radical critique of established precolonial and colonial history, heritage activist Patric Tariq Mellet retells the story of dispossession, the destruction of livelihoods and the brutality of slavery in South Africa. Drawing on scholarly work and his own experience of searching for identity, Mellet provides a bold new perspective on the loss of land and belonging.

Characters such as Autshumao, Krotoa and Doman come to life in the story of the founding of a port at Cape Town. Mellet debunks the “empty-land” myth and claims of a “Bantu invasion”, while outlining over 220 years of war and resistance. It recounts the history of migration to the Cape and provides a provocative perspective on the de-Africanisation of local people of colour.

It explores what Africans lost through the expropriation of land and, by extension, home, belonging and social cohesion. It’s a plea for restoration, and for recognition of the ties that bind us as Africans of diverse ethnicities and cultures.
Mellet is a former liberation movement cadre and a resident cultural and history analyst on Cape Talk. In 2009 his work on the intangible heritage received a Western Cape Provincial Honours award. In 2019 the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture appointed him to the Governance Council of the South African Heritage Resources Agency.

The Lie of 1652: A decolonised history of land will be published on 15 September and is R310.
 – NB Publishers

The Lie of 1652 by Patric Tariq Mellet.

The Lie of 1652 by Patric Tariq Mellet.