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Blackspot removals in Natal: papers collected by John Aitchison

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 218

Scope and Contents

Papers, news cuttings, copies of articles, correspondence, and photographs and negatives, collected by John Aitchison documenting the impact of the Blackspot Removal Campaign in Natal.


  • Creation: 1953 - 1965


Biographical / Historical

John Jacques William Aitchison was born in 1944 in Durban and studied theology at the University of Natal. Whilst at university he joined the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS), serving as Secretary for Welfare and then Head of NUSAS for the Pietermaritzburg campus, and the Liberal Party of South Africa, serving as Natal Secretary in the period 1964-5. In 1965, aged 20, he was restricted without trial under severe banning orders for a period of five years, later extended until 1976, including a period of imprisonment for breach of the banning orders. The Liberal Party, which had campaigned against ‘blackspot removals’ in Natal, was forced to disband in 1968. In later life, Aitchison was involved in promoting adult education, serving as director of the University of Natal’s Centre for Adult Education. He is an ordained deacon in the Church Province of South Africa and has lectured on theology.
During the Blackspot Removal Campaign the National Party Government in South Africa passed legislation that forced black communities living on freeholdings in white rural areas to leave and resettle on infertile land and in townships. The campaign was at its height during the period covered by the material in this collection. From 1979, the Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA) took up the campaign initiated by the Liberal Party against forced removals. Aitchison serves on the board of AFRA.
Source: South African History Online.


2 archive box(es) (2 boxes) : negative/paper/photograph

Language of Materials





Former / Other Reference

MSS 58

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited by Stephen Hayes, then of St Chad's College, Durham, on 26 Sept. 1967, on behalf of John Aitchison, Natal Secretary of the Liberal Party of South Africa, 1964-5.

Related Materials

The Alan Paton Centre at the University of Kwazulu-Natal holds records of the Liberal Party of South Africa (LPSA), including personal collections of ex-members of LPSA, such as Peter Brown and Henry Selby Msimang (see


This collection level description was created by RAS.


Liberal Party of South Africa; Northern Natal African Landowners' Association

2003-12-08 16:18:06+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom