The idea for this website was spawned out of two seemingly unrelated imperatives, namely the promulgation by the South African Government of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (No.2 of 2000) and the inherent obstacles that existed in responding appropriately to this legislation; and the considerable barriers to entry in having research published in printed form within a reasonable time, or in an appropriate periodical or journal.
One of the contagions I inherited from my mother was the “collecting bug”. As many will attest, collecting is rarely driven by avarice, can easily bankrupt, often is quite self-indulgent, and is impossible adequately to explain to others or comprehend in oneself.
Inter alia, I collect information. One day it dawned on me that it was a shame not to share it with others. Voilà! A website was born.
Since first creating this website in 2000, it has attracted of the order of 75,000 “hits” per annum; and generated a vibrant and often absorbing correspondence with many delightful people from all around the world. I have been exposed to some fascinating personal stories, often extraordinarily complex and steeped in pathos.
The articles are the outcome of thousands of hours spent in the silent, spectral companionship of similarly insane enthusiasts; meandering through dusty records, pondering the complexities of archival cataloguing, or just the nature of the human condition. Every attempt has been made to reference my sources both to avoid copyright infringements and to support further academic endeavour, for these products are unlikely to be pluperfect.
I have had assistance from many delightful people, a few of whom I mention with grateful thanks: Monica Sutherland, Margaret Nowak and the committed staff of the South African Archives Repository, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Pietermaritzburg and Pretoria. The indulgence of my family and particularly the assistance of my son, Marc, in recreating the website and sanguinely commenting on content, is valued beyond measure.
Original KOTZEE / KOTZÉ Website
The documents on this site are all in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), so you need a PDF reader like Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader to view them. You can save the files by right-clicking on them and selecting “Save Target As...” (Internet Explorer) or "Save Link As...” (Firefox).