Browsing by Author "Ahnie, Garth Tai-shen"
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- Item“Ik weet niets van de ontploffing” : an examination of the Braamfontein Explosion of 1896(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2017-03) Ahnie, Garth Tai-shen; Grundlingh, Albert Mauritz; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of History.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis investigates the causes and origins of the Braamfontein Explosion or disaster of 1896, while outlining its immediate effects. Various sources do discuss or mention a cause for the explosion, yet on a closer inspection of the evidence, it becomes apparent that the causes were not as simplistic as suggested in these works. The investigation discusses the critical chain of events that led up to the explosion, while proposing what can be considered the possible cause or causes. To do so, this thesis will be looking at the various industrial and social components that surround the perception of the explosion such as the dynamite industry, the railway company and the official investigation that followed. Additionally the thesis will be a lens upon the unique characteristics of the Witwatersrand of that time, by presenting the nuances of its various people that were involved with and or affected by the explosion. The year 1896 was not a particularly pleasant year for the Rand – it was on alert following the Jameson Raid, it was enduring a drought that led to water scarcity, as well as the average feature of town fire or the odd homicide. Thus the explosion came at a difficult time, and affected the most vulnerable of the town. It is the hope that this thesis will recount the events before, during and after the explosion, to create a fuller and more accurate image, but by no means can it encompass all facets of the event.