Controversial Contradictions in Testimonies about Manche Masemola
The Challenge of Variability in Oral History
Keywords:Variability, Manche Masemola, Martyrdom, Controversial, Contradictions, Variations, Testimony, Oral history
This paper argues that although efforts have been made to construct Manche Masemola’s martyrdom to enforce and consolidate the church’s religious gains in Sekhukhuneland, her story represents a complex relation of voices that (un)wittingly contradict each other. The voices range from primary to secondary sources that continue to tell Manche Masemola’s story, especially on the internet. The narrative of her martyrdom is riddled with contradictions and conflicting oral evidence. This paper explores these variations, which are a feature of oral tradition, and explains how such contradictions complicate the establishment of factual evidence based on oral history. Oral and secondary data were used, as well as available documentary materials published on various websites, to explain how these contradictions have been employed to create a religious martyr in the person of Manche Masemola. The available narratives were subjected to textual analysis, borrowing from folklore and post-structuralist literary theoretical approaches to understand the controversies embedded therein.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).