More than a century ago a man was killed on a public street in broad daylight in a particularly brutal murder. The story of Ishmael Buggas’s death presents us with an insight into the neglected histories of the underclass of Cape Town; the ordinary Indians, Malays, Coloureds and Blacks whose lives are often absent from the pages of South African history…
My history thesis was a microhistorical account of a murder in District Six. For many months I was locked away in the Archives building on Roeland Street (in Cape Town) collecting information for this crime story. I call it a story because I employed some acrobatic leaps of creativity. The facts only say so much before you have to become a creative writer and recreate what may have been.
Writer Gugulethu Hlekwayo
Supervisor Professor Nigel Worden
Publication Historical Approaches, Volume 7, 2009