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Protea Boekhuis

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Introducing A Cameo from the Past by U de V Pienaar

A Cameo from the PastNew from Protea Boekhuis:

This is the English translation of the updated edition of a work first published by SANParks in 1990. It is an in-depth look at the prehistory and history of the Lowveld, as well as at the events that led to the proclamation of the Sabie Reserve in 1898 – one of the first conservation areas in the old Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek. After the Anglo-Boer War, James Stevenson-Hamilton was tasked with running both the Sabie Reserve and the Shingwedzi Reserve (proclaimed in 1904). Stevenson-Hamilton, along with his small yet dedicated corps of rangers, protected and developed the reserve, and eventually, in 1926, the Kruger National Park was proclaimed – the biggest national park in South Africa. The Past Unburied covers the park’s history up until 1946, when Stevenson-Hamilton retired. The work also pays tribute to all of the park’s founders.

A Cameo from the Past describes the long and sometimes difficult developmental history of SANParks in detail. Despite the good and the bad from the past, the organisation has developed into the leading conservation authority in Africa, responsible for 3751 113 hectares of protected land in 20 national parks. Co-workers: Dr E.J.Carruthers, Y.A. Courtin, Dr J.B. de Vaal, Prof J.F. Eloff, M. English, DrS.C.J. Joubert, M. Liebenberg, Sidney Miller, A. Minnaar, H.H. Mockford, DrW.H.J. Punt, J. Verhoef and P.H. Cuénod.

About the author

U de V Pienaar became the Head of the Kruger National Park in 1978 and 1987 he was promoted to Chief Director of South African National Parks. Pienaar achieved his PhD at 23 and worked under the legendary Raymond Dart before becoming a ranger in the Kruger Park. Legend has it that Rocco Knobel, then Chief of Parks, told Pienaar he was over qualified for the job of a game ranger. Pienaar got up, stuffed his PhD into his shirt and said: “Will you now appoint me?” Early in his career he survived a lion attack. He died in February 2011, shortly after overseeing the final touches of this manuscript.

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