Ukuqhambuka kwe Qhenqa eRobben Island

Ukusuka Entilongweni Ukuya Esibhedlele

©David Fleminger
iRobben Island yayiyindawo elungileyo ukuthumela abo baphazamisekileyo engqondweni, abagulela ukufa, nabanezifo ezinganyangekiyo, nababe zakuse baphilise kakubi abemi abasempilweni boMzantsi Afrika. Ukulahlela lemiphefumlo inelishwa, kude namehlo kunye nesazela sabantu, kwabonakala njengesisombululo esilungileyo. Ukusuka ngomnyaka ka 1846 ukuya koka 1931, iRobben Island yayisetyenziswa kakhulu njengendawo yokuguzula abo bangacacelekanga eluntwini.

Embindini weminyaka yoo 1800, kwaqhambuka isifo seqhenqa, elona qela elathi laseshweni lokuhlaselwa sesisifo yaba ngabantu abasokolayo abamnyama. Ekuqaleni, babangamaxhoba esifo esibi (nesasingenachiza laziwayo ngeloxesha) okwesibini, yayingamaxhoba woluntu olungazinto nolungenalusini nolwathi lwaba nyemba njengaba mdaka nabanobungozi. Kunanamhlanje, uninzi lwazi iqhenqa njengesifo esosulelayo kakhulu esenza iminwe iwe sibolise nesikhumba somzimba. Inyani kukuba asoyikisi ngalendlela.

eRobben Island, abagcini besibhedlela iGeneral Infirmary bakhathalela abo baneqhenqa kangangoko benakho. Ngaphezulu kokubanika iipilisa zotyatyazo ezingancediyo, kwakukholeleka ekubeni amanzi olwandle aluncedo kwabo baphile nesisifo, yaze ipuli enamaza yakhiwa lee kude ukuze bahlambe khona. Iintsalela zale puli, nezibizwa nge Baths of Bethesda, zisabonakala nanamhla oku kwaye amanzi amileyo amnyama aphakathi kwamatye aqhekekayo eliseleyo aseyintsholo ethunukayo kuluntu olungonwabanga. Abaneqhenqa base Koloni babesitshulwa kwiintsapho nakubahlobo babo, baze bayokulahlelwa kwesi siqithi.

Imo Yentlalo Kwesi Siqithi

©David Fleminger
Imo yentlalo kwesi siqithi yayimaxongo. Amanzi ayenetyuwa, imozulu yayinkenenkene, isizungu sasibalasele kwaye izifo ezifana ne dysentery zazixhaphakile. Kwiminyaka yoo 1850, inani leziganeko landa malunga nemo yentlalo kwesi siqithi baze abasemagunyeni banyanzeliswa ukuba bagxothe umphathi omkhulu wesisibhedlele. Ngeyo 1860, umphathi omtsha wazama ukutshintsha indlela ayephathwa ngayo amageza, endaweni yamatyathanfa kunye nokubethwa kwasetyenziswa amachiza nonyango olufaneleyo.

Weza nombono onobuntu. Izixhobo zazisanqongophele ngeyona ndlela, kwaye nemo yabo babehlala apho yayingakukhuthazi ukuchitha imali eninzi kusakhiwa izakhiwo ezitsha. Ukulungiswa okukhulu kokuqala kwe General Infirmary kwaqala kuphela ngeminyaka yoo 1890. Ngomnyaka ka 1931, iLeague of Nations Health Organisation yabhengeza ukuba unyanzeliso lokwahlula abaneqhenqa akuseyomfuneko kwaye kufuneka bebekwe ecaleni ngendlela eyiyo. Indawo yokuhlala abaneqhenqa e Robben Island yavalwa kanye ngalonyaka. Izigulane ezasalayo zathunyelw kwisibhedlele iWestfort Hospital, kufutshane nase Pretoria.

Translated by Zizipho Silwana