Never having been colonized by blacks, and never being taught by the Enlightenment to attach a sort of scientific validation to white European lives, Westerners perceived black Africans as throwbacks (degenerates, primitives). This would be comical if it were not gross. Mafeking/Ma?keng (the latter being the original Bantu vernacular name of the place) combines these comic and gross 'ways of seeing' the interlinked lives of Europeans and Africans in a place wedged for a moment of history between 'Darkest Africa', the British Empire and whitest Europe (the Union of South Africa) - at the end of the Second World War. Building from the interception of white European and black African cultures, its main protagonists - Oswald Lander and Molefe the Kgatla - both implicated in the death of a witch - turn events to their own advantage. Lander, a British agent, seeks to join the Afrikaner Broederbond for entirely personal reasons, and uncovers a spy; while Molefe negotiates the best for his own culture by ceding his wife to the European.