1964L.G. GreenOld Men Say 61‘Het ou Pellie!’ I suppose that is the most typical of the popular greetings that belong essentially to Cape Town; but the origin would be hard to trace. One expert thinks it falls into the Malay-Portuguese group.
1977J. SikakaneWindow on Soweto 26When pouncing on his victim the policeman will say ‘Hy’ta, pass jong’ — meaning ‘Hey, pass, man’.
1978C. Van Wyk inStaffriderVol.1No.2, 36Ebrahim: Ag that’s ou Colin. But sommer call him Kop. Kiet: Heit, Kop. Bob: How’s it Kop.
1980B. Mfenyana inVoice 20 Aug. 14About that classic greeting ‘Heit!’, he traces its parent-term to the Dutch article Het, as in ‘het man — die man’. It must, he avers, have been but a short step from ‘heit man’, in view of African culture still [being] predominantly oral.
1982M. MzamaneChildren of Soweto 94Duke was the first to arrive. He was carrying a newspaper under his armpits. ‘Heit! majita. Hi! Bella,’ he greeted. ‘Heita’, we responded.
1986T. Thoka inEng. Usage in Sn Afr.Vol.17No.2, 20‘Heita’ is a popular greeting used by the Mapantsula. It simply means ‘hello’. Of course, one can go further by saying ‘Heita hoezet majita?’ (Hello, how are you, friends?).
1989T. Mkhwanazi inWeekly Mail 1 Sept. 5Cheers of ‘Heita Mandela, heita Sisulu’ (hail Mandela, Sisulu).
1990M. KentridgeUnofficial War 24At one point Heytha! was a standard way of hailing friends and acquaintances in the townships, but has now become so loaded with political implications that it is used with circumspection.
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