The Land Issue: South Africa 1652 – present: Part 1

Introduction

Flag of the Dutch East India Company svgThis report has gleaned information from written journals and historical documents that have been compiled by real people that scribed events for generations to come, so true facts of history can be known concerning past events. History records the past and warns of shortcomings so that generations later can know what actually did transpire, and hopefully they can learn from past events and never become victims of sinfully repeating them again.

It is because of the northern hemisphere cultural way of life that dictates recording written documents of events that took place, that we can come to learn of what truly transpired over the ages and not be presented with a ‘hearsay-rhetoric’ that alters historical events and leaves people groups believing prefabricated lies. This rhetoric presents a flawed ‘record of events’ as there is a lack of, or nonexistent, written account of events to substantiate what actually did take place.

Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), Amsterdam HQ Symbol The original Journals of Commander Johan van Riebeeck that were kept by him in diary form for the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC – Dutch East-Indies Company) were translated by the Historical Society of Utrecht in the Netherlands and were published in 1884 through Messrs. Kemink and Son also of Utrecht. The resultant translated Journal of Johan van Riebeeck from 1652 to 1655 was edited by the venerable professor Brill of Utrecht. The writer of this blog posting has a copy of the Dutch translation of the original journals as well as a subsequent copy of the English translation of the prior Dutch translation, both in pdf format of the ‘original books’ obtained from the internet. [A copy of the same can be requested via email.] Writer requests you the reader to subscribe to this blog in order that you can receive notification of the follow-up parts by email. Writer also implores you to go back to the original documents presented to us in history to know the facts and not believe the lies peddled by 17th century plaque to Dutch East India Company (VOC), Hoornpoliticians for their own evil and selfish agendas and the deceiving of the South African population en mass. Other historical documents will also be cited and quoted extensively to bring the facts to the fore and these autographs, when referred to, will be revealed at those times they find reference accordingly.

This document is set forth to show how GOD orchestrates the placement and movement of men for HIS will and purposes. Writer will also show how South African history reveals that black and white people groups are all colonial in part and joint occupants of this wonderful land that belongs to all people groups. The land issue as to who it belongs to will show that it belongs first and foremost to GOD and secondarily that the South African land has been acquired by black and white through treaty, purchasing, sinful pillaging, laws, wars and VOC Headquarters, Amsterdamconflicts waged to acquire ownership. No one people group has sole and exclusive ownership or claim to the land as the ANC and EFF political parties think and advocate with their plans to promulgate a law “expropriating land without compensation” by amending Section 25 of the South African Constitution! The country of South Africa belongs to black Africans, white Africans and brown Africans. It belongs to African Africans, Colonial Africans, Asiatic Africans and the like. It is a land for the free although it has a bloodied chequered past, yet it will be shown that before and during the ‘civilised colonial age’ a ‘barbaric heathen age’ of customs and traditions also prevailed to the detriment of all inhabitants within the southern African region we have come to know as South Africa. Let the facts be presented, and the Truth be known, for GOD ALMIGHTY the Creator of humankind sets the boundaries of men’s habitations, as we read,

26  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; ~ Acts 17:26

Johan ‘Jan’ van Riebeeck’s Journals [1]

Jan van Riebeeck Johan Anthoniszoon van Riebeeck (born 21 April 1619 – died 18 January 1677) was the son of a sea captain Antonius who died in the Brazils in 1639 and was buried at Olinda de Pharnambuco, in the Church of San Paolo. His mother was Elizabeth, a daughter of Govert van Gaasbeeck, who died and was buried in Schiedam in 1629. Their son Johan married Maria la Quellerie or Querellerius (born 28 October 1629 – died 2 November 1664) at Schiedam in March 1649. His wife was the daughter of a minister of Rotterdam. She followed her husband to the Kaap de Goede Hoop (Cape of Good Hope), where, besides other children she presented him in 1653 with a son, named Abraham, who in the year 1709, when 56 years old, rose to the high position of Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, following in the footsteps of his father being in the employ of the VOC.

Maria Quellerie or Quevellerius As an officer of the Company Johan van Riebeeck showed such ability and zeal in the interests of his masters, that the latter appointed him in 1651 as chief of the garrison to be despatched to the Cape, in order to establish a refreshment station there. Before that in 1648, The Resolution of the Chamber, Amsterdam, containing his appointment, read as follows: “The meeting accepts Johan van Riebeeck, with the rank of merchant and commander of the men now proceeding to the Cape of Good Hope in the ship Drommedaris, for a period of five years, and with a monthly salary of f.75 (guilders); and he is to remain there until the work has been brought to good order.”

We also see from letters and other documents dated from 1649 to 1651 that the survivors of the shipwrecked Haerlem, a Dutch ship, who had spent five months on land at the Cape of Good Hope, had been instrumental in Map of Haerlem wreck (?)reporting and recording their findings of the viability of setting up a refreshment post at the Cape. These documents reveal that the Dutch who were at that time, and still are, a civilised advanced people who planned meticulously and organised and recorded every detail in written form, looking at every advantage and countering every disadvantage, as well as also taking into consideration the cost and financial implications to the smallest detail of any undertaking to be had. They took cognisance of the resident natives, the soil and land, vegetation, water resources, animal life, climate, and the like. The Dutch being an advanced and powerful seafaring nation who were navigators and explorative in finding sea routes and better ways of dealing with long arduous sailing voyages where medical preventions of dropsy, scurvy and other illnesses could be alleviated, were true merchant colonial pioneers. A truly sophisticated, educated and civilised people.

Drommedaris replicaIt must also be noted that these Dutchmen were of the Reformed Christian faith, who were also from an era of religious persecution within the European context of the religious during the 17th century reformation, who were coming to establish a refreshment station with their hearts set on pleasing God as can be seen regularly in the manuscripts of their written records; they were also set on evangelising the world bringing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a land inhabited by then heathen unbelieving natives, a hunter-gatherer people, just as scripture commands, for we read how the Lord Jesus Christ commissioned his disciples,

15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
~ Mark 16:15,16

Greater justice will be done by recording here the contents of certain ‘original’ letters and documents and sharing them extensively in quoted form to present the Dutchmen’s meticulous planning ahead of their actual landing at the Cape on 6th April 1652. This will set the foundational context for the historical events that followed in South Africa’s rich history that we should safeguard, protect and be educated by learning from the past. We begin by reading:

LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS RECEIVED.[2]
No. 1. — A Short Exposition of the Advantages to be Derived by the Company from a Fort and Garden at the Cape of Good Hope.

26th July, 1649

Though some who have visited the Cape, but without paying attention to its resources, will say that the place is altogether unfit and will not repay the expenses incurred, as nothing is to be had save water and wild sorrel; and others that the Company have forts and stations in sufficient number to take care of, and therefore ought to make no more; we will endeavour to show according to our understanding, and with brevity and humility, how serviceable and necessary such a fort and garden will be for the convenience and preservation of the Company’s ships and men ; and also that they can be established with profit and no cost.

By making a fort and a garden adequate to the requirements of the crews of the Company’s passing vessels, in the Table Valley, protecting the whole with a garrison of 60 or 70 soldiers and sailors, and likewise providing the establishment with a proper staff of experienced gardeners, a great deal of produce can be raised, as will be shown further on.

The soil is very good in the valley, and during the dry season the water can be used for irrigation as required. Everything will grow there as well as in any other part of the world, especially pumpkin, watermelon, cabbage, carrot, radish, turnip, onion, garlic, and all kinds of vegetables, as those who were wrecked in the Haerlem can testify.

It is also beyond doubt that all kinds of fruit trees will thrive there, as orange, lime, apple, citron, shaddock, pear, plum, cherry, gooseberry and currant, which can be kept on board for a long time.

Daily experience teaches us what the little sorrel and sometimes 2 or 3 cattle obtained by the crews proceeding to India have done for the sick and healthy on board.

Please therefore to consider when all the fruit mentioned can be procured there in abundance, how many sick will be restored to health by God’s goodness; especially when a large number of cattle and sheep have been bartered from the natives for supplies, and which could be procured for a small amount. From the cattle butter cheese and milk could also be obtained for refreshment.

All ships could, whilst taking in water, be daily supplied with 3 or 4 cattle and sheep and all kinds of greens, and when leaving, also supplied with living cattle and sheep, cabbages, carrots, turnips, onions, garlic, watermelons and pumpkins, which when ripe would keep for 7 or 8 months and remain good. Also oranges, apples, limes and shaddocks, so that there would always be refreshments on board for the sick to the place of their destination, which would be a great comfort for all during the long voyage.

Pigs could also be successfully reared there and fattened on cabbages, carrots and turnips, and if once in abundance, each ship might take on board one or two sows which have littered or are near the time of doing so, and which, if fed on board one or two months, would be no small refreshment.

The water which is taken in there with great difficulty—the men however cold it may be, being obliged to go into the sea up to their necks—causing loss of time and great sickness, might then be carried along in wooden pipes, or drawn from a jetty and with half the number of men and half of the trouble now necessary.

It cannot be denied that St. Helena has hitherto been a very convenient place of call for the return ships, but in consequence of the negligence of the skippers and the boats’ crews (who are more inclined to ruin everything with which they come in contact than to plant or leave anything for their posterity) it has been so damaged that henceforth neither pigs nor goats will be obtainable.

Ere this, ships returning home when leaving St Helena, besides the pigs used during their stay, caught 70, 80, yea more than 100 alive to take with them. Last year the fleet under the flag of the Hon. Wollebrant Geleynsen (consisting of 12 ships) could hardly obtain 200 pigs, in spite of all the trouble taken; and it will be seen that every year the number will decrease, and in a short time nothing will be left. From the expected return fleet it will be gathered that less than last year have been caught. The cause has been mentioned above, viz.: The negligence of the officers and the bad disposition of the sailors, who are composed of all nations and have taken good care of themselves, but do not think of those who come alter them, as you have often heard them say, “Why should I care? A hundred chances to one that I will never again in my life come here.” Therefore they spoil everything which they approach.

For this reason they would take no trouble, after having obtained the required number of pigs, to take on board again or destroy the dogs with which they had hunted—a matter which the officers of the various ships and the commanders ought to have seen to. The consequence has been that some dogs and bitches have been left on the Island, and are multiplying to such an extent that in a short time, having nothing else to live on, all the cattle will be devoured by them.

Henceforth, therefore, nothing save some vegetables and sometimes a few apples and oranges will be obtainable which will often be unripe, and, as was the case last year, plucked by the English who arrive before we do.

From all this it is plain how necessary the said fort or garden has become, as it is well known how difficult it will be for the sailors to reach home without intermediate refreshment; and the Company’s ships would be liable to great peril from severe sickness. The Cape would be most convenient for all ships going to and coming from India, especially if the officers were ordered, whenever practicable, not to pass but to touch at the Cape for refreshments.

For that purpose the premium promised to those who reach Batavia within six months, might be altered in such a way that the half or a third, as you may think proper, shall be paid to those who arrive at the Cape within a certain time, and the rest thence to Batavia.

The officers of the outgoing ships, generally well provided in the cabin with everything, and more anxious to secure the premium (the good ones excepted) than to benefit the service, when not able to reach the Cape with ease, immediately resolve to push on straight for Batavia, and the crew in consequence of an inadequate supply of water, receiving no more than four or five glasses per diem, whilst the cook can provide nothing save salt meat and pork, must become sick, so that the hospital at Batavia is filled with patients, causing great expense and loss to the Company; said patients remaining there often for months without doing any work, and nevertheless drawing pay.

All this can be prevented by having a fort and a garden at the Cape. For the crews would be well refreshed there and provided with cattle, sheep and greens, and abundance of water, so that the cook would be able to provide the proper food, and the men obtain their indispensable rations, which would keep them strong and healthy on the voyage home or to Batavia, and always fit for service, and the Company would have no useless expense and loss.

In case any are sick or unable to go to sea they might remain at the Cape without any expense until they are restored to health, when they may be sent on with the following ships.

If it be asked by whom the garden is to be cultivated, we reply that if three or four gardeners from Holland are stationed there, enough men will be found among the sailors and soldiers to dig and delve; whilst from Batavia some Chinese, who are an industrious people, may be introduced who are well versed in gardening, and of whom there is always a sufficient number in irons.

Or it might happen which (God forbid) that again a ship (as lately happened twice) was wrecked there, and in that case I would leave it for you to consider of what service and advantage a garrison at that place would be. In order with the help of God to prevent all accidents and inconveniences two or three sloops may be stationed there to pilot the ships to a safe anchorage during darkness or calms, as many skippers and mates, because they come there so seldom, are ill-acquainted with the place.

Having shown what advantages the Company would derive from a fort and garden at the Cape, we now proceed to consider the expenses to be incurred on the one hand and the profits to be derived on the other.

The fort provided with 60 or 70 men, the monthly payments would annually reach the sum of f.10,000—provisions we shall reckon at f.3,500, and for ammunition f.500—total f.14,000. The guns required for the fort may be obtained from the wreck of the Haerlem, so that in this respect no expense will be required, except for the necessary appliances.

Let us now look at the profits.

Every ship on leaving Batavia receives 200 Reals of 8 to buy refreshments at that place, an order of long standing. This sum might be reduced to 50 or 100, so that for 10 ships the saving would be f,2,500.

At the Cape the crews will be able to refresh themselves in 7 or 8 days whilst taking in water, much better than they would do at St. Helena in ½ a month, for the pigs which have to be caught there with much trouble and labour are so to say the sweat of the sailors. On the other hand everything would be obtained in abundance and easily at the Cape, and the ships could be so well provided that they would carry with them fresh food for 8 or 10 days at sea, besides other refreshments long preservable for the sick.

Refreshed at the Cape the ships would not be required to touch at St. Helena, to remain there, as has been done before this, for a long time—so that the Company would be greatly benefitted as regards the wages of the crews and the earlier arrival of the valuable return fieets.

The fort having been established a year, the garrison would require no other supplies than bread or rice, oil and vinegar (abundance of salt can be had there). This we calculate at f.1,000, so that the expenses would be f.2,500 less, whilst the profits would be multiplied.

Everything could he procured there in sufficient quantity. There is fish in abundance, which if dried might be distributed among the ships. Further there are elands and steenbucks in numbers, whose skins would in course of time also bring in something. All kinds of birds are there by thousands, and may be caught or shot; and with which the garrison may be fed, an ox being killed now and then.

Annually a large quantity of train oil might be boiled, for at certain seasons Table Bay is full of whales, whilst the Robben and other islands are always swarming with seals, so that a boiler could be kept continually going.

But some inexperienced will say that no fuel is obtainable at the Cape for boiling oil, so that the carriage of the wood will be more than the profits derivable from the oil. We however reply that such people could not have been further than Salt River, paying more attention to their fishing than the resources of the country; for behind, and on the ascent of Table Mountain sufficient wood is to be had, but at first to be fetched with some trouble.

Others will say that the natives are brutal and cannibals, from whom no good can be expected, and that we will have to be continually on our guard, but this is a vulgar error, as will be shown further on. We do not deny that they live without laws or police, like many Indians, nor that some boatmen and soldiers have been killed by them, but the cause is generally not stated by our people, in order to excuse themselves. We are quite convinced that the peasants of this country, in case their cattle are shot down or taken away without payment, would not be a hair better than these natives if they had not to fear the law.

We of the Haerlem testify otherwise, as the natives came with all friendliness to trade with us at the fort which we had thrown up during our five months’ stay, bringing cattle and sheep in numbers—for when the Princesse Royael arrived with 80 or 90 sick we could provide it with so much cattle and sheep which we had at hand and so many birds shot daily, that nearly all the sick were restored to health, so that this refreshment was next to God the salvation of that ship.

Once the chief mate, carpenter and corporal of the Haerlem went as far as the location of the natives, who received and treated them kindly, whilst they might easily have killed them if they had been inclined to cannibalism. The killing of our people is undoubtedly caused by revenge being taken by the natives when their cattle is seized, and not because they are cannibals.

The uncivil and ungrateful conduct of our people is therefore the cause; for last year when the fleet commanded by the Hon. E. Wollebrant Geleynsen was lying in Table Bay, instead of recompensing the natives somewhat for their good treatment of those wrecked in the Haerlem, they shot down 8 or 9 of their cattle and took them away without payment; which may cost the life of some of ours, if the natives find an opportunity; and your Honours may consider whether the latter would not have cause for such a proceeding.

The fort being commanded by a chief treating the natives kindly and gratefully, paying for whatever is obtained for them, also filling some of the natives’ stomachs with peas or beans, which they are very partial to, nothing need be feared, and in course of time the aboriginals would learn the Dutch language, and those of Saldanha and the interior might through them be induced to trade, of whom, however, nothing certain can be said.

The refreshments to be obtained at the Cape would materially benefit the Company in economizing the provisions of the ships.

It is plain that the natives will learn Dutch, for when the chief mate Jacob Claesz: Hack remained 6 or 8 weeks on shore therewith sick people, they daily came to carry wood, and knew how to say, “first carry wood, then eat,” Those of the Haerlem they could nearly all call by their names, and likewise speak other words, besides proving that they were able to learn our language.

Living on good terms with them, some of their children may afterwards be employed as servants, and educated in the Christian religion, by which means, if Almighty God blesses the work, as he has done at Tayouan and Formosa, many souls will he brought to the Christian Reformed Religion and to God.

The proposed fort and garden will therefore not only tend to the advantage and profit of the Company, but to the salvation also of many lives, certainly the most excellent deed to magnify the name of the Most Holy God and the spreading of His Holy Gospel. By such means your work in India will be blessed more and more.

It is very surprising that our ordinary enemy, the Spaniards or Portuguese, have never attacked our return ships, as they could have found no better situated spot for that purpose than at the Cape, as the ships often leave Batavia, in two or three divisions, and though they remain in company like last year, such does not last longer than the moment when they have passed the Princes Island, when every one does his best to be the first at the Cape, so that the one arrives there to-day, the other to-morrow (all at different times). Our enemies lying in wait there with 8 or 10 ships and well prepared for battle, would easily capture our vessels, hampered and unprepared as they would be, one after the other, even if two or three were to arrive at the same time, which rarely happens. The same thing might also be done by the Turks.

We therefore suggest that you should command that all the return ships shall leave Batavia at the same time, in order to reach the Cape in company, and so be prepared for an enemy.

This is briefly what we had to say in the interests of the Company. If we have in any way offended, we beg that such may not be taken amiss, but that you may be convinced that it arises from our earnest wish to serve you. May God grant you wisdom and understanding not only in this matter but in all others, that God’s Holy Name may be magnified, the Church of Christ be built up, and likewise the private honour and reputation of yourselves.

(Signed) Leendert Janz,
N. Proot.

Amsterdam, 26th July, 1649.

_______________

No. 2.—Report of Van Riebeeck on the above “Remonstrance,” Addressed to the Directors of the General Company.

(?) June, 1651

I have read with great attention the matters brought forward by Jansen and Proot, and can but add little more, they having sojourned at the Cape a whole season and throughly observed its agricultural resources and the character of the natives. As you have referred them to me your servant, who, in 1648, when returning home in the return fleet of the Hon. Wollebrandt Geleynsen, likewise remained three weeks on shore at the Cape to ship the goods saved from the wrecked ship Haerlem (and brought in carts to the Salt River), I will subjoin a few additional points regarding the fortress and plantation in order to establish them on the most suitable spot; and to do so not in the form of advice, as you posses better information than I can give, but to communicate the results of my reflections and what service I might do the Company at that place.

The projected fort, whatever its size, could be erected at the Fresh River in order that its water might be led into or around it, but as in that case its situation would be rather low and in course of time become damp, and its prospect interfered with by the growth of the trees to be planted, and as the ascent on the back of the Lion’s Hill (which, if any memory serves me well, is very near the said river) would entirely command the fort, it would be more prudent to build the fort on the said ascent, where there is, as far as I remember, a convenient eminence and a hard foundation, and whence the command over the river and the whole neighbourhood would be secured, for the fort would not be further than a pistol shot from the river, and if properly managed, one of its points might abut on the stream, at the same time retaining a good view of the sea, and over all the plantations and trees which may be made to grow there in time, however high they might become, and which would also add to the strength and appearance of the fort, with very little cost indeed. The proper spot for the fort, however, can only be determined by local inspection, for which purpose I beg to offer my services to the Company.

Though “Sieur” Leendert does not seem to have any fear of the natives, I beg to state as my opinion that they are not to he trusted, being a brutal gang, living without any conscience. The fort must therefore be strongly defensive—as I have heard from many who have been there and who are trustworthy, that our people have been killed without any cause whatever—and prudence in consequently necessary in our intercourse with them; also as regards the English, French, Danes and especially the Portuguese, who are jealous of the enlargement and prosperity of the Company, and let no opportunity pass to hinder it as much as possible.

In order to strengthen our position there the more, close hedges of hawthorn might with little cost be planted around the establishment, as I observed, when at the Caribbee Islands, those of Barbadoes doing, and which are their best protection: broad passages exist between them so that the garrison can see everything approaching, and those coming on cannot reach them in consequence of the thickets. No one can land, for those of the fort can easily keep them away from the shore with their muskets, a very good plan which may easily be carried out at the Cape.

The plan of Sr. Leendert regarding the shipment of water could easily be carried out, and pilot boats for the vessels arriving would not be unserviceable, if a signal be adopted by means of which the garrison would be able to know whether the incoming ship belongs to the Company or not, lest the pilots fall into the hands of strange ships, hypocritical friends or enemies.

I fear the guns expected to be saved from the Haerlem and to be mounted on the fort are by this time so buried in sand that they will not be recovered. One or two long metal pieces or culverins which reach far and would command the Salt River would be serviceable, as they would protect the roads and the sloops at anchor.

I am also of opinion that all sorts of trees and other fruit would thrive well in the valleys, to the great benefit of the passing ships, the more so as I think that the Cape climate is very similar to that of Japan, and the northern portions of China, which places have abundance of all kinds of fruit and cattle, as you yourselves know and I have experienced. It would therefore not be unserviceable to send thither some people having a good knowledge of gardening and farm work.

Regarding pigs, also mentioned by Sr. Leendert, if it could be managed to make arrack there, those animals could easily be fed on the wash, as is done at Batavia. It is true what he says about the diminution of hogs and other refreshments at St. Helena; besides the water on that island, in consequence of its sulphurous elements, cannot be compared with that at the Cape, where, if the cocoanut be made to grow, arrack could be made, and from the arrack itself enough vinegar could be obtained. The cocoanuts would likewise be very refreshing, and oil could be drawn from them also. It is probable that, if a friendly intercourse with the natives be established, enough cattle would be obtained from them at a cheaper rate than if we had our own breeding stock; those animals excepted which would only be kept for milking. In all these matters experiments might easily and without expense be made.

If, as Leendert proposes, you order your ships to touch at the Cape, I believe that a great deal of preserved provisions would be economized on the outward voyage, and likewise wine; for if they pass without touching, they do so only for the sake of the premium; the consequence is that the crews are put on short water allowance, and the meat and pork are boiled in salt water. Very little fresh water is given to the crew to drink, but 1 or 2 glasses of wine are distributed to make up for it, and though the wine is a cordial and strengthening, the sailors remain not the less subject to scurvy and similar diseases in consequence of the staleness of the food. But refreshed at the Cape, the voyage can with God’s blessing be safely made to Batavia with the ordinary provisions and wine allowance, and sufficient fresh water, by which the Company would be greatly benefited, the health of the men secured and a great deal of preserved provisions saved, which are everywhere required in India, whilst now they are consumed by the crews with the least benefit to themselves.

It will also be easily seen that a great deal of wages will be saved by a speedy voyage of the homeward bound ships, besides salted provisions and wine, if the vessels are ordered not to touch at St. Helena.

Some profit might also be derived from the clothing sold to the garrison there on account.

I have also read in the statement that besides cattle and sheep at the Cape, a multitude of elands, steenbucks and other wild animals are to be had. If this be true, and a satisfactory intercourse established with the natives; in addition to the refreshments obtained, much profit might be derived from the skins of the beasts mentioned, which dried in quantity, and packed closely together, as is done in Siam, might be shipped into the outward bound vessels, which, having consumed part of their provisions and fuel, would have sufficient storage room, and by them taken to Batavia whence they could be sent on to Japan, where especially the steenbuck skins, which certainly would make the smallest parcels, are in good demand and will produce a good deal. In my time they were sold at 18 to 20 tail per hundred; eland hides from 56 to 58 tail and ox hides above 130 tail in Japan silver. The hides would therefore be serviceable in Japan, and if to be procured in such quantity as Sr. Leendert states, they might in time be easily bought from the natives to defray the costs of the residency there.

Rock rabbits and other small animals with soft skins are also to be had, and which are serviceable as furs. It might be investigated what profit the Company might derive from this source also, and whatever there might further be found on the spot.

Train oil would also yield a profit, as I have before this been in Greenland and seen how the industry is carried on there. The difficulty in the matter of fuel is of little weight, for if one kettle has been boiled, the greaves are used for fuel, and sufficient is at hand for that purpose.

The statement, that the natives or their children are able to learn the Dutch language is important, and a very good thing, but of greater moment is the furtherance of our Reformed Christian Religion about which he appears to be sanguine. In this a good minister would do good service, if you could submit to the expense whilst he would also benefit the garrison stationed there; but whatever you may do, if I receive the appointment, I will most zealously endeavour to carry out your instructions, praying that God may grant me the necessary prudence and intelligence to serve you well, that in course of time you may be inclined to our further advancement; especially when having completed the work mentioned, that I may be removed to India, where I hope to give further proofs of faithful service in order to be employed in such a manner as you or your Council there may deem fit. You may be confident that with God’s blessing I will not fail in my zeal for the benefit of the Company, and the personal honour of your servant.

(Signed) Johan van Riekeeck.

Amsterdam, June, 1651.

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No. 3.—Instructions for the Officers of the Expedition fitted out for the Cape of Good Hope to Found a Fort and Garden There.

25th March, 1651

As by Resolution of the Council of Seventeen, representing the General Company, it has been deemed good to establish a rendezvous on the shores of the Cape, in order that the passing ships may safely touch there and obtain meat vegetables water and other necessaries, and the sick be restored to health, you shall when arrived at the said Cape, go on shore with a portion of your men, taking with you as much material as you may require for a temporary defence against the natives, who are a very rough lot, viz., a serviceable wooden building in which to lodge the people and likewise all the tools.

As a permanent residency is intended to be made of the Cape, as a refreshment station, a defensive fort shall be erected at the Fresh River, adjoining or near to it.

The wooden house being completed and placed in a proper state of defence, you shall inspect the locality of the Fresh River and decide on what spot the fort is to he erected in accordance with the accompanying plan—with this understanding, that in order always to have fresh water, the said river shall be led through or around the fort, as the plan shows—the fort to bear the name of the Good Hope.

Accommodation shall be provided for 70 or 80 men within the fort in order that the whole garrison may be lodged within it.

As soon as you are in a proper state of defence you shall search for the best place for gardens, the best and fattest ground in which everything planted or sown will thrive well, which gardens shall be properly enclosed; but on this point we give no precise instructions.

You shall also look out for the best pastures around the fort for depasturing and breeding cattle; for which purpose a good understanding with the natives will be necessary in order to make them in course of time accustomed to intercourse with you, and so attract them. In this great prudence is necessary, and you shall have to take especial care not to injure their cattle which they are herding or bringing on, as this would repel them from us, as has often been shown.

The cattle being in danger when left outside, shall during the night be temporarily driven into the fort, so that proper accommodation must be provided in it for that purpose, until in course of time the natives may be trusted, unless you have other means of keeping the cattle safely outside of the fort, a matter recommended to your especial vigilance.

As this fort will be principally established for all ships going to and returning from the East Indies, and in order that they may pass by St. Helena, you shall pay careful attention to all sorts of fruit which may grow there agreeably to the climate, and at what time of the year each kind is to be sown or planted; all which experience will teach you.

In order that good discipline may be maintained among the people, they have been sworn on the General “Articul brief” of the Company, according to which they shall have to conduct themselves, and do whatever their officers may command them, every one to be daily employed according to his capacity and no one to be left idle.

You shall keep a correct journal of all occurrences and from time to time examine whatever else can be taken in hand to defray the costs of the establishment, and to guide you, a copy of the “Remonstrance” forwarded to the Chamber of Seventeen is annexed.

The fort having been placed in a proper state of defence and provided with its necessary furniture, the ship Drommedaris shall with 40 men on board be despatched to Batavia—you retaining 70 men, and the sloops sent out in pieces on board, which are to be put together at the Cape for your service at all times, especially for discovering the going and coming ships and bringing them towards the best anchorage; for which purpose you shall have a wooden light-house or something of the kind on shore to warn and guide them.

To be well prepared for all enemies every wing of the fort shall be armed with 4 pieces of ordnance, which you shall land with everything required for it.

As we cannot enter into all particulars which we are unacquainted with, and which will mainly depend upon your experience and zeal we cannot give you instructions in full, so that what we have stated must suffice for the present to carry out the intentions of the Company. You are likewise ordered to correspond with the Company on all matters; and we wish you good fortune and prosperity on your voyage and the fulfilment of your trust, looking forward to the proper time when we shall be informed of your good success.

Resolved in the Council of 17 at Amsterdam, the 25th March, 1651.

Agrees with the original.—D. Pruys, Advocate of the Company.

_______________

No. 4.—Further Instructions for the Officers Proceeding to the Cape in the Service of the East India Company on board of the “Drommedaris,” “Reijger” and “Goede Hoop.”

12th Dec.,1651

As it is not stated in the general instructions how the officers commanding at the Cape are to conduct themselves towards foreign nations whose ships might touch there for supplies, the said officers are continually to be on their guard and in an offensive and defensive position, that they may not be attacked unawares; with this proviso, that the said officers shall not hinder any nation living in friendship with or allied to, or holding a position of neutrality towards the States-General in their desire to supply themselves; the Portuguese excepted, whom the Company has declared to be its enemies, and with whom it is at war in the regions falling within the limits granted by charter to the Company, in accordance with the Resolution of the 17.

If any nation in alliance with, or holding a position of neutrality towards the States-General should establish a station at the Cape, you shall take no notice of it as long as they select a spot beyond the limits selected by you for your safety, and such other places as you may take possession of, and defend for rearing the various kinds of cattle and produce.

For this purpose you shall after landing inspect the most convenient spots for lands and pastures, and erect signs of having taken possession.

As the Drommedaris and Reijger have been ordered to remain at the Cape until they have landed their cargoes for the garrison, and brought the fort into a proper state of defence, you shall despatch the Reijger as soon as possible before the Drommedaris to Batavia, to he employed there in the Company’s service, retaining the Drommedaris as long as yon deem necessary, but no longer.

From the accompanying extract you will see what strange rumours are about regarding the designs of Prince Robert, and though we do not credit them, it is necessary to be prepared for everything, and therefore yon shall warn the ships coming from India to be on their guard and prepared for battle; also not to separate from each other from the Cape to St. Helena, and finding other ships there to keep to windward in order not to be surprised, on which subject we have communicated with the Governor-General and Council of India. Amsterdam, 12th Dec., 1651.

_______________

No. 5. —Nomination of Riebeeck’s Successor in Case of Death, &c.

"Whereas J. van Biebeeck has been appointed Commander of the expedition fitted out for the Cape in Drommedaris, Reijger and Goede Hoop, the Company trusting that he will conduct himself to its satisfaction, but whereas he is likewise liable to sickness and death on the voyage, the Hon. David de Coninck, Skipper of the Drommedaris, is appointed to take Riebeeck’s place and carry out the instructions and works as mentioned above, all being ordered to obey the said Coninck.

(Signed) Z. D. Carpentier.
Hendrik Voet.
Hans van Loon.

Amsterdam, 15th Dec., 1651.

_______________

No. 6.—Extract from Resolution taken by the Directors of the Chamber Amsterdam, This Day, 4th Dec., 1651, Monday.

The Company wills that Riebeeck shall hoist his flag as Commander of the fleet about to leave, as far as the Cape, and that he shall be the Convener and also President of the Combined Council. The skippers to obey this order.

_______________

No. 7.—Peace made with Spain.

As peace has been made with 8pain, and the Company is at
present on friendly terms with all, excepting Portugal, with in the district of the East India Charter, all the commanders and officers of the Company are ordered not to molest any ships of the friendly nations sailing to or from the East Indies, unless they molest us first, in which case our officers are to defend themselves as they ought; excepting the subjects of the King of Portugal, who are to be attacked as enemies by land and sea within the East India district commencing at the East of the Cape. This order is to be carried out rigidly.— All offenders are to be punished as the case may require.

(Signed) Zacharias Roode.
Jan Munster.

Amsterdam, 13th Dec., 1651.

_______________

No. 8 .—Extract from the Letter of the East India Chamber at Middelburg, to that of Amsterdam, dated 5th Dec., 1651.

Captain Aldert has arrived at Flushing from the coast of Portugal, where he has been cruising. Heard from him that he had often met Prince Robert, who with 8 large ships was sailing about in that neighbourhood, and had prevented him from capturing a Portuguese with 4 or 500 cases of sugar. Had seen that Prince capture a Castilian ship from which he took a large amount of money by means of which he had obtained provisions for his crews, a large quantity of bread being baked on the Flemish Islands, and much cattle slaughtered. It is reported there that the Prince intends to proceed to St. Helena to intercept the English East India return ships. We could not withhold this publicly told story from you, as the said Aldert is an honest and respectable man. It is very unlikely that the Prince has such intentions, as he would, in our opinion, if he had, make more careful arrangements; however, we leave it for you to consider whether it would not be advisable to write with the vessel going to the Cape, in order to give information to the return ships.

Jan Van Riebeeck Statue Cape Town As one can see from reading the above written letters and documents prior to the undertaking of the voyage to the Cape of Good Hope in Dec. 1651, the intentions and preparations of the Dutchmen on behalf of the VOC reflects their godly intent to have peaceful and engaging relationships with the Khoikhoi and San natives and other nations at the Cape.

In the next edition, Part 2, we will look extensively at the exact writings to see a more clear and concise account of what transpired some 368 years ago (1651-2019) and following; as we do not want to detract or add anything to the written record, we will delve into the entries from the Journal of Commander Johan van Riebeeck and other historical writings.

Soli Deo Gloria _____________________

Footnotes:

[1] Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope, December 1651 – December 1655, Riebeeck’s Journal – by H. C. V. Leibrandt, Keeper of the Archives. Part I. Cape Town : W. A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, 1897.

[2] Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope, December 1651 – December 1655, Riebeeck’s Journal – by H. C. V. Leibrandt, Keeper of the Archives. Part I. Cape Town : W. A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, 1897. pp 1-14.

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The Gospel comes to South Africa (13 December 2012)

Answer to Sandile ~ Part 1 (3 June 2013)

The Gospel . . . Racism and South African History (8 March 2016)

365 Years Ago Today . . . (6 April 2017)

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