Index to The Land Issue: South Africa 1652 – present

Flag of the Dutch East India Company svg This is the Index for the examination into South African History regarding the Land Issue and slavery. The information has been gleaned from various archived documents translated from the original autographs of the Journal of Commander Johan van Riebeeck of the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) and others. To get a more full and comprehensive understanding of the historical context kindly consult the documents to read up on this subject more extensively.

In Part 1 we looked at the meticulous planning by the Dutch in the years 1649-1651 prior to Johan van Riebeeck and the designated parties sailing from Texel in the Netherlands on their voyage to the Cape of Good Hope to establish a refreshment station as undertaken by the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company).

VOC svgIn Part 2 we undertook the voyage from Texel in the Netherlands on 14th December 1651 sailing on the flag ship of the fleet, the Drommedaris, to the landing at the Cape of Good Hope on 6th April 1652. We also looked extensively at the lifestyle of the Dutch settlers and their work ethic, their relationships with the local Khoikhoi and San natives and other people groups from these clans. We looked also at the relationship between the Dutch and a native interpreter named Herry. This took our learning adventure into the early days of January 1653.

In Part 3 our investigations continued from the 9th of January 1653 looking back into life at the Cape of Good Hope, the relationships being forged between the local natives and the colonists, the Dutch Christian lifestyle, the assembly service and the gospel, daily trials and tribulations experienced by the Dutch, the birth of Johan and Maria van Riebeeck’s son, christened Abraham van Riebeeck, who was born on 18th October, 1653 at the Fort de Goede Hoop, Kaapkolonie (Cape Colony; present day Cape Town), making Abraham a born white African and therefore ‘a son of Africa.’ We read about a Christian marriage on African soil, native theft and the murder of a Dutch cattle herdsman and the subsequent forgiveness to continue with friendly communications and dealings between black and white peoples. This part would end in December 1653.

KJV In Part 4 we looked at the Christian attitudes to ‘slaves’ and we examined the Biblical teachings concerning ‘slaves’ and ‘slavery’ which is very different to the evil and wicked practices of sinful white and black men who were involved in the slave trade. We looked at the Biblical recordings of the true intension of what ‘slaves’ were to be which are servants in wilful servitude and the protections afforded those servants. We also examined the word ‘kafir’ delving into the etymology thereof and discovering the origins to be Arabian and the Islamic use of the word means ‘disbeliever.’ We then went even further back into history and ascertained that slavery stems from the Arabic world where Islam was birthed, and we see that Islamic slavery is still active and alive to this very day.

In Part 5 we continued from Part 4 looking at the Christian ethos of living neighbourly and exercising forgiveness when wronged as well as looking into certain referenced articles that gave a more full reflection of life at the Cape of Good Hope, of the local natives and the slaves brought to the Cape from the East.

Slave Lodge museum in modern day Cape TownAnd in the final Part 6 we looked at the Slave Lodge and its inhabitants where the information gleaned in this respect comes from the Iziko Museums of South Africa website, being an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, a post-1994 governmental organ of the New South Africa. We looked at the Heritage of Slavery, the Christian religion and schooling and we also looked at a Biblical answer to land ownership before concluding that the South African land issue is not just about ‘white owned land being expropriated without compensation’, but that the Mfecane could well also be a factor that needs addressing in the greater context of ‘land ownership redistribution!’

We look forward to receiving the readers’ comments in respect of these various parts and also your feed back. Until later,

Soli Deo Gloria

The Land Issue: South Africa 1652 – present: Part 6

Recapping

Flag of the Dutch East India Company svg Welcome to Part 6 of this examination into South African History. We request that you kindly read the preceding parts to gain a proper understanding and the correct context in which this particular part continues the documented course of events. The information has been gleaned from archived documents translated from the original autographs of the Journal of Johan van Riebeeck and others.

In Part 1 we looked at the meticulous planning by the Dutch in the years 1649-1651 prior to Johan van Riebeeck and the designated parties sailing from Texel in the Netherlands on their voyage to the Cape of Good Hope to establish a refreshment station as undertaken by the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company).

In Part 2 we undertook the voyage from Texel in the Netherlands on 14th December 1651 sailing on the flag ship of the fleet, the Drommedaris, to the landing at the Cape of Good Hope on 6th April 1652. We also looked extensively at the lifestyle of the Dutch settlers and their work ethic, their relationships with the local Khoikhoi and San natives and other people groups from these clans. We looked also at the relationship between the Dutch and a native interpreter named Herry. This took our learning adventure into the early days of January 1653.

In Part 3 our investigations continued from the 9th of January 1653 looking back into life at the Cape of Good Hope, the relationships being forged between the local natives and the colonists, the Dutch Christian lifestyle, the assembly service and the gospel, daily trials and tribulations experienced by the Dutch, the birth of Johan and Maria van Riebeeck’s son, christened Abraham van Riebeeck, who was born on 18th October, 1653 at the Fort de Goede Hoop, Kaapkolonie (Cape Colony; present day Cape Town), making Abraham a born white African and therefore ‘a son of Africa.’ We read about a Christian marriage on African soil, native theft and the murder of a Dutch cattle herdsman and the subsequent forgiveness to continue with friendly communications and dealings between black and white peoples. This part would end in December 1653.

In Part 4 we looked at the Christian attitudes to ‘slaves’ and we examined the Biblical teachings concerning ‘slaves’ and ‘slavery’ which is very different to the evil and wicked practices of sinful white and black men who were involved in the slave trade. We looked at the Biblical recordings of the true intension of what ‘slaves’ were to be which are servants in wilful servitude and the protections afforded those servants. We also examined the word ‘kafir’ delving into the etymology thereof and discovering the origins to be Arabian and the Islamic use of the word means ‘disbeliever.’ We then went even further back into history and ascertained that slavery stems from the Arabic world where Islam was birthed, and we see that Islamic slavery is still active and alive to this very day.

In Part 5 we continued from Part 4 looking at the Christian ethos of living neighbourly and exercising forgiveness when wronged as well as looking into certain referenced articles that gave a more full reflection of life at the Cape of Good Hope, of the local natives and the slaves brought to the Cape from the East.

Source-types of information

In this 6th and final part of our investigative mini-series where we have examined our South African History as we searched for answers as to who rightfully owns the South African land, we have encountered three source-types of information –

(a) the written records of an educated nation of European colonists being the Dutch VOC, and

(b) the largely oral cultural stories by uneducated illiterate African local native groups who did not reduce anything to written records, and

(c) written records by the locals who were educated by the Europeans be it in the Cape Colony, in Batavia, in China, or elsewhere, or who had their evidences and statements recorded in court documents in certain trials that now find their way into the paper records of the VOC.

It would be outlandish to say that all the land was owned by the present black African tribes here in present day South Africa when there is no documented and archived records that record ownership by the Khoikhoi, San, Zulus, Xhosas, Tswanas, Sothos, Pondos, and the like, of the South African land purchased under any Title Deed. The land ownership issue is very closely linked, intertwined and caught up by the present day tribal narratives which broadcast untruths that all black tribes have been subjugated at the hands of all white ‘colonial’ South Africans in some form or another of ‘slavery’. Not every person or people group can be labelled collectively as one having participated in slavery or having owned slaves! Every person has to answer and be held accountable for his/her own sins and transgressions! It is dangerous and outrageous to label and group the atrocities of some wicked individuals to include everyone of a particular race or nationality group! Black Africans cannot say, “You Whites did . . .”, because then it would also be acceptable for White Africans to say, “You Blacks did . . .”. It is dangerous ground to collectively label people groups as one. There are White racists just as there are Black racists and there are White non-racists just as there are Black non-racists! Not everyone deserves to be tarred-and-feathered with the same proverbial brush! We are reminded by the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible that if we judge we must “judge righteous judgment” (see John 7:24 KJV) for we are also reminded,

10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV 

With regards to slavery, writer brings to the reader’s attention an extensive article titled Cape Slaves in the Paper Empire of the VOC by Nigel Worden of the University of Cape Town which can be read at this link (or under item [1] of the Footnotes hereunder – should the link be broken at anytime for any unknown reason) that deals with the issue of the VOC having not kept sufficient and/or full and proper records of ‘slaves’ and ‘their slavery’. In this aforementioned article Mr Worden makes some compelling arguments and reasons why there is a lack of historical records pertaining to this particular matter. However, factually there are still sufficient other documents that historians and researchers can address that can describe and depict ‘slaves’ and ‘their slavery’ lives. 

Whilst it would be easy to say that as we have written autographs that are archived then this must be the full and most reliable record, the problems however arise where silence or very scarce information is provided for, as in the case with the slaves in the Cape Colony. The questions that need to be answered and be factually documented to find out about the ‘slaves’, are inter alia: What were their proper names? Where were they born? What were their actual dates of birth? Where did they originally come from? Who were their captives? Who sold them? In which ‘slave market’ were they sold and for how much? and Who were their owners? What conditions did they live under? Were they all beaten and mistreated? etcetera, etcetera.

Most of these questions cannot be answered concisely and therefore we only have a part of what the full historical record will determine. It is therefore also very dangerous when political parties start making outlandish claims that all slaves were beaten – where are the records? We have seen from the records provided that the VOC under the command of Johan van Riebeeck were predominately God-fearing Christians who lived and conducted their lives in Christ-like manners. Were every colonist Christian? It would be foolish to argue that they were. But the record that has been recorded for posterity actually confirms that a Christian ethos was very prevalent! We can read the accounts as recorded in Parts 1, 2 and 3 of this Way.

image

RIEBEECK’S PRAYER

December 30, 1651.—Prayer. O merciful, kindly, loving God and Heavenly Father, inasmuch as it hath pleased Thy divine Majesty to call us to the management of the business of the General United Netherlands Chartered East India Company here at Cabo de boa Esperance, and for that purpose we have met with our Council of Assessors in order with their advice to adopt such resolutions by which the greatest interests of the said Company may be promoted, justice maintained, and (if possible) among these wild and brutal people Thy true reformed Christian doctrine in course of time may be planted and spread to the glory and honour of Thy Holy Name and the welfare of our Masters the Chiefs—whereunto we are altogether incapable without Thy gracious help we therefore pray Thee, O Most Gracious Father, that Thou mayest dwell with us with thy Fatherly wisdom, and presiding at these our meetings, so enlighten our hearts, that all wrong passions, misunderstandings and other similar failings, may be warded from us; that our hearts may be free from all human influences and our minds so constituted, that in our deliberations we may not intend or decide otherwise than what will tend to the magnifying and the glory of Thy Most Holy Name and the greatest service of our Lords and Masters, without in any way regarding our own interests or personal profit. This and whatever more may be necessary to carry out our ordained work, and for salvation, we pray and desire in the name of Thy well beloved Son, Our Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Who has taught us to pray—Our Father, &c.

Heritage of slavery

VOC at the Amsterdam Headquarters As we look into this aspect of South African History we will also obtain information from the Iziko Museums of South Africa website, being an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, a governmental organ of the post-1994 New South Africa. We encourage you the reader to visit the website and read the information contained thereat from the various dropdown menus.

The Slave Lodge

It appears from the Iziko website that the initial 98 VOC Company slaves that were ‘housed’ in the outbuildings of the Van Riebeeck Fort, were moved to the new slave lodge on 29 May 1658. Over the course of some 21 years there were different lodges along the way and it appears that the slaves later at the Castle were then relocated and housed in the new lodge by 28 July 1679. It also appears that, quote:

The Slave Lodge was the largest slave holding at the Cape until 1806. It housed an average of 476 inmates at a time consisting of slaves, convicts and the mentally ill. In the mid-18th century, about a thousand inmates lived in the Lodge.[2]

imageimage[The above from page 7 of the ‘Letters Received’ we read from an entry dated 9th March 1695][3]

Under the section dealing with the inhabitants of the slave lodge the VOC forbid the forcing of the local Khoisan tribes to work for them, so Commander Johan van Riebeeck requested the VOC to send slaves or Chinese labour to the Cape, and in 1658 van Riebeeck received permission to import slaves. In that year the first slaves arrived at the Cape on board the Amersfoort in March and the Hassalt in May. The VOC obtained their slaves from India, Indonesia, Mozambique and Madagascar. It is estimated that as many as 7,000 to 9,000 slaves lodged in the slave lodge over a period of some 132 years. The slave lodge appears to have been the largest slaveholding facility at the Cape during the slave era and from a floor plan at the website there were sections for a hospital, a prison and a mentally ill sector labelled for lunatics. The hospital that was situate in the eastern wing of the lodge treated slaves and Khoi women, who it appears suffered from venereal diseases. This was not the only diseases as there were also leprosy and three smallpox epidemic outbreaks in the 18th century which resulted in many slave deaths. In the centre of the slave lodge there was a courtyard where the daily roll calls were taken, cooking was done and leisure and religious activities also took place there.  

In the slave lodge a Slave Overseer ran the lodge and had other slaves that were put in positions of authority to assist in the running of the lodge on behalf of the VOC. These slaves were given uniforms to differentiate them from the other slaves who were also clothed. Though the conditions at the lodge were harsh, being dank and dark, slaves were looked after and even received payments for their work undertaken. They were not taken into the VOC employ and left for them to fend for themselves: they received clothing, food, medical assistance and payment for their work undertaken. Whilst many slaves were taken against their will to be slaves, unfortunately unlike the Biblical teachings of ‘slaves’ which were in fact servants in servitude as taught extensively in Part 4 of this series, you can read much more at the aforementioned Iziko website of slaves being placed in policing positions who were armed with firearms and their policing also extended over white free burghers, where slaves had freedom of movement in the main settlement at the Cape, present day Cape Town, and surrounding areas, where slaves went and drank alcohol at tap-houses (i.e. bars)(much can be read in the various journal writings from the VOC archived documents). Slaves could only frequent tap-houses if they had freedom of movement and obviously if they had money to pay for wine and the like. This is very different to the political rhetoric offered here in South Africa since 1994 to the present year 2019 by lying politicians to the gullible and uneducated masses who believe their deception!

Certificate of Slave Registry Office, 1827 Slaves manumitted

It is also evident that slaves who were able to pay for their freedom or manumission were able to do so. There is even records where slaves paid for family members to be manumitted as can be seen from the following quote from the Iziko website:

Armozijn van de Caab was manumitted in 1711 by Governor W.A. van der Stel. She was able to buy her daughter’s freedom three years later. Manda Gratia’s freedom was bought in 1714 by William Frisnet who married her afterwards. Manda was able to buy all her children’s freedom as well. Christijna van de Caab obtained her freedom together with that of her 13 year old daughter, Johanne Barbara, in August 1728.[4]

It was also not uncommon for white colonials to have children with slaves, not by force as many politicians and other commentators argue, but in many cases by voluntary sexual intercourse, and in many cases marriages were the outcome between owner and slave. These slaves became free and so did their children who were “mulattos” (what is termed ‘coloureds’ in today’s dialogue). The real emancipation day in the southern Africa colony context was 1st December 1838 when British rule took over from the Dutch and slaves were set free.

Christian religion and schooling

The Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) authorities’ intentions were to educate and teach the local natives and imported slaves the Christian religion that carried over into the schooling ethos of the day. Whilst many historians and other commentators think the VOC were out to control every aspect of slaves’ lives, this was not entirely true. It appears from which view point one comes that the narrative will be published. The slaves received instruction in the Christian religion and the Dutch being of the Dutch Reformed Church (that stood against the papal system of Roman Catholicism) would have followed their Master’s command of going into all the world to preach the gospel to all creatures and to fulfil the following scripture,

28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: ~ Colossians 1:28 KJV

It also appears that all slave children were baptised whether their parents were Christian or not and all the children received formal schooling, a privilege that few children of free parents enjoyed. In 1666 all slaves in the slave lodge were baptised and by the year 1795 a total of 1,715 slave children from the lodge were also baptised. Approximately two thirds of all the slave children who were baptised during the VOC period (1652-1795) lived in the lodge. Part of the Christian instruction to both adults and children were to learn Christian prayers in Dutch every evening and to attend church services twice every Sunday.

In 1658 the first slave school for children was started by Jan van Riebeeck’s brother-in law Pieter van Stael which did not last long. Another school was started in 1685 once the slave children were moved to the slave lodge. Boys and girls were taught separately from ages 12 to 16 and were instructed in the Christian religion and also taught to read and write in Dutch. The following quote dealing with teachers from the Iziko website shows that teaching was a well paid occupation amongst slaves and others,

Several school teachers applied with success to be manumitted. Persena van de Caab received his freedom in 1724, Jan van Manda in 1731, Anna van Jacoba in 1764 and Hans Jacob Jurgen van die Caab in 1774. It seems as if the position of school teacher was a profitable occupation as they were the only group of slaves that were willing to stay on in the Lodge after being manumitted. All teachers, including those who were slaves, received a salary.[5]

A Biblical answer to land ownership

So who in fact owns the South African land in this context? The original owner is God (the LORD). Sinful man only has a limited right to tend the land and to work it from whence he came. For we read,

1 A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. ~ Psalm 24:1 KJV

26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:26 KJV

When God made Adam [c.4004 B.C., +6023 years ago] the initial mandate was for man to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:26, my emphasis). The man who was formed by God was put in the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:8) and the man was “to dress it and to keep it” (Gen. 2:15). In this perfect state man enjoyed the garden of Eden together with his wife Eve in constant fellowship with His Creator until they sinned against God and fell from grace by their disobedience of eating the fruit of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:17). Having sinned against God,

23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. ~ Genesis 3:23 KJV

We then read that after God had sent them out, quote, “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken” (Gen. 3:23). Adam and Eve were sent into the world. In the course of time the wickedness of man brought God’s wrath to pass that He would destroy the earth, as we read God’s Word,

5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 
6  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 
7  And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 
8  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. ~ Genesis 6:5-8 KJV

After the world wide flood [c.2348 B.C., +4367 years ago] God makes a covenant where He said in His heart, “I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:21,22) and in Genesis chapter 9 and verse 1 we read, “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” In the passage of time [c.2247 B.C., +4266 years ago] we find in the book of Genesis chapter 11 and verse 1, “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.” Everyone was related to each other, but man’s wickedness prevailed again and we see that the people wanted to make a name for themselves by building a city and a tower to heaven. To stop them God confounded their language that they did not understand one another’s speech and the city where this took place was Babel. And so it was God’s doing to scatter everyone for we read,

9  Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. ~ Genesis 11:9 KJV

Throughout time man continued acting wickedly in the sight of their Creator God. We read during the days of Samuel the prophet that Israel wanted “a king to judge us like all the nations” (I Samuel 8:1)[c.1075 B.C., +3094 years ago]. They wanted a man to reign over them for their request displeased Samuel and after his prayers unto the LORD, we read in First Samuel chapter 8 and verse 7, “And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee; for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” In verses 8 and 9  thereof we read how Israel have transgressed in all their works since they were brought out of Egypt and how they had forsaken their God and served other gods, and the LORD tells Samuel to make known to the people what manner of king they will receive to rule and reign over them. And so we read of their king, which is the same as the politicians of today who rule nations,

10  And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. 
11  And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. 
12  And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. 
13  And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. 
14  And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 
15  And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 
16  And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. 
17  He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. 
18  And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. 
19  Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 
20  That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. ~ I Samuel 8:10-20 KJV

Sadly to this very day man is ruled and enslaved by the kings of the nations to various degrees – and in South Africa it is no different where the masses cry and vote so their king (president/political party) may judge them and God has given them their wish! Verse 14 above is being fulfilled again, this time by a despotic government. God had warned His people against the rule of tyrants.

We are also told in God’s Word that He determines where people will live and within which boundaries. This includes where He determines in which continents His people will dwell, just as He determined where the people would be dispersed after Babel. Within the time period of 100 A.D. [in the year of our LORD Jesus Christ] we are told by the writer Luke in the Acts of the Apostles in chapter 17 and verses 24 to 26 when Paul was in Athens preaching,

24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
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 17:24-26 KJV

God has determined where men are to dwell and He has set their time and their place of habitation – the where. So if there is a white African, as writer is, then God has placed him in Africa for this time, just as God had brought Jan van Riebeeck to the Cape in 1652! Politicians might not agree with the reasons why this happened, but God orders all things for His own divine purposes and goodwill, and His reasons might never be understood, but that is just how it is! For it is written,

6  Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 
7  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 
8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 
9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:6-9 KJV

So politicians need to be very careful how they try determine in their own strength what is right and what is wrong! For we read in Proverbs 20:24 KJV, “Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” God also sets up kingdoms and He can remove them as He pleases. South Africa is suffering because God is judging this nation. As a people this nation is not God-fearing and true worshippers of the true LORD! This nation is full of idolaters which the LORD God hates! Be reminded,

2  When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. ~ Proverbs 29:2 KJV

This nation is mourning with more than just land issues!

Conclusion

The land belongs to God, and men have the temporary ownership to tend it. Ownership of land is determined by Title Deed and ownership can only be transferred to another by sale or inheritance transfer at a cost. Land cannot be taken on hearsay or oral tradition in the absence of true records having been kept. The problems are exacerbated when one has to do a paper trail when land was fought for also by the various African tribes during the Mfecane (Difaqane or Lifaqane) and ‘dispersed crushing ownership’ passed between tribes, so who would be the rightful owners of land based on tribal conflicts and wars for land and possessions? Even the Matabele (Ndebele) and Shona tribes of Zimbabwe might even have a claim to South African land! How would the South African government determine which tribes initially owned what land and who has a legit claim to which piece of ground! This land issue has more problems than just taking ‘white-owned’ land without compensation. The ruling government has already caused enough chaos without stirring the tribal pot!  

Be forewarned South Africa. REPENT of thy wickedness before it is too late and turn back to the LORD YEHOVAH!

Soli Deo Gloria

_____________________

Footnotes:

[1] Cape Slaves in the Paper Empire of the VOC by NIGEL WORDEN, University of Cape Town, Kronos 40 pp23-44:

This article examines the ways in which the voluminous archive of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) controlled, constructed and delimited the presence of slaves in the paper world of the VOC empire. The extensive paper archive of the VOC recorded slaves in ways which matched the concerns of the administration, such as enumeration in census returns and as objects for inheritance or sale in estate inventories. Nonetheless, historians have been able to uncover considerably more information about their experience and agency. Much detail is provided in criminal and (to a lesser extent) civil judicial records, which explains the emphasis on individual and collective resistance in the slave historiography of the 1980s. More recently Cape historians have adapted techniques of reading across the grain in order to explore the mentalité and cultural worlds of Cape slaves. However, the VOC archive was not only a record of the ruling classes. Slaves also used writing for their own purposes, either in alternative networks of literacy in Asian languages or by turning Dutch papers into documents for their own advantage, some of which has found its way into the official documents. The combination of these records with oral traditions and community memories have enabled Cape historians to transcend the apparent silence of the official archive.

   In 2010 I was involved in making a televised documentary about an uprising of slaves being transported from Madagascar to the Cape Colony in 1766 aboard the ship Meermin.1 Slaveship Mutiny used three people to help piece the re-enactments together and comment on what happened. Each had a different angle on the incident. The marine archaeologist Jaco Boshoff was a scientist, analysing ship plans and mat-erial objects in the laboratory, carrying out an airborne magnetic trace search for the wreck and leading the diving expeditions. As a historian I was shown inside the storeroom of the Cape archives, poring over voluminous original manuscript documents on the uprising and the fate of its leaders. An activist Lucy Campbell was the slave descendant, walking the streets of Cape Town in search of her roots and bringing her inherited experience and personal understanding of the past. She identified especially with the leader of the revolt, Massavana, ‘the first freedom fighter’, and the film ends with her search for his grave in the cemetery on Robben Island. But his traces, like the wreck of Meermin itself, are elusive. At one point I show her the mark that

_______________

1 Slaveship Mutiny, written and produced by Joe Kennedy, directors Nic Young and Joe Kennedy, Off the Fence co-production with ARTE France in association with THIRTEEN and WNET.ORG, 2010 (52 minutes).

Worden                                                                                                                               23

Massavana made as signature to his testimony, preserved in the judicial records of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) archive. The director carefully choreographed the shot and Lucy was not told in advance that such a document existed. When she saw the only physical trace of Massavana still surviving, the camera captured her gasp of breath and the tears that filled her eyes.
   This incident epitomises three complementary aspects of the presence of Cape slaves in the paper archive of the VOC. One is elusiveness: Massavana left only a single mark in the kilometres of shelving at the Roeland Street depot, which required (the film implies) years of diligent searching by a professional historian. Another is the power of that mark for Lucy, and by implication for us all, nearly 250 years later. From such sparse traces, the story of the Meermin slaves was unearthed and brought back to life. Slaves in the VOC paper world might be elusive, but they are not absent and can be evoked, if only in a spectral form, by historians, film makers and activists today.2 Thirdly, the staged portrayal of an encounter between the ‘expert’ historian who is imbued with access to the archive’s inner workings and the ‘outsider’ who encounters it as an emotional revelation suggests that the archive is not a neutral space open to all but is rather an ‘active site where social power is negotiated, contested, confirmed’.3 The authority of the historian, the film suggests, comes from his presence in the archive and his ability to interpret it, that of the activist from her kinship ancestry and her emotional engagement.4
   This filmic device is problematic. Historians of Cape slavery have certainly not remained locked in archive storerooms, detached from the emotional and contemporary implications of their subject of study. Much of the impetus behind the burgeoning of Cape slave historiography since the 1980s and 1990s came from the desire of engaged academics to make the wider public aware of a hitherto neglected past. Similarly, slave descendants have researched in the archives and made important contributions to our understanding of their history.
   However, the point I wish to pursue here is the power of the VOC archive in shaping and delimiting awareness of that past.5 Much has been said about the ways in which the archive, and perhaps especially the colonial archive, imposes an authority over the past that needs to be carefully negotiated if we are to escape its powers of inclusion – and exclusion.6 The archive only records what ‘people once thought worth recording and what other people once thought worth holding onto or suppressing,

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2 Mbembe argues that those brought ‘back to life’ from the archive are spectres that cannot speak for themselves but only through another (the historian) and so in this sense they ‘remain silent’. A. Mbembe, ‘The Power of the Archive and Its Limits’ in C. Hamilton, V. Harris, J. Taylor, M. Pickover, G. Reid and R. Saleh (eds), Refiguring the Archive (Cape Town: David Philip, 2002), 25–6.
3 T. Cook and J. Schwartz, cited in F. Blouin and W. Rosenberg, Processing the Past: Contesting Authority in History and the Archives (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 159.
4 C. Steedman, Dust (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001), 153.
5 For discussion of the politics of Cape slave history see N. Worden, ‘The Changing Politics of Slave Heritage in the Western Cape, South Africa’, Journal of African History, 50, 2009, 23–40.
6 Amongst others in a wide literature, see P. Joyce, ‘The Politics of the Liberal Archive’, History of the Human Sciences, 12, 2, 1999, 35–49; A. Mbembe, ‘The Power of the Archive and Its Limits’ in .Hamilton et al (eds), Refiguring the Archive, 19–26; J. Anderson, ‘(Colonial) Archives and (Copyright) Law’, unpublished paper, Sawyer Seminar on Knowledges, Ways of Knowing and the Postcolonial University, Social Anthropology Department, University of Cape Town, 18 February 2009; C. Hamilton, ‘Forged and Continually Refashioned in the Crucible of Ongoing Social and Political Life: Archives and Custodial Practices as Subjects of Enquiry’, South African Historical Journal, 65, March 2013, 1–22.

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forgetting or passing on’.7 This necessitates the practice familiar to the post-positivist historian of ‘reading across the grain’, that is extracting from archival traces material that was not intended by its creators but is nonetheless evident ‘between the lines’ as well as hunting outside the archive for what has been forgotten or suppressed. But it also demands, as Stoler has stressed, reading ‘along the archival grain’, that is, seeing how the form and structure of the documents both reflected and shaped power structures and decision processes.8

The Cape’s Paper Archive

   These approaches are highly pertinent to an examination of the presence of Cape slaves in the VOC archive. Writing, Adrien Delmas has argued, was ‘an essential tool’ of the VOC, initially evident in the ship logs and navigational guides which enabled its maritime trading activities, and then for matters on land once the VOC had established trading posts and colonies, in the form of day journals and dispatches sent by local commanders to the chambers of the Company in the Netherlands as well as judicial and administrative documents retained in the locality.9 The VOC archives in its colonies were thus considerably more centralised than those in the Netherlands itself, where church, local municipality and civic organisations all produced their own documents that served a wide variety of public functions.10 Moreover, at the time the VOC records were ‘the preserve of a closed elite readership’ and jealously guarded as secret documents whose content needed to be kept from trading rivals. Only subsequently did they become the basis of an extensive paper archive now scattered across the diverse regions where the VOC once had a presence.11 A proportion of the documents sent from the colonies and trading stations are now preserved in the Nationaal Archief in The Hague, although many financial and local papers were destroyed on the orders of the Dutch government in the 1830s on the grounds that they were no longer needed.12 However, copies of many of these are preserved in Cape Town, where the VOC records are assembled in the Cape Archives Depot, housed without an apparent sense of irony in the former Roeland Street jail.13

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7 K. Appiah, ‘Identity, Politics and the Archive’ in X. Mangcu (ed.), Becoming Worthy Ancestors: Archive, Public Deliberation and Identity in South Africa (Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2011), 99.
8 A. Stoler, ‘Colonial Archives and the Arts of Governance’, Archival Science, 2, 2002, 87–109; A. Stoler, Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2009). The emphasis is mine.
9 A. Delmas, ‘From Travelling to History: An Outline of the VOC Writing System during the 17th Century’ in A. Delmas and N. Penn (eds), Written Culture in a Colonial Context: Africa and the Americas, 1500–1900 (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2011), 96.
10 H. Looijesteijn and M. van Leeuwen, ‘Establishing and Registering Identity in the Dutch Republic’ in K. Breckenridge and S. Szreter (eds), Registration and Recognition: Documenting the Person in World History, Proceedings of the British Academy 182 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 211–51.
11 C. Coetzee, ‘In the Archive: Records of Dutch Settlement and the Contemporary Novel’ in D. Attridge and D. Attwell (eds), The Cambridge History of South African Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 139 cited in H. Twidle, ‘Writing the Company: From VOC Daghregister to Sleigh’s Eilande’, South African Historical Journal, 65, 1, 2013, 146. The fullest study of the construction of a writing empire by the VOC is A. Delmas, ‘Les voyages du récit: Culture écrite et expansion Européene à l’époque moderne: Le cas de la Compagnie Hollandaise des Indes Orientales’ (Unpublished PhD thesis, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, 2010), with comment on the construction of a secret VOC archive at 171–3.
12 M. A. P. Roelofsz, Van Geheim tot Openbaar: Een Historiografische Verkenning, inaugural lecture (Leiden: Universitaire Pers, 1970). I am grateful to an anonymous reader for this point and reference.
13 For an index and analysis of the Hague VOC archive see R. Raben and J. Pennings (eds), De Archieven van de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (1602–1795) (The Hague: Algemeen Rijksarchief, 1992). On the symbolism of the Roeland Street building as ‘an entanglement of building and documents’ see Mbembe, ‘The Power of the Archive and Its Limits’ in Hamilton et al (eds), Refiguring the Archive, 19.

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   The Cape material has been better preserved than in any other region of VOC activity outside the Netherlands and in consequence its archive was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2005. In this sense the VOC archive in Cape Town is a prime example of Mbembe’s characterisation of the archive as ‘not a piece of data but a status’.14 This is the consequence of the importance that the VOC records held to the descendants of settler South Africans, and especially Afrikaners, who traced their family roots and cultural heritage to the VOC period. The day journals, starting with Commander Van Riebeeck’s first ‘diary’ page, are the prized possession of this archive, carefully rebound in handsome red leather volumes as the ‘founding document’ of the white South African nation.15 The statutes (plakaten) of the Council of Policy were transcribed and published between 1944 and 1951, and the minutes between 1957 and 1981.16 Wills, household inventories and estate records of VOC burghers are carefully indexed and catalogued, enabling detailed genealogical reconstructions.17 This is in marked contrast to archives in Indonesia, Sri Lanka or India, where independence from colonial rule downgraded the importance attached to VOC records, not least because these countries possessed a rich indigenous written archive. As a result the current state of preservation and accessibility of VOC documents in Asia is decidedly less impressive than in Cape Town.
   The UNESCO inscription was thus a recognition of the importance of the VOC Cape records. But their significance was changing. Since the 1980s a major process of historical revisionism led Cape historians to shift attention from white settlers to include a wider spectrum of the Cape’s population. This was in response to both the contemporary political and social upheavals of the South Africa in which they were living and the international trend of writing history ‘from below’.18 Several of them produced materials to encourage wider public use of the archives that related to the history of slavery.19 A major initiative was the transcription of estate papers, inventories, auction records and convict rolls for online access, chosen in part because

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14 Ibid, 20.
15 The ‘Van Riebeeck diaries’ were transcribed and published as founding documents of the nation shortly after the formal implementation of apartheid and at the time of the Van Riebeeck festival in 1952. L. Witz, Apartheid’s Festival: Contesting South Africa’s National Pasts (Bloomington: Indiana University Press; Cape Town: David Philip, 2003), 109–10 and C. Coetzee, ‘In the Archive’ in Attridge and Attwell (eds), The Cambridge History of South African Literature, 141–3. This is paralleled by the veneration of archival documents in other settler nations. J. O’Toole, ‘Between Veneration and Loathing: Loving and Hating Documents’ in F. Blouin and W. Rosenberg (eds), Archives, Documentation and Institutions of Social Memory: Essays from the Sawyer Seminar (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006), 44–8.
16 M. Jeffreys (ed.), Kaapse Plakkaatboek, 6 vols, (Cape Town: Cape Times, 1944–51); G. C. de Wet et al (eds), Resolusies van die Politieke Raad, 1651–739 (Cape Town: Cape Times; Pretoria: Government Printer, 1957–81).
17 G. C. de Villiers and C. Pama, Genealogies of Old South African Families, 3 vols, revised edn (Cape Town: A. A. Balkema, 1966); J. Heese and R. Lombard, eds, Suid-Afrikaanse Geslagsregisters/South African Genealogies, 17 vols (Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council; Stellenbosch: Genealogiese Instituut van Suid-Afrika, 1986–2008).
18 N. Worden, ‘New Approaches to VOC History in South Africa’, South African Historical Journal, 59, 2007, 3–18.
19 For example, N. Worden, R. Versveld, D. Dyer and C. Bickford-Smith, The Chains that Bind Us (Cape Town: Juta, 1996), C. Cornell, Slaves at the Cape: A Guidebook for Beginner Researchers (Bellville: History Department, University of the Western Cape, 2000, 2nd edn 2005) and R. Shell, From Diaspora to Diorama: The Old Slave Lodge in Cape Town (CD-rom, Cape Town: NagsPro Multimedia, 2013).

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they revealed the names and details of slaves.20 Another was the regular publication of newspaper articles on slave stories written by the historian Jackie Loos and based on the records of the National Library and the Cape Archives.21 Interest in the VOC archive was in these ways being reshaped by the democratising context of South Africa.
   But locating slaves in the Cape’s VOC archive is not an easy task. Very few of the catalogues and inventories produced by Cape archivists mention slavery at all. In part this is because the records are arranged according to the offices and departments that produced them, none of which specifically focused on the slave population, but also because they are usually ordered chronologically rather than by subject matter. The only archive inventory to deal specifically with slaves is that of the Slave Office, set up by the British after the end of VOC rule to supervise the registration of slaves in 1816.22 Moreover, some pertinent documents have been lost. For example, the records of the fiscal’s office, responsible for the landing and sale of newly arrived slaves, were never transferred to the archives, nor were they sent to the Netherlands. Others are haphazardly preserved, such as the miscellaneous estate papers that seem to have been swept from the desks and drawers of colonists after their death and never sorted since.
   The absence of slaves in the archival inventories also reflects the awareness and interests of the archivists that compiled them. Although slaves are omnipresent in the documents, just as they were in VOC Cape society itself, they were not of much interest to either archivists or historians before the 1980s. Those constructing the VOC archive, both at the time of their writing and at the time of their preservation and cataloguing, were primarily concerned with other categories of colonial description, although a notable exception was the interest of Marie Kathleen Jeffreys, a Cape writer and archivist in the 1930s and 1940s, in the early history of Cape Islam and its connections to the Indian Ocean world from which many slaves originated.23 However, it was overwhelmingly the importance of the VOC records to white settler heritage that ensured they were carefully preserved. A good example of this is the fact that criminal court records, a key source for slave history, were kept from the VOC period because they included snippets of information about the first settler colonists, but were weeded for the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when they were thought to be only about uninteresting and unworthy underclasses. Slaves survived in the paper archive by default rather than by design.

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20 The project began under the aegis of TANAP (Towards a New Age of Partnership) by transcribing the Resolusies of the Council of Policy and was completed in 2004. It was reorganised in 2005 as the ‘Transcription of Estate Papers at the Cape’ project in association with the Nationaal Archief in The Hague, and initially funded by the Netherlands consulate-general in Cape Town and later by the Dutch embassy in Pretoria. The transcribed materials are available at http://www.tanap.net/content/activities/documents/index.htm (accessed 13 September 2013). The project produced a guide to the inventories which stressed their value for the history of women, slaves and other ‘hidden lives’. C. Carohn and A. Malan, Household Inventories at the Cape: A Guidebook for Beginner Researchers (Cape Town: Historical Studies Department, University of Cape Town, 2005).
21 J. Loos, Echoes of Slavery: Voices from South Africa’s Past (Cape Town: David Philip, 2004).
22 On the significance of finding aids and inventories to the construction of the archive, see E. Yakel, ‘Archival Representation’ in Blouin and Rosenberg (eds), Archives, Documentation and Institutions of Social Memory, 158–61.
23 M. Samuelson, ‘Orienting the Cape: A “White” Woman Writing Islam in South Africa’, Social Dynamics 37, 3, 2011, 363–78. On the role of archivists and the ways in which access categories determine their accessibility, see T. Cook, ‘Remembering the Future: Appraisal of Records and the Role of Archives in Constructing Social Memory’ in Blouin and Rosenberg (eds), Archives, Documentation and Institutions of Social Memory, 170–1.

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   As a result some have claimed that slaves left few traces in the VOC’s written archive and that we need to search elsewhere to recover their history. While there is indeed much of high significance outside the official archive that can be learnt through approaches such as historical archaeology, collection of oral traditions and examination of privately owned family papers, the VOC paper empire has nonetheless been read by slave historians with considerable insight. It is the purpose of the rest of this paper to explore how this has been done, read both along and against the archival grain.24

Identifying Slaves in the Archive

   There are no complete lists of slaves to match those of VOC employees or free burghers. The only relatively complete documentation is contained in the opgaaf rolls, collected every year by local officials, which record the names of every male head of household (and sometimes that of his wife) and widow in the colony, together with the numbers of children, knegt servants and slaves, livestock, horses, crops and weapons that they possessed (see Figure 1). They do not include people that the VOC considered outsiders, notably the indigenous Khoisan labourers who worked alongside slaves on many farms of the colony.
   These records have their advantages. They reveal the level of slave ownership in the colony and its variations over time and region. They give an idea of the unequal gender ratios in the slave population and the number of children. But they do not record individual slave names so we have no idea who the numbers refer to and where they came from, whether the ‘3’ slaves recorded on a specific farm in one year are the same ‘3’ listed in the next or whether one has been sold or died and replaced by another, or whether the children are parented by the adult slaves or not. The opgaaf have thus been used to provide valuable serial and comparative demographic and economic data but they are highly impersonal and only useful for broad generalisations.25 Moreover, like all statistics, they are unreliable. The opgaaf was not intended to be a census but rather a record of produce to be used for taxation purposes. Slaves were not taxed, and there was therefore no particular reason why owners should under-report their numbers, but neither was there any particular advantage or incentive for them to be accurate. Appearance in the opgaaf conferred neither status nor benefit, and particularly not in relation to slave ownership. They were records of enumeration rather than registration and in this the opgaaf contrasted with the slave registers collected by the British authorities in the 1820s, which were used to assess owner compensation claims.26

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24 There is a parallel here to the experience of recovering slave voices in colonial archives elsewhere. See, for example, L. Dubois, ‘Maroons in the Archives’ in Blouin and Rosenberg (eds), Archives, Documentation and Institutions of Social Memory, 291–300.
25 For example, P. van Duin and R. Ross, ‘The Economy of the Cape Colony in the Eighteenth Century’, Intercontinenta, 7, 1987, 1–166; N. Worden, Slavery in Dutch South Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), esp chapters 3 and 5; R. Shell, Children of Bondage: A Social history of the Slave Society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652–1838 (Hanover: Wesleyan University Press; Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 1994), esp appendix 3.
26 For this distinction and the benefits of registration, see S. Szreter and K. Breckenridge, ‘Recognition and Registration: The Infrastructure of Personhood in World History’ in Szreter and Breckenridge (eds), Registration and Recognition, esp 13–21.

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Figure 1: Page from Stellenbosch district opgaaf, 1737. Western Cape Archives and Records Services (WCA), J 161Figure 1: Page from Stellenbosch district opgaaf, 1737. Western Cape Archives and Records Services (WCA), J 161

   Even when VOC records do name slaves, there are still problems of identification. Only some slaves retained by the Company kept their original names. Most were given new ones, often months of the year, or classical or biblical names, which emphasised their removal from a past life and subsequent loss of identity. The new name also represented a loss of individuality. Many names were in such constant use that a further identifier was needed, hence the toponyms of the place of origin, such as Titus van Bengal, or April van de Caab (for a locally born slave). But even these names were not always reliable or consistent. They reflected the place where slaves were shipped from, not necessarily where they originated, thus making attempts by historians to track Cape slave trading routes imprecise.27 Moreover the lack of interest in the individual slave is reflected in the way their names shifted. Names could also change when slaves were sold from one person to another, creating a new identity in the minds of their owners. Thus the young girl China, sold into slavery in Nagapatnam in 1768, was renamed Rosa by the time she arrived at the Cape in

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27 R. Raben, ‘Cities and the Slave Trade in Early-Modern Southeast Asia’ in P. Boomgaard, D. Kooiman and H. Nordholt (eds), Linking Destinies: Trade, Towns and Kin in Asian History (Leiden: KITLv, 2008), 127. For an example of such an attempt, see N. Worden, ‘Indian Ocean Slavery and Its Demise in the Cape Colony’ in G. Campbell (ed.), Abolition and Its Aftermath in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia (London: Routledge, 2005), 29–38.

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Figure 2: Slaves listed in the estate inventory of Hendrick Willem van der Merwe and his deceased wife, Aletta Keijser, 6 October 1750. WCA, MOOC 8/7.11 Figure 2: Slaves listed in the estate inventory of Hendrick Willem van der Merwe and his deceased wife, Aletta Keijser, 6 October 1750. WCA, MOOC 8/7.11

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1775.28 They could also be known by different names in differing contexts. In 1776, the slave Julij was called Julij van Timor in Stellenbosch, where he lived and worked, but Julij van Boegies by the Council of Justice in Cape Town. Sometimes slave names were changed merely because the writer of the document forgot what they were or was uninterested in remembering them properly.29
   The transcription of estate inventories has made available a new resource for those searching for individual slaves in the VOC records. They are usually named, and sometimes with details such as names of their partners and children, or their occupations, but the way in which they are recorded is telling of official attitudes. They are listed as objects to be possessed and itemised, alongside furniture, livestock and clothing (see Figure 2). Moreover the inventories are not complete records of the whole colony: they were only drawn up when estates were left intestate or where legal disputes over inheritance occurred. They can thus be a frustrating source for those wishing to trace ancestors or kinship links. Slave ownership as here recorded has instead been used primarily to assess patterns of wealth distribution among the settler population.30 The inventories once again emphasise how the VOC archive was built around the concerns of the Company and its burgher settlers while the slaves were only by chance itemised as inheritable possessions.

Life Stories

   Sources such as the opgaaf and estate records can thus reveal the omnipresence of slaves in the VOC Cape but tell us little about their individual lives and experiences, since these were of minimal interest to the authorities. The Cape archive lacks personal accounts such as slave diaries, autobiographies, letters and stories that have so enriched our understanding of the slave experience in other colonial societies. Yet there is an important alternative. The records of the Cape Council of Justice, including testimonies given in thousands of criminal cases, are extensively preserved. These include defences by slaves in cases brought against them, evidence given by them in the trials of others, and frequent reference to their activities in the testimonies of their owners and those who knew or encountered them. As in many other areas of historical scholarship, legal cases of this kind have become a mainstay of a new social and cultural history of Cape slavery, since, in the words of one leading historian, ‘virtually nowhere else is such rich documentation, such detailed evidence, to be found’.31 Specialist historians have long used such documents, and the publication in 2005 of transcriptions and translations of a small sample made them more widely

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28 Record of the sales of a female slave, Western Cape Archives and Records Services (WCA), Miscellaneous (M) 49, Serrurier Papers (n), also translated in Worden et al, The Chains that Bind Us, 31. This slip of paper, found by researchers in the 1980s, was missing from the archival file in 2013, another indicator of the changing nature of the paper archive.
29 For this and other examples, see N. Worden and G. Groenewald (eds), Trials of Slavery: Selected Documents Concerning Slaves from the Criminal Records of the Council of Justice at the Cape of Good Hope, 1705–1794 (Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society, 2005), xi, n 5.
30 J. Fourie, ‘Slaves as Capital Investment in the Dutch Cape Colony, 1652–1795’ in E. Hillbom and P. Svensson (eds), Agricultural Transformation in a Global History Perspective (London: Routledge, 2013).
31 N. Penn, ‘History from Crime: Criminal Records, Microhistory and Early Cape Society’, inaugural lecture, University of Cape Town, 11 September 2013.

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Figure 3: Extract from the interrogation of Caesar van Madagascar. WCA, CJ 447, 586 Figure 3: Extract from the interrogation of Caesar van Madagascar. WCA, CJ 447, 586

available to other scholars.32 Judicial records have also been the basis of novels, plays and films about Cape slavery, such as Slaveship Mutiny, because they enable stories to be told about individuals, a development which Carli Coetzee has characterised as ‘the archival turn’ in creative writing on the period.33
   The judicial records vary in how far they record slave voices. Some are eijschen, or summaries of cases made by the fiscal to present the case for a conviction. But others are the original cross-examinations of the accused and (less frequently) witnesses. Although hardly natural conversations, nonetheless through them the modern reader can feel closer to slave lives, thoughts and experiences. Sometimes this is in striking ways. When Caesar of Madagascar told his owner in 1793 that ‘I was awake early enough, but because the weather was bad I did not want to get up, and I must have my right to speak’, he was not only resisting the demands of early morning work but also asserting his right to be heard as an individual. This angered his owner, who sjambokked him. Caesar retaliated by seizing the whip and breaking it, an action which led to his conviction. Yet it was not only Caesar’s physical actions that concerned the Council of Justice, but also his insistence when being beaten that ‘he would not keep quiet and he would have his right to speak and that his baas should stop hitting him’, alarming words and sentiments at a time of revolutionary atmosphere in the Atlantic world and ones which still resonate with us today.34 (See Figure 3.)
   The concern of the judicial authorities at slave subversion means that the criminal records are rich sources of information about forms of resistance such as escape plots and runaways, arson, poisoning or less visible forms of protest such as working

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32 Worden and Groenewald (eds), Trials of Slavery: Selected Documents. For example, the translated cases from Trials are used in M. Lenta, ‘Sentencing Slaves: Verdicts of the Cape Courts, 1705–94’, English in Africa, 35, October 2008, 34–51; J. Murray, ‘Gender and Violence in Cape Slave Narratives and Post-Narratives’, South African Historical Journal, 62, 3, 2010, 444–62; and F.Vernal, ‘Discourse Networks in South African Slave Society’, African Historical Review, 43, 2, 2011, 1–36.
33 Coetzee, ‘In the Archive’, 152. This include novels such as A. Brink, Chain of Voices (London: Faber and Faber, 1982) and On the Contrary (London: Secker and Warburg, 1993) and Y. Christiansë, Unconfessed (Cape Town: Kwela, 2007), films such as Slavery of Love (Third World Films and Afrikan Connection Productions in association with the South African Broadcasting Corporation, directed by John Badenhorst, South Africa, 1999) and Proteus (Big World Cinema and Pluk, directed by John Greyson and Jack Lewis, South Africa and Canada, 2003) and the dance and drama performance Cargo (produced by Mark Fleishman, Magnet Theatre, 2007). Many of these highlighted the instability of slave voices in the judicial evidence. Cargo in particular exposed the limitations of a paper archive.
34 WCA, CJ (Council of Justice) 447, Interrogatie van Caesar van Madagascar, 26 July 1793, 586.

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slowly or breaking tools. It is these sources that revisionist slave historians of the 1980s used to focus on resistance and violence in VOC Cape slave society.35 But the records are not only about conflict. All of them reveal a wealth of detail about living and working conditions, emotional relationships that slaves forged with one another and with others, and the complexity of relations between slaves and their owners ranging from loyalty and support, love matches and elopement to antagonism and murder. This kind of information is often incidental to the crime that the case ostensibly addresses and is therefore less influenced by the pressures under which the evidence was given.36
   Yet judicial records, as social historians have readily recognised, are not unmediated descriptions. They were written to secure convictions. In the inquisitory judicial processes of the VOC the accused had to confess his or her crime before the case was brought to the council for sentencing.37 The interrogations are therefore designed to produce confessions, not to impartially cross-examine. Witness testimonies are recorded to add substance to the guilt of the accused and so rarely cast doubt on the evidence put forward by the fiscal examining the case. In the case of slaves, proceedings were carried out in a language they did not always perfectly understand, although sometimes Malay or Portuguese translators were provided.38
   As academic writers, novelists and filmmakers have been acutely aware, these judicial records are constructed stories which reveal as much by their silences as by the details inked on the page. The VOC fiscal presenting the case against the accused and the witnesses whose evidence is presented were involuntary story tellers. Like all narrators they ordered events to create an impression of logic, causation and motivation that would convince their audience.39 For this reason their accounts contained gaps, exaggerations, reshuffling of events and reorganising of time. They were also subject to the vagaries of human memory, either accidental forgetting or deliberate suppression of awkward evidence.
   One example may stand for many. In 1749 Jan du Buisson, a farmer in the Franschhoek valley, was told by one of his (unnamed) slave cattle herders that ‘there must be deserters maintaining themselves in the vicinity of the river or the mountain’ since he had discovered fish nets and animal snares as well as a hut made of shrubs. Together with his brother David, another fellow farmer and several slaves, Du Buisson searched the hut and kept watch through the night but found nothing. It was only the next morning that they spotted a slave

who was at once asked by the burgher David du Buisson if he was Reijnier of Matthijs Krugel, to which the same answered: “Yes!”, adding that he had been supporting himself in the mountains for about seven or eight years

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35 Notably R. Ross, Cape of Torments: Slavery and Resistance in South Africa (London: Routledge and Keegan Paul, 1983) and N. Worden, Slavery in Dutch South Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
36 For examples see the references cited in Worden and Groenewald (eds), Trials of Slavery, xvi–xvii.
37 Ibid, xxiii–xxiv.
38 On this issue, for slave testimonies in the VOC records from Ceylon see K. Ekama, ‘Slavery in Dutch Colombo’ (Unpublished MA thesis, University of Leiden, 2012), 76.
39 Steedman, Dust, 56–7 and 147–8.

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and that he had maintained himself with trapped dassies and fish from the Berg River, whereupon they took this slave Reijnier prisoner and brough him to the prison in Stellenbosch.40

   When questioned by the Council of Justice, Reijnier told a remarkable story. He had fled from the farm of his owner ‘fully twenty years ago now’, after stabbing him with a kitchen knife, and had been living for 16 years in the mountains around Franschhoek and then for ‘some years’ in the mountain near Du Buisson’s farm. According to the court record,

The confessant declares finally that during all of this time he had not spoken to a single person, and had maintained himself with dassies and fish, which he had caught with implements he manufactured to this end. Thus confessed in the Dutch language, which the confessant speaks and understands reasonably well.41

   Reijnier also explained the circumstances that had led to the stabbing 20 years earlier. His owner’s wife had incessantly whipped Sabina, Reijnier’s daughter, with a sjambok and on one occasion tied her into a torturous position before doing so. Other slaves on the farm had taunted Reijnier: ‘You are such an old jongen and have helped to pay off this farm, you can plough and do all sorts of other work so well, and yet you can endure such maltreatment – if this meijd had been our daughter, we would have taught the baas differently.’ As a consequence, when his owner later beat Sabina with a broomstick, Reijnier ‘out of dejection and grief’ stabbed him and fled.42 By the time he was captured, Reijnier’s owner, his wife and Sabina were all dead. Only his wife, Manika van Bengal, now aged 60, survived and she stated that ‘in all these years did not learn, nor hear, the least thing [about him], not knowing any better whether he had long since died.’43
   This case is rich in detail for the historian of slavery. It reveals the existence of a slave family in a society where slave marriage was not legally recognised, with gruesome details of physical punishment and torture, the emotional turmoil of a slave father defenceless against his owner’s maltreatment of his daughter and taunted by fellow slaves for his inaction, and survival as a runaway for 20 years in the mountains around the farm. But it is more than this. Although Reijnier’s account may not have been as self-conscious, in many ways it does resemble the pardon tales of ordinary people in sixteenth-century France as analysed in Natalie Zemon Davis’s renowned Fiction in the Archives. Reijnier was also pleading, in this case for his life. He constructed a ‘fiction’, in Davis’s sense of a crafting of a narrative of events rather than a

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40 WCA, CJ 357, Testimony of Pieter Reijnertsz, 8 January 1749, translated in Worden and Groenewald (eds), Trials of Slavery, 268–9.
41 WCA, CJ 357, Criminele Processtukken, 14 January 1749, ff 7–9, translated in Worden and Groenewald (eds), Trials of Slavery, 267–8.
42 Ibid.
43 WCA, CJ 357, Testimony of Manika van Bengalen, 9 January 1749, f 12.

34                                                                                                                         Kronos 40

feigning of them, set in a particular order and with a particular logic, to explain why he attacked his owner. Events that took place when he was away from the farm are reported through the story told to him by his wife and the other slaves. Although his testimony was written down by a clerk of the Council of Justice and Reijnier was replying to questions posed to him by others, its narrative qualities nonetheless reflect a memory and a self-justification in an account shaped by him.44
   In this a story is constructed through both the recorded events (capture of a runaway) and the memories of a slave and his wife of an episode that took place 20 years earlier. But in the process much is left unsaid. We do not know why Sabina was punished. There are hints that the farmer’s wife had been drinking wine, but none as to why Sabina was the object of her anger. We may speculate reasons such as sexual jealousy but this was probably equally unclear to Reijnier and, as he would realise, of no interest to the council. What did matter to the authorities was how Reijnier had survived in the mountains without detection for so long. Here the record is also ambivalent. Why did he not attempt to run away from the colony altogether, as so many other runaway slaves had done? The imaginative historian might suggest that he could not bring himself to desert the places he knew, where his wife and daughter still remained. Yet Reijnier stressed that he had ‘not spoken to a single person’, while Manika claimed that she had not heard the ‘least thing about him’. Yet Du Buisson asked on sighting him ‘if he was Reijnier of Matthijs Krugel’, so his story was well known and he was immediately recognised. Was Reijnier protecting slaves on the farms with whom he had indeed maintained contact (as was usually the case with slave runaways) and was Manika denying her knowledge of her husband’s whereabouts to avoid her own conviction? For this is not a memoir, but a trial with very real consequences: Reijnier’s pardon-style appeal had some effect since he was not executed, as were most slaves found guilty of attacking their owners, but instead he was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island. And after 20 years, how accurate were their memories of the events on that fatal day? What had they forgotten and what did they choose not to tell to the Council of Justice? To add to the complexity, how much Dutch did the Malagasy slave Reijnier know or remember after 20 years on the run, given that the council recorded that he understood the language only reasonably well?
   It is sometimes claimed that court records can provide a biography of the poor, elements of life stories not revealed in other official sources.45 As Reijnier’s story shows, this is only partially the case. We have instead descriptions of certain moments – a dramatic day and the discovery of a runaway 20 years later – blurred by the passing of time, memory and the construction of a pardon tale. The record is silent about what led to these events and what happened between them. Reijnier gave some clues, such as his taunting by other slaves, but historians must use their imagination, prompted by hints from the record, to propose the reasons for his actions. This is the classic historiographical technique of the micronarrative, and the nature of the

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44 N. Z. Davis, Fiction in the Archives (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1987). esp 3–4, 22 and 111.
45 Steedman, Dust, 45.

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criminal records explains why such approaches have been used extensively by social and cultural historians of the Cape underclasses in the VOC period.46
   The reconstruction of slave lives is an elusive task. Since the VOC authorities cared little about the lives of its slaves before their arrival at the Cape, we know next to nothing about their early experiences. Only very occasionally might a chance comment find its way into a judicial record, such as the information given by a burgher jailed in 1706 for plotting against Governor Adriaan van der Stel, that a fellow prisoner ‘in various conversations declared to the deponent that during his childhood years [in the area] between Suratte and Persia, when he was playing on the beach, he was carried off by the Dutch and was eventually sold as a slave’.47 Slaves usually only appear in the court records in the form of a static snapshot for a brief moment in relation to a specific incident. The format of the VOC paper archive does not easily lend itself to the reconstruction of life stories.
Reconstructing subaltern biographies, as Clare Anderson has shown, requires not only the survival of records but also the meticulous knitting together of disparate pieces of evidence from scattered sources for ‘their footprints are usually easy to see, but their footsteps are often extraordinarily difficult to trace’.48 A major issue related to slaves is that they were migrants, forcibly transported across the Indian Ocean to the Cape. Often this was only one journey in a series of geographical dislocations. Traces of such transnational lives thus exist, if they exist at all, in archives scattered across the world. The structure of the VOC’s paper empire can enable connections to be made between different archive collections, since links between stations were sometimes recorded, although such work is laborious. Kerry Ward is one of the few Cape historians to have succeeded in this regard, by tracing south-east Asian exiles and convicts between Batavia, Java and the Cape Colony.49
   As yet this has not been possible for slaves. Lack of digitalised and online resources of the kind that exist for VOC sailors, soldiers and officials makes the task particularly difficult. Databases of Cape convicts and of Company-owned slaves exist in CD format, although not yet online, but there are none for the majority of privately owned Cape slaves since no registers of them by name were kept by the VOC.50 Funding was obtained from the British Library in 2008 to digitalise the nineteenth-century Cape Slave Registers but permission was refused by the South African archives on the grounds that it would dissipate the national heritage. National control

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46 A major collection is N. Penn, Rogues, Rebels and Runaways: Eighteenth-Century Cape Characters (Cape Town: David Philip, 1999) and a special issue (28) of Kronos in 2002 included three such microhistories based on Cape criminal records: N. Penn, ‘The Wife, the Farmer and the Farmer’s Slaves: Adultery and Murder on a Frontier Farm in the Early Eighteenth Century’, 1–20; S. Newton-King, ‘For the Love of Adam: Two Sodomy Trials at the Cape of Good Hope’, 21–42; and N. Worden, ‘Forging a Reputation: Artisan Honour and the Cape Town Blacksmith Strike of 1752’, 43–65.
47 WCA, CJ 2961, Testimony of Jacobus van der Heijden, 28 May 1706, f 73.
48 C. Anderson, ‘Subaltern Lives: History, Identity and Memory in the Indian Ocean World’, History Compass, 11, 7 2013, 503. The rewards of such perseverance are evident in the life stories contained in C. Anderson, Subaltern Lives: Biographies of Colonialism in the Indian Ocean World, 1790–1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
49 K. Ward, ‘Southeast Asian migrants’ in N. Worden (ed.), Cape Town Between East and West: Social Identities in a Dutch Colonial Town (Johannesburg: Jacana; Hilversum: Verloren, 2012), 84–100; K. Ward, Networks of Empire: Forced Migration in the Dutch East India Company (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), esp chapters 5–6.
50 VOC employees are recorded in the online database of pay ledgers at http://www.vocopvarenden.nationaalarchief.nl (accessed 15 September 2013). For Cape convicts, see the TEPC (Transcription of the Estate Papers of the Cape) Project, MOOC (Master of the Orphan Chamber) Court of Justice Documents regarding convicts and exiles, CD-rom (Cape Town: Sentrum, 2010) and for the Company slaves, Shell, From Diaspora to Diorama.

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of access to archives can be as much of an obstacle to such research as disparate sources.51
   A further problem for tracing slave lives in the VOC archive results from the way the Company classified its subjects. Slaves who obtained their freedom were termed ‘vrij swarten’ (free blacks) and were listed in the opgaaf by name, often at the back of the register. But slave women who obtained freedom and married burgher sons were merged into the burgher lists and over several generations free black descendants who acquired burgher status were no longer separately enumerated. Many freed slaves were thus no longer identified as such. This has made them invisible in the records and has led genealogists and historians to overlook the presence of people of slave origin amongst the Cape burgher population.52 Given the racial sensitivities of family history in apartheid South Africa this was not perhaps surprising. Now that such taboos are lifting, the way in which the structure of the archive conceals such links is becoming more evident.

An Alternative Paper Empire?

   The VOC archive is thus overwhelmingly the Company’s recording of events, organised by its administrative structures, which contain traces of slaves rather than by them. These were usually used to monitor and control slaves, through mechanisms such as inventories of estates, auction sales and judicial records. Opposition by slaves to this paper empire was sometimes overt. In 1808, after the end of VOC rule, one of the first actions of slave rebels who attacked the farms of the Swartland region was to destroy any paper documents they found, in an action which paralleled the destruction of estate records by peasants and workers in the French Revolution.53 Instead the leader, Louis of Mauritius, brandished in his hand a piece of paper that he claimed was an order from the government that slaves should be freed.54 Documentation, the slaves realised, had power and possession of it conferred authority.
   But there are also intriguing indications within the VOC records of an alternative archive which was produced by slaves themselves. Although the majority of slaves were not literate, there are some who left written tracks that have found their way into the archive. Literacy took many forms. Some slaves, especially those who were owned directly by the Company and schooled in the Slave Lodge, could read and write Dutch. Robert Shell and Archie Dick have analysed ’the earliest known

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51 On the slowness of some archives, as well as historians, to adapt to the digital revolution, see Blouin and Rosenberg, Processing the Past, esp chapter 10.
52 The first and highly controversial study (in the context of its time of publication during the apartheid era) was H. Heese, Groep Sonder Grense: Die Rol en Status van die Gemengde Bevolking aan die Kaap, 1652–1795, Navorsingspublikasies 5 (Bellville: Wes-Kaaplandse Instituut vir Historiese Navorsing, 1984). On the presence of free blacks in the burgher lists, see T. Baartman, ‘Fighting for the Spoils: Cape Burgherschap and Faction Disputes in Cape Town in the 1770s’ (Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Cape Town, 2011).
53 On such episodes see J. O’Toole, ‘Between Veneration and Loathing: Loving and Hating Documents’ in F.Blouin and W.Rosenberg (eds), Archives, Documentation and Institutions of Social Memory, 48–50.
54 N. Worden, ‘Armed with Swords and Ostrich Feathers: Militarism and Cultural Revolution in the Cape Slave Uprising of 1808’ in R. Bessel, N. Guyatt and J. Rendell (eds), War, Empire and Slavery, 1770–1830 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 121–38. For references to the destruction of paper and the authority of Louis’s document, WCA, CJ 515, RR evidence of Christiaan Andreas Storm, 7 November 1808, ff 263–9 and WCA, CJ 516, JJJJ, first examination of Isaac van Mozambique, 9 November 1808, ff 24–5; WCA, CJ 515.

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writing of a Cape slave’, a personal notebook written between 1721 and 1734 by Jan Smiesing, a slave schoolmaster and medical healer who lived at the Lodge.55 The book, they remark, ‘makes the invisible visible’ in revealing to us the complex identity of a Company slave. Smiesing makes no mention of his slave status, not even the momentous event of his own manumission in 1731. The focus of the notebook is rather on the markers of his Company education and his Christian conversion: commercial arithmetic, alphabets and a hymn. Also striking is his recording of medicinal remedies written in Tamil. Shell and Dick argue that this combination of literacy, Siddha medicinal knowledge and Christian belief gave Smiesing particular opportunities to bridge the gap between slavery and freedom.
   Other caches of documents written by slaves and freed slaves have been recently found in the VOC archive. Susan Newton-King has analysed a remarkable collection of personal letters of a freed Company slave, Arnoldus Koevoet, and his wife Anna Rebecca of Bengal, who also lived in Cape Town in the late 1720s and early 1730s. As with Smiesing, the letters suggest a more widespread literacy than historians have usually been prepared to recognise for Cape slaves and freed slaves. They also reveal a chain of communications reaching kin in Batavia as well as previous owners now retired in Amsterdam, both of whom corresponded with affection across the world.56 Another collection of letters written in the 1720s and 1730s by Nicolas Ondatje, a freed slave exiled to the Cape from Ceylon, has been discovered, written in Tamil and Sinhalese, which await translation.
These materials have survived by chance. The Smiesing notebook is contained within the archive’s miscellaneous accessions inventory, where it is cryptically and erroneously listed as ‘J. Smuesing, c.1800’.57 It was anonymously deposited in the Cape Archives in 1969 and did not originate within the VOC official archive. The other letters did, but are hidden away in a series described in the inventories as ‘annexures to liquidation and distribution accounts’, diverse materials collected by the authorities at the death of an intestate estate owner but never used or catalogued by them. There is thus no indication in the archive retrieval system that materials written by slaves are contained there. They have only come to light as a result of the recent estate inventory transcription project, when the richness of the annexures was realised for the first time.58 These are random survivals but they indicate a much wider network of written communication among Cape slaves than was recognised both by the VOC authorities and by later researchers.
   Sometimes slave writings were known to the authorities, causing them alarm. The judicial records contain a few such examples, which were used as evidence against

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55 R. Shell and A. Dick, ‘Jan Smiesing, Slave Lodge Schoolmaster and Healer, 1697–1734’ in Worden (ed.), Cape Town Between East and West, 128–52.
56 S. Newton-King, ‘Family, Friendship and Survival among Freed Slaves’ in Worden (ed.), Cape Town Between East and West), 153–75. There is something of a parallel here with the literate Mardijkers of VOC Batavia; see U. Bosma and R. Raben, Being ‘Dutch’ in the Indies: A History of Creolisation and Empire, 1500–1920 (Singapore: Singapore University Press; Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008), 51–3.
57 WCA, Inventory of Non-Public Records (Private Collections), G3, part 1, 161; Shell and Dick, ‘Jan Smiesing’, 237, n 1.
58 WCA, Inventory 1/3, MOOC, series 14/1. The inventories and annexures contain many other riches. For examples see TEPC Transcription Team, ‘The Inventories of the Orphan Chamber of the Cape of Good Hope’ in N. Worden (ed), Contingent Lives: Social Identity and Material Culture in the VOC World (Cape Town: Historical Studies Department, University of Cape Town, 2007), 3–22.

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Figure 4: Letter of Upas to September van Boegies. WCA, CJ 373, 141 Figure 4: Letter of Upas to September van Boegies. WCA, CJ 373, 141

slaves in securing convictions. These are of two kinds. Some were written in the languages used by slaves, such as Bugis or Arabic, and were intended for other slaves in a communication network within the colony that was hidden from the authorities.59 A relatively well-studied example is a letter written in the Bugis language and script which was sent by Upas, a Stellenbosch slave, to September, another slave living on a farm in the Tijgerberg area (see Figure 4). The letter was a key piece of evidence used by the Council of Justice to convict September of plotting an uprising, or at least a mass escape, of Bugis slaves. In fact, as recent research has revealed, the Bugis letter was misinterpreted by the council in the course of its translation from Bugis to Malay and then from Malay to Dutch, and did not implicate September at all. It was a request for medical assistance from September, who was known as a traditional healer, but it was interpreted by the council as a call for joint action against the authorities.60
   Another example of slave writing preserved in the judicial records was indeed a sign of organised resistance. This was a talisman found in the possession of captured runaways in 1786. Written in Bugis script but containing Arabic, it was obtained from a Moslem spiritual leader and believed to protect the bearers from capture or harm. Again, the Council of Justice did not understand the language or the content, describing it both as ‘an Arabic letter’ and as ‘a kind of charm on a piece of paper, written upon with Malay [sic] characters’.61

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59 F. Vernal, ‘Discourse Networks in South African Slave Society’, African Historical Review, 43, 2, 2011, 1–36.
60 R. Ross and S. Koolhof, ‘Upas, September and the Bugis at the Cape’, Archipel, 70, 2005, 281–308. The letter and its faulty translations are filed in WCA, CJ 373, f 142.
61 The talisman is preserved in WCA, CJ 424, f 703, and is described in CJ 424, inventory of documents in the case of Augustus van de Caab et al, f 689 and CJ 795, and Sententie van Augustus van de Caab et al, 23 November 1786, f 385.

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Figure 5: Letter of Jonas van Manado to his owner. WCA, CJ 323, 519 Figure 5: Letter of Jonas van Manado to his owner. WCA, CJ 323, 519

   These documents were written by and for slaves and were not intended to be seen by the VOC or to end up in their paper archive. There are other intriguing examples of documents written by (or at least for) slaves that intended to turn the Company’s system of written administrative control to their own advantage. In 1719 Jonas van Monado presented his owner with a letter requesting his freedom (see Figure 5).62

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62 WCA, CJ 323, f 519, letter of Jonas van Monado to widow Hermina Herwigh, undated, transcribed and translated in Worden and Groenewald (eds), Trials of Slavery, 78 and 82–3.

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It is not clear whether he wrote it himself or dictated it to someone else who could write, but the handwriting and style are unusual and suggest features of slave use of Dutch.63 Jonas used the formal written apparatus of the VOC to make his plea, adapting the language of a supplicant:

the suppliant, is finally seeking your honourable juffrouw’s aid with hands clasped and knees bent, praying humbly that it would please your honourable juffrouw to look upon him, the suppliant, in keeping with her innate mercifulness, with the eyes of compassion, and to please permit him, the suppliant, a letter of freedom.

   Clearly Jonas believed that a form of written documentation would formalise his request and give it greater weight. In this he was mistaken. His mistress refused him, a rejection which led Jonas to attempt to stab her and resulted in his conviction and the presence of the letter in the judicial record.
   Jonas’s transparent attempt to use the power of a written letter to his advantage failed, but other slaves were shrewder in their attempts to subvert the authority of VOC documentation. The slave runaways who obtained a talisman to protect them in 1786 also twice obtained forged passeerbriefjes, or ‘permission letters,’ showing that they had permission to travel. The first was written for them by a freed slave who signed it under the name of a burgher lieutenant. The second was penned (badly and misspelt) by a schoolboy whom they persuaded by telling him that they had lost their original letters and did not dare go back to their owner for replacements (see Figure 6).64 Such examples were akin to the forged passports and identity documents that Looijestein and Van Leeuwen have described in the eighteenth-century Dutch Republic.65 When authorities such as those in the Netherlands and the VOC used paper documentation for monitoring and controlling its population, subversion by forgery was an inevitable result. Survival of such documents in the VOC Cape archive show that on occasion slaves of the Cape could also turn this to their own advantage.

Escaping House Arrest?

It is now widely accepted that the archive is not only a collection of paper documents. It includes other forms of preservation of the past, in particular oral narrations and memory, which challenge the ‘unquestionable archival authority’ of the written document and may release us from the confining ‘house arrest’ which Derrida attributes to the archive.66 However, these are not necessarily distinct. Several encounters and

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63 Ibid, nn 14 and 15.
64 CJ 424, Criminele Processtukken, 1786, Deel II, ff 699 and 701. The case is documented in Worden and Groenewald (eds), Trials of Slavery, 537–56.
65 H. Looijestein and M. van Leeuwen, ‘Establishing and Registering Identity in the Dutch Republic’ in Breckenridge and Szreter (eds), Registration and Recognition, 245–6.
66 The broadening of the scope of the archive from written texts is most fully discussed in Blouin and Rosenberg, Processing the Past, esp chapter 8. For the quotations, see Steedman, Dust, 83 and C. Hamilton, ‘Forged and Continually Refashioned, 21.

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Figure 6: Forged pass written for Augustus van de Caab by the schoolboy Fabritius. WCA, CJ 424, 701 Figure 6: Forged pass written for Augustus van de Caab by the schoolboy Fabritius. WCA, CJ 424, 701

interactions have taken place between the VOC archive of Roeland Street and the memories and oral traditions of Cape slavery brought to it by researchers that exist outside these documents. In various ways they have reconfigured the authority of the paper archive.67
   An important precedent was established by the path-breaking research of Achmat Davids, a respected leader of the Bo-Kaap Moslem community of inner Cape Town. Davids drew on the records preserved by Bo-Kaap families and the oral traditions handed down through generations to trace the history of Islam in the archival records, which he published in a series of books and articles in the 1980s and 1990s. This included a study of the Arabic and Malay linguistic influences on early spoken and written Afrikaans, a topic on which he completed a doctorate.68 Slaves featured in his work, but a more directed focus on slave history came in 2001 when six community-based researchers approached the Roeland Street records through their

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67 On the interconnections between memory and the paper archive, see V. Harris, ‘Genres of the Trace: Memory, Archive and Trouble’, unpublished paper, Archive and Public Culture seminar, University of Cape Town, 2012.
68 Notably A. Davids, The Mosques of Bo-Kaap (Athlone: South African Institute of Arabic and Islamic Research, 1980), The History of Tana Baru (Cape Town: Committee for the Preservation of the Tana Baru, 1985) and the posthumously published PhD, originally submitted in 1991, The Afrikaans of the Cape Muslims (Pretoria: Protea, 2011).

42                                                                                                                         Kronos 40

knowledge of place, kin and tradition that had been passed down to them through the generations. Instead of combing the records through the indices and inventories produced by the archive, they used their own knowledge to interrogate the sources.69 The results were striking. Researchers could identify names in slave registers of ancestors of local families and locate farms in the present landscape where they had lived, interpreting the restricted information of the paper documentation in the light of their local knowledge. One of them, Ebrahim Rhoda, who traced his family to slaves held on De Bos, a Somerset West farm, stated,

I wanted to find out and corroborate the oral history of the Rhoda family – both Christian and Moslem – that they had a slave origin on De Bos … you’d never believe how exciting it was for me to discover the documentary proof that that my ancestors had lived on the farm, and for me to learn details of their lives.70

   The excitement of this paper encounter matches Lucy Campbell’s on seeing Massavana’s signed mark. But the significance of this work was not only that the paper archive confirmed local knowledge and traditions; the latter overcame the limitations of the written records, and opened them up to a new understanding which was disseminated back in the communities and also in more conventional academic formats. Rhoda went on to complete an MA dissertation at the University of the Western Cape and published a popular history of his own Moslem community at the Strand based on both archival and community research.71
   Yet memory and received tradition are not always well connected to the paper archive. Another of the 2001 researchers, Ebrahim Manuel, came to Roeland Street with a specific kind of knowledge about his ancestors, whom he traced back to political prisoners transported to the Cape from Sumbawa in the 1760s. He had discovered a handwritten kietaab book in his family which revealed the names of ancestors written in the Sumbawan script. Drawing on a strong Sufi mysticism which included revelations through dreams from his deceased father, he visited Sumbawa in 1999. There he participated in a ‘Roots’-style reunion with the inhabitants of Pemangong village, where ‘in the village record books and diaries it was written that the Dutch had taken [his ancestors] away and that one day someone would come and look for their origins.’72 Believing that he was led there not by chance but by revelation, Ebrahim Manuel sought to establish links between his home in Simonstown and Sumbawa.73

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69 The Cape Slavery Community Research Project was funded by the National Research Foundation and run jointly by Susan Newton-King, Andrew Bank, Carohn Cornell and myself of the History Departments of the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town. See ‘Going Back to My Slave Roots’, UCT Monday Paper, 23–9 April 2001, 4–5.
70 Cited in ‘Going Back to My Slave Roots’, 4–5.
71 E. Rhoda, ‘The Founding and Development of the Strand Muslim Community, 1822–1928’ (Unpublished MA thesis, University of the Western Cape, 2006) and From Slavery to Citizenship: A Walk Through the History of a Strand Community (Gatesville: DPB, 3rd edn, 2012).
72 A. Read, ‘Ebrahim Manuel Traces His Roots’, Simon’s Town Historical Society Bulletin, 21, 4 2001, 153.
73 E. Manuel, ‘The Slavery and Heritage Project at the Cape Archives on Simon’s Town’, unpublished papers, June 2002. The family history is also recounted in P. Faber, Group Portrait South Africa: Nine Family Histories (Cape Town: Kwela, 2003), 156–79.

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   However, the paper archive of the VOC gave no evidence of such claims. Family-owned kietaabs and village records in Indonesia thus provided a written source alternative to the VOC’s records, although one filled with ambiguities,74 whereby Ebrahim Manuel substantiated his claims of descent from Sambuwa by other means, such as the similiarities in Simonstown and Pemangong between personal names and the fact that ‘family members … are deeply into spiritualism, tassuwf and Sufism in both countries. Family members experience similar spiritual feelings, dreams, receiving messages, happenings etc. in both countries’.75 Archival records have in this case failed to corroborate such transnational received traditions. It was rather that ‘some divine light was guiding him’.76

Conclusion

Many have commented on the silences in the VOC paper empire in relation to slave lives and histories. However, recently ‘the record has been scrutinised not only for what it seems to yield with ease, but also for that which it cannot communicate.’77 Reading both along and against the grain of the VOC’s paper archive has produced a rich historiography, while personal memories and fictional and literary imaginative reconstructions have filled some of the gaps.78 A particular focus of such work has been slave women, even more absent in the paper archive than their male counterparts.79 Certainly the VOC paper empire acted as a mechanism of control, both of its slave subjects and of later researchers. Yet, as was the case for slaves at the time, more recent writers have found important ways of resisting and countering that authority.

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74 S. Jappie, ‘From the Madrasah to the Museum: The Social Life of the “Kietaabs” of Cape Town’, History in Africa, 38, 2011, 369–99.
75 E. Manuel, ‘Authentic proof and genuine evidence to our ancestors (Tuans) in Pemangong-Sumbawa – Indonesia established on 7.9.1999’ in his ‘The Slavery and Heritage Project at the Cape Archives on Simon’s Town’ (Unpublished paper, June 2002).
76 A. Read, ‘Ebrahim Manuel Traces His Roots’, Simon’s Town Historical Society Bulletin, 21, 4, 2001, 152.
77 Coetzee, ‘In the Archive’, 140.
78 P. Gqola, What is Slavery to Me?: Postcolonial/Slave Memory in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2010); D. Johnson, ‘Representing Cape Slavery: Literature, Law and History’, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 46, 5, 2010, 504–16; G. Baderoon, ‘The African Oceans: Tracing the Sea as Memory of Slavery in South African Literature and Culture’, Research in African Literatures, 40, 4, 2009, 89–107.
79 For example, R. Jacobs, The Slave Book (Cape Town: Kwela, 1998); T. Benade, Kites of Good Fortune (Cape Town: David Philip, 2004); A. Brink, Philida (London: Harvill Secker, 2012). See also P. Gqola, ‘“Like Having Three Tongues in One Mouth”: Tracing the Elusive Lives of Slave Women in (Slavocratic) South Africa’ in N. Gasa (ed.), Basus ’Iimbokado, Bawel ’Imilambo/They Remove Boulders and Cross Rivers: Women in South African History (Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council, 2007), 21–41

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[2] The Slave Lodge [http://slavery.iziko.org.za/slavelodge] & The building [http://slavery.iziko.org.za/slavelodgebuilding] at the Iziko Museums of South Africa, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture.

[3] Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Letters Received, Governor S. v. d. Stel, 1695-1696 – by H. C. V. Leibrandt, Keeper of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope. Joint Library of Parliament, 23rd September, 1896.

[4] Administration, control and resistance in the Slave Lodge [http://slavery.iziko.org.za/slavelodgeschool] at the Iziko Museums of South Africa, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture.

[5] The Slave Lodge School [http://slavery.iziko.org.za/slavelodgeschool] at the Iziko Museums of South Africa, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture.

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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)

The Land Issue: South Africa 1652 – present: Part 5

Recapping

Flag of the Dutch East India Company svg Welcome to Part 5 of this examination into South African History. We request that you kindly read the preceding parts to gain a proper understanding and the correct context in which this particular part continues the documented course of events. The information has been gleaned from archived documents translated from the original autographs of the Journal of Johan van Riebeeck and others.

In Part 1 we looked at the meticulous planning by the Dutch in the years 1649-1651 prior to Johan van Riebeeck and the designated parties sailing from Texel in the Netherlands on their voyage to the Cape of Good Hope to establish a refreshment station as undertaken by the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company).

In Part 2 we undertook the voyage from Texel in the Netherlands on 14th December 1651 sailing on the flag ship of the fleet, the Drommedaris, to the landing at the Cape of Good Hope on 6th April 1652. We also looked extensively at the lifestyle of the Dutch settlers and their work ethic, their relationships with the local Khoikhoi and San natives and other people groups from these clans. We looked also at the relationship between the Dutch and a native interpreter named Herry. This took our learning adventure into the early days of January 1653.

In Part 3 our investigations continued from the 9th of January 1653 looking back into life at the Cape of Good Hope, the relationships being forged between the local natives and the colonists, the Dutch Christian lifestyle, the assembly service and the gospel, daily trials and tribulations experienced by the Dutch, the birth of Johan and Maria van Riebeeck’s son, christened Abraham van Riebeeck, who was born on 18th October, 1653 at the Fort de Goede Hoop, Kaapkolonie (Cape Colony; present day Cape Town), making Abraham a born white African and therefore ‘a son of Africa.’ We read about a Christian marriage on African soil, native theft and the murder of a Dutch cattle herdsman and the subsequent forgiveness to continue with friendly communications and dealings between black and white peoples. This part would end in December 1653.

In Part 4 we looked at the Christian attitudes to ‘slaves’ and we examined the Biblical teachings concerning ‘slaves’ and ‘slavery’ which is very different to the evil and wicked practices of sinful white and black men who were involved in the slave trade. We looked at the Biblical recordings of the true intension of what ‘slaves’ were to be which are servants in wilful servitude and the protections afforded those servants. We also examined the word ‘kafir’ delving into the etymology thereof and discovering the origins to be Arabian and the Islamic use of the word means ‘disbeliever.’ We then went even further back into history and ascertained that slavery stems from the Arabic world where Islam was birthed, and we see that Islamic slavery is still active and alive to this very day.

Continuance of Christian conduct to the local natives

Khoi-Traders We take up the record again from the Journal of Johan van Riebeeck[1] in this part of our research into the early life of the local natives and the Dutch colonists at the Cape Colony. 

The following extracts from the aforementioned Journal reflects as we can read the record where forgiveness and continuing grace being shown towards the local native inhabitants by the Dutch was very much the way they addressed the issues at hand. There was no retribution carried out because of theft, murder and unfriendly actions directed towards them, but on the contrary the opposite applied. Friendship was still extended to the local natives. On page 157 of the Journal we read:

No. 26.—Instruction for the Officers of the “Roode Vos,” Ready to Proceed to Saldanha Bay also the Neighbouring Islands.

. . . For this purpose you may use the little cargo still on board. On meeting the natives you shall treat them as kindly as possible, assuring them that we are un-willing to do them the least harm because of the crime of Herry, but rather desired to show them as much friendship as possible; and that we are here abundantly supplied with copper and tobacco; adding whatever may further tend to draw them towards us. For the Company is much interested in being on friendly terms and in kindly intercourse with these natives. . . . Of your arrival you must at once inform us overland, that we may consider, whilst you are there, whether we shall make an expedition against Herry, as the party sent out would be better provided with provisions from that place than could be done from this. For the rest you can gather our purpose from the conversations held in the Council and also outside of it. We therefore depend upon your diligence and wish you a prosperous voyage. Amen.

J. VAN RIEBEECK.
Jacob REYNIERSZ.

Dated in the Fort, December, 1653.

On page 160 of the Journal we read of the account of Herry’s murder of the young Dutchman looking after the herds during the Sunday Church service . . .

No. 27.—To The India Council.

. . . From the journal you will see how Herry, our interpreter, who with his people had always been under our protection and received many favours from us, robbed us of our cattle on the 19th October, during the Sunday service, and murdered the young man left in charge by the herds, and that we failed in capturing either himself or any of his. The consequence has been that the Saldanhars, informed of it, were afraid to come near the fort, thinking that we would revenge ourselves upon them. We have not been able to obtain a single animal from them since the 20th. Informed however of this fear of the Saldanhars, who would not approach nearer than half a mile, we assured them by personal visits to their encampments, unarmed, that they had no reason to be afraid; and by persuasion finally induced them to come to the fort, where they were royally treated and a new alliance with them was formed. They declared that they had no share in Herry’s doings. What the truth may be, and whether by bribes they may be induced to deliver Herry to us, time alone will show. We do not broach the subject to them, but confine ourselves to treating them well, to find out what their intentions really are. . . .

(Signed) J. van Riebeeck.
Jacob Reyniersz.

Dated in the Fort, 31st December, 1653.

On page 163 under Resolutions this entry appears concerning the manner in which the Dutch colonials are to treat the natives including Herry concerning a death of the shepherd and theft of cattle,

Tuesday, October 21.—All our cattle, 44 in number, stolen last Sunday by the Watermen during Divine service. The thieves have always been protected by us since our arrival, and we have shown them much kindness, especially the interpreter Herry, who daily dined at our table, and was clothed with Dutch clothes and adorned with a copper chain, a stick and plates. The others likewise were always well fed, and consequently always prepared to fetch water and fuel, to milk the cows and take charge of the calves. We were as kind to them as if they were our own people, and we believed that they were as favourably disposed towards us. We find that we have been deceived. The common people, who are the greatest sufferers, are very much embittered against them, and vowing vengeance. This course however, would cause great irritation, and for good put an end to all intercourse with the Saldanhars, the chief object of the Company here. The Saldanhars, we fear, will, for some time to come, hesitate to approach us with their cattle, dreading that we intend to take vengeance. We have accordingly resolved, notwithstanding the murder of young David Jansen, who herded the cattle at the time, and because the rogues were not captured red handed, to publish an order, forbidding all and every one to do the least harm to the natives, whether Beach-rangers or Saldanhars, when they show themselves at the fort; yea! not even to Herry, who is evidently the sole cause of the crime; but to show them as much kindness as possible; yea! more kindness than was shown them before, in order to remove the fears of the Saldanhars, and convince them that we do not desire to revenge an injury, and certainly not without cause; also that we do not attach any importance to any vengeance taken upon the Beach-rangers, as it would interfere with our intercourse with the Saldanhars, which is of much importance to the Company. We might also punish the innocent with the guilty, and the last error would he worse than the first. And in order to ensure safety on the road to the forest, the foresters shall always be together to the number of ten, whilst six wood carriers, always armed, shall attend the wagon. The men within the fort shall be divided into four companies, each one to have its place, in case of surprise, and also to appoint men under the gunner to work the cannon.

Also on page 164 we read that both parties, local natives and Dutch colonists, were willing to work together for the greater cause of sustained friendship,

Thursday, October 23.—A few of the musketeers guarding the woodcutters in the forest hastily arrived with the news that some Saldanhars—among them a Captain from whom last year we had bartered much cattle, and had caught and returned one which had strayed away—had brought the information that Herry was lying in False Bay with the stolen cattle and had requested the Saldanhars to be allowed to live with them; but the latter had refused, knowing that his cattle had been stolen from the Dutch. The said Saldanha Captain had also stated this to us last Saturday evening, adding that he had seen the animals, and making signs to the carpenters that more men with fire-arms should be sent for, and that he would bring them to Herry to recover the cattle. Having heard this news, and considered that the Beachrangers, Herry’s allies, were the cause of all the injury hitherto sustained by us, and that the Saldanhars had shown us unbroken kindness, as was again proved last year; and that they preferred to trade without the intervention of Herry, who never dared to venture among them unless accompanied by some of our men (one troop excepted, who seemed to be somewhat friends of Herry, though even these he and his allies approached with fear, always fleeing whenever any Saldanhars visited the fort, Herry alone remaining under our safe protection), it became more and more evident that, in accordance with the opinion of all who have visited the Cape from time to time and also those of the wrecked ships Mauritius and Haerlem, that the Saldanhars and Watermen were always hostile towards each other; that the Watermen prevented trade with the Saldanhars, and that therefore we would do a service to the Saldanhars by following Herry and his tribe,—the Saldanhars signifying that we should kill both Herry and the Watermen in order to trade with us more peaceably. It would not be necessary to do this only for the Saldanhars’ sake, but Herry and his confreres have given us cause sufficient to take revenge for the murder of the boy and the theft of the cattle. It was finally resolved, after mature deliberation, to send 17 strong soldiers, victualled for four or five days, towards False Bay, under command of Corporal J. v. Harwarden, a prudent and careful man. They were to remain during the night in the forest with the carpenters, and on the following morning to proceed with the Saldanha Captain, or without him, to wherever Herry might be with the cattle. Finding him they were to endeavour to recover the animals and capture him and his people by fair or foul means, being particularly careful that they were not tempted, deceived or killed by the Saldanhars or Watermen.

On page 170 we also read,

EDICTS (PLAKKATEN).

Edicts issued by Johan van Riebeeck and Council,

October 21, 1653.—Murder by the Hottentots of the cattle herd David Jansz, and the theft of 49 head of cattle by the murderers. Ordered, that, for various reasons in the interest of the Company, no natives, including even the thieves and the late interpreter Herry—the apparent cause of the outrage—should be molested, but on the contrary most civilly treated, not only for the sake of procuring more cattle, but likewise to travel about with a greater degree of safety, this being the best course in the interest of the Company, and for the growth of the settlement.

(Signed) Johan van Riebeeck.

Dated 21st October, 1653.

And further on page 171 we continue reading, where the Dutch are carrying on in their friendship towards the local natives, the Hottentoos have another agenda in how they confront the colonialists, in not a too friendly manner,

JOURNAL (continued).
1654.

January 3rd.—Hottentoos without cattle arrive at the fort, boldly stealing whatever they can lay their hands upon, not hesitating to deprive our people even under the fort, when unarmed, of their property, and coaxing the children aside to rob them of their brass buttons, though they are so well treated. The carriers of the palisades report that daily some 50 armed Hottentoos are loitering about the forest without approaching the fort. Do not know what to make of it. Decided to protect the carriers with 20 musketeers, and the carpenters there with 2 additional soldiers, and besides the 5 soldiers to guard the gardener’s house outside the fort, to have 5 musketeers for the gardens, the fowl, duck and geese houses; also to add 2 musketeers to the armed herds in the pastures, in order from our side to avoid all estrangement of the natives, which can only be avoided by taking good care of our own, for if they have stolen anything, they are at once afraid to come near to the fort where they are much wanted, if only to fetch fuel for the cook, which assistance is beginning to be rendered to the great relief of our people; likewise also for the re-opening of the cattle trade, which, as yet, hangs fire. Accordingly we intend soon to visit them in person to try and persuade them, but fear that Herry breeds mischief among the Saldanhars, and may treacherously conspire against us, for which we hope to be prepared.

Conclusion

The following concluding extracts record Khoikhoi, slave and colonial life at the Cape of Good Hope from various points and the sources of the information provided is recorded in the bulk of the extensively quoted text. What you will read hereunder is surprisingly different to what one would hear from the South African political rhetoric that is spewed forth by the ruling socialist communists which is diametrically opposed to the facts. Today South African history is altered and changed to appease the masses which has obvious financial rewards to the politicians by receiving the masses’ votes – the vast majority of voters being illiterate, uneducated and indoctrinated! If a lie is told repeatedly by bringing up the past repeatedly it will result in the gullible audience believing it and holding onto it. It is a form of ‘brain-washing’ hypnotism! To further their own corrupt lying agendas to the hypnotised masses there has to be a scapegoat to divert their shenanigans away from themselves and sadly they use an evil past event like ‘apartheid’ to blame for their corruption, fraud, lying, selfish ambitions and inept administration of South Africa whilst ostracising and being racist against the white population and other minority people groups, including the Khoikhoi and San peoples! You see acknowledging that the bantu tribes only arrived in South Africa from north and west Africa during the Nguni migration south does not legitimise their claim to owning the South African land! It does not fit with their political lying rhetoric to dupe the masses as they do not have a written record claiming who owned what! It is all based on hear-say. Oral tradition cannot be believed in its entirety as stories change all the time to suite one’s own agenda. If there are multiple written autographs that record certain events in history that can be substantiated by various writers, just as the educated Europeans used by recording in writing historical events that will stand for posterity, i.e. all future generations of people, here in South Africa and the world.  There is always two sides to a told story and the way forward would be to accept past history for what it was and by learning from it we hopefully will not make the same mistakes, but in order to progress as a united people we must find the middle ground that will benefit everyone. Changing history only creates lies and more heartache! Let by-gones be by-gones. All men of one race group cannot be held accountable for some men who acted out of the wretchedness of their hearts! Each man, woman and child is accountable for their own actions and one day every knee will bend and bow to the GOD of Creation before the Judgment Seat of the Lord Jesus Christ!!

Now to conclude this part of the series kindly read, how life was truly, with no punches pulled but warts and all, from the following document found online titled primarysourcepacket.pdf[2], inter alia:   

1. Diary, Jan van Riebeeck

Krotoa van Meerhoff / WikiTree Krotoa[3], called Eva by the Dutch, is the first Khoikhoi woman to appear in the European records of the early settlement at the Cape as an individual personality and active participant in cultural and economic exchange. Eva joined Commander Jan van Riebeeck’s household at the Dutch fort at around age 12. She was closely related to Oedasoa, chief of the Cochoqua Khoikhoi, but it is unclear whether her family sent her to the Dutch to work and learn the language or whether she made this decision on her own. She learned to speak fluent Dutch and Portuguese, and acted as an interpreter for the Dutch for most of her life. She converted to Christianity and in 1664 married a Danish surgeon, Pieter van Meerhoff, who was rising in the service of the Dutch East India Company. Together they had three children. After his death on an expedition to Madagascar, Eva became an alcoholic and was eventually sent to the prison colony on Robben Island for disorderly conduct. She died in 1674 and was given a Christian burial.

The following selections are from the official diary kept by the Dutch Commander Jan van Riebeeck and his council at the Cape. Since these men were representatives of a major trading company, most entries have something to do with commercial interests. Eva emerges as a savvy business partner to the Dutch, but also as a person truly suspended between two cultures. Note her use of clothing, religion, and language as she negotiates between the Dutch and the Khoikhoi worlds.

Source: Riebeeck, Jan van. Journal of Jan van Riebeeck. Volume II, III, 1656-1662. Edited by H.B. Thom and translated by J. Smuts. Cape Town: A.A. Balkema, 1954.

Eva of the Goringhaikona / WikiTree 31 October 1657:
“The Commander [Jan van Riebeeck] spent the day entertaining the Saldanhars [a Khoikhoi tribe from the interior] and questioning them about various things through the medium of a certain girl, aged 15 or 16, and by us called Eva, who has been in the service of the Commander’s wife from the beginning and is now living here permanently and is beginning to speak Dutch well.”

21 June 1658:
“Fine weather with N.W. breeze. The freeman Jan Reijnierssen came to complain early in the morning that during the night all his male and female slaves had run away, taking with them 3 or 4 blankets, clothing, rice, tobacco, etc. We thereupon called the new interpreter Doman, now called Anthony, who had returned from Batavia with the Hon. Cuneus, and asked him why the Hottentots would not search for the runaway slaves, to which he coolly replied that he did not know. [Little is known about Doman, though he was one of the important interpreters between the Dutch and the Khoikhoi in the early years. He was taken to Batavia (now Jakarta, Indonesia) to learn Dutch, and there he seems to have noticed the threat that the Dutch posed to indigenous ways of life. When he returned to the Cape, he consistently advocated Khoikhoi interests, especially of the Peninsular tribes, over those of the Dutch in trade negotiations.] The Commander, not trusting him, then called the interpreter Eva alone into his office and privately asked her whether our blacks were not being harboured by the Hottentots. On this she asked whether such was the Commander’s opinion, and being answered in the affirmative, she (speaking good Dutch) said these words, namely: “I tell you straight out, Mijnheer Van Riebeeck, Doman is no good. He told the Hottentots everything that was said in Mijnheer’s room the day before yesterday. When I told him that it was wrong to do so, he replied: ‘I am a Hottentot and not a Dutchman, but you, Eva, try to curry favour with the Commander, etc.’” She added: “Mijnheer, I also believe that the Fat Captain of the Kaapmans harbours the slaves.” On being asked what the chief would do with the slaves, Eva replied: “He will present them to the Cochoquas to retain their friendship, and they in turn will deliver the slaves to the Hancumquas living far from here and cultivating the soil in which they grow daccha [also dagga, of the cannabis family], a dry herb which the Hottentots chew, which makes them drunk and which they highly esteem.”

A depiction of a Hottentot female / WikiTree 23 September 1658:
“The interpreters Doman, or Anthonij, and Eva wished to visit their friends and asked for some copper, iron, beads, tobacco, bread, and brandy as a reward for their services as interpreters, and presents for her mother and their friends and all the natives whom they, especially Eva, would visit, to induce them to bring a larger number of cattle, as well as young horses, tusks, civet, amber, seed pearls (of which they were shown and given samples) and hides to the eland, hart, steenbuck, etc. They promised to do their best and hoped that we would soon see the fruits of their efforts; toward evening they thanked us politely and gratefully in good Dutch words for the presents they had received. They then left. When Eva reached the matted hut of Doman, also known as Anthonij, outside the fort, she at once dressed herself in the hides again and sent her clothes home. She intended to put them on again when she returned to the Commander’s wife, promising, however, that she would in the meantime not forget the Lord God, Whom she had learnt to know in the Commander’s house; she would always think of Him and endeavour to learn, etc.”

26 January 1661:
“The interpreter Eva has remained behind to live in the Commander’s house again, laying aside her skins and adopting once more the Indian way of dressing. She will resume her services as an interpreter. She seems to have grown tired of her own people again; in these vacillations we let her follow her own will so that we may get the better service from her. But she appears to have become already so accustomed to the Dutch diet and way of life that she will never be able to give it up completely.”

2. Letters, Johanna Maria van Riebeeck

Johanna Maria van Riebeeck (1679-1759) was from an elite family in the Dutch colonial network. She was the granddaughter of Jan van Riebeeck, first Dutch Commander at the Cape, who went on to hold important posts in the Dutch government in Batavia (Indonesia), and the daughter of Abraham van Riebeeck, Governor-General of Batavia. She made three advantageous marriages, and died a very wealthy widow. In 1710 she voyaged to Holland with her second husband, Joan van Hoorn, retiring Governor-General of the Indies, and his 11-year old daughter Pieternelletje. Until then, Johanna Maria had never left the Far East, and therefore we may also see her as a woman caught between cultures. In these letters, which she wrote during a stop at the Cape on her journey to Holland, we get a sense of Johanna Maria as a prim, and rather dissatisfied person. Not all of her letters have this tone, however. Unlike most visitors to the Cape, she did not enjoy the experience; she even found the world-famous botanical gardens to be rather overgrown. Note her use of the adjective “hottentottish,” and consider her assessment of acceptable living circumstances and behavior for women in the Dutch colonies. [Note: The two letters are similar because correspondence often did not reach its destination.]

Source: Briewe van Johanna Maria van Riebeeck en ander Riebeeckiana. Edited by D.B. Bosman and translated by Anne Good. Amsterdam, 1952.

From Letter 5: Johanna Maria to her Parents, 13 January 1710:
I can’t withstand the cold very well yet, and am rather uncomfortable because of it, and plagued with sinkings and a stiff neck, which I hope will get better with time.

When you see this place from the sea, it is prettier and more pleasant than when you arrive on land. It is very miserable; you don’t see grass or clover, and the streets everywhere by the castle and in the town are full of holes, as though wild pigs had rooted through them—when you decide to ride into the city or to the Company’s gardens, you are always worried about falling! And the gardens are so fine that your heart closes right up. When you come into the garden, nothing looks finer than the laurel trees, which grow quite tall here, however, the paths are very narrow. The fruit trees are full of fruit, but little is ripe yet, and there are nice vegetables too, but not planted in nice order, and the ground is very rough, so that Ms. Moutmaker likened it well to a volgeesie—which the people from the Cape don’t enjoy hearing. In this place there is nothing nice to see along the seashore, and the castle is quite ugly and the governor’s house is like a labyrinth, so that you can easily get confused, and the other houses within the castle walls look like prisons. Outside are the Hottentots, who are very ugly and stinking people, and the Dutch people also keep very untidy households. You see many people with strange faces, and the way of life is strange here. The governor is a man who enjoys company, and it looks like he enjoys having women around all the time—so there is a really courtly bunch here, but even so, everything is hottentottish.

I must admit that based on appearances, I have never seen a worse place. But as far as food is concerned, it is better here than in Batavia, and so is the climate.

From Letter 8: Johanna Maria to her Parents, 30 January 1710:
I have also received a letter here from my son Jan [Jan was actually Johanna Maria’s stepson, in his late teens or early twenties, attending university in Holland.], and he writes me that his grandmother has been quite sick all year, and lying in bed, and hoped to see me soon in the fatherland [Holland]. But he doesn’t say anything about his studies. I hope that I will find things better than what he was written to us. We have decided to let him live in our house at first, which will certainly be by far the best for him, so that he can be weaned from his friends in Utrecht. And if he really doesn’t have the desire to study, we’ll find something else for him, and I hope that I will yet see happiness in him. …

Now to tell something about this place. . . . After we came to anchor, a number of shots were fired for us from the castle, which our ship answered. Shortly afterwards the Governor Van Assenberg arrived on board, with his second in command, the Fiscal and a few others, Missus D’Abling and two captains’ wives. An hour later, we departed together toward land, and got a shower along the way, from which we became nicely wet, and it was a really cold day. In that weather we reached the pier, which looks very bad and has no steps, just planks nailed to poles, about two feet apart, going steeply up, so that we had to allow ourselves to be pulled up, and we were close to the sea which was not still at all.

A little farther off stood a dirty-looking coach with six horses (like everything here it was quite hottentottish) with which we drove to the interior of the castle, and stopped in front of the house of the governor. We entered the house, which is a very ugly building, and dirty and greasy, as though it belonged to Pater Smeerlant of Ceylon [a joke character]. The castle looks miserably unkempt, with a number of buildings of an ugly style within its walls. The city is quite large for this place, but the roads everywhere are very slovenly, full of holes high and low, so that when you ride out, you feel as though you will surely fall—the roads to Boejong Gede [presumably near Batavia] are much better and prettier, and lordly in comparison. Outside the city it isn’t any less rugged. It is a pity that the governor here doesn’t take better care of the place, and doesn’t live better himself. This whole place might then change, and also the people, who are now very jealous of one another.

The governor is a man who likes to take his pleasure daily with young misses of bad reputation, and he is very familiar with Mrs. Munckerius’s daughter, who looks like a flirt to me. The governor would certainly have been in my company daily if I had not told him that I do not enjoy the conversation of young people, and would rather keep other company.

Mrs. D’Abling is a very sweet and modest little woman, as well as two or three other women here, but they are not in the governor’s favor, because they don’t want to mix with his other company. For people like them, this is a very dreary place.

From Letter 13: Johanna Maria to her Parents, 15 February 1710:
[I am sending you] another little sack of seeds that I received from a black woman, named Black Maria, who says she is the daughter of a woman or maid who was earlier in the house of my blessed [late] Grandfather, and who begged me to send the sack to you, Father. It appears that these people still cherish a great affection for our family: besides this woman, I’ve met two or three others, as well as a very old, blind Hottentot woman, named Cornelia, and two Hottentot men, one called Dobbeltje [a type of coin] and the other Vogelstruys [Ostrich], who were able to tell me much about that time.

3. Ethnography, San Dance

Lucy Lloyd and Wilhelm Bleek, German ethnographers who lived in Cape Town, were the first people to systematically write down Khoisan folklore, beliefs and customs. They did their work in the late 19th century, so there is no way to be sure that the traditional way of life described by the informants was the same as that lived by the Khoisan in the previous centuries. Nevertheless, we know from many sources that the communal dance was an important part of Khoisan culture. The extract that follows is a firsthand account of the experience by a participant, |Han‡kass’o, also known as Klein Jantje, who was about 30 years old at the time he spoke with Bleek and Lloyd. He came from the northern Cape colony and stayed in the Bleek home for nearly two years, before returning to his people. In his storytelling he often notes who first told him the story, and this is frequently his mother. He emphasizes the celebratory aspects of the dance. Dance was used to release communal tensions, or it could take on ritual meaning, when dancers sought to reach “boiling point,” or a trance-state, where they became one with the spirit world. Note the different roles suggested for men and women in the piece below.

Source: Bleek, Wlihelm H. I., and Lucy C. Lloyd, eds. “The use of the !gõïn!gõïn, followed by an account of a Busman dance.” In Specimens of Bushman Folklore. London: George Allen & Co., Ltd., 1911.

[The speaker first explains that one of the reasons the San people beat the drum called the !gõïn!gõïn is so that the bees may flourish and produce a lot of honey.]

“And the people take honey to the women at home. For, the women are dying of hunger, at home. Therefore, the men take honey to the women at home; that the women may go to eat, for they feel that the women have been hungry at home; while they wish that the women may make a drum for them, so that they may dance when the women are satisfied with food. For they do not frolic when they are hungry.

And they dance, when the women have made the drum for them. Therefore, the women make a drum for them; they dance. The men are those who dance, while the women sit down, because they clap their hands for the men when the men are those who dance; while one woman is the one who beats the drum; while many women are those who clap their hands for the men; because they feel that many men are dancing.

Then, the sun rises, while they are dancing there, while they feel that they are satisfied with food.”

4. Rock Art, Khoisan

Rock art, found on the walls of caves and on moveable rocks, was once thought to depict simple images of the daily lives of the Khoisan. In the last 20 years, study of oral traditions and close attention to what is actually depicted in the paintings has led to a complete revision of this theory. Now it is believed that the images depict the experience of the trance dance, an integral part of Khoikhoi and San social and ritual practice. The dance was performed with the whole community present, although only a few may have done the dancing—prominently the shaman, or leader of ritual.

It was an extremely intense activity, sometimes performed after smoking dagga (cannabis), where the dancer strains to reach “boiling point” and let his or her spirit transform and get in touch with spiritual forces. In Khoisan belief, there are spirits in the world—particularly connected with animals like the largest antelope, the eland—that can influence weather, communal tensions, and personal problems. As the dancer goes into the trance, he or she hyperventilates, cramps over in pain, bleeds from the nose, and starts to hallucinate. A shaman describes this, also in the symbolism of the rock art, as transforming into the spirit of an antelope or other animal. Women were an integral part of the dance and could take part in the trance, but they are rarely depicted in rock art. Here we see the participants in the clapping circle, together with shapes from the hallucinatory experience, and figures in a state of transformation.

The paintings are extremely difficult to date and the artists are unknown. It is believed that they may have been shamans.

Source: Lewis-Williams, David and Thomas Dowson. Images of Power: Understanding Bushman Rock Art. Johannesburg: Southern Book Publishers, 1989.

Bushman Rock Art Bushman Rock Art

5. Object, Digging Stick

The Khoikhoi were semi-nomadic pastoralists (herders of sheep and cattle), who hunted game and gathered edible plants, nuts, roots, berries, and honey to supplement their diets. There was a division of labor between men and women: men hunted and tended the cattle while women looked after small stock and gathered food in the surrounding countryside. One of the implements used by women was the digging stick weighted with stones. Although the implement may appear primitive, consider what went into making it and how practical it was in its environment for its intended uses.

Source: Ratzel, Friedrich. Drawing of digging stick and stone weights. Völkerkunde. Volume 1 (Leipzig and Vienna, 1894).

image

6. Drawings, Khoikhoi

In the late 17th century, an anonymous artist did a series of impromptu sketches and set pieces showing Khoikhoi at the Cape of Good Hope. The artist seems to have been interested in capturing natural movement and depicting actual articles of Khoikhoi clothing or activities in which they engaged, rather than falling back on the stereotypes that tended to be perpetuated in European books about the Cape. But the sketches are not entirely spontaneous, since the women in some of the scenes are clearly posed in classical ways. In addition, the artist seems to have had a tendency towards allegory as he juxtaposed wrinkled and crippled old women with voluptuous young women. The depiction of young women, which sometimes seems deliberately sexualized, also raises questions about how independent an observer the artist was.

On the left side of the page, the artist shows different types of hats, facial painting, and the hide bag carried by the Khoikhoi, as well as a woman playing a drum made by drawing a leather hide over a clay pot. On the bottom of the right side of the page, the artist carries on the theme of dancing, including the notes of the chant he has heard. The lines around the legs of the women indicate the leather anklets they commonly wore. On the top of the right side of the page, Khoikhoi men and women appear to be reacting to an image in a frame—probably a mirror. The scene is not explained by the handwritten notes, but a selection from 1660 Journal of Jan van Riebeeck provides an interesting parallel: “Later on, when the said servants [of a Khoikhoi chief]—the one called Oocktis Koukoa and the other Hanhumma, herdsmen of their King’s cattle and sheep—were led to a large looking-glass in the Commander’s room, they were obviously very much alarmed, at first thinking they were looking at people in another room, and then, when they recognized themselves and other people reflected, they imagined that they were seeing spirits. Such a state were they in that Eva, Doman, and some other Hottentots living in the fort were hard put to it to bring them back to their right senses again.” The notes explaining the scenes were added at a later date by someone other than the author.

Source: Drawing of Khoi dancers and musical instruments. In The Khoikhoi at the Cape of Good Hope: Seventeenth-century drawings in the South African Library, Text by Andrew B. Smith and Translations by Roy H. Pheiffer. Cape Town: South African Library.

Drawings Khoikhoi

7. Travel Narrative, Peter Kolb 1

Peter Kolb was a German astronomer and mathematician who lived at the Cape from 1705 to 1713. He was initially sponsored by a German baron to make astronomical observations in pursuit of a way to calculate longitude accurately. When this project ended, Kolb stayed at the Cape and observed everything else. About three years after his return to Germany, he began to compile a book about his experiences, based on letters and notes he had written. This book (more than 850 large pages) was divided into three sections: the first discussed the flora, fauna, minerals, water, and topography of the Cape. The second addressed the social life and customs of the Khoikhoi (then known as Hottentots). The third discussed the political intrigues of the Dutch colony during the years Kolb was part of it. His ethnographic conclusions are now contested, but there is no doubt that his book is an important source for understanding interaction among the various ethnic groups at the Cape in this early period. Although Kolb was not married and had no children, he made numerous comments about many different aspects of women’s lives. In the excerpt below, he discusses the rearing of children, but also offers a glimpse into how closely Europeans, Khoikhoi, and slaves lived and worked together.

Source: Kolb, Peter. “On the Manners and Customs which are observed among the European Inhabitants…” Letter Eight, Part Three in Caput Bonae Spei Hodiernum. Translated by Anne Good Nuremberg: Peter Conrad Monath, 1719.

Not all parents need to be accused of nurturing their children badly, since there are still some to be found who lead honest lives—but there are still far too few who may be accused of spending too much time with their children when they are still young and tender, or who watch and care for them, and try to instill honesty in them together with their mother’s milk. Instead, from the very beginning the whole care is given over to slave women or even female Hottentots [Khoikhoi], and the parents are content as long as the children suffer no pain, or other unpleasantness that could hurt them, or learn obviously bad manners.

Just think to yourself what good such an Aja, as these caregivers are called, could do for a young child, leading a heathen life, given over to lust and other sinful desires, carrying on indecent and wanton conversations with others like herself in the presence of the child, and not caring for anything except that the child have enough to eat and drink, clothes, and lack no other incidentals, so that the child will not cry and fuss a lot, and she will not receive a harsh reprimand. Thus the child will be brought up in pleasure and happiness, even though the foundation for a real fear of God will be completely neglected. This is a circumstance that cannot be lamented too highly, and should find disapprobation among all righteous Christians.…

It cannot be denied that such an Aja does indeed know how to get on with the child skillfully enough, and is a faithful caregiver when it comes to anything necessary for bodily health. No one would disagree either, that they are good language teachers, and that their mother tongue, or at least the Portuguese, which is commonly used throughout the East Indies, and may be considered a main language in these lands, flows into the children at the same time as mother’s milk [presumably they were wet nurses as well]. Still, with all these skills, in my opinion they still lack that which is most essential and important to bringing up children.

For, not considering the fact that they speak very bad and broken German, or rather, Dutch, and therefore are not able to teach the child this language, so that in the beginning all the children here speak German very badly, almost like the French people [Huguenots who had fled religious persecution in France] who are just beginning to learn the language—there is an even greater impediment that prevents these caregivers from steering the children towards true godliness, which should be learned above all else: the Ajas themselves still lead heathen lives, and therefore hardly know even by name what godliness is or means.

8. Travel Narrative, Peter Kolb 2

Peter Kolb was a German astronomer and mathematician who lived at the Cape from 1705 to 1713. He was initially sponsored by a German baron to make astronomical observations in pursuit of a way to calculate longitude accurately. When this project ended, Kolb stayed at the Cape and observed everything else. Kolb was writing for a European audience, and therefore often played to their expectations. In the case of the Khoikhoi, the assumption was that these people were among the most primitive on earth. Thus, his work had to be used with caution when trying to reconstruct the early history of the Khoikhoi. On the other hand, when Kolb’s observations are compared with those of modern anthropologists, significant overlaps may be found, so that it seems clear that Kolb spoke directly to Khoikhoi men and women about their beliefs and customs. In the following excerpts, Kolb discusses Khoikhoi practices during and after the birth of a child. Ask yourself how, as a European man, Kolb could have seen or heard about these rituals. Nevertheless, his account cannot be simply discounted, since it is known that Khoikhoi did consider water risky for expectant mothers and newborn infants, and cattle played major and significant roles in the economy and rituals of traditional Khoikhoi society.

Source: Kolb, Peter. “On the Ceremonies and Customs that the Khoikhoi Observe at the Birth of a Child…” Letter 8, Part Two in Caput Bonae Spei Hodiernum. Translated by Anne Good Nuremberg: Peter Conrad Monath, 1719.

When a Hottentot [hereafter Khoikhoi] woman feels the hour for giving birth coming near, she always has two or three other Khoikhoi women with her, to keep her company and help her during the birth. As soon as she feels labor pangs, and has to lie down, one of these women runs and fetches the midwife, of which there is one in every kraal [or village homestead]. This midwife will have been chosen by the other women to fill this office, and she will always be called to lend a helpful hand during the birth.

As soon as the midwife arrives, and goes into the dwelling of the pregnant woman, the man of the house must leave, and may not be seen there again as long as his wife is in labor. If he comes back even to ask how his wife is doing, he is punishable, if any of the other men or women heard him, and he will have to make himself right again [anders machen—go through a cleansing ritual]. That is, after the woman has born her child, the man will have to slaughter one or two fat rams to legitimate himself again. But the meat will not be given to the new mother or the other women, rather the men will eat it, and the women will just receive the broth, as in the case of other slaughtering for cleansing rites.

[Kolb then describes how when a Khoikhoi woman has a difficult birth she will be given a drink of tobacco cooked in milk to ease the way. He suggests that women in Europe might not be able to survive drinking the concoction.]

. . . If the child is born alive, they do not wash or bathe it in water, for they say that this is Sickum, or unhealthy. Instead, they have a different and extraordinary way of cleaning the birth filth off the baby—though according to the customs of Europeans, we would say that this is just making it even more offensive than it was by nature. For, instead of using water, or something else that one might use to clean newborn children, they take fresh cow dung and rub it all over the child, so that it is simultaneously perfumed and coloured grass-green.

[Kolb goes on to say that after the dung has dried, the women rub the baby all over with a paste made from the mashed leaves of a specific plant. After this has soaked in, they rub the baby all over with sheep’s fat or butter, and sprinkle it with powder made from a dried herb used for ceremonial purposes (buchu). They do this to make sure that the child will live and be strong.]

. . . . Can such a result [health and strength] be brought about by applying such stuffs? I must doubt it, since God gives and sustains life, and must be asked, and the child’s constitution must be taken into account. Still, small things often produce great results, and so I will leave it to others to investigate these customs, and make up their own minds.

9. Will, Laurens Verbrugge and Beletje Frederikszoon

Laurens Verbrugge and Beletje Frederikszoon were ordinary people from Holland who settled in Stellenbosch (near Cape Town), and took up farming there. Though not wealthy, they did own slaves and had sufficient property that they felt the need to draw up a will when Beletje became ill. Note the Christian beliefs expressed in the wording of the will.

Laurens was Beletje’s second husband which was not unusual at the Cape, where there were fewer European women than men throughout the 18th century. Women therefore tended to marry early to men older than themselves who often died before them. It was not uncommon for women to marry three times, which could cause disputes over inheritance. Marriage among Europeans, Khoikhoi, and slaves was not forbidden, though relatively rare; sexual relations were more common. The status of the children of slave women by European fathers was precarious, and in the following will it is difficult not to speculate on the paternity of the slave girl Christintje. (The “-tje” ending to Dutch words means “little” and often suggests affection when attached to names.)

Source: Notarial Deeds and Wills 1708-1714, #12. Stellenbosch Files: 1/STB 18/3. Cape Town Archives Repository. Translated by Anne Good.

27 October 1711
Testament between Laurens Verbrugge and Beletje Frederiksz.

In the Name of the Lord, amen.

Knowing that they are the only ones who may be concerned with the contents of this present and public instrument, made in the year after the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, one thousand seven hundred and eleven, on the twenty-seventh of October, around midday, twelve o’clock, before me Peter Kolb (provisional secretary to the Magistrate and Council etc.) and the witnesses named below, the following appeared in person—the honorable Laurens Verbruggen and the virtuous Belie Frederiks, a married couple living in Stellenbosch, the testator [Laurens] healthy of body, standing and walking, but the testatrix [Belie] sick and lying in bed, but completely in command of her mind, understanding, and memory and well able to use them, as it appeared to us. The couple declared that, considering the brittleness of human life, the certainty of death but the uncertainty of the time and hour when it will come, they intended not to take leave of this world before they had disposed of their temporal goods, lent to them by God Almighty, doing this of their own free and unforced will, without the direction or deception of anyone else, committing first of all their immortal souls to the protecting hand of God, and their dead bodies to the earth, asking an honorable burial, revoking, breaking and declaring null and void all other testaments, codicils, marriage conditions, or any other public agreements, made by them together or by each separately, whatever they might be, so that they may not be observed in any point.

First, the testators bequeath to the poor of Stellenbosch the sum of 25 guilders, Cape value, which will be given out by the one who lives the longest, after the death of the other, out of their remaining goods.

Furthermore, the testators, explain that, before any other claims, the one who dies first leaves to the one who lives longest the inheritance of the house, with all land belonging to it, and all its contents, standing in Stellenbosch, together with a new wagon with eight draft oxen, which the one who lives longest should enjoy as their own unencumbered property, without any difficulty being raised by the children of the testatrix by her first husband. This on the express condition that the one who lives longest will not be able to alienate or reduce the property, with the understanding that after both their deaths, the property will be given to the children of the testatrix by her first husband. Moreover, this will should stand only as long as the one who lives longest remains unmarried, because both of the testators wish to keep in mind, that the children of the testatrix may not be overlooked.

If the testator [Laurens] comes to die first, it is his intention and complete declaration, that, in case any of his brothers’ or sisters’ children comes to live at the Cape of Good Hope, that person should receive a sum of no more than fifty Rixdollars, excepting which, all the rest of the goods should go to the children of the testatrix by her first marriage.

Next, the testatrix, declares that it is her will and design, that the slave child called Christintje, should remain the property of her son’s child, baptized Beeltje after the testatrix, as long as they both shall live, desiring that the aforesaid slave child will never be sold or otherwise alienated, but expressly stipulating that the aforementioned slave child, after the death of her son’s child Beeltje, will be free. Finally the testators reverently ask that the honorable lords of the Orphans’ Chamber at the Cape of Good Hope will become the executors and administrators over their remaining goods and inheritance, and that the honorable lords will have the goodness to administer the inheritance for the children of the testatrix by her first marriage. [This was the usual arrangement.]

Having heard the above clearly and precisely read to them, the testators declare this to be their final will and testament, desiring that the same will stand and take effect in every part . . . . All of this done in the house of the testators, in the presence of the former town counselors, Jan Botma and Adam Tas—as witnesses of good reputation, expressly asked to be here, who, together with me, the provisional secretary, and the testators, sign below on the day, hour and year mentioned above.

As witnesses
[signatures of]
Jan Botma
Ad. Tass

This is the personal mark t mark and signature
of Laurens Verbrugge

This the mark \\\ and the personal signature of
Beeltje Frederiks

With my knowledge
P. Kolbe
Provisional secretary

10. Law, Alcohol Sale

The following law suggests that slaves and Khoikhoi were considered particularly prone to alcohol addiction. There is some anecdotal evidence that this was a common stereotype held by Europeans at the Cape. Some scholars argue that alcoholism may indeed have been more prevalent among the Khoikhoi and African slaves because indigenous fermented drinks were not as strong as those brewed by Europeans. Furthermore, it is known that among the Khoikhoi, fermented drinks and dagga (like cannabis) were used for ritual purposes at the occasion of the trance dance. The following law regulates who may sell or serve alcoholic drinks, particularly prohibiting slave and Khoikhoi women from being involved. It is unclear, however, whether the law is meant to regulate alcohol or to control the leisure time activities of slaves. Since slave and Khoikhoi women are at the center of this issue, we may ask why it seemed “worse” to the authorities to have these women selling liquor rather than anyone else.

Source: "Laws and Regulations Respecting Slaves at the Colony the Cape of Good Hope since the Year 1658 till a. 1805." In Dutch laws translated into English. 1806. James Ford Bell Library. University of Minnesota.

3 September 1754
“But whereas a still greater annoyance has been experienced in as much that some Persons who have obtained Licences to sell strong Liquors, do not scruple to have it done by Slaves or what is still worse by Hottentot and other women in their own Houses without any Superintendance whereby other Slaves are the more easily debauched into all kinds of bad practices; no Person therefore shall employ any male or female Slave or other Woman even were she already emancipated, to draw or sell strong Liquors in the Tap or Public Houses, under the same Penalty as before mentioned of the loss of Licence over and above a Fine of Two hundred Rixdollars and the male & female slave or other Woman so doing shall besides be severely flogged.”

11. Law, Slave Women and Children

Khoi Women and Dutch Colonist WDL11267 in 1700s Although marriage was not forbidden between Europeans and slaves or other non-Europeans, it was quite rare and entailed a drop in social status for the European. Nevertheless, sexual relationships occurred—sometimes coerced, sometimes by mutual agreement. The children born to slave women by these relationships were seldom openly acknowledged by their fathers, and thus usually followed the fate of their mothers. Religious and secular authorities were not at ease with this situation. This can be seen in church proclamations that called on Europeans to baptize all their slave children, and secular laws that sought to regulate the living conditions of slave children, especially of mixed race. In the following excerpt, it is noteworthy that the “children of free heathen” are also mentioned. These “heathens” were probably not Khoikhoi, but rather former slaves, either from East Africa or Asia, who bought or earned their freedom and were known as Free Blacks. In this case, the designation “heathen” might also refer to followers of Islam.

Source: "Laws and Regulations Respecting Slaves at the Colony the Cape of Good Hope since the Year 1658 till a. 1805." In Dutch laws translated into English. 1806. James Ford Bell Library. University of Minnesota.

20 June 1766
That in future the Statutary Law that no Children of free Heathen begotten on their female Slaves, whether the Estate be beforehand or not, may be sold, nor the Mothers of those Children, should the Estate be solvent, shall be observed, and it is likewise understood to forbid all Executors and Administrators of Estates without Exception and they are hereby forbidden accordingly to sell Children begotten by Christians on their Slaves whether the Estate be solvent or not; with authority to allow such a Child or Children to follow those who may apply for them and be willing to bring up those otherwise Unfortunates in the Reformed Religion; or in default of such should the children be descended from European Blood, but not otherwise, to give them to the Deacons of the Reformed Congregation in order to be brought up in the Poor House & instructed in the above mentioned manner.

That towards the Encouragement of Fidelity among the Slaves, with regard to those who possess them in property, such of them as rescue their Masters or Mistresses from any great Danger of their Lives or save them from being murdered, or use their utmost endeavor thereto at the risk of their own Lives, must immediately be made free and above all may not be sold either by their Masters, or by Executor or Administrators of Estates.

In Part 6 we will look at the Slave Lodge opened in 1679 in the Cape Colony (present day Cape Town), we will attempt to walk in the footsteps of slaves and hopefully describe their daily movements in and around the Cape Colony away from their places of work, and also look at slaves owned by slaves (you read correctly) as well as slaves placing requests with the authorities “praying to be manumitted” and proposing to give a fellow slave in exchange for their freedom! We will also briefly look at slavery being abolished in 1838! Until the next time,

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. pp100-171.

[2] Krotoa, called Eva by the Dutch, is the first Khoikhoi woman to appear in the European records of the early settlement at the Cape as an individual personality and active participant in cultural and economic exchange.

[3] Krotoa (Goringhaikona) Meerhoff (abt. 1642 – 1674): WikiTree Where genealogists collaborate https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Goringhaikona-1

Related Blog Posts:

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)

The Land Issue: South Africa 1652 – present: Part 4

Recapping

Flag of the Dutch East India Company svg Welcome to Part 4 of this examination into South African History. We request that you kindly read the preceding parts to gain a proper understanding and the correct context in which this particular part continues the documented course of events. The information has been gleaned from archived documents translated from the original autographs of the Journal of Johan van Riebeeck and others.

In Part 1 we looked at the meticulous planning by the Dutch in the years 1649-1651 prior to Johan van Riebeeck and the designated parties sailing from Texel in the Netherlands on their voyage to the Cape of Good Hope to establish a refreshment station as undertaken by the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company).

In Part 2 we undertook the voyage from Texel in the Netherlands on 14th December 1651 sailing on the flag ship of the fleet, the Drommedaris, to the landing at the Cape of Good Hope on 6th April 1652. We also looked extensively at the lifestyle of the Dutch settlers and their work ethic, their relationships with the local Khoikhoi and San natives and other people groups from these clans. We looked also at the relationship between the Dutch and a native interpreter named Herry. This took our learning adventure into the early days of January 1653.

In Part 3 our investigations continued from the 9th of January 1653 looking back into life at the Cape of Good Hope, the relationships being forged between the local natives and the colonists, the Dutch Christian lifestyle, the assembly service and the gospel, daily trials and tribulations experienced by the Dutch, the birth of Johan and Maria van Riebeeck’s son, christened Abraham van Riebeeck, who was born on 18th October, 1653 at the Fort de Goede Hoop, Kaapkolonie (Cape Colony; present day Cape Town), making Abraham a born white African and therefore ‘a son of Africa.’ We read about a Christian marriage on African soil, native theft and the murder of a Dutch cattle herdsman  and the subsequent forgiveness to continue with friendly communications and dealings between black and white peoples. This part would end in December 1653.

Christian attitudes toward ‘slaves’

The Dutch East India Company (VOC) We now pick up the narrative once again looking at various documents that have been included in the Journal writings of Johan van Riebeeck[1] and the VOC, that particularly show the friendly dealings of the Dutch conveying their Christian ethos towards their fellow man. Whilst this particular portion of the various parts will deal with the Hollanders’ stance on ‘slaves’ and ‘slavery’, we will be able to see that slaves were initially never intended to be the local Khoikhoi and San natives encountered at the Cape of Good Hope. The  recordings encountered make reference and point to labour being brought from afar, from people groups who were known to be of service and who were ‘experienced’ in certain fields, i.e. agriculture, masonry, building, etc. It should also be noted that from a Christian perspective and from what the Bible teaches concerning slaves and slavery the teachings however do not fit with the evil and wicked practice of sinful white and black men involved in the predominately Atlantic slave trade, which also incorporated the Indian Ocean, North and Central African and Mediterranean slave trade routes that existed from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

the%20atlantic%20slave%20trade

We are reminded in scripture,

9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 
10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. ~ Jeremiah 17:9,10

Whilst this particular posting will deal with ‘slaves’ and slavery’, it however will not be dealt with exhaustively (possibly a blog for another day), but will reveal the connection due to the political divide saying black slavery was connected with whites stealing land! This will be shown to be untrue in many respects and political disinformation due to the many tribal wars that also took place during the Mfecane (Difaqane) – “a series of wars fought as African societies in southern Africa expanded in size and competed for power, land and other resources from about the 1790s to the 1850s.”[3] (A separate blog posting dealing with this particular era of South Africa’s diverse history will be dealt with at a future time – GSC).

A painting of the Dutch landing at the Cape of Good Hope Commencing, we pick up from certain journal entries how the Dutch Christians had planned their way forward in dealing with the native Khoikhoi and San people and any other ‘slaves’ to be brought to the Cape.

At page 100 of the Journal under the date 13th May 1652, we can read,

… In case you decided upon an Eastern course it would be advantageous also to visit some Madagascar harbours, where some profitable trade might be secured at least in slaves, and I would be glad to receive the advices and notes of the Hon. van der Stel, who I recollect visited the place from Mauritius in his time with a yacht, and made a good thing with slaves. …

Under a heading titled “No. 6.—Batavia—To the India Council”, we read at page 108,

… Would like to have some slaves for the dirtiest and heaviest work, to take the place of the Dutchmen in fetching stone, &c., which are to be obtained only at a distance, and with which we will be able to make whatever is necessary. Some slaves from Batavia would therefore be welcome, who know how to cut stone and dig up the soil. You should also send us some tile and brickmakers, as brickmaking will be harder work than fetching and preparing the stone. …

(Signed) J. v. Riebeeck.

Cape of Good Hope, 25th May, 1652.

From portions of the Edicts that follow one can read the initial undertaking of kind and protected treatment of the local natives and the consequences to be dished out to those persons found ill-treating them, as we can read from an extract at pages 125-126 of the Journal,

EDICTS (PLAKKATEN.)
ISSUED BY Commander Johan van Riebeeck and Council from the 9th April, 1652, to the 14th October, 1652.

April 9, 1652.—… And should anyone ill-treat, beat, or push a native—whether he be right or wrong—he shall in the presence of the latter receive lashes, that the natives may he made to understand that the deed has been against our will, and that we desire to associate with them in all kindness and friendliness, according to the orders and object of our Lords Principals. Therefore the various guards shall likewise be specially ordered also to keep an eye on this. And should they connive at any harm done to the natives, they shall (if convicted) receive the same punishment. Everyone is therefore earnestly admonished and ordered to show all friendliness and amiability to the natives, that in course of time they may be made accustomed to us by our friendly intercourse, and help to realize the object of the Masters. Everyone however, shall be on his guard and not venture among them so far or trust himself among them, that they may overpower and massacre, or carry him off. …

Thus done by the broad Council on the ship Drommedaris, this 9th April, 1652. (Signed) J. VAN RIEBEECK.

And at page 128 thereof we continue reading concerning the Christian ethos the Dutch held to, imploring all to not neglect their Christian practice, if in fact they were true Christians. We can also understand that in and amongst the Dutch Reformed Christians of the 17th century there would be some who were unbelievers for at no time can one say that there would always be a 100% believing people group. Just as 21st century South Africans profess that they are predominantly “all Christian,” when supposedly professing Christians are not Christian at all in the true sense of the word and by their practices! In the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, for it is written,

16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 
20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
~ Matthew 7:16-20

For if all were true Christians they would follow the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and not have mixed in with their faith and belief the Roman papal system, ancestral traditions and customs of men, heresy and the like! In the Journal, exhorting to attendance of the Christian practice is made,

… And as many absent themselves from daily prayer, and the Sunday Christian exercises and exhortations—attending very little to their religion, which all true Christians, for the sake of their consciences, should principally, and before all other things cherish carefully, if the blessing of the Lord on this place is not to be withheld, and he does not wish to forfeit the grace of the Lord—everyone, whoever he may be, is warned henceforth to attend at the place appointed for the purpose; …

(Signed) J. van Riebeeck.

In the Fort Good Hope, 9th October, 1652.

Further, at page 140 from a letter “No. 25.—To Riebeeck. From Batavia.”, we read in part the instructions from the Batavian Republic of the intensions of the Dutch concerning “slaves and the local natives”. There appears to be a clear distinction between the “local native service” and “foreign slaves”, as we read as follows:

… We have not been able to persuade any Chinese to leave their country for such a distant land and with such uncertain prospects; neither can we at the moment send any slaves, because we require them ourselves. We trust that the natives have come nearer and settled under the fortress, and that they will be sufficiently inclined for service to do all kinds of work instead of slaves, and where if possible they should be kept by means of little presents. …

(Signed by the India Council) Carel Reiniersz, Joan Maetsuyker, Carel Hartzinck, Joan Cunceus, Corn: Caesar, D. J. Steur.

In the Castle of Batavia, 24th December, 1652.

The main slave routes in medieval Africa [Photo: Wikipedia] God’s Word and slavery

From what we have seen recorded above concerning how the Dutch Christians were to deal with the local natives concerning labour and prospective slaves to be had, we will now examine what GOD’s Word says concerning slavery and the slave.

To place the teachings in GOD’s Holy Word into its proper context, one must realise that if one was without a job, one could sell oneself into servitude in order to obtain a proper living where the servant slave would be cared for with clothing, food, accommodation and in the context and time frame that we refer to health care, and also be paid a sum of money for their services. This practice would not be any different to a modern-day ‘live-in maid’ or a ‘live-in garden boy’ or on a bigger comparison to farm labourers who ‘sell themselves’ into labour! Sinful and wicked men brought about the enslaving of people and selling them off to the highest bidders at slave markets. It was also wicked sinful men that brought about the beatings and inhumane treatment of their ‘slave property.’ Unfortunately and with great righteous anger this evil and wicked practice still continues even today in the 21st century, just under a different guise: Human trafficking!

One should also bear in mind the context of the word slave which historically has taken on a more wicked, inhumane and sinister meaning deviating from the Biblical intention and practice of servitude. It is also clear from reading GOD’s Word one can see that GOD intended that slaves would be looked after and cared for.

To quantify and qualify these afore-stated facts we go to GOD’s Holy Word as contained in the 1611 Authorised Version in English, commonly known as the King James Version Bible, and we see that the word “slave” appears only once in Jeremiah 2:14 and the word “slaves” also only once in Revelation 18:13. One would expect that during the 17th century the word “slave” would be brandied around more often as it was common practice at that time. However, godly men of GOD who translated the Bible from the original autographs of the Textus Receptus (the Received Text) into the English language were moved of GOD to record the correct translated words which we record here for ease of reference, as contained in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance[2], these being in their many grammatical forms, viz:

  • slave (1)
  • slaves (1)
  • servant (493)
  • servant’s (9)
  • servants (476)
  • servants’ (4)
  • bondmaid (2)
  • bondmaids (2)
  • bondman (6)
  • bondmen (17)
  • bondservant (1)
  • bondwoman (8)
  • bondwomen (3)
  • maid (36)
  • maid’s (1)
  • maids (9)
  • maidservant (16)
  • maidservant’s (1)
  • maidservants (9)
  • maidservants’ (1)
  • manservant (12)
  • manservant’s (1)
  • manservants (1)
  • menservants (10)
  • womenservants (3)

It is suggested that as a Bible scholar (or a layman just passing by), that you consult each of the references from the Strong’s Concordance and place each word in its proper context reading from Scripture. However, to get to the main point, the vast majority of the words used in context are found to be the word servant(-s), which explanation for ease of reference is quoted here in its entirety from page 1930[2]:

H5650 עבד , ‘ebed, eh’-bed; from 5647; a servant:– X bondage, bondman, [bond-] servant, (man-) servant.

A masculine noun meaning a servant, a slave. Although the most basic concept of this term is that of a slave, slavery in the Bible was not the same as the slavery of modern times. The period of slavery was limited to six years (Ex 21:2). Slaves had rights and protection under the Law (Ex 21:20). It was also possible for slaves to attain positions of power and honour (Gen 24:2; 41:12). In addition, the people under the king were called his servants (Gen 21:25); as well as his officers (1Sam 19:1); officials (2Kin 22:12); ambassadors (Num 22:18); vassal kings (2Sam 10:19); tributary nations (1Chr 18:2,6,13). This word is also a humble way of referring to one’s self when speaking with another of equal or superior rank (Gen 33:5). The term is also applied to those who worship God (Neh 1:10); and to those who minister or serve Him (Isa 49:5,6). The phrase, the servant of the Lord, is the most outstanding reference to the Messiah in the OT, and its teachings are concentrated at the end of Isaiah (Isa 42:1,19; 43:10; 49:3,5-7; 52:13; 53:11).

As stated above that the word ‘ebed comes from 5647, we also quote extensively from page 1930[2] the following:

H5647 עבד , ‘âbad, aw-bad’; a primitive root; to work (in any sense); by implication to serve, till, (causative) enslave, etc.:– X be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, ear, execute, + husbandman, keep, labour (-ing man), bring to pass, (cause to, make to) serve (-ing, self), (be, become) servant (-s), do (use) service, till (-er), transgress [from margin], (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper.

A verb meaning to work, to serve. This labour may be focused on things, other people, or God. When it is used in reference to things, that item is usually expressed: to till the ground (Gen 2:5; 3:23; 4:2); to work in a garden (Gen 2:15); or to dress a vineyard (Dt 28:39). Similarly, this term is also applied to artisans and craftsmen, like workers in fine flax (Isa 19:9); the labourers of the city (Eze 48:19). When the focus of the labour is another person, that person is usually expressed: Jacob’s service to Laban (Gen 29:15); the Israelites’ service for the Egyptians (Ex 1:14); and a people’s service to the king (Jgs 9:28; 1Sam 11:1). When the focus of the labour is the Lord, it is a religious service to worship Him. Moreover, in these cases, the word does not have connotations of toilsome labour but instead of a joyful experience of liberation (Ex 3:12; 4:23; 7:16; Jos 24:15,18). Unfortunately, this worship service was often given to false gods (Dt 7:16; 2Kin 10:18,19,21-23).

The servant (slave) laws that were given to GOD’s people, the Hebrews, can be read hereunder from the Book of Exodus, for it is written,

Chapter 21

1  Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. 
2  If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. 
3  If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. 
4  If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. 
5  And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: 
6  Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. 
7  And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. 
8  If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. 
9  And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.
10  If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.
11  And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.
12  He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.
. . . 
16  And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.
. . .  
20  And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. 
21  Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
. . .  
26  And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. 
27  And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.
. . .  
32  If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

Whilst these Laws were given to the Hebrews, as Christians in the New Testament we are reminded in scripture that,

16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 
17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16,17

Therefore, the Dutch Christians were to use the Holy Scriptures of the Bible as their standard for dealing with their fellow man and neighbours. Even in today’s legal system a vast majority of the laws in place stems from the Holy Bible!

Slave traders and the “K-word”! 

At page 142 under a title “LETTERS AND DOCUMENTS DESPATCHED. No.—14.—Batavia—To the India Council by the “Muyden.”” we read an entry in the Journal dealing with provisions that can be used in the trade along the African coast where the Mozambique traders trade,

26th April, 1653.—… With the return fleet of next year we shall expect the same quantity of clothing. Supply at present inadequate. The same as regards provisions; also rice, which is more convenient than bread. Would also like to have one or two parcels red cloths, not too fine or too coarse, in case we are ordered from home to trade along the coast which the Mozambique traders frequent, and where for cheap articles much gold, tusks, ebony and fine Caffers for slaves are to be had, as you may gather from the accompanying extract of the present letter to the Masters.

(Signed) J. v. Riebeeck.

Arab slave traders and their captives along the Ruvuma River in Mozambique [Photo: Wikipedia]

Arab slave traders and their captives along the Ruvuma River in Mozambique [Photo: Wikipedia]

From this preceding transcript it is not clearly stated as to the race of these “Mozambique traders,” but seeing that they are mentioned as possible indigenous inhabitants of Mozambique it can be deduced that they were the local African inhabitants of that African region. Therefore, it is very interesting that a record has been made of these Mozambique traders dealing in “fine Caffers for slaves are to be had.” This information had been made known to/by Johan van Riebeeck from the “accompanying extract of the present letter to the Masters.” And judging from the above artist’s impression it appears that this was “black Arab slavers selling black slaves!”

It is at this point that we should look at the etymology of the South African reference to the “K-word”! The word is originally Kafir, also spelt Caffer or Kaffir! The two latter spellings are the British English spelling of the original Arabic word Kafir, where the search engine WikiIslam[4] gives the following definition, quote:

A kāfir (كافر ; plural كفّار kuffār) is a disbeliever, someone who rejects Allah and who does not believe in Muhammad as the final messenger of Allah.[1][2] Although Christians and Jews are called the People of the Book (أهل الكتاب ahl al-kitab), they qualify as disbelievers[3][4][5] according to the Qur’an. The word “kafir” can be offensive to non-Muslims, as it has roots meaning “concealer” and “ingrate” implying that non-Muslims are liars. It is also often used by Muslims as an extremely offensive curse word. Other terms which are used to refer to non-Muslims include “faasiq” (sinner, corrupt) and “munafiq” (hypocrite).

This word was used by many nations to describe people as ‘unbelievers’ or ‘non-believers’, a word that had no real racist connotations in times past. In the true sense of the Arabic word kafir, you would have black kafirs, white kafirs, brown kafirs, and any other unbelieving kafirs who did not embrace Islam. It is unfortunate that sinful men started using a word in a racial way to describe people groups. It is even more unfortunate that during the apartheid years in South Africa (1948-1994), which “apartheid” (“apartness” or “separation”) was instituted by the Reunited National Party (Herenigde Nasionale Party) whose first apartheid-era prime minister was Daniel François Malan (1948–1954), that the Arabic word kafir became the derogatory word “kaffer” used by Afrikaners, but not all,  as a very offensive swear word directed at black Africans in very demeaning ways. This disrespectful word also then became a vulgar word used by Afrikaans, English and even some Bantu tribes of South Africa, just as the word can also be used by Muslims as an extremely offensive curse word. This word was used to bring down the black African man “to put him in his place” – the HNP’s 1948 pro-Afrikaner political rhetoric with their neo-Nazi attitude. Where the Nazi’s under Adolph Hitler subjected the Jews to concentration camps during the Second World War (1939-1945) the Nationalist government in South Africa subjected the black Africans to townships in their segregation or separateness policies enforced as Apartheid!

A comparison between certain 'freedoms' of the U.S. Constitution and the 'teachings' in the Qur'an Also at the same WikiIslam webpage as mentioned above one can read “How to Become a Kafir”. Listed, one can read, “Call on anyone other than Allah (i.e. for intercession) (Qur’an 10:106), Dislike Allah (Qur’an 39:45)” and other references. But the one reference that should leap out at the reader should be “Judge by any other law aside from Islamic law (Qur’an 5:44)”. This infers that you become a kafir in terms of the Islamic faith because you judge by another law aside from Shari’ah Law (Islamic Law). That will then make the ‘infidel’ South African government and its citizens all kafirs which according to the Promotion of Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act the entire Muslim faith is guilty of crimen injuria (Latin, short for crimen injuria datum, meaning “offence committed without lawful cause”).

Islamic slave traders

The following quoted extract also comes from the WikiIslam webpage at this Islamic law[5] link:

Slavery

Main Article: Slavery

Slave market in Khartoum, c. 1876 [Photo: Wikipedia] Slave market in Khartoum, c. 1876 [Photo: Wikipedia]

Under Islamic laws, slavery is explicitly permitted.[145] As Saudi Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, a member of the Senior Council of Clerics had said in 2003, those who argue that slavery is abolished are "ignorant, not scholars. They are merely writers. Whoever says such things is an infidel."[146] Muhammad himself was a slaver. He not only owned many male[147][148] and female[149] slaves, but he also sold, captured, and had sex[150] with his slaves. Even his wives owned slaves. Apologists will claim that Muhammad provided a system that would eventually lead to the abolition of slavery, but this is not true and nowhere does Islamic scripture support such a statement. Yes, Muhammad regulated it and allowed for the manumission of a slave, but this is by no means an obligation. It is clear that Muhammad held no animosity towards slavery,[151] and at times even discouraged the freeing of slaves.[152] He even encouraged racism by exchanging two black slaves for one Arab.[153] As is clear, Muhammad’s actions perpetuated the existence of this reprehensible trade by institutionalising it within Islam, This sanction of slavery has helped the Muslim world create one of the largest trans-continental slave trades in history. The Eastern Islamic slave trade is the longest yet least discussed of the two major trades. Much like the Crusades and the Islamic Conquests which prompted them, you only hear of the one and not the other. Many people are not even aware that the Arab slave trade ever existed, even though it began around 650 AD (pre-dating the European slave trade by over a thousand years) However, It was only officially abolished (due largely to pressure from the West,[154] rather than their own conscience) in the 1960’s and the slave trade still exists in the Islamic East. As of July 2009,[155] there were over half a million slaves in Mauritania alone. In Pakistan, the labor minister of Punjab had said in early 2009 that there are "millions of forced laborers in ‘private prisons’ across the country",[156] and the town of Hajja, Yemen, in 2010 is home to another 300 slaves.[157] This (just like the history of Jihad) is an ongoing atrocity that many want to erase from our history books and have largely succeeded in doing so. Unlike the Europeans who were primarily interested in male slaves for use as agricultural workers, the

Inspecting New Arrivals by Giulio Rosati 2Inspecting New Arrivals by Giulio Rosati 2 [Photo: WikiIslam]

Islamic raiders interests (like Muhammad’s before them) lay in female slaves to use for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems. Also, putting aside the 1.25 million white Europeans Christians who were captured and sold into the Muslim slave trade between the 16th and 19th century,[158] the number of innocent Africans who were taken (or died in the process of being taken) as slaves over the last fourteen centuries of Islamic slavery is estimated to be higher than 140 million.[159] This figure dwarfs the numbers that were taken at the hands of Europeans. And unlike in the West, male slaves (blacks in particular) were commonly castrated,[160] hence the lack of surviving descendants of black slaves in the Middle-East.

White Cargo Pic [Photo: Wikipedia] We also know that there was not only blacks captured and sold off as slaves but whites too were captured and sold into slavery. But not much is said about the “white cargo trade” for it does not assist with the black political rhetoric! Also, it is always argued that the white people were the only slave traders, and yes they were as owners of ships and as “masters”, however, it was black men and Arabs that were rounding up the black slaves in Africa and the Middle East! Blacks were selling blacks for greedy prosperity! Nothing has changed, nowadays they just use politics to sell out the black man; and the white man? well, he is their scapegoat!

From the Holy Bible we see the first dealings in the selling of a young Hebrew named Joseph into slavery by his very own brothers. And Joseph found himself being sold to the Ishmeelites, the descendants of Ishmael, the half brother of his grandfather Isaac born to Abraham. Ishmael was the son born of his mother Hagar the Egyptian, the maid of Abraham’s wife Sarah (see Genesis 16, at the time Abraham was Abram and Sarah was Sarai). Ishmael is the forefather of Islam’s Muslims. We read of the selling of Joseph the Hebrew into slavery to be carried down to Egypt, today a Muslim nation, for the account is written as follows,

23  And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
24  And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
25  And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
26  And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
27  Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
28  Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt. ~ Genesis 37:23-28

One should go and read the Biblical History of this account that has been documented for mankind. Joseph had many trials down in Egypt, but GOD worked it all out for HIS will and purpose. Joseph not only ended up in jail being falsely accused of trying to lay with Pharaoh’s wife, but he eventually ended up ruling Egypt as second-in-command to Pharaoh! The end of the historical story is that what his brothers meant for evil, GOD used for HIS own good by saving HIS people. Our ways are not GOD’s ways and we do not always understand or know the reasons why events do take place, but thankfully GOD is in control reigning on high and knows the end from the beginning! GOD however does not condone men’s wicked slavery behaviour! The conclusion to Joseph’s story is that forgiveness and restoration takes place. We read, for it is written,

1  Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. 
2  And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. 
3  And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. 
4  And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 
5  Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. 
6  For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. 
7  And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 
8  So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. 
9  Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: 
10  And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: 
11  And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. 
12  And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. 
13  And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. 
14  And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.
15  Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him. ~ Genesis 45:1-15

As South Africans we can learn by what has gone before. The only way this nation will prosper is by putting the past behind us by seeking GOD’s will in our nation and seeking to being restored! We know from scripture GOD says,

14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14

Zanzibari slave trader Tippu Tip owned 10,000 slaves [Photo: Wikipedia] From the extensive quote that appears at this link we read hereunder extensively regarding Muslim statistics in slavery. It is sickening to know that this false barbaric religion has persisted in slavery and keeping people in bondage. Where is the worldly outcry? The United Nations would rather be listening to lies from the Palestinian Authority (PA) and all ‘their’ allies the world over who sympathise with the PA murderers and slavers about how Israel kill ‘their’ people and yet they do very little about addressing Muslim slavery and other human trafficking the world over. Islam is not ‘a religion of peace’ but one of ungodly laws and slavery. My plea to Muslims: Repent of your wicked sins against GOD and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ! Flee to HIM! HE can make you free!

Muslim Statistics (Slavery)

From WikiIslam, the online resource on Islam

Historical

A 19th-century engraving depicting an Arab slave-trading caravan transporting black African slaves across the Sahara [Photo: Wikipedia] A comparison of the Islamic slave trade to the American slave trade reveals some interesting contrasts. While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Islamic slave trade. Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims.

While the mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the percentage of slaves dying in transit in the Trans Sahara and East African slave trade was between 80 and 90%!

While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service.

While many children were born to slaves in the Americas, and millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the USA to this day, very few descendants of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East survive.

While most slaves who went to the Americas could marry and have families, most of the male slaves destined for the Middle East were castrated, and most of the children born to the women were killed at birth.

It is estimated that possibly as many as 11 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic (95% of which went to South and Central America, mainly to Portuguese, Spanish and French possessions. Only 5% of the slaves went to the United States).

However, at least 28 million Africans were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East. As at least 80% of those captured by Muslim slave traders were calculated to have died before reaching the slave markets, it is believed that the death toll from the 14 centuries of Muslim slave raids into Africa could have been over 112 million. When added to the number of those sold in the slave markets, the total number of African victims of the Trans Saharan and East African slave trade could be significantly higher than 140 million people.
. . .
The Barbary Coast Historian Robert Davis in his book "Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters – White Slavery In the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy", estimates that North African Muslim pirates abducted and enslaved more than 1 million Europeans between 1530 and 1780. These white Christians were seized in a series of raids which depopulated coastal towns from Sicily to Cornwall. Thousands of white Christians in coastal areas were seized every year to work as galley slaves, labourers and concubines for Muslim slave masters in what is today Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya. Villages and towns on the coast of Italy, Spain, Portugal  and France were the hardest hit, but the Muslim slave raiders also seized people as far afield as Britain, Ireland and Iceland. They even captured 130 American seamen from ships they boarded in the Atlantic between 1785 and 1793.

According to one report, 7000 English people were abducted between 1622 to 1644, many of them ship crews and passengers. But the Corsairs also landed on unguarded beaches, often at night, to snatch the unwary. Almost all the inhabitants of the village of Baltimore, in Ireland, were captured in 1631, and there were other raids in Devon and Cornwall. Many of these white, Christian slaves were put to work in quarries, building sites and galleys and endured malnutrition, disease and mistreatment at the hands of their Muslim slave masters. Many of them were used for public works such as building harbours.

Muslim raiders and White women slaves [Photo: Wikipedia] Female captives were sexually abused in palace harems and others were held as hostages and bargained for ransom. "The most unlucky ended up stuck and forgotten out in the desert, in some sleepy town such as Suez, or in Turkish Sultanate galleys, where some slaves rowed for decades without ever setting foot on shore." Professor Davis estimates that up to 1,25 million Europeans were enslaved by Muslim slave raiders between 1500 to 1800. [1]

___________________________

[The Mediterranean slavery of the 16th and 17th centuries] was not race slavery, but nor was it indiscriminate. It was religious slavery. The human beings kidnapped and sold by the Barbary pirates were fair game because they were Christian. A Christian slave on the Barbary Coast could attain his freedom by converting to Islam, and many did so.
. . .
One of the most impressive parts of Prof. Davis’s book is his computation of the numbers of Europeans enslaved by these Muslim raiders. Combing through the historical sources, he concludes that there were about 35,000 enslaved Christians on the Barbary Coast at any one time. He then sets about estimating attrition rates. Slave numbers declined through four causes: death, escape, redemption (i.e. by ransom), and conversion to Islam. Davis gets annual rates from these causes of 17 percent, 1 percent, 2-3 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. This implies a total number of slaves, from the early 1500s to the late 1700s, of one to one and a quarter million. This is an astonishing number, implying that well into the 17th century, the Mediterranean slave trade was out-producing the Atlantic one. Numbers fell off thereafter, while the transatlantic trade increased; but in its time, the enslavement of European Christians by Muslim North Africans was the main kind of enslavement going on in the world.[2]

___________________________

Christian slavery in Barbary [Photo: Wikipedia]The result, then, is that between 1530 and 1780 there were almost certainly a million and quite possibly as many as a million and a quarter white, European Christians enslaved by the Muslims of the Barbary Coast.
. . .
In fact, even a tentative slave count in Barbary inevitably begs a host of new questions. To begin with, the estimates arrived at here make it clear that for most of the first two centuries of the modern era, nearly as many Europeans were taken forcibly to Barbary and worked or sold as slaves as were West Africans hauled off to labor on plantations in the Americas. In the sixteenth century especially, during which time the Atlantic slave runners still averaged only around 3,200 Africans annually, the corsairs of Algiers – and later Tunis and Tripoli – were regularly snatching that many or more white captives on a single raiding voyage to Sicily, the Balearics, or Valencia.[3]

___________________________

Modern Day

Afghanistan

Thousands of Afghan girls and boys are trafficked into neighboring countries and sold into slavery each year. Though it is taboo, prostitution is alive and thriving – at the cost of those forced to work in it.[4]

October 2012

– – – – – – – – – – – –
Arabs and their slaves [Photo: WikiIslam]Egypt

Egypt has come in second place in the trading of women, according to Azza Soliman, the national coordinator of fighting female human trafficking and trade.

Soliman said that Egypt has turned from a transit country to a “residence country” for the women
. . .
Experts say the number of women trafficked into neighboring countries is on the rise as wealthy Arabs take advantage of difficult economic situations, marry young girls with the intent to use them in the sex trade.

Makram Ouda, executive director of the Jordanian Women Union said that they have found 70 Egyptian women who were trafficked into Jordan and kept there as part of the sex trade network after their husbands “bought” them from their parents.

And while the marriage contracts are legitimate, these new brides find themselves working either as beggars or as sex workers.[5]

October 2012

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Indonesia

Data from End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children (Ecpat) show up to 70,000 children in Indonesia may have fallen victim to sexual exploitation.
. . .

The group says the majority of victims are from West, Central and East Java, West Kalimantan and North Sumatra. In many cases, the children are promised work as domestic workers but end up in prostitution dens.

More than 3,900 children here have fallen victim to human trafficking in the first half of the year, according to the International Organization for Migration. The country tops the UN body’s list of child trafficking cases.[6]

November 2011

– – – – – – – – – – – –
Mauritania

A Muslim slave trader [WikiIslam] Officially, slavery has long been abolished in Mauritania, but the law has never been enforced and there are an estimated 600,000 slaves, almost one in five of the country’s 3.2 million people, almost 150 years since the American civil war.

Change will come too late to heal Mrs Sayed’s ruined life. But she knows that victory for Mr Boulkheir could transform the future for the daughter and grandchildren whom she had to leave behind in captivity when she finally summoned the courage to escape.

A black African of Mauritania’s Haratine caste, she was born into slavery about 40 years ago – she is illiterate and has only a hazy idea of time – and grew up as the property of an Arabic-speaking Berber family, in an oasis town deep in the desert.

While her master’s children went to school, she was cooking, cleaning and washing from dawn to dusk. She slept on the floor, and suffered beatings.
. . .
Slave-holding has been abolished three times, first by the country’s former French overlords and then twice by different rulers of the independent state, most recently in 2007. But the law has never been enforced and no slave owner has ever been prosecuted.
. . .
Centuries of indoctrination have persuaded the Sahara’s captives that slavery is religiously ordained – slaves are taught that if they run away they will be barred from heaven. As a local saying puts it: "Paradise is under your master’s foot." In some remote places a runaway will still be hunted down by nomad masters.
. . .
A Berber driver, who would only give his first name, Mohammed, defended slavery. "It is our religion and custom," he said.

"Why does the international community try to stop it? The slaves are better off with their masters. This is their fate. When they leave, they starve."[7]

July 2009

– – – – – – – – – – – –
Pakistan

Officials at the U.S. embassy in Islamabad say at least three landlords have held as many as 170 bonded farmworkers at gunpoint on their estates in the country’s southeast Sindh province since late September.
. . .

The crisis began after the workers’ advocates successfully petitioned three district courts to declare as illegal the debts that the landlords were using to compel the workers into indentured servitude. Those debts average around 1,000 Pakistani rupees — roughly $12. The hostages, a third of whom are children, some as young as 4 months old, are landless peasants, known as haari in Urdu. According to Ghulam Hyder, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Green Rural Development Organization, the landlords have killed one hostage already and are threatening to kill the others unless they drop the cases and return to work.
. . .
A 2004 study by the International Labour Office (ILO) estimated that there are up to a million haari families in Sindh alone, the majority living in conditions of debt bondage, which the U.N. defines as modern-day slavery. Last fall, Pakistan’s Daily Times newspaper quoted the labor minister of neighboring Punjab province as saying that landlords hold millions of forced laborers in "private prisons" across the country.

While the nation’s 1992 Bonded Labour System Act mandates five-year sentences for violators, Pakistani officials have yet to record a single conviction. "The police are turning a blind eye on the issue," says Hyder[8]

October 2009

Child labour: According to a study by SPARC, most of the child domestic workers in Pakistan are aged between 10-15 years (sometimes five years old children are also employed). In the absence of official statistics, it is impossible to assess the magnitude of bonded labour, but it is estimated that 1.7 million people are engaged in bonded labour in Pakistan.[9]

September 2012

– – – – – – – – – – – –
Saudi Arabia

A Meccan merchant (right) and his Circassian slave. Entitled, ‘Vornehmner Kaufmann mit seinem cirkassischen Sklaven’ [Distinguished merchant and his circassian slave] by Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, ca. 1888. [Photo: Wikipedia] Children between five and 12 years old are sold to wealthy men in Saudi Arabia, where they are held as sex slaves. When they reach maturity, and many are thrown on the street and they end quickly as a prostitute.

Save the Children appeal to the Norwegian and Swedish ministers take up the issue with their Saudi counterparts, and asks private companies to take up the exploitation of children when they hit their business.

– I am not surprised by the information about the existence of such traffic to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region, particularly in light of [the fact] that marriage with children is widespread and accepted, “said Sannah Johnson, regional director of the Middle East for the Swedish Save the Children.

A well-organized network of traffickers supplying the Arab market with child brides from the North African country of Mauritania, says U.S. diplomats. Retrieved as sex slaves in their thousands from Yemen, in addition to that there is an extensive sex industry in Yemen offering sex with minors to rich men from the Gulf states, the Wikileaks documents and Aftenposten Bergens Tidende has access to.[10]

May 2011

– – – – – – – – – – – –
Sudan

Unlike the West, slavery is still alive and thriving in the Islamic East. "The classification of the conflict as a "holy war" — a jihad against the Christian South and its allies in the Nuba Mountains – legitimized in the eyes of many Northern Muslims the revival of the centuries-old practice of taking slaves as war booty."

In slave raids on Southern villages, conducted by government-backed Arab militias known as murahaleen, estimated hundreds of thousands of blacks, mostly women and children, were captured, transported to the North and enslaved.

Since 1995, AASG’s partner, Christian Solidarity International (CSI), has been working to free Sudan’s slaves. The organization provides funds to the indigenous network of Africans and Arabs who cooperate on returning the captives. CSI’s efforts resulted in the liberation of over 80,000 slaves.

In 2005, under guidance of the US Government, the North and the South signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the war and provided for Southern self-determination. The CPA ended the slave raids, but left the fate of those already in bondage unresolved. According to the recent Congressional testimony of CSI’s CEO Dr. John Eibner, approximately 35,000 are still serving their masters in parts of Southern Darfur and Kordofan.

In the week prior to the independence, CSI liberated 404 slaves.[11]

July 2011

– – – – – – – – – – – –
Yemen

13th century slave market in the Yemen [Photo: WikiIslam] Officially, slavery was abolished back in 1962 but a judge’s decision to pass on the title deed of a "slave" from one master to another has blown the lid off the hidden bondage of hundreds of Yemenis.

The judge in the town of Hajja, which is home to some 300 slaves, according to residents, said he had certified the transfer only because the new owner planned to free the slave.

But his decision has triggered a campaign by local human right activists.

A 2009 report by the human rights ministry found that males and females were still enslaved in the provinces of Hudaydah and Hajja, in northwest Yemen — the Arab world’s most impoverished country.
. . .
"We are still in the process of trying to count the numbers of slaves," the coordinator of rights group Hood, Mohammed Naji Allaw, told AFP, explaining that slaves were "owned by title deeds, or inherited within families."

The news website almasdaronline earlier spoke of "500 slaves" across Yemen.

In addition to "slaves whose owner can use them however he wants," the ministry report also refers to other groups subjected to slave-like conditions, although they are not bound by documents.

One group includes "former slaves who have been officially set free, but remain at the service of their former masters, who continue to feed them but never pay them wages," the report said.

Allaw said such people are still referred to as "the slaves of such and such a family, or the slaves of such and such a tribe."

Enslaved groups are descendants of an empire which ruled Yemen in the 11th and 12th centuries, with their origins in ancient Ethiopia, across the Red Sea from Yemen. They were enslaved after their empire was defeated.[12]

July 2010

Conclusion

In concluding this part of our investigations it is established that the Christian perspective of ‘slavery’ is none other than the Biblical truth of servants in servitude. It is totally opposite to what Marxist black South African political parties advocate by demonising whites. We also learn that the wicked and evil slave practices that black Africans decry against all whites actually were instituted by black Africans and Arab slave traders themselves. Wicked white ship-owners then joined the ‘lucrative’ business of dealing in human merchandise for evil and inhumane gain! However, one cannot tar and feather every person from any particular people group or skin pigmentation (race) for not all hold to the same practices. There is good and there is evil found in every walk of life, but white people are the scapegoat for another’s evil and wicked practices. We end with the following quote,

“The slaves in Africa, I suppose, are nearly in the proportion of three to one to the freemen. They claim no reward for their services except food and clothing, and are treated with kindness or severity, according to the good or bad disposition of their masters. Custom, however, has established certain rules with regard to the treatment of slaves, which it is thought dishonourable to violate. Thus the domestic slaves, or such as are born in a man’s own house, are treated with more lenity than those which are purchased with money. … But these restrictions on the power of the master extend not to the care of prisoners taken in war, nor to that of slaves purchased with money. All these unfortunate beings are considered as strangers and foreigners, who have no right to the protection of the law, and may be treated with severity, or sold to a stranger, according to the pleasure of their owners.”

Travels in the Interior of Africa, Mungo Park, Travels in the Interior of Africa v. II, Chapter XXII – War and Slavery.

Finally free - Mende Nazer was abducted and sold into slavery in Sudan at the age of 12. She has been granted asylum in UK. [Photo: WikiIslam]Finally free – Mende Nazer was abducted and sold into slavery in Sudan at the age of 12. She has been granted asylum in UK. [Photo: WikiIslam]

Slaves in Africa are “three to one to the freemen”, and whites do not own them! Go figure!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. pp100-171.

[2] Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance, Expanded Edition: James Strong, LL.D., S.T.D.: Editor – Warren Baker, Copyright © 2004, Published by AMG Publishers.

[3] Glossary: Field Guide to the Battlefields of South Africa – by Nicki von der Heyde, Published by Struik Travel & Heritage (© Penguin Random House 2013)

[4] Kafir, WikiIslam – References:

  • [1] "…Kafir: Literally means "a disbeliever". In Islam it refers to one who rejects Allah and who does not believe in Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam as the final messenger of Allah.…" – Islamic Glossary
  • [2] "…kafir noun (pl=kuffar) 1. (Islam) infidel, Infidel, pagan, non-believer; a non-Muslim aside from ahl al-kitab (Christians, Jews, etc.). 2. (Islam) Infidel, pagan, non-believer; any non-Muslim. Ref: Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimullah) v27 p264: "Whosoever does not forbid people from the deen of the Jews and Christians after the prophethood of the messenger Muhammad (saw) nor declares them kafir nor hates them, he is not a Muslim by the consensus of ALL Muslims, their scholars and the general public."…"AllWords.com – kafir
  • [3] ""…the permissive people, who do not believe in any command or prohibition at all and refer to the Divine will and decree as an excuse for their evil deeds, are worse off than the Jews, Christians and Arab mushrikeen, because even though the latter are kaafirs, they still believe in some kind of command and prohibition…" – Atheism is a greater sin than shirk – Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 113901
  • [4] "…But it is not permissible to marry her, as she is still a Kafir (non-Muslim) and has not yet embraced Islam wholeheartedly without any doubt.…" – Thinking of marrying an atheist – Dr. Abdullah Al-faqih, Islam Web, Fatwa No. 88328, July 21, 2004
  • [5] "…This is something that is well known among the Muslims, and they are unanimously agreed that the Christians are kaafirs, and even that those who do not regard them as kaafirs are also kaafirs…" – Qur’an, Hadith and Scholars:People of the Book

    [5] Islamic law: Slavery, WikiIslam – References:

  • [145] "….I married a virgin woman in her veil. When I entered upon her, I found her pregnant. (I mentioned this to the Prophet). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: She will get the dower, for you made her vagina lawful for you. The child will be your slave…." – Sunan Abu Dawud 11:2126
  • [146] Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan’s "affirmation of slavery" was found on page 24 of "Taming a Neo-Qutubite Fanatic Part 1" when accessed on February 17, 2007 http://www.salafipublications.com/sps/downloads/pdf/GRV07000
  • [148] "Zad al-Ma’ad" by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya Part 1, Pages 114-116
  • [149] "Zad al-Ma’ad" by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya Part 1, Pages 114-116
  • [150] "….Waqidi has informed us that Abu Bakr has narrated that the messenger of Allah (PBUH) had sexual intercourse with Mariyyah [his Coptic slave] in the house of Hafsah…." – Tabaqat v. 8 p. 223 Publisher Entesharat-e Farhang va Andisheh Tehran 1382 solar h ( 2003) Translator Dr. Mohammad Mahdavi Damghan
  • [151] "….Allah’s Apostle sent someone to a woman telling her to "Order her slave, carpenter, to prepare a wooden pulpit for him to sit on."…." – Sahih Bukhari 1:8:439
  • [152] "…."Do you know, O Allah’s Apostle, that I [Maimuna bint Al-Harith] have manumitted my slave-girl?" He said, "Have you really?" She replied in the affirmative. He said, "You would have got more reward if you had given her (i.e. the slave-girl) to one of your maternal uncles." – Sahih Bukhari 3:47:765
  • [153] "….Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: Sell him to me. And he bought him for two black slaves,…." – Sahih Muslim 10:3901
  • [156] E. Benjamin Skinner – Pakistan’s Forgotten Plight: Modern-Day Slavery – TIME, October 27, 2009
  • [157] Jamal al-Jaberi – ‘Slaves’ in impoverished Yemen still dream of freedom – AFP, July 20, 2010
  • [158] Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean; the Barbary Coast and Italy 1500 – 1800, by Robert Davis, Palgrave MacMillan, 2004
  • [159] The Scourge of Slavery – Christian Action, 2004 Vol 4
  • [160] Islam’s Black Slaves, by Ronald Segal, Farrar, New York, 2001

    [6] Muslim Statistics (Slavery), WikiIslam – References:

    1. The Scourge of Slavery – Christian Action, 2004 Vol 4
    2. John Derbyshire – Fear of the Horizon (Book Review) – National Review Online, September 13, 2006
    3. Robert C. Davis, "Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800", New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, pp. 23-24
    4. Waslat Hasrat-Nazimi – Human trafficking, prostitution thrive in Afghanistan – Deutsche Welle, October 24, 2012
    5. Made Arya Kencana – Measures to Protect Children From Sex Exploitation ‘Still Weak’ – Jakarta Globe, November 4, 2011
    6. E. Benjamin Skinner – Pakistan’s Forgotten Plight: Modern-Day Slavery – TIME, October 27, 2009
    7. Jamal al-Jaberi – ‘Slaves’ in impoverished Yemen still dream of freedom – AFP, July 20, 2010

    Related Blog Posts:

    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)

  • The Land Issue: South Africa 1652 – present: Part 3

    Recapping

    Flag of the Dutch East India Company svg Welcome to Part 3 of this examination into South African History. We request that you kindly read the preceding parts to gain a proper understanding and the correct context in which this part continues the documented course of events. The information has been gleaned from archived documents translated from the original autographs of the Journal of Johan van Riebeeck and others.

    In Part 1 we looked at the meticulous planning by the Dutch in the years 1649-1651 prior to Johan van Riebeeck and the designated parties sailing from Texel in the Netherlands on their voyage to the Cape of Good Hope to establish a refreshment station as undertaken by the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company).

    In Part 2 we undertook the voyage from Texel in the Netherlands on 14th December 1651 sailing on the flag ship of the fleet, the Drommedaris, to the landing at the Cape of Good Hope on 6th April 1652. We also looked extensively at the lifestyle of the Dutch settlers and their work ethic, their relationships with the local Khoikhoi and San natives and other people groups from these clans. We looked also at the relationship between the Dutch and a native interpreter named Herry. This took our learning adventure into the early days of January 1653.

    Light and darkness

    Khoikhoi sketch In Part 3 we now once again pick up the historical account from the Journal of Johan van Riebeeck[1] as we look into the lives of the early Dutch settlers and their near neighbours – the Khoikhoi, the San, the Beach-rangers, the Fishmen, the Hottentoos, and the like. These were the names the local natives came to be known as from the communication that started to flourish between the ‘white and coloured’ peoples. We will also look at the lives of the first evangelist missionaries who came to settle at the Cape and share in action their faith in God the Almighty!

    We now pick up the narrative and see the Saldanhars are becoming more and more problematic towards the Dutch settlers, as we read from the entries dated 9th and 14th January 1653,

    9.—Men returned with 1 cow, 2 calves and 3 sheep. Report departure of Saldanhars towards the east to the Bay de Sambras, whither they go every year, and thence crossing over the country to the west, as Herry says, proceed to Saldanha Bay, whence they come hither. Obtained the cattle from the Saldanhar Captain, stationed about 7 or 8 miles away eastward, nearly on the beach, having with him about 80 men and 5 or 600 beautiful head of cattle and 2,000 sheep—the finest they had ever seen. Would not part with any—had to suffer much insult from them and had nearly come to blows. Obeyed orders, however, and did them no harm—bore as much as they could, but had sufficient opportunity to drive off all their cattle, as the corporal, being hard pressed by the natives, fired a small pistol over their heads to get rid of them, when all ran away, leaving their cattle behind. They were called back and told that we would not do them any harm but wished to trade with copper and tobacco—and if they did not like it, they might go whither they wished—parted good friends and gave them some tobacco. Herry stated that Saldanhars will not return before next season, but that there were other natives who might come when seeing the copper of the Saldanhars. For when the latter, named Queena, were a good distance off, after having journeyed from one good pasture to another, the Fishmen called Soaqua would arrive with a few cattle. Told us to be careful of them, as they will come nominally to sell cattle but at the same time will endeavour to do us as much harm as possible, stealing what they can, as they subsist by stealing. What they have has been stolen from the Saldanhars, who when they catch them kill them without mercy and throw them to the dogs. Fires seen towards the East. Glad to have obtained so much cattle from the Saldanhars. People well supplied with meat—still on hand 350 sheep and 130 cows, among the latter 25 milch cows, 1 bull and many fine young oxen and heifers for breeding stock and refreshments for the ships. Hope to obtain some from the Fishmen also. The half of our copper supply still left. Tobacco running short—require for the future at least 1,000 lbs. weight, to spend it more liberally, as the natives are mighty fond of it. Two sheep destroyed by wild beasts during the night—the spoor evidently that of a lion. Four carpenters and others in bed with dysentery seemingly in consequence of eating some of the wild figs growing here abundantly and eaten by the natives. It is miserable that the common people are so indifferent about their health and know of no moderation before they are with their noses in their beds.

    14.—Bought a cow and calf for copper and tobacco, the chief saying that they intended coming to live near us again; treated them well with wine and tobacco to gain their favour, promising to give more copper for their cattle. Herry told us that the Saldanhars made armlets and chains of the copper which they exchange for cattle with tribes more inland, annually returning to the English and Dutch to barter for another supply. …

    The Dutch placed their trust in God

    From the journal entries it is evident that the Dutchmen were Christians who placed their trust in God Almighty – not just any ‘God’, but the One and Only True God YEHOVAH (YHVH)! The South Africa of today would be wise to take counsel from our missionary forefathers who brought the Gospel of God’s Son the Lord Jesus Christ to our shores and that its citizens would live by the following verses,

    5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 
    6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 
    7  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. ~ Proverbs 3:5-7

    The following journal entries, which have been highlighted in bold text, bear testimony of their Christian faith,

    January, 1653

    24.—Heavy South-Easter.
    25.—Wheelbarrows again manageable. Caught, thank God! to night 1,700 harders.
    26.—Bay full of fish. Seins useless, being so old and broken; busy repairing them. It appears as if the Almighty will again come to our aid with fish, which is better for the men in their heavy work than penguins or seals.

    29.—In the evening God Almighty again gave us a fine haul of fish, 14 or 1,500 fine harders. Highly required, as the Dutch food is nearly exhausted and bread can hardly last longer than three or four weeks. Our hopes rest on the return fleet for rice, &c.
    30 and 31.—Wind and weather as above.

    February, 1653

    9. (Sunday).—Went about two miles behind Table Mountain. Found it so full of locusts that earth and sky, as if snow flakes were flying, were hardly distinguishable. If these insects were to come about the fort and into the gardens it is to be feared that all fruit will be destroyed, as we observe from the grass, which has been eaten away level with the ground. Will hope, however, that the Lord will preserve us from this affliction.

    12.—The barber (surgeon) reported eight cases of dropsy, dysentery, fever and pain in the joints, the sufferers altogether incapable of doing any work; besides there are many others ailing much though still walking about, becoming gradually almost helpless, so that the works are greatly retarded. It would be unfortunate if an enemy arrived now. They might starve us out, as excepting the cattle in the fort, which must feed outside, we are badly provisioned, being already on short allowance for 14 days. Hope for speedy aid from India. The chief carpenter, chief barber (who is alone) and gardener have fallen ill, whilst the provisional sergeant likewise had the fever last night. Bought to-day, thank God! a cow and 15 sheep from Saldanhars squatting some five miles away.

    Daily trials

    Jan van Riebeeck ships Despite the many trials and tribulations that the Dutch were experiencing almost on a daily basis with theft of bartered stock cattle and sheep, vegetables either being destroyed by the weather or stolen, murders of white colonials by the natives, deaths by dropsy, dysentery, scurvy and other illnesses, the stealing of carpentry tools and equipment, dealing with deserters of the Company, the running out of food provisions, etc., the Hollanders of the Christian faith held to the ways of trusting in God for His will and purposes. As a result, much more testimonies can be read from the following journal entries, 

    27 and 28.—Lost an ox. Very likely stolen by the Hottentoos, as for some time a few natives have been seen skulking near the cattle, who stole a sheep to-day but were deprived of it by our people. Some pocket pistols required for the herds for defence against the cattle thieves, as they are very much afraid of firearms.
    N.B.—As usual the wind and weather are carefully noted.

    March, 1653

    March 1.—Carrots stolen from the garden. Reported by Jan van Leyen alias Verdonek of Flanders, lately deserter but now of good conduct, that Pieter Martensz; Koe and Roelof Hendricksz: shepherd, with Jan Blanx, Willem Huytjens and Gerrit Dirksz; had agreed to desert to-night or to-morrow with one of the sloops and some sheep, and that he, Jan van Leyen, had been requested to join—likewise to seize the galiot and depart with it. Jan Blanx, Willem Huytjens and Gerrit Dirksz: the principals, were immediately coaxed on board of the galiot and confined in it. Intended to do the same with Pieter Martensz: and Roeloff Hendricksz: who were herding the cattle and sheep, but they suspected danger and ran away. Counted the sheep at night, six were missing, which they had no doubt bound somewhere in the bushes for the purpose intended. Searchers returned unsuccessful. In the evening some Hottentoos report that they had seen five sheep behind Table Mountain, which were found by our people before dark, for which we thank the Almighty, as to-day the last rations of bread were distributed.

    25.—Death of a soldier named Jan Dale.
    26.—Arrival at midnight of the yacht de Haes with skipper Joris Janz: Somer, bringing later intelligence regarding the war. Had left the Texel on the 28th September last year, and touched at Sierra Leone, where it had left the ship West Vrieslandt, which would follow in 8 or 10 days. The latter had had mutiny on board. The chief mate and four others, who were the ringleaders, had been executed, as will appear from the record addressed to the Governor-General and Council of India and forwarded by the yacht. Heaven grant that the vessel may arrive safely, as 89 of the crew have already died. Council convened by Demmer. Resolved to refresh the yacht, and having unshipped its Cape cargo to send it on at once to Batavia—taking out of it for the fort 3 casks of meat, 2 casks of pork, 1 cask of butter, half a firkin of vinegar, 6½ aums of oil, 1 cask of Spanish wine, 2,000 lbs. bread and half a box of candles. The Commander was also ordered briefly to report to India on Cape matters and not unnecessarily to detain the yacht.

    April, 1653

    18.—Arrival of the Muyden in the evening a little beyond the roads, under skipper Evert Teunis Harnay, having left the Texel the 26th December. Crew fairly well, only six or seven deaths. Received letters from Amsterdam about the war, and that the Diamant and Lastdrager had struck on the banks before the land of Schouwe and become so leaky that they could not undertake the voyage. May the Almighty recompense the Company. Amen.

    20. (Sunday)—… Bartered 12 cows from another nation dwelling more inland, who had seen the copper of the Saldanhars and heard that there were Dutchmen here who had more; had therefore come to get some. They stated that there were others still further inland who would also come. This being so, abundance of cattle may be expected, and our supply of copper and tobacco run out. Sometimes a tusk is obtained for a small piece of tobacco and wire, hence we ought to be well supplied in order not to sit still, but to be able to treat the folks sometimes with a stomach full of rice, barley or peas, and wine or arrack. A little liberality in these things will attract them.
    21.—Said natives returned with 16 fine cows. Copper seems to be used by them. The cattle is very welcome to provide these latest ships abundantly, for which the Lord be praised.

    27.—Arrival of other strange natives from the interior. Bought 14 cows for copper, tobacco and pipes.

    May, 1653

    5.—Gillis Frederick Walvis, butler, and Symon Huybrechse, cadet, fight with knives. Are sentenced to receive some lashes, Walvis also to forfeit two and Symon one month’s wages and pay expenses.
    6.—Departure of the ships—the Almighty grant them a safe voyage home. Amen.

    A new people encountered

    Further from the ink quill of Commander Van Riebeeck, we read that there were “new people” who arrived from the interior. They do appear to be other people groups not encountered previously by the Dutch settlers, most likely still Khoikhoi hunter gatherers. They too were treated in a friendly manner and the “new people” were willing to barter, reciprocating by also showing a friendly disposition toward these white folk,

    7.—… Bartered five cows from a new people.
    8.—Fine weather.
    9.—Some new people arrive from the interior with 14 fine cows, which we bought, treating them when they left with a few glasses of arrack, which seems to draw them.

    25. (Sunday).—Fine weather.
    26.—Fine weather. Hon. Riebeeck with some Hottentoos proceed to the forest behind Table Mountain, where the carpenters are busy cutting timber for the fire-proof magazine, to encourage said natives to bring the beams to the fort: for which purpose they were beforehand well supplied with food and drink and tobacco, so that they managed to carry (six of them) a fair sized beam to the fortress, whilst two other beams were brought on with a cart by the men. To encourage the natives they were again well fed, receiving also a glass of arrack and a span of tobacco. In the meanwhile appliances required for dragging the wagon, are to be prepared in the best manner possible in the forest.
    27.—Eight men of the galiot are cutting firewood for the lime kilns, and the rest of the men are hard at work on the fortress to get it finished. Could not get the Hottentoos to do more work; they say they had
    been tired too much yesterday.
    28.—Made the attempt with oxen. Reported that these animals had pulled well, and before dark carried eleven beams from the forest into the open.
    29.—For a dish of beans and a glass of arrack we obtained five Hottentoos, but there was no work to be had out of them. More satisfactory to labour with our own people.
    30.—The men brought in three fine beams on the wagon, drawn by three oxen.

    A hardworking people

    It is an interesting statement that is recorded on the 29th May, 1653, recorded above where it reads, “… we obtained five Hottentoos, but there was no work to be had out of them. More satisfactory to labour with our own people.” No Hottentoo was forced to labour or made a slave, but they were found to be lazy and non cooperating in this instance. So the Dutch resorted to a more satisfactory labour of their own people. They were, and still are, an industrious hardworking nation!

    A Church Service, a murder, and theft of cattle by Herry

    Dating back to October, 1653 one can see that the real theft of anyone’s possessions started with the Hottentoos and more specifically by a local named Herry, a native taken into the employ by the Dutch East Indies Company as an interpreter. The communist rhetoric of the Marxist-ANC and Socialist-EFF political parties in present-day South Africa, 2019, that ‘white South Africans’ started everything by “stealing land” has no historical foundation as these unlearned politicians who whine repeatedly as a stuck-gramophone-vinyl are doing what they do best, spreading lies and indoctrinating the masses of a largely illiterate South Africa. Do they not understand the old saying: “Empty vessels make the most noise!” The true facts are that there is no written record, no autograph manuscript and certainly no true archived document that proves “the land was stolen” dating back to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, as it is based on hear-say by inept people trying to buy-votes with devilish lies! If any thing, the stealing by the native Saldanhars, Beach-rangers, and Fishmen, collectively known as the Hottentoos, started the stealing and fraudulent processes of South African politicking which is evident today. Friends, Herry was the betraying catalyst all those years ago bringing about this false political rhetoric of “stealing!” Herry was the original deceiving thief! Before the gainsayers come back with a “land stealing” issue, God’s Word tells us,

    24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
    25  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
    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 7:24-26 

    It is God Who determines when and where people live setting the boundaries of their habitation (living), and so the lame racist comments directed at white Africans to “Go back to Europe” is a senseless no-brainer by foolish uneducated people, as the white Africans’ births were predetermined by God and nothing can change that!

    Van Riebeeck’s son a born African

    Abraham van Riebeeck In the next entry you will read of the birth of Johan and Maria van Riebeeck’s son, christened Abraham van Riebeeck, born on 18th October, 1653 at the Fort de Goede Hoop, Kaapkolonie (Cape Colony; present day Cape Town), who in the year 1709, when 56 years old, rose to the high position of Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC)), following in the footsteps of his father Johan. In retrospect Abraham van Riebeeck was the first white African to head the VOC!

    We continue now reading the historical account from the Journal of the Commander of the Cape Johan van Riebeeck,

    Pursuing Herry the cattle thief

    October, 1653

    17 and 18.—Mrs. Van Riebeeck gives birth to a son, the second born in the Fort. Bartered eight sheep from the Saldanhars, who were treated with arrack and tobacco.
    19. (Sunday).—After service we heard that the interpreter Herry had, during service, absconded with house and family. Do not know what it means. Had shown no signs of his intentions before church. Had only said yesterday that he intended visiting the Saldanhars, as he had done last year. At dinner we were told that all the cattle were also gone, and that the herd who was in charge of them, with the boatman, Hendrick Wilders, had been murdered near the Lion’s Rump, whilst the said Wilders was away to fetch their food. The cattle had been driven away, which an hour previously had been seen by the sentry in good pasturage, where they were generally left during dinner time in charge of the boy. Sent a mounted party in search behind the Lion Mountain, and two corporals with 15 or 16 soldiers over the kloof to meet beyond. After prayers at night the sergeant returned stating that the cattle had been driven behind Table Mountain along shore over rocks and stones, and that the corporals and the men were still in persuit, but could not proceed with the horses. Having been informed that the Hottentoos had gone with our cattle (42 in number) to the Hout Bay, we sent four men to the forest to inform the six men there of the theft and take them along with them, in order to circumvent the thieves. At night it commenced to rain and blow heavily, so that the men on the road will have a bad time of it.
    20.—Cold, bleak weather. A corporal and five men return via the Kloof, sent by their comrade Jan van Harwarden, who would with 12 men follow the thieves as far as the Hout Bay, but requested to be provided with food, which was sent at once with ten armed men, so that if they meet there will be 33 quite capable of coping with 2 or 300 Hottentoos. Return of Jan van Harwarden at night, with all the men, stating that the thieves had succeeded in driving the cattle beyond the point of Hout Bay towards Cape False. Having no provisions they were obliged to return, not having eaten since yesterday afternoon, and being dead tired and weak. Had missed the men sent with the provisions, otherwise they would have proceeded. In short we have lost the pantaloons—being unbreeched—most unexpectedly, and this by means of the Beach-rangers or Watermen, who have always
    been protected and kindly treated by us, receiving for their clothing all the skins of the cattle, &c. Besides we have been cruelly deceived in our interpreter Herry, whom we had always maintained as the chief of the lot, who had always dined at our table as a friend of the house and been dressed in Dutch clothes; besides also that from every fresh arrival he was provided with bags of bread, rice, wine, &c., by way of remunerating him for his services as interpreter. But this difficulty will be overcome if the Saldanhars are not frightened away by this theft of the beach-rangers from coming to us, thinking that we might revenge ourselves on them. Do not hope so. The milch cows are to be regretted, especially as we had much milk, butter and cheese, as in the Fatherland—all gone at once. Likewise the use of the draught oxen for fetching wood, stones, &c., to say nothing of the manure. With God in the van however, we trust to get other cattle from the Saldanhars, from whom the day before yesterday we obtained eight sheep, and who after being kindly treated left, promising to bring cattle very soon—we having at present only 60 sheep, one cow one ox, and four young calves. The rest were stolen whilst we were listening to the sermon.
    21.—Council decided, notwithstanding the theft, and though the men were very bitter in consequence, that no harm should be done to the natives, even if the thieves, yea Herry himself, were encountered, not only to show that we only wish to be on friendly terms, but also desire to forgive and forget, in order to remove all fear from the Saldanhars and draw them into close intercourse with, us, as the season for trading is now near at hand. Consequently a placcaat was issued that the men should not be carried away by anger to take vengeance on the natives, but to avoid it as much as possible. The men were properly distributed for duty, that in cases of emergency every one should know his station and work. The guards were likewise doubled. Discovered from this theft that these natives are not to be trusted and that prudence is necessary. Died from cold during the night our only ox, one calf and a sheep, having had no shelter. Much cattle dying from want of shelter and
    by wild animals.
    22.—Sent men to the forest to prepare the wood for the gate and other works—wagon to be drawn by the two horses obtained from Batavia. Two sheep died—seemed to be poisoned. Not a day or night passes without sheep dying.
    23.—Sent a corporal and two men, with hidden arms for defence, to meet two natives seen at a distance and if possible attract them with tobacco and good treatment, so that not only they, but the Saldanhars might be tempted to trade with us again, notwithstanding the murder committed and the theft of the cattle, and to make them feel that we wish to do them no harm, but to remain as friendly as ever, fully convinced that it was only a number of thieves and Beach-rangers who had done the mischief. For the rest they were to act in the best interests of the Company.
    Corporal returns in the afternoon and reports that he could not find the natives, though they had pretended to collect flowers and herbs. Wagon returns at night with a beam and two corbels. Had met seven natives armed with assegais, but no communication had been held with them. Three musketeers hastily arrive, reporting that five or six Saldanhars had visited them in the forest, and among them a captain from whom last year we had obtained much cattle, and who had once brought back to us a lost ox, and who told them that Herry was squatting with our stolen cattle at the Bay Falso and had requested the Saldanhars to live with them; but aware that he had stolen the cattle, they would have nothing to do with him, but would show us where he was, that we might regain our own with some men and fire-arms. Recognizing the captain, and knowing that his people possessed thousands of cattle and sheep and would think little of such a small number (as was stolen), also being aware that they had no great affection for Herry and his confreres, and would prefer to trade without, rather than with him, and that this captain, leaving his arms behind, had kindly come to tell us where Herry was, offering his services as guide, and for which purpose our men would expect him at the entrance of the forest this night, we decided by special resolution to send this evening, well armed and provisioned for five or six days, the Corporal Jan van Harwarden, a man of good discipline and energy, with 16 of the nimblest soldiers, who had volunteered to sleep in the forest this night, and before daylight to-morrow to start thence with the Saldanhars.
    24.—Fine weather for the picquet. Planted water-melon and cucumber seeds in the new garden. The fine herbs sown this and last month destroyed by worms in the ground, even young cabbages, carrots, turnips, radishes, &c. Time will show whether this is an annual nuisance.
    25.—After the closing of the gate three of our men returned with one cow, reporting that already yesterday they had observed the cattle and the location of Herry, consisting of four huts, near the point of Cape Falso, but as they had look-outs everywhere, they had left before our people had arrived, leaving their huts and some useless household utensils behind. Had followed them the whole day, and were still pursuing them, determined to come up with them. The cow having been left behind because she was tired, the corporal had sent her home with the request that they might have more provisions.
    26. (Sunday).— Sent the food, and orders that as the Saldanhars were afraid of joining us in the pursuit of Herry, not to follow the cattle further, and not having been successful, to return to the fort and give up the pursuit, as it would be impossible to provide them continually with food. Arrival of another cow from behind Lion Mountain—of its own accord.
    27.—Jan van Harwarden returns and reports that he had missed the five men sent yesterday with food. Had followed Herry
    persistently and for a long time, but could not catch him as he continually crossed the downs of Bay Falso, which were high, and where there was not always water, the men consequently suffering severe thirst and fatigue. Had been so near them once that one of Herry’s people was within range. Tried to catch him alive to make a guide of him, but before we could lay hold of him he had made his escape through some swampy ground and bushes. Herry kept to the downs, and avoided the flats and the beach, and also the places which the Saldanhars ordinarily visit, a proof that he is as afraid of them as of us. Will find this out for certain when the Saldanhars arrive, so as to persuade them by some presents to deliver to us Herry and his people or join us in following them up, &c.
    28.—Return of the provision bearers. Had not met the others. Been on the spoor, but had not been able to come up with Herry or any of his people.

    November, 1653

    4.—The men returning with beams brought an old Hottentoo between them whom they had caught. He was at once set at liberty, and being a Saldanhar, we filled his stomach and knapsack with bread and tobacco, and also gave him some wine, so his fears departed, and he remained at the fort of his own accord. Showed him tobacco and copper that he might tell his people that we wished  to buy cattle as last year. Told us they were coming, and that Herry had proceeded far inland. Could not understand him well, as he  knew not a word of Dutch or English. What we understood from  him was by means of Hottentoo words, whose meanings we had learnt.
    5.—Again treated the Hottentoo well, to show that we meant the natives no harm in consequence of Herry’s theft. They seem  to be afraid, and therefore do not come to the fort. Men ordered to treat all without exception kindly, that they might come without reluctance with their goods. Let the Hottentoo go at noon,  well provided with bread, tobacco, and arrack. Hope this treatment will draw the others.

    Van Riebeeck’s niece gets married

    Here we look into the manner in which a marriage of 17th Century life at the Cape, within the Church, was preceded by “banns”. The South African Pocket Oxford Dictionary 3rd Edition renders this word,

    banns pl. n. a public announcement of an intended marriage read out in a parish church.

    From other definitions “banns” is also noted as “the proclamation, generally made in church on three successive Sundays, of an intended marriage.” And the Oxford Living Dictionaries .com definition reads, “A notice read out on three successive Sundays in a parish church, announcing an intended marriage and giving the opportunity for objections.” You will note that the “banns” referred hereunder was made on the 9th, 16th and on the 23rd the “young couple solemnly married”, a far cry from marriages of the 21st Century!

    7.—Heavy, dry South-Easter, as last year.
    8.—The same—threatening destruction to everything. Jacob Reynierz: allowed to marry Elizabeth van Opdorp, niece and ward of Van Riebeeck, the first notice to be given in church to-morrow. The ceremony to be performed by the bookkeeper Verburgh, as by Resolution specially taken.
    9. (Sunday).—First publication of the banns.

    16. (Sunday).—Cut the first cauliflower, as fine and delicate as at home. Second banns published.

    18.—Wet weather, but seasonable for the gardens. Drought and heat have been very injurious to the fine seeds. Turnips and cabbage and carrots much destroyed by worms, of which the gardens are full. Will however, have abundance for the return fleet and all who arrive from home, except cattle and sheep, as we fear that the Saldanhars will be afraid of coming to the fort when informed of Herry’s crimes, thinking that we may take vengeance on them. May God make them understand otherwise, that on arrival they may experience the same friendly treatment of last year.

    23. (Sunday).—Fine, warm, sunshine. The young couple solemnly married before the Council and the public in the Council Chamber. There being no Minister the ceremony was performed by the Secretary.

    Love forgives and conquers all

    We find that the Dutch carried out hard discipline against their own for as little as insubordination being committed within their ranks, whilst a murder of a Dutch sentry and the theft of cattle and sheep by Herry, a Hottentoo, are dismissed and friendly communication and behaviour by the Dutch towards the natives are encouraged in order to keep a friendly and harmonious relationship going between the parties as can be read in other entries here above. This is based on Christian principles, viz, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:17,18). We can read of the events as follows,

    December, 1653

    3.—The butler and under barber of the galiot, in consequence of having uttered defamatory expressions about the skipper and mate, are sentenced to receive fifty lashes; and the under barber the cause of other troubles, is further sentenced to be suspended from office for six months and compelled to beg pardon of the officers of justice and the persons injured by him, and so make restitution for having wounded their honour, as is more fully expressed in the sentence.
    4.—Sentence carried into execution.

    This is once again reiterated in an entry that appears on 7th December, 1653,

    7. (Sunday).— … They said that what Herry had done was by no means pleasant to them, and that the Hottentoo called by us Lubbert, the comrade of Herry, had murdered the boy, and that they would have nothing to do with them or any of the watermen, and would visit us tomorrow with cattle and sheep as last year, upon which our people, in the best way they could do, expressed our kind intentions and bartered four or five ostrich egg-shells. Trust that the Lord God will give his blessing on the trade. Amen.

    A week later we read in the journal how the Hottentoos who were present with Herry are fearing for their lives whether the Dutch will revenge the murder and theft, however peaceable negotiations once again take place,

    14. (Sunday), 15, 16, and 17.— … Accordingly we sent the Domine—whom they knew well since last year—with tobacco, copper, pipes and bread, and besides Muller another corporal, both secretly armed with pistols, but as soon as the natives saw them approaching they took to their heels to about half-a-mile beyond the view of the fort, where they awaited our people, seeing they had no muskets. Found them to be people of the captain, who seemed last year to be in alliance with Herry. Among them were two who were present when Herry stole the cattle. Often asked mu’ men ‘whether they had fire-arms with them, evidently being very frightened and shaking and trembling as they sat down with them. Could not be persuaded to come to the fort, but would be at the same spot to-morrow with two cows. Gave each a piece of wire, tobacco, pipes and bread, also some for their captain ; and as one of them had had a hand in the theft, or at any rate was present when it was committed, the present to the captain was entrusted to him to show that he was not suspected, and to remove their fears. They parted consequently in friendship, with the agreement to meet to-morrow, sending as a token of regard a full ostrich egg to the Commander. They also wished to make it appear that they abhorred Herry and his evil deeds. God best knows what to make of it, but it is certain that they fear that we will revenge ourselves on them. Must do our best by kind treatment to regain their confidence, which can only be done when again trading with them. The Domine is to go again to-morrow.

    It is evident from this journal entry that the Biblical principal of doing good to one’s enemies is in action as commanded by their Lord Jesus Christ,

    43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
    44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
    45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
    46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
    47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
    48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
    ~ Matthew 5:43-48

    December, 1653, continues . . .

    18.—Found it necessary to send 10 musketeers with the 50 men carrying palisades from the forest 2½ miles distant from this, as the Saldanhars, however timid, are not to be trusted, and steal whatever they can get. Becoming afraid, however, in consequence of this arrangement, they remained away. Therefore to give them courage to approach and live on friendly terms with them, it is necessary to guard our property well, for if only two or three carry muskets not a hundred natives will attack them, but they cannot refrain from stealing when they see our men unarmed. That they are bloodthirsty has not yet been shown, as the murder of the boy was only committed to prevent the news of the theft from reaching the fort in time for pursuit. If they were cannibals they might often have killed our men, who cannot be prevented from going out into the fields to gather figs and other dainties. As the Hottentoos had agreed to meet our men to-day, we sent the Provost Marshal alone towards them with a pistol concealed in his coat, that the Saldanhars, believing him unarmed, might more fearlessly approach him, and if possible be persuaded to come to the fort, and in case of failure to tell them to wait for the others, who would bring the wares agreed upon.
    19. —The wood carriers report at night that the fires of the Saldanhars had been removed far inland, and they had seen no natives.
    20.—Riebeeck and Reyniersz: escorted by 20 men proceed to the forest to inspect, &c., and see whether it were possible to reach the Saldanhars. About 1
    ½ mile from the fort from the side of the mountain we saw half-a-mile from us various troops of natives, to whom we at once went, leaving the soldiers behind us within musket range, and taking three or four secretly armed with pistols with us, and also the drummer, who was sent in advance to tell them that the captain was there himself. Having given his message, and the natives finding that we had left the armed men behind, awaited—about 12 or 13 of them—our coming, but as we approached, and the soldiers imperceptibly almost did the same, they sometimes, some of them, got up and ran away as hard as they could through abject fear, and even after returning, repeating it 10 or 12 times, until we left four more behind and the three of us approached. Ten of them then kept their ground, though shaking with fear; the rest stood at a safe distance, seeing how matters would end. When we came up they recognized the Commander, shook hands with him, and, as a strange sign of good feeling and friendship, took him round the neck, the Commander not being backward in his gesticulations for the same purpose. At once the bags were opened, and they were treated well with bread, arrack, wine, tobacco and pipes. Made us understand that they were greatly dissatisfied with Herry’s doings, and had given him a good thrashing, &c. Seemed to be favourably disposed, and we at last succeeded in getting them with one cow to the fort, but they stopped more than 50 times on the road, afraid of proceeding, and begging us to bring the copper to them in the fields. We, on the other hand, encouraged them the best Avaywe could, assuring them of good treatment at the fort. At last they ventured, and we, taking them by the hand, and dancing, jumping and singing, entered the fortress with them, where we filled them well with tobacco, arrack and food, besides performing various tricks which pleased them well and caused a new alliance with them, to further which we bought a cow from them for double the amount generally paid.

    In closing this examination of events, you can see that there are many more entries of the same nature that you have read here that could be included, but writer is painstakingly reading through every entry to be able to record that which needs to be brought to the fore which is pertinent for the very subject at hand. Kindly note that any entry that has not been included here under the various parts making up this historical examination, they should be read by you at your own leisure to grasp the full record of the Journal in its entirety. Until the next posting,

    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. pp57-95

    Related Blog Posts:

    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)

    The Land Issue: South Africa 1652 – present: Part 2

    Recapping

    Flag of the Dutch East India Company svg In Part 1 – please read before reading further to obtain the proper context – we looked at the meticulous planning by the Dutch in the years 1649-1651 prior to Johan van Riebeeck and the designated parties sailing from Texel in the Netherlands on their voyage to the Cape of Good Hope to establish a refreshment station as undertaken by the VOC (Dutch East Indies Company).

    Skip forward briefly to the 1970s and to just prior to the year 1994, the South African Schools’ Education Department taught the historical accounts of Jan van Riebeeck landing at the Cape, including the accounts of the Zulu kings Shaka and Dingane amongst others. However, since ‘the new 1994 democracy’ this part of ‘South African History’ dealing with the landing at the Cape in 1652 has largely been removed from the schooling syllabus.

    Voyage from the Netherlands to the Cape [1]

    We now take up the historical account once again and share herewith the entries that appear in the Journal of Commander Johan van Riebeeck commencing from 14th December 1651 to 7th April 1652 which record the events of the voyage to the Cape as the VOC Council insisted that a proper record be kept for the Company (see Part I: 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). Hereunder are the extracts from the Journal regarding the sailing voyage south to Southern Africa:

    JvR Pg1JvR Pg2 JvR Pg3 JvR Pg4

    During the course of the voyage a Resolution was taken and recorded in Dutch on 30th December 1651 – another source records that this resolution was also read on board the Drommedaris by Johan van Riebeeck in Table Bay on 6th April 1652. Hereunder is the Dutch transcript of the said Resolution which is followed by an English translation:

    Resolution 30 December 1651

    RESOLUTIONS.

    December 30, 1651.—Prayer. O merciful, kindly, loving God and Heavenly Father, inasmuch as it hath pleased Thy divine Majesty to call us to the management of the business of the General United Netherlands Chartered East India Company here at Cabo de boa Esperance, and for that purpose we have met with our Council of Assessors in order with their advice to adopt such resolutions by which the greatest interests of the said Company may be promoted, justice maintained, and (if possible) among these wild and brutal people Thy true reformed Christian doctrine in course of time may be planted and spread to the glory and honour of Thy Holy Name and the welfare of our Masters the Chiefs—whereunto we are altogether incapable without Thy gracious help we therefore pray Thee, O Most Gracious Father, that Thou mayest dwell with us with thy Fatherly wisdom, and presiding at these our meetings, so enlighten our hearts, that all wrong passions, misunderstandings and other similar failings, may be warded from us; that our hearts may be free from all human influences and our minds so constituted, that in our deliberations we may not intend or decide otherwise than what will tend to the magnifying and the glory of Thy Most Holy Name and the greatest service of our Lords and Masters, without in any way regarding our own interests or personal profit. This and whatever more may be necessary to carry out our ordained work, and for salvation, we pray and desire in the name of Thy well beloved Son, Our Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Who has taught us to pray—Our Father, &c.

    They came with a Reformed Christian faith to please God Almighty in all that they could to fulfil the will and purpose of God, and they accordingly recorded  unashamedly their submission to God, which testimony would be read down through the ages and by which testimony they would one day stand before God Almighty and give an account of themselves before the Judgment Seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we read,

    10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:10

    Everyone is hereby reminded that we all must appear, and liars who have lied about history or deceived people will receive condemnation and an eternity in the lake of fire, for it is written,

    8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. ~ Revelation 21:8

    We will show that South African history has been distorted concerning the so-called ‘white-colonialists’ and their conduct towards the black African natives, the practice of ‘slavery’ and by who, for black Africans also had ‘slaves’, the freedom of movement of ‘slaves’ in the Cape, the education and Christian lifestyles of ‘slaves’ and much more. Hundreds, if not thousands of entries could be shared, but writer encourages the readers to search out these matters more fully, reading the actual documents and not believing the rhetoric that says, “Apartheid came to the Cape with Jan van Riebeeck!” (Jacob Zuma and Others). Writer dealt with this issue more specifically in a blog post titled, The Gospel . . . Racism and South African History, where it is mentioned, quote: “Apartheid “officially” only existed during the period from 1948 to 1994, a time period of 46 years. The term apartheid was introduced into South African politics in 1948 as part of the election campaign by D.F. Malan’s Herenigde Nasionale Party (HNP – ‘Reunited National Party’).” [End quote]

    A satirical depiction of ‘blaming it on Apartheid’ is reflected in the photo hereunder; which original painting alludes to the landing at the Cape of Good Hope on 6th April 1652 without the ‘satire speech bubbles’:

    Jan van Riebeeck satire ~ Satire ~

    Jan van Riebeeck: What! You have been living here for 1000s of years and you have no ships, no roads, no houses, no bridges, no farms, no guns, . . . Why?

    Khoikhoi: APARTHEID??

    — ooo —

    Journal of Johan van Riebeeck

    We pick up at 9th April 1652 where the Journal makes reference to Riebeeck going on shore to mark the site of the fort. It also records the work that is undertaken into the next day (10th April 1652). We see that there was a friendly disposition between the European Dutchmen and the local natives, the Dutch even being a friendly buffer between the “locals” – the beach rangers and Saldanhars – as we read:

    10.— . . . Arrival of 9 or 10 Saldanhars; defensive attitude assumed by the beach rangers (who daily with wives and children sit with us before our tents). We had enough to do to check their courage and fury, and despatched a body of Europeans between the parties.

    We succeeded in establishing an armistice; keeping the combatants the whole day in peaceful conduct towards each other. The Saldanhars, making use of signs and many broken Dutch and English words (no doubt learned from the shipwrecked crew of the Haerlem), wished to explain that for copper and tobacco they would soon bring some cattle and sheep; which we urged them to do, by kind treatment. Skipper Davit Coninck, with two assistants and 2 soldiers, being on a fishing excursion at the Salt River, meets the 9 Saldanhars, who take him round the neck and promise cattle and sheep in exchange for copper and tobacco. These natives are described as fine fellows, dressed in prepared oxhide, and stepping like any dandy in the Fatherland who carries his mantle on his shoulder or arm, but their private parts were exposed; a little skin barely covering them. Skipper Coninck returned with four bags of mustard leaves, sorrel, 750 beautiful braems and four other delicate fishes of more delicate flavour than any fish in the Fatherland; one looking like a haddock and as good and fat.

    Sketch of Khoikhoi milking As can be seen well into the Dutchmen’s fifth day at the Cape, a friendly exchange of communication and bartering of possessions were taking place between 17th century ‘black and white’ strangers; a far cry from what has been taught by the Marxist ANC government and Socialist EFF party with their political-rhetoric of the 21st century! The Dutch’s conduct is that as commanded in the Holy Bible, to love God and one’s neighbours (see Matthew 22:36-40). They also understood the principle that God ordered their steps when one reads the very next journal entry,

    11.—Heavy South-Easter—the laden boat of the Reijger proceeding towards the shore, is compelled to lie at anchor midway the whole day; succeeded in the evening in reaching the ship, by the blessing of God.

    On the 13th April 1652, more bartering with the natives is recorded, “Exchanged 3 plates of copper and 3 pieces of ½ fathom copper wire for a cow and a young calf—fairly divided both among the ships.” The next entry was a Sunday, and we see that even in a new land they still had their Church service,

    14. (Sunday).—Fine weather. After service fresh meat and vegetables were given to the men—caught about 1,000 beautiful steenbraesems (braems) at the Salt River, each about 1½ foot in length.

    Dutch ships in Table Bay Cape Colony From this entry it appears when people place God first He rewards them abundantly! Whilst all this was taking place we do not see any ‘slavery’ in any form, but that the Dutchmen were labouring themselves as we see in the entry of the 15th April 1652, “Slow progress of the works, in consequence of the small number of labourers and the number of sick.” On the following Sunday 21st April 1652 we read that whilst out on an exertion up the kloof of Table Mountain, about two Dutch miles, ground was found there which was compared to be as good and fruitful as anywhere in the world. However, it was also noted that due to a scarcity of hands to cultivate the same a record is made that “a few Chinese would be welcome as gardener”! This simple statement records that the journalist gave due recognition to a people for their ability to be of service. However, the Dutch are a resilient and hard working people as we read from the entries of 25th and 26th  April 1652,

    25.—Skipper Hooghsaet lands to urge on his men, as usual.

    26.—The work done at the fort and the zeal of Hooghsaet are described. Carpenters busy erecting dwellings and stores.

    The next Sunday we read that after Church service some more observational work was undertaken in preparation to get the refreshment station to become productive, for this was the reason for coming to the Cape,

    28. (Sunday).—After service and in company of Hooghsaet, Turver, and some armed soldiers, walked over the ridge to the South of Table Mountain—found everywhere fine garden ground —viewed the country all round—about 10 Dutch miles broad and long—watered by the finest fresh rivers—thousands of Chinese or other agriculturists would not be able to cultivate a tenth part of the country, which is so rich that neither Formosa nor New Netherland can be compared with it.

    Compassion and empathy

    The compassion and empathy of the Dutchmen are revealed in the entry of 29th April 1652 when we see the intent of the Dutch to bring ‘other’ to the Cape and in due course they too would “make a sufficient living” as we read, “The consequent necessity of importing Chinamen or other industrious people, who would in time make a sufficient living.” The Dutch mindset was educated advancements, not inept slothfulness.

    This extract from the same 29th entry, reflects a love for one’s neighbours to feed them, as we read, “Observed no Saldanhars; only saw 4 or 5 of the beach rangers having lean bodies and hungry stomachs filled by us with barley and bread and sometimes wine; a large supply of rice therefore necessary, likewise arrack, to treat those who may off and on visit us, to gain their good will.” This is true love in action! The Dutch showed the authentication of their faith by works that followed, for we read, for it is written,

    13  For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
    14  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
    15  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
    16  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
    17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
    18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. ~ James 2:13-18

    Their actions were merciful by showing their faith by works following! The Gospel of Jesus Christ was in action!

    We now skip ahead, so we do not record every single journal entry for a copy of the same can be obtained where every other entry can be read – just as writer is doing –, and find the following entries from 8th through 11th May 1652 after two other Dutch ships the Walvis and Oliphant had arrived at the Cape from the Netherlands,

    8.—The Commanders of the ships came on shore to inspect the works and obtain refreshments. No cattle obtained up to date,, the beach-rangers have nothing but hungry stomachs, often filled by us to gain their good will for the future benefit of the Company.

    9.—Tent rigged for the sick of the Oliphant—two more have died.

    10.—Nothing particular.

    11.—Meeting of Council on board the Drommedaris. Slow progress of the works. Resolved to retain 50 sick of both vessels, who, when restored to health, may assist at the works and afterwards be sent on to Batavia. A Hottentoo was brought to our barber, badly wounded. We gathered from his friends that they had had a skirmish with those of Saldania and that two had been killed.

    Van Oers fig 1 Map of Fort of Good Hope Besides labouring and feeding themselves, seeing to their own sick and dead from diseases on the ships, the Dutch were also feeding the beach ranger natives which would also strengthen their relationship and, now, in this instance, being requested to take care of a badly wounded ‘Hottentoo’ (beach ranger) who had a skirmish with the Saldanhars where two others were killed. The Dutch were now also helping out as a hospital for the locals!

    Christian observances

    On the next Sunday 12th May 1652 we read of the Dutch Church service,

    12. (Sunday).—First sermon preached by Rev. Backerius of the Walvis, in the still unroofed house within the square of the unfinished fort. The Holy Sacrament was likewise celebrated.

    The following Sunday we read that it was Pentecost, reflected with a simple entry,

    19. (Pentecost).—Hazy weather.

    Trials, sickness and deaths

    The following daily entries reflect the work undertaken, the coming and the going of ships, and reports of fever and dysentery that not only lay men low, but resulted in many deaths that followed and thus reduced the effective work force of the Dutch. The workable man power was reduced from 116 to about 50 able men as of 10th June 1652. Well into this month the weather was also playing havoc at the Cape of Storms which was living up to its name. The entries reflect that their hope and trust were in the mercy of God! Also the planted gardens are being severely destroyed. There are hardships encountered by hurricane-type wet conditions! Whilst the Dutch people have been experiencing such hardships they have not seen the Saldanhars in a while and have not been able to barter with them to obtain meat as part of their diet. Only been able to eat vegetables from that which has not been destroyed by the severe weather experienced at the Cape with lots of heavy rain and even snow on the mountains being observed and the cold being felt!

    Disciplinary actions for crimes

    Throughout the abovementioned hardships, a few entries are also recorded where severe discipline actions were taken against Dutch crew members for crimes against leadership, as we read from July 1652,

    8.— . . . Jan Planx, arquebusier on hoard the Goede Hoop, condemned for the crime of insubordination to fall from the yard arm and receive 60 cuts, which is more extensively described in the record of “ Sentences.”

    9.—Many whales in the bay. Above sentence carried out. Gerrit Dirksz: van Elssen, Cadet, for molesting the skipper, is condemned to receive 100 cuts and to stand sentry the whole day with 6 muskets. Last night Nicolas Pietersz : Venlo, Cadet, died without a will and was buried this evening.

    10.—Yesterday’s sentence carried out.

    And in the beginning of September 1652 we read some more of what preceded,

    3.—Weather subsiding—more sick.

    4.—Fine weather. Plucked the first peas, and ate good carrots about the thickness of the little finger and sown after arrival—all the rest sown later are growing famously. The soldier Joost van der Laack, being drunk, used foul words towards the Commander and insulted him. He was apprehended.

    7.—Wet. Van der Laack suspended from office because of his insolence, as the minutes will show more fully.

    As of the 14th September 1652 there was still no sign of the Saldanhars.

    On 18th September whilst Riebeeck and a carpenter were out surveying the backside and slopes of Table Mountain they came across some trees that had the dates 1604, 1620 and 1622 etched into them, but they did not know who carved them. This showed that the Cape had been visited at various times prior to 1652, and also no record is made of encountering the local natives. It appears that the land was not so densely inhabited as always mentioned by modern day gainsayers!

    Deserting Dutchmen

    On 25th September 1652, four Dutchmen absconded during the night; “Jan Blanx of Malines, boatswain of the yacht; Willem Huytjens of Maestricht, sailor; Gert Dircksx: van Eltsen of Maestricht and Jan Jansz; of Leyden, soldiers stationed on shore” whose whereabouts are unknown. A proclamation was also published warning against desertion and stating the punishments.

    Eight days later we read in the month of October 1652’s entries that the deserters have voluntarily returned,

    3.—Brackenier undergoes his punishment. The men sent to Salt River to cut reeds return in trepidation to the fort stating that they had seen many natives—that two had been left behind with the sloop who could not swim—soldiers sent to rescue them—discovered that there were only 7 or 8 native women digging for food, who had recognized the party and in their joy had dancingly approached and asked for tobacco. Return of the deserters, who all declare that they hoped to reach the Fatherland overland, but in consequence of the high mountains could not proceed further than 24 miles eastward, therefore resolved to return and beg for pardon. Jan Blanx declares that he and Jan van Leyen had formed the plan, and that the others had joined them, that some time ago he had dreamt in the yacht of a mountain of gold and such like frivolous things. All four put in irons apart from each other.

    4.—Fugitives voluntarily state that they intended to proceed to Mozambique and thence home, that Jan van Leyen had advised them, likewise Jan Blanx, who understood navigation, and that after proceeding 24 miles across the mountains and forced by hunger they had decided to return. Found a journal written with red chalk kept by Jan Blanx as follows;—“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 24th (September).—Left the Cape for Mozambique—the four of us—with 4 biscuits and fish—likewise 4 swords, 2 pistols and the dog. 25th.—Marched 7 miles—saw 2 rhinoceroses, which threatened to attack us. Jan Verdonck had to leave his hat and sword behind. A porcupine wounded the dog. Slept at a rivulet—saw two ostriches—had to avoid two rhinoceroses and took to the beach and slept on the downs. 26th.—Followed the beach towards Cape Agulhas—advanced about 7 miles—fed on 4 young birds found in a nest and three eggs—at night slept on the beach, where we obtained some ‘clipconten’ (? klipkous) 27th.—Proceeded along shore 7 miles—arrived at a very high mountain, where we rested. 28th.—Provided ourselves with clipconten, which we roasted and strung together, and with calabashes for water. 29th.—Commenced to ascend the mountain, thinking to cross in that direction, but not succeeding, Jan Verdonck began to repent, and likewise Willem Huytjens. 30th.—Proceeded until the following afternoon , when Gerritt also grew tired. Alone I could not proceed, so we decided to return, trusting to mercy in God’s name.” In the evening it commenced to blow hard from S. East, tearing the tents in rags, also on the
    5th even harder. Had to secure the dwellings with stays—the crops all blown down.

    One will see that the name ‘Herry’ will be made mention of on a regular basis as he was a Khoikhoi interpreter for the Dutch to communicate with the natives. We pick up with the execution of the sentences for the deserters as well as the reconnection of larger groups of Saldanhars, as we read,

    10.—Herry arrives with 12 or 14 Saldanhars, who receive some wine and tobacco and promise to return shortly and inform their people of our presence, likewise that they will bring much cattle, ivory, musk or civet to be exchanged for tobacco and copper. They were most kindly treated. We are doing our best in the meanwhile at the fortifications, but labour is much retarded by sickness we trust that when cattle is obtained everything will improve. Amen. Jan van Leyen, condemned by the Council, having been reprieved from death, is to be bound to a post and have a bullet fired over his head. Jan Blanx is to be keelhauled and receive 150 lashes; both are to work as slaves two years in irons. Huytjens and Dirksz: van Eltsen likewise, and Adriaen and Cornelis discharged for want of evidence.

    11.—Execution of the sentence.

    12.—About 20 Saldanhars tell us that they are going to tell their mates about us, and to return together with their cattle and ivory, begging at the same time for tobacco, which we gave them with some wine, urging them to return soon—promises made—hope for success at last. Could give them no bread, as we are going on short allowance and expect no supplies for another 4 months to come. Gave them some tobacco. More bread, rice, and arrack should be at hand, as they draw the natives towards us, who continually say that the English gave them whole bags of bread, much tobacco, and whole cans filled with arrack and wine—we ought, therefore, to be better provided to outdo the English if we wish to draw the natives towards us, otherwise not an animal will be had, which may, if natives are humoured, cost so little that we could afford to add to the price some bread, tobacco, wine or arrack.

    Khoi-TradersBartering with the Saldanhars

    Picking up on 19th October 1652 the reader can see that a friendly relationship is existing between the Dutch and the Saldanhar natives and the manner of bartering that was unfolding, as one can read,

    19.—. . . Came home at night and had prayers—the gate not yet in perfect order—Saldanhars arrive and ask for an interview with the Commander—twelve of them—they brought 3 cows and 4 sheep, also showed some young ostriches and three tusks, which on the morrow they wished to exchange for copper and tobacco, asking in the meanwhile for some tobacco, and stating that within 4 or 5 days all the Saldanhars, with wives and children and thousands of cattle, ivory, and musk, would arrive. Gave them, by way of encouragement, a glass of wine, when they left to sleep.

    20. (Sunday).—Saldanhars before the fort with three cows and 4 sheep, 2 old and 2 young, which we bartered from them—the 3 cows for 9 plates of copper, each of 1 lb. weight, and 1 lb. tobacco—the animals costing 31 stivers and 12 penningen—the 2 old sheep for 2 do. copper plates and ⅛ lb. tobacco—each sheep costing 10 stivers and 5½ penningen—for the two fine delicate lambs we paid ½ lb. copper wire and ⅛ lb. tobacco, together 11 stivers and 4 penningen. Believe that we will in course of time get the animals cheaper, likewise tusks, haAung bought 3 for about ½ lb. tobacco, equal to 2 stivers and 13 penningen—likewise 2 young ostriches for ⅛ lb tobacco, to try whether they can be reared. Return of 4he yacht, reporting that it could not pass the point, and had nearly stranded on Robben Island—ordered to proceed to St. Helena and Saldanha Bays.

    21.—Departure of tbe yacht and the Saldanbars, the latter with about ½ lb. tobacco,—promised to retmm in 2 or 3 days’ time with more cattle and tusks—urged them to do so by the kindest possible treatment. Another Saldanhar appears, stating that many were approaching with wives, children, and much cattle—got some tobacco for the news. Herry in the meanwhile, priding himself on having originated the incipient trade, proceeds to the Saldanhars, no good expected from it, as he proposes to have as brokerage a copper plate of 1 lb. for every animal bartered—will humour him to find him out. Hope he will do his best—can hardly believe that the Saldanhars will listen to him, as they have been so kindly treated, and will prefer to deal without him. Not knowing anything for certain, prudence is necessary—guards doubled—all who can handle a spade set to work to make the walls higher, and bring for a fortnight longer 20 additional loads of earth for the purpose, above the 130 required daily. Men paid in tobacco—bartered cattle slaughtered and everyone given a glass of wine—work pleasantly begun—two carpenters busy with repairing the wheelbarrows—commenced the kraal by digging a trench round it to contain the cattle at night, and sent for some manure found 1½ miles away for the gardens, mostly for the turnips.

    22.—Heavy rains.

    23.—Herry and some of the Ottentoos living here return from inland and present us with two eland heads with fine horns—killed by the Saldanhars, who had eaten the meat.

    In the days that followed the workers are getting very weak as they do not have a proper diet and the food is running out. On 11th November 1652 we read, “Pray earnestly for arrival of natives with cattle—see their fires across the bay.” The Dutch have now been at the Cape for seven months and still no ‘slavery’ of the Khoikhoi, San, beach rangers, Saldanhars and/or Ottentoos (Hottentots).

    Tribal natives habits and seal hunting

    The interpreter Herry ate at the table of Johan van Riebeeck and his company and remained with them, together with his wife and children, as their interpreter, giving insightful information concerning the local tribal native groups and other information. The record hereunder also records an abundance of seals and skins that will be profitable to the Dutch settlers in the vicinity of Saldanha and St. Helena Bays, as we read the record,

    13.—Mists seem to prognosticate fine weather. Herry dining at our table to gain his good will—by signs and in broken English told us that 3 kinds of people of the same customs and manners of life yearly arrived in Table Bay, viz., the beach-rangers, not numbering above 40 or 50, and called in their broken English Watermen, because living on mussels and roots—not always having cattle. The second were those of Saldanha or Saldanjamen, who yearly came hither with countless cows and sheep. The third were Fishermen, who after the departure of the Saldanhars also came with cattle but no sheep, catching fish from the rocks with lines—about 500 in number. Continual war between Fishermen on one side and Water and Saldanha men on the other, endeavouring to do as much mischief to each other as possible. Herry suggests that the lasting friendship of Watermen and Saldanhars would be secured by treacherously seizing and killing the Fishermen. Did not communicate our intentions, stating that we would judge for ourselves when that people arrived—in the meanwhile drawing him out with the semblance of being impressed with his proposals. Fishermen stated to be hiding before the Saldanhars; lighting no fires because afraid of being attacked; living beyond the mountains eastward of the Cape towards the Baya de Sambras. The Saldanhers dwelling towards the west and north in the direction of Saldanha and St. Helena Bays, where the yacht is for trading purposes. The Watermen live in this Table Valley and behind the Lion and Table Mountains. Herry remains with us with wife and children to serve as interpreter—his people subsisting behind said mountains on mussels and roots, the latter tasted like skirret and resembling the Japanese nisi but not tasting at all like it; otherwise we would collect a quantity for Batavia, where the nisi is in great demand and fetches good prices.

    14.—Return of the yacht with 2,700 seal skins found on an inland in Saldanha Bay, finely packed on each other—apparently left behind by a small French vessel that had met the fleet of Mr. Van der Lyn at St. Helena, when Skipper Symon Turver was present, and had boasted that its cargo was worth a ton of gold. Skins beautifully prepared, and if the heavy winds had not scattered and the rains not damaged them double the number would have been brought; enough seals left, however, on Ilha Elizabeth or Dassen Island, but serviceable men required to kill them, hence return of yacht for clubs easily obtained in the woods and to be strengthened with iron rings at the ends. Knives to be made of hoops or staves, as we best can, until better ones are obtained, that we may be prepared for the return fleet for transmission of skins to the Fatherland, where they will fetch good prices. Apparently much profit to be derived from seal hunting—skins valued at a rixdollar or 3 gulden a piece—oil also valuable. Officers expect that a trade with the natives will gradually be established there; at present had only bartered 2 sheep and 3 harts, also a few ostrich feathers, from the natives, who in broken French and English stated that they would advise their people of the presence of the ship, some of whom had gone to the Cape, having heard of the settlement at which copper could be obtained abundantly. Plate copper preferred by them. Saldanha Bay is situated N.N.W. 16 miles from this, stretching about 5 miles inland; finely sheltered; has no good fresh water; land dry and poor and not to be compared with the Cape in any sense; do not know how it may be further inland. St. Helena Bay very dangerous, rocky, and hardly a bay; more like a creek; landing almost impossible in consequence of the surf, even in fine weather, hence will confine ourselves to Saldanha and the seal hunting there.

    Old Map of the Cape Colony Saldanhar and Dutch hospitality

    We notice that over time the hospitality of the Dutch is reciprocated by the Saldanhars, and vice versa. We read from an entry of 19th November 1652, that the Dutch “had met 40 or 50 Saldanhars with about 1,000 cattle and sheep, who would be here tomorrow to trade for copper—had treated our men very kindly and smoked a pipe with them.” A friendly and peaceful relationship existed between the white and black people groups, where kindness prevailed as we continue reading from the 21st November 1652,

    21.—Wind less. Sent men for manure, who returned with a Saldanha Captain and reported that they had observed a large number of cows, sheep, &e., at the Fresh River and been kindly treated by the Saldanhars in their huts— receiving cows’ milk in abundance. The Saldanha Chief, who had been in the fort yesterday, sent us a fine sheep for the tobacco and food he received yesterday—to day he and wife with Herry were treated in like manner—the wife receiving beads and copper wire for the sheep—wish to make them by our good treatment well disposed towards us. They brought their own food, and milk in large leathern bags, which they took by means of a small brush or swab made of a kind of of hemp and curious to behold.

    22.—Arrival of some Saldanhars with three sheep—bartered two, each for as much thin copper wire as the sheep was long, and weighing about ½ lb., adding ½ lb., tobacco—the value of the lot for each sheep eight stivers—would not buy the third as they charged for it double price because it was somewhat larger—should not be taught bad habits. Helm and Verburgh, provided with tobacco and some pipes, and holding in their hands each a piece of thick copper wire to do duty for a walking cane, they visit the Saldanha Captain without showing any inclination to barter, but only to find out to what extent their desire for copper went. Found them 1½ mile from this, and were most civilly welcomed—were taken about to look at his 15 houses, his cattle and sheep (about 15 or 1,600 in number), after that they were invited into his house, nicely made of mats and of fair dimensions, and treated with milk—the two spending their tobacco freely. Had taken with them a cup from which to drink the milk, from which the Chief and his wives also desired to drink, which they considered a great honour. Took a great fancy to the wire, for one of which, weighing ¾ lb., they offered a fat calf, and for three pieces of the same kind a cow. The two pretended that they did not wish to barter, but told the Captain that the Dutch Commander had a great deal of copper and they might treat with him. Promised to visit the fort with cattle—the Captain feared and honoured by his men—comported himself admirably—altogether there were about 250. The children drank from the udders of the sheep, being placed by the mothers between the legs of the animal—an interesting sight. The huts were situated in a circle in which the cattle were kept—intended to remain on that spot until all the grass was consumed, when they would move to the fort to pasture their flocks there as long as they could find enough to eat. They showed the two many fires inland of people approaching the fort with their herds, who would also he inclined to trade. Saw at night across the bay and on the mountains many fires—Herry told us they were of the Saldanhars, who had so much cattle that we would soon run out of copper—which God grant—Amen. To-day got the Skipper at last so far that he has sounded the bay, found that it was altogether without danger, as will he seen from the drawing—and declared that no ship on entering could he lost except by carelessness or stupidity.

    23.—Some Saldanhars brought a sheep—bartered it for a copper plate and ¼ lb. tobacco—also a fine bull for the value of 2½ gulden in copper and tobacco from the Captain, who had come according to promise—he was kindly treated and left in the evening. Yacht’s crew report that much salt had been formed.

    24. (Sunday).—Van der Helm, Verburgh and 16 armed men sent to the Saldanhars with pipes and tobacco to treat them and so coax them to come to the fort to trade, as up to date only 11 or 12 cattle and sheep had been obtained—necessary to provide more for the sick, as the natives have abundance of cattle. Well received by the Captain and regaled on milk—the jars very dirty, the offer consequently politely declined—presented them with pipes and tobacco to return their courtesy and coax them towards the fort. Gave us to understand that they had not that intention hut were going to the large wood about 7 miles from this, discovered by the two bookkeepers—did not show any desire for copper—disinclined to trade. Did not know what to make of it —afraid that Herry, formerly an enemy of the Saldanhars, but now very intimate with them, is brewing mischief, which, if discovered, will secure him quarters with wife, children and all the Watermen on Robben Island, to enable us to trade successfully with the Saldanhars and win their favour.

    Deception by Herry the interpreter

    From the previous entry and the one that follows Herry is not behaving himself in a friendly manner, bringing about a deceptive behaviour, a barefaced treachery that will work against the VOC and place them in a compromised position with the Saldanhars, as we read,

    26.—Bartered an old and young sheep from some Saldanhars for wire, and a lamb for some tobacco. Whilst trading we saw them communicating with Herry, who seemed to urge them to ask more copper, thus greatly hindering us, as we offered pretty much for the sheep, having before this bartered the animals for tobacco according to the length of such sheep—-reserving the copper for cattle. Mate of yacht and Corporal had been here before, and traded with the Saldanhars, with whom Herry had never been seen, and who were consequently very manageable. Evident that Herry instead of good, is doing us harm, and observing his barefaced treachery, we communicated to them our displeasure, and told them that Herry was the cause of our not doing any business, and that they should behave differently if we were to continue our kindness to him, &c. Tried Herry by proposing that he should join our people going to the Saldanhars, believing that he would be afraid to do so. Did not refuse, as we believe that he knew that they had left, though a few days ago he did not dare to do so. Saw in the meanwhile some fires on the side of the mountain, and went further inland—met no one. Kerry did not dare to go with them, but returned and waited at the Salt River. Evident that to curry favour with them he has been trying to urge them to increase the price of their cattle—preventing trade, and no doubt doing more mischief. . . .

    We can read on the 27th November 1652 that a “Barter went on smoothly until Herry came, showing that he is in our way and that some course must be pursued with him.” It is evident that Herry has become troublesome to the Dutchmen and the natives, attempting to hinder their friendships and cordial bartering!

    On 2nd December 1652, trouble seems to be afoot, having been stirred up by Herry, for we read, “Commence to trade now in reality, though they part with their cattle with reluctance. In the evening saw many fires—told by Herry that there were thousands of natives in the neighbourhood—had watch kept vigilantly, though our intercourse is friendly.”

    We come to learn that the Saldanhars’ attitude towards the colonial Dutch is changing from the friendly report that existed between them and that the journal entries are showing that the Saldanhars are becoming more ‘greedy’ for the copper and tobacco being paid in lieu of moneysomething worthless to the nativesfor the livestock required by the Dutch. For a very primitive hunter-gatherer people the Saldanhars have an ‘inflation-driven’ attitude, charging more than what the costs were previously agreed upon at what appears the insistence of the ‘middle-man’ Herry. We also read that the indigenous natives, instead of rebelling outright against the Dutch settlers, they are of their own accord being drawn to the settlement of the Dutch and moving their dwellings closer. With this drawing-in as close neighbours we can expect that greater security measures would have to be put in place as is confirmed as certain crimes are also now coming to the fore, first by some Dutch men and later to be seen by the local natives. Let us read the record, although lengthy, so we can grasp the magnitude of the events eight months after the Dutch arrived at the Cape. We continue reading,

    3.—Bought 8 cows and 12 sheep from the Saldanhars for about 30 lbs. copper plate and wire and 8 lbs. tobacco, also some pipes—sheep at 6½ stivers and cows at 6 skillings the head.

    4.—Saldanhars leave hurriedly after selling us 1 heifer, 1 calf and 9 sheep.

    5.—Bought a cow and 11 sheep. Saldanhars approaching gradually nearer with their houses—teaching us to be on our guard. Our men not only asleep when on guard, but also stealing each other’s and the Company’s property—consequently found it necessary to appoint a Provost Marshal named Michiel Gleve of Stralsund (a very fit person) with the salary of 15 gulden per month, and the emoluments connected with the office as in India.

    6.—Bartered 9 cows and 22 sheep for copper and tobacco. If we had no tobacco no trade would result, hence 1,000 lbs. of tobacco required annually, as often a cow has been withheld because of a finger’s length of tobacco. Will not take rotten tobacco—call it stinking tobacco. Among these Saldanhars were two new captains who wished to see our house, in which they were treated with three or four drinks and some tobacco. Saw in the meanwhile along the hill beside Table Mountain the country covered with cattle and sheep as with grass, the property of said chiefs, who intend to pitch their tents near to us and desire to see our mode of
    living and our wives, to which we agreed, though we would like to see them further off, as our number is small and our means of defence slight. Saldanhars friendly—if a cow runs away they immediately fetch it for an inch length of tobacco and return the copper plate to us until they have brought the animal back to our pasture grounds—they only wish to be kindly treated, which costs nothing. Last night Martinus de Hase left his post as sentry and stole about 70 turnips from the garden below the fort—caught by the picket, and brought to the guard-house, but as soon as the gate was open in the morning he ran away, afraid of being severely punished, having at divers times committed thefts, but always in consequence of his respectable parents let off with light punishment. Jan Pietersz: Soenwater having stolen some of the Company’s wire whilst on guard (the wheels of the barrows having been tied with it through want of iron) is sentenced to be scourged.

    7.—Burglary committed in the carpenter’s shop. Things stolen:—of the chief carpenter 1 pack of cloth clothing, 1 white pair of kersey pants, 4 shirts, 4 or 5 copper rings, some knives and 1 pair of shoes; of Willem Gabrielsz: ¼ piece guinea linen, 6 knives, 1 pair new shoes, 1 copper pot, ½ book of paper and pens; and of Frans Hendriksz: Van Vleute, a chisel. Thief supposed to be M. de Hase—Corporal and six men sent to look for him—supposed to be among the Saldanhars, who are about here in multitudes with about 2,000 sheep and cattle, within ½ cannon shot from the fort. Bought 1 cow, 2 heifers and 18 sheep for copper and tobacco—also bartered—taking what we can get—3 sheep for an old driver and some tobacco, which former they are as cold chisels—wish we had more of this old iron, as we bought last week a calf with the same. The Saldanhar captain recovered for us a young ox, which we had already considered as lost, for which he was munificently entertained. Jan Pietersz: Soenwater undergoes his sentence. Afraid that the wind will bring the sticks about our ears.

    8. (Sunday).—Bought 11 cows and 29 sheep from the Saldanhars, among the latter some captains, one of whom we entertained yesterday. All treated kindly as usual. Grass set on fire by Saldanhars—requested them not to come so near us with their fire, upon which all immediately proceeded to extinguish the same, for which each received a finger’s length of tobacco—seem bent upon not injuring us but showing us kindness—this is reciprocated—we are nevertheless on our guard. Thousands of Saldanhars around us, but not trespassing on the pasture grounds occupied by us—seem to have great faith in us. Bought two fine partridges for a finger’s length of tobacco—told them to bring more, as they were very nice.

    9.—Bought 9 cows and 36 sheep—cows at 35 or 36 stivers and the sheep at 6 stivers value. Martinus de Hase caught with the carpenter’s clothes on him—stolen things all found in a little bush where he had concealed them—freely acknowledged his theft made a full confession—had absconded because afraid of punishment—had expected to exchange the things stolen among the Saldanhars for food; they had, however, robbed him of the copper rings of the wheelbarrows and the knives, as he was alone—had in despair committed the crime hoping to be put to death, and begged to be shot and not hanged—had often robbed the gardens and the fowls’ nests. Decided to keep him confined until the arrival of the return fleet, and hand him over to the Commander, very likely an India Councillor. Gathered as much of the mustard seed on the side of Table Mountain as we could get, about a ton full; will sow them near the works to use the leaves for refreshing the ships. Drank for the first time milk of the cows and sheep, which nourishes the sick likewise.

    10.—Bought 12 cows and 18 sheep for less than yesterday, each cow costing fully 26 stivers and each sheep 5½ do. The cadjangh sown some 6 or 7 days ago in a well manured plot appears above ground, also cabbages, carrots and peas. Collected a fair quantity of seed from the latter, also of the cabbage lettuce and chervil, though little of the last had grown.

    11.—Wind and rain—latter welcome for the gardens—two sheep killed by the rain, also a young calf. Necessary to have sheds for sheep and young calves, but we are in want of the necessary materials. Only bought 5 sheep for about 5½ stivers each—Saldanhars in numbers at the Fresh and Salt Rivers. Took the soldiers from the works to be on guard continually in case of surprise—kept the sailors at work—present number of men as follows: Soldiers 30, sailors at work 24, carpenters and boys 7, masons 9, gardeners 8, cowherds 2, shepherds 2, pigherds 1, cooks and boys 4, surgeon and boy 2, gunner 1, hospital superintendent 1, provost marshal 1, besides the Commander, 1 sick comforter, 1 assistant, 1 butler, one cooper and 2 boys, 8 in all—total 100, also women and children and men of the yacht 26—grand total 125 drawing pay, among them some sick in bed and many lazy bones whom it would be better to di[s]charge.

    12.—Sowed some Roman beans—bought 2 cows, 5 sheep and a tusk. Saldanhars very likely detained by the bad weather—squatting at the Salt River.

    13.—Saldanhars come near to the fort with thousands of cattle and sheep obtained only 20 sheep, 2 cows and 5 calves, they being unwilling to part with their cattle—hard to behold so much cattle and not be able to get any, though we offered 1/3 more for every head than we were accustomed to do, and treated the natives as kindly as possible—perhaps they have enough copper or been influenced by a jealous rival—would like to know the first point, for it would have been easy, if proper, to have seized about 10,000 which—if ordered to do so—would be afterwards and now also very serviceable—the natives trusting us. Once well supplied, the number could be kept up by breeding, and there would be no fear that the English would spoil the traffic with the natives, who daily give us sufficient cause, in consequence of their thieving, for revenge on them or their cattle, and if their cattle cannot be obtained in a friendly way, why then suffer their thefts without making reprisals, which would be required only once, for with 150 men 10 or 12,000 cattle could be secured, and without any danger; as many of these savages could be caught without a blow, for transmission as slaves to India, as they always come to us unarmed; this, however, requires more consideration and wiser judgment than ours alone—-we have only by the way mentioned it but will reflect upon it after more experience gained and orders received. Heavy South-East wind.

    14.—Bought 15 cows and 31 sheep—gave more and offered more than usual—each beast costing already about 6 skillings and each sheep 7 stiver—having before only paid for sheep 5 or 5½ stivers and for cattle 26 to 28 and 30 stivers a piece. Believe that the natives are gorged with copper—the more we offer the more they ask, returning at night with their cattle to the Salt River.

    15. (Sunday).—Bought 4 cows, 1 calf and 11 sheep—could get no more—raising their prices—thought it advisable also to hold out a little, but if this does not answer, will have to spend more to obtain a greater number of cattle for breeding purposes—have at present only 88 head of cattle and 269 sheep, besides those killed daily for the men. A Saldanhar stole a copper plate—detected by a soldier—created a great sensation—Saldanhars ran away, but were called back by Herry and the chief told that we knew that he could not help it—-barter continued, but the fear remained upon them, as they drove their cattle away. A little while after found three cows driven by a Hottentoo, which we thought had been pilfered from our flock—sent three or four men to circumvent them, who approached near to their flocks, when they all ran away into the woods and up the mountain, leaving their cattle behind—our men called and made them understand that they had merely come to inquire whether the three cows belonged to the whites, but finding the contrary, did not desire their cattle, but civilly asked them to sell them for copper. A new friendship was created and at night some came to the fort with sheep, but if our four men had so willed it, having no weapon but a sword each, they might have driven 40 or 50 cattle to the fort, as all the Saldanhars had run away, showing a timid disposition. We consequently assured a certain chief who came to us in the evening of our good intentions and our readiness to give as much copper and brass for their cattle as they might fairly claim, requesting them to bring many, showing some copper and making them understand that we had brought it for that purpose, and that the ships would bring more—that we were not of the kind of people seeking to rob others but would grant them what they asked for what we required—we treated him kindly, so that he left quite contented, promising to return to-morrow.

    16.—Saldanhars half a mile from the fort— only bought 1 cow and 1 sheep—taking 3 sheep back with them, though we offered more than before—believe that they are gorged with copper, having no use for it except as an ornament—consequently very little more cattle will be obtained unless other means be resorted to, but this is at present premature. Herry explained that after the departure of the Saldanhars the Fishmen would arrive with cattle only, and if we wished to oblige him and the Saldanhars we should kill the Fishmen and take their cattle, which would be easily done as they were a very weak tribe. Told him all were our friends who cared to trade, as we had come with copper and tobacco to buy cattle but not to injure anybody—wishing to live in friendship with all. This pleased him as regarded himself and the Saldanhars but not as regarded the Fishmen—the ruin of the latter would be too premature; as beforehand it will be necessary to inquire what profit could be secured from them for the Company. A fine ox and lamb died suddenly.

    First comet sighting recorded from Southern Africa

    History is recorded in history as the first comet sighting in Southern Africa to be recorded is seen and documented in the Jan van Riebeeck’s journal. If the Dutch had not been in the Cape at that very time, the sighting of the comet would never have been recorded; as the illiterate local natives had no ability to record this historical event in writing. Being a seafaring nation, the Dutch were accustomed to meticulously observing the heavens using the stars to plot their course and navigate the great oceans and seas of the world. They also observed the weather conditions by always looking heavenward at the sky. The record of the comet sightings appear on the 17th, the 18th, the 20th, the 21st and the 24th December 1652, ending with these words, “. . . its signification is known to the Lord.”

    _20190124_134239

    [Comets in old Cape Records, at page 4, from 17th December 1652][2]

    In the entries where Commander van Riebeeck makes reference to the “giant” it is observed from the document ‘Comets in old Cape Records’, at page 5 thereof, that this is in reference to Orion. An educated and learned navigational eye would have picked this out. This prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world would be observed by seafaring explorers. Incidentally, Orion is also mentioned in the LORD’s Holy Word in the Old Testament, for it is written,

    9  Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. ~ Job 9:9 

    31  Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? ~ Job 38:31

    8  Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: ~ Amos 5:8 [LORD is YHVH (YEHOVAH)]

    Over and above the comet sightings, the record of the wavering of the Saldanhars in their bartering with the Dutch continues. The Dutch had considered to take livestock by force, but the record reveals that their God-given conscience and lack of orders from the Company kept them orderly and bartering in a friendly manner. Even when the Saldanhars urged the Dutch to kill the Fishmen and steal their cattle, the Dutch implored the Saldanhars to live in harmony with the Fishmen. Not so, the Saldanhars committed murder, as we read on,

    17.—Bought one sheep though we paid more for it—natives raising their price and continually driving their cattle away after the sale of an animal—what this means is difficult to say, though we treat their chiefs handsomely—could get no more than 1 cow, 1 calf and 11 sheep—not easy to fathom this peculiar people—sowed some cadjangh, cress, cabbage, water-melon, melon and Indian beans, planted also orange and apple pips—those planted before not having come up. At night about 9 or 10 o’clock saw to the East-South-East, southward from the head of the giant, about 80° above the horizon, a strange star with a tail; the tail extending northwards right on the knees of the giant, and the head mostly to the south about 10° away. Jan Pietersz: Soenwater sentenced for theft ran away—apparently afraid of punishment for other thefts.

    18.—Saldanhars in swarms with numerous cattle near the fort, almost rushing into the the gate and with difficulty kept away from the gardens—not inclined to trade—flush of copper and consequently cattle trade must diminish. Herry says that they have enough copper and will henceforth bring only now and then an animal. Natives make armlets and chains of the copper, and if there be no longer a chance to trade what harm would it be if they were deprived of 6 or 8,000 head of cattle—the opportunities are many, as they are weak and timid—3 or 4 men often come with 1,000 cattle within range of our cannon, who might easily he cut off. And as they are so confiding we continue to treat them kindly to gain their confidence, and still more so to see whether in course of time anything may be done with them in the shape of trade or otherwise for the Company’s benefit and likewise should we to-day or to-morrow receive the order, to be able on the strength of their confidence to take their cattle easily and without a blow, as it is miserable to behold so much cattle, which are so necessary for refreshments for the ships, but cannot he obtained by good treatment or barter. Saldanhars return to the Salt and Fresh Rivers beside Table Mountain, about a mile from this. Saw the comet on the same spot.

    19.—Only eight sheep obtained—trade slackening more and more—their inclination for copper passing away.

    20.—Jan Soenwater returns to the fort and receives his deserved punishment. The cadjangh sown on the 17th springing up, also the watermelons. Bartered four sheep from the Saldanhars, who had again drawn near to the fort with much cattle, for some tobacco—they no longer ask for copper. If we had no more tobacco we would hardly get a cow or sheep for copper alone—good that they are so partial to tobacco, with which we will succeed, very well, having to-day bought a fine milk ewe for its length in tobacco=¼ lb. weight=11 doits. Very cheap indeed. Saw the comet in the North-East, northerly from the belt of the giant, about 60° above the horizon.

    21.—On this side N.W. and across the bay strong S.E. wind, which often happens. Sowed a good deal of salad seed, beans, and peas—commenced to cut some wheat and barley, which grew beautifully in spite of the strong winds. If the lands had been manured sooner we would have had earlier and better crops even. Our first season for experiments. Wonderful how well the things grow on a wild and otherwise uncultivated and unmanured ground—expect much from manure, for which the cattle are very serviceable, would, therefore, wish for more to have also milch cows besides those required as refreshments for the ships—but the native desire for copper has passed away, as appears from the conduct of a chief to-day, though we offer more. They inquire daily for the ships, especially the English vessels, which makes us suppose that Herry has been influencing them to hold out, as he no doubt likes the English more than he does us, having voyaged with them to Bantam, and expecting to have some profit from them. To prevent which we hope time and opportunity will offer us the means. Would like to have prompt orders to forbid him to trade with the natives or otherwise. Only obtained three sheep. Saw the comet this evening towards the North-East like yesterday.

    22. (Sunday).—Bought five sheep—watermelons sown on 17th springing up—manure does them good apparently, as they would not grow in unmanured ground. Death of the sailor Switsert Teunisz: Pyl.

    23. —Buried the sailor. Saw no Saldanhars near the fort, but our people fishing at Salt River saw them going inland with thousands of cattle and sheep. But Herry tells us that they will return when the after grass shall have appeared, the vegetation round about having been burnt for the purpose. Are only provided with 89 cattle and 284 sheep, from which the population is to be supplied. The Dutch food is exhausted, and no fish to be caught, which will diminish the supplies for the ships considerably. Hope for the best and trust in God, as the Saldanhars have enough copper.

    24.—Sent Van der Helm, the provisional sergeant, and six musketeers to the Saldanhar camps about two or three miles from this, to inquire whether or not the natives had left, how strong they were, and whether they would prefer trading at their location to doing so at the fort. Took with them a good wooden box with cut tobacco and pipes to treat the natives. Returned in the afternoon with some Saldanhars driving 1 cow and 5 sheep, which we bought for copper and tobacco. Report that many had left with their flocks; had only seen two locations, the one having seven and the other eight huts, altogether not more than 80 souls, and of the number 40 men able to carry arms, not at all strong, and possessing 7 or 800 cows and 1½ thousand sheep—were frightened when they first saw our men, and drove away their cattle to the mountains—were called back and told we had brought tobacco and copper to trade with, and were anxious to be on a cordial footing with them—gave them a pipeful of tobacco and finally persuaded them to bring one beast and five sheep to the fort. Seemed to prefer to trade at their quarters—the reason we do not know, as often they came with their cattle near to the fort and found that we desired no more than to trade with them for copper and tobacco. Perhaps prejudiced by Herry, they are afraid of us, and now more so than ever. Herry likes the English more than he does us, being always full of them—no doubt he has persuaded the natives to keep their cattle back until the arrival of the English, as he seems to know pretty exactly when their fleet will be here from India. Saldanhars continually asking when, especially the English ships will be here—told them—if Herry truly interprets—that the copper of the ships will he given to us to trade with for cattle to be distributed among the vessels and that we still had sufficient copper and tobacco for the purpose. We doubt whether Herry interprets faithfully, as we often trade better without him—if the English arrive, we will be better able to discover what connection there is between them. Saw at night the comet again—having travelled to the North-North-West of us about 50 degrees above the horizon, its tail, which is now less bright than formerly, pointing to the East-South-East—its signification is known to the Lord.

    25. (Christmas).—Bought eight sheep—last night one sheep was almost wholly devoured by a wild beast, notwithstanding the watch kept in and outside of the kraal. At night seven or eight wild beasts crossed over the canals, fully eight feet broad and four feet deep, into the kraal, so that the guards fired before they could be compelled to leave—eight persons henceforth to guard the cattle, two of whom shall together take a turn to keep watch and keep a fire burning to frighten the wild beasts. The square within the fort being too small to contain all the cattle, we intend to make a kraal —when the garden produce on that spot has been gathered—between the two points Drommedaris and Oliphant, with a front wall of sods eight feet high and a good canal inside to water the cattle, which may easily be done by locking the river, for which and other similar works the Commodore of the expected fleet will be asked to lend us some assistance with his crews, as we will never be able to finish with the hands we have now. The work is daily increasing, and much is to be done in trenching and digging up the garden ground.

    26.—Arrival of the very oldest Saldanhars with their captain and four sheep—had not been here for some time—treated well to draw them nearer, and obtained in the afternoon two more sheep. Churned the first butter and from half an anker of milk obtained 2 lbs. good yellow butter—doing our best to make cheese—in want of many of the necessary utensils, which we have to find on the first opportunity, as success is fairly promising. Very severe South-East during the evening and night, so that the sentry could not walk on the ramparts. In the whole world it cannot blow as hard as the S.E. does here, which often surpasses the West Indian hurricanes and the Japanese typhoons.

    27.—Bought a cow and seven sheep from the same natives.

    28.—Wind still blowing violently, knocking the corn out of the ears, so that we hardly won a quarter of our crop. Found oats among the corn mixed up with the seeds of wheat and barley sown—carefully gathered—to be sown on a separate plot to grow in quantity, as we intend to do with barley also. Corn here extraordinarily beautiful, pity that it has been so much knocked about by the wind. Churned twice to-day with less milk than on the 29th, obtained 1½ lb. much finer butter than before—in course of time things will improve—thank God we are so far advanced that we can accommodate the sick with sweet and butter milk and eggs, fowls breeding finely, but the pigs and pigeons do not seem to prosper—pigs not yet having littered and only seven pigeons reared. Bought 5 sheep, 1 cow and 2 small calves, which we paid for at a dearer rate to entice the sellers—and to obtain a sufficient breeding stock. Saldanhars had been at the Fishmen, killing four and capturing much cattle—requested us likewise to attack the Fishmen, which would oblige them greatly, as the former were a pack of thieves, who would when here endeavour to steal our cattle. We replied that we very much liked the Saldanhars to live and trade with them amicably, and would see when the Fishmen came what people they were, but would always be attached to the Saldanhars, which seemed to please them.

    29. (Sunday).—Bartered 4 sheep and 2 cows. Found 18 sheep wanting—herds acknowledged they had lost them through carelessness. Condemned the three principal herds each to pay two reals for six sheep, and told them to be more careful in future otherwise they would be punished.

    30.—Wind having blown severely for 5 or 6 days, we found the gardens much injured—the peas blown to pieces, also the beans, which were beautiful—seed of the cabbage lettuce suffered, strange to say, no injury—collected it in this calm weather—likewise that of radish, spinach, endives, &c. Will in consequence of the drought not be able to sow again before February or March. The return fleet will find all our vegetables run into seed except carrots, turnips, radish and beetroot—cabbage also will be ready and in quantity—every day we eat mutton—the churn is fairly going, and we have set aside already 6 lbs. butter—the people receiving butter milk, which may also refresh the men of the coming ships. In want, however, of appliances to make cheese. Matters bucolic promising well—eating fresh butter at table, using the Dutch butter for food. Preparing to bake bread from the new wheat to have everything straight for the refreshment of the ships, which will seemingly henceforth be fairly possible—but from April to October the best refreshments in the shape of vegetables will be had, and for the ships in February and March the most cattle, carrots, cabbage, turnips, &c.—milk the whole year through, for which purpose cattle should be kept. Bought a cow and five sheep. Sent to search for the sheep between Table and Lion Mountains. The men also to go behind Table Mountain to discover how many Saldanhars there were—they remained away the whole night.

    31.—Sheep not found—men reported that they had found about the Hout Bay six locations containing altogether about 500 souls and numberless cattle—natives much afraid of the whites, who showed them great kindness, so that some of them accompanied the six soldiers a great distance to show them the way for a little tobacco. Bought 12 sheep and 1 cow. The newly arrived Saldanhars report that many of them were at the Saltpan with much cattle, which they intended to sell—treated them kindly and informed them that we had much copper and tobacco—may some advantage result from this—God grant it, Amen.
    N.B.—The wind and weather very carefully noted every day.

    January 1, 1653.—Bought seven sheep before the sermon. Released from irons Gerrit Dirckz; Jan Blanx and Willem Huytjens, and reinstated in office the suspended corporal.

    2.—Bought eight sheep. Died one Dutch pig—these animals do not seem to thrive here. Likewise died one sheep and one calf. Wind so heavy that no one could easily keep his legs, wheelbarrows not manageable on the planks, and the ground as hard as stone in consequence of the dry wind.

    3.—Bought five sheep—wind as bad—no progress with the work.

    4.—Sent the catechist with a corporal and six soldiers with copper, tobacco and pipes to the Saldanhars, to inquire whether they would like to trade at their place, as they no longer come to the fort with any large number of cattle. Bartered seven sheep in the meanwhile. The party returning brought 2 cows, 1 bull, 1 ox, 1 heifer and 1 calf with 11 sheep. Saldanhars more inclined to trade at their camp than at the fort. Will therefore try again on Monday. Also bought four cows, a calf and six sheep—God be praised for the blessing. On the other side of the bay—from the wreck of the Haerlem along the whole coast towards Saldanha Bay—numerous fires, belonging, as Herry states, to natives with much cattle, who may be expected here to trade; if they like copper the cattle barter may again look up. Would like to have more tobacco, which is running out, as without it bartering will be scarcely possible.

    5. (Sunday).—Bought 12 sheep and 2 cows, 1 ox, a calf and heifer, for copper and tobacco—half of the last roll already used up.

    The battlements of Cape Town's Castle of Good Hope - Mike Hutchings/Reuters In closing this the second edition of our look back into history, we find ourselves in January 1653 and will pick up again in Part 3 with the further examination of their bartering, the relationships between the Dutch and the local native tribes, and also life in general at the Dutch Cape Colony. Until then,

    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. pp14-57.

    [2] Comets in Old Cape Records by Donald McIntyre, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society Past President, Astronomical Society of South Africa, Member of the British Astronomical Association, With a Foreword by C. Graham Botha, M.A., LL.D., Former Chief Archivist for the Union of South Africa, Cape Times Limited, Cape Town, MCMXLIX

    Related Blog Posts:

    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)

    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.

    _______________

    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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