GENEALOGY SERIES: Bay of Bengal Roots

Two of my ancestors were noted as being from Bengal – Darius van Bengal and Lisbeth van Bengal. The toponym ‘Van Bengal’ used as surnames in records is very broad in interpretation. In the case of one of my other ancestors with this toponyms, dna shows her to trace back to the border region of Myanmar-Laos-Thailand, known as the Golden Triangle. Without dna tracking for other slaves with this toponym we can only assume that these slaves were either from Bengal / Bangladesh or from the broader Bay of Bengal.

The Bay of Bengal includes the territory of India known as the Coast of Coromandel, Bangladesh (Bengal), Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Without dna tracing Darius and Lysbeth may have come from any of these areas. The Dutch had slaver stations in Sri Lanka, Coast of Coromandel, Bengal and at Arakan (Rakhine province in Myanmar).

Darius van Bengal (bn1677 was one of my 7th great-grandfathers) had a daughter with Anna Groothenning van Bengal (bn circa 1674) slave from Golden Triangle – Myanmar-Laos-Thailand). Their daughter Maria van der Kaap (bn 1703) married Frans Verkouter (bn 1660). Their daughter in turn Anna Catharina Verkouter (1737) married Arnoldus Vosloo (bn 1724), the son of Johannes Vosloo (bn1694, slave son of  Tamara van Madagascar) and Gerbrecht Herbst (one of my 6th Great Grandmothers who was the daughter of one of  my 7th great grandmothers Lysbeth Arabus a royal slave from Madagascar, of Sumatra and Ethiopia lineage.)

Arnoldus Vosloo (bn 1763) who was married to Anna Spies had a daughter Martha Vosloo who married Johannes la Grange whose daughter Anna la Grange married Josef le Cordier, father of my paternal great-grandfather Anthony le Cordier, father of grandmother Elsie Petronella (le Cordier) Mellet (bn 1900). My paternal grandfather Pieter Francois Mellet snr settled in District Six with Elsie Petronella and my father was their first-born in 1922

Lisbeth van Bengal (bn 1643 one of my 9th great-grandmothers) was another of the earliest slaves at the Cape who is a 9th great grandmother in my family tree. She was captured in the Bay of  Bengal region, brought to the Cape and sold to Jan van Riebeeck by Rear Admiral Pieter Kemp in 1657. She had around 8 children by different fathers. Her fourth child born around 1663 was fathered by a Pieter NN and the child was named Anna Pietersz. Anna was born into slavery as her mother and herself were only freed ten years later in 1673.

Anna later first married Anthonij de Later van Japan a fellow freed Japanese slave. Anna then later married Matthys van Wijk (bn 1645) and had a daughter Elizabeth van Wyk (1679).

Elizabeth married Nikolaus von Wielligh and their daughter Johanna von Wielligh (bn 1716) married Mattheus Willemse (bn 1711). Their daughter Gertruyda Johanna Willemse (bn 1752) married Bernardus Lambertus Zaaiman (bn 1752 descendent of my 9th great-grandmother Krotoa of the Khoi Watermans or //Ammaqua) great grandfather to Elizabeth Saayman (bn c 1838) who married my 2nd great-grandfather Jacobus Johannes Mellet (1822).

GENEALOGY SERIES: African-Creole slaves in my roots

In my direct lineage family tree there are thirteen first generation slaves who were captured from Africa, India and Southeast Asia and brought to the Cape, and there are 26 slaves in my family tree, 5 Khoi and 19 Europeans making up my roots. Other of my slave ancestors are covered in this series from Angola; Madagascar-Sumatra-Ethiopia; Kerala India, Bay of Bengal; the Golden Triangle – Myanmar,Laos, Thailand; and Sulawezi.

All across the African island countries like Cabo Verde, Comoros, Seychelles, Reunion, Sao Tome & Principe, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Mauritius and in mainland African countries, especially in – Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Cameroon, Angola and Mozambique there are African-Creole populations, languages and cultures. The port of Cape Town was no different and the creolisation that first appeared at the Cape of Good Hope spread across South Africa.

Even before Jan van Riebeeck took over and colonised the Indigene run proto port of Cape Town, there were African-Creole people at the Cape. From 1600 – 1652, with 1071 ships dropping anchor at the Cape on their way to Southeast Asia, China and India, and a further over 800 ships on return voyages, something like 150 000 Europeans, Asians and African would have stopped over at Table Bay for periods of between three weeks and one year. Jan van Riebeeck was neither the founder of Cape Town’s port nor the first resident from abroad.

As in any port around the world sexual relations occurred and children were born. Children born of such relations between the Watermans (or //Ammaqua) also referred to locally by the depreciative term goringhaicona (our kin who left us or were expelled) would have been the first African-Creoles. But the explosion of the African- creole population began in a big way after the first generation of locally born slaves. By 1760 the majority of slaves were African-Creoles.
The term CREOLE and CREOLISATION is not always well understood and can mean different things to different people. For instance, in the USA, it is simply seen as part of the population of Louisiana that have French, indigene and slave ancestry.
The real basic meaning of the term CREOLE derives from French ‘créole’, Spanish ‘criollo’ and Portuguese ‘crioulo’ all coming from the Latin root ‘creare’ meaning a new creation or referring to ‘locally born’. This referred mainly to the first generation of slaves who were locally born to slave parents or slave-indigene parents or to slave-European parents. The full cycle of creolisation occurs when the children of the first locally born slaves are born. Creole people, creole languages and creole cultures exist and are recognised as such across Africa. It is only here in South Africa that the notion of a ‘Coloured Race’ emerged through its creation and enforcement by Europeans.
Dr Robert Shell argues (in Children of Bondage; 1994; Wits Univ Press) that there is a point or moment of Creolisation premised on more than 50 % of locally born slaves making up the slave population. In other words, when the character of Cape Slavery was such that it could reproduce itself, then one could talk of Cape Slavery being predominantly comprised of African Creole slaves. Dr Shell quotes the German colonist Otto Mentzel saying in the 1740s that “the majority of privately owned slaves have been born in the country (the Cape Colony)”. This differed with VoC Company slaves at the Slave Lodge where the imported slaves remained in the majority until the end of the life of the Slave Lodge. By 1806 Cape Slavery was a mix of African Creole slaves and new African slaves (Masbiekers & increasingly ‘Liberated Africans’ who were technically apprentices). Few slaves from the old countries of origin (other than Madagascar) such as those from India and Southeast Asia were now being brought to the Cape by 1808 and very quickly it stopped altogether.
It is from 1702 through to the 1780s that the 16 African Creole slaves feature in my family tree both as first generation locally borns and as second generation locally borns. Some were married to each other or to Free Blacks and some to Europeans and Khoi. Some were not married but had concubine relationships with Europeans. All African Creole children born of slave mothers would be slaves. Only if a slave fathered a child with a European woman, would that child not be a slave. Enslavement was always passed through a woman. These are my African-Creole slave and Free Black ancestors:
Armozijn de Groote van der Kaap 9th great aunt (African-Creole slave)
Armozijn de Cleine van der Kaap 9th first cousin (African-Creole slave)
Lijsbeth Sanders van der Kaap 7th great grandmother (African-Creole slave)
Gerbrecht Herbst van der Kaap 6th great grandmother (African-Creole slave)
Johannes Vosloo van der Kaap 6th great grandfather (African-Creole slave)
Maria Groothenning van der Kaap 6th great grandmother (African-Creole slave)
Anna Verkouter van der Kaap 5th great grandmother (African-Creole slave)
Rebecca Mosesz van der Kaap 8th great grandmother (African-Creole slave)
Maria Cornelisse Claasen vdk 7th great grandmother (African-Creole slave)
Maria Lozee van der Kaap 8th great grandmother (African-Creole slave)
Jacobus van der Kaap Steyn 7th great grandfather (African-Creole slave)
Anna Pieterse van der Kaap 8th great grandmother (African-Creole slave)
Francina NN Hadden vdk maternal 1st great grandmother (African-Creole slave)


Imported African and Asian slaves, Creole slaves, Free Blacks, Masbiekers, Liberated Africans, Kru, Sidees, Lascars, Saints, Manillas, Perankan Chinese, Indonesian exiles, Chinese, other migrants of Colour San, Khoi, Gqunukhwebe, Xhosa, BaSotho, BaStwana, non-conformist Europeans and many more infusions all contribute to those of us who descend from the earliest African-Creole people… who today refer to ourselves as Africans of Camissa heritage.

Pic: Cabo Verde Children (Photo by: Lauren Millar Pintintrest)

GENEALOGY SERIES: Malabar Coast, Kerala, India roots

Many slaves brought to the Cape of Good Hope were KERALAfrom the southwestern Malabar Coast of India which after 1956 with the combining of the Malayam-speaking regions of India, became the State of Kerala with its capital city being Thiruvananthapuram. It also incorporates the old Kingdom of Cochin.

One of my 8th Great grandmother’s was Catharina van Malabar (circa 1650) who locates as being taken captive on the southwestern Malabar coast, in today’s Kerala state.

Before India became independent, under British rule the northern part of Kerala was part of the Madras province of British India. The culture of Kerala is a syncretic mix of Aryan, Dravidian, Arab and European culture which developed over millennia. From its inception Kerala has been a socialist stronghold (Communist Party) in India, and is one of the most successful economic regions with well-developed infrastructure, social cohesion and social services.

In 1498, the Portuguese began to dominate eastern shipping, and the spice-trade in particular. Francisco de Almeida the greatest Portuguese General of that time was appointed as Viceroy of Portuguese India in 1505, and his headquarters was established at Fort Kochi (Fort Emmanuel) in the Malabar region where he established fortresses all along the Malabar Coast. In 1510 this great Portuguese General was defeated in battle by the Khoi at Salt River in Table Bay. D’Almeida and 60 of his senior officers were killed in that battle by Khoi armed with cattle, spears and archery. Later in 1571, the Portuguese were defeated in the region and the United Dutch East India came into ascendancy and gained control of the spice trade over the 1600. It was during this period Dutch exported slaves from the Malabar Coast and the Coromandel coast across the global Dutch footprint including to the Cape of Good Hope. Most who were sold into slavery were war captives and refugees. Some too were natural-disaster refugees or captives of pirates. Some were taken in payment for debts, in a practice known as debt-bondage.

Within 160 years the Dutch like the Portuguese before them were weakened by constant battles with Marthanda Varma of the Travancore Royal Family, and were defeated at the Battle of Colachel in 1741. An agreement, known as ‘Treaty of Mavelikkara’, was signed by the Dutch and the Travancore in 1753, according to which the Dutch were compelled to break off from all political involvement in the region. The British East India Company then expanded into India when in 1766, Hyder Ali, the ruler of Mysore invaded northern Kerala. His son and successor, Tipu Sultan, launched campaigns against the expanding British East India Company, resulting in protracted wars which resulted in northern parts of today’s Kerala being ceded by Tipu to the Madras Presidency of British India in 1792.

By the 1770s already the export of slaves by the Dutch from India, the Bay of Bengal and Southeast Asia drastically tumbled and died out with the majority of slaves at the Cape from the 1760s to 1860s being imported from Africa. Up until 1834 the majority of new first generation slaves were African and after 1834 the ‘prize slaves’ known as Liberated Africans followed (as forced apprenticed labour) until 1870.

Grandma Catharina van Malabar had a daughter with a Dutch man Cornelius ‘ Kees de Boer’ Claasz. Their daughter Maria Cornelisse Claasen van der Kaap (1678) was one of my 7th great grandmothers who would marry into the lineage of one of my 9th Great Grandmothers the Khoi interpreter Krotoa of the people who called themselves //Ammaqua (Watermans) and other Khoi disparagingly referred to them as Goringhaicona – our kin who left us or were expelled.

Slaves like Maria and others in my family tree who have the name van der Kaap are what are called Creole slaves. Creole simply mean locally born or a new creation. To illustrate how slaves were named we can see that as a first generation slave from Malabar Catharina was given the surname ‘van Malabaar’. As a child born to a slave woman, Maria was also a slave, even though her father was European. As a second generation creole slave Maria had the surname van der Kaap, but she also had her father’s names as baptism names (Cornelius Claaz) Cornelius se kind/ Claasz syn kind. So her name was Maria Cornelisse Claasen van der Kaap. In the third generation only the surname Claasen would continue. This was one of a number of different naming traditions foisted onto slaves. The names of the month, biblical names and names from Roman and Greek classics were also among the traditions. Slaves had little control over their names or anything personal.

A so it came to pass that Catharina (we don’t know her original name) came to be totally divorced from her rich Kerala traditions and culture and she and her descendants would only know Africa as their home. Into her cultural stream would flow the streams of other Asians and Africans and local Khoi as well as Europeans. Her descendants would be a new syncretic African people who would first suffer almost two centuries of slavery and colonial dispossession, and then de-Africanisation and Apartheid… all crimes against humanity, but with great fortitude rose above adversity, resisted these evils and fought for freedom and dignity.

In this short series that I have been posting I have shown the diversity of slaves from Africa, India and Southeast Asia which came together with Indigenous Khoi Africans and with non-conformist Europeans to give birth to an African-creole people who I refer to as Camissa and the state refers to as Coloured (the colonial and Apartheid brand forced on a range of peoples after 1904.

GENEALOGY SERIES: Madagascar Roots

Madagascar has a Malagasy population made up of diverse roots – African, Austronesian and Southeast Asian in the main, but with Somali, Arab, Indian, Chinese and some small European admixture. These constitute many kingdoms. This mixing goes back to migrations between 200BCE and 500 CE.

The Sub-Saharan African Bantu-language speakers were settled in Madagascar by 500 CE. Malagasy slaves are in diaspora across the world as a result of the slave trade. Madagascar is a member state of the Southern African Development Community SADC.

Madagascar was a major source of slaves at the Cape of Good Hope. The complexity of Malagasy society is matched only by the complexity of Cape Slave society. The roots of my Malagasy slave ancestors shows that these slaves brought from Madagascar like the two Arabus sisters – Cornelia and Lysbeth go back to Sulawesi and to Ethiopia, even although they were children from a royal family in Madagascar. The two young girl slaves were initially gifted to Maria van Riebeeck by a visiting French Captain but were handed over to the VOC as company slaves. Lysbeth Arabus is one of my 8th Great Grandmother and her daughter Lysbeth Sanders van der Kaap is one of my 7th Great-grandmothers. Cornelia is one of my 8th Great Aunts. The two Arabus girls were 10 and 12 years old when they arrived at the Cape and were contemporaries of Krotoa of the //Ammaqua (Watermans) aka Goringhaicona.

Another of my 8th Great Grandmothers was Tamara van Madagascar. Tamara was one of five slave women who had children by Johann Vosloo their owner, Johann eventually freed his offspring born into slavery.

Tamara’s freed-slave son, Johannes Vosloo, married one of my 7th Great Grandmother’s (Lysbeth Sanders van der Kaap) freed-slave daughters – Gerbrecht Herbst. (Gerbrecht’s grandmother was Lysbeth Arabus).

Lijsbeth Sanders van der Kaap was quite a character in early Cape society. She lived a long life until the age of 85 when she died in 1744.

The son of Gerbrecht Herbst and Johannes Vosloo (bn 1694) by the name of Arnoldus Vosloo (1724) married Anna Catharina Verkouter (bn 1737) the daughter of Frans Verkouter (bn1660) and Maria Groothenning.(bn1703) – (daughter of Darius van Bengal (bn 1677) and Anna Groothenning van Bengal (bn 1676) – whose story of origin goes back to Myanmar-Laos – Thailand’s golden triangle…. As per an earlier post on this another of my 8th Great Grandma’s.

This illustrates a web of slave ancestry involving Madagascar, Ethiopia, Sulawezi, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and the African-Creole offspring at the Cape.

There is a wonderful Madagascar Music group called Tarika whose many songs speak of the ancestral mix of Sumatra and Sulawezi and East African roots. Our cultural heritage like that of Madagascar is a beautiful tapestry of over 150 tributaries, but unlike the Malagasy we do not tap into this rich heritage and most are unaware of their heritage. Os Is! Is ja! Camissa!

GENEALOGY SERIES: Sulawezi Indonesian Roots

Remember when the adults would say “Da Bogeyman gonna come ‘n getcha!” Well it emanates from a large island in Indonesia where two of my ancestors originate; the island of SULAWEZI also known as the Celebes. One of the peoples of Sulawezi are the Buginese – the Bogey Men.

The Island has a peculiar shape with four peninsulas and with some small islands along its coastline. The major centre of Sulawezi was the town of Makassar where there was a huge slave trading market which imported 106 000 slaves and exported 155 000 slaves over 60 years from 1720 – 1780.

During the 16th and 17th centuries the Dutch fought on three fronts against the Portuguese, the Muslim Arab Sultanates and against Indigenous kingdoms. Each of these groups also battled with each other to convert people respectively to Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam. Religious converts were then turned into soldiers. The only united approach by the three imperial forces was against the old indigenous faiths and cultures which they all stomped upon.

The Dutch destroyed the Makassar Sultanate by 1669 and dominated the slave trade there for almost a century. Sulawezi has nine ethnic groups, one of which are the Bugis (Boegies) peoples. The original Bugi-man was a notorious pirate from the region. Besides the Buginese, the other ethnicities are the Makassarese, Mandar, Minhasa, Gorontala, Toraja, Butonese, Bajau, and Mongondow. It was captives from these traditional societies largely un-converted to the European Christian or Arab Muslim faiths who were sold to slavery at the Cape. (When Sheigh Yusuf of Makassar was exiled to the Cape his mission to the slaves won many of these ethnicities to Islam)

Sulawezi was a place of many wars between the Europeans and the various ethnic principalities and between the Europeans themselves. War captives and pirate captives resulted in many people being sold into slavery and a number of slaves at the Cape are recorded as ‘van Celebes’, ‘van Sulawezi’, van Makassar and ‘van Boegies’. Among these slaves were two of my 9th Great Grandparents – Mosesz van Sulawezi (1651) and Sara van Makassar (1667), both from Southern Sulawezi (aka Celebes).

The island of Sulawezi was first colonised in part by the Portuguese in 1523, then the Dutch 1623 and then also by the English. During the 16th century the Topasses (black Portuguese or Indo-Portuguese) dominated many of the islands and were also a force to be reckoned with across Southeast Asia. One of the most powerful Black-Portuguese Topasses families were the da Costas who originated from Portuguse relationships with Indian slaves. Maai Monica da Costa of Goa was the Indo-Portuguese mother of Simon van der Stel’s mother Maria Lievens.

Grandpa Mosesz and Grandma Sara were taken as slaves by force and sold through the port of Makassar as slaves destined for the Cape. The long journey to the Cape was broken by the compulsory stop at Mauritius which was the embarkation point for slaves going on to the Cape of Good Hope. My two 9th Great Grandparents would arrived at

Grandpa Mosesz was at least 15 years older than Grandma Sara, who was the second of his three wives. He also lived ten years longer than Sara. They had only one child together and that was Rebekka van der Kaap who married Otto van Graan. Sara van Makassar died in 1710 while Mosesz van Sulawezi died in 1721. During their life and until the 1780s there was quite a large Sulawezi community in Cape Town.

Over time the sands have blown over the Makassarese and Buginese cultural footprints of these our ancestors, but their spirit is still conveyed on the winds that blow from afar. Sulawezi ancestral and cultural influence are also strong among the people of Madagascar. In both the Cape and Madagascar the Sulawezi cultures and ancestry have mixed with African and other Asian countries as well as some European resulting in African-creole cultures. This also occurs strongly in Mauritius which was a stop-over port. Few among our Camissa people know and appreciate the diversity of these roots. Sulawezi has a rich a deep history and culture which at least in part is relevant to descendants today.

PICS – What Mosesz and Sara would have looked like. Old photos of traditional Sulawezi people


One of my 9th Great Grandmothers was Marij van Angola who was born around 1641 around the time the Dutch with the help of Queen Njinga Mbande overthrew the Portuguese Colony of Luanda in Angola. They controlled Luanda for only eight years when the Portuguese again seized control of the Colony City that they had founded in the 1500s.

At the heart of this fight for supremacy in Angola was the lucrative slave trade. The Dutch allied with the famous warrior Queen Njinga (Donna Ana de Sousa) of the Mbundu people in the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms, a legendary military tactician who led her forces into battle resisting the Portuguese at every turn including allying with the Dutch temporarily to defeat the Portuguese.

Finally thwarted from establishing their base in Luanda, the Dutch decided on establishing their much needed base at Table Bay, four years after their defeat in Angola. In the early 1600s as a result of the Portuguese foothold in Congo and Angola there was also much travel by Angolan nobleman as in one of the attached pictures. With the huge amount of sea traffic, including Portuguese, stopping at Table Bay (over 1071 outward bound + 800 homeward bound), it is more than probable that these African noblemen would also have visited Cape Town before Jan van Riebeeck too….(before 1652 around 150 000 travellers would have visited Table Bay since 1600)

People of Sub-Saharan African roots, speaking what we know to be branches of the Bantu family of languages have a long history in Cape Town going back to the Khoi-Xhosa mixed-society known as the Chainouqua, before the Dutch Colony was established. But when the Dutch were first setting up the colony in 1658 two events occurred that resulted in a mass migration of sub-Saharan Bantu-languages speakers to Table Bay. (NOTE: Over 400 different ethnic groups covering much of three-quarter of the territory of Africa speak some forms of Bantu languages. Bantu is no a people or ‘race’ – it is a family of languages). Both events occurred in 1658.

The story of Great Grandma Marija (Maria) involves one of these forced migratory events.

In 1657, the 16 year old girl Marij was captured inland in Angola and marched to Luanda, forced onto a ship with over 500 others bound for the Portuguese colony of Brazil. Out on the high seas the ship was intercepted by a smaller Dutch vessel, the Amersfoort , which quickly took over the slaver vessel after a short fight. The Dutch found the ship overladen with a slave cargo of mainly children from Angola. Between 1500 and late 1800 Angola was literally denuded of its children taken as slaves to the Americas, mainly Brazil.

The late great historian Karel Schoeman provides us with the factual data. The Dutch removed 250 children from the badly disabled slaver ship, leaving the rest of the slaves adrift. Marij van Angola was one of the 250 seized as prize cargo and taken to the Cape of Good Hope. Only 174 of the 250 slaves taken on board survived the journey to the Cape. Another 32 of these children died within the next six weeks at the Cape. It was then decided that 92 would be taken to be sold in Batavia (Jakarta) and probably 50% of these died before reaching the end of the journey. Then 24 of the child slaves were sold to Free-Burghers, and 26 were retained as Company Slaves, but 7 of these escaped to seek refugee with local indigenes and were not recaptured.

Marij van Angola was sold to Jan van Riebeeck and became part of his household for just a few years before being sold again when Jan van Riebeeck left the Cape to Batavia.
In the second forced migration of West African slaves 271 slaves, again mainly children but also some very old people, were bought from those who had captured them in Guinea, marched them to Grand Popo and then after negotiations over the per head price, they were loaded on board the Dutch ship the Hasselt.

The attrition rate was heavy on the sea route to Table Bay as 43 of the slaves on board died on the journey. Of the 228 landed at the Cape, 80 would be sent on to Batavia (Jakarta) which was the seat of the VOC Governor who ruled over the Cape and its Commander van Riebeeck. Again around 50% of these died along the way. Of those remaining 52 died and 41 were kept by the Company as slaves and 55 were sold to Free-Burghers.

This African slave population (146) by end of June in 1658 was almost as big as that the European population (166) of 95 Company Garrison and 20 Dutch women and children, 51 Free-Burghers, 15 Asian slaves and 7 Asian Exiles (Free Blacks). Together with the Asian slaves and exiles there was just one more of the forced migrants than the VOC and Free-Burghers. A company of Amboyna soldiers among the VOC population resulted in there being more migrants of colour than Europeans in 1658, with Africans being the largest ethnic group.

Those that falsely spread the nonsense that people of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, speaking Bantu languages, are recent arrivals in Cape Town and disparagingly referred to as Eastern Cape refugees by the likes of Helen Zille, are simply ignorant or racist, or both.

He then 17 year old (9th great) Grandma Marij who probably looked like the Angolan lass in the picture had undergone a harrowing journey and was lucky to be alive. When all the emaciated and sick children landed, Jan van Riebeeck and his brother in law decided that there was only one way to control the young slaves and this was by issuing them with rations of alcohol and tobacco every day. No wonder so many of these traumatized children died.

In this largely male colonial scenario the young Marij had two children, both girls, who by birth to a slave also became slaves. One of these girls, named after her mum, was my locally born slave ancestor Maria Lozee who, like her mother Marij van Angola, is one of the direct ancestors of my father’s grandmother.

All of the different women who were my root (or progenitor) ancestors at that time knew each other and interacted, sometimes living with each other. Among them were strong connections with the Guinea slaves. The daughter of one of the Guinea slaves died as one of the richest women in Cape Town in 1713 leaving an exceptional will. Besides other farms that she owned she was the first owner of the farm that became Camps Bay. She was also known as Maria. They called her Zwarte Maria Evert – Black Maria the African. Her one son became the greatest winemaker at the Cape in the 18th century. He owned part of the Constantia Estate. Another Free Black woman, Anna de Koningh owned Groot Constantia after Simon van der Stel. Her husband had bought the farm and soon after he died and she inherited it.

So many Marias…. Whenever I hear one of my favourite pieces of music, it is these women all named Maria that I think about – AVE MARIA!

Marij is one of 26 enslaved ancestors in my family tree from Angola; Madagascar; Ethiopia; India; Myanmar-Laos-Thailand; Sulawezi; and Makassar; and the others who are locally born African-Creole slaves. There are also 5 Khoi ancestors and 19 root European ancestors.

I celebrate them all as part of my Camissa heritage as an African and South Africa. There is much to learn about the survival, fortitude, innovation, resilience and resistance in this heritage of rising above adversity – the adversity of colonialism, dispossession and crimes against humanity such as genocide, slavery, de-Africanisation ad Apartheid. Os is! Is ja! Camissa Os is!

GENEALOGY SERIES: Myanmar-Laos-Thailand roots

In the 1670s on the northwestern coastline of Southeast Asia where today we have Myanmar, also known as Burma, the Dutch who had a footprint all over the region had a slave-market station in Arakan, today Rakhine province of Myanmar. At that time the borders of China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar/Arakan frequently shifted in a region where wars proliferated. The confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers in particular were marker reference points in the shifting borders where a great ethnic mix occurred in times of great fluidity and mass movements of peoples fleeing conflicts.

War captives were the main source of slaves sold through Arakan and many slaves sold to the Cape of Good Hope were known by the toponym of “van Bengale” denoting the Bay of Bengal, running from the Coast of Coromandel and Bengal all the way down to today’s Malaysia and Singapore.

This makes the tracking of the Southeast Asian component of Cape Slavery ancestry very difficult when this toponym or the toponyms of “van Batavia” and “van Java” is used. While other toponyms more often specifically relate to the territory named, these three toponyms like that of “van Ceylon” are merely slaver station names where the slaves themselves may be from a broad range of locations. “van Arakan”, “van Tonkin”, “van Burma” and “van Siam” are all used along with “van Bengale”. So here is where dna testing becomes very useful and it is possible for a straight line of direct descent of a current day descendent to track the mtdna of a forebear.

Around 1676 a child who would be known by the name of Anna was born in this region today known as the Golden Triangle where we have the confluence of the Ruak River and Mekong River and where Myanmar, Thailand and Laos border each other. The Golden Triangle involves all three territories which share a history. This was the birthplace of one of my 6th Great Grandmothers, the child Anna. She may have had one of a number of local names but I choose to call her Maenaam (child of the River). Working back from the time she was sold from on board the ship Spiegel by the skipper to a man by the name of Gerrit Meyer in 1698, she would have been around 17 years of age on capture, like the young woman in this old photograph of a girl from that region.

The first part of a long journey that would have taken a probable four years and involved unspeakable indignities and abuse, would have been an overland journey to the Arakan coast where she entered the slave trade market. From there she may have been moved either to the Batavia (Jakarta) staging post or the Colombo (in Sri Lanka) staging post. From there slaves were taken to Mauritius another staging post, and then finally to the Cape of Good Hope.

The entire journey and processes involved could have taken three or four years with many incidents and re-sales occurring. By the time my 6th Great Grandmother Maenaam was sold to the tavern-keeper Gerrit Meyer she would have been 21 years old, and her name had become Anna ‘Groothenning’ van Bengale. The middle name was an old German facetious slang name meaning a ‘good lay’ in bed. Tavern’s at that time doubled as pick-up joints or brothels, and slaves were considered fair game.

It is in this circumstance that her life became quite complicated. She became the concubine of a fellow slave from Bay of Bengal by the name of Darius, for just a few years, and they had two children. This relationship ended when she was sold again twice, during which she became the lover of a German fellow by the name of Christiaan Bok with whom she had three children. Anna later married Bok a couple of years before he died. Bok was a partner in bakery business with another German Hans Geringer who by this time owned Anna and her children. There is a possibility that her first child with Bok was fathered by Geringer. The relationships of Anna and the men in her life has been subject of much speculation. When he died he granted Anna and her children their freedom in his will.

Sixth Great- Grandma Anna ‘Maenaam’ died at the age of 57, never to see her homeland in the Golden Triangle again.

We will never know her definitive ethnicity (if indeed there is such a thing) – Maynamar, Thai, Laos, or Chinese, but we can know with some certainty that the Golden Triangle was her most likely homeland.

CHART: 195 Tributaries in Coloured or Camissa (African Creole) Ancestry



Click on the highlighted text above to access a chart which breaks down the over 195 ancestral origins of people classified Coloured and also illustrates that almost 73% of these tributaries are African. Between 1904 and 1911 in an act of de-Africanisation a census committee created a new use of the term Coloured and decided who all would be placed under the umbrella term. This act is known as forced assimilation. After the Second World War in defining Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, it was agreed that forced assimilation of peoples was a crime against humanity. Apartheid was also later classed as a Crime Against Humanity by the International Criminal Court.

Coloured race classification though repealed in 1990 has found itself into two post-Apartheid pieces of legislation and it is still used frequently in practice by the post-Apartheid government. Shamefully for government Courts have also found government guilty of marginalization and discrimination on the basis of using Coloured race-classification. There is no justification for continuing the colonial and Apartheid practice of de-Africanisation of Coloured people.

There is nothing in law that forces us to use the term Coloured. Self-determination of how you wish others to recognise your culture as an African by ancestral birthright is protected in international law and Constitutionally.

The state now thankfully has restored the rights of the San peoples’ and the Khoe people’s (Nama, Korana, Griqua and Cape Khoe) as African peoples who were stripped of their ancestral birthrights as Africans in 1911.

Many more people were also de-Africanised in 1911 and want their African heritage restored as African people of Camissa or African-Creole cultural heritage. While there are some who do not mind the term Coloured and self-identify as such, there are many who do not want to be called Coloured and prefer to self-identify their sub-cultures in different and more positive ways. But the starting point is for the State to first recognise that what happened in 1911 was an act of de-Africanisation and to restore our African-ness. We are African Conscious just as much as other African brothers and sisters numbering over 50 distinct cutural hertage groups were classified as ‘Natives’ and forcibly assimilated into 9 linguistic so-called nations – Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Pedi, Tswana, Venda, Shangaan, Ndebele, Swazi, andTsonga. A number of Cape indigenous Aftican cultures – Griqua, Nama, Damara, Korana, San, and nine Cape Khoe peoples were among other African peoples de-Africanised and forced under the umbrella term  – Coloured. Our African sub-culture has multiple tributaries which define as African-Creole or Camissa Africans and we have a proud history of surviving crimes against humanity such as colonial disposession, ethnocide, genocide, slavery, de-Africanisation and Apartheid. In this cruc9ible of criminal acts against our forebears they stood up for themselves and though constantly brutalised they rose above this adversity. We have learnt their stories and learnt about their many cultural threads and are proud of our heritage – not in a narrow chauvinistic manner – but nonetheless proud of the lessons for all humankind therein. Other African identities under the Coloured identity term are Mazbiekers, Liberated Africans, Kroo, Zanzibari, Malagasy, African Caribbean, African-American and others. These incorporate around 50 West, East, North African root peoples as well as from Madagascar, Zanzibar, Cabo Verde and Mascarenes.

It is high time that government stops colourism and racist classifications. Stop pouring new wine into old wine-skins. Restore our African identity, restore our sub-cultures just as that of the Khoi and San have had their dignity rightfully restored. We too have indigenous African bloodlines of many African peoples in us. We can show that almost 73% of our ancestry is African, and we also have Asian and some European roots too. These cannot be unraveled. Restore our dignity.

Os is! We are! Camissa! An African-Creole people. Proudly African and Proudly South African.

The chart is there to see our roots in full. We cannot chop part of ourselves off and still be authentic. We are! And our fellow countrymen and women should accept us for what we are even as we accept all others for who they. We celebrate all our diverse cultures in South Africa for indeed they can all be found within us! Os is! Is ja!



Homeless pic

I hereby submit two documents for your consideration together with this covering submission which focuses on the issues of the people of the Western Cape in terms of land restitution.

The first document outlines that part of South African history of dispossession in the old Cape Colony that probably represents the most hidden part of South African history – the 15 wars of forced removal ethnic clearing of the Cape of its indigenous African communities over 176 years (1652 – 1828) and the subsequent de-Africanisation of its Nama, Damara, Griqua, Korana, Cape Khoi and Camissa people in 1911 and again to even greater degree in 1950.

The second document is written by an economist who unpacks the economic instruments used alongside the ethnic clearance wars whereby one of those instruments, the issuing of  “Leningplaats” or “Loan Farm” bonds of the VOC, co-relate absolutely to the 15 wars, particularly the first ten.

The contention of this submission is that by using the 1913 Land Act as the yardstick for evaluating dispossession, a terrible injustice has been done and that any act of Restorative Justice must consider what happened in the period highlighted. The same dispossessed descendant communities saw the Europeans get a second bite of the dispossession cherry when under the Group Areas Act, the little that people of colour still had, was again taken away from them by the Europeans.

After 24 years of the ANC government little or nothing has changed for those still classified by the Apartheid definition as “Coloured” and for our fellow African cousins, the Xhosa, particularly of the Gqunkhwebe, as other African persons in this province. This submission contends that all persons of colour, except those who specifically assert that they are Asian, are Africans without the need to use Apartheid terminology and definitions.


The African people of the Western Cape, largely Cape Khoi and San (/Xam), but on the eastern extremities of the Western Cape the Gqunukhwebe too, were rich in livestock and crops. The estimated Cape Khoi population was in the region of 150 000 in 1652, and the /Xam around 30 000 and Gqunukhwebe in the region of 30 000. Historians estimate tens of thousands of head of cattle and three times as many sheep were owned by these African communities, who responsibly and scientifically used the land and its water resources through rotational use of their land for managing herds.

By the year 1800, the Khoi were 25 000 in the Western Cape, the /Xam around 1000 and the war records show the Gqunukhwebe were around 20 000 displaced people and after 1812 were totally expelled from the northern reaches of the Western Cape. Within another century the /Xam were wiped out due to recorded genocide practices. The Western Cape was ethnically cleared except for those pacified Khoi who were turned into farm labourers under the same conditions of the slaves. Land, liberty, livestock, water resources, sustainable livelihoods, social infrastructure and cohesion, culture and leadership in independent successful African farming communities was purposefully destroyed and the land, livestock, water resources were expropriated without compensation by European settlers under force of arms and conquest. Farms were staked out and title deeds drawn up as Loan Farms by the settlers who paid the VOC a monthly fee and an annual tithe in tax. The beneficiaries were the white farmers, the United Dutch East India Company and the British Government.

Alongside this dispossession and denigration, local Africans joined slaves on farms who were predominantly Africans (68%) and from Asia (32%) in having to labour for no compensation on these European farms. Not only did all of these people labour on farms, they also built the infrastructure of the towns roads, docks and city. The added value for no remuneration is immeasurable. Any form of restitution cannot ignore this scenario, experienced nowhere else in South Africa to this degree.

The slaves were from East Africa and the northern reaches of South Africa (Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KZN) and were known as Masbiekers, as well as some West Africans classed as ‘Prize Slaves’ or ‘Liberated Africans’ seized from slave traders at sea.  When brought to the Cape by the Royal Navy who had ‘rescued’ them, they were branded and forced to work for 14 years as free apprentice labour before really being free – some as late as 1870.

Indigenes and slaves integrated over generations and when the indigenes were freed from this forced servitude in 1828, and slaves were told in 1834 that they were emancipated, these were bitter-sweet moments because they had to first compensate their exploitative masters with a form of compensation in kind, for their loss of human property, by a compulsory four years of free labour before they were actually freed. The Masters also were paid financial compensation by the British government for freeing their slaves and the loss of income they would suffer. Neither Indigene Khoi nor Slaves got any compensation for their two centuries of enforced free work that added value to those farms and made huge amounts on bond levies and taxes for first the VOC and the British Government.

Slaves and Khoi who had lived for generations on farms were proletarianised or made unemployed and turfed off the land and had it not been for churches and mission stations had nowhere to go unless they agreed to their former master’s terms. The land was rightfully theirs for two reasons – as the fruit of their uncompensated labour and; as Africans it was their birth-right.  No other African people in South Africa had suffered this level of dispossession, degradation and exploitation, nor such a lengthy period of violence and war. There has never been compensation for any of these injustices.

Numerically those of the combined heritage of African slave, Asian slave, African indentured labour, Liberated Africans and other migrants of colour, together with a small percentage of European and Khoi ancestry, were three times in number to every Khoi person when the last census in 1904 still counted Nama, Damara, Griqua, Korana and other Khoi collectively as “Hottentots”. But in 1911 in the first census after forming the Union of South Africa in a deliberate act of de-Africanisation all were labelled “Coloured” without consultation. As proof of their claim to be Africans two of the earliest political organisations formed by such descendants was THE KIMBERLY AFRICAN LEAGUE (1885) and the AFRICAN POLITICAL ORGANISATION (APO 1902).

In 1950 with the passing of the Population Registration Act and the Group Areas Act this enforced de-Africanisation continued and the little bit of land, most often rented, and in some cases owned was taken away and given to whites in both rural and urban areas and identity and birth-right as Africans was trampled over.

Today those classified “Coloured” by government are still appealing to have the tern “Coloured” abolished in favour of returning the rightful African identity and acknowledging that  just as other Africans have diverse cultural heritages those called “Coloured” are Nama, Griqua, Damara, Korana, Cape Khoi, San; and for the larger majority people are calling for recognition of the dignified  term Camissa which is not race, ethnic nor colour, but rather is a deep part of our cultural origins going back to the Camissa River and speaking of an African people who rose above the adversity of slavery, wars of colonial dispossession, genocide and Apartheid.

So today the vast majority of such Africans, still suffer de-Africanisation and the imposition of the enforced colonial and Apartheid label “Coloured” and  are still landless, and without livestock and sustainable livelihoods. Today unemployment, lack of education, homelessness, landlessness, ghettoisation, backyard dwelling, gangster ridden lives under siege, and substance abuse (one of the legacies of the Dop System used on farms) dominates the lives of a destitute, abused and forgotten African people.

The committee dealing with Restorative Justice around the issue of land restitution by means of EXPROPRIATION OF LAND WITHOUT COMPENSATION is asked to consider the fact that the depth and extent of dealing thoroughly and justly with land dispossession and homelessness that affects the vast majority of the almost 92% of people of colour in South Africa cannot be transformed effectively on the basis of willing buyer / willing seller as per the present constitutional approach. We have had 24 years since 1994 with little or no change in this regard and this is the basis for the need for the change demanded. It is un-natural and illogical that land and home ownership is overwhelmingly dominated by less than 9% of the population.

Therefore the following FIVE PRINCIPLES should be considered among the many statements made in this public participation process.

  • The first appeal is to recognise the unique suffering of slavery, dispossession of indigene land en masse and, destruction of sustainable livelihoods that occurred pre- 1913, to Khoi and Slaves and their descendants, and the conditions under which such suffering took place.
  • Secondly the appeal is to recognise that while the masters of Khoi, Slaves and Indentured Labourers, bizarrely received Slave-owners compensation in two forms – from the victims through a compulsory four year apprenticeship without remuneration, as well as – financial compensation by the British Government – Khoi and slaves and their descendants got no compensation for their expropriated land, livestock or labour.
  • Thirdly the wave of Forced Removals under Apartheid both in the City of Cape Town and in the rural towns of the Western Cape has not been properly dealt with. District Six is just one indication of how badly this matter has been handled. The whole approach to restitution of victims of Forced Removals being handled on the basis of title deed certificates and other legalistic methods, does not deal with the majority who were poor tenants rather than just owners. Thus the process involved the FEW rather than the MANY.
  • Fourthly it should be recognised that those classified as “Coloured” firstly by the census in 1911 and further deepened by the 1950 Population Registration Act and the Group Areas Act in a deliberate de-Africanisation process, be restored their birth-right status as AFRICANS based on the recognition that any person who has at least one ancestor that is indigenous to Africa, is an African. This issue of the National Question is deeply bound with Land Restitution.
  • Fifthly it should be recognised that Land Restitution must consider the condition of the poor and dispossessed today, and not just historically. People living as backyard dwellers, in shanty towns, and shelter-less on the streets of cities and towns deserve the dignity of having homes.

People who have worked for generations on farms and who descended from slaves on farms and descended from indigenous Africans who were renowned for their livestock farming, but now are marginalised from farmland deserve the dignity of being empowered with farmland, agricultural training and support – particularly the younger generation. This is both a restorative justice issue and it is a food security issue.

(Almost 92% of South Africans are people of colour and just over 8% are white. Back in the 1980s there were 185 000 white farmers and today there are only 25 000 and with most of them they are old and their children do not want to farm. Yet people of colour are shut out of the agricultural economy simply because this dwindling white population see it as their preserve. Within 15 years South Africa will experience a food security disaster. Simple logic says that South Africa needs to create 200 000 black farmers in a short period of time and this needs a radical solution. Each province needs an agriculture academy, an agricultural equipment co-operative system, a seed bank system, and a national and international volunteer mentorship program. This cannot be put off any longer. All students of colour coming out of a three-year agricultural-college program should receive a land grant if they get a 65% pass rate or higher. That is radical.)

The following five approaches to actual LAND, SHELTER & BUILT ENVIRONMENT are asked to be considered.

  • Land should not simply be commoditised and, no single beneficiary of land restitution should get restitution twice. Land restitution should be part of mass empowerment rather than the empowerment of an elite like has happened with BBBEE. Politicians should be last in line for restitution, so that they may remain focussed on ensuring that the most vulnerable and destitute in South Africa are served first.
  • Legislation should be immediately passed to disallow foreign ownership of land by creation of two types of transactions – FREEHOLD and LEASEHOLD. Foreigners must only be allowed to get 99 year Leasehold and not Freehold ownership of land. This scenario is the law in many countries. Eg: Thailand which has never been colonised has always not allowed foreigners to buy land and only allows Freehold transactions for foreigners. South Africans should be allowed a maximum of only one Freehold residential property, one Freehold business property and one Freehold farming property; thereafter any other property held should also be Freehold so that there can be a levelling of the playing field of property ownership. This element relating to South Africans could have a 15 year sunset clause.
  • The land issue is not just a rural issue and thus land and homes restitution in the urban environment requires the state to be innovative and must engage the banks and property barons and realtors for their share of land expropriation. The mortgage bond system has resulted in the banking mortgage bond sector being the largest holders of property in South Africa. It is a distortion to simply see the land issue as a struggle between white and black individuals. There should be full review of how the BANKING MORTGAGE BOND business is conducted and properties so held must also be part of the redistribution of land without compensation. There are five ways in which this could be done.

1.The state should look negotiating with the banks and property development sector, with the view to transfering of a percentage of vacant housing stock and land stock on the open market, at cost, to specially established Community Housing Associations, where the association becomes the trust owners, and after fifteen continuous years the occupants of such houses having paid affordable rentals, will become owners of the title deed. This offers a radical means towards housing people and integration of people out of the Ghettoisation created by Apartheid. Other innovative modalities should be looked at, with building permission and land sales legally being conditional on a social-housing component being required for sign-off.

2.All persons of colour who are existing mortgage bond payers to banks, should as an act of restitution be given a substantial once-off discount on their mortgage bond by the banking and property sector in lieu of theirs and their ancestors suffering and dispossession, including during Apartheid, in view of banks and property barons having benefited from colonial and Apartheid practices.

3.A type of 5-Year Marshal Plan should be immediately embarked upon to eradicate backyard dwelling and shanty town dwelling and must include a de-ghettoisation and deconstruction of Group Areas component for providing homes either at low-cost rental with a sunset clause on ending payment, or for free in those cases of indigence.

4. In all cases as part of a dedicated program of de-ghettoisation the broader built environment must receive attention so that play centres, community centres, sports facilities and other elements contributing to quality of life is dealt with in terms of the Freedom Charter’s vision.

5. All forms of urban renewal and gentrification projects should immediately be stopped from evicting people and making them destitute. Similar provisions should be made such as is used by ensuring heritage is preserved, whereby additionally  people’s rights to decent shelter and an inclusion  of an on-site homes element must be shown in development plans before building permission is granted.

  • In the rural areas, towns and farmlands there are at least three types of land restitution that is required. Firstly there is a need for decent housing and built environments for rural communities in villages and towns; and land is required for dispossessed claimants both at an individual level and at community level. Secondly there is the question of farmland being restored to dispossessed farmers and farmworker communities who have more than paid for such land in terms of their families having for many generations worked originally under enforced conditions for free and after that for a pittance in remuneration. Thirdly there is a dire need for South Africa to create new qualified black farmers with land at their disposal to meet a national need for 200 000 farmers, in the face of the fact that SA has experienced a drop in farmers from 185 000 in the 1980s to 25 000 at present. Logic says that white domination in farming will result in a huge food security threat if we do not quickly transform the agricultural environment. Therefore:

1.The question of land in the rural areas has to be separated into land for rural homes, villages and towns; rural land for restitution involving dispossessed black farmers and farm labourers; and arable farmland for a new generation of young black potential farmers. There should be no granting of status farms to politicians and the black business elite and the principle of one restitution award per person is vital to avoid corruption.

2. The issue of expropriation of ARABLE land has to stand out from land simply as a commodity or land for human habitat. Likewise land for livestock grazing must be separated out from land that is useless for any kind of farming or land which will be too expensive to be used for farming due to cost of fertiliser and other products. There is a huge degree of phony debate about land which reduces the land empowerment issue to saying that worthless land is available for restitution and therefore caution must be applied in this regard.

3. Land on its own for purposes of farming is not going to empower people. Government must not delay in setting up Agricultural Colleges in each province with a 20 year plan to produce 200 000 graduates fit for the various disciplines in agriculture and to be fit to farm, with support. All who achieve more than 65% passes should be assisted with acquiring farm land, a mentor, support from a seed bank, aqua support, and support from equipment co-operatives. This should be at the heart of agrarian reform. Existing white farmers as well as assistance from foreign volunteer organisations should be drawn into a mentorship programme to support such new famers. No arable land should be given to people who cannot and will not farm the land. A holistic agricultural advancement framework has to be developed to support transformation which not only involves farming but also involves everything that supports farmers logistically in terms of equipment Co-Operatives, Seed Banks, Aqua support, and of course the already mentioned Land Bank.

4. Arable land and grazing land as well as land for village and town restitution must be identified and mechanism of expropriation, that is not punitive nor vengeful, need to be established in a responsible manner. To be able to do this the banks will have to be engaged as much of the land has actually become subject to mortgage bonds and loans against land assets. To this end it is vital that a Land Transformation Bank is immediately established by the state.

5. No restitution land should be allowed to be sold for up to 15 years. Land extent in terms of acreage, duly informed by good international agri-business practice, should be limited per farmer – black or white. The intention should be to break down segregation in the agricultural business arena over a 15 year period and build national unity in the process. Part of this approach should include a special farm and remote area security plan, involving all farmers black and white supported by the SAPS

It is vital to the success of such a radical transformation programme that EDUCATION on land and agrarian transformation is immediately embarked upon. Firstly it is important for each provincial to explain the history of WHITE EXPROPRIATION OF AFRICAN LAND WITHOUT COMPENSATION and in the Western Cape the system of SLAVERY and INDIGENE ENSERFMENT. The then provide other reasons as to why it is important that the 92% black population become empowered stakeholders in our society and why for good race relations to be built the issue of land justice must be accomplished and put behind us. Then the education programme must look at the different component parts of Restorative Justice and Land Reform and explain these to the public as well as the checks and balance to be put in place to prevent corruption in this arena. The education program must ensure the thread running through the entire process is JUSTICE and not RETRIBUTION and must explain all of the processes, time-frames and modalities – and most importantly how the average person is empowered to be a beneficiary. Importantly RED-TAPE must not feature and the entire process should have timelines.


The two attached documents should be read with this submission because the first demolishes any argument that suggests that Europeans bought the land through a treaty process with Indigenes. There is no doubt that all treaties and agreements occurred after land-grabs and wars of conquest by the Europeans against Africans of the Western Cape. It also demolishes those who argue that the Africans of the Western Cape are not really Africans but rather a non-African minority who collaborated with the Europeans. Both of these facetious arguments are a denial of crimes against humanity. The second document is written by an independent American economist who elaborates on the legal instruments of dispossession in the Cape through use of grazing licenses and the Loan Farm system in tandem with wars of dispossession. The author is not well acquainted with the wars and erroneously over emphasizes the smallpox epidemic. His focus is simply on how the legal instruments of the VOC underpinned possession of property.

I thank you for your consideration of this submission.