Saturday, 17 June 2017

History tells its own story

The beauty of history, is that it tells its own story, we need to remember that, in our day to day lives. Every now and again, let's reflect, what we post on Facebook, tweet or email, one day someone might write your history and the careless tweet might put a very different slant on you and your life. Take for example the Afrikaner and his hatred towards the black. His guilt fuelled that hatred. Let's take it from the beginning.

Portuguese navigator Bartholomeu Dias is the first European to travel round the southern tip of Africa in 1820. But, Jan van Riebeeck, representing the Dutch East India Company, founds the Cape Colony at Table Bay in 1652. Mostly uninhabited except for the indigenous San and Khoikhoi people, who we now know, had been there since the 4th century.

The San and Khoikhoi are in actual fact descendants of the Middle Paleolithic populations, which makes them the true indigenous people of South Africa. The San were hunter-gathers and the Khoikhoi were headers, much like the Basuto, but they moved down much later. 

The Dutch East India Company had no intention of colonising the Cape, instead just a secure base camp where passing ships could shelter and stock up. As the Khoikhoi were not agricultural farmers, Dutch farmers were brought to establish farms. The small initial group of burghers, as these farmers were known, steadily increased in number and began to expand their farms further north and east. The free burghers were ex-VOC soldiers and gardeners, who were unable to return to Holland when their contracts were completed with the VOC.

Van Riebeeck did not enslave the local Khoi and San aboriginals, so the VOC began to import large numbers of slaves primarily from Dutch colonies in the Far East. The Afrikaner was born, mainly made up of unions between the burgers and slaves and to some extent, the indigenous Khoi and San people. Simon van der Stel, the first Governor of the Dutch settlement, famous for his development of the lucrative South African wine industry, was himself of mixed race-origin.

That is the start of the quilt ridden nation we now know as the Afrikaners. Their nations fathers, loved and brought up mixed race families, when did it all go wrong, what made them hate their origin so much that they took it out on the blacks? It certainly has comeback to haunt them.

So I go back to my original statement, be aware of what you do and say, history will be the judge.

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