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— The first overland meeting between Black and White people in South Africa came in 1702, fifty years or two generations after the founding of the settlement at the Cape.  It happened between hunting parties from either side near the Great Fish River (above – click to enlarge), some 500 miles east of Cape Town, in a completely different climate zone.  The author’s own Bezuidenhout ancestor was leader of that party.

Before the first serious clash between the two sides around 1780, more than five generations after the founding of the settlement, the nearest Black people lived further east along the coast.

As part of a 2008 formal investigation by the Black Dominated ANC Government of South Africa, the Elders of the amaXhosa Black people explained that the people of their nation were immigrants to the country that would eventually become South Africa, and that they were still migrating southwestward by steps at the Mtata River even as the Dutch were already established on the continent to the west. They also maintain that the amaXhosa lived far beyond the great Kei River in the half-century after the Dutch settled the Cape. And, according to the survivors of the 1686 wreck of the Stavenisse, it was San Bushmen who lived further south along the coast. There are no coastal San people left in South Africa.

Read more in the Second Chapter of South Africa: Who stole the Land.

— Harry Booyens

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