Black and White South African allies – A Series
—The impression has been created by the Media and various Governments of South Africa that White and Black have always been enemies unto death. In reality, Black and White have allied on numerous occasions in South African history. While this may surprise people outside the country, I venture to say it will also be a revelation to many South Africans. It is a truth that is as uncomfortable for the present government as it was for the previous.
The pre-1994 government of the country corralled its political base by convincing it of the Swart Gevaar (The Black Danger). It formed the basis of the Old Apartheid Laws. The present Black ANC government has ratcheted up this approach by orders of magnitude, inciting murder with its singing of “Kill the Whites”. This gets it votes from millions of the Uneducated, the Ignorant, and from racist Africanist Blacks. It forms the basis of the New Apartheid Laws. It appears not to realize that it is vindicating the old government. If it does, then it simply does not care, because the West has given it a free pass to do exactly what it pleases to the utterly powerless Whites.
I hope and trust that the examples provided here will show there was Black and White cooperation and alliance at many seminal events, and that the country does not have to be the divided nightmare that its various governments have made of it.
Click on the Title or first image below to read the fourth article in the series and see the evidence.
♦ Frontier, Cape of Good Hope Colony, 17 January 1799
—When the much respected Adriaan van Jaarsveld appears at the Magistrate’s Office in Graaff-Reinet town on this day, he is promptly arrested based on problems relating to a mortgage payment. Magistrate Bresler dispatches Adriaan to Cape Town for trial, accompanied by a dragoon guard unit. They are intercepted by Marthinus Prinsloo and some other armed men. At the Cape, the British Governor sees this as rebellion and dispatches his special Khoekhoe Army of Intimidation under General Vandeleur. This is the event already described in Part 3 of this series.
Treachery and the Disaster it Begets
When the unhappy Frontiersmen duly present themselves peacefully as requested, Vandeleur promptly arrests them and ships them in the aptly named HMS Rattlesnake to Cape Town. The men include Marthinus Prinsloo and Adriaan van Jaarsveld and incarcerates them in the Cape Castle (below).
What follows is the complete disaster explained in Part 3, based on the truly shameful ignorance on the part of the British Military Government about matters on this distant frontier.
By the end of Third Frontier War, the men consigned to the Castle have languished there for more than a year. The group of Frontiersmen taken prisoner by Gen. Vandeleur are finally tried in June 1800. Adriaan van Jaarsveld and Marthinus Prinsloo are the first and second listed prisoners. The State Prosecutor demands that the first eight prisoners,
…be punished with the halter at the Gallows until Death ensueth, Further the Corpses of the four first prisoners, being dragged to the Out Gallows, there to be hanged again, in order so to remain until the birds of prey shall have consumed them away,…
The men are found guilty and on 3 September the sentence is announced. In a “huge gush of leniency” towards these unfortunate men, the crown decides that their bodies may be buried under the gallows, rather than to have them consumed away by the birds of prey.
The Afrikaner-amaRharhabe Friendship
In the middle of 1800, Sir George Yonge sends the hated Magistrate Maynier and his understudy, Somerville, to the young amaRharhabe King Ngqika to discuss the matter of a possible peace treaty with the British. This happens during the period that Coenraad de Buys and our ancestor Coenraad Bezuidenhout are still with Ngqika. The two British representatives take every precaution to ensure that their messages go only to Ngqika and do not fall in the hands of the two Coenraads.
Ngqika refuses to receive them personally. Despite this, the response from Ngqika is insightful. We quote verbatim Ngqika’s response from the letter that the two British representatives write to the Governor on 14 August 1800:
…the Principal Grounds on which he would consent to make Peace must be the Release of the Prisoners confined in the Castle who he said were his Allies, & without this he could have no Faith in any Peace
This is the clearest evidence on record that the legitimate leader of the powerful amaRharhabe House of the amaXhosa nation sees the long-settled Afrikaners as his friends and allies.
The Treaty of Amiens
On 1 April 1801, Governor George Yonge is removed from office in the wake of charges of corruption. Major-General Francis Dundas is once again to take care as Governor. On 12 October 1801, Dundas receives instruction to refrain from hostilities against France and her allies. Dundas elects to continue the detention of the men in the castle, but he does not carry out their sentences, despite having been ordered to do so by Lord Hobart in Britain.
Dundas sees the Light
Based on testimony from Major Sherlock at Greaff-Reinet, Dundas at last realizes the full scope of his folly. Maynier is suspended from all his roles and his actions are investigated. Finally, fighting Boer and fighting Brit see eye to eye regarding facts on the ground.
During the next few months, Governor Dundas institutes a dramatic shift in policy:
1. There shall be no punishment for the frontiersmen who have opposed Maynier, despite the fact that they have actually fired at the Magistrate’s office.
2. On 12 December 1801 Dundas writes to Colonial Secretary Lord Hobart in London, pleading for clemency. In fact, he suggests a full remission of the sentences!:
… feelings of humanity, by reason of their long imprisonment, give the Prisoners a claim to some modification as to the Capital part of their punishment, if not a full remission of their sentence. [They] obeyed without hesitation the summons to deliver themselves up together with their arms and ammunition, having assembled at the place appointed for that purpose, conceiving (as I have reason to believe they did) that they should meet with forgiveness from Government […] all which considerations incline me to think that lenity ought, if possible, to be shewn to the Prisoners…
The complete story of the disastrous First British Occupation of the Cape of Good Hope and the associated above events may be read in AmaBhulu – The Birth and death of the Second America.
On 30 April 1802 Dundas is advised that Britain will return the Cape of Good Hope to the Dutch. The Afrikaner captives are all to be released; all except Adriaan van Jaarsveld. He has died in British hands.
Marthinus Prinsloo’ stay in the Cape Town Castle jail earns him the nickname “Kasteel” (Castle). However, the British Empire has a long memory, as we shall duly see in Part 5. And it shall lead to 150 years of intense resentment.
A more comprehensive version of this article, containing all the required references, may be read HERE.