Riseingsouthernstar-Africa Link Banner

Monday, 20 May 2013

A poem written by Leipoldt

A poem written by Leipoldt You, who are the hope of our people;
You, who our people can barely spare;
You, who should grow up to become a man;
You, who must perform your duty, if you can;
You, who have no part in the war;
You, who should sing and jump for joy -
You must perish in a children’s camp
You must be eliminated for peace:
Fold your hands tight together,
Close your eyes and say amen!
Whooping-cough and consumption, without milk:
bitter for you is the fate of life!
There is your place, at the children’s graves -
Two in one coffin, a wedding couple!
Al you gain is that we will remember:
Our freedom more precious than woman or child!

also the next one…by Leipoldt
In the Concentration Camp

North, 1901

You are cringing away from the gusts of the wind
The chill seeping through the hail-torn tent -
Your scanty shield against torturing torrents;
The June chill bursts over the banks of the Vaal -
And all you can hear are the coughs from your child, and the
ceaseless patter of rain on the canvas.
A candle stub, just an inch before death
faintly flickering in a bottle
(a sty offers more comfort and rest)
But here, at night every thought is
a round of torture and tears.
Here, the early-born child flounders
Here, the aged fades away
Here, all you can hear is wailing and sighs
Here, every second is a lifetime of dread;
Every minute leaves scars on your soul, sacrifice without end.
Forgive? Forget? Is it possible to forgive?
The sorrow, the despair demanded so much!
The branding iron painfully left its scar
on our nation, for ages to see, and the wound is too raw -
Too close to our heart and to deep in our souls -
“Patience, o patience, how much can you bear?”



Foke Tales

THE ant has had from time immemorial many enemies, and because he is small and destructive, there have been a great many slaughters among them. Not only were most of the birds their enemies, but Anteater lived almost wholly from them, and Centipede beset them every time and at all places when he had the chance.
So now there were a few among them who thought it would be well to hold council together and see if they could not come to some arrangement whereby they could retreat to some place of safety when attacked by robber birds and animals.
But at the gathering their opinions were most discordant, and they could come to no decision.
There was Red-ant, Rice-ant, Black-ant, Wagtail-ant, Gray-ant, Shining-ant, and many other varieties. The discussion was a true babel of diversity, which continued for a long time and came to nothing.
A part desired that they should all go into a small hole in the ground, and live there; another part wanted to have a large and strong dwelling built on the ground, where nobody could enter but an ant; still another wanted to dwell in trees, so as to get rid of Anteater, forgetting entirely that there they would be the prey of birds; another part seemed inclined to have wings and fly.
And, as has already been said, this deliberation amounted to nothing, and each party resolved to go to work in its own way, and on its own responsibility.
Greater unity than that which existed in each separate faction could be seen nowhere in the world; each had his appointed task, each did his work regularly and well. And all worked together in the same way. From among them they chose a king-that is to say some of the groups did-and they divided the labor so that all went as smoothly as it possibly could.
But each group did it in its own way, and not one of them thought of protecting themselves against the onslaught of birds or Anteater.
The Red-ants built their house on the ground and lived under it, but Anteater leveled to the ground in a minute what had cost them many days of precious labor. The Rice-ants lived under the ground, and with them it went no better. For whenever they came out, Anteater visited them and took them out sack and pack. The Wagtail-ants fled to the trees, but there on many occasions sat Centipede waiting for them, or the birds gobbled them up. The Gray-ants had intended to save themselves from extermination by taking to flight, but this also availed them nothing, because the Lizard, the Hunting-spider, and the birds went a great deal faster than they.
When the Insect-king heard that they could come to no agreement he sent them the secret of unity, and the message of Work-together. But unfortunately he chose for his messenger the Beetle, and he has never yet arrived at the Ants, so that they are still to-day the embodiment of discord and consequently the prey of enemies.

Arrival of the Dutch

Arrival of the Dutch

File:Charles Bell - Jan van Riebeeck se aankoms aan die Kaap.jpg

Shortly thereafter, the Dutch East India Company (in the Dutch of the day: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC) decided to establish a permanent settlement. The VOC, one of the major European trading houses sailing the spice route to the East, had no intention of colonizing the area, instead wanting only to establish a secure base camp where passing ships could shelter, and where hungry sailors could stock up on fresh supplies of meat, fruit, and vegetables. To this end, a small VOC expedition under the command of Jan van Riebeeck reached Table Bay on 6 April 1652.

While the new settlement traded out of necessity with the neighbouring Khoikhoi, it was not a friendly relationship, and the company authorities made deliberate attempts to restrict contact. Partly as a consequence, VOC employees found themselves faced with a labour shortage. To remedy this, they released a small number of Dutch from their contracts and permitted them to establish farms, with which they would supply the VOC settlement from their harvests. This arrangement proved highly successful, producing abundant supplies of fruit, vegetables, wheat, and citrus fruits to prevent scurvy; they also later raised livestock. The small initial group of free burghers, as these farmers were known, steadily increased in number and began to expand their farms further north and east into the territory of the Khoikhoi.
The majority of burghers had Dutch ancestry and belonged to the Calvinist Reformed Church of the Netherlands, but there were also numerous Germans as well as some Scandinavians. In 1688 the Dutch and the Germans were joined by French Huguenots, also Calvinists, who were fleeing religious persecution in France.

King Louis XIV

In addition to establishing the free burgher system, van Riebeeck and the VOC also began to import large numbers of slaves, primarily from Madagascar and Indonesia. These slaves often married Dutch settlers, and their descendants became known as the Cape Coloureds and the Cape Malays. A significant number of the offspring from the White and slave unions were absorbed into the local proto-Afrikaans speaking White population. With this additional labour, the areas occupied by the VOC expanded further to the north and east, with inevitable clashes with the Khoikhoi. The newcomers drove the Khoikhoi from their traditional lands, decimated them with introduced diseases, and destroyed them with superior weapons when they fought back, which they did in a number of major wars and with guerrilla resistance movements that continued into the 19th century. Most survivors were left with no option but to work for the Europeans in an exploitative arrangement that differed little from slavery. Over time, the Khoisan, their European overseers, and the imported slaves mixed, with the offspring of these unions forming the basis for today's Coloured population.
The best-known Khoikhoi groups included the Griqua, who had originally lived on the western coast between St Helena Bay and the Cederberg Range. In the late 18th century, they managed to acquire guns and horses and began trekking north-east. En route, other groups of Khoisan, Coloureds, and even white adventurers joined them, and they rapidly gained a reputation as a formidable military force. Ultimately, the Griquas reached the Highveld around present-day Kimberley, where they carved out territory that came to be known as Griqualandalina.

Burgher expansion

An account of the first trekboers.
As the burghers, too, continued to expand into the rugged hinterlands of the north and east, many began to take up a semi-nomadic pastoralist lifestyle, in some ways not far removed from that of the Khoikhoi they displaced. In addition to its herds, a family might have a wagon, a tent, a Bible, and a few guns. As they became more settled, they would build a mud-walled cottage, frequently located, by choice, days of travel from the nearest European settlement. These were the first of the Trekboers (Wandering Farmers, later shortened to Boers), completely independent of official controls, extraordinarily self-sufficient, and isolated. Their harsh lifestyle produced individualists who were well acquainted with the land. Like many pioneers with Christian backgrounds, the burghers attempted to live their lives – and to construct a theocracy – based on their particular Christian denominations (Dutch Reformed Church) reading into (eisegesis) characters and plot found in the Hebrew scriptures (as distinct from the Christian Gospels and Epistles).

The Boer republics

The Boers meanwhile persevered with their search for land and freedom, ultimately establishing themselves in various Boer Republics, e.g. the Transvaal or South African Republic and the Orange Free State. For a while it seemed that these republics would develop into stable states, despite having thinly spread populations of fiercely independent Boers, no industry, and minimal agriculture. The discovery of diamonds near Kimberley turned the Boers' world on its head (1869). The first diamonds came from land belonging to the Griqua, but to which both the Transvaal and Orange Free State laid claim. Britain quickly stepped in and resolved the issue by annexing the area for itself.
The discovery of the Kimberley diamond-mines unleashed a flood of European and black labourers into the area. Towns sprang up in which the inhabitants ignored the "proper" separation of whites and blacks, and the Boers expressed anger that their impoverished republics had missed out on the economic benefits of this Mineral Revolution.