Die geskiedenis van die Afrikaner-Oorlams : met spesifieke verwysing na die lewe van Jager (Christiaan) Afrikaner, 1760-1822

Stoffberg, Pierre (1990-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 1990.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to research the history of the Afrikaner family group and then to document it chronologically. The history of the Afrikaner-Oorlams started -during the disintegration period of the Khoikhoi in the West and Northwestern Cape and ended in South West Africa/Namibia, where the Afrikaner-Oorlams settled as an independent Oorlams-Khoikhoi group. First mention of the Afrikaner family group was made in 1761. At this time the disintegration of the Khoikhoi was already in progress - a process which was conciderably aided by the Company's policy of trade in livestock and also the smallpox epidemic of the early eighteenth century. The loss of their livestock presented the Khoikhoi with two alternatives. They would either have to work on the farms of white farmers or they would have to trek to such regions which did not fall under colonial jurisdiction. At this stage, the Afrikaner-Oorlams grouped consisted of only a few people and they had chosen the first option. They became herdsmen on the farm of Petrus Pienaar, a white stockfarmer in the Tulbagh district. Later on they moved to the Calvinia district. When Jager Afrikaner, leader of the Afrikaner-Oorlams before the start of the nineteenth century, was born, this group was an insignificant though independent Khoikhoi family group. At this stage this group wiliness and their ability to use fire arms and their competence as horsemen set them apart from the ordinary Khoikhoi. Their close contact with the white settlers was also reflected in the Company staff, presented to Klaas Afrikaner, father of Jager Afrikaner by the Company. Because of their "oorlamsheid" they progressed from herdsmen to fellow hunters and 'Comrades of Pienaar in commando raids against Bushmen stock thieves. They were commended for their services by the magistrate and also the governor. They also realised that it was the Khoikhoi and Nama relatively easy to raid the stocks of groups who lived on the banks of the Orange river. As their prowess and independence increased, the AfrikanerOorlams rebelled against the master view held by Pienaar. The Afrikaner-Oorlams subsequently murdered Pienaar and then fled to the Orange River region where they settled. These safe river hide-outs enabled them to conduct a reign of terror and plunder against the indigenous groups living their. Their skill as raiders and marksmen assured them an unchallenged power base. Jager Afrikaner was outlawed by governor Charles Somerset in 1799. Round about 1803 Jager Afrikaner left his Orange River hideout and he and his followers settled a day's journey on horseback north of the river at Blydeverwacht. At Jager Afrikaner's request the first missionaries, the brothers Albrecht joined the Afrikaner-Oorlams. Jager Afrikaner was converted twelve years after the Albrecht brothers started their missionary work amongst the Afrikaner-Oorlams. Due to the efforts of the missionary, Robert Moffat, Jager Afrikaner persevered in his new faith. Jager Afrikaner visited Cape Town. At this stage Governor Somerset rescinded the declaration of outlawery. At his death the Afrikaner-Oorlams group split in two. His brothers Hendrik and Jacobus and their followers persisted in their new christian way of ·life. His son Jonker Afrikaner and his followers however returned to a life of plundering and raiding. This group dominated the history of the southern and especially the central areas of South West Africa/Namibia. Indirectly the Afrikaner-Oorlams had influenced the history of the Northwest Cape profoundly. Indigenous groups who had little or no contact with white settlers had to defend themselves continually against the fickle Afrikaner who were in an excellent position as horsemen and marksmen to terrorise them. To protect themselves against marauders these vulnerable groups formed new associations, like the Griquas.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was om die geskiedenis van die Afrikaner-familiegroep na te vors en chronologies skriftelik weer te gee. Die geskiedenis van die Afrikaner-Oorlams begin ten tye van Khoikhoi disintegrasie in Wes- en NoordwesKaapland en eindig in Suidwes-Afrika/Namibi~, waar die Afrikaner-Oorlams hulself as n selfstandige OorlamsKhoikhoi-groep vestig. Die eerste verwysing na die Afrikaner-familiegroep was in 1761. Toe was die verbrokkeling van die Khoikhoi reeds aan die gang n proses wat aansienlik aangehelp is deur die Kompanjie se beleid van veeruilhandel en die pokke-epidemies van die vroeg agtiende eeu. Die verlies van hulle vee het die Khoikhoi voor die keuse gestel om 6f op die blanke plase te gaan werk 6f weg te trek na gebiede buite koloniale beheer. Die Afrikaner-Oorlams was op hierdie stadium slegs enkeles en het verkies om op die plaas van die blanke veeboer Petrus Pienaar, in die Tulbaghen later in die Calvinia-omgewing as veewagters te gaan werk. Die Afrikaner-Oorlams was ten tye van Jager Afrikaner, leier van. die Afrikaner-Oorlams voor die aanvang van die ne8ntiende eeu, se geboorte n onbeduidende, hoewel selfstandige Khoikhoi-familiegroep. Hulle was reeds redelik gevorderd op die weg van oorlamsheid en hulle bedrewenheid met die geweer en perde, het hulle van die gewone Khoikhoi onderskei. Hulle noue kontak met die blanke nedersetters word weerspie81 in die kompanjiestaf wat die V.O.C. aan kapt~in Klaas Afrikaner; die vader van Jager Afrikaner, gegee het. Vanwe~ hul oorlamsheid is hulle spoedig van hul veewagterstatus tot jaggenoot en later kamerade van Pienaar in die kommando-optredes teen die Boesman-veerowers bevorder. As gevolg van hierdie optredes het hul erkenning van die Landdros en Goewerneur ontvang. Terselfdertyd het hulle agtergekom hoe maklik die omliggende Khoikhoi- en Nama-groepe langs die Oranjerivier se vee geroof kon word. Namate die Afrikaner-Oorlams selfstandiger opgetree het, het hulle in verset gekom teen die baas-kneg-siening van Pienaar. Hierdie krisis het tot die Afrikaner-Oorlams se moord op Pienaar gelei waarna die vlugtende familiegroep hulle in die Oranjerivier-omgewing gaan vestig het. Vanaf hul veilige rivierskuilings het hulle 'n roof en plunder-bestaan teen die inheemse groepe gevoer en hul volgelinggetalle tot oor n honderd vergroot. Die geweer en perd het hulle in n onbetwiste magsposisie geplaas. Tydens die periode is Jager Afrikaner in 1799 peur goewerneur Charles Somerset vo~lvry verklaar. Omstreeks 1803 het Jager Afrikaner sy skuilplek by die Oranjerivier verlaat perd noord van die en hom met sy volgelinge 'n dagreis te rivier by Blydeverwacht gaan vestig. Op sy versoek het die eerste sendelinge, die Albrecht-broers, hulle hier by die Afrikaner-Oorlams aangesluit. Twaalf jaar nadat die Albrechtse hulle sendingwerk onder die AfrikanerOorlams begin het, het Jager Afrikaner tot bekering gekom. Danksy die bemoeienis van eerwaarde Robert Moffat, het Jager Afrikaner volhard in sy bekering. Saam met Moffat het die Afrikaner-leier Kaapstad besoek en het goewerneur Somerset die voëlvry-vonnis oor hom ter syde gestel. Daarna het Jager tot sy dood in 1822 by Vredeberg in vrede met sy bure gelewe. Na Jager Afrikaner se dood het·die Afrikaner-Oorlams in twee verdeel. Jager,se broers, Hendrik en Jacobus, het saam met hul volgelinge in die nuut bekeerde we~ volhard. Sy seun, Jonker, en sy volgelinge het egter teruggekeer tot 'n roofen plunderbestaan en sou vir die daaropvolgende bykans veertig jaar die geskiedenis van die suidelike en veral die sentrale dele van Suidwes-Afrika/Namibi~ oorheers. Indirek het diecAfrikaner-Oorlams die geskiedenis van die Noordwes-Kaap ingrypend beinvloed. Inheemse groepe, wat geen of min kontak met die blanke koloniste gehad het, moes hulself voortdurend verdedig teen die wispelturige Afrikaners wat hul vermo~ as bedrewe skuts en perderuiters ten volle benuh het. Om hulself te beskerm het hierdie groepe nuwe groepsassosiasies, soos die Griekwas, gevorm.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/67230
This item appears in the following collections: