Die seinstelsel aan die Kaap, 1652-1795

Muller, S.A.(Stefanus Andreas) (1992)

Tesis (M.A.) -- Universiteit van Stellenbosch, 1992.

Some digitised pages may appear illegible due to the condition of the original microfiche copy.

Thesis

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Seinstelsel is aan die Kaap opgerig omdat daar geen manier was om inwoners vinnig en doeltreffend uit die binneland op te roep wanneer hulle met die verdediging van die land moes help nie. Dit was 'n eenrigting kommunikasiestelsel vanaf die kasteel na die binneland en het gedien as kommunikasieskakel van die verdedigingstelsel. Die doel met die stelsel was nooit om boere in kennis te stel dat skepe in Tafelbaai aangekom het en hulle hul produkte kon bring om te verkoop nie. Eintlik was daar twee seinstelsels aan die Kaap. Die een is gebruik om bewindhebbers in kennis te stel dat daar skepe in aantog was en het terseldertyd Nederlandse skepe gewaarsku dat die Kaap steeds veilig was en hulle Tafelbaai of Valsbaai kon binnevaar. Die seinposte van hierdie stelsel was op Leeukop, Robbeneiland, Simonsbaai en Houtbaai. By elke seinpos was daar 'n kanon en 'n vlagpaal. Vir elke skip wat opgemerk is, is 'n kanonskoot afgevuur en 'n geheime seinvlag aan die vlagpaal gehys. Die bevel voerders van Nederlandse skepe is vooraf ingelig oor hoe die vlae moes lyk wat by die seinposte sou wapper. Die ander stelsel wat gebruik is om burgers op te roep, het in drie verskillende rigtings na die binneland ontwikkel, naamlik die Swartland, Boland en Overberg. Daar was 35 seinposte wat almal op hoe koppe of berge gelee was. Elke seinpos is deur 'n seinman beman wat gewoonlik die eienaar van die plaas was waarop die pas gelee was. By elke seinpos was daar 'n kanon met toerusting en die nodige benodigdhede waarmee seinskote afgevuur is. Afgesien van die kanonskote is daar ook by elke pos met behulp van vure rookseine gemaak. Wanneer die burgers wat rondom 'n seinpos gewoon het kanonskote gehoor en rookseine gesien het, was dit vir hulle 'n teken dat hulle onmiddellik na die Kaap moes gaan om met die verdediging van die land te help. Elke seinpos is gereeld deur 'n burgeroffisier geïnspekteer. Die offisiere is deur die burgerkrygsrade van die verskillende distrikte waar die seinposte gelee was, aangestel. In die tydperk 1652 tot 1795 is die seinstelsel by vier geleenthede op die proef gestel en het dit doeltreffend gefunksioneer.

ENGLISH SUMMARY: A system of signals was established in the Cape because there was no fast and effective method in which the inhabitants from the interior could be called up to help with the defence of the settlement. It was a one way communication system from the castle to the interior and it served as a communication link of the defence system. The aim of the system had never been to inform farmers that ships had landed and that they could bring their products to sell. There were actually two systems of signals in the Cape. One system was used to inform the rulers that ships were on their way. At the same time it warned the Dutch ships whether the Cape was still safe and that they could therefore enter Table Bay or False Bay. The signal posts of this system were situated on Lion's Head Robben Island, Simon's Bay and Hout Bay. Each signal post had a cannon and a flag pole. Each time a ship was detected a cannon shot was fired and a secret signal flag was hoisted. The Dutch ship commanders were informed beforehand what this signal would look like. The other system, that was used to call up citizens, developed in three different directions to the interior, namely the Swartland, Boland and the Overberg. There were thirty five signal posts that were all situated either on high hills or mountains. Each signal post was manned by a signal man who was usually the farmer on whose farm the post was situated. Each signal post had a cannon with all the equipment needed to fire signal shots. Smoke signals were also used. When inhabitants who lived in the vicinity of a signal post either heard cannon shots or saw smoke signals, they knew that they had to go to the Cape immediately to help with the defence of the settlement. A civil officer regularly inspected each signal post. These officers were appointed by the civil councils of war of the various districts where the signal posts were situated. From 1652 to 1795 the system of signals were tested on four occasions and each time they functioned effectively.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/69610
This item appears in the following collections: