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Nicol Stassen

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The Thirstland Trek: 1874 - 1881

The Thirstland TrekDie DorslandtrekDuring the late nineteenth century a number of organised treks left the Transvaal. The first of these left the ZAR in May 1874. Seven years later, in January 1881, after the amalgamation of the first three treks, they settled at Humpata on the Hufla highlands in the Portuguese colony of Angola. From 1892 to 1894 three further major treks followed.

After the last major trek in 1907 the Portuguese government prohibited further treks. In 1928 about 2 000 Angola Boers were repatriated to South-West Africa, while 380-470 remained in Angola.

These treks were complex phenomena as a result of economic, religious and political factors. Initially, resistance to the “irreligious” and “liberal” government of TF Burgers were the most important reasons for the trek. New labour legislation, political uncertainty, internal dissent in the Transvaal and economic factors also contributed to the dissatisfaction.

Lack of sufficient farming land, population pressure, poverty, misgivings about new taxes and the search for new hunting grounds probably played a minor role. Dread of modernisation and British imperialism, the introduction of intensive farming, gold fever, drought or natural disasters and the “trekking spirit” or “trek fever” probably played no role at all.

The Thirstland Trek: 1874 – 1881 is also available in Afrikaans as Die Dorslandtrek: 1874 – 1881.

ISBN-13: 9781485300366
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The Boers in Angola 1928-1975

Nicol Stassen devotes, among others, an entire chapter to the gripping story of the Dorsland (Thirstland) Trekkers and their adventures. During these Angola Boers’ stay in Angola there was little chance of farming and far too many problems: a problematic relationship with the Portuguese authorities, while inadequate economic and educational opportunities, and the resulting poverty, sometimes led to shocking decay.

In 1928 about 2000 Angola Boers were repatriated to South-West Africa. The community of 386–471 Afrikaners who remained in Angola after 1928 were left to oblivion, and were later described as a “living fossil” and victims of their own conservatism. Some did attempt to make a living of mixed farming, transport riding and hunting – decades after this lifestyle had died out elsewhere. This small group of Afrikaners maintained their “Afrikanerskap” under very difficult circumstances. After civil war broke out in Angola in 1975 the last Afrikaners fled Angola, and so the bond between the Angola Boers and Angola came to an end after almost a century.

Their interesting and colourful lives are described, and the possibility that wanderlust was the reason for their peregrinations is examined.

ISBN-13: 9781869193959
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Afrikaners in Angola 1928-1975

Stassen wy o.a. ’n volle hoofstuk aan die aangrypende verhaal van die Dorslandtrekkers en hulle lotgevalle. Tydens hierdie Angola-Boere se verblyf in Angola was daar van boerdery min sprake en probleme was velerlei: ’n problematiese verhouding met die Portugese owerheid, terwyl gebrekkige ekonomiese en opvoedkundige geleenthede, en gevolglike armoede, soms tot ontstellende verval gelei het. In 1928 is ongeveer 2000 Angola-Boere na Suidwes-Afrika gerepatrieer. Die gemeenskap van 386–471 Afrikaners wat ná 1928 in Angola agtergebly het, is aan die vergetelheid en verwaarlosing oorgelaat en is later as ’n “lewende fossiel” en slagoffers van hulle eie behoudendheid bestempel. Sommige het wel nog ’n lewe uit gemengde boerdery, transportry en jag probeer maak, dekades nadat hierdie lewenswyse elders uitgesterf het. Vanaf 1958 tot 1963 is die meerderheid van die ongeveer 600 Afrikaners in Angola na Suidwes-Afrika en Suid-Afrika gerepatrieer, terwyl slegs enkeles in Angola agtergebly het.

Hierdie groepie Afrikaners het hul Afrikanerskap daar onder moeilike omstandighede gehandhaaf. Met die uitbreek van die burgeroorlog in 1975 in Angola het die laaste Afrikaners uit Angola gevlug en het die verbintenis van die Angola-Boere met Angola ná byna ’n eeu tot ’n einde gekom. Hulle interessante en kleurryke lewe word beskryf en die sogenaamde “trekgees” as ’n moontlike rede vir hulle swerftogte word onder die loep geneem.

ISBN-13: 9781869193409
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