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How a veggie garden changed the course of History in South Africa

Jan Van Riebeek landing at the Cape of Good HopeOn the 6th April 1652 Jan van Riebeek landed at the tip of Africa with a very simple brief .

 "Establish a vegetable/ fruit garden, and supply the passing ships with fresh water and food " 

The decision to come to this part of Africa was a business decision  taken from over 12000 km away by the Dutch East India shipping company , one of the most powerful companies in the world for over 150 years.

Camissa ( place of sweet water )  as Cape Town was known at the time, was populated by the Khoisan and Hottentot people.  They had a nomadic lifestyle and moved their cattle ( the Hottentot  ) between the front and back of Table Mountain using it as a barrier to protect themselves from the strong winds in this region. The arrival of the Dutch changed everything, at first they were open to trade but soon the Dutch were blaming them for stealing cattle they had purchased and a decision was made to build a barrier ( a fence )  from False Bay to the back of Table mountain to keep the Hottentots away .The beginning of apartheid maybe ?  

The Dutch solved the labour problem  by  bringing back slaves from Indonesia , Madagascar and Mozambique. At first there was no intention to stay in the Cape, after you had completed your four year contact to the shipping company you were sent back to Holland.  However human Nature takes over and in 1659 Twenty Eight " free citizens "  who were released from their contact decided to stay in Cape Town. They moved to the back of Table Mountain, a wild and hostile area and started farming along the Amstel River changing the  course of South African history forever .......

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