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Biographical Information

A kind of description of my life.

Background

I'm a member of rather rare group of people, the white-skinned indigenous people of Africa. So odd is this that the name "Afrikaner" had to be invented to distinguish us from Europeans. Although my ancestors are European, I am neither French, nor German, nor Dutch, altough I am indebted to these nations for my name, my genes and my language.

Ons voorvaders hier in die ou Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek was gewone gemiddelde landelike mense maar in so 'n mate bekend dat een van die eerste landkaarte van die ou Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek die pad van Pretoria na die noordoostelike bosveld aandui as lopende tot by D Malan (d.w.s. tot by Brandbach), vandaar na J.C. Malan (d.w.s. tot op Hartbeestfontein) en van daar is dit 'n stippellyn die boswêreld in.
Hulle was pioniers in die middelveld en bosveld van Transvaal. Hulle het teen Mphephu, Magatu, Sekhukhune en Mabogo (Mapog) geveg en met die uitbreek van die Engelse-oorlog in 1899 het almal weer die wapen opgeneem: party onder Kommandant H.S. Grobler van die Bethal-kommando en ander onder Kommandant Piet Uys van die Bosveldkommando. Een het gesneuwel, sommige is gewond, 'n hele paar was krygsgevangenes in Indië, Ceylon en St Helena; die vrouens en kinders was in die kampe en talle kinders lê in konsentrasiekampkerkhowe begrawe. Daar was geen generaals onder hulle nie, maar ook geen joiners nie. Na die vrede van 1902 het hulle gespook en gespartel om soos byna die hele Transvaalse bevolking maar moes doen om kop bo water te hou. Vanaf die vroeë twintigerjare het baie van die plase af na die Staatsdiens, die Spoorweë en die myne uitgewyk. Baie het egter op die erfgronde agtergebly en boer vandag nog.
In ons tyd is familielede in elke denkbare rigting werksaam maar hul verspreiding is nog beperk tot die Hoëveld en Sentraal- en Noord-Transvaal, insluitende Pretoria, Johannesburg en die Witwatersrand. Slegs 'n paar bevind hulle in ander provinsies en slegs een het die land verlaat.

Our forefathers here in the old South-African Republic were ordinary, average rural people but known to such an extent that one of the first maps of the old Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek show the road from Pretoria to the north-eastern bushveld as running to D Malan (i.e. Brandbach), from there to J.C. Malan (i.e. Hartbeestfontein) and from there it is a dotted line running into the bush-world.
They were pioneesrs in the middleveld and bushveld of the Transvaal. They fought against Mphephu, Magatu, Sekhukhune and Mabogo (Mapog) and with the outbreak of the English war in 1899 they all went to arms: some under Commandant H.S. Grobler of the Bethal commando, and others under Commandant Piet Uys of the the Bushveld commando. One died in action, some were wounded, quite a number were prisoners of war in India, Ceylon and St Helena; the women and children were in the camps, and many children lie buried in concentration camp churchyards. There were no generals among them, but also no joiners. After the peace of 1902 they struggled to keep head above water, like almost the whole of the Transvaal's population had to. From the early twenties many of them left the farms for the Civil Service, the Railways and the mines. However, many stayed on the inherited land and are still farming today.
In our time family members are working in every conceivable field, but their distribution is still limited to the Highveld and Central and Northern Transvaal, including Pretoria, Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand. Only a few are in other provinces, and only one had left the country.