About Mathian Coetzee
The Whites of Enkeldoorn 1880-1980 is a history of the families of European descent who settled in the area of Enkeldoorn (renamed Chivi) Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Author - Sarel van der Walt.
COETZEE Matie x Elsie van der Merwe arrived 1910, travelling with Elsie's family group who came from Natal. They travelled by train to Umvuma and by oxwagons to the farm and settled on Crystal. Matie was known for his great strength and sense of humour with a love for practical jokes, he was also easily moved to tears when sad or happy. As a Boer Prisoner of War on Hawkins island, part of the Bermuda group, a collegue later told of his escapades of which are recounted, whenever there was a change of guard personnel he would, with their first roll-call parade, on the command "Fall In" run to the nearest point of the see and with gusto fall into the sea, then solemnly declare that he was merely obeying a command. The camp punishment centre was a barbed wire enclosure on the island and Matie had the reputation of being its most frequent inmate, invariably following a prank that discomfitted the authorities. Matie was an excellent horseman and known to be fearless and often swam in flooded rivers. He refused to bath indoors, doing his ablutions in the nearest river and as he got older he would have a servant squirt water from a hosepipe over him.