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Kat River Khoi Settlement

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In spite of the many political hindrances to his actions, Sir Andries Stockenström nonetheless set to work to reach an agreement for peace on the frontier and to stabilize the Ceded Territory between the Fish and Keiskamma rivers.

He decided to set aside this extensive and very fertile area for settlement, not by the white settlers of the frontier, but by the Cape's extensive Khoi and Griqua population. Some of Stockenström's top commanders were Khoi; he had long fought alongside Khoi soldiers in the frontier wars, and claimed to hold their bravery and loyalty in high esteem. He granted this displaced and marginalized people full and equal rights of land ownership and facilitated the establishment of their settlement, in what became known as the Kat River Khoi Settlement.

The dense settlements thrived and expanded, and the Kat River Settlement quickly became a large, peaceful and successful region of the Cape that subsisted more or less autonomously from the rest of the country. Stockenström was later to regard the creation of this settlement as his proudest achievement.

Name Changes

A Government Notice dated 15th August 1844 in the Gazette informed the public that at the request of the inhabitants of the Kat River Settlement or district the Governor had been pleased to approve of that district being thereafter called Stockenström. This honored Sir Andries Stockenström, Bart. The same notice said that the inhabitants of Tambookie Vley had desired that the village there be named Hertzog, which was acceded to. This was called after Mr. W.F Hertzog, the Assistant Surveyor-General. Fairbairn, in the Stockenström district, was named after the well known John Fairbairn.

Poetry and Song

Thomas Pringle wrote a couple of poems referring to settlers, slaves and the indigenous people of South Africa. He also named some of the people of the Kat River Settlement in the poem called The Lion Hunt


The aim of this project is to create a collection of profiles and family-trees of the Khoi and Griqua settlers of the Kat River Khoi Settlement.


Wikipedia Sir Andries Stockenström
Wikipedia Christian Groepe
South African Journal of Cultural History Christian Jacobus Groepe: Oosgrenspionier en veldkommandant van Katrivier
Leiden University Kat River Rebellion and Khoi Nationalism
Power, Politics, and Performances of Longing in Kat River Susan I. Blackbeard

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