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Slagtersnek Rebellie/Rebellion 15 Dec 1815

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  • Gerrit Coenraad Bezuidenhout (1790 - 1837)
    Anna Maria Jacoba PELSER (ook Anna Maria Jacomina PELTZER), a1b2c5d9 * 13.8.1800≈ Graaff-Reinet 25.11.1801Getuies by doop:-Johannes Diederik George GEERECatharina Elisabeth CHRISTINSvan UitenhageX Graa...
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    PELTZER lyn = a1b2c5d9Anna Maria Jacoba PELSER (ook Anna Maria Jacomina PELTZER) * 13.8.1800≈ Graaff-Reinet 25.11.1801Getuies by doop:-Johannes Diederik George GEERECatharina Elisabeth CHRISTINSvan Uit...
  • Joachim Johannes Prinsloo, b3c3d6e1 (1783 - 1838)
    Slagtersnekrebel Voortrekker Slagoffer van Bloukransrivierslagting † PRINSLOO, Joachim Johannes [Joachim Johannes Prinsloo, b3c3d6e1]. Vermoor tydens die aanval saam met sy vrou, Martha Louisa PR...
  • Johannes Prinsloo, b3c3d5e2 (c.1781 - d.)
    Geslagsregisters van ou Kaapse Families Volume I A-M ISBN 7100 2009 0 Fourth Impression. 1970 and Volume II M-Z ISBN 0 86961 136 4. 1981.Page 741b2c3d5e2 Johannes (PRINSLOO), ≈ 8.4.1781, x Johanna Petr...
  • Nicolaas Balthasaar Prinsloo, b3c3d5e8 (1794 - 1836)
    SlagtersnekrebelVoortrekker-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------b3c3d5e8 NICOLAAS BALTHASAR (KLAAS NUWEVELD) PR...

The Slagtersnek rebels are tried in the Uithenhage landdros court

Date: 15 December, 1815

Frederik Bezuidenhout owned a farm east of the Cape Colony. After reports surfaced that he was allegedly mistreating one of his Khoikhoi laborers, he was summoned to appear in a magistrate's court. After failing to make an appearance, an attempt was made to arrest him. Bezuidenhout fled to a nearby cave where he was later discovered and shot. The fact that he was shot by a Coloured soldier was said to be part of the reason that Bezuidenhout's brother, Hans, wanted to take revenge for his brother's death.

Hans and his neighbor Hendrik Prinsloo planned an uprising against the British colonial government as they believed that the British favored Black and Coloured farmers over Afrikaner farmers. Burghers (farmers) in the surrounding areas were pressurized into joining this rebellion as Hans was said to have threatened them with death. On 18 November, this rebel group met with the forces of the military commander at Slagtersnek. Twenty rebels surrendered, but Hans refused to do so. He died while resisting arrest.

Those involved in the rebellion were tried in Uitenhage landdros court on 15 December 1815. One of the rebels was reprieved by Lord Charles Somerset but the others, Cornelis Faber (43), Stefanus Cornelis Botma (43), his brother Abraham Carel Botma (29), Hendrik Frederik Prinsloo (32) and Theunis de Klerk, were sentenced to death. The remaining rebels were acquitted or banished.

The execution of these rebels is a sore point with many Afrikaners and was cited as one of the reasons for the Great Trek. A monument in memory of the rebels was erected in 1919.


Giliomee, H. & Mbengwa, B. (eds) (2007) The Slagtersnek Rebellion in Die Nuwe Geskiedenis van Suid Afrika. [online] Available: [Accessed 8 December 2009] Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousse

Read more:

A Cauldron Of Conflict The Slagtersnek Rebellion In 1813 Andries Stockenstrom, a 20-year-old deputy landdrost stationed at the newly founded town of Cradock, faced a major test. Early in that year a Khoikhoi labourer named Booy lodged a complaint about his master. The master was Freek Bezuidenhout, a notorious frontier ruffian who lived with a Baster woman and whose Baster son called him ‘baas’. Booy claimed that his master had withheld his wages and had severely assaulted him.

Bezuidenhout was one of a number of disaffected, relatively poor colonists in the remote area of Bosberg, Bruintjeshoogte and Tarka. A shortage of land was a major source of discontent, and another was the presence on the frontier of Khoikhoi and other ‘coloured’ troops under white officers. As Stockenstrom would later remark, ‘the people were talking that the “black nation was protected and not the Christians”’. Stockenstrom would have a remarkable career as frontier administrator, spanning 25 years. He was an honest, brave and fiercely independent man who shrank from the hypocrisy so abundant in the frontier conflict. He was committed to the principles of the strict preservation of order, and equal and impartial justice to all. From the start, Stockenstrom saw the issue as involving a clear choice between order and civilisation on the one hand, and anarchy on the other.

When Bezuidenhout ignored the summons, a company of two British officers and twelve Khoikhoi troops arrived at Bezuidenhout’s house. A brief battle ensued and Bezuidenhout was killed. At the funeral a plot was hatched to embark on rebellion. The rebels’ plans were far-fetched. One proposed to make a deal with Ngqika. He could take possession of the Zuurveld in exchange for driving away the Cape Regiment, expelling all officials on the frontier and allowing the rebels to occupy the fertile Kat River Valley in the land of the Xhosa. Burghers who refused to join were threatened with death and having their families and property given over to the Xhosa.

Stockenstrom persuaded the influential burghers not to back the rebellion. In the end, there were only 60 rebels, who surrendered without a shot being fired. After being sentenced, five of the leaders were hanged. Most of the colonists now accepted British rule. In 1816 Stockenstrom observed that ‘the greatest majority of the Boer population was not opposed to equal justice to black and white’. The core problem, he believed, was the inadequacy of the legal and administrative system. Despite the establishment of some new districts, most farms were still a long distance from the towns, making it very difficult for masters to lay complaints before the magistrate.

Names of accused


  1. Hendrik Frederik Prinsloo,
  2. Nicolaas Balthazar Prinsloo, Marts-son,
  3. Willem Jacobus Prinsloo, Wm-son,
  4. Nicolaas Prinsloo, Wm-son,
  5. Willem Prinsloo, Ns-son,
  6. Johannes Prinsloo, M.son,
  7. Willem Krugel,
  8. Hendrik van der Nes,
  9. Cornelis van der Nes,
  10. Stoffel Rudolph Botha,
  11. Willem Adriaan Nel,
  12. Thomas Andries Dreyer,
  13. Johannes Bronkhorst,
  14. Hendrik Petrus Klopper,
  15. Jacobus Klopper, and
  16. Petrus Laurens Erasmus
  17. Joachim Johaunes Prinslo [b3c3d6e1] (He took part in the Great Trek and was murdered by Zulu impi during the Bloukransrivier (Wenen) massacre) and
  18. Johannes Frederik Botha.
  19. Hendrik Frederik Prinsloo[7][8]
  20. Nicolaas Balthazar Prinsloo. (He took part in the Great Trek and was murdered with the van Rensburg trek party at Djindispruit, Limpopo River, Mozambique at the end of July 1836.[9])

Some were acquitted, but six of the rebels were sentenced to death, one of these was pardoned by the Governor. On 9 March 1816, the remaining five were hanged in public at Van Aardtspos. Four of the nooses broke during the procedure and the still living convicts, together with many spectators, pleaded for their lives, but the executioner ordered them to be hanged a second time.[4]

The rebellion and the consequent executions of the rebels have acquired special significance among contemporary South African historians as the beginning of an Afrikaner struggle against British colonial rule.[10]

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