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Today in Labour History

25 October 1788
Jan van Riebeeck arrives in Table Bay 1652
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Cape Rebel

Significant social conflict took place in the Cape Colony in the late 18th century. There were various mutinies on Dutch East India ships in the Cape waters. On land, indigenous (KhoiSan) labourers also challenged their Dutch masters. Increasing numbers joined armed bands that raided frontier farms. Anti-colonial action started to take on new forms when KhoiSan prophet Jan Parel and 400 of his followers (consisting of KhoiSan plus enslaved and free blacks) stood up and predicted that the world would end on 25 October 1788, ushering in an era of utopian bliss and the end of colonial rule. This was a year before the French Revolution.

Read more? Nicole Ulrich, 'The 1797 British Naval Mutinies in Southern African Waters' in: IRSH Special Issue 21 (2013) Mutiny and Maritime Radicalism in the Age of Revolution

More info: Mutiny and Maritime Radicalism in the Age of Revolution