SA wants remains of Khoisan chief

2013-03-31 13:24

Johannesburg - An investigation to get the remains of a 240-year-old Khoisan chief repatriated from Australia is under way, the National Heritage Council (NHC) said on Sunday.

"Chief David Stuurman was one of the few known people who successfully escaped more than once from Robben Island," said NHC spokesperson Danny Goulkan.

He said the chief was incarcerated there for his persistent fight against colonialism as early as around 1808 and 1809.

Stuurman died in the General Hospital in Sydney in 1830 after travelling on a convict ship to the continent.

"We are now working on a programme of bringing back his human remains," said Goulkan.

The NHC was meeting with a team of community members, including descendants and researchers and hoped to assist them to bring back Stuurman - as well as the remains of another Khoisan man, Jantjie Piet.

The council would approach other organisations including the SA Heritage Resources Agency and the National Prosecutions Authority unit which dealt with international repatriation to assist.

Goulkan said there were unconfirmed locations in Sydney where Stuurman and Piet could possibly be buried - but DNA testing would help confirm where their remains were.

Research indicated that both Stuurman and Piet - along with ten other South Africans - were on the convict ship Brampton that reached Sydney in April 1823.

On Tuesday, a meeting would be held at the South End Museum in Port Elizabeth to discuss current research around the two Khoisan men.

In April last year, the remains of Khoisan couple Klaas and Trooi Pienaar were returned to South Africa from Austria.

In 1909, their bodies were exhumed by Austrian anthropologist Rudolf Poch, who claimed to be doing research on dwarfism.

Poch also took other human remains, as well as San rock paintings, to Austria.

The South African government negotiated for over four years to have the couple's remains returned, together with other artefacts taken by Poch.

  • MallyGold - 2013-03-31 13:41

    Why do you insist on worshipping dead ancestors? This chief lived 240 years ago; let the dead take care of the dead! This is one of the root causes of relentless savagery practices.

      peter.vanzyl.948 - 2013-03-31 14:12

      Spot on Mally.

      Makhosonke Mqikela - 2013-03-31 14:23

      Blasphemy Mally.

      Carlton - 2013-03-31 14:34

      Emigrate Mally

      Lynette Dicks - 2013-03-31 20:59

      Umlilo makes a good point, even if you dont believe in ancestor worship. Just because one is offended, doesnt mean one is right.

      jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2013-03-31 21:54

      No one is worshipping ancestors, but remembering with thanksgiving those bravely fought for freedom. I remember not so long ago we used to have 'Voortrekker Dag" I wonder why you had this day, even holding church services at memorials. Do tell.

      stephanie.sutherland41 - 2013-04-01 03:25

      @Umlilo - I would love to find out how far back my San Heritage goes, as the San are in my Ancestry register. We should be allowed to have the gene tests to prove the intermarriages that occurred between Boers and San, many of whom were San and Strandlopers, and how these marriages developed the people now known as the Boers. I think this would make for some fantastic research and hope to get someone to go into it further, as this would build bridges between the San and the Boers as it is believed they share an ancestry through interracial marriages which was not an issue till the British came along and stuffed up the country.

  • Lucastra Khezla - 2013-03-31 13:42

    what a waste of money.

  • Braam Snyman - 2013-03-31 13:45

    I hope it doesn't take 240 years to get Shrien Dewani here. Is it just me or is our government's focus slightly out of focus? I'm sure this is important to the Khoisan people, and I am not detracting from that, let's just focus resources on the here and now as well. The crime that is here and now, the poverty that is here and now, the corruption that is here and now, the healthcare facilities that isn't here and now and the education system that is right behind healthcare...

      peter.vanzyl.948 - 2013-03-31 14:15

      Braam, the gvt doesnt have ANY FOCUS whatsoever. Anything that will divert attention from their BUMBLING ANTICS will be pushed to the forefront!

  • werner.nel.712 - 2013-03-31 14:05

    Money grows on trees in Nkandla....

  • Adepoju Mosebo - 2013-03-31 14:10

    Y do they have afrikaans names?

      stephanie.sutherland41 - 2013-04-01 03:31

      Many San were married to Boers women as it wasn't an issue until the British outlawed the practice and any interracial relations other than servants in servitude. You would be surprised how the British stuffed up a very coexisting group of people with there laws on slavery. Do some research on this, it may surprise you. Here is a link that would open your eyes with a few home truths :)

      Kenny Grass - 2013-04-01 13:20


  • Makhosonke Maseko - 2013-03-31 14:15

    240 years from now the government of the day will leave no stones unturned to get the remains of our SANDF members currently left for dead by the ruling party at the CAR. The government should focus on withdrawing our soldiers that are still at CAR.

      Makhosonke Mqikela - 2013-03-31 14:25


  • Smart Peace - 2013-03-31 14:21

    The Khoisan r the 1st Natives of this country and deserve more respect than any other tribe. The Afrikaners r the last tribe to settle in this country yet their names r written all over: museums, books, streets, towns, infrastructure, streets, statues etc. It is time we pay homage to the rightful people

      jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2013-03-31 22:01

      Thank you,if the Afrikaner commentators on this board are representative of their tribe, then I fear for their future on this continent, the Khoisan, my ancestors, share your language and much of your cultural heritage, yet you are incapable of showing sensitivity to our people's history and origins. As PD Uys says, 'Adapt or Fly'.

      stephanie.sutherland41 - 2013-04-01 03:37

      @Jeremy Forbes : Most of the original Boer families have Khoi San Blood in their veins through marriage before the British outlawed it. Those are the Families that will respect San rights and beliefs. The San and the Strandlopers were the first nation of South Africa and deserves respect. And never ever think that all the commentators on here are Afrikaans, because they probs aren't. I am a Boer not an Afrikaner as you put it.

  • Imani Azania - 2013-03-31 14:27

    It's amazing how small things amuse small minds....There would be no reason for the NHC to repatriate had they not been taken by those savages.

  • Mantsho Tlali - 2013-03-31 14:28

    Is this Necessary, While the people still Waiting for Houses and service Dilivery.

      stephanie.sutherland41 - 2013-04-01 03:39

      If the government can stop importing more people from other African Nations, which makes it harder to provide for the South Africans who should be first in line for housing and amenities. Maybe you need to vent against government for a change.

  • John Thelps - 2013-03-31 14:37

    More of our hard earned money down the drain.

  • Nico de Jongh - 2013-03-31 14:45

    The Kiosan genes are the only prehistoric 'human' genes left on this planet and Afrikaans is the 'youngest' language on our planet and how these two intertwined only mother nature can explain. Pity these original inhabitants of South Africa has no say over 'their' land.

      Themba Khumalo - 2013-03-31 15:23

      Nico, i'm quite sure you feel the same sympathy for the original Australians, Americans and New Zealanders.

      Deon Sydney Arends - 2013-03-31 17:32

      Hi Nico. I just love you comment. I just feel that this current government gives our people a cold shoulder. This country is so full of our historical heritage and the government allows the non-caring people to demolish it. An example is the first 'magistrates court' in the Kat River Valley (eastern cape - between Fort Beaufort and Whittlesea). There are signs of ancient khoi graves there. (Heroes from the 1851 Khoi Rebellion who 'tried' and executioned by the colonialists. But can you really blame this government for that? No, by exposing our heritage they will shoot themselves in the foot.

      stephanie.sutherland41 - 2013-04-01 03:45

      @Deon - This link may have some interesting titbits for you, please watch and comment on it, you seem to be an open-minded individual.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2013-03-31 14:48

    What a waste of many. When will stupid people learn that when you are dead and serve no more purpose to the world.

      Smart Peace - 2013-03-31 15:07

      If ur fathers' tombs could be vandalised u would soon learn a good lesson

  • Carmen Coetzee - 2013-03-31 17:28

    is this reeeealy realy that important, waisting money that could have gone to better use? create jobs, education, build more houses, care more for the aged....bringing back remains, what will it help us? lets pray that their souls remain to rest in peace and believe eternal light shine on them....and move forward!

  • des.cider - 2013-03-31 20:46

    Only Khoisan developed technology should be used to identify Khoisan chiefs..

  • The Hoff - 2013-03-31 21:58

    So this Chief David Stuurman guy successfully swam the 12 kilometers of freezing cold, shark infested waters at least twice to freedom? Then his captors decided to send him to Australia, because they knew he'd never make that swim back home? Big ups to the guy for effort!

  • Ennia Mikateko Chauke - 2013-03-31 22:21

    khoi sans marginalised them selved when they abandon their language and heritage to become fake dutch descendants if u want ppl to take u seriously u must take ur self serious u want blacks to treat u like blacks but u decided to speak white mens language again white will never regard u as white they just see clowns

      stephanie.sutherland41 - 2013-04-01 03:48

      The Khoi San also intermarried with the original Voortrekker people, so they created another culture that coexisted parallel to their own till the British got involved. Zulus and Xhosas invaded the San lands murdering and enslaving them, how does that make you the hero Ennia??

      Makhosonke Mqikela - 2013-04-01 11:53

      @umlilo, you have a good platform (Local Gov

  • Nats Brown - 2013-03-31 22:47

    There's PLENTY focus. Focus on harnessing votes, playing the 'Khoisan heritage matters to us' and 'see how we include you' cards

  • Franklin Meiring - 2013-03-31 23:38

    1st. maseko what actually happened in africa was soldiers who was greedy for money thats why they die,just think how many ex soldiers working around the globe for security agencies and the un and they did not get killed(whites and khoisans),becuase in the current army there is no place for them.asked the ex white soldiers who was braverest in the old army, the khoisans.who was the spoorsnyers,the 24/7 wacth dogs,and who get the cream of it.and also today.2nd measeko you know your brothers when it get hot or in case of waiting they gets asleep quickly.and the oppisition get them sleeping,because no fight ever is a fair fight.look around you,at your back ,side ways,there is even no way forward with you people.first the white people keep us a way and now the black people,but let me tel you something like white peoples days past yours is gonna thing i know is you cant swim and that is where you people together with the white people is gonna been chase in....

  • stephanie.sutherland41 - 2013-04-01 03:17

    A lot of Whites and specifically boers are also decedents of the Khoi San Chief and those taken to Australia. I would love to have a test done to see how far back my Khoi San link goes. The surnames of these men are in my ancestry, so this is a link that proves I am indigenous to South Africa, and my skin colour won't change that fact. This is great news for those White South Africans who wish to fight the label of being an colonizing,if they can prove they are indigenous to SA through a Khoi San bloodline.

      bongani.nsele.58 - 2013-04-01 11:25

      we trying hard to belong to Afrika

  • steve.dutoit.39 - 2013-04-01 12:43

    Bring back the remains and bury them to the tune of millions of rand.And let the SA swimmers pay for their fleights.Of course there will be lunches etc for the dignatories as well costing millions again.We all agree that the Koisan were the first here ;unless you read some of the ANC comments.

  • Makhosonke Mqikela - 2013-04-01 17:28

    @umlilo, you have a good platform in Local Gov

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