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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Missionary as Land Broker: Henri Gonin, Saulspoort 269 and the Bakgatla of Rustenburg District, 1862-1922
Authors:Mbenga, Bernard K.
Morton, Fred
Periodical:South African Historical Journal
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:missionary history
land law
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Religion and Witchcraft
Abstract:Africans in the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) valued missionaries as land brokers for the re-acquisition of land commandeered during the Boer conquest. Among the properties on which Africans settled through the brokerage of a missionary was the Saulspoort farm in Rustenburg District. After arriving in Rustenburg District in the early 1860s the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) missionary Henri Louis Gonin developed a large DRC settlement among the Bakgatla baga Kgafela by gaining personal title to the Saulspoort farm on which many Bakgatla were already living. In 1869 he used his own money to complete the purchase of Saulspoort 269. Under Gonin, Saulspoort became a Kgatla Christian settlement attracting large African populations who were unwilling to accept Boer labour demands. Gonin's influence remained strong until the mid-1890s, when the ZAR began to enforce the 'Plakkers Wet' (Squatters Law) and discourage Africans from concentrating in large settlements. In 1895 the Bakgatla purchased most of Saulspoort from Gonin so that the farm might be designated a location, a process that was completed by 1898. Notes, ref.