1887

n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - De geloof en theocratie bij C.W.H. van der Post in Piet Uijs of Lijden en Strijd der Voortrekkers in Natal - navorsings- en oorsigartikel

Volume 59 Number 3
  • ISSN : 0041-4751
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Abstract

C.W.H. van der Post’s faith and theocracy as exemplified in Piet Uijs or the suffering and struggle of the Voortrekkers in Natal

Christiaan Willem Hendrik van der Post (1856–1914) was a remarkable writer whose work on the life of Dutch protestant settlers constitutes an important contribution to the understanding of faith and race among the Boers in 19th century South Africa. Unlike the prevailing values of the Victorian age in England, Van der Post’s book on the Voortrekker epoch, Piet Uijs or the suffering and struggle of the Voortrekkers in Natal does not in any way endorse or promote a racist outlook on colonial settlement in Africa, but instead tells a story of faith, humility, courage and the rule of law.

Van der Post was a man of many talents. He contributed to the Republic of the Orange Free State as a teacher, farmer and historian. In the period before the Anglo-Boer War he established one of the largest law firms in the Free State. He always remained a Dutchman, with a calling in Africa. For many years he was the Dutch consul in the Orange Free State, based in Fauresmith, as well as a member of the “Volksraad” (Parliament) of the Orange Free State for this district and a collaborator of president Steyn. He also served as the “Volksraad’s” chairman for a year. During the Boer war he became commandant of the Boer forces in the south and east of the capital Bloemfontein. Even after nearly all his men had surrendered, he continued to fight, reassembled a commando and was eventually captured in the Transvaal. Van der Post was a man of principle. After the war he only returned to the Free State when he could do so without pledging his allegiance to the British Crown.


Christiaan Willem Hendrik van der Post (1856–1914) was ’n veelsydige skrywer wie se werk teruggaan op ooggetuieverslae uit die voortrekkertyd. Sy boek Piet Uijs of Lijden en Strijd der Voortrekkers in Natal stel dat geloof en regverdigheid deugde is wat nagestreef moet word, selfs al eindig dit in mislukking. Van der Post se werk vertoon ’n teokratiese grondhouding. Dit is die mens se geloofsgehoorsaamheid en edele voorbeeld in moeilike omstandighede wat tel. In intermenslike verhoudings is dit geloofsverbondenheid wat belangrik is; ras speel geen rol in Van der Post se boek nie. Anders as sy Britse tydgenote koester hy geloofsverwagting vir die swart heidense stamme van Suidelike Afrika.

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2019-09-01
2019-11-20

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