Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 1st edition, by Walter Rusch et al.

Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 1st edition, by Walter Rusch et al. Nature Investments, Namibia, 2011. ISBN 9789994572120 / ISBN 978-99945-72-12-0

Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 1st edition, by Walter Rusch et al. Nature Investments, Namibia, 2011. ISBN 9789994572120 / ISBN 978-99945-72-12-0

The driving force behind Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 1st edition is Gondwana's Managing Director Mannfred Goldbeck who used to teach history and geography. The following story, written by Walter Rusch, is about a Court decision dating 1909.

Mannfred Goldbeck  Sven-Eric Kanzler  Christina Rockstroh  

Court decision 1909: by imperial decree! (by Walter Rusch)

On 14 February 1876 Charles Henry Hill and Robert Duncan came to an agreement with the Captain of the Bondelswart Nama, Willem Christiaan, to purchase an incredibly large piece of land in the south of today's Namibia. It covered 200,000 ha. Both of them had moved into the area north of the Gariep (Orange) River from the Cape, trading arms and hunting big game. They had traded with the Nama and Oorlam groups living in that area and not only made a fortune but also acquired considerable prestige. The land which Christiaan gave to Hill and Duncan for the ridiculous price of 800 Pounds was situated in the furthest north-western parts of the Bondelswart area. The borders were pegged on 26 October 1876 in an official sales contract:

"Approximately north of Gründorn, a pointed hilltop on the Karras Mountain, called Soa-Koas (or Potbreek)' approximately in the east on a hilltop called Karris or Klein Manhaar, in the southeast on a hilltop called Hogekas or Zandpiitzkop, south of Tsawisis from the bend where the paths from Blood Camel Tree (Blutkamelbaum) and K'Nipe separate, southwest of Holoog on the hilltop near Dreedornvley". (Ruling of the Imperial District Court, South West Africa, p. 11).

The border points had previously been determined together with the Bondelswart Captain's surveyor, a man named Timotheus Sneewe. To mark the border points the buyers had driven there with a horsecart containing Sneewe, a witness and a barrel of liquor. Little did they know that the liquor would fuel a legal battle more than 30 years later. Incidentally, the Rhenish missionary of Warmbad acted as a mediator during the sales negotiations in 1876. For his services the mission station was given half of the purchase price, i.e. 400 Pounds. The money was used to build the mission church in Warmbad in 1877. The Bondelswart Captain kept the other half. South West Africa became a German colony in 1884. Four years later German law came into force. In another document, dated 8 July 1891, the Captain of the Bondelswarts confirmed the purchase of land by Hill and Duncan. The authorities acknowledged their land claims as legally valid. After buying Duncan's share for 4000 Pounds in 1895, Hill became the sole owner of 200,000 ha of farmland. He died in 1900. His eight descendants filed an application with the German colonial administration in 1908 to have their farmland entered into the title register and the land registry in order to clarify the inheritance. The tax authorities of German South West Africa, however, refused registration on the grounds that Hill's heirs were only entitled to an area of 60,000 ha comprising the original waterholes of the farms Gründorn, Holoog and Tsawisis as well as the surroundings in a radius of 10 kilometres. Only that area was suitable for stock breeding, the heirs were told. "Considering the purchase price paid by C. H. Hill, one hectare was sold for seven Pfennig. It is clear that the land would not have been sold for such a low price. This leads to the conclusion that Hill took possession of more land than the seller had meant for him to take. [...]

This is an excerpt from Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 1st edition, by Walter Rusch et al.

Title: Gondwana History: Memorable Moments from Namibia's Past, 1st edition
Authors: Walter Rusch; Mannfred Goldbeck; Nicolette Jacobie; Iris le Roux; Inke Stoldt; Sven-Eric Kanzler; Christina Rockstroh
Series: Gondwana History, Vol 1
Publisher: Nature Investments
Namibia, 2011
ISBN 9789994572120 / ISBN 978-99945-72-12-0
Softcover, 15 x 21 cm, 93 pages, 85 images, 3 maps, English text

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