The revival of the Griqua People
Free State Province
The revival of the Griqua People in the FS Province
The Griqua people came to Philippolis in 1823 by invitation of Reverent John Philip. At Philippolis, the leadership of Adam Kok II and later Adam Kok III and his council govern from 1826 - 1862. During this time, Philippolis bloomed with various cultures that include the Griqua culture and way of life. When the Griqua peoples left for ‘No-man’s Land’ due to the Maitland treaty in 1862, this cultural unity and living history slowly but surely died out until only remnants can be found today in secluded communities within the Province. With the removal of Adam Kok III from Philippolis not all the Griqua people moved with him and they were led by these prominent leaders.
Adam Kok II gave Jan Kraalshoek a piece of land at Bethany (Brandewynsfontein) in 1833. Adam Kok III renewed this agreement. It is important to note that the Kraalshoek family was both identified as Koranna and Griqua. Some alien themselves with the Koranna tribe based on their association with the Koranna Council and other because they could speak the Cora Language.
Benjamin Kraalshoek was a leader in Kimberley during 1864, and then later relocated to Bethany. Hendrik Kraalshoek I, Titus Witvoet, Maria Hofman and Andries Buffelbout served on the Koranna Council under the leadership of Goliath Yzerbek during 1911. Ben and Maria Kraalshoek were among the Koranna speakers that was founded in Pniel during 1933. Others alien themselves with as Griqua because of their identity card, like Hendrik ‘Kleinspruit II’ Kraalshoek. He was the tribal father in 1933. Hendrik ‘Kleinspruit’ Kraalshoek III was appointed as tribal father by Hendrik ‘Kleinspruit’ Kraalshoek II and Andries Kraalshoek in 1960. Under his supervision, Johannes ‘Doenkie’ Kraalshoek assisted him with his duties.
In 1974 one man, Johannes Kraalshoek (Figure1) took it upon himself to find the lost Khoe & San children in the Province and educate them about their culture, history and language. Some of the places that he visited included Springfontein; Bethulie; Welkom; Philippolis; Boshof; Bloemfontein; Thaba Putsoa and Edenburg. The Griqua National Conference of South Africa (GNC) under the then leadership of Paramount Chief A. A. S. Le Fleur II acknowledged his hard workand made him Headman of the Free State Province in 1993. He also played a key role in the fight for the Land Restitution case against the Evangelic Lutheran Church for Bethane. In 1999, he won the first Land Restitution case in the Province, the Bethane case. The community, which he helped in this case, was the Griqua -; the Koranna -; the Se-Sotho and the Barolong people in the Province.
In 2000, the Free State Khoe & San Forum was established under the leadership of Kaptyn J. Kraalshoek. This Forum mainly consisted out the Koranna and the Griqua houses/ group in the Province. It is important to note that Mr. Jaftha Davids (or Taaibosch-Davids as he is known today) and the other Koranna leaders acknowledge Kaptyn J. Kraalshoek as the leader of the Free State Khoe & San Forum during this time. In 2001, after the National Khoe & San Consultative Conference in Oudtshoorn, Mr Davids breaked away from the Forum to established his own movement/house. Sadly, this Forum also disbanded in the same year due to inner conflict.
On 28 September 2002, the GNC Free State Griqua Council was formulated as result of his hard work. The Council consists out the following areas/places: *Springfontein; Bethulie; Welkom; Philippolis; Boshof; Bloemfontein; Thaba Putsoa; Oppermansgronde; Edenburg and Rouxville
Mr. Tony Petersen, who was the Provincial Treasurer of the GNC Free State Griqua Council at the time left the Organization due to miss management and joined the Dawids-Taaibosch House (Kei Koranna Group).
Captain J. Kraalshoek was awarded the Premier’s Excellence Awarded for Outstanding Leadership in the Province in 2006. This Award was presented to him by Me. Beatrice Marshoff, the then Premier of the Province.
In 2007 the GNC Free Griqua Council part ways with the Griqua National Conference of South Africa to become the Free State Griqua Council under the leadership of Captain Johannes Kraalshoek. Currently he still is the Provincial Leader or ‘Kaptyn’ as he is known among the Griqua peoples and Government Officials in the Province.
Early in 2008, Mr. Ben Barnes left the Organization for the Kie Koranna Group. He was a preacher in the Griqua Independent Church of South Africa. This church forms part of the Griqua National Conference of South Africa.
Up to date, we have registered in terms of the Non Profit Organization Act, 1997 under the Department of Social Development as a NPO with our registration number: 083-254-NPO. In addition, we have formulated the FS Griqua Trust with the Trust number: IT 325/2011. The members of the executive council reside in Bloemfontein and it is where the Provincial Head Office of the Organization is. These members are:
Frans Kraalshoek, the chairperson of the Council. He is also a member of the:
Ø PanSALB Provincial Language Board.
Ø National Khoe & San Facilitating Agency &
Ø Founding member of the South African First Indigenous and Human Rights Organization (SAFIHRO)
Eugene White, the Provincial treasurer of the Council and
Ø The leader of the Free State Khoe & San Language Committee
Andrew Kraalshoek the Leader of the Bloemfontein region
Willem Mouers the Leader of the Boshof branch and
Edward Charles Human Provincial Administrator
Raymon Loff the Provincial Secretariat
The rest of the Council members consist out of members from the different* areas/places
To empower the Griqua people and to build them up to be a dynamic nation through socio-economic, religious, cultural and political development.
To re-awake the lost and forgotten Griqua peoples in the Province and to educate them about their rich heritage, history, language and culture To promote the education and training of the Griqua nation through socio-economic development. To empower and to uplift the Griqua people by means of development and other programmers. To keep Griqua traditions and culture alive and to treat them with the necessary respect. To cooperate with other Khoe &San organizations / homes / groups in promoting Griqua nationalism. To negotiate with the government of the day as Indigenous and First nation, and to attain representation on all governmental levels. To attain our right to self-determination as First nation. To strive towards the implantation of the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples issued by the United Nations. To reach out to other Indigenous Peoples and to sign treaties of cooperation with them.
The Council work in collaboration with the three (3) Koranna Houses (KeiKorannaHouse; the Free State Koranna Cultural Group and the !Kora !Goan Dommi Group); the University of the Free State (UFS) and the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) to promote Khoekhoegowab in the Province. This collaboration led to the establishment of the Khoe & San Early Learning Center, which is located in Heidedal, Bloemfontein.
Keeping the Griqua traditions and culture alive, especially among the children and youth is one of the visions of our leader. The children and youth perform the kapal (our traditional dance) and sing various songs in Khoekhoegowab at several cultural events. Other plans included the establishment of Indigenous gardens; cultural celebrations and various projects that will see to the upliftment of the Griqua peoples in the Province. The Council is also working with several Government Departments; Institutions of Higher Learning’s; Section 9 Organization (the CRL Rights Commission; the National Heritage Council and the Freedom Park Trust) and other Khoe & San Organization/ Houses/ Groups on several projects/ programmers to uplift the Khoe & San Communities in Southern Africa.
Any person/ organization/ group/ institution/ department who what to get in contact with the Council can contact the Office of the Provincial Secretary.
Recognition of the historical Bloemfontein heritage site where all historical site of Hendrik ‘Spruit’ Kraalshoek consultation processes took place with different Khoe & who specialized in the making San leaders, Government and different Consaltatative
of arts and craft structures
Stefanis Kraalshoek married the eldest
daughter of Yzerbeck
· Captaincy of Philippolis by Karel Schoeman, and
· Koranna by J. A. Engelbrecht, South Africa April 1936
· Minutes taken from Provincial meetings held by the council
· Die Kraalshoek familie van Bethane deur Prof. Piet Erasmus