Cape crusaders

Roger Scruton is mistaken when he claims Allesverloren was "named to commemorate the time when the Boers were finally and unjustly forced to lay down their arms" (The Back Half, 29 October).

Allesverloren was so named in 1701 - two centuries before the Boers last took up arms - by the owner, Gerrit Cloete, after his farm was raided by Hottentots, his cattle rustled, his goods stolen and his homestead set alight.

That Hottentots were responsible for Cloete's losses also knocks on the head Scruton's contention that the Boers did not "establish themselves [in the Cape] at the expense of the original inhabitants".

Neil Pendock
Westcliff, Johannesburg
South Africa

This article first appeared in And now the trouble really begins

2001-11-19