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Zandvliet

The story of the farm Zandvliet, Faure.



Philip FAURE (1845-1901) was the first owner of the FAURE-owned farm "Zandvliet" at Faure (previously known as Eersterivier), Cape. He bought the farm in 1885.


He never married and passed the farm on to a nephew. The following story of the farm was researched and written by Genevieve Carmen FAURE (nee BUCHLAND), wife of Mousley FAURE who, at one time, lived and farmed "Zandvliet" with his brothers. 


ZANDVLIET.
"Zandvliet" lies roughly two miles south of Faure at the confluence of the Kuils and Eeerste Rivers and was one of the earliest farms in the Stellenbosch district to be granted by Simon van der Stel. The property was granted to the Reverend Petrus Kalden on 04/01/1699, almost exactly one month before the farm "Vergelegen" in Somerset West was granted. The farm "Vergenoegd" in Faure, which had been granted three years earlier, lay in close proximity. 


Zandvliet HomesteadKalden named the farm "Zandvliet", which refers to its position on the edge of a sandy veld between the sea and the Hottentots Holland Mountains but, those living at "Zandvliet" often thought it was actually because of the velocity of the South Easter which sent sand flying round the farm. Kalden built a house on "Zandvliet" somewhere behind the fine homestead. The original home built by him was believed to be on the west side of the "werf" and there are conflicting reports of what became of this original house. As Alys Fane Trotter remarked: "The oldest buildings of the farm were being pulled down the very day I had made a pilgrimage to draw them." It is recorded that Kalden "spent large sums beautifying the garden with flowers, fruit and greens and practising viticulture". He grazed a large flock of sheep and occupied most of his time with farming activities. It was said that his sheep at "Zandvliet" meant more to him than his spiritual flock. An amusing story is told that once, when preaching at the Cape and hearing the sound of wagon wheels in the street outside, he stopped in the middle of his sermon and called to the clerk: "Prithee, my friend, look out and see whether that is my wine which is going by". Due to his neglect of his church duties Kalden was dismissed from his post and banished in 1708, at the same time as Willem Adriaan van der Stel of Vergelegen.


However, the most important aspect of Kalden's tenure was the arrival in the Cape of Sheikh Joseph. In 1694 Sheikh Joseph, a teacher of the Muslim religion and a man of enormous influence in the East, was exiled from Java to the Cape by officials of the Dutch East India Company. The ship Voetboeg brought him and his retinue of 49 persons to the shores of Table Bay. He was accompanied by two wives, twelve children, followers and friends, attendants and slaves. The Sheikh had a remarkable reputation as a man who combined the qualities of great saintliness and warrior-like valour, and he was also attributed with the power of performing miracles. A traditional belief still held to this day by many Cape Malays is the story that on the long voyage from the East the ship's fresh water  ran out and those on board, fearing that they would perish from thirst, appealed to their leader. Sheikh Joseph dipped his foot in the sea and ordered the crew to fill the casks. Buckets were lowered immediately and came up brimming with fresh water. When the Sheikh arrived at the Cape the Governor, Simon van der Stel, was issued with strict instructions by the Dutch East India Company that the Sheikh and his party were to be afforded absolutely no chance of making contact with ships passing to and from the East, and arrangements were made for the exiled Muslims to be quartered on "Zandvliet". Some rough dwellings were erected but, apart from a small monetary allowance and rations, the Cape authorities left them more or less to their own devices to make some sort of a home for themselves in the sand dunes. Sheikh Joseph, who was 68 years old when he arrived at the Cape, devoted the greater part of his time to the practice of his religion and he died in exile at the age of 73. He was buried on a lonely hillock near the place where he had spent five years of banishment. The original tomb, built within the sound of the sea, was very simple and at one time fell into disrepair. Later the tomb and a piece of the surrounding ground were purchased by the Malay community of Cape Town. Many alterations and improvements have been made over the years and in 1925 a delicate minaret was erected nearby. The importance of Sheikh Joseph as the first person to read the Koran in the Colony must be emphasised and his tomb is a place of pilgrimage for Muslims commemorating a unique piece of history, the introduction of the Muslim faith into South Africa. 

Following the departure of the Rev Kalden in 1708, Michiel Romond acquired the land and in 1710 the farm passed to his son, Gerrit. From 1717 to 1726 it belonged to Johannes Swellengrebel. He was the father of the future Governor, Hendrik. It is an interesting fact that Swellendam is named after this Hendrik Swellengrebel and his wife Helena Willemina ten Damme. While owning "Zandvliet" Swellengrebel added another farm to his holdings. This was Vogelsang, now Zeekoevlei (later owned by the Alderman family) and in 1726 he sold the farms to Willem Pas. After Pas died in 1735 the estate was passed from hand to hand until 1760 when it became part of the vast enterprises of Hendrik Cloete. Although a great deal is written about Hendrik Cloete, "Zandvliet" is rarely mentioned, possibly due to his involvement with Nooigedacht in Stellenbosch and also the development of Groot Constantia, which he acquired in 1778. The purchase of "Zandvliet" could have been seen as providing for his children and it may have served as a home for his family while his other homesteads were being developed. Cloete was described by Lady Anne Barnard as "one of the most opulent men of the Colony" and Mentzel referred to him as "a simple Boer". "It seems very funny," he says "to hear an obscure farmer talk of the monarchs of Europe as his customers. He sums up each one quite unaffectedly as they stand in his books. At the moment the King of Prussia is in greatest favour with him, as he had expressed himself in very complimentary terms with regard to the last shipments of wine, and has paid for them very promptly ......"


The date of the Holbol gable of the chicken house and dovecote is around 1789, which suggest that Hendrik Cloete also developed "Zandvliet" to some degree. Referring to his Will, which bequeaths "Zandvliet" to his fifth son, Rudolph, the mention of porcelain, furniture, crockery and cutlery conjures up the impression that "Zandvliet" was well established. After Rudolph's ownership it was passed to his younger brother Pieter Louwrens and then on to his son, also named Pieter Louwrens, in 1831. He altered the homestead to its Georgian form and the outbuildings received sash windows, plated window mouldings and corrugated iron roofs . His name and the date (1857) were scratched into the glass pane of the study door confirming the above. Part of the development of the homestead is attributed to Rudolph as indicated by the autobiographical memoirs of Petrus Borchards of Stellenbosch in 1861. "Sometimes we visited the well-known place "Zandvliet" and were there received by the owner, Mr Rudolph Cloete, with great hospitality. The strand (beach) of Zwartklip was near and I have there seen in one haul upwards of 3 000 large fish caught and drawn to shore. On the estate was a large lake. The Eerste River supplied an abundance of small fish, namely the carp and a beautiful white silvery fish with red tinted fins". A drawing dated 1857 shows the newly completed "Zandvliet" Georgian homestead and an older homestead set further back. The German inscription in the bottom left hand corner translates as: "May God's thunder and Man's anger avoid this house and may it meet with only peace and joy." Obviously Pieter Louwrens Cloete spent rather too much money on beautifying the farm as his insolvent estate was sold among various people in 1871.


A Johannes Gerhardus Brand appears to have purchased a major portion of "Zandvliet" although no deed of transfer is available to confirm this. Fourteen years later, in November 1885, he sold it to the first member of the FAURE family to own the property, namely Philip FAURE (1845-1901). Philip FAURE was the third son of Jacobus Christiaan FAURE, owner of the neighbouring farm Vergenoegd, which had been, and still is, in the FAURE family since 1820. From this time, "Zandvliet" remained the property of the FAURE family for five generations. Philip FAURE was not only a progressive farmer but also an astute businessman and by early 1900 he had developed "Zandvliet" into an outstanding cattle farm while keeping a consistent production of wine. In 1902 Johannes Albertus FAURE jnr, son of Johannes Albertus FAURE snr (owner of neighbouring Vergenoegd), inherited "Zandvliet" from his bachelor half uncle Philip FAURE.


During JAF's ownership "Zandvliet" continued to flourish and in 1933, on his death, his son, Albertus Johannes FAURE (known as Bertie) inherited the farm. Bertie was responsible for building the new barns on the northern boundary of the werf, the pair of round silos and for replacing the thatch with asbestos roof sheeting on the outbuildings as well as minor alterations to the homestead. Bertie FAURE had three sons and a daughter, Philip, Mousley, Felix and Christine, all of whom live in the Helderberg area. Bertie continued in the family tradition and continued to farm vineyards, dairy and vegetables on "Zandvliet", with his sons Mousley and Felix taking over the day-to-day running of the farm in the early fifties. 


It was a great blow to the family when the Nationalist Government expropriated "Zandvliet" and in 1969 the Community Development Board started drawing up plans for the development of a new residential area, now known as Macassar Township. The purpose of 
this was to accommodate the so-called "Coloureds" of the Hottentots Holland district. As the land initially developed was mainly used as pastures for the sheep and cattle, Mousley leased the property from the Department of Community Development and continued to live in the old Homestead with his wife, Genevieve, and to farm the area closest to the house. However, in 1977, they finally left "Zandvliet" as the thieving of the crops and cattle made it viably impossible to continue farming the property. 


Members of Historic Somerset West and the Simon van der Stel Foundation visited  "Zandvliet" in September 1976 and were shown around the farm by Mousley and Genevieve. Since their departure many studies have been undertaken and reports written on "Zandvliet" with Rey Bridgeman of Somerset West taking an active interest in the property. The National Monuments Council showed an interest in the future of "Zandvliet" werf and its buildings. They corresponded with the Stellenbosch Divisional Council pressing for maintenance programmes and no demolition of existing buildings. This resulted in the Stellenbosch Council appointing architect Gawie Fagan to investigate the possibility of converting the homestead and outbuildings into accommodation and recreational facilities. In 1984 he presented a detailed report with plans for a conference centre with accommodation, a rugby club, spa / sauna, restaurant, sports centre and golf course. Due to the high cost and lack of government funds available this proposal was never proceeded with and during the winter of 1993, due to non-maintenance of a previously erected dyke, the whole area was badly flooded. Sports fields have been developed alongside the werf and an extensive fence has been erected. The old homestead is in a very poor state of repair and is currently housing approximately six squatter families. The outbuildings surrounding the werf have all but disappeared.


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