Van Riebeeck’s Hedge in Cape Town
By Contested Histories Initiative •
Jan van Riebeeck arrived at Cape of Good Hope in 1652. His mission was to create a station for the Dutch East India Company’s ships. This meant colonising the lands inhabited by the Khoikhoi. To keep them from accessing his land, van Riebeeck planted a wild almond hedge. The hedge was declared in 1936 a National Monument, but since 2001 it has been the object of vandalism. For some, it means a physical and metaphorical segregation border in South Africa. This case offers an overview and analysis of the different processes and decision-making around van Riebeeck’s hedge.