11 November 2012

Slagtersnek monument

The next town on the R63 is Cookhouse.  It is about 30 kilometers from Bedford.  We decided not to stop here but we made a wrong turn and landed on the N10.  This turned out to be a good mistake because the N10 road took us past the Slagtersnek Monument.
To understand this monument I first need to give some history of the Slagtersnek Rebellion.

Frederik Bezuidenhout suspected his worker of theft and did not pay him.  The worker complained at the magistrate and Frederik was summoned to appear in court.  He did not appear and after a second summon went to hide in a cave.  He was found and during the arrest he was shot and killed by a soldier.

Frederik’s brother Hans wanted revenge and together with other farmers started to plan an uprising against the British government. In November 1815 the rebel group met the British forces at Slagtersnek.  The rebels were outnumbered and surrendered without a fight. Frederik’s brother was the only one that resisted and was killed.

On 20 Jan 1816 five of the rebels were sentenced to death while the remaining rebels were acquitted.  The executions took place on 9 March 1816.  When being hanged four of the five nooses broke.  The public pleaded for the lives of the 4 men but they were hanged a second time, one by one.

On 9 March 1916, 100 years after the executions, this monument was unveiled on the spot where the hanging took place.

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About 10 km after we made the wrong turn in Cookhouse we saw a sign showing the R63 and we could get back on the correct road.  The detour turned out interesting but I was a bit worried while we were on lost.

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