The Voortrekkers
The British hang six farmers at Slagters Nek.
The Slagters Nek Hangings
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The Final Straw

voortrekkersMatters came to a head in 1815 near Graaff Reinet. Soldiers were dispatched to arrest one Frederick Bezuidenhout who had for two years failed to answer allegations against him by a former servant. Apart from disputing the allegations, Bezuidenhout was riddled with gout and could not ride a horse.

A skirmish ensued during which Bezuidenhout was killed. At his graveside his brother Johannes vowed to rid the country of the tyrants. Abraham Bothma's father (right) was hanged at Slagter's Nek.


Slagters Nek

A minor rebellion followed during which Johannes was also killed. Of his followers who surrendered, five were condemned to death at Slagter's (Butcher's) Nek (above). At the public execution, four of the ropes failed and riems (thongs) from a nearby wagon had to be used to hang the remaining four at the second attempt.

The men were condemned to death although no one had been shot. Despite the fact that the condemning judge was Dutch, this episode outraged the Dutch and marked a turning point in Afrikaner history.

Next . . . Yet another border war