I‘m burned out and starving to death, so I’m just going to lay this all upon you and trust that you are a visionary reader, because the grand design, such as it is, is going to be very hard for you to see …
I know you are interested in my ancestors, so maybe this should begin in the very beginning, in the year 1688, when a lone Malan named Jacques stepped ashore at the foot of Table Mountain. Jacques was a French Huguenot. He’d fled France to avoid being put to the sword for his Protestantism and sought refuge in Holland. The Dutch sent him and 155 fellow Frenchmen to their fledgling colony at the Cape of Good Hope. He was the first Malan. In the three centuries since, a Malan has been present at all the great dramas and turning points in the history of the Afrikaner tribe.
Jacques settled the Cape and planted vineyards. His grandson, Dawid, ran off to the wild frontier, where he fought the savage Xhosa and took part in the first Afrikaner uprising against the British, the Slagtersnek Rebellion of 1815. Hercules, son of Dawid, led a party of Voortrekkers into the heart of Africa in 1838. He was murdered by the treacherous Zulu king Dingaan, a stake driven up his anus, his skull smashed with stones, and his body left on a hill for the vultures. His brother Jacob was there at the Battle of Blood River, where, in covenant with God, 500 Afrikaners smote the mighty Zulu foe. Later, Jacob himself fell in battle, but his sons lived on. They drove inland across mountains, smashed the tribes on the high plains, and established ‘democratic’ Boer republics on their conquered land.