A descendant of Jan van Riebeeck's interpreter has applied for a court interdict to prevent Die Burger from using the term 'boesman' any more, saying it is hurtful, according to a report by Nashira Davids in the Sunday Times.


Kobus Faasen was born into a staunch Afrikaner family in KwaZulu-Natal and raised in a small “racist” community.

He took offence to the word boesman, even before tracing his bloodline to Jan van Riebeeck’s interpreter , Krotoa.

Faasen first objected to seeing the word published in Die Burger, a daily Afrikaans newspaper, in 2004.

This week , he crossed swords with the newspaper in the Equality Court over its continued use of the word.

He turned to the Equality Court in Cape Town for help, after complaints he had directed to the Press Ombudsman, the Human Rights Commission (and even a charge of crimen injuria laid with the police) were all dismissed.

He wants the court to prevent the newspaper — or interdict them — from publishing the word again.

Faasen, who works at the Western Cape Archives on Record Services as a transcriber, and has an honours degree in history and Afrikaans from the University of Stellenbosch, discovered that he is a direct descendant of Krotoa.

She was the first to get permission to marry a Dutch citizen, Pieter van Meerhof. They had three children but shortly after his death, she too died. She was 31.

“My father was a police officer and my mother a nurse. I grew up as an Afrikaner but always felt uncomfortable when people were called Hotnot or boesman. Only when I started working at the archives, I rediscovered my identity. I am slave — Khoisan, Dutch, French and German. I am very, very proud of my history. There are many other Afrikaans families who are descendants of Krotoa,” he said.

Click here to read the full report, posted on the Sunday Times website.