Sam !khubis Victims Are Not Forgotten

Baster families came from far and wide to recall the Sam !Khubis vow taken 100 years ago to praise God Almighty on May 8 each year.

Around the campfires and at the podium they gave praise and sung hymns for the divine wonders that miraculously saved their forefathers from certain death at the hands of the ruthless imperialist German army.

Many harrowing tales were narrated of what happened 100 years ago, including about the baby that was shot dead while being breastfed.

Young mothers also died while holding babies they were carrying on their backs.

But when the name of Frederick van Wyk as one of the heroes was mentioned at the Sam !Khubis Centenary commemoration, 98-year-old Sofia van Wyk, who married a Bezuidenhout, softly whispered that the informer who saved many lives at the hands of the German soldiers was indeed her father.

As the eldest daughter, still very much alive, she narrated the story as told by her peers over the years.

New Era listened closely as the voice was soft with pauses of taking a breather as the memories still brought tears to her eyes.

She said the baby boy that was shot dead in the arms of the aunt at Garies was her baby brother Christoffel van Wyk.

Grandmother Sofia told the story about the night and day following the attack.

Her father Frederick apparently was trusted by the Germans as he was the one that took confidential information between the various offices.

On the dreaded day he was instructed to keep a watchful eye on the women the Germans had taken into solitary holding.

After listening in to some of the conversations between the Germans, Van Wyk heard about their plans and slipped out quietly to mount his horse and speed towards Sam !Khubis to warn the Basters about the planned attack.

As he rode his horse the Germans opened fire but he kept on riding. However, a few hundred metres away a few shots fell the horse but Van Wyk managed to jump off as the animal hit the ground.

The elderly Sofia said her father was fast on his feet and ran like an ostrich, zigzagging left and right as he made his way to escape the chasing soldiers.

“He ran so fast even their horsemen could not catch up with him,” she proudly laughed.

He managed to reach his compatriots at Sam !Khubis and the Basters made quick arrangements to hide in the surrounding rocky hills as the Germans fast approached and fired on them.

She said it is normally quite an emotional time when the folk start recalling the happenings at Sam !Khubis each year.

The Van Wyk family was part of the 90 families from De Tuine in the Northern Cape that settled in Rehoboth. The battle of Sam !Khubis took place between the !Khubis mountains southwest of Rehoboth and the road to Klein-Aub.

Source : New Era