Stories and Traveltips

ID #5004

Naming of Goliatskraal, Graaff-Reinet, Karoo, Eastern Cape.

In an attempt to escape British rule, a Voortrekker party led by Jacobus Potgieter trekked from “Addobos” (Addo) in 1819 in 102 wagons. They passed through Graaff-Reinet but were forced to spend several weeks in the district because, amongst other things, they had to build a road over Naudesberg.  They were accompanied by large numbers of sheep and cattle, which were cared for by shepherds, one of whom was named Goliat (Goliath).

While watching over the flocks, he noticed a beehive in the cliff above. Planning to rob the hive, he fashioned wooden pegs to insert into a crevice in the rock to create a stepladder. Hammering in peg after peg, he was able to climb the “krantz” (cliff). Eventually he reached the hive, where he created smoke to passivate the bees. Cutting the combs, he packed them into a container.

To maintain his balance, he wedged his elbow into the crevice. Unfortunately, he selected a weak peg on which to rest his weight. It collapsed and the container fell to the ground, while he remained suspended from his elbow, powerless to free himself as the bees attacked.  Apparently his skeleton hung there for many years before it was found.  It is more powerful in Afrikaans: Sy geraamte het daar vir baie jare gehang. The hill was named Goliatskop because of this misadventure.

Goliatskraal is on the N9 a few kilometers north of Graaff-Reinet, which is on the N9 south of Middelburg, which is at the intersection of the N9 with the N10. JD Parsons. ASNagol

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Last update: 2014-05-14 01:45
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.1

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