The Huguenots of South Africa in documents and commemoration

  • P. Coertzen Stellenbosch University
Keywords: Huguenots, French Refugees, Freedom of religion, Freedom of conscience, Allegorical image, Commemorations


This article is about the image of the Huguenots of South Africa that we find in documents and how they were commemorated in South Africa. The article proposes inter alia to investigate when the first anniversary of the Huguenots in South Africa occurred and when the name “Huguenot” gained acceptance in South Africa. It also tries to answer the question what the real contribution of the Huguenots to South Africa was. This is done against the background of the statement that Afrikaans speaking people merely created the “myth” of the Huguenots for their own identity, notably in 1994 after losing the leadership in the government of the country. The article shows that the contribution of the Huguenots to South Africa and its people is much more comprehensive and material.