IN TRADITIONAL OPHIR LAND 61
rudely bunched as Bushmen.1
There was endless wrangling and fighting among the tribes, regardless
of any common flow of blood, and the Bantus and Hottentots were
continually clashing like wildcats. Their only union was in their hate
of the Bushmen, who were hunted from cover to cover, to hide in
crevices in the rocks or in holes in the desert sand, from which they
might sally, wasplike, with the deadly sting of their poison-tipped
view of the repulsive face of the South African coast lands it is not
surprising that Francis Drake and many other bold voyagers circled the
Cape of Good Hope without landing to seek for traditional treasures.
But with the opening of the seventeenth century, Table Bay became a
regular stopping place and refitting station for the ships of the
English East India Company. For twenty years this slight hold on the
continent was maintained, but it was so lightly prized that it was
dropped in 1620 by a shift of the station to St. Helena. Thirty-two
years later the Dutch East India Company took formal possession of the
Cape and its adjoining bay without any challenging protest, and built
their fort Good Hope as the first stronghold of the Dutch dominion in
southern Africa. With this foundation the search for the golden realm
of Monomotapa was vigorously and persistently revived.
Jan van Riebeeck, the leader of the Dutch colonizing expedition and the first commandant of the fort and settlement at
1 "South Africa," George McCall Theal, London, 1888-1893. "South African Tribes," Sutherland.