Adam Kok II, Griqua chief, dies at the Berg River

Saturday, 12 September 1835

Adam Kok II, a Griqua chief, was born in Namaqualand in around 1760. He was the eldest son of Cornelius Kok I, and the grandson of Adam Kok I. Adam Kok II, also known as Dam, was recognised as the chief of all Griquas by the Governor, the Earl of Caledon. However, even though Kok had received a staff of office, it meant very little in the Griqua area of Klaarwater, as Barend Barends also exercised his own authority in the region.

In 1820, Adam Kok II left Griquatown, and was succeeded by Andries Waterboer. However, he later came into prominence again in 1823, when the Griquas were persuaded by Robert Moffat to assist the Bechuanas, who were threatened by the Mantati.

Together with his brother Cornelis, Waterboer and Barends, they defeated the Mantati, and it is believed that Kok himself played a major role in the conflict. After his success, Kok returned to Campbell, but later abdicated in favour of his younger brother, Cornelis Kok II. After this, Kok continued to roam the region, where he gathered a following.

He was later convinced to settle at Phillipolis by Dr. John Phillip, but died on 12 September 1835 at the Berg River, after an unsuccessful attempt in Cape Town to interview Gov. Sir Benjamin D'Urban, who was on the eastern frontier at the time.

References:
• Kruger, D.W. (ed) (1972). Dictionary of South African Biography, Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council, v. 4, p. 286
• Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds) (1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v.6, p. 430.

Last updated : 11-Sep-2013

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011