Magistrate Starrenburg arrested Adam Tas because of the role he played in drawing up a petition for the Cape burghers against the incumbent Governor W. A. van der Stel and other farming officials. The Tas petition was submitted to the Lords Seventeen, the governing body of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), in Amsterdam. Tas and his fellow free burghers were protesting against the corruption and extravagant lifestyle of Van der Stel and the fact that abuse of power by officials led to unfair competition with burghers. From documents in the desk of Tas, Van der Stel established the nature of complaints against him and also the names of the dissatisfied burghers. Though several more burghers were arrested and punished, they were victorious at the end, when the Lords Seventeen in October 1706 categorically prohibited officials to own land or to trade.
• Muller, C.F.J. (ed)(1981). Five Hundred years: a history of South Africa; 3rd rev. ed., Pretoria: Academica, p. 48.
• Joyce, P. (1999). A Concise Dictionary of South African Biography, Cape Town: Francolin.
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