Jan van Riebeeck, Dutch colonial administrator and first commander of the colony at the Cape of Good Hope, is born

Sunday, 21 April 1619

Founder of and first commander of Cape Town,Johan Anthoniszoon van Riebeeck, was born in Culemborg in the Netherlands on 21 April 1619.

An administrator for the Dutch East India Company (DEIC), van Riebeeck landed at the southern tip of Africa on 6 April 1652 in order to create a settlement for the DEIC. His arrival therefore opened South Africa for white settlement.

Van Riebeeck remains a prominent figure in the early history of colonial South Africa, and he was commander of the colony at the Cape of Good Hope from 1652 until 1662.

References:
• Encyclopaedia Britannica, Jan van Riebeeck, [online], Available at: www.britannica.com [Accessed: 16 April 2014]
• Giliomee et al. (2007), New History of South Africa. Tafelberg Publishers: Cape Town. pg 42.

Last updated : 16-Apr-2014

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