airportnamechange@chand.co.za Corporate.Affairs@airports.co.za
South Africa

Tuan Yusuf of Macassar

In the late 1600s many Muslim men of wealth and influence were banished to the Cape from their homeland in the East because the Dutch feared them as a threat to their political and economic hegemony. The first political exiles or Orang Cayen were the rulers of Sumatra. Shaykh Yusuf of Macassar is the best known of the Orang Cayen.

Shaykh Yusuf ['Abidin Tadia Tjoessoep] was born in 1626 of noble birth in Goa in the East Indies. He fought alongside and supported Sultan Ajung of Bantam, Goa, in his war against the Dutch. Twice Sheikh Yusuf escaped from Dutch custody in the East, but was finally persuaded in 1694 to surrender on the promise of a pardon. The Dutch did not fulfill their promise and Sheikh Yusuf was banished, along with his family and followers, to the Castle in Batavia from where he was transferred, under armed guard, to the Castle in Colombo, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka]. Fearing Sheikh Yusuf's influence in Ceylon the Dutch exiled him to the Cape of Good Hope ten years after his initial surrender.

The Sheikh arrived on board `De Voetboog' on April 02, 1694 along with his entourage of 49 which included his two wives [Carecontoe and Carepane], two slave girls [Mu'minah and Na'imah], 12 children, 12 imams [religious leaders] and several friends with their families. He was royally welcomed by Governor Simon van der Stel at the Cape. They were moved to a farm in Zandvleit, near the mouth of the Eerste River in the Cape, on June 14, 1694. The Company's attempt to isolate Sheikh Yusuf at Zandvleit did not succeed. On the contrary, Zandvleit turned out to be the rallying point for `fugitive' slaves and other exiles from the East. It was here that the first cohesive Muslim community in South Africa was established. Since many of the Sheikh's followers hailed from Macassar, the district around Zandvleit is still known today as Macassar.

Sheikh Yusuf is regarded, by many, as the founder of the Islamic faith in the Cape. He died in Zandvliet on 23 May 1699. His Kramat has been a place of pilgrimage ever since.

This was the first resistance movement in this land South Africa against colonialism oppression , spearheaded by Tuan Yusuf from Macassar Kaap de Goede Hoop

Good Day

We the undersigned are requesting the renaming of Cape Town International Airport to Tuan Yusuf International Airport. We seek acknowledgement as the slave descendants by the renaming of our airport to Tuan Yusuf International who was forcefully brought to Cape Town as an exiled freedom fighter.

The history on exploitation of Cape slave Descendants has long not been given the proper exposure and this step to acknowledge Cape slave descendants woud be seen as a symbolic act of acknowledgement for our sacrifices to resist colonialists oppression and our contribution to lay the foundations of this great nation South Africa today.

Please add your support as a proud Cape slave descendant by completing the petition and rallying support for our history and showing our legacy is still going strong in the Western Cape Province

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The Tuan Yusuf International Airport petition to airportnamechange@chand.co.za Corporate.Affairs@airports.co.za was written by Cape of Storms News and Updates and is in the category Culture at GoPetition.