The Daffnee Family

Plot 6

Mother: Katrina Daffnee (nee Kriel)
Father: Frans Daffnee
Had 8 children:Sarie - Deceased
Krisjan - Deceased
* Katrina Alleta Samuels (Annet) - Living
Stefanus - Deceased
Sampie - Living
Doretia - Living
Maria - Living
Hermanus - Living
The Daffnee family come from the Overberg area of Caledon. Oupa Frans Daffnee came to Malmesbury to work on the roads as a labourer before settling down in Oukloof.
Katrina and Frans Daffnee together with their 8 children lived in a two roomed house on the banks of the canal on plot 6. Frans Daffnee spent a lot of time away from home working on the railway lines clearing rubble.

Alleta Samuels (Annet) was 10 years old when her family was evicted from Oukloof.

Extract from Alleta (Annet) Samuels interview:

“I was born in Oukloof and my parents were also born in Oukloof. My mother’s house was situated against the canal that ran through Oukloof. There was a spacious yard with a green lawn running down to the sloot [canal]. By my ouma’s house was a big tree that we liked to play in. There was no need for us to play in the streets. Opposite my ouma’s house was a field with the reservoir where people collected water and the children played.

My mother had a two roomed house but it was spacious. If she had money she could have built herself a mansion on that yard. In the kitchen she had a wood burning stove with a chimney and under the window stood a table with chairs. On the other side of the kitchen was another table. That was her table that she used for cooking and baking. Nobody else was allowed to use that table. She was very precise person. Everything was always on its place. The boys could wear what they wanted but for us girls, we had to wear matching outfits and I wasn’t impressed with that. My mother taught Sunday school and my father was a deacon in the church.

I went to the little red brick school here at the bottom. In summer it was fine to walk down but in winter it was a nightmare. My brother covered our feet with cardboard boxes just to keep the cold out because we didn’t have shoes. If we had shoes it was only for church and then we wore them with bobby socks. When we came out of church we had to change back into our house clothes.

We would go and collect water by the reservoir. Oom David Goedeman always opened the tap in the morning for a couple of hours and then again at 4 o’clock in the evening.

The rest of the town had electricity but in Oukloof we were still using oil lamps. My mother had glass lamps with brass stands and the children were responsible for cleaning them everyday. As kids we worked hard. We were up early on Friday mornings to get fresh cow dung. We always looked for the cow with its tail in the air, then we knew fresh dung was on its way. The dung was mixed with water and sat in the bucket while we went to school. When we got home all the furniture had to be moved out of the house and then we’d coat the floor with the dung mixture. Not with a cloth, with our hands. Nobody was allowed in until it was dry and once it dried, the house smelt fresh. The cow dung also kept the flies away.

The people in Oukloof used to buy the 10kg Bokomo flour bags. Once the bags were empty, they bleached out the print and sewed a couple of bags together to form a mattress. We’d use straw to fill the bags until it was firm without any lumps and the children rolled on it until it was level. That is what went on the beds. My mother even made bedding from those flour bags. Everything that could be used was used.

The day of the move we were at school. As we were leaving to walk up to Oukloof they told us to come to this area because my parents had already moved down. We had to search for the house because we weren’t familiar with this area. Our parents had to fit the move in with their work schedule and that is why they moved during the morning.

For me the first couple of days here was fine because we were close to the school, but when it came to going to the shops, we had to walk all that way up this road with the shopping list. Sometimes it was so hot and sometimes it was so cold. The old people would put a hat on our heads and spat on the ground saying “… you must be home by the time the spit dries”.

If we lived in the Oukloof all the children could have built homes for themselves on my mother’s property. Here in Esterhof we are not allowed to build as we please. Many of the people that have been born here are battling to get a house.

There will be nothing in the museum about the Oukloof because as you can see there is nothing left on that piece of land. They removed everything and replaced it with a vineyard. There is no sign of us there. There are many of the old people who should be acknowledged for their contribution, like Ouma Maria Valentyne who was the midwife and delivered most of the children in Oukloof.

I have to drive down Hermon Street to get out of this town. I always tell my children to look to the right, this is where we lived, now there is just a vineyard.”