THE HISTORY OF SHALIMPO
David de Waal - full name David Christiaan de Waal - was a well-known personality in Cape Town society and politics in the late 19th century; by 1877 he was elected to the Cape Town City Council, and served a term as Mayor of the City from 1879 to 1880. It was in July of 1880 that Cecil John Rhodes was appointed Premier of The Cape Colony. Since both David de Waal and Rhodes were by then members of the Cape Parliament, they became acquaintances and friends. When Rhodes decided to visit Bechuanaland and Matabeleland later that year, he invited David to accompany him. At about this time Rhodes had formed the Chartered Company, also registered as The British South African Company, to handle the sole mineral concessions he had obtained from King Khama of Bechuanaland and King Lobengula of Matabeleland. As today the U.S. has set up a military presence in many of the world's oilfields, so Rhodes established British military camps, notably on the Motloutse River and at Fort Tuli, to "safeguard" his mineral concessions.
Thus it happened that David de Waal and Rhodes met with King Khama at a place by the name of Malalola, and then accompanied him to his place of residence at Palapye. From there the Rhodes party's trek must have crossed what is today part of Notugre, from the Motloutse to Fort Tuli, where they arrived on the 1st of November 1890. David de Waal could not have guessed that one of his granddaughters, Margaret de Waal-Davies, would marry a certain Willem Coetzer (William Bedford Coetzer), and that Willem would also travel to the Land of Tuli and peg out a piece of land for himself and his family in its most beautiful eastern corner, at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers (Margaret and Willem had met when they both worked in the old Provincial Administration Building on Whale Street in Cape Town). Not long after Willem and his family's move from the Cape to Johannesburg in the early 1940's, Willem met Kaalkop van der Merwe, an attorney and farmer from Heilbron and a business associate. Kaalkop introduced Willem to the Northern Tuli Block where in the mid 40's Willem acquired a farm adjacent to Kaalkop's farm "Safari" bordering on the Tuli Circle. It was at this time that Willem heard of, and became interested in, that wild and abandoned peace of bush at the confluence of the two great rivers, the Shashe and the Limpopo, The Charter Reserve.
It was a veritable no-man's land, and the islands at the "toon" (Afrikaans for toe - so called after the shape of this terminal eastern part of what was then still the Bechuanaland Protectorate) were rumoured to be the refuge of many a poacher since it was believed to be neither part of Bechuanaland, South Africa, or the then Southern Rhodesia. Willem Coetzer, Kaalkop van der Merwe and Marius Jooste (a Free State teacher who had moved into the Johannesburg Afrikaans newspaper business) put their heads together and with the assistance of Maruis Jooste's elder brother Gerhard, who was then South African High Commissioner in London, secured a long term lease of the approximate 16 000 morgen constituting the whole of the Charter Reserve, from the Bechuanaland Protectorate, and the British South Africa Company (circa 1950).
In the early 1960's the three lessees were given the opportunity to buy the Charter Reserve; the threesome formed the Charter Company (Pty) Ltd. and the purchase was made. Soon after a number of friends and business associates were invited as shareholders, the Reserve was divided in six portions, and individual title distributed to six owners. So it came about that Willem Coetzer received Deed of Transfer of Portion 3 of the farm Charter Reserve in August of 1965. By good fortune this was that most eastern portion of the Charter Reserve bordered by the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers. Willem Coetzer passed onwards in September of 1989. His last will and testament left his farm, which had by that time been named "Shalimpo", to his family trust which he had created in 1984, so that today The W B Coetzer Trust is the registered owner of Shalimpo. Through the years, from circa 1950, Willem and Margaret Coetzer's children and grandchildren have had the privilege to enjoy many wonderful and magical times on the farm, and many memories of many happenings and experiences, and some hard work as well, too numerous to record here.
~ by Dr. Hendrik Coetzer