dirk ligterDirk Ligter a renowned stock theif  of a singularly engaging temperament and with characteristics all his own, who became a legendary figure in Afrikaans literature. He is believed to have been born in the vicinity of Clanwilliam (or somewhat farther north) some time in the 1885, and to have been of Mozambique native and Bushman extraction. It is presumed that he died of TB in Somerset Hospital not far from the Breakwater prison where he spent some time. Most of what is known about him, based on accounts of farmers in the districts of Clanwilliam and Ceres, is to be found in a fictionalised form in Boplaas (1938) by Boerneef (I. W. van der Merwe). The historical accuracy of the details narrated in these anecdotes cannot be assumed, but in broad outline they are undoubtedly founded on fact. Basically Dirk Ligter was a good-natured, hard-working farm-hand; but he was of a restless disposition and could not resist the lure of the wide open spaces and the adventurous life of the wanderer. Neither could he resist the temptation of a fat wether. But he was always prepared to receive punishment for such a transgression, and according to accounts sometimes surrendered himself voluntarily to the law. He was untiring on his feet and it was said that he could outrun a horse. What made his running exploits so remarkable was that he ran fully and neatly attired in the merciless Karoo sun, with a jaunty feather in his turned-up hat, and a guitar or mouth-organ at his side.

Ackowledgement:  ViaAfrika