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Dan Sleigh
Dan Sleigh talking to Erika Murray-Theron during Sanlam-Insig Prize Awards 2007
Photo: Die Burger

Dan Sleigh

Historian, novelist, conservationist

Daniel Sleigh was born on 3 November 1938 on the farm Geelbeksfontein, near Langebaan. He did his national service in the South African Navy and then worked as a fisherman, truck driver, bank clerk and barman, before studying to become a Physical Education teacher at the Paarl Training College. He taught at, amongst others, Mariental High School in Namibia and Marist Brothers College in Rondebosch.
In 1969 he completed a BA Degree at the University of South Africa, majoring in History and English. This was followed by a MA (cum laude) (1983) and PhD in History (1987) at Stellenbosch University. His supervisors were professors Dirk Kotze and D.J. van Zyl. His field of study is the Dutch Seaborne Empire (1602-1795), specialising in the first Dutch colonial period at the Cape with particular emphasis on the establishment of a maritime replenishment service and its influence on the indigenous people.
Dan Sleigh became deputy head of the Cape Education Department's Teachers' Centre for in-service training, then Head of the Education Museum, Head of the Centre for Conservation Education and finally Provincial Co-ordinator for Conservation Education for the Western Cape Education Department, from which he retired in 1996.
After retiring he worked at the Cape Archives as an editor on the Tanap project (TANAP: Towards a New Age of Partnership, a Dutch/Asian/South African programme of co-operation) that transcribed VOC manuscripts into a world wide data base. he transcribed the VOC archives world wide into a data base.
He married Dewetia Hendriksz, an artist and Art lecturer at the Cape Town Teachers College and Ruth Prowse Art Centre in 1966. They lived in Pinelands and have a daughter, Jean. Dewetia passed away in 2006.
Apart from academic and public lectures, Dan Sleigh took part in radio talks and TV programmes. He was editor and translator for the Van Riebeeck Society series in 2003 and is editor of the Castle Military Museum series on Cape Military history.
Field of study: The Dutch Seaborne Empire (1602-1795)
Dan Sleigh was editor and translator for Van Riebeeck Society series in 2003 and is editor of the Castle Military Museum series Cape Military history. He is a now a freelance researcher and consultant on Cape History to various organisations.
Languages: English, Afrikaans, Dutch. Reading French and German.
Sports: Sailing, Rugby (centre and wing), Cricket (left hand bat and leg spin bowler.)
Hobbies: Collecting and building ships in bottles.

Memberships of Conservation and Cultural Organisations:
VOC Foundation (Secretary), Society of Archivists, SA Cultural History Society, SA Military History Society, Simon van der Stel Foundation (Life Member), Friends of Mostert's Mill, Jakkalsfontein Nature Reserve (ex-Director), SA Museums Association (Corporate Member), National Monuments Council (Western Cape): Regional Committee Member, Cape Town City Council Committee for Street Names.


a) Literature:
*For the novel Eilande: the Sanlam/Insig Prize 2001, the WA Hofmeyr Prize 2003, RAU - prize 2003, M-Net prize, 2003, Helgaard Steyn Prize 2004. Three international nominations. Included in P. Boxall (ed.): 1001 books you must read before you die. London, 2006.
*For Afstande: SA Literary Award, 2011
*For Wals met Matilda: Groot Romanwedstryd 2001, the W.A. Hofmeyr Prize 2003, RAU-prize 2003, M-Net prize, 2003 and the ATKV prize, 2012
*For 1795: Groot Romanwedstryd, 2015, the W.A. Hofmeyr prize 2017, the ATKV Award 2017
*SA Literary Award 2018
*A Life Achievement Award (NP van Wyk Louw award) by the FAKNP, 2017
b) Conservation:
*Simon van der Stel Medal (gold), 1998
*Molteno Medal of the Cape Centenary Foundation (gold), 2002
*Minister for Cultural Affairs' Award for National and International Contribution, 2011
c) History:
*SA Academy Medal for History, 2007
*Prijse Caemer die Haghe, 2012
*Ridder in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau (Dutch knighthood), 2012
*A Life Achievement Award by the SA Military History Society, 2017

Numerous articles on History and Cultural History for magazines and newspapers
1. Poetry:
Duif oor water, 1974.

2. Novels for the schools market:
Die nege-maande-mars, 1972
'n Man om te hardloop, 1973
Tussen twee vlae, 1974
Fort Lijdzaamheid, 1975
Sersant Barodien, Kaapse Korps, 1977
'n Kanon vir Barbier, 1978
Anselm en die Jut, 1979
Vryburger Tas, 1979

3. Novels:
Eilande, 2001. English: Islands, 2004. Dutch: Stemmen uit Zee, 2004
Afstande, 2010. Dutch: Afstanden, 2012
Wals met Matilda, 2011
1795, 2016

4. History:
Jan Compagnie: The world of the Dutch East India Company, 1980
Jan Kompanjie: Die wêreld van die VOC, 1980
Die Hugenote, (with A. Grant and R. Mayo) 1988
The Huguenots, (with A. Grant and R. Mayo) 1988
The Forts of the Liesbeek Frontier, 1996
Ruiters teen die Ryk, 1979
They rode against an Empire, 1999
Die Buiteposte. Buiteposte van die VOC onder Kaapse bestuur, 1652-1795. (1993)
Die aanslag op die slaweskip Meermin,1766 (with Piet Westra), 2012
The taking of the slaver Meermin, 1766 (with Piet Westra), 2014
Contributor to B. Brommer (red.): De Grote Atlas van de VOC, deel V (Africa). Utrecht, 2009

Dan Sleigh with daughter Dan Sleigh Dan Sleigh with Piet Westra
DS with daughter Jean, with Helena Scheffler, with Piet Westra,

Dan Sleigh with Riana Barnard and Dorothea van Zyl
with Riana Barnard and Dorothea van Zyl, May 2015


Information provided by Dan Sleigh, February 2016

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