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Jan van Riebeeck

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Jan van Riebeeck

Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck (21 April, 161918 January, 1677), was a Dutch colonial administrator. He was born in Culemborg in the Netherlands as the son of a surgeon. He grew up in Schiedam, where he married Maria de la Quellerie on 28 March 1649. She died in Malacca, in what is now Malaysia, on 2 November 1664, at the age of 35.

Joining the Dutch East India Company (VOC), he served as an assistant surgeon in the East Indies, then undertook (in 1651) the command of the initial Dutch settlement in the future South Africa. He landed at the future Cape Town on 6 April 1652 and fortified the site as a way-station for the VOC Asian trade route. He reported the first comet discovered from South Africa, C/1652 Y1, which was spotted on December 17, 1652 (most likely not "discovered" by him, but his report is the only one surviving).

He died at Batavia on Java in 1677.

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