Amsterdam is a small sheep farming town in Mpumalanga, South
Africa. Other than large sheep farms, there are large plantations of gum,
pine and wattle trees in the area. The town also lies close to the border
with Swaziland. The town, some 77 km east of Ermelo. Part of a Scottish
settlement established by Alexander McCorkindale, it was proclaimed a town
in June 1881. At first called Roburnial the name was changed on 5 July 1882
to Amsterdam, after the Dutch city where the State Secretary, Eduard Bok,
was born, and out of gratitude for Dutch sympathy during the First
Anglo-Boer War (1880-1881).
This was the home of Oom Chaart who was a local farmer and well
known Boer in the town. He was tall, had a black beard and he wore short brown
trousers 'wif a beld' as well as a pair of brown 'boer' farming shoes that were
used to stomp the 'bleddy rats'. Oom Chart was feared by the local community as
well as visitors from other small towns. He was made famous in the community by
his phrase: "I will knock you off your birth certificate".