The earliest recorded reference to ownership in South African law occurs just five years or so after the servants of the Dutch East India Company waded ashore in Table Bay on 9 April 1652 to found a European settlement at the Cape of Good Hope. In the journal kept by the commander of the settlement it is noted on 21 February 1657 that grants of land are to be made to certain men ‘in vollen eygendom’. Thereafter, title deeds were issued. This chapter discusses the historical development of eygendom in South African law.
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