How it started

About Us

AFTER being forcibly removed from their farm in the 1960s and nearly a decade of frustra- tion and toil, the Solomon family is finally reclaiming their land.
In 1999, the Solomon Family Trust ap- plied to the Land Claims Court for the restoration of their land close to Ladies Mile, Constantia. The land, formally known as Sillery Farm, currently be- longs to the City of Cape Town and the provincial Department of Public Works and has been transformed from a thriving farm into a council dumping site.

History of the Property
I would like to sketch a brief history of the Solomon Family’s tenure on the land in question. In fact, the family also owned vast other properties and farms in the Constantia area, all of which were also lost as a result of the Group Areas Act and other racial legislation and practices which existed in this very area where we are now gathered today, prior to the promulgation of the Group Areas Act itself. There were endorsements on title deeds of prop- erties in this very area restricting occupation, let alone ownership by “any Jew, Asiatic, African Native, Cape Malay or any person who is manifestly a “Coloured” person.
That is the historical background to this area and the property owned by my family. Today it would be termed “ethnic cleansing”.
Hadji Abdullah Solomon and Saba Owen Solomon purchased Lot 10 and Lot 11 of Sillery Farm from the estate of the late Gottwald Heinrich August Albrecht fir the sum of 340 pounds and 600 pounds respectively in 1902 for the purpose of both residing and farming there.
While continuing to reside and farm the property, Saba Owen Solomon subdivided portion 11 into six separate Lots. He then sold these Lots to each of his five children for the nominal sum of 5 pounds each, while Lot 10 re- mained intact.
Besides residing on the land, the respective families were involved in farming

and other economic activities as is set forth in my founding affidavits.
My family was widely respected for its farming abilities and many local White farmers purchased seeds for commercial flower farming from them. The cities top florist’s also purchased their flowers from our farm.
Hadji Taliep Solomon, one of Saba Owens sons (UNCLE RASHAAD MUST THIS NOT BE HADJI ABDULLAH SON – ITS MY OUPA – I SHOULD KNOW?), progressed into being a renowned entrepreneur in the Constantia area. He was one of the few Black farmers who exported grapes through Deciduous Fruit Board (DFB). Such was his farming prowess that he won five medals for is grapes at the Imperial Fruit Show in London. We have picture of the medals which have been encased in a frame and which we are very proud of:
1937 – Silver for Red Hanepoot
1938 – Bronze for White Hanepoot
1939 – Bronze for White Hanepoot Unknown year – Bronze for White Hanepoot Unknown year – Bronze for Raisin Blanc
As entrepreneurs, my family provided employment for dozens of local peo- ple. Those workers who are still alive and members of their family, speak most highly of the fair labour practices and the caring attitude of their former employers.
My family’s unselfish attitude is further manifested by the donation of a large tract of land in Spaanschemaat Road to the Muslim community for use as a cemetery and the mosque is still used by members of the Muslim community.
This property is still registered in the name of my family.
My family enjoyed a high quality of life in Constantia. We were able to eat fruit and vegetable – freshly picked from the farms each day. We made our own cheese and other fresh dairy products were readily available from the farm. The horses and other livestock as well as the open spaces provided a welcome source of recreation for our children.
For those of us like me, who were fortunate enough to have experienced life in Constantia, it is indeed with great sadness that we have to reflect on the history of dispossession and the destruction of a healthy community and fam- ily life by an inhumane system.