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he town of Stellenbosch was founded in 1697 and from the date of the appointment of the first Landdrost in 1685, the local citizens or free burghers (as opposed to the employees of the Dutch East India Company) were organised into mounted and infantry units knows as burgher commandos. These commandos had to go to Cape Town once a year for military training. As early as 1703 however the military officers of the burgher cavalry and infantry of Stellenbosch and Drakenstein requested permission to train inStellenbosch. It seems likely therefore that already in that year or even earlier the square in front of the V.O.C. Kruithuis knows as the Braak was being used for military exercises. Powder lead and flint were supplied to the inhabitants of Stellenbosch from the Company’s magazine in Cape Town since before 1684. During the first quarter of the 18th century the annual allowance was 150 pounds of gunpowder 100 pounds of lead bullets and 300 flintlock stones. This was delivered at the end of September each year for distribution to the commandos. In the turbulent days of the last quarter of the 18th century the Governor and the Political Council of Cape Town came to the conclusion that it was desirable to store ammunition atStellenbosch.”

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