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Of the approximately 176,000 Indians of all faiths who were transported to the Natal province, almost 7-10% of the first shipment were Muslims.
The third phase has been marked - post apartheid – by the wave of African Muslims that have arrived on the shores and borders of South Africa.
Jan Van Riebeeck had requested that the Mardyckers be sent to the Cape as a labour force.
The Mardyckers were prohibited from openly practising their religion: Islam.
Recent figures put the number at approximately at 75-100 000.
Added to this are a considerable number of Muslims from the Indo-Pak subcontinent that have arrived as economic migrants.
as slaves including those who waged Jihad in the Dutch colonies.
The first recorded arrival of free Muslims known as Mardyckers is in 1658. The Mardyckers were people from Amboyna in the southern Moluccas and were brought to the Cape in order to defend the newly established settlement against the indigenous people, and also to provide labour in the same way that they had been employed at home, first by the Portuguese and later by the Dutch, in Amboyna.
The second phase was the arrival of Indians as indentured laborers to work in the sugar-cane fields in Natal between 18, and again from 1874 to 1911.
The first phase brought the earliest Muslims as part of the involuntary migration of slaves, political prisoners and political exiles from Africa and Asia (mainly from the Indonesian archipelago) that lasted from about 1652 to the mid-1800s.