Pierre Henri Nortje aka P.H. Nortje - Cape Town Coin Dealer and a fraud

Balson has posted this page to defend the integrity of South African numismatics and does so without hesitation in the best interests of his hobby.

The Nortje lies.... exposing the research fraud and now Nortje is stuck in a web of his own making:


In the fourth quarter of 2015 Balson was alerted by several South African numismatists to the fact that a coin dealer in Cape Town, Pierre Henri Nortje, was refering to him in the BidorBuy public coin forum as a fraud, liar and that his 30 years of lifetime research into the Griqua history was not to be trusted. (BidorBuy is an online auction house based in South Africa). This event happened shortly after Morgan Carroll released his 2015/6 South African Coin Catalogue which refuted Hern's claims in his earlier coin catalogues that the Griquatown tokens circulated. Carroll omitted the Griquatown tokens and added the Strachan tokens as S Africa's first widely circulating indigenous currency. This correction infuriated a few within the S African collecting community and Nortje set about trying to ingratiate himself by way of fraudulent research on the Griquatown and Strachan tokens in PDFs published in late 2015 and early 2016.

Nortje had been in contact with the Secretary of the National Numismatic Society (NNS), based in Johannaesburg, and took it upon himself to commit research fraud. The Secretary of the NNS, Brian Hern, is the publisher of the older South African coin catalogues that incorrectly claimed that the Griquatown tokens circulated. Balson has been in touch with Hern in 2006 and offered to debate him in a public forum over this but Hern had continually refused to take up the challenge despite saying in an email he could "refute every claim" Balson made.

In April 2016, as a result of an email from Balson, the BidorBuy Forum moderator warned Nortje about his public defamatory comments against Balson on their public forum. These have since been deleted and other effected threads in their coin forum have been locked. The once active coin forum has died as a direct result of Nortje's ongoing rants and the apparent refusal of BidorBuy (BoB) to ban him despite Nortje continuously breaching their own guidelines.

This fact was belatedly admitted on 9 Feb 2017 by none less than P H Nortje himself when he says: The forum might be dead - but as a business platform for selling - BidorBuy still rules. Source. Of course Nortje is not the reason the forum is dead - Facebook is! What an idiot.

Balson's email to BoB was written long after P H Nortje authored a fraudulent PDF claiming the Griquatown tokens circulated and another disputing the date the Strachan tokens were released, which he sold on the BoB online auction house from November 2015 to early 2016. After the post by the forum administrator Nortje continued to defame Balson right into late 2016.

In response to P H Nortje books/PDFs Balson produced this page exposing his fraud. Balson's response included a factual response to and exposing the fraud behind Nortje's PDF which the NNS based in Johannesburg (Hern is the Secretary) awarded him a special presentation for in early 2016. (Nortje's "award winning" PDF and Balson's response to it is linked here). In mid 2016 Nortje trawled Balson's online social pages and issued this ugly threat to him on his WAYN account in the wayn.com travellers website. Criminal defamation still applies in South Africa although it is currently being scrapped as it is unconstitutional.

After seeking legal advice Balson cancelled his trip to South Africa in September 2016 because South African lawyers stated police arrest first and ask questions later. Balson, who now lives in Australia, wanted to enjoy South Africa for the last time not spend it behind bars resulting from unknown contacts Nortje might have in the police. Instead, Balson rescheduled and extended his lengthy African trip to cover Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya (images here).

The fact is that this page has faced no legal challenge, nor will it, because:
1) It is written in defence of Balson's good name (initialy smeared by Nortje);
2) Everything on it is true and supported by FACTS not the unsolicited lies and research fraud perpetrated by Nortje; and
3) Balson will not be intimidated by a coward who uses archaic South African criminal laws and establishes an anonymous and fraudulent Facebook page (see below) to try to enforce his factually incorrect position

If Nortje wants to legally get this page removed he can take Balson to court in Australia. He won't because of the points listed directly above are sound, as is Balson's position that not one Griquatown token ever circulated. Ironically on this page you will see a link to emails where Nortje seeks Balson's advice about the Griquatown tokens!

A late update - Nortje, caught in the web of fraud and deceit of his own making showed the true colours of the grub he is when he:

Do you believe a coin dealer or a numismatist?

Balson is defending the integrity of S African numismatics and does so without hesitation:

Image right: the late Prof Clive Graham in 2010, a well respected numismatist, taken shortly before he passed away because of cancer.

A coin dealer (Nortje) is someone who makes money out of buying and selling coins. A numismatist (Balson and Graham) is someone who researches the history of coins because of their love of the hobby.

Nortje's fraudulent attacks include one on the integrity of Graham, a publisher with Balson of the highly regarded 1978 booklet the "Kence, the trade tokens of Strachan and Co" and could not go unchallenged. Balson has dismantled and exposed the blatant frauds of Nortje. Facts are facts.

This web page will remain here for as long as it takes for the record to be put straight, namely when:

  • the NNS retract their award to Nortje for his fraudulent PDF on the Griquatown tokens in which he ironically calls Balson a liar;
  • Nortje publicly apologises to Balson for defaming him, and
  • Nortje publicly admits to his research fraud - so clearly exposed below.

Let us now look at the facts and understand the research fraud Nortje knowingly entered into.


Let us look objectively at the proof behind the claim, from a critical standpoint, that Pierre Henri Nortje's "research" is fraud and his motives are dishonest and self-serving and aimed at ingratiating himself with a few coin collectors. As a result please be VERY careful in any dealings you have with Pierre Henri Nortje who's known alliases on the Internet include Pierre Nortje, P.H. Nortje and Pierre_Henri and more recently the Cape Town Coin Collector's Society.

NOTE: he has not and cannot dispute the information carried below so his "research" PDFs exposed here have suddenly disappeared "underground" and are no longer marketed on S Africa's Bidorbuy auction forum as a result of this page.

There are four separate examples covered in the table below; they have a common theme and objective. The first three are on Nortje's recent fraudulent research published in two separate PDFs and the fourth (in April 2016) being his fabricated claims in the BidorBuy Coin Forum. Nortje's fraudulent research has two specific aims. Firstly to suggest Hern was correct in claiming in his coin catalogues that the Griquatown tokens circulated and, secondly, a fraudulent and pathetic attempt to try to suggest the Strachan tokens were not South Africa's first widely circulating indigenous currency. Where known facts do not fit with his predetermined outcome he either deletes them or ignores them. The proof of this claim can be clearly seen below. That is research fraud by Nortje.

Proof linked below this table (or just read the links to topics 1, 2, 2a and 3 in it):

Link to Topic:
Fraud Exposed:
1. Did the Griquatown tokens circulate? Blatant plagiarising, dishonesty and falsification Nortje caught out plagiarising and destroying his own case that the Griquatown tokens circulated
2. When were the Strachan and Co tokens first released? Blatant falsification and editing of facts Nortje caught out deliberately editing and deleting facts to meet his own predetermined outcomes.
2a. How widely did the Strachan tokens circulate? Blatant dishonesty and falsification Nortje caught out deliberately omitting facts to meet his own predetermined outcomes
3. Why are some early South African coins holed? Blatant dishonesty and fabrication Nortje caught out deliberately omitting facts to meet his own predetermined outcomes.

As you will see linked below Pierre Henri Nortje used fraudulent strategies time and again in his "research".

Shame on you Nortje,

the big loser resulting from your dishonesty has been to our hobby.

Link to the unique collection of Griqua related Africana books that Balson accumulated over 30 years to complete his research

Return to the previous page

1. GRIQUATOWN TOKENS - Nortje plagiarising other people's research work then claiming it as his own while deliberately using outdated research and omitting relevant facts (falsification):

NOTE: for those who just wish to view a single page summation of the evidence that the Griquatown tokens never circulated - take this link

The renowned and highly respected S African numismatist Dr Frank Mitchell says this in a 1978 article in �Antiques in South Africa�. (Mitchell is a FELLOW of South African Numismatic Society (now NNS) and initiated the monthly numismatic magazine once produced by that coin club long before Hern became its secretary). Quote::
John Campbell's dream of a thriving commercial centre did not materialise. Indeed, the primitive Griquas must have been confused to know what to do with their new "coins". They had no real use for money and it seems doubtful if the coins ever circulated. Source. In the same article Mitchell notes that only one Griquatown token that he knew of had its claimed origins in South Africa. He laments that all the Griquatown tokens in his collection were sourced from collectors in the UK and the US.

UK based coin auction house Dix Noonan Web carry a background on the importance of Dr Frank Mirchell's numismatic credentials here.

FACT: The NNS, it's Secretary (Hern) and P H Nortje KNOW that Nortje's "research" on the Griquatown tokens exposed here is fraud but there has been no apology, no retraction of the award just a head in sand approach reminiscent of that coin club's committee and Nortje. Unfortunately this now reflects very poorly on its membership and numismatics in S Africa generally. Proof of what Balson is saying about Nortje's research fraud is detailed below.

Let us now look at the proof that Pierre Henri Nortje plagiarised (research fraud); and then look at why his PDF is complete rubbish:

When Nortje published his "award winning research" in a PDF in late 2015 suggesting the Griquatown tokens circulated he was caught out plagiarising and, as a result, his "research" was flawed. He was caught in a trap preset for him. The irony is Nortje repeatedly states in his PDF that Scott Balson's research is not to be trusted BUT then Nortje was caught red handed cutting and pasting from Balson's website while giving a different source in his PDF's appendix - namely Schoeman's book (The Mission at Griquatown 1801-1821 - Karel Schoeman) falsely implying that he had read it.

That is blatant plagiarising, deception, research fraud and a lie as well as a blatant act of defamation against Balson and implicates the NNS (a coin club based in Johannesburg) who presented Nortje with an award for it.

To cut to the chase for proof of Nortje's plagiarising read point 50 on page 30 of this PDF linked here. Nortje's "responses" to Balson's points are in black while Balson's responses to Nortje's comments are in blue. Balson's original points from his archived and out of date website from the 1990s, that Nortje uses in his flawed PDF, are in red.

Balson knows for a fact that Nortje was aware of the page carrying his research updated in 2006 because there was no link to the Helm comments Balson transcribed from Schoeman's book in the old archive carried at the outdated link from the 1990s (linked above). As you will see below Balson can prove that Nortje cuts and pastes Helm's comments from this website and then uses it in his "research" claiming the transcript was by him from Schoeman's book. In other words, Nortje cut and paste from the Helm extracts Balson had transcribed from Schoeman's book - after he found this page from Balson's updated 2006 research which carried the only link to this Helm transcript taken from Schoeman's book.

Two key little words are Nortje's undoing, exposing just a part of his fraud: "greater" and "dispersed" -
should be "greatest" and "disposed" changing the fraudulent narrative in his PDF dramatically.

Here is a summary of the facts (irrefutable proof at the "cut to the chase link" referred to above that Nortje plagiarised from Balson's research): First, Balson had been alerted to what Nortje was up to so he deliberately changed two key words in the transcript of Helm's notes and letters from Schoeman's book. Nortje uses these planted words (greater and dispersed) throughout his published "research" (proving that he had then cut and paste from Balson's web page transcript into his "research" without even reading Schoeman's book). That is plaigarising and fraud. Nortje compounds his fraud by then giving Schoeman's book as his reference - as if he had read the book and taken these extracts from it. The correct words used in Schoeman's book are "greatest" and "disposed". (Page linked below).

Furthermore, he only refers to and uses the points in Balson's old archived out of date website from the 1990s, linked in the paragraphs above, in his PDF. In other words Nortje suggests by using these outdated points that they were current when he knew they were not. As you can now see Nortje knew Balson had updated this old archive in 2006 - that is fraud through falsification.

Last word from Nortje's tiny circle of uninformed idiots on the BoB Forum in late 2016

Here is a scan of page 133 of Schoeman's book "The Mission of Griquatown 1801-1821" that confirms the words "greatest" and "disposed" were used - NOT "greater" and "dispersed" as (laughably) still suggested by Nortje and his two uninformed mates on the BoB forum. Balson's advice to these head in the sand idiots is to, instead of publishing uninformed rubbish, spend a few dollars, buy the book by Schoeman and get an education! Isn't it amusing that these so called "experts" on this subject continue to fall into the trap Balson originally set for Nortje a year ago! You can read the uninformed dialogue of these idiots in the BoB forum at this link. Just another classic example of Nortje's research fraud because he does not correct those posting in this BoB thread even though he participates in it and knows the truth. (Unlike in his "award winning" PDF Nortje is now using the word "greatest" while his mate still uses "greater". Nortje still fraudulently uses the word "dispersed" in this thread.)

More on this and Nortje's stupidity at this link.

You can now see:
1) that the suggestion in Nortje's appendix that he read Schoeman's book is a blatant lie (ie he cut and paste from Balson's website - including the planted errors). There is another example of this on the page below where Nortje laughingly suggests that the resident missionary at Griquatown, William Anderson, at the time the Griquatown tokens were supposed to have circulated, later "wrote a book". Nortje's sloppy research taken from another transcript on Balson's website can be clearly seen below. William Anderson never wrote a book and never mentioned the tokens - ever. (That is just two of many clear cut examples of plagiarising by Nortje from this website. One research fraud suffices to destroy Nortje's fraudulent PDF - so two detailed examples of this is a bonus.)
2) Nortje compounds his fraud by his use of the points taken from Balson's old archived page in his fraudulent PDF on the Griquatown tokens (Falsification). This is a deliberate and fradulent strategy aimed at denigrating Balson as he knew about his updated 2006 research on this subject.
3) there are several extremely relevant facts that Nortje simply overlooks in his fraudulent research because they do not suit his predetermined agenda that the Griquatown tokens circulated. (These are included in Balson's updated 2006 research and some covered in the segment directly below - examples are: no store, no hole and the piece about William Anderson.) More examples of this type of blatant research fraud by Nortje appear below throughout this page. (Fabrication)

Width of coloured lines above reflects a rough comparison of the research time taken on this subject by Balson (blue) and Nortje (red)


Nortje shoots himself in the foot over the Griquatown tokens - as demonstrated below:

To keep it simple let us start with... "no hole, no shop/store".....

NO HOLE: Here is a quote from the screen dump in Nortje's own early 2016 PDF on the Strachan tokens where he selectively edits a diary note by Douglas Strachan the son of founder Donald Strachan that he plagiarises from the 1978 book "Kence, the trade tokens of Strachan and Co" by Scott Balson and Clive Graham. (See the screen dump under 2 below): This (issuing token coins) was not a success as it had no hole near the rim and could not be strung on a string round the owners neck - the natives having no purses in those days (1870).

NO SHOP/STORE: In addition, Nortje, while trying to discredit the notion that the holed Strachan and Co (S&Co) tokens circulated widely from the mid 1870s puts the final nail in his own research coffin and I quote: That only leaves the Main Store and the Inbisi (sic) store in operation before 1904. Now the area the S & Co tokens could have circulated in before 1904 shrinks to almost shouting distance.... That leaves us with only the first series of tokens (Series A) that could only have been used before 1904 � and then only at two S & Co stores situated almost shouting distance from each other. "... For the S & Co. tokens to be �South Africa�s first indigenous currency that circulated over a vast geographical area�, they must have been introduced before 1892 and circulated widely before that date�� Yes, they could have been introduced before 1892 . but there is no hope in hell that they could have circulated then in an area that is larger than that covered by a modern international airport or a large farm in those days.

Balson agrees that without a store and without a hole the S&Co tokens would not have circulated. So how can Nortje still boldy claim that the Griquatown tokens circulated WITHOUT a store and WITHOUT a hole in the coins? You can't have it both ways - double whammy regardless of unrelated facts which confirm the TRUTH that not one Griquatown token ever circulated in Griquatown. Balson responds more fully to Nortje's flawed reasoning about the limited circulation of the S&Co coins and demonstrates factually why they did circulate widely from the mid 1870s in point 2a below.
Source of Nortje's statements above can be seen in last few lines of this post made by him on the BoB forum in July 2016.

In summary - how could a single Griquatown token have circulated fifty years earlier than the S&Co in a remote area where there was NO store in which to trade them, NO hole in the coin to allow the people to carry them around their necks with their beads, and we are talking about the near DESERTED village known as Griquatown occupied by a largely uneducated people who had NO understanding of what money was? Unsurprisingly NOT ONE reference has been made to a single Griquatown token being used in a trade. In fact the only comment about the Griquatown tokens is a plaintive request by the resident missionary Helm asking the London Missionary Society "what are we to do with the GREATEST part of them".

And let us look at what Griquatown looked like just two years before the main Kok and Waterboer families left Griquatown in 1814 in disgust over the missionaries - the year before Nortje would have you believe the Griquatown tokens circulated there:

Burchell's famous 1812 drawing of Klaarwater (that became Griquatown in 1813) from his book - and this was before the settlement's biggest family groups, the Kok and Waterboer families, moved away in 1814.
(Click on image for bigger image with detail).
In Burchell's own words:

From the moment when I decided on making Klaarwater in my way to the Interior, I naturally endeavoured to form, in my own mind, some picture of it; and I know not by what mistake it arose, that I should conceive the idea of its being a picturesque spot surrounded by trees and gardens, with a river running through a neat village, where a tall church stood, a distant beacon to mark that Christianity had advanced thus far into the wilds of Africa. But the first glance now convinced me how false may oftentimes be the notions which men form of what they have not seen. The trees of my imagination vanished, leaving nothing in reality but a few which the missionaries themselves had planted; the church sunk to a barn-like building of reeds and mud; the village was merely a row of half a dozen reed cottages; the river was but a rill; and the situation an open, bare, and exposed place, without any appearance of a garden, excepting that of the missionaries.

It would be very unfair towards those who have devoted themselves to a residence in a country, where they are cut off from communication with civilized society, and deprived of all its comforts, to attribute this low state of civilization and outward improvement, to a want of solicitude on their part. Their continual complaint, indeed, was of the laziness of the Hottentots, and of the great difficulty there had always been in persuading them to work, either on the buildings or in the garden; and in this complaint there was too much truth.

My disappointment in the appearance of the place arose from expecting, perhaps, too much.....



AND what about William Anderson - the missionary residing at Griquatown between 1815 and 1820 at the time the Griquatown tokens arrived in Griquatown?

Furthermore, Peter Anderson, direct descendant of William Anderson and author of the 1995 book "Weapons of Peace" (which is compiled from letters and journals written by the Griquatown missionary) covers in detail life at Griquatown; including the 1815 - 1820 timeline that includes the period the silver Griquatown tokens were in the missionary's care at Griquatown. These letters and journals make no reference to a single Griquatown token as can be seen by reading Peter Anderson's book. In 2008 the author, Peter Anderson, gave Scott Balson as the contact to Andries Waterboer's direct descendant as the expert on the history of the Griqua in this email exchange copied here. Years before this Peter Anderson had confirmed by email to Balson that while there is reference by William Anderson to the old printing press there is not one reference to the Griquatown tokens in his many journals and letters. Peter Anderson's book "Weapons of Peace" is glossed over and ignored by Nortje in his fraudulent PDF because it did not fit with his predetermined agenda that the tokens circulated there. There are many examples of this same fraudulent research strategy used by Nortje on this page. Ironically in the same year Peter Anderson was calling Balson an expert in Griqua history, 2008, Nortje was emailing Balson for advice on the Griquatown tokens - Nortje's email is linked here.

For the record the Griqua missionary, William Anderson, never wrote any books so his letters and journals from this period covered in "Weapons of Peace" are the only records by him of this time at Griquatown. "Weapons of Peace" covers in great detail the despair the missionary felt when the main Griqua families moved away from Griquatown from 1814 leaving the settlement a ghost town. Andries Waterboer only returned many years later.

Incredibly, in point 30 of Nortje's "award winning research" on the Griquatown tokens he states that William Anderson wrote the 1828 book "Researches in South Africa". This is a huge error of a very basic fact and reflects just how sloppy and uninformed Nortje's "research" is. He found the reference to this book and William Anderson on Balson's website (linked here). Trouble is William Anderson did not write the book - Rev John Philip did. Philip refers to Anderson's journals and quotes from them. As Balson mentioned before Anderson never wrote a book, he only kept journals and letters. This is just another example of what happened when Nortje fraudulently plagiarised Balson's online research while suggesting the research was his own and claiming to be an expert on this subject.

In fact, Peter Anderson in an email reply to Scott Balson in September 2016 states (email exchanges linked here):

I certainly do not recall in any of the letters and journals any mention of local coinage/token in Griquatown during Anderson's time there. I would not call myself an expert regarding William Anderson but it is my impression that had there been local coins produced and circulating during his time he would surely have mentioned this in his letters or journals. and:

Yes, unlike some of his illustrious contemporaries William Anderson never wrote a book nor did he ever return to England.

Balson put the publisher of the new South African coin catalogue, Morgan Carroll, in direct contact with Peter Anderson - this is what he wrote in reply to Carroll in early December 2016:

In none of my research did I ever come across mention of the Griqua tokens or coins. My research mainly involved going through all the letters and journals of Anderson and his colleagues in the LMS (people such as Kramer, Read, Thom, Moffat, Campbell, Phillip, etc) found in the extensive and excellent archives of the LMS in SOAS in London. Of course I also read other contemporary writings (Burchell, Lichtenstein, Backhouse, etc) and various LMS histories, and also consulted more recent academic articles and books on SA history.

Full email exchange direct between Carroll and Anderson at this link

These are the facts known by Hern and Wilson yet they, in the name of the National Numismatic Society (NNS), present Pierre Henri Nortje with a misplaced award only because it suits their personal agenda in promoting the lie that the Griquatown tokens circulated and were S Africa's first circulating indigenous currency. This has nothing to do with the FACTS of the matter or benefiting the goals of the NNS or its membership or far more importantly the BEST interests of South African numismatics. Their questionable actions left Balson with no option but to publicly expose them here.

It's not rocket science folks. A parallel of stupidity to the suggestion by Nortje that the Griquatown tokens circulated would be setting up a computer at Griquatown back then and hoping to be able to Google anything without any power to get the computer working and without any Internet connection even if you could somehow power the computer. The simple fact is that the Internet, anyway, did not exist back then and the Griqua, likewise, had NO store to trade token coins and had NO understanding of the concept of money. I agree - Nortje's ingratiating and fraudulent PDF on the Griquatown tokens is ridiculous and self-serving!

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2. WHEN WERE THE STRACHAN & CO TOKENS FIRST ISSUED - Nortje distorting the truth by purposeful omission to suit his own predetermined outcomes (falsification):

NOTE: for those who just wish to view a two page summation of the evidence that the S&Co circulated widely from 1874 - take this link

In early 2016 "award winning" Nortje brought out his "research and findings" on the Strachan tokens proclaiming that they had only been minted in the early 1900s and were not S Africa's first widely circulating indigenous currency. His motivation in his PDF can be clearly seen - a failed attempt to try to discredit Balson's research as well as the new coin catalogue by Morgan Carroll and to pander to his masters at the NNS (Hern and Wilson). Of course his new "research", backed by the NNS recognition of his fraudulent research on the Griquatown tokens above, was once again fatally flawed - but this time by several deliberate omissions of key known facts and deliberate editing to fit a predetermined outcome - a classic example of this is demonstrated below.

That is fraud.

Here is the proof:

This is a screen dump from his PDF on the Strachan tokens. You will notice most of the last line is blank. It is not blank in the original document where he got this information. This screen dump in Pierre Henri Nortje's "research" was originally scanned from the 1978 booklet "Kence, the trade tokens of Strachan and Company" by Scott Balson and Prof Clive Graham. (There is a scan of page 9 of the "Kence" book below the screen dumps shown here)

This screen dump is a part of the diary note by Douglas Strachan - the son of the founder of Strachan and Co, Donald Strachan. It is the only edited piece from the critical diary note that Nortje displays in his "research" PDF on the Strachan tokens:

Here is the same extract including the balance of the line deliberately deleted by Nortje because it was an inconvenient reality. This is as it was in the original diary note by Douglas Strachan:

The balance of the line in the screen dump is underlined in red and, as you can see, completely destroys Nortje's argument predeterimed by him in his "research". This is the reason he deleted it. This is not research - this is fraud (falsification).

You can see the original page of Douglas Strachan's diary note out of page 9 of the 1978 book "Kence, the trade tokens of Strachan and Co" at this link

A small part of the history of the booklet "Kence" can be seen at this link.

Furthermore, 90% of Nortje's "research" was transcribed directly from a booklet by Milner Snell on the history of the Strachan stores namely Strachan and Co Pty Limited, Merchants and Importers. Interestingly Snell's focus was on the stores and he only mentions the token coins in passing. Snell, who was the curator of the Kokstad museum, was never contacted by Nortje for his views on this issue before Nortje published his rubbish. This (as usual) selective and blatant plagiarising by Nortje is entirely self serving. In fact the unprofessional and fraudulent methods used in Nortje's flawed research smacks of the tactics used by Parsons in his research discredited by Spink, Krause, Morgan Carroll and Stanley Gibbons today.

However Snell and Balson had been in regular contact in this period and Snell confirmed to Balson by email that in his view the first S&Co tokens were issued in the 1870s and that Douglas Strachan's diary note confirming this could not be ignored. Snell's move into researching and publishing was initially inspired by the booklet "Kence" - he told Balson this. Balson and Snell have been good friends for over ten years and shared many thoughts and links to research over this period.

As you can see above Nortje did not entirely ignore the diary note but simply edited a selected extract of it as demonstrated above to suit his purposes and did not even bother to contact Milner Snell for his views.

Nortje was desperate to claim the role as expert in this area, after two weeks of "research", as can be seen on the BidorBuy forum in this thread. More fraud by Nortje the expert in research fraud recognised by the NNS - and the reason he attacks the part of the Strachan tokens becomes self apparent. Years ago, Milner Snell sent Balson an email on 23 September 2009, here is an extract:
The more I think about your new token theory, the more excited I get about it. I believe that Kence was the currency of East Griqualand from the mid-1870s to the early 1890s. By then the imperial currency was on a firm footing in East Griqualand, mainly brought in by migrant labourers. After that date the tokens take on, in my view, the more traditional role of paying for mealies and it would seem becomes the currency of the rural poor. I think this is a fascinating road to go down - the idea of an alternate currency for the poor. This idea is filled with all sorts of social and economic implications. The idea has to be developed!

More on Milner's comment above at this link.

Earlier, in 2007, Milner Snell welcomed and introduced Scott Balson to the Griqua Community in Kokstad when he launched his book covering the history of the Griqua people . This book took 30 years of extensive research and is now adopted by The Griqua as their official history.

For the record Nortje (seen right) did deliberately edit out or ignore the following in his fraudulent PDF on the Strachan tokens (falsification):
- deliberately edit out the line from Douglas Strachan's diary demonstrated above that destroyed his fraudulent research on this issue
- the discussion Scott Balson had with Ken Strachan in the late 1970s where Ken told him that the first set of S&Co were released in 1874 when Strachan and Co opened its doors under new ownership, and
- the 125th anniversary PDF (2003) issued by the Standard bank in Kokstad who state that when they opened their doors in 1878 the local money used in the Kokstad region, nearly 100 kilometres from Umzimkhulu, was the Strachan and Co coins. (The relevant PDF is linked here - see page two).

Also for the record, the late Dr G P Theron and Balson had been in regular contact by written letter back in 1977 and Theron recognises the assistance Balson gave him in his book "Tokens of South Africa and their history". At this link Theron recognises Balson's input in HELPING him gather information on the Strachan tokens. Back then neither Theron nor Balson had any definate findings as to when the S&Co tokens were first issued as neither had Douglas Strachan's diary note been sourced nor Standard Bank's PDF been published independently by the bank. Balson's early discussions with Ken Strachan had, before the launch of Theron's book, been limited to the history of the Strachan family in S Africa and their stores. So Theron's published assumption about when they were first released was just that and has no factual basis. Balson was his authority on this subject so he should know. Here is what Theron says at the link above: "Recently a lot of new information about this firm was obtained by Mr C S Balson of Ixopo who spoke to Mr Ken Strachan, a descendant of the original owners of the firm." In fact the talk Balson gave to the Pietermaritzburg Numismatic Society in April 1977 page one here and page two here reflects two things. The suggested date by Theron as to the timeline they circulated is extracted directly from Balson's talk - the relevant piece is highlighted on page one. Balson sent Theron a copy of his talk - that's where Theron got the information on the Strachan tokens that he published in his book. The date suggested in Balson's talk was, as mentioned above, very early in the research done on the tokens and was later found to be incorrect - the correct date being the first set from 1874. This talk was given months before Graham and Balson started detailed research into the tokens. True to form, in July 2016, and here is the quote from Nortje: We now know that Dr. Theron was most probably correct when he told us that the very FIRST set of S & Co tokens were (at the very earliest) only issued at the turn of the 19th century (say late 1890s or early 1900s). As shown above Dr Theron says in his own book on tokens his information on the Strachan tokens came direct from Balson - and you have now seen the source. Of course this inconvenient reality being Theron's source on the Strachan tokens is completely left out of Nortje's post in the BidorBuy coin forum at this link where he states the piece in red above. (Second half of his post.) Anyone with a copy of Theron's book can confirm the scan above and what is being said here.

This again reflects Nortje's practice of fraud by deliberate omission of relevant facts, but it get's worse when Nortje digs an even bigger hole for himself.

Secondly, in a more recent example of his ongoing research fraud Nortje suggests the book "Kence" was published in 1976 and that Graham writes for help about when the tokens were released in the magazine Natalia in 1977 because he is unsure that the dates suggested in the book were correct. This is another example of Nortje's misleading lies. Firstly, even the letter by Ken Strachan where he thanks Balson for his copies of "Kence" that he had seen for the first time is dated 14th August 1978. (See page one and see page two). Furthermore the copies later enscribed by Ken Strachan and sent to directors in the firm is dated October 1978. In fact Balson was working at Barclays Bank in Greytown most of 1976 and only met Ken Strachan for the first time around Christmas that year at the Umzimkhulu agency run by the Ixopo branch - that was when Balson first heard about the Strachan tokens. Page two of Balson's talk linked above notes the next meeting on Thursday 26th May - that date was on a Thursday in 1977. In fact it was at that May meeting that Graham approached Balson with the idea of writing what became "Kence". As demonstrated above the book was published in the middle of the third quarter of 1978. Graham's requests for help in the 1977 Natalia were made not long after we agreed to write "Kence" not a year after it was published, and his requests for any help make perfect sense. Why does Balson raise this? Simple, just another classic example of Nortje's research fraud.

Here is the link to Nortje's post on Bob fraudulently suggesting "Kence" was published in 1976. (For the record Nortje has been told by others that this 1976 date suggested is wrong, and as the publisher has the ability to correct it at any time but doesn't.)

Milner Snell's independent comments to Balson by email in July 2016 in red at this link further support the views raised in this expose of the serial research fraud Pierre Henri Nortje.

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2a. THE REGION THE S&Co CIRCULATED AS CURRENCY IN THE 1870s and later - Nortje deliberately ignoring facts (falsification):

It is one thing to be a researcher spending years carefully studying a subject and quite another to, like Nortje, spend a couple of weeks selectively plagiarising other people's research (in this case mainly Balson, Graham and Snell). In his fraudulent "research" on the Strachan tokens Nortje also claims that Balson states the S&Co circulated widely over a vast area - insinuating that Balson suggested this to be from 1874 when the first S&Co set were released by the company. That is a deliberate lie. On this website and in the book "Kence" a very clear determination of the timeline is made, namely that between 1874 and 1932 the S&Co sets circulated as currency across a vast region centered around East Griqualand. The fact is without question that circulation was increasingly by the indigenous people who found the holed coin a very useful way to secure the S&Co tokens with their beads around their necks. All types of S&Co tokens have been found amongst the local indigenous population as far west as Lesotho, east as Pondoland, north as southern Natal and south into the northern Cape. As noted by the Kokstad branch of Standard Bank in their 125th Anniversary publication the S&Co were the only local money in circulation when they opened their doors in Kokstad in 1878. (The relevant PDF is linked here - see page two). Kokstad is nearly 100km from Umzimkhulu, an area of circulation, I would suggest, just a little bit bigger than that of a "large farm" as suggested by Nortje in the link below. Furthermore many thousands of the first set of well circulated S&Co currency tokens still survive today - reflecting their success far beyond the immediate area around Umzimkhulu way back then.

Image linked right - screen dump from Standard Bank's PDF. For relevant page click the graphic.

Now in Nortje's latest thread on the BidorBuy forum (July 2016 - linked below) he ridiculously claims that the region in which the S&Co tokens circulated from 1874 to the early 1900s was limited to "the size of a large farm". This false claim is predicated on the physical location of the two S&Co trading stores being the boundary of the coins effective circulation until new S&Co stores opened around the region in the early 1900s. Why then does Nortje claim the Griquatown tokens circulated when there was NO store in that remote region (see expos� 1 above)? That is a huge and compelling contradiction by Nortje that in itself completely destroys his "award winning" research and classicly exposes why it is self-serving and badly flawed.

It is important to note that the circumstances were dramatically different between the Strachan and the Griquatown tokens. There are simple and practical reasons behind the S&Co token coins (type A) quickly spreading and being accepted as the currency across the large region stretching from Umzimkhulu to Kokstad and beyond from the mid to late 1870s. (This is an area covering several hundred square kilometres, ie not the area of a large farm). The map below gives an estimated circulation area of the S&Co, largely indigenous, in the 1870s. Even Nortje cannot refute this but as has been demonstrated his "research", exposed on this page, carries a similar theme. It is flawed, self-serving and deliberately fraudulent and misleading.

Here are just some of the many reasons the S&Co coins circulated widely from the 1870s:
- the only, and very busy, oxwagon route to Kokstad from Durban ran through Ixopo and then directly past the S&Co store at Umzimkhulu drift. Most transport drivers stayed the night at the Strachan's hotel at Umzimkhulu drift as it was an easy day's ride to Kokstad from that point. There is no question that those transporting goods to Kokstad would have come in contact with the S&Co (type A) tokens from the mid 1870s.
- there was a critical shortage of coin of the crown around South Africa but especially in the fast growing and extremely remote township of Kokstad. More on this issue regarding the scarcity of coin in Kokstad and East Griqualand in the 1870s at this link.
- in Kokstad there was a small but fast growing and active white population. Many had stores and the Strachan coins were the only money available to them. They fostered the understanding of what money was amongst the many indigenous people they interacted with resulting in the S&Co quickly becoming the region's currency.
- furthermore, the partners in Strachan and Co were both highly respected and trusted with Donald Strachan being the Magistrate in Umzimkhulu in the 1870s as well as the leader of the African army known as the Abalandalosi, and George Brisley the secretary of the Griqua Raad (or Government) based in Kokstad up until annexation of the region by the British in 1878. (ie they were both well known, trusted and respected by all the people regardless of race across the region the coins circulated in the 1870s).
- both Douglas Strachan and Ken Strachan (son and grandson of the founding partner of S&Co - Donald Strachan) state that the S&Co coins were accepted everywhere in the region.

Therefore it's not rocket science to understand why the Standard Bank correctly state that in 1878 the S&Co coins were the only money used in the region around Kokstad nearly 100km from Umzimkhulu back then.

Once again Nortje's nonsense regarding how widely the S&Co circulated is complete fabrication. This is exacerbated by his misplaced and self serving comments that could normally be excused as ignorance of the facts BUT as he claims to be an expert on this subject this oversight reflects his research fraud once again.

In fact, Nortje has unintentionally supported Balson's argument exposing the fraud in Nortje's claim that the Griquatown tokens actually circulated. That is how stupid he is. Unlike Umzimkhulu drift the remote and deserted village of Griquatown was not on an ox wagon route to any larger township or community to the north. It was the end of the line and only a few explorers and missionaries visited this tiny outpost between 1815 and 1820 - the estimated timeframe that Nortje would have you falsely believe the Griquatown tokens circulated there.

Source of Nortje's statement suggesting the S&Co had a limited circulation area the size of a large farm in last few lines of this post. He does however now concede in this post that the first set of S&Co probably circulated before 1892 making then South Africa's first indigenous coinage, something he disputed in his earlier "research".

Mud map of area in which the S&Co currency tokens circulated in the 1870s

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3. April 2016 posts on BoB Forum on "WHY EARLY S ARFICAN TOKEN COINS WERE HOLED" - Nortje openly lying to rewrite facts (fabrication):

At this link on the BidorBuy forum Pierre Henri Nortje tries to suggest that tokens and coins generally were holed for reasons OTHER than facilitating the needs of the wider population as a form of storage with their beads as they went about their daily lives. His misleading comments are quite extraordinary but no longer surprise me. Look no further than the heavily edited screen dump from his own flawed PDF above on the Strachan tokens where Douglas Strachan states their first attempt in bringing in a coinage failed because it did not have a hole which allowed for safe storage around the indigenous owner's neck. Nortje obviously knows better than Douglas Strachan - I think NOT. In fact the token's native name of "Kence" is the sound that two S&Co coins make when knocking together when worn around the owner's neck as stated in the 1978 booklet "Kence - the trade tokens of Strachan and Co" by Scott Balson and Prof Clive Graham.

What does the late Judge Tom Mullins (who was the Magistrate in Umzimkhulu in the 1940s) have to say about the origins of the native name "Kence"? The origins of the name "Kence" is interesting. I have a copy of a very rare book, A Kaffir-English dictionary, by Rev Albert Kropf, published by Lovedale Mission Press in 1899. In it it gives i-Kencekence as meaning a small tinkling bell" and uku-Kenceza as meaning "to tinkle, jingle, ring like a small bell". So the origin of the name seems to be correct. Source.

So before the publication of the book by Kropf in 1899 the native name associated with the Strachan tokens was widely used and in Judge Mullins opinion the origins quoted in the 1978 "Kence" book that it came from tokens strung around the neck are correct. Here is an online PDF copy of the second edition of the same book Mullins refers to found through Google books - on page 186 you will find the word "kence" and the translation confirming what Mullins says..

More on the highly respected Judge Mullins at this link.

What does the man running the Strachan trading store empire in the 1970s, Ken Strachan, have to say in his own booklet published in the 1980s? Here is the answer:
Link to scan of relevant page from: No Mans Land - Griqualand (18 pages) by Ken Strachan (quote from page 15 - pages not numbered):
Mention of the shortage of banks brings me to the fact that not only Strachan and Co but other traders as well had their own coinage which were commonly called "Kences". These coins were minted overseas, they had a hole in their rim to facilitate them being strung together round the owner's neck and were readily accepted by all and sundry, even in the Church collection. They were eventually declared illegal in the 1930s.

In fact as stated earlier the word "Kence" is an onomatopoeia for the sound of two or more coins knocking together while around the wearer's neck - just as the native origins of the name of the southern Natal town is Ixopo which is an imitation of the sound of a cow's hoof going in and out of wet mud - much of Ixopo is in wetlands and very muddy. So the use of onomatopoeia by the indigenous people in this entire region was quite common.

A totally independent book "From Cowrie to Kina", the Coinage, Currencies, Badges, Medals, Awards and Decorations of Papua New Guinea (PNG)" published by Dr William J D Mira in 1986 confirms in chapter six on page 95 that: the early PNG coinage was holed based on the East African experience - we are talking about fifty years after the Strachan and Co tokens holed near the rim were first released in 1874 but the reason for the holing has not changed. As Douglas Strachan stated the native population did not have purses - exactly the point made by Mira in PNG and East Africa.

Furthemore, consider the Fiji coinage of the 1900s - holed. So if Nortje's suggestion was valid why weren't South Africa's ZAR and Union Coinage holed? Answer: It was aimed, unlike the Strachan tokens, at the white population who had pockets and purses - not the indigenous people.

But Pierre Henri Nortje the "award winning researcher" makes these ridiculous claims on the BidorBuy Forum:
We absolutely have no evidence that any past South African tokens were deliberately holed because natives did not have pockets in those days, and used to hang the tokens around their necks because of the absence of them having purses.

The tokens were mechanically holed beforehand for many other reasons, but stringing them around bodily parts was definitely not one of them.

They were simply strung around their native necks or arms because the holed tokens had convenient stringing holes (drilled for other reasons) like modern-day trinkets have.


Source of the transcript above.

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ph nortje skrywer