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European powers exploited ethnic differences by employing the divide and rule tactic and used military conquest to subdue resistance by the local inhabitants.As a consequence Europeans exercised almost total control over virtually of these two continents.The VOC used this as an opportunity to import political exiles from the East Indies to work as slaves in the Cape Colony.
Some immigrants were from Philippines, Japan, Macau, Malacca, West Indies, Brazil and possibly New Guinea.
This group came to be known collectively as the ‘Cape Malay,’ despite their diverse origins as far afield as East Africa and Malaysia.
Anyone who opposed the colonization of their countries would be taken as political prisoners or exiles.
It was one such group of people that were brought to the Cape of Good Hope.
The first of these migrants arrived in the latter half of the seventeenth century, mainly from colonies in Africa and Asia that were occupied by the Dutch and the British.