De Lima, Joseph Suasso

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DE LIMA, JOSEPH SUASSO (1791–1858), South African writer and journalist. Member of an Amsterdam family of Portuguese origin, he qualified in law, wrote for Amsterdam publishers, and in 1816 went on a government mission to Batavia. In 1818 he settled at the Cape as printer, publisher, and translator (of Hebrew, among other languages). One of the early South African literary figures to use Dutch, he wrote poems, plays, pamphlets, almanacs, and directories. His versatility and his lameness were both butts for the enemies he made in various controversies. He defended the form of colloquial Dutch spoken at the Cape, opened the first Dutch bookshop in South Africa, and ran the first weekly paper, the satirical De Versamelaar, for several years from 1825. His Gedichten appeared in Amsterdam in 1821; his Nieuwe Gedichten in 1840. In 1825 he published his brief Geschiedenis van de Kaap de Goede Hoop, the first manual of Cape history. De Lima joined the Dutch Reformed Church in 1833, but made a donation to the building fund of the first Cape synagogue in 1849.


L. Herrman, History of the Jews in South Africa (1935), 94–97; Nienaber, in: Jewish Affairs, 7 (Johannesburg, 1952), 12–16.

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De Lima, Joseph Suasso

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