Malay Graves

The Islamic faith has been present at the Cape since soon after its colonization by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The VOC had colonized the majority of the Indonesian Islands and established its trade capital in Batavia (now Djakarta). From here it ruled the Dutch spice trade during the 17th and 18th centuries. 

This chartered company established military outposts and trading posts – including the Cape – in numerous areas in Asia and Africa to protect their extremely lucrative spice trade. Politically and spiritually prominent leaders led the local people in fierce resistance against the Dutch in Indonesia, India, Ceylon, Sumatra, Macassar, and Timor; to name some. This led to Muslim political prisoners being regularly banished to the Cape for their resistance to Dutch rule during the 17th and 18th centuries. Also, because they were considered a serious threat to the interests of the VOC.

Malay Graves - Dias Museum Complex

Others practising Islam were brought to the Cape as enslaved labourers and forced to work for the VOC or settlers. Over time many people of colour would become Muslim as opposed to the Christian religion of the Dutch. Despite Islam having to be practised in secret until 1804 when religious freedom was finally permitted at the Cape, local Muslims were able to create communities around their traditions and customs from their countries of origins, and later their mosques and madrasas. 

After the practice of Islam became legal at the Cape, international Muslim scholars and Imams would travel here more regularly.

According to an old title deed of the premises, the Mossel Bay Muslim community was granted a property measuring 69 square roods and 48 square feet in 1864 to use as their cemetery.

These two Muslim graves, uncovered in 1926, are believed to be that of Muslim Saints (Sheikh Abdurahman Sayed Al Mujahedeen) who died in Mossel Bay on route to Batavia (present-day Jakarta) around 1864. 

*Please be respectful at all times while visiting this site.

Mossel Bay Muslim community

Western Cape, MOSSEL BAY, Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex, Unknown Muslim grave

The GGSA Cemetery DVD only has information on the location of the cemetery. Cemetery ID: 3947

Google Earth Project Information: -
GPSID: 4685  GPS: -34 10.772, 22 8.316 (accessed on 30 July 2021)

COVID-19 Protocols

In accordance with our museum’s approved COVID-19 Lockdown Operational Plan, the operation times at our museum will be adjusted as needed. The museum is operated under strict lockdown rules and regulations. 

  • Visitors without masks are denied entry to the premises. 
  • Visitors are required to sanitize before entry.
  • Visitors’ temperature is tested and those who have 38°C or more are not allowed to enter the premises. 
  • The caravel is closed until further notice. 
  • The aquarium touch tank at the Shell Museum is operated like other tanks, visitors are not allowed to touch the animals. 
  • Only 100 visitors per building are allowed at a time.
Entrance Fees - Complex

Entrance Fees

Complex Entry

Adults: R 20.00
Pensioners: R 10.00
Children under 18: R 5.00

Entrance Fees - Complex & Caravel

Entrance Fees

Complex & Caravel

Adults: R 40.00
Pensioners: R 20.00
Children under 18: R 10.00

Opening Hours
  • Monday To Friday 08:15 to 17:00
  • Saturday & Public Holidays09:00 to 16:00
  • Sunday09:00 to 16:00
  • Lockdown Level 4:Closed

Contact Info

+27 (0)44 691 1067

+27 (0)44 691 1915


1 Market Street

Mossel Bay, South Africa