The word free burgher (vryburger/vryburgher in Dutch) frequently occurs when there are spoken of Afrikaner ancestors, and so today I went to look for a meaning of this word. I found a good web page with the answer I was looking for.
As found on the Dictionary Unit for South African English website, the definition is as follows.
Officers and servants of the company*, a few of whom, after landing, were released from their engagements, and permitted to become ‘free burghers’ or cultivators of the soil.
*The company referred to above is the VOC, the company responsible for establishing a halfway station at the Cape.
1. Header image sourced from Wikimedia Commons.