Hans den Besten argues that the genesis of Afrikaans can only be explained if the linguistic behaviour of the indigenous Khoikhoi is taken into account. He also points out that apart from the Dutch Pidgin of the Khoikhoi, subsequently taken over by the slaves, and which stabilised round about 1700 into Proto-Afrikaans I, Cape Dutch was also spoken by the colonist. Cape Dutch evolved into a simplified vernacular (Proto-Afrikaans II). Both prototypes were characterised by traits which would become part and parcel of modern standard Afrikaans. In this article the linguistic nature of Cape Dutch is discussed in more detail. Apart from prefiguring Afrikaans to a certain extent, it remained inherently Dutch in nature. The Duminy diaries reveal that the imperfect tense remained intact and ablaut, for instance, remained central to the tense system. The differentiation between perfect tense forms making use of either hebben or zijn was also normal. These features probably never characterised the Dutch Pidgin and the subsequent Dutch creole. The two prototypes merged round about 1850 as a result of social forces into what Den Besten calls an Afrikaans Koine. We know little about the linguistic process itself and the driving forces behind this merger. However, from a pilot study based upon data collected in the Swellendam area, it seems likely that typical features of Proto-Afrikaans II managed to penetrate the Afrikaans Koine. During standardisation from about the middle of the nineteenth century, many of these features were not able to resist levelling forces which stemmed from Proto-Afrikaans I.